Being a landlord is an ideal career choice for many people. However, if you are thinking about becoming a landlord, don’t be fooled by the image that it is an easy job. You may think that as soon as you let out your property you can just sit back and let the money roll in, but there is a lot more to it than that.
Here are a few things that you may not have been told about being a landlord that you really should know before making your initial investment.
It Can Be Very Hard Work
Being a landlord is one of those jobs that can look very glamorous to outsiders, but in reality it can be incredibly hard work. That doesn’t mean it is hard all the time, but certainly can be some of the time, and with that comes stress and exhaustion.
It is easy to see the people on TV making lots of money despite making plenty of mistakes and to assume that you can do better than them. However, the reality is different and it often looks easier than it is.
Tenants Can Be Problematic
Many new landlords will assume that they can weed out the problem tenants by carrying out background checks, but the fact is that you can never be certain. Some tenants may not look after the property. Some tenants may look ideal until they stop paying their rent a few months later.
And when things go wrong, you cannot simply get some new tenants in. You may have to evict them, a process that can take many months – all of which can be incredibly stressful.
It Requires Regular Investment
One common mistake new landlords make is to assume that as soon as they have tenants covering the cost of the mortgage, they won’t have any outgoings. But this could not be further from the truth. There are constant outgoings as a landlord, including maintenance, repairs, insurance, tax, marketing and more.
Things Always Go Wrong
Even the best landlords will find that something will go wrong at some point. It always happens, and it can be very difficult to deal with. Whether it involves a problem with tenants, repairs, money, or anything else, things simply do go wrong and you will have to deal with them.
It Won’t Get You Rich Quick
Many new landlords may like the idea of getting rich quick on the property market. But the truth is that this is a long-term investment and it can take years to start actually making any real money.
There Is a Lot to Learn
All in all, there is a lot that you will have to learn on the job. As a landlord, the only way you can learn many things is from experience, and that is not always easy.
For example, you could screen your tenants in depth and think that you are doing everything right, only to find that they turn into problem tenants. Sometimes you need to rely on instinct, which is something you will build up over the years. You will also have many legal responsibilities that you need to know about in advance.
Useful Tips to Know
Being a landlord is not easy, but there are ways that you can make it easier on yourself. For example, investing in suitable insurance should be seen as a necessity. Make sure it covers you for everything you need, such as covering the rent if you don’t get paid. Look around and compare policies to make sure you find the right one for you.
Another option to consider is hiring a letting agent. Look around your local area and research agents, whether you want to let your home in Harborne or elsewhere. A good agent can take a lot of the day-to-day work out of managing the property, and they can also advise you on many areas including the legal aspects. They may also have their own tenant screening process in place to help you find more suitable tenants for your property.
When you choose a property to let, always think carefully about the type of tenant you want, and make sure you choose the property for them rather than for yourself. For example, a student property will be very different from a property for a family or a professional couple.
Finally, do as much research as you can on every aspect of becoming a landlord before you decide to invest. Spend time getting to know the industry, the ups and downs, and the way the market is going. Speak to as many landlords as you can to get recommendations from the experts, and only invest when you are sure you know what you are doing. You may also want to join up with an organisation like the Residential Landlords Association.
It Could Be the Perfect Career Option
Even after all of the potential problems that you are not told about becoming a landlord, the fact is that for many it remains very rewarding, and it can often be lucrative.
You get to enjoy a personal freedom that you may not otherwise experience in a normal job. You often get wonderful tenants with whom you develop good relationships. So there are many things to enjoy about being a landlord, but just don’t go into it thinking that it will all be plain sailing.
Heather Langley used to work in the real estate field, but she still likes to follow the latest industry news. When she finds something interesting, she shares it by posting on the web. Look for her articles on a variety of blogs and websites today.