Tips and Advice for Landlords in Brighton

Tips and Advice for Landlords in Brighton

Being a landlord can be tricky to navigate. With a number of legal and financial implications, you’ll want to ensure you, your tenants and property are all protected and compliant. Whether you’re a first-time landlord or a seasoned pro, below are a number of tips to support landlords in Brighton.

Ensure your property is legally compliant

There are many factors to consider to ensure your property is legally compliant. For example, your property will need to be checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer every year and you will need to provide the gas safety certificate to your tenants within 28 days of the check. There are a number of reliable gas safety engineers across Brighton who will be able to attend your property, whether you have just one or multiple.

It’s also legally your responsibility as a landlord to ensure your property has working smoke alarms fitted on every floor, as well as carbon monoxide detectors in any room where solid fuel is used. You should test all alarms on the first day of the tenancy, and then again at your regular property checks.

Your property will also need to be electricity safety checked by a qualified electrician every five years. Again, there are plenty of reliable electricians around Brighton who will be able to conduct this service for you and provide the necessary report.

Your property will also need to have an up-to-date EPC (energy performance certificate). Every rented property now needs to have at least an E rating in the EPC – if your property does not meet these standards, you will be fined. You should carry out the required works to get your property to at least an E before you take on tenants.

Remember, damp and mould that’s caused by structural issues will be the responsibility of the landlord to put right. Poor insulation and faulty heating and ventilation are classed as structural issues and can all contribute to damp in a property. Mould is a common issue in many properties across Brighton, so you should ensure your property has the necessary work to avoid issues with damp.

Find a professional Brighton accountant

An accountant can be a huge benefit, especially if you have multiple properties. A professional accountant will ensure you pay what will be required from the income sourced from your buy-to-let properties. This can help to avoid hefty tax bills and fines down the line, especially as HMRC increases its in-person tax investigations on both individuals and businesses.

To find the best local services, search “accountant Brighton” online to see the most popular results. Make sure to check reviews from real clients to gain insight into their services and ensure you find the best accountant in the area.

Check if you need an HMO licence

If your property is rented to multiple tenants who aren’t family, you may need a licence for a House in Multiple Occupation. This will apply if you have three or more unrelated tenants in one household and if these tenants share kitchen and bathroom facilities. You will always need an HMO licence if you have five or more tenants living in one property (who aren’t related).

If you have a property that you want to change to an HMO, you may need planning permission. There are specific standards that your property will need to meet if you want to have it as an HMO, related to how many toilets and washing facilities are required for how many people are in the property.

The Brighton and Hove council website has a helpful HMO page with the links you’ll need to apply for an HMO licence, as well as guidance for the property itself.

Consider a property management company

A professional property management company can be especially helpful for landlords, saving them time and resources in dealing with rented property. There are numerous property management companies across Brighton that offer a range of services.

It may be that you just want to use a letting agency to find the right tenants for your property. A professional agency will be able to carry out the required checks easily and quickly, getting references when needed to ensure they will be quality tenants.

A property management company will be able to support and assist you with the ongoing servicing of your property. This could include attending regular checks at the property, to ensure everything is in order, handling routine maintenance and emergency repairs, and ensuring health and safety compliance for your property.

A property management company will often mean issues in your property get dealt with quickly and professionally, with the right experts attending when needed. This can give both you and your tenants peace of mind that the property will be well cared for.

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