5 tips for first-time residential landlords

Written on 2 August 2019 by Giles Cook in Belgravia

When you’re new to renting out property, taking those first steps to becoming a landlord can be daunting. There’s a lot to learn from a legal and financial perspective – and a lot to organise.

If you’re buying-to-let, you’ll want to be sure your investment is the right one. Or if you’re an accidental landlord, who’s inherited a property or is relocating abroad, you’ll have decisions to make about renting v selling.

For anyone looking to rent out property in Belgravia, there are particular things to bear in mind – because Belgravia really is a special case. The very definition of ‘prime residential property’, Belgravia has a reputation as a safe haven for investors from all over the world.

While Brexit has brought uncertainty to London’s property market in 2019, the highly-desirable nature of homes in Belgravia mean that the area is likely to remain a good, long-term investment.

Before you embark on your journey as a residential landlord, here are a few things to bear in mind:

 tips for first-time residential landlords

1. You need the best possible advice before you buy

Of the many stunning houses and apartments for sale in Belgravia, some will make perfect buy-to-let properties – others less so. A clear understanding of the market will help you find the right investment for you.


2. Belgravia property management is a special task

Unless you live next door, and especially if you don’t live in the UK, you need someone you can trust to look after your investment from day to day. The Central London property scene differs from that of any other British city. That’s why it makes sense to use a property management company that understands what makes this market special.


3. Landlords’ responsibilities and tenants’ rights change frequently

Your tenants have the right to live in a property that’s safe, decent and legal. While it’s unlikely that your Belgravia home will be unfit for habitation, it is easy to get caught out if you don’t know the law – around gas safety, energy performance certificates (EPCs) and tenancy deposit schemes.

The rules change frequently. For example, there are proposals to end Section 21 no-fault evictions (which mean you can currently ask your tenant to leave after an initial period). Make sure you get proper, up-to-date advice on all legal issues.


4. Understand tenancy agreements

Don’t allow the keys to be handed over until the tenancy agreement has been signed by both parties and the required security deposit payment has been received. You should also ensure that the tenant has signed a copy of the inventory – make sure it includes photographic evidence.

At the start of the tenancy, the tenant must receive a copy of the booklet How to rent: A checklist for renting in England, together with a gas safety certificate and a copy of the home’s EPC. The rules for assured shorthold tenancies (which most are) mean that you can’t serve your tenant with notice to leave unless these requirements have been met.


5. Know your (ideal) tenant

Give some thought before buying to the kind of person you want to let to. This is one of the most important tips for anyone considering a buy-to-let investment, anywhere. When you know what kind of person you’d like in your property, you’ll know where in Belgravia that property would be best located.

People who choose to live in Belgravia want the best. That means they won’t compromise on the property they rent. If you’re planning to be a landlord in Belgravia, you need to aim, at all times, for perfection.

If your investment in Belgravia is going to be the success you want it to be, you need to be guided by people who know the area, the residents, and the rental business. Contact us to discuss your budget and your long-term objectives – we’ll show you how to achieve them!

Giles Cook

Giles recently joined Best Gapp in 2017 as Partner Designate and Head of Residential Agency, bringing over 20 years’ experience to the firm. Following a three-year stint as an Area Director for Foxtons, he went on to head up Chestertons’ sales and lettings operations in central London, before becoming a Partner at top Knightsbridge boutique WA Ellis.

All articles by Giles Cook


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