1) Pick the right property
Do your research very carefully before purchasing a rental property. You want a property that will attract a large pool of suitable tenants. Conduct your research to see what areas have a strong rental market and also what type of property is most in demand for rental in that particular area, for example, houses or apartments. Is the property close to amenities such as shops and transport links? What sort of rental income can you expect – be realistic!
2) Manage your finances
When looking at property investment, work out the finances very carefully. Include all your costs in financial projections including, legal fees, stamp duty and fit-out costs. Don’t forget to allow for the cost of on-going maintenance. Be realistic about potential rental income. Always factor in a void period in your projections. Most rental properties will be empty at some point.
Build up a contingency fund to cover your costs when the property is empty or to pay for unexpected repairs and maintenance (for example, a new heating boiler).
3) Have the right mortgage
Landlords should review their mortgages at least once a year to ensure they are getting the best available rates. If the property has increased in value it may be possible to get a better rate based on the new, lower loan to value ratio. It has become a lot harder to switch mortgages in recent years due to the property crash
4) Minimise you tax liability
Investing in property is a business and like any business income, rent is liable to tax. However by managing your finances carefully and knowing what expenses are allowable against tax you can significantly reduce your tax bill.
5) Have the correct insurance
The insurance risks associated with letting residential property can be substantial and are different to that of owner-occupiers. Do not under estimate the importance of having the right insurance for your investment property. Some landlords make the mistake of relying on normal household cover – this is not adequate. An investment property requires specific investment property (buy-to-let) insurance.
6) Screen tenants properly
Screening tenants is the most important part of managing rental property. While no landlord wants to have vacant property – it is better (and cheaper!) to have an empty property than one with bad tenants who may end up costing you thousands in lost rent and damages by the time you eventually manage to get them out.
Landlords are always anxious when they have an empty property, but don’t rush into taking the first tenant that comes along. Take the time to screen potential tenants.
7) Use a good lease agreement
A good lease agreement is essential to the effective management of investment property and it helps to avoid disputes and disagreements during the course of the tenancy. Never let a tenant into a property without a signed lease agreement. The lease agreement forms the basis for the landlord / tenant relationship for your property.
A lease agreement should cover:
· The length of the tenancy
· The rent and how it is paid
· The deposit payable
· Notice periods
· What bills the tenant is responsible for
· Who is responsible for grass cutting / garden maintenance
· The number of occupants allowed
· Are pets allowed?
· Any restrictions on the use of the property
· Special conditions e.g. the deposit cannot be used as the last months rent.
It is important to ensure that any lease agreement used complies with Residential Tenancies Act 2004.
8) Have an inventory of contents
An inventory is the itemisation of the contents of the property and their condition.
Every landlord should have an inventory for each property as it outlines not only what is in the property, but also what condition the contents are in at the time of letting and this can help to prevent disputes when tenants move out.
9) Know the rules and regulations
The residential letting market in Ireland is governed by the Residential Tenancies Act 2004, which also established the PRTB to resolve disputes between landlords and tenants and to operate a system of tenancy registration. Landlords and tenants may refer disputes to the PRTB for resolution.
The Residential Tenancies Act 2004 sets out basic tenancy obligations for both landlords and tenants. It is not possible to contract out of these obligations (i.e. the act overrides the terms of any tenancy agreement).
It is important that every landlord understand the main provisions of the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 and the impact this has on areas such as registering tenancies and serving notice on tenants.
10) Treat it like a business
Think of property investment as a business. Keep proper records of all financial transactions including rents received and expenses incurred. Be professional and business like in your dealings with tenants and any other parties.
irish landlord is a resource for irish property investors and irish landlordsFrom landlord information to free lease agreements, landlord rights, landlord tips to PRTB information, tax on rental income, notice periods, PRTB registration, landlord registration, use our free lease agreement to ensure you comply with the PRTB rules. Download a PRTB registration form and inventory of contents The first step in protecting your rental property is doing proper tenant screening of every tenant, read ourtenant screening guide. Know about landlord rights. The site is full of advice for landlords and landlord information and landlord tips. Read our section about tax on rental income. Use our landlord tax calculator All the landlord information that irish landlords need, it’s all on irish landlord.com the resource for landlords in ireland landlord training landlord coaching