Taking First Steps into Landlord-dom

Taking First Steps into Landlord-dom

17:23 PM, 12th May 2015, About 7 years ago 6

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I have been browsing Property118 for a while before taking my first steps into Landlord-dom, and find the information here invaluable – thanks.

I am considering buying a 2 bedroom flat in an ex-council block in Romford, Essex. The block is well maintained and secure with door entry phones.

The property is currently let to a tenant who has been living there for quite a while and who is reliable in his payments and happy with the property.

A separate buildings management company looks after the entire block, including the grounds, public areas, etc.

The service charge is about £110 pcm, but that also includes ground rent, general block maintenance and buildings insurance which covers the entire block (does that seem high?).

I am also intending to use the same letting agent already in place.

As this is my first foray into BTL, I would appreciate some advice on what I need to look out for in order to satisfy my due diligence. Taking First Steps into Landlord-dom

1) If the tenant is simply continuing his long-term rent, what do I do about a new contract or tenancy agreement. If he already has one, would this suffice?

2) The letting agent handled the tenant’s original deposit. Is that good enough, or should the agent refund the deposit and then collect it again? I assume this would already be with a protected-depost scheme.

3) Since the tenant is in situ, what legal certificates, etc. should I insist on, or get re-tested – gas safety, electrics, ECP, etc.

4) I’m sure I have forgotten something (probably many things), so your advice and experience would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks



Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

17:25 PM, 12th May 2015, About 7 years ago

Hi John

We have a 10 step guide on useful questions to ask when purchasing a tenanted property here >>> http://www.property118.com/questions-ask-buying-tenanted-property/73290/

As a newbie, you may also be interested in this >>> http://www.property118.com/btl-purchaser-training/

Rob Crawford

19:29 PM, 12th May 2015, About 7 years ago

It's worth getting your solicitor to ask if there are any maintenance costs on the horizon that are not factored into the £110 monthly management/maintenance fee. Find out who holds the current deposit. If it is the letting agent and you are staying with that agent then there will be no need to return and re-protect however, you need to see evidence that it has been protected with an government approved scheme. The letting agent may want to charge you for a landlord change over - don't pay (they will want your business or go else where). Get a copy of the AST, make sure you are happy with it. Also as the new landlord you will need to sign a terms of business with the agent. Get a copy of this and read it in slow time. Be wary of any tenant/landlord lock-in clauses! Your solicitor should be asking for the EPC, Gas Safe, Wiring, PAT records etc - make sure he does and when received make sure they are current. Join the National Landlords Association (NLA) and become accredited.

Jon Harris

10:37 AM, 13th May 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "12/05/2015 - 19:29":

Thanks Rob - that's sound advice which I will certainly follow-up on.

As this is our first BTL, each small steps feels like a major leap and we want to ensure we don't miss anything. Appreciate your reply.


Paul Franklin

17:01 PM, 13th May 2015, About 7 years ago

With regards the deposit I understand that you need to re-issue the prescribed information if the landlord changes. So whilst you don't have to physically return it, my understanding is that you do need to re-protect and re-serve the PI. It's probably worth just calling the deposit scheme it's held with and ask them, or the letting agent should be able to advise/do that for you.

Jon Harris

20:34 PM, 14th May 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Paul Franklin" at "13/05/2015 - 17:01":

Good advice, Paul. Thanks.

I think the existing deposit is with the "My Deposit" scheme and I will follow up with them.

Jon Harris

20:36 PM, 14th May 2015, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Mark Alexander" at "12/05/2015 - 17:25":

Thank you for your help, Mark.

There is so much to take in for a beginner and your guides will be invaluable.

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