Anyone who receives payment to allow someone to live in a property owned by them is a landlord. Even if you're just letting your home to a friend while you travel, you need to comply with the laws surrounding renting. If you are thinking about becoming a landlord, it's important that you become familiar with your legal obligations and understand how much work is involved.
It's important that you keep up to date with changes in housing legislation, policy and practice to make sure that you are operating within the law. You may wish to consider taking part in an accredited training programme or joining a professional body. This type of training and support could help you deal with any problems that arise with your tenants and help you manage your properties effectively.
All landlords in Northern Ireland have to submit their details to a central register. Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation also need to register with the Housing Executive. Landlords should also consider joining an organisation that can provide professional support and advice to landlords.
Estate agents and letting agents will often have their own complaints process. Many agents belong to a professional redress scheme which may be able to sort out problems if you're unhappy with the service you've been given by your agent.
People who are interested in moving in to your property will probably start to contact you as soon as you've advertised the letting. An agent will usually find tenants for your property for an agreed fee, but there are some things you should consider if you decide to go it alone.
Any deposits taken on or after 1 April 2013 must be registered with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme administrator. Deposits taken before that date don't need to be registered with one of these schemes.
A repairs grant is available to help cover the cost of carrying out repairs required after your local council has issued a Notice of Disrepair on a protected tenancy or a Public Health Notice on any other property. Only landlords or some private tenants can apply for a repairs grant. You can get up to £7,500 depending on the type of work needed.