Becoming a Landlord: The only contact list you will ever need.

If you are thinking about letting a property, you will be reassured to know that demand for rental properties is at an all-time high. And while interest rates remain low, so do mortgage repayments. Over the past few years, there has been a cultural shift towards renting. That is due to a number of factors, including lack of first-time buyer mortgage offers, unavailability of high loan to value ratio mortgages and people sitting tight and renting in the hope that house prices fall further.

In city centres and other desirable areas, demand for rental properties outstrips supply and landlords can afford to be selective. That could mean choosing to let only to young professionals in secure employment and declining housing benefit claimants or pet owners.

With the property market seemingly stalled in many areas, it is not surprising that people are choosing to hold on to their homes, rather than lower the asking price. Property has always been a long-term investment and sitting tight and renting out your property could prove to be a smart financial move.

Once you have decided to rent out your property, your next step is to decide how to manage it.

Many landlords choose to manage the property themselves, and this can be more cost-effective than letting the property through an agency. However, bear in mind that property management can be a time-consuming task, as you would need to spend time finding suitable tenants and be available to organise repairs and maintenance at short notice. If your tenants stop paying the rent, you’ll also have to deal with the eviction process yourself, or instruct a company that specialises in tenant eviction services. Fortunately, Property Reclaim are on hand to assist in those circumstances, but what about other issues that often arise for landlords?

Essential contacts for landlords

A letting agent will be responsible for repairs, maintenance and ensuring that rent is paid on time. If, however, you are managing the property yourself, it is vital that you keep a list of essential numbers to hand. If something does go wrong, it is your responsibility to fix it so landlords should set up in advance their own directory of suppliers such as plumbers, electricians, heating engineers and utilities suppliers. Something like a gas leak or electrical fault could be life threatening, while a water leak may cause extensive damage to the property. Your tenant could suddenly find himself with no heating or hot water and it would be your responsibility to ensure that the boiler is repaired quickly. Failure to do so can lead to a claim by the tenant to offset against the rent for loss of enjoyment of the property so the key for any landlord is to know who to contact and to contact them quickly.

The vast majority of landlords (some 78%) only have a single property to rent and are therefore unlikely to have a complete list of suppliers for every eventuality. That’s where one of the several landlord advice sites such as the Residential Landlord Association (, ARLA ( and Landlordzone ( can help. They provide a wealth of information, support and advice on landlords’ responsibilities as well as lists of approved suppliers to help landlords chose an appropriate professional to help them meet those responsibilities.
In the current climate, letting your property makes sound financial sense. The housing market remains uncertain and many vendors have been forced to reduce prices. Property is always a long-term investment and sitting tight and weathering the financial storm could see you reap financial benefits for many years to come.

If you decide go it alone and manage your own property, ensure that you carry out adequate research. Draw up a plan and ensure you have relevant contact details close to hand should there be a problem. If the worst happens and you find yourself with problem tenants, having access to specialist tenant eviction services like can offer peace of mind.

About the Author