Top 5 points landlords need to know before letting their property
In Zambia’s current property market, letting out a property can be a good option as rental demand remains strong. However, there are certain things homeowners should know before letting their property out. This article is focused on the Top 5 points landlords need to know before letting their property.
1. Make sure that your property is lettable
Homeowners need to ensure that their property is in excellent condition before letting it out. One of the most important considerations is that a property should be appealing to prospective tenants. Tip: Homeowners must focus on features that prospective tenants value and consider important.
2. Establish a good working relationship with a rental agent
It is crucial to identify and contract the services of a reputable rental agent to help you through the process. Part of the tasks to be undertaken by a reputable agent include;
- Scrutinising any prospective tenants’ applications.
- Ensuring that prospective tenants’ credit records are in good standing.
- Determine that prospective tenants’ documentation is legitimate.
Additionally agents can assist with timely monthly rental collections, as well as assisting and or guiding the landlord in taking the necessary legal steps should payment not be forthcoming.
3. Ensure that you have a solid lease agreement
One of the most important issues for both the homeowner and agent is ensuring there’s a solid lease agreement in effect. A solid lease agreement needs to clearly stipulate the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. Additionally the lease must clearly outlinine the terms and conditions of the rental. Failure to have an airtight lease agreement leaves the homeowner open to exploitation.
4. Plan for maintenance
Budget and plan well so that maintenance and financial shortfalls are covered. There are always various costs and expenses that need to be catered for thus it is essential to plan adequately for these. Unfortunately as with life in general there are always unforeseen and unanticipated mishaps that will require immediate attention and put a dent into your finances. Regardless of this its crucial to be proactive than reactive in these situations.
5. Ensure that your tax and accounting is taken care of
A rental property is an investment and as such needs to be declared as income on your annual tax return. There are also certain expenses from running your rental property can also be deducted off the income. In addition there are also other tax implications to owning a rental property such as capital gains tax which is due should you decide to sell your property. With all these implications to carefully consider we strongly advise homeowners to engage the services of experts. These qualified professionals will help them manage the tax and accounting side of owning and operating a rental property/ properties.