Previously an important player in the chemicals industry, the North Manchester district of Blackley is a popular choice for renters looking for affordable properties to call home. The area is within easy reach of the cosmopolitan city of Manchester, as well as enjoying excellent road and public transport links with the rest of the North West. Blackley offers relatively cheap investment opportunities to would-be landlords, and houses and flats cost less than in many of the city’s suburbs. With a number of attractive green spaces such as Boggart Hole Clough, Blackley Forest and the famous Heaton Park, Blackley is popular with families who want easy access to outdoor areas.
Although originally a rural village, Blackley is now a built-up area and saw huge growth in population throughout much of the 20th century. If you’re looking to invest in a rental property in Blackley, expect to pay from around £70,000 for a small terraced house or new build flat. If you are thinking of letting property in Blackley and are not familiar with the area, there are a number of reputable estate and property agencies that can provide Blackley landlord advice.
If you’re new to owning rental properties, here are some tips to help you ensure you don’t fall foul of regulations put in place to protect tenants
Using an Assured Shorthold Tenancy
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (or AST) is the most common type of tenancy agreement. It was originally brought in in order to provide protection for both parties involved in the rental agreement – the tenant and the landlord. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy should be in writing and both parties should take steps to ensure they fully understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. Relying on oral or informal agreements can lead to serious problems and misunderstandings further down the line, so always ensure everything is placed in writing.
The Assured Shorthold Tenancy includes a number of points, but some of the most important ones are as follows:
– The landlord is entitled to request a market rent
– The landlord is permitted to take back the property after a period of six months
– If the tenant does not pay the required rent, the landlord can take their property back before six months has passed. In this case, the tenant must owe a minimum of eight weeks’ rent.
– The deposit paid by the tenant must, by law, be placed in an official and approved tenancy deposit scheme. This protects all tenant deposits paid on or after 6th April 2007.
The Deposit Protection Scheme
Introduced to protect the deposits paid by tenants to landlords or their agents, this scheme was introduced in April 2007 in England. All deposits paid by tenants in England must be put into an approved secure deposit scheme. This can help resolve any issues that arise at the end of the tenancy agreement when the tenant is moving out of your property. If you are a landlord and you receive a deposit from your tenant, you must place the funds in a suitable scheme no later than 30 days after your tenant gives you the deposit. It is also your responsibility to update your tenant on the scheme you have used and let them know their rights.
The Importance of the Inventory
Many landlords, even experienced ones, often cut corners when compiling an inventory. While it’s easy to become complacent, the inventory is extremely important and is a vital tool that protects both you and your tenant. Make a thorough and detailed list of every item in your property, including all furniture and any fixtures, fittings and accessories you will be leaving in the property while it’s being rented. Include every item in the property, along with descriptions wherever necessary. Include the approximate (or exact if known) age of every item, and its condition, as well as any comments you feel are relevant. You should encourage your tenant to carefully read the inventory before you both sign it.
Finally, when you are planning to let a property in Blackley or anywhere else in the country, you should be aware that it is illegal to refuse any tenant on the grounds of their gender, disability, religion, race or sexuality. There are strict anti-discrimination laws in place to ensure everyone has the right to be treated fairly, so you must bear in mind you will not be able to refuse to let your property to certain groups.