Becoming a Landlord

So you want to become a landlord? In this concise guide, we’ll tell you how to become a landlord in the UK and explore how to navigate the buy-to-let housing journey.

Over 4.4 million households in the UK live within the private rented sector with this number increasing 45% in the last decade, meaning now is as good a time as any to consider becoming a private landlord.

In this guide, we’ll offer helpful advice to new and existing landlords alike and outline the key legal obligations as a landlord and some frequently asked questions too. So, without further ado, let’s talk about becoming a landlord!

How to Become a Landlord in the UK

If you want to become a landlord in the UK, there are several steps you’ll need to undertake to start the process.

  • Ensure you understand what being a landlord entails. By the end of this guide, you should know the key features of being a landlord.
  • Check if you are allowed to let your property. There are a number of markers set out by the UK government you’ll need to hit to be able to rent out your property and it’s crucial to ensure you can legally let your property before becoming a landlord.
  • Understand and abide by your legal obligations as a landlord.
  • Choose whether you want to use a lettings agency or manage the property yourself. Using a letting agency like us at Jon Simon is the easiest way to ensure a smooth and stress-free letting process. Check out our dedicated guide to helping find the right estate agent for you.
  • Make your property ready for tenants. This means ensuring essentials like gas, electricity, and water are all fully functioning and the interior is in a safe, comfortable condition fit for living.
  • Find suitable tenants – or let you lettings agency handle this.

What Are Some Landlord Responsibilities?

When you become a landlord, there are a range of legal responsibilities and rules to follow as set out by the government in England and Wales.

As a landlord, you’ll need to:

  • Keep your properties safe with no health hazard risks, including installing a carbon monoxide alarm if one is not already present.
  • Ensure your tenant has the right to rent your property (England only).
  • Ensure your tenant’s security deposit is protected in a deposit protection scheme.
  • Make sure all gas and electrical equipment is installed safely and regularly maintained, including the smoke alarm and any water appliances.
  • Give your tenant an Energy Performance Certificate – this specifies the energy efficiency rating of the property.
  • Give your tenant the ‘How to Rent’ checklist.

Landlords in Scotland or Northern Ireland

If you are a landlord or thinking of becoming a landlord in Scotland or Northern Ireland, the rules will be different for you.

Of course, there are a lot of details and legal jargon involved when you become a landlord in the UK. If you’re based in Scotland and Northern Ireland and want more advice and guidance on becoming a landlord in your area, get in touch with a member of our dedicated team and we’ll do our best to answer any queries.

Can You Make a Living as a Landlord?

The biggest incentive for becoming a landlord, in the vast majority of cases, is the potential to earn additional income. If you become a private landlord, you can earn money when you buy-to-let. The monthly rent payments from your tenants will cover the mortgage costs on the property and also earn you some profit.

The more properties you have, the more rental income you’ll accumulate. If you pay off the mortgage on a property, the profit margin will significantly increase for you as a landlord.

Despite the profit potential, there are many costs to factor in when you become a landlord.

What Are Some Landlord Costs?

When investing in property, it’s important to remember that the more properties you have, the more you’ll need to spend. Costs that you need to consider as a landlord include:

Buy-to-Let Mortgage Costs

This will likely be your largest regular outgoing. If you make a large deposit then you’ll secure a better deal. Taking out a variable-rate mortgage (like a tracker) will mean you are at the mercy of the Bank of England base rate. Your mortgage payments will rise if the base rate does. To help manage mortgage costs, we’ve created a dedicated page for calculating your mortgage costs that explains interest rates, repayment terms, and more so you can stay on top of your payments.

Maintenance and Repair Costs

Even with well-behaved and respectful tenants, household items and utilities wear with age, and there can always be emergency issues with things like heating and hot water. It’s impossible to know when a maintenance cost can strike, but this is something you’ll have to set money aside for. Regular inspection and maintenance of your property will help keep larger costs down and preserve the state of your property in the long run.

Use our property management guide to ensure all your key maintenance and management costs are covered.

Agency or Property Management Fees

Using a letting agent and a property manager is extremely handy because they can take care of all the nitty-gritty stuff and paperwork for you, including tenant and property management. They can collect rent, deal with tenant issues and queries, and conduct inspections on your behalf. However, this service is not free and you’ll need to factor these fees into your monthly expenses.

Landlord Insurance

Taking out landlord insurance is a wise idea. If you want to become a landlord and apply for a mortgage, your lender will usually expect you to have this in place. Costs will vary depending on the type and location of your property, and the level of cover you want.


  • What Are My Legal Obligations as a Landlord?

    As a landlord, it is your responsibility to:

    • Insure your property against damage like fire and floods.
    • Ensure a registered gas-safe engineer has installed any gas equipment and conducts annual safety checks on gas appliances.
    • Provide your tenants with a gas safety check record.
    • Ensure electrical safety throughout the property.
    • Get an energy performance certificate (EPC)
    • Carry out ‘Right to Rent’ checks when setting up a new tenancy agreement.
  • Do I Need to Hire a Lettings or Property Management Agency?

    If you’re managing multiple properties or want a stress-free experience, utilising a letting agency is a brilliant move. Here at JonSimon, our job is to handle the day-to-day management of your property. We can advertise your property, find and vet your tenants, and handle your maintenance or property repairs too.

    We can handle all property inspections, make sure that documentation is legally compliant, and conduct all other property management tasks on your behalf.

  • What Are My Rights as a Landlord?

    You own the property but as a landlord, you no longer have the right to enter the premises of your own free will. You must give your tenants at least 24 hours’ notice before you enter the property, even if it is to carry out some agreed refurbishment or repairs. You do have the right to request that the tenant leave the property, or seek legal action if the monthly rent is unpaid or the contract terms are broken.

Get Expert Landlord Advice and Support with Jon Simon

Now you know how to become a landlord, it’s time to take your first steps, and what better way to start than with Jon Simon. Our award-winning team will be on hand to give you support with any legal requirements and documentation and help you manage all the tricky tasks involved in being a landlord.

Get in touch today to see how our team can help manage your property, or opt for an online valuation to see how much your property is worth when selling or letting.

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