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New Landlords Beware - hidden charges trap the inexperienced

Home repairs service Rightio has provided a useful checklist of the hidden costs of being a landlord. Many seasoned hands will be all too familiar with these pitfalls, but newcomers to the sector may want to bear in mind these likely charges when calculating investments.


To the uninitiated, being a landlord might sound like a lucrative gig. Earning semi-passive income in rent sounds amazing, right?


However, if you’re considering getting into the property market and being a landlord, there are a lot of expenses to consider. Mortgage and repair costs are a given, but what else will you need to dip into your wallet for?

Here, we’ll discuss some of the lesser-known costs of being a landlord.


Gas safety - With 77 per cent of homes still using gas for heating in 2021, most landlords will have a number of gas safety regulations to meet. You’re obligated to carry out an annual gas safety check on each property you’re responsible for, and this must be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer – so you can’t cut costs by doing it yourself.

Gas Safety certificates can cost between £35 and £90 for the service and certificate, and if you have a large property portfolio, these costs can quickly add up. Getting landlord boiler insurance can help you to cover the cost of your annual gas safety checks and boiler service. 


Energy efficiency and electrical safety - Electrical safety is also a mandatory requirement for landlords in England and is one of the most recent pieces of legislation you’re required to abide by. This isn’t required as often as gas safety checks – you only need to carry out an electrical safety exercise every five years. This costs around £200.

All landlords must also provide energy efficiency ratings on their properties to tenants. These certificates must be renewed every 10 years, but landlords can proactively renew them if they make significant energy efficiency improvements to the property. Getting your property on the EPC register can cost between £60 and £120. 

Energy efficiency can be really important to prospective tenants and must be available before you arrange any viewings, so it’s well worth looking into making your properties as energy efficient as possible.


Landlord licences - Although this isn’t applicable to all landlords, some property owners will require a landlord licence. Because this only applies in certain situations, this can catch out a lot of new landlords or those expanding their portfolio.

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) must acquire a licence to do so. Previously, only properties at three storeys or higher with over five tenants required a licence, but this has since been extended to all HMOs.

Selective licensing is the one that trips up a lot of inexperienced landlords. Currently, over 70 councils in England can apply selective licensing, which was brought in to improve the standards of landlords in certain areas. They allow councils to run a fit and proper persons test on landlords and generally cost some £400.

Landlord insurance - While this isn’t a mandatory cost, it’s one that may go under the radar for new landlords. But, instead of seeing it as a cost, think of it as a safety net. Landlord insurance can cover a number of expenses associated with renting out your properties and will save you money in the long run.

Whether you’re renting out properties that were previously furnished, or you’ve bought brand-new furniture, you’ll know it doesn’t come cheap. Most standard landlord insurance will cover the cost of damaged furniture, giving you some peace of mind. 

Fire safety is a well-known requirement for landlords, but they can still happen even after you’ve put all the right measures in place. Landlord insurance will cover you if something like a fire damages your rental property. 

On average, landlord insurance costs £217 a year– a drop in the ocean compared to the money it could save you and all the other costs associated with being a landlord!


Being a landlord can be rewarding, but it’s also a lot of hard work and doesn’t come cheap. For people looking to get into the rental property market, there are a lot of mandatory and recommended costs associated with being a landlord that you may not have been considered before, including energy safety checks and even licensing in certain areas. It’s always recommended to do your research before entering the property market. 


Source www.rightio.co.uk 

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  • icon

    Of course there are costs and problems as there are with any business, and just like any other business these costs are passed onto the end user + a bit extra to cover our time, nothing new here.

  • michael davies

    Yes there are costs and more to come!oh and when tried to get some kind of covid payment because the tennants decided they didn't need to pay the rent because someone suggested they did not need to .HMRC told me on my 3 attempts that it's not a buisness, although i do all the vetting letting and maintainace its an investment they tell me and investments can go up or down.so I'm ooot and have already sold one of my properties

  • icon

    It good that someone is warning them about extra costs rather than buying blindfolded.
    However, in some Cities the costs are substantially higher than the figures quoted. The £200. for 5 year electric is
    about right, fire alarms and emergency lighting are extra and annual Certificates if HMO don’t know if mandatory or not but costly. Very unlikely if anyone will do gas for £35. More like £75. Plus annual service £50, if done together. LL Insurance much more expensive than £217, and don’t cover contents yours or Tenants generally, mine average £500,
    HMO mandatory & Additional licenses are similar Application Fee I think £1200. to £1410 which covers one Council visit any subsequent visits £85. per hour extra. Selective license £500, what’s not mentioned is the other expensive works which you may have to do to
    comply like fire doors, closers, stops, special locks so thumb screw on inside, extra sinks, extra cooking appliances, extra toilets and extra washing facilities £4’000. might cover or not, no one working cheap those days and materials gone through the roof, allow for a vacant period while getting all this done, allow for meeting Mortgage payments with no income, Allow go paying Council Tax on empty property etc.

  • icon

    Hopefully you’ll purchase a property with some luck and good fortune that is EPC Compliant


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