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Landlord Essentials: What Landlords need for Buy to Lets

Landlord essentials - tips of things to get for buy to lets

When I first started out as a landlord, I found it hard to find reliable suppliers of the essentials I needed as a landlord. There’s so much choice! And sometimes it’s difficult to know which is best.

So I’ve decided to make it easy for other landlords by putting all of my recommendations for the essentials in one place, which they can bookmark. My recommendations range from what they need for kitting out a buy to let for renters, the letting process, training, social media advice, books to read and day to day management.

These recommendations are the things I’ve either personally bought, or which come highly recommended by other landlords. I hope you find it useful having recommendations for the essentials that landlords will need at one time or another, all on one page.

Of course, if you think I’ve missed anything off the list or have any questions, you can contact me here. Finally, here’s a link to my policy for recommendations and affiliate links.

This page contains affiliate links. If you buy something after clicking through, you’ll be supporting this free blog. Thank you!

Online Letting and Management Services

I’m a big fan on self-letting, bypassing traditional letting agents, and doing it myself online. Click here for an explanation of how to let a property yourself.

I use OpenRent to find tenants and use their OpenRent’s Rent Now service, which is amazing value for £49. Take a look below. I also recommend their referencing service, and Viewber for back-up property management, as I self-manage too (find out more on self-managing here).

OpenRent Full Tenancy Creation £49

Openrent to let sign outside of Victorian house - self-letting landlord

OpenRent’s RentNow service is a fantastic way to find renters for your properties using the portals.

You can screen enquiries and organise viewings on the dashboard. OpenRent will create the tenancy, register the deposit, and collect the first month’s rent for you.

All for £49! Their referencing is only £20 per person.

It’s incredibly good value and puts you in control, without swamping you with admin.

>> Related Post: How to find tenants using OpenRent

OpenRent Basic Portal Advertising £29

Openrent to let sign outside of Victorian house - self-letting landlord

This lower cost option gives you the same viewing & enquiry organiser as RentNow, and and the advertising on Rightmove, Zoopla and OpenRent.

It’s a good option if you’re comfortable with creating your own tenancy, and registering the deposit etc. It’s a great value way of advertising on Rightmove, Zoopla and OpenRent.

It’s only £29 and if you click below, you can get a free trial.

OpenRent Referencing £20

credit report ticked excellent which helps a landlord choose a good renter

Most landlords reference renters as an extra in the OpenRent RentNow process, once a holding deposit has been placed.

However, OpenRent also offer it on a standalone basis for £20 per person.

The comprehensive referencing includes a credit check, affordability, a landlord reference and an employer reference. Speedy referencing is quicker but doesn’t include the landlord or employer reference.

Click here for less comprehensive, but speedy referencing option.

Contract Property Management Services

Viewber logo - property services for landlords

One problem with self-managing and self-letting can be needing to get to the property if there’s a problem or meet a contractor.

Viewber provides comprehensive contract services, ranging from key management to property inspections and viewings.

They have thousands of trained DBS-checked property assistants across the country, which you can book online.

Click on the link below and see Viewber’s price list.

Landlord safety checks

Safety checks seem to come around so frequently, especially if you have a large buy to let portfolio. OpenRent provide a very competitive service for gas safety, boiler servicing and electrical testing.

OpenRent Gas Safety & boiler servicing

gas hob to show a gas safety certificate is needed

It’s a legal requirement for landlords to obtain a Gas Safety Certificate each year. Also, it’s best practice to service your boilers each year.
OpenRent have a network of vetted Gas Safe registered engineers to do this for you.

A Gas Safety Certificate costs for £49 plus £15 for additional appliances and £55 to service the boiler.

They also remind you when it’s due again.

OpenRent EICRs and PAT Testing

lightbulb to show EICR and PAT testing

All rental properties in England are legally required to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).

Portable appliance testing (PAT) is also recommended once a year for standalone appliances.

OpenRent has a network of local electricians to provide a comprehensive electrical safety testing services for landlords.

An EICR starts at £159 + £15 per bedroom, and £69 for PAT testing of up to 10 appliances.

Support and Training for Landlords

I always say that my first bit of advice to landlords in England and Wales is that they should join the NRLA. Not only do they provide a brilliant helpline for members and provide lots of resources, but they campaign on our behalf. I’m sharing my referral code discount below.

If you’re looking to grow your Instagram account, then Milly Bellotti is second to none. The links are below.

Join the NRLA >> Accredited Landlord

NRLA logo

The NRLA offer excellent resources and discounts for landlords and have a very useful helpline for members.

They also provide good value quality training and a Landlord Accreditation scheme.

It’s incredible value and I’m an Accredited NRLA Landlord Member myself.

Definitely worth joining, even if you use letting agents.

Milly Bellotti: Social media training

Social media program for property investors by @posting property Milly Bellotti

Social media is a fantastic tool for property investors, but it can be daunting at the start.

A landlord herself, Milly aka @postingproperty on Instagram, runs an excellent program specifically to help property investors grow their business, by tapping into the huge potential social media channels offer. She’s the best I’ve seen.

You can find out more by clicking the link below.

Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is crucial for landlords, yet it’s so easy to overpay. Here’s a blog post on my own experience of using QuoteSearcher’s website to find competitive quotes. If you’re unsure of what type of landlord insurance to get, an explanation of the different types available.

QuoteSearcher Landlord Insurance

QuoteSearcher insurance for landlords

I’ve teamed up with QuoteSearcher* who work with specialist brokers to bring you competitive insurance quotes for landlord insurance.

If you click on the link below, you will be directed to the relevant form on the QuoteSearcher website, where you can complete your details. Their brokers will get back to you with competitive quotes for landlord insurance.

>> Related Post: Guide to Landlord Insurance

Unoccupied Property insurance

QuoteSearcher insurance for landlords

Most Landlord Insurance will only insure landlords for a short amount of time (30-60 days) when their property is unoccupied for any reason. This includes voids between tenants, and during refurbishment.

Also, the cover may reduce while a property is unoccupied.

QuoteSearcher* work with specialist brokers who will be able to bring you competitive quotes for insurance designed for unoccupied properties.

*The Independent Landlord blog works in partnership with QuoteSearcher to provide quotes for landlord insurance and unoccupied property insurance. Once your details are submitted, their broker partners will call you back with quotes and from there you will receive a number of quotes to consider.

Appliances for Buy to Lets

Whenever I need appliances for my buy to lets, I always use AO.com. I’ve found they have great pricing, an extensive “landlord-friendly” range of products, and are really quick to deliver.

Appliances from AO.com

Bosch fridge freezer being delivered by AO.com to an unfurnished rental property

Landlords are legally obliged to provide cooking facilities (usually a cooker and an oven) for renters. Often landlords will also provide a fridge/freezer and extractor fan for the kitchen.

I recommend AO.com as their prices are very competitive and they are easy to order on their website. I use AO.com for all the appliances in my buy to lets. 

>> Related Post: Landlord Obligations for Unfurnished Properties

Looking to buy or sell up?

Movewise for Landlords

Movewise - hassle-free property sales

If you’re one of the 30% of landlords thinking of selling in 2023, Movewise make it easy for you.

Movewise do this by providing a single point of contact for sellers, and by offering multiple selling routes to landlords. This takes the hassle out of selling, especially if you’re selling a rental portfolio.

If you’re looking to buy, you can sign up to get on their database of buyers, for early access to deals before they reach the open market.

>> Related Post: Landlord Guide for Unfurnished Properties

What landlords need to get landlord essentials
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