Guide for landlords
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Step-by-step guide to letting.
This guide is designed to flexi-fit landlords branching out for the first time, and those simply looking to expand their investment portfolios.
Here you’ll find our top 10 steps to getting your property fully prepped and ready for when your new tenants move in. We cover everything from highlighting your responsibilities and receiving & agreeing offers, to the day of the move itself.
Need to discuss what’s included here further? No problem. Get in touch with our friendly team on 020 7078 0214 from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm every Saturday, or email us at email@example.com and we’ll get right back to you.
Your first step will be to arrange a valuation. You can do this by calling your estate agent or visiting their website. Choosing an agent who can deliver a smooth, swift rental without compromising quality of service is at the centre of the lettings process. Any estate agent can promise to achieve the best possible price for your property in the shortest possible time, but make sure it’s realistic. It’s also important to take their other service propositions into consideration. For example:
- Do they have excellent knowledge of the local area and property market?
- Are they contactable outside of office hours?
- Will the agent accompany the viewings?
- What kind of marketing will accompany your property?
Being crystal clear on the points that matter to you will help ensure you receive a service that fits your needs perfectly, and when combined, will go towards achieving maximum exposure and rental value for your property.
As a landlord letting property in England and Wales, you must comply with all current legislation. If you don’t, it can lead to financial penalty, and in some cases, imprisonment. Here’s what to look out for:
A yearly gas safety check must be carried out on every gas appliance/flue, which checks that gas fittings and appliances are safe to use. To comply with regulations, a gas safety certificate must be organised for the property before the new tenant moves in.
Electrical appliances left in the property must be tested by a qualified engineer to assess their safety. This is in compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 legislation.
Furniture and furnishings
Soft furnishings must also comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Safety Regulations 1988 legislation, and be fire safety compliant. This information can be found on all furniture fire safety labels.
EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
Every letting requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and should be prepared before marketing the property. This certificate will calculate the energy efficiency of your property, and will be graded by scale, from Grade A (being the most efficient) to Grade G (being the least efficient). The EPC will also advise on the potential efficiency of the property following recommended works.
We want to make sure you’re fully aware of the costs that could affect you as a landlord. After all, no hidden costs means no nasty surprises.
Premiums for building insurance vary by area, type, and size of property, but you should allow for 2 – 3% of the rent. As a general rule for a furnished property, you should allow for 1 – 4% of the rent, depending on the level of furnishing.
Replacing fixtures and fittings
Replacing worn out fixtures and fittings can amount to 10% of the rent each year. Decorating should also be taken into consideration, as it may need to take place every two to three years depending on how many tenants have occupied the property in that period.
Household items break over time. Whether they need repairing or replacing completely, you’ll need to set aside a percentage of the rent to take care of it. Remember, the older the property, the more likely it is that maintenance will need to be carried out more often.
Letting agency fee
Letting agency fees vary. Our fees for tenant find are 10% and for rent collection, are an additional 4%. For fully managed, we charge 6% on top of the tenant find fee.
Landlord property tax
You’re required by law to pay tax on any profit you make when renting out a property. Tax is payable once deductions for allowable expenses have been made.
Letting doesn’t have to be stressful. Choosing us to manage your property ensures it is being taken care of by experienced professionals, and at the same time, alleviates any worries that come with having to do it yourself.
In managing your property, we’ll provide you with peace of mind that everything important to you is looked after, from the house itself, to your tenants, and everything in between. Your dedicated property manager will take the time to get to know you and your property, and will oversee the day-to-day running, any emergency repairs, and much more.
- Otherwise known as ‘staging’, making sure your property is well-presented is crucial to securing new tenants. Spare no expense in preparing your property for viewings, as it’ll only pay for itself in the end. We’ve included a few tips below that will make those first impressions seal the deal:
Finish any outstanding DIY jobs. Applies to: giving the bathroom a fresh coat of neutral paint, or decluttering smaller rooms so that they appear larger. Taking care of the easily-overlooked will only add to the property’s rental value.
Keep some of the property’s personality visible. Although it’s important to ensure the space you’re offering is a clean canvas, your tenants aren’t moving into a hotel. Your viewers will want to visualise their life there – and a few personal touches will help make it happen.
Complete minor repairs. Anything from holes in the walls and faulty doorknobs, to threadbare carpets and cracked or missing tiles. Tenants are usually looking to move in immediately, and making these small repairs will speed things up.
Don’t skimp on cleaning the property as a little elbow grease will work wonders. Polish the chrome until it sparkles and mop the floor to remove any marks or stains. This will create a lasting impression on potential tenants, and it’ll help your property stand out if they have other viewings lined up.
Marketing your property well is almost as important as preparing it. Without either, your chances of a swift let are significantly reduced. By choosing us, you’ll have full, unlimited access to our superior marketing package that will help secure a tenant in no time. You’ll get:
- Maximum exposure on our fully responsive website.
- Listing on the major, industry-leading property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, and Prime Location.
- A detailed individual property brochure.
- Detailed floorplans.
- Professional photography to capture the essence of your home inside and out.
- Coverage in local newspapers and our in-house magazine.
- Advertising on our social media channels.
- Comprehensive Google Adwords campaign.
To maximise your property’s letting potential, we’ll be there to accompany every viewing. We’ll take the time to learn the property’s features and characteristics, as getting to know the ins and outs will be the key to letting it successfully. Tenants are more likely to be open and honest with an agent – and honest feedback from a prospective occupant is essential in ensuring the property is achieving its full potential. If and when we receive any comments, we’ll keep you in the loop.
If you’re open to negotiation on the rental price, you’ll need to agree an offer with the tenants as soon as possible to get an idea of your total costs. Once you’ve accepted an offer on your property, and you’ve chosen us as your acting agent, we’ll then take a two-week holding deposit from the tenant. We’ll take care of the referencing process for you and we’ll also carry out a comprehensive reference check for each tenant over the age of 17.
The tenant will need to pay the full deposit and a month’s rent in advance before they move in. You are required by law to register the deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme if you rent out your home on an assured short-hold tenancy. As your acting agent, we are able to do this on your behalf.
Protecting the deposit is vital. If you don’t, the tenant may pursue legal action against you. If the county court rules that the deposit has not been protected, you may be ordered to either repay it, or pay into a TDP scheme bank account within 14 days.
To keep things organised, you’ll need to prepare an inventory before the tenant moves in. This involves making a list of the property’s contents and thoroughly assessing the condition of each item. Make a note of when all electrical and gas appliances/fittings were last inspected and log the presence of all fire safety labels and their location. We work closely with inventory specialists who can do this for you. To take advantage of this service, or to discuss anything else we’ve included in this guide, get in touch with our team on 020 7078 0214.
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