A GUIDE FOR LANDLORDS
PRESENTING YOUR PROPERTY
The rental market is competitive so in order for you to obtain the best possible tenant you need to make sure your property is well-prepared:
- Neutral colour schemes throughout
- Wood effect flooring throughout (hard wearing) and carpeted bedrooms
- Furnishings, if included, should be able to withstand reasonable wear and tear
- Front door and entrance should be fresh and presentable (first impressions count!)
- The entire property should be clean, well aired and with tidy outside space
- A fresh coat of paint can give your property a new lease of life.
- Fragrances, candles and airing out the property creates a fresh and inviting atmosphere for viewers.
CONTACT THE RELEVANT PARTIES
- Mortgage Provider/ Freeholder (if property is leasehold)- You’ll need to obtain written consent to let your property
- Insurance company –You must notify them that the property is to be rented out and obtain appropriate insurance for a tenanted property. (There are specialist insurance companies who can provide this and we are happy to help if necessary.)
- The Inland Revenue – they need to be informed within 6 months of letting your property, flat or apartment in the UK. The Inland Revenue are apt to deal harshly with Landlords who do not declare rental income and it is always best to seek advice on tax planning and Capital Gains Tax from a fully qualified Accountant. •The Post Office – you can arrange with them to have mail redirected
- Utility Companies (gas, electricity, water, telephone) – you’ll need to tell them that someone else will be paying the bills and settle outstanding balances
- The Council – You need to advise them that your tenant will now be liable for Council Tax and settle any outstanding amount. In certain boroughs, you will need to license your property before renting it. Please contact us should you wish to know if this would
An Inventory – an accurate description of the overall condition of the walls, floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom fittings and other contents, is essential whether the property to let is furnished or unfurnished. It is an important document which forms an integral part of the Tenancy Agreement.
It’s always sensible to have spare keys and if you decide to use us to manage your property, we will need a set.
FURNISHED vs UNFURNISHED
Most professional Tenants prefer the property to be unfurnished and it has been found that a Tenant is likely to respect the property more if they have their own possessions. The difference between renting furnished or unfurnished is negligible and the Landlord remains responsible for the repair of replacement of any furnishings which become broken or worn.
Undertake Full Credit Checking – we carry out thorough credit checks on all prospective Tenants and we can decline an application where necessary in the interests of protecting the Landlord’s investment.
Take up References – As your agent we can take up references from the Tenant’s employer and previous Landlord.
Provide you with or assist in obtaining a linked insurance policy - This safeguards your rental income and provides legal protection (Rent Guarantee).
Draft Tenancy Agreement/Lease – Our Lettings Team will prepare and supply you with all legal documentation and give practical general legal advice.
Pay contractors or arrange quotes - The costs of everyday repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the Landlord but, if we are managing your property, we will pay the contractor out of the Tenant’s rent. We can also organise quotes for approval on any major repair as this becomes necessary.
REPAIRS TO THE PROPERTY
Under the LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985, Landlords are responsible for repair of the structure and exterior of the property, together with installations for the supply of gas, electricity, water and sanitation.
If the property is not in a good state of repair at the commencement of the Tenancy, the Tenant has the right to insist that repairs are carried out and in the event that the damage is serious, the Tenant will be entitled to consider the letting as terminated as the Landlord will be in breach of his obligations.
COLLECTION OF RENT
We will usually collect rent on a calendar monthly basis and forward it to you via any previously approved method after any agreed deductions have been made for contractors etc.
The law requires the Landlord to ensure that properties to let are safe. As your Managing Agent, we can carry out the following safety checks upon your request, deducting the cost from your rent.
- Gas – (The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1994 (amended 1998) – the Landlord must maintain gas installations and all gas appliances through annual inspections and safety checks carried out by a CORGI registered engineer and a copy of the Current Inspection Certificate must be left at the property.
- Electricity - (The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & Electricity at Works Regulations 1989- the Landlord must ensure that all mains voltage household electrical appliances and equipment is tested and safe to use.
An NICEIC or similarly qualified electrical engineer must carry out these tests on an annual basis and we would also recommend this is done upon change of Tenancy.
All operating instructions must be left in the property for the Tenant’s benefit.
- Furniture and Furnishings –The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety)Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) - Soft furnishings (such as mattresses, settees, bed bases, cushions and padded headboards) must meet fire resistance standards and bear a permanent label confirming this. If compliance cannot be proved, the item must be removed and replaced.
- Smoke Detectors – as of October 2015 it is now compulsory for all Landlord to have a smoke detectors on all levels of the property. Where there is a room containing a solid fuel burning appliance ( e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove) a Carbon Monoxide detector will need to be installed.