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Guide to Letting

Step One

 

Before you are beginning the process of letting your property out, you need to be prepared. Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot to do before you think about moving tenants in. It is vital that your home looks its best for potential tenants, because you will attract a better rent and a better quality of tenant. So, preparations to consider making are:

• Tidying up the front and rear gardens and/or driveways.

         o Repair any cracks, holes or blemishes in the driveway and/or walls o Weed, trim hedges, and some plants if needed, remove dead plants, mow lawns and repair damaged

            grass

         o Repair fences and paint, if necessary

         o Tidy away rubbish and clean bins

         o Give windows and doors a good clean, and a fresh lick of paint if needed

• Make sure the inside of the property is in good order.

         o Ensure that all og the physical and safety standards are met. You can see what your legal obligations are by going to the legislation page, by clicking here

         o Complete all those minor jobs; e.g. fix leaky taps, replace broken tiles, replace burned out bulbs, tighten the kitchen cabinets

         o Decorate rooms if it is required- a lick of paint can reenergise a room and make it a lot more attractive to potential tenants

         o Clean throughout thoroughly, to include fixtures and fittings, carpets, floors and windows- this will bring life to a room as well as eradicate all of those unpleasant odours

         o Check that the property is structurally sound and free from any serious disrepair

         o If there are any damage issues, such as damp, it is cheaper and easier to address these before a tenant moves in

         o It is a good idea to check that the gas and electric have been checked by qualified contractors within the guidelines of the law

• If the house is to be occupied by more than one family then it may be that it constitutes a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), and this means you may have to register the property with your local authority and that further regulations will need to be adhered to. Contact us to learn more or read about it on the department of Communities and Local Government websites.

• Get a clear understanding of the cost of running your property. Don’t forget to account for void periods, maintenance costs, costs pertaining to complying with legislations etc. These different considerations will affect how you prepare the property, proceed with the let and the choices you make with managing it.

 

Step Two

 

Before you let your property, ensure that you have consulted with you mortgage lender, insurance company and your freeholder (if you have one). This will ensure that you are legally compliant in renting out your property, and you shouldn’t find yourself in a difficult situation in the event of damage, fire or theft in the property (eg. Not being covered by your insurance). We are more than happy to give your further advice if you need it.

 

Step Three

 

It is so easy to think about how much money you can make, but it is extremely important to consider, and budget, for the costs involved in renting your property out. If you plan carefully then you will always have access to funds for those essential repairs, and as such will have a satisfied tenant. Costs to budget for include:

• Monthly mortgage payments (if applicable) owed on the property

• Expenses involved in bringing the property up to the required standards, such as regulatory safety standards of furniture and utility equipment (appliances)

• Furniture and furnishings (if required)

• Solicitor, letting agent and management fees

• Insurance fees

• Contingency budget for maintenance and ad hoc repairs

 

Step Four

 

Never underestimate the work involved in the successful letting of your property, so it is important to choose the right letting agent. There are considerable benefits to choosing to hand over the responsibility of finding you a tenant. A good agent can advertise your property to thousands of potential tenants on the major property portals, as well as having their own database of proven good tenants. They have great knowledge of the area, the rental prices you could achieve and the potential demand for your property. You can sit back and relax while your agent manages and conducts viewings, negotiates with them and gives you valuable feedback while you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness that tenants can sometimes create. You will also achieve ongoing advice and guidance to help in the process. They will vet the suitability of your tenants using proven methods as well as organising tenancy agreements and inventories that are compliant with the legislation and will manage the entire tenancy based on your instructions (acting within the law, of course). Your agent will also notify the council, water and utility companies when the occupants of your property change. You don’t need to worry about collecting or chasing rent or organising repairs because your agent will do this for you. They will even manage the eviction of your tenants, again meaning you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness and allowing you to sit back and enjoy the experience of letting your property.

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