A Brief Landlord Guide
If you are a first time landlord you may be unfamiliar with the process of renting out a property. See our simplified guide to the lettings process below:
Ready Your Property
Before beginning the search for your ideal tenants, it is important that your property is suitable to live in. As a landlord, you have a duty to ensure that your property is safe for your tenants, particularly in terms of electrical, gas and fire safety. Here at Urban Property Services we take a landlords responsibilities seriously and want to protect against any possible action taken by tenants in the future. Failing to carry out the necessary checks could lead to injury and potential legal action against you as a landlord. Testing certificates must be in place and up to date as well as an Energy Performance Certificate, which is required when marketing a property.
You should aim to bring your property to a good standard so that it is appealing to potential applicants. For example, a property without double glazed windows will be more difficult to rent due to concerns over heating bills. Repainting your property before bringing it onto market will significantly improve its appeal.
Now that your property is ready, you need to find your ideal tenants who will be happy to make your property their home. The most effective method of marketing your property is to advertise online where the vast majority of renters search for property.
When you appoint a professional lettings agent, you gain access to the most visited property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. This will ensure that you locate tenants quickly and avoid unwanted void periods and loss of rent.
Your agent will also interview, credit and reference check each applicant to ensure that they are suitable to start a tenancy.
Paperwork and Legal Contracts
A legally binding contract in the form of a tenancy agreement must be drafted and signed by a landlord and all of the tenants. This contract must set out the rights of each party in detail and must be up to date with the latest legislation changes.
It is normal to take a security deposit in order to cover you in the unlikely event that any damage is caused to the property. In accordance with the Housing Act 2004 this deposit must be registered with a Government recognised deposit scheme.
An inventory should also be created, detailing the condition of the property and its contents at the start of the tenancy. This is then signed by all parties and checked again at the end of the tenancy.
During the Tenancy
Once your tenant is moved in and settled, your property will require maintaining to keep it in a suitable condition. As a landlord, you should always budget for some maintenance expenditure each year, even for newer properties. This should include the renewal of any applicable safety certificates and insurances, here at Urban Property Services, we are always on hand to give landlord advice in these situations.
It’s also important to ensure that the correct legal notices are served in relation to ensure that the property is returned to your possession at the expected day in accordance with the tenancy agreement.