We can assist you with many of your responsibilities. We can manage your property fully, or merely help you with finding tenants.
Do you have a buy-to-let mortgage or permission from your mortgage company to let the property?
If you currently have a mortgage, you should have either of the above before you rent your property; speak to your mortgage company if you’re unsure
Is it in good condition?
Both the inside, outside and fixtures and fittings should be in good condition; structurally and aesthetically. Make sure you have checked for signs of mildew or rot and that everything is clean and well kept.
Is the garden in good condition?
Prospective tenants may dismiss a property immediately if the garden is poorly kept.
Are you renting it furnished or un-furnished?
Consider how you may review the price if you’re leaving your furniture and make sure the maintenance of your furniture is included in the Tenancy Agreement.
If renting furnished, does your furniture conform to the legal fire resistant standard?
For example, sofas and armchairs must have labels proving that they comply with this standard.
Does everything work?
Tenants will check, so make sure you have tested and fixed any issues with the window and door locks, lighting, heating, water, appliances, phone, television and internet connections. You should also leave copies of all relevant instruction manuals for your tenants.
Have your electrical appliances undergone a Portable Appliance Test (PAT)?
There is no requirement for annual checks (as with gas appliances) but the Electrical Equipment Safety Regulations state that landlords must ensure electrical equipment and systems are safe and maintained in a safe condition during the tenancy.
Are there enough smoke alarms and do they work?
You must make sure there is a working smoke alarm.
Have you decided on rental value?
Make sure you’re pricing your property competitively by looking at similar properties in the same location.
Have you set the deposit amount?
Make sure you charge more than one month’s rent; this will give you some protection against damage in case the tenant leaves without paying the last month’s rent. We collect and hold as stakeholder a security deposit, typically equivalent to 5 weeks rent (or in the case of rental income of more than £50,000 per annum, then 6 weeks rent). The 5 weeks rent as deposit is then safeguarded using DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme).
Have you decided what you are asking tenants to pay for?
Traditionally tenants are asked to pay rent, council tax and all utility bills – it’s your choice if you choose this option or include this with rent. Either way, clearly state what must be paid in the tenancy agreement.
Has your estate agents carried out the relevant reference checks on your tenants?
You can pay for tenant referencing and credit checks with a variety of providers.
Are you insisting on a guarantor?
The guarantor will be responsible for losses if the tenant defaults on their payments or any other obligations.
Has your Estate Agents drawn up a Tenancy Agreement?
This should include clauses for every part of the tenancy from rent amount and tenancy term to responsibility for garden maintenance and replacement of fixtures/fittings.
Has your Estate Agents performed a full check-in report arranging with inventory clerk?
Catalogue the condition of every part of the house and ensure your tenant is present for this and signs the document. You may wish to enlist the help of an impartial third party, like an inventory provider, to produce this for you.
Have you taken photos of the current condition of the property?
Photos will complement the check-in report and are useful if the deposit is disputed at the end of the tenancy. You should make sure photos are dated and signed by your tenants.
Are you keeping copies of all Communication / Documentation Between you and your tenants?
This will be particularly useful where there’s a dispute over the deposit, so you should retain:
- Emails or letters between yourselves
- Details of rent payments
- Invoices for any work carried out
- Amendments to the tenancy agreement
Do you have a current gas safety certificate?
The certificate must have been provided by a Gas Safe engineer within the past 12 months in order to be valid.
Do you have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property?
EPCs compare the current energy efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions of your property with potential figures it could achieve – any house that is bought, sold or rented requires a valid EPC. They are valid for 10 years.
Have you protected the tenant’s deposit with an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme?
There are three Government approved schemes – The DPS, the only free-to-use scheme, The Dispute Service and MyDeposits. It’s compulsory to protect tenants’ deposits.
Does your property need a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence?
Direct Gov guidance states that this is required if the property is over three storeys, or occupied by five or more people who form more than one household.
Have you obtained an HMO licence?
You should also provide a copy of this to your tenants for their information.
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