LANDLORDS HANDY CHECKLIST
Please find below our helpful guide for landlords looking to rent out one or multiple properties with Abbott and Abbott Estate Agents Ltd:
Consents to let: It is essential when letting your property to obtain the necessary consents. If there is a mortgage on the property, then the lender must be advised before the property is let. If the property is leasehold, you will need to gain permissions from the freeholder as there may be clauses in the head lease which will need to be arranged.
Marketing your property: To reach out to the right tenant group for you, we make sure we carry out a full appraisal of your property and arrange good quality photos, floor plans and an EPC. This information will be packaged together and, as well as being sent out to our own pre-registered clients, will also be uploaded to our own bespoke website as well as other portals such as Zoopla. This ensures multiple exposure of your property.
Energy performance certificate: Every property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This provides your tenants with up to date information on the general energy of your property. It also gives information on how to reduce energy use, thereby saving money. We can arrange this for you.
Health hazards check: You must ensure your property is safe and free from health hazards. Carbon Monoxide monitors must be fitted in all properties where there is gas. Current legislation for gas and electrical installation must be adhered to and maintained regularly. The landlord of a rented property must have a gas check carried out prior to letting. This must be completed annually and a copy of the certificate provided to the tenants. You must also ensure that the electric systems and any electrical appliances that you supply are safe. We can arrange these for you. As a duty of care to tenants we recommend that all properties are supplied with smoke detectors.
Presenting your property: The presentation of your property is essential in making your property stand out and appeal to prospective tenants. A well maintained and good standard property will not only attract a higher level of tenant but will also achieve its best price and will let quicker limiting the void periods. Tenants will expect to move into a clean and healthy property. We would always recommend you get your property professionally cleaned before/after each tenancy. Make sure that any rubbish is cleared from the property (it isn’t the responsibility of your tenant or agent to clear away rubbish), and also make sure anything that is in the property that isn’t included as part of the rental is also removed. Ensure that all items that are no longer fit for purpose are removed/replaced. To meet the local demand, we recommend you let your property unfurnished with carpets and curtains.
Tenancy agreement: In order to protect your property, it is vital to have a comprehensive tenancy agreement. We provide a comprehensive Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, and usually recommend an initial fixed term of six months to ensure you are happy with the tenant and your tenant is happy with the property. Renewal can be discussed and renewed if all parties wish to.
Inventory: It is crucial that the relevant documents are drawn up and signed. An inventory detailing the condition of the property and everything in it must be completed prior to the tenancy to include everything that is to be left in the property. This forms part of the letting agreement and should include all white goods, furniture, shelving, light fittings, light shades, soft furnishings, etc.
The Deposit Protection Scheme: Tenants will want assurance that their deposits paid are safe. A good and appropriate tenant deposit scheme is therefore vital. When letting through Abbott and Abbott, we will look after all the tenant deposits and monthly rentals for you. Alternatively, there are some government approved schemes that you could consider. Deductions can be made upon vacation if the property is not deemed to be in the condition it was at the onset of the tenancy, taking into account wear and tear.
Vetting proposed tenants: Landlords want assurance that their property will be looked after and cared for. When a prospective tenant is interested in your property a holding deposit will be taken and referencing will start. Abbott and Abbott thoroughly vet and credit check all potential tenants using an independent referencing company to carry out credit checks, employment references and landlord references where applicable. This includes a check that the tenant has a right to rent a property in England. We can also carry out regular property checks, thereby maintaining up to date knowledge of your property.
Landlord insurance: It is the landlord’s responsibility to arrange insurance on the buildings and any possessions left within the property and will need to consult with their Insurance providers when the property is let. If policies are not updated appropriately then they may become invalid. Insurance will protect your property and assets against unforeseen issues such as flooding, leaks, breakages, etc. It is important to check any cover is appropriate for your requirements to ensure the right level of protection and therefore give you peace of mind in this area. Although a property may be unfurnished it will still house much of value such as carpets, kitchen units and bathroom suites. Insurance should also include personal liability to cover you in the event of an accident. We will advise the tenants to take out their own insurance to cover their own furnishings and possessions, and to cover them against accidental damage to the landlord’s goods.