10 Steps to letting your property
1) “Lets” Begin...
For some, letting a property is an appealing first time investment opportunity, whilst others have an extensive property portfolio. Either way, a number of factors need to be considered when letting to ensure you the landlord achieve the best package to service your individual needs.
2) Valuing your property
Determining the rental yield of a property depends on many market factors, including location, size, condition of the property and time of year. Our aim is to let your property at the best possible price and provide you with a realistic rental valuation. Our experienced valuers carry out numerous valuations every month giving us the knowledge on the property values in your area. For a FREE rental valuation please contact our lettings team on 020 8920 7840 to arrange a convenient day and time for one of valuers to inspect your property
3) Presenting your property
First impressions count! It’s imperative that your property is clean, tidy and well maintained. Any outstanding repairs should be complete and up to a presentable standard to comply with Health and Safety. It is key for the property to have a valid gas, electric and energy certificate.
We recognise the importance of marketing to attract quality tenants. We aim to give your property maximum exposure to ensure that the right tenants are found in the quickest and most efficient way. Our comprehensive marketing strategy includes premium listings on Rightmove & On The Market, professional photography and branded floor plans.
5) Deciding on the type of tenancy
The most common type of tenancy agreement used in England is the AST (assured shorthold tenancy agreement). This tenancy sets out a fixed term and rent between the landlord and the tenant and can be anything from 3 months to 3 years. At the end of the contract, the tenant will either sign a new AST or vacate. Alternatively the tenancy may become periodic and will run on a month by month basis. A rental increase can be negotiated on the landlord’s behalf at the start of a new tenancy.
A&S offer 2 guaranteed rent schemes with a number of housing associations and local boroughs in London. Our rent schemes offer our landlords guaranteed rent for either 1-3 years or 3-5 years. The advantage of these schemes is guaranteed rental income regardless of any void periods.
6) Agreeing the tenancy
At this stage the let is agreed verbally and the tenant is required to fill out a tenant application form. To secure the property the tenant is required to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one week’s rent. This allows the property to be removed from the market while references including employment, landlord, right to rent and affordability are undertaken. The necessary checks are carried out by a 3rd party reference company on our behalf and normally takes up to 5 working days. The landlord has 15 days from the date the holding deposit is taken to make a decision as to whether they agree to let the property to the prospective tenant. This is known as the “deadline for agreement” and applies unless the parties agree to vary that deadline in writing. If the tenancy does not proceed (and the tenant is not at fault) then the holding deposit must be repaid within 7 days from the deadline for agreement. In any instance where the prospective tenant has decided not to proceed with the tenancy, failed the right to rent checks, provided false or misleading information Adams & Styles will retain the holding deposit.
Pending successful references and both the landlord and prospective tenant are happy to proceed, the tenancy will be drawn, and the tenant will be required to pay 1 month’s deposit (minus the one week’s holding deposit already received)
Call our office today to discuss our competitive fees.
7) Deposit Protection
It is a legal requirement for all landlords to secure deposits paid to them in one of the Approved Deposit Schemes. A&S are registered with Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). A 5 week deposit is taken and held in DPS until the end of the tenancy where is transferred back to the tenant less any deductions for malicious damage. A deposit is not required with our guaranteed rent schemes.
Inventory entry report
Before renting out your property for the first time we highly recommend you acquire a professional and fully detailed inventory. This is a listing of all the contents of a property and a record of the condition of the property.
In addition to the larger more obvious items the Inventory must also pay attention to smaller items such as light switches and sockets. As the purpose of the Inventory is to protect both the landlord and tenant the Check-in is an integral part of the process that can avoid problems and ensures that both parties are in agreement as to the condition, contents and cleanliness of the property from the start. If a landlord wishes to retain any of the deposit due to the need to repair or replace items, they will have to provide evidence to support their claim, hence the need for an inventory report.
Adams and Styles can arrange this out for you on your behalf at an extra cost depending on the size of your property.
8) Tenant Move In
Before the tenant moves in an inventory check will need to be carried out to record the furnishings and condition of the property. If the tenancy is an AST, on the scheduled move in date, an A&S agent will meet the tenant/s on site, provide them with keys, take meter readings and provide them with an emergency contact for out of hours maintenance issues (full management only). In addition the landlord should provide any instruction manuals to white goods etc in the property.
If for any reason the landlord or tenant does not wish to re-new the tenancy, Adams & Styles will continue with the tenant’s departure. This will include the inventory report, return of the keys and deposit less any agreed deductions
9) Property Management
If you decide to proceed with a full management option, you can be rest assured that A&S will take care of rent collection, 24hr maintenance, legislation and compliance.
10) Reaching the end of tenancy
Coming up to the end of tenancy, if both parties are happy to renew the tenancy, this will typically involve a rent review and provide the opportunity to include any additional clauses that both you and the tenant agree on.
Inventory exit report
When the tenant has vacated the property, A&S will inspect the condition of the property and cross check this against the entry inventory check report that was carried out at the start of the tenancy. If the tenant has caused any damage to the property which the landlord believes the tenant to be accountable for, then they are entitled to claim against the tenant’s deposit to cover the cost of the work involved to repair this. A schedule of works will be recorded for the landlord detailing repairs needed to bring the property back to its original state. If this is disputed by the tenant, this may revert to independent arbitration. This is a free service available through the tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Terminating a tenancy
Tenancies can be terminated before the end of the fixed term providing a break clause was included in the tenancy agreement and if adequate notice is given from either party. This is typically two to three months prior to the end of tenancy, and the notice period will be written into the tenancy agreement.