Whether you're a first time landlord, or have rented out properties before, getting that property marketed and let, whilst ensuring everything is legally compliant, can be a minefield. With this in mind, we have put together all the information you need to let a property, from getting that first valuation and choosing us as your agent, all the way to your new tenant moving in. Guides resources and advice created to help you let in the quickest time, with the least hassle and for the best price.
First impressions count!
When tenants view a property, they compare with the others available, so the rental valuation will be affected by the condition and appearance!
- Decorations should be neutral in light colours.
- Carpets should be neutral and clean.
- Ideally kitchens and bathrooms should be modern and neutrally decorated.
- The property should be professionally cleaned before the start of the tenancy. Please save the receipt, as this may be needed at the end of the tenancy.
- Gardens should be trimmed and tidied. Any uneven pathways/slabs should be secured.
- All maintenance should be completed before the tenancy begins.
Letting with a mortgage.
In most cases, a buy-to-let purchase is done with a buy-to-let mortgage. This is commonplace, but if you wish to let a property that has an existing owner-occupier mortgage, make sure you receive consent from your lender and insurance provider.
Income v Expenses.
The main reason you will probably be considering investing in property is to make money. There are two main ways in which you can do this via buy-to-let, the rent itself from the tenants, and through capital gain of the property value.
You must consider that through turbulent times, it is possible to lose money if the value of your property decreases, you have long void periods, or your outgoing are higher than the rent received. There are financial risks involved so it's worth speaking to us about this risk before going ahead.
As with any property purchase there are a range of fees associated with your property purchase you must factor into your budget:
- Stamp Duty
- Property Survey
- Legal Costs and Solicitor fees
- Valuation (lender)
- Mortgage fees
- Income tax
As well as those fees paid largely up front before your purchase, you must also consider the ongoing charges you'll have to bear as the landlord:
- Our fees (fully managed service)
- Interest on your mortgage
- Safety checks
- Rent insurance
Day & Co take these specific factors into consideration when valuing your property to let.
- Who will rent out your property? i.e. students, couples, corporates or families.
- Will it be furnished, part furnished or unfurnished?
- Current state of repair and any works needed.
- Internal decoration – is it presented at its best?
- Proximity to shops, transport links and schools.
- Is your property type in demand locally and will this change in the future?
- Choosing the right service for you. Consider how much involvement do you want with your property, tenant, rent collection and maintenance?
Marketing your property effectively.
We want to help you find the perfect tenant who is in a great position to rent your property. We know that there are 3 key factors for landlords:
- Getting you a quick let
- Achieving the best price
- Peace of mind that your property investment is in good hands.
Once our terms of business have been signed we will:
- Instantly prepare your property details, complete with photographs, EPCs and advertise your property on the major property portals including Rightmove, On The Market, www.dayandcoestateagents.co.uk and of course social media.
- We will upload your property to our website. Your property has a few seconds to make an impression online and we will make sure your property is presented in the best possible way.
- Contact our 'Hot Tenants' via phone and email and arrange viewings.
- We make sure your property meets the correct legal safety standards (certified gas inspections and EICR) as well as keeping up to date with UK legislations. If there is a possible upcoming change, we make sure this is communicated to you.
Receiving offers and preparing for your tenants.
Day & Co will always accompany the prospective tenants to view your property so we can point out the great potential it has and how it can suit them, however you do have the option of hosting the viewings yourself. As part of the service we offer, we can negotiate an agreeable offer between you and the prospective tenant and make sure we get the best possible price for you.
Once this is all agreed and your property is LET, what we will do:
- Credit referencing of the tenant
- Prepare inventory with photos
- Prepare Tenancy Agreement
- Prepare standing order
- Arrange a Gas Safety Certificate and EICR
- Ensure the property is ready for the tenant to move in.
- Getting the property ready for your tenants
- Gas and electric appliances
Before the tenancy starts you must provide a gas safety certificate and EICR. If you do not provide these, we cannot move the tenant in and you cannot evict a tenant using a Section 21 notice.
It is now mandatory to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before a tenancy begins.
Whilst it is not a legal requirement yet, it is recommended that you carry out an annual Portable Appliance Tests (PAT) on all appliances which can be unplugged.
Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Regulation is now in place which requires all landlords to have at least one smoke alarm on each storey.
These must be working and in addition to this, any rooms with a solid fuel appliance (wood stove) you should also install Carbon Monoxide alarms.
On the first day of the tenancy, you must check these alarms are working, after that, the responsibility to check regularly lies with the tenant until their tenancy is over.
Legally, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate registered to the property. In April 2018, regulation came in that meant a legal property must have a rating of E or above.
You must provide a tenant/ s with your EPC as early as possible and tenants can ask permission to improve the energy performance of your property and you cannot refuse consent. If the tenant is responsible for paying the energy bills, they can choose to have a smart meter installed.
As a landlord you have a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your water supply is working properly to protect them from Legionella.
Whilst we recommend renting your property unfurnished, there are three ways in which a property can be Let:
Unfurnished: This doesn't mean leaving the property empty. Usually curtains, carpets and certain white goods will be included, such as a cooker.
Part furnished will usually include curtains, carpets, specific white goods and larger items such as wardrobes, beds, dining table and chairs etc.
Fully furnished: This means the property is ready for move in. The specifics of what will and will not be included is down to the landlord and tenant to negotiate.
All soft furniture eg settees, must have a safety regulation label attached!
Setting up the tenancy & Move in
The first thing we must do is provide your tenant with a tenancy agreement and tenants should be given a good chance to read and understand the terms of the tenancy, before agreeing to sign.
You should consider who is responsible for utility bills and council tax. In most cases, the tenant will pay for this, but it must be made clear in the agreement.
The service level you have chosen will determine how much contact you will have with the property and the tenants once they have moved in. We can offer a Fully Managed service which will help minimise your workload as much as possible.
For a smooth move in process, we recommend a neutral decor throughout, the removal of all your personal belongings, leaving instruction manuals for appliances and placing picture hooks for your tenants to use.
During the tenancy period, whatever the length of the tenancy, you have a responsibility to keep the property well maintained and in working order, fit for habitation in line with the Homes Act 2018 and ensure you arrange regular, annual gas safety checks.
You are now a landlord and letting your property. Congratulations!