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Letting Guide

"Top tips to renting out your home. We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and ensuring that your property is compliant with all the latest legislation is key. Our detailed guide below will help you prepare."

Jimi Epps, Operations Manager

Our guide to the letting process

If you’re new to letting a property, we understand it can seem daunting. But we’ve been helping landlords – experienced and new – let their properties throughout the area since 1993 and you’ll find we’ll make the process smooth for you and your tenants.

Maximising your rental value
The first step is to call us to view your property. One of our expert valuers will give you an estimate of its likely rental value, backed up by evidence of similar properties that have let nearby.

TIP: Naturally, you’ll want as much rent as possible, and we’ll do our best to achieve that, although you will of course be aware that the more that is asked, the longer it can sometimes take to achieve that.

We’ll also advise on whether any work to the property would add to its ‘rentability’ and help you assess whether the investment would be worthwhile. Because we have an in-house property management team too, we have good relationships with local, trusted contractors who would be more than happy to provide an estimate for any work.

Safety regulations
Recent growth in the private rental sector has resulted in the development of various regulations to protect both landlords’ and tenants’ interests, creating a potential minefield of legislation. We will provide guidance on landlord's responsibilities under common law such as:

Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (Amendment) 1993
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The Building Regulations 1991 (Smoke Alarms)

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
It is a legal requirement for there to be an EPC in place before any Assured Shorthold Tenancy is entered into. Where possible we have the EPC in place when we commence marketing your property.

Insurance
It is vital that your property and any contents are properly insured against fire, theft, flood and so on. We are able to arrange insurance specifically for landlords. We can also arrange insurance in case your tenants fail to pay the rent, and also to cover any legal expenses that may be incurred, should the worst happen. Please speak to us for further details.

The tenancy agreement
Once someone has expressed an interest in renting your property, to ensure they will be good tenants who will look after the property and pay on time, we require references, proof of employment and carry out credit checks before it goes any further.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition report
This provides an independent record, not just of what furniture, fittings etc are included in your letting, but also the level of wear & tear and cleanliness of your property at the time of letting, and that that the prevailing safety regulations have been adhered to.

We conduct an accompanied check-in with your tenant(s) on the day they move in and ask them to sign agreement to its contents. This really helps with resolving any discrepancies at the end of the tenancy.

TIP:  We recommend that you ask us to compile an Inventory and Schedule of Condition, so that any disputes at the end of the tenancy can be settled quickly and easily.

Repairs and maintenance during the tenancy
Unless specifically written into the Tenancy Agreement, it is usually your responsibility to ensure that anything that was included with the tenancy - including any appliances and the heating system – are kept in good working order, and repaired if they break down. (If the tenants have fitted their own, say, washing machine, it will be their responsibility, although the plumbing behind it will be yours.)

Who handles any problems depends on which of our services you opted for.
If you opted for the Tenant Finding service, you will be the tenants’ contact point, and you will have to arrange any repairs or maintenance yourself.
If you opted for our Full Management service, the tenants will be able to call us during office hours, or leave a message. In real emergencies such as a power or heating failure or a flood or fire, your tenants will be able to reach our 24 hour emergency callout service for assistance.

We will then contact you to understand how you would like us to handle the issue. We have good relationships with subcontractors who we can instruct on your behalf, and invoice you for any labour and/or parts costs.

The deposit
All deposits must be protected by one of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes licensed by the government, which
provides an independent means of resolving any dispute that may arise between tenant and landlord means that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants’ deposits gives all parties confidence that deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards Tenancy Deposits against rogue landlords, tenants, and agents.

At the start of the tenancy, the landlord and the tenant are given details of how to get money returned. Should there be any breakages or damage to the property, both parties have an independent means of agreeing how the cost should be apportioned.

Taxation
Like all income, profit derived from rental income in the UK is subject to tax, regardless of a landlord's residential status. However, many expenses, such as mortgage interest, accounting fees, ground rent and maintenance charges on leasehold property, and general repair and maintenance costs are normally deductible. Overseas residents are subject to special guidelines and should seek further advice from one of our experienced staff.

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