Unlike sales, the Lettings Industry is not regulated and only the more professional agents choose to be self-regulated.
We have been in property and Lettings for over 20 years and seen many things in that time. Problems arise when people or agents cut corners. This is especially true when it comes to finding Tenants and managing properties.
Everyone loves a deal. However, it’s not worth compromising on the quality of the Letting Agent you use. Don’t be fooled by cheap fees or flashy adverts.
To help, we have listed what we feel are the 10 most important ingredients in a successful Let:
1) Choosing the Right Letting Agent
Ensure the Agent is registered with either ARLA or The Property Ombudsman. This ensures not only rigid guidelines, but also compulsory professional indemnity insurance.
Avoid the work from home agents or the Estate Agents who have gone into Lettings for cash flow. It’s often the case that neither have the experience or knowledge when things go wrong.
Read more about choosing the right Letting Agent.
2) Ensuring the Property has been Cleaned
The general rule of thumb is to rent the property in a good clean condition. Then expect it back in the same condition. Furthermore, a property in bad condition will reflect on the tenant willing to take it.
Read more about End of Tenancy Cleaning.
3) Ensure the Property is Legal and you Have a Current Certification
There are certain certificates you need to rent out a property:
a) Energy Performance Certificate
b) A valid Gas Safety Certificate (if the property has gas)
Both of these are legal requirements. The Tenant keeps copies when they move into the property.
4) Thorough Referencing of the Prospective Tenant
Agents should fully reference the prospective Tenant and conduct credit checks.
Read more about Tenant Referencing.
5) Comprehensive Tenancy Agreement
Ensure the Letting Agent uses a very comprehensive Tenancy Agreement. This will cover your position as a Landlord. We have come across many Agents who have an old, off the shelf type of tenancy. This doesn’t really cover the Landlords position, especially if there are any none standard conditions to the property or agreement.
Read more about Tenancy Agreements.
6) Ensure there is a Full Property Inventory
The legislation around Tenancy Deposits makes the Inventory one of the most essential items in letting the Property. An Inventory is the basis of how the Tenant should leave the property at the end of the Tenancy. Therefore this document should have photographic support and of course signed and dated by the Tenant as their acceptance.
Read more about Property Inventories.
7) Registration of the Deposit
This is a legal requirement. All deposits have to be registered in a Government approved scheme and a certificate issued.
Read more about Registering Tenancy Deposits.
8) Routine Property Visits
Again, essential. We would usually recommend a property visit at least once every 3 months. Documentation should support any damage or misconduct observed.
Read more about Routine Property Visits.
9) Issuing of the Correct Notices on the Correct Dates
Should you need possession of the property, or to impose a rent increase, the right notices need to be served on the tenant. Notably, these are date sensitive.
Read more about more about legal notices and gaining possession.
10) Comprehensive Check-Outs once the Tenant Has Vacated
This is part of the original inventory. The cost of any damage or additional cleaning needed at the property should be borne by the Tenant. Communication should be in writing in accordance with the guidelines of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme used.
Read more about end of tenancy Check-outs.