Landlords Guide

Are you thinking about letting your property?

Letting a property can bring many rewards in spite of the process being time-consuming and complicated at times. If you have extra properties, this is a great way to supplement your income and ensure your property is not left there sitting empty.

At Global Homes, we have put together a guide for landlords that will cover all the vital areas that you will need for a successful letting. Irrespective of whether you are renting out a house, flat or room our guide will go through how to effectively let a property and how to secure the best rental price for your property.

In addition, the guide will cover your legal rights as a landlord, recent legislation and regulations; it will also cover the landlord’s obligations to the tenants.

Landlords Guide

Preparing to let your property

Prior to letting your property out, you will need to make sure you are fully prepared for the letting process. Before getting the new tenant into your property there is a lot of work that has to be done before your property can be let out.

Before arranging viewings, you need to ensure that your property is looking its best and that it is in prime condition. First impressions are vital when letting a property and you will not be able to make a good second impression. If you want to achieve the best price for your property and to ensure that your property is let out, you will need to make the following preparations:

The External View

The exterior appearance of your home is the first thing prospective tenants will see when they visit your property for a viewing. We recommend landlords spend time optimising the exterior appearance of their property.

The Exterior

Improvements you can make:

  • Ensure the property number is visible
  • Place all rubbish/rubbish bins out of view
  • Clear up the front and back garden (tidy up weeds, trim hedges and add plants, clear dead/unsightly plans, mow and fix any damaged lawns)
  • Fix all blemishes, cracks and holes in the driveway and/or walls
  • Paint the door/windows frames if required
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Landlords Guide

The Internal View

Once you have created a good impression from the exterior of your property, the interior of your property is the time for your property to really shine. Creating a sense of home will really make the difference if you want to let your property.

The Interior

We suggest landlords make the following changes:

  • Make sure the property is cleaned properly from top to bottom. Ensure carpets, floors, windows, fixtures, furniture and more are spotless
  • Fix and make minor repairs in the home like replacing and fixing problems like cracked tiles, leaky taps and more
  • Ensure everything works in the home
  • Get rid of all foul smells like cigarette smoke, and pet smells
  • Decorate the room – a simple coat of paint will brighten up the appearance of any room
  • Declutter your property and make it more spacious; store or remove unnecessary furniture that is not being used

In addition to the improvements, we also suggest landlords ensure that their property is free from problems such as damp as this will have a detrimental impact on your property’s ability to attract new tenants.

We also advise customers make sure that the property in question is clean, tidy and presentable. You should also ensure that your property is structurally sound and is free from problematic conditions like subsidence.

Following these steps, will ensure that your property gets the price it deserves and that it is filled with tenants.

Regulations you will need to follow

Before letting out a property, landlords need to ensure that the property meets a wide range of other standards. You will have to ensure that your property in question meets the required safety standards for gas and furniture.

If your property will be occupied by one family or party, this will make your dwelling a House in Multiple Occupation which is known as a HMO. If your property has been classified as a HMO, there are additional regulations and you will need to register with the local authority. More information can be found on the Houses in Multiple Occupation on the Communities or through your local government website. More information can be found via our landlord guide.

Ensuring that you follow all of the relevant regulations and legislation will make a difference in the future. The money spent on your property fixing it up will really make the difference in the rent you can charge for your property and how quickly your property can be let out. In this market you need to speculate to accumulate!

Other considerations

Landlord should think about the accommodation type that they wish to let out and how they will let out this specific accommodation.

An example scenario: you are letting a three bedroom property.

  • You will have to consider what your circumstances will be when you let out the property. Are you planning to live in the property? Or will you be living nearby or living abroad?
  • Do you wish to let the property out to one sole tenant/family? Or do you want to let out the individual rooms to a range of tenants?
  • What types of individuals are in your target market? Do you want professionals, students or families?
  • Get a clear understanding of the cost of running your property for tenants including council tax, utility bills, etc.

Ensuring that all of these considerations are decided in advance will ensure the letting process goes more smoothly.

Who to consult before letting out your property?

You will need to contact several parties before you can let out your property. One party that you must contact is your mortgage lender who may request your property be let on an Assured Shorthold basis.

The default tenancy for most dwellings in England and Wales is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This tenancy agreement gives properties a security of tenure and was introduced in 1988 with the Housing Act of the same year.

Security of tenure

As a landlord, you will have the right to terminate the tenancy by employing the ‘Section 21 Notice’ which can be used to serve a notice period of two months and can be served at any time during the tenancy. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement has no minimum length and can be used at any time.

If the ‘Section 21 Notice’ has been used to start court proceedings, the court is unable to order the tenant to give up possession no earlier than six months from the beginning of the tenancy. If an Assured Shorthold Tenancy follows another Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the tenant has protection for a period of 6 months from the commencement of the first tenancy from when the premises were occupied.

Factors landlords should consider the following:

  • The cost of letting the property in question
  • Making sure the property is covered in the event of fire, damage or theft
  • Informing the insurance company
  • Informing the freeholder if you wish to lease the property
  • Gathering advice from a qualified letting agent, accountant or solicitor can aid you in these matters

At Global Homes, we also advise prospective landlords to consider and manage their finances to budget for the costs involved in the letting process. We have devised a list of costs landlords should budget for:

  • Fees for insurance companies
  • Management and letting agents fees
  • Fees for solicitors and insurance companies
  • Expenses in decorating and ensuring the property meets the regulatory safety standards for furniture, utilities and appliances
  • Provision of furniture and furnishings
  • A budget for repairs and maintenance
  • Monthly mortgage repayments owed

By planning carefully and ensuring that there are funds available for essential repairs when required will enable you to better serve your tenants.

Choosing a letting agent

The process of selecting a letting agent requires careful decision as there will be a significant amount of work involved to ensure your letting is successful. Many landlords prefer handing over the task of finding a tenant to our company. We have years of experience in finding quality tenants for our clients. We will deal with all the viewing and negotiations with the potential tenants.

By choosing our letting agent services will present you with a great range of advantages like:

  • Provision of advice and guidance
  • We will advertise your property in an efficient manner to thousands of prospective tenants looking to rent in your area; we use a wide range of advertisement methods including the internet
  • Well versed in the local market and know about the demand for all types of properties and realistic prices that can be given; we will also know the types of tenants who will find your property desirable
  • We conduct all viewings and will be able to help secure tenants whilst providing feedback
  • Can negotiate with prospective tenants about the rental price of your property
  • We provide high-quality advice and guidance

Managing agents

Once suitable tenants have been found for your property, we present our customers with two options: Managing the let yourself or hiring our managing agent services whereby we manage the let on your behalf. The option you choose will depend on your circumstances. If you are pressed for time or have other commitments (maybe work or you live abroad) Let Direct managing agent service will ensure that your property and tenants are well looked after.

A managing agent will:

  • Check and vet all prospective tenants and will obtain references from previous landlords; as well as carrying out credit checks and sourcing bank details
  • Organise the tenancy agreements and inventory sheets
  • Manage entire tenancy to your instructions
  • Collect the rent and arrange repairs on your behalf
  • Provide a property inspection on a periodic basis to ensure your property is well looked after
  • Provide you with advice and guidance of a professional level during our relationship

For more information, do not hesitate to get in touch today.

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Landlords Guide

Pre-tenancy checklist

Before letting your property out, we have devised for potential landlords a checklist that will ensure you are ready to go:

  • Make sure your insurance is up-to-date and is relevant for the letting process
  • Have permission from your mortgage lender
  • Source permission from the mortgage lender
  • If you are making structural alterations or changing the property’s use, you should get the approval from the planning office
  • If you are letting your property as HMO, you should contact the Environmental Health Department
  • Ensure all furnishings and furniture complies with the latest fire regulations
  • Have all gas appliances/equipment serviced by CORGI registered engineer; keep all safety records in a secure place
  • Have an electrician to check all wiring and ensure it is fit for use
  • Inform utility suppliers and the council tax department of your property being let

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team at Global Homes and we will endeavour to solve any enquiries that you may have.

Our landlord letting guide is provided for information purposes only. In every case, before selling, letting or renting a property, independent and professional advice should be sought at all times.