Landlords Letting Guide

There are many practical and financial reasons why people choose to let. Purchasing residential property to let can be a secure and worthwhile form of investment with returns rivalling many other kinds of investment.

More and more people continue to invest in property as a way of providing for their retirement. Moving abroad, whether it’s temporary or permanent has become increasingly popular and letting your home offers you the opportunity to maintain an income from your property with the option to return at a later date.

Changes in the job market mean more than ever, mobility and flexibility are important career issues - letting offers a swift solution. Many homeowners who can’t sell, find that letting out their current property enables them to relocate or buy another. Lenders now offer “Let to Buy” mortgages which enable you to achieve this. Through extensive experience we have been able to clearly identify the needs of landlords and develop our services to meet their needs.

Preparing To Let

When people view your property, they will compare it to others available, so its condition and appearance will affect both the rental value and the speed at which it is let. Remember that first impressions count - wherever possible decorations should be light modern and neutral - be prepared to re-decorate as necessary. carpets need to be clean and neutral. kitchens and bathrooms should be modern and well presented with white bathroom suites ideally, in general the property should be thoroughly cleaned and the rooms left neat and uncluttered, any gardens should be tidy and easily maintained, ensure that any obvious day to day maintenance is dealt with prior to letting.

Letting Your Property

The right tenant is the essential ingredient for successful letting and R&W Lettings and Property Management have the experience to find the right tenant for your property. Not only do we have a constant supply of established contacts with major local companies and relocation agencies, who have a regular requirement for good quality accommodation. We also operate the latest in computer software which automatically matches potential tenants to your property and emails the particulars to them immediately. As an independent specialist in professional letting we attract good calibre, low risk tenants. We have excellent internet coverage using all the major property portals.

Managing Your Property

As part of our managed service we will prepare an inventory and schedule of condition. This forms the key element of our checking-in procedure. The list will contain all the items in the property including furniture, carpets, curtains and decoration - it will also have remarks as to their condition. The inventory allows us to monitor whether a tenant is looking after your property and to assess whether any of the security deposit should be retained for repairs or dilapidations.

Our full management service obviously includes formally checking the property during the tenancy for which written reports will be supplied, ensuring your peace of mind. The checks also help us highlight whether any maintenance work is required to keep your property in good order. We will deal with calls from your tenant and organise repairs as necessary, subject to your instructions. We will negotiate tenancy renewals or extensions with your tenant and actively market the property for reletting once your tenant serves notice.

When a tenant is set to leave your property a rigorous check out procedure is followed. The full inventory and schedule of condition are checked to assess whether the tenant has maintained your property in a satisfactory condition. If it is found that there are items that are not up to standard then these areas will be costed and deducted from the tenant’s security deposit - subject to statutory deposit regulations.

We will collect the rent from your tenant and a simple regular statement will be sent to you on the same day that the funds are transferred, giving details of all transactions undertaken in connection with your property.

The right tenant is the essential ingredient for successful letting - by specialising in professional letting we attract good calibre, low risk tenants.

    All upholstered furniture made after 1950 is included within these Regulations. The furniture covered by the Regulations includes sofas, settees, seat pads, beds, head boards, pillows, arm chairs, scatter cushions, futons, mattresses and bean bags, but not curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets) and mattress covers. To comply with the Regulations these types of furniture must be fire resistant and in most cases carry a permanent label to this effect. To be 'Fire Resistant' most furniture and upholstery must have passed an 'ignitability test' specified in the Regulations.

    If you ask us to let or manage your property, you must remove any furniture which does not comply with these Regulations before the tenancy begins. Any replacement furniture you place in the property must comply with the Regulations. There are heavy penalties imposed by these regulations on landlords who do not comply with them. The penalties for noncompliance include a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or up to a £5000 fine. You can obtain further guidance on these regulations from your local Trading Standards office.
    These regulations came into effect on the 31st October 1994 to ensure that gas appliances are properly installed and maintained in a safe condition so as to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. It is the responsibility of the landlords of domestic properties that ALL Gas Appliances and Gas Installation Pipe work owned by him are checked for safety at least once a year by a member of the Gas Safe Register and that accurate records are kept of those safety inspections and any work carried out. These records must be provided to the tenant. These regulations also apply to new properties. Gas Appliances - includes any fitted gas appliance, for example Central heating system, Gas heaters, Gas fires, Gas cookers. Gas Installation Pipe work includes gas pipe work, valves, regulators and meters.

    Faulty equipment can lead to death and a conviction of unlawful killing on a landlord. Under the Regulations any appliance that does not conform to the regulations can be disconnected. Failure to comply with these regulations may jeopardise the life of your tenant and lead to prosecution with penalties of imprisonment or fines up to £5000.
    The above regulations impose an obligation on the Landlord to ensure that all electrical appliances and installations left as part of a let property are safe. We recommend that all electrical appliances in let properties are regularly checked and serviced. Failure to comply with these regulations may jeopardise the life of your tenant and lead to prosecution with penalties of imprisonment or fines up to £5000.
    From 1st October 2008 any residential property offered to let must have an EPC. This is prepared by a qualified Domestic Energy Assessor who visits the property and prepares a detailed report which covers such elements as glazing, insulation and heating. The property is then given a rating similar in format to those seen on refrigerators and washing machines. The certificate is designed to give prospective tenants information on the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of the building so that they may compare it to others on the market. We can arrange the EPC and ensure your compliance with the new regulations using a reputable organisation. The majority of our clients choose the ‘Letting and Management’ option, as this provides a complete service from start to finish.