At Robinson Reade, we genuinely enjoy helping matching tenants to properties and managing property for our landlord clients.
Since we started letting and managing property in 2006, we’ve experienced pretty much everything that can, and sometimes does, happen during a tenancy.
In this guide, we share everything we’ve learned so that you can feel confident about successfully letting your property.
It’s a myth that letting property is always a stressful experience.
Using a professional, trained letting agent with access to excellent professional services, such as inventory clerks and reference providers will help to ensure a smooth tenancy.
However, if there are any little bumps along the way, we are always here for you.
Here’s to a happy let.
At first glance, the letting agency business is a very competitive one. And with so many different agents to choose from, finding the right one to let your property can be bewildering.
That’s why we came up with the Lettings Made Simple guide for landlords– to make your life easier.
Here are SEVEN THINGS to consider BEFORE YOU INSTRUCT A LETTING AGENT to market and possibly manage your property.
Do they have a track record in renting properties like yours?
Ask for evidence of properties similar to yours that they have let and achieved a good monthly rent on.
Do they have client testimonials?
A good agent will always have landlords and tenants who will vouch for them or who have positively reviewed them. Check out their Google and Facebook reviews too.
Do you like them?
You’ll be working closely with the agent you choose, so it’s important that you like and trust them. If in doubt, go with your instinct.
Fees and Costs
Remember the old saying, ‘If you pay peanuts you get monkeys’? Well, it’s never truer than in the world of letting agencies. Those agents who offer very low fees are often desperate for business. These rock-bottom commission fees are often at the cost of you receiving the service and care you deserve.
Where do they advertise their properties?
Most tenants begin their search on the internet. So, ask the agents which portals they advertise on. It’s also worth asking an agency how its marketing strategy differs from its competitors to attract the best tenants. Ask, ‘What makes your agency stand out from the crowd?’
How do they qualify tenants to ensure they are suitable?
Ask the agents how they ensure that the applicants put forward are suitable. Do they qualify applicants before they even view a property? do they accept the first applicant that makes an offer? Are they experienced enough to spot a not so suitable tenant?
Are the agents PropertyMark Protected?
PropertyMark is the voluntary governing body for letting agents. PropertyMark protected agents are experienced experts in the legal compliance of managing/letting a property, therefore avoiding any potential ramifications for non-compliance/negligence that you, as the landlord, may have to face
So, you have a property to rent. We suggest calling in three different agencies to help you determine a realistic rental value.
Choosing an Agent
Look out for experience, integrity and proven success.
How and where your property is marketed contributes greatly to your rental success. We use many different platforms to attract viewers to your property. The more interest there is means you can receive higher rents and benefit from a bigger selection of tenants to choose from.
Presentation, Presentation, Presentation
If you want to attract quality tenants at the best price, it’s absolutely imperative that your property is clean, well maintained and nicely presented.
Once quality tenants have been found and the rental price agreed, we will carry out all the necessary work including: Collecting references, arranging tenancy agreements, collecting the initial deposit and rent, and arranging for a thorough check in and inventory.
Once all the above has been carried out and is in full order, you can release the keys to your new tenant.
We offer different tiers of service. From let only, where we will find you a quality tenant and carry out the introductory work, right through to full property management. This means you can sit back and relax knowing that we’re taking care of everything. Having your property fully managed means we take care of arranging pretty much everything, including collecting rents, arranging safety checks, and ensuring maintenance and repairs are undertaken promptly and professionally.
The STEPPING STONES to a SUCCESSFUL LETTING
Landlords and the Legal and Regulatory Maze
Being a landlord is a responsible role and carries hundreds of legal obligations. Below is a brief summary of just some of the maze of laws and regulations*.
Consents to Let
Do you have permission from your mortgage lender to let the property? Does your buildings insurer know the property is let out and are you adequately covered? If the property is leasehold, have you gained the necessary leasehold consents?
This is a very important contractual document in the lettings process. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is the most common type of agreement which provides the tenant with certain protections and gives the landlord rights to regain possession. There are other forms of tenancy agreement, it is however vital the correct tenancy agreement is used for the circumstances to ensure you are properly protected.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Properties built after 1992 must have mains-wired smoke alarms on each floor. It’s a legal requirement that landlords provide at least one smoke alarm per floor. A carbon monoxide alarm must also be installed in any room where there is a gas appliance or where solid fuel is burned.
Every gas appliance must be checked by a certified Gas Safe engineer before a tenant moves in and annually thereafter.
The electrical installation in the rented property must be checked by a qualified and certified NICEIC electrician every five years to verify its safety.
Energy Performance Certificate
An Energy Assessor must visit the property to assess it’s energy performance and produce one of these certificates. The certificate must be available for potential tenants when the property is marketed. The certificate is valid for 10 years
Tax on Rental Property Income
All rental income from property in the UK is taxable. If you are unsure of your liabilities, we recommend you contact a specialist tax accountant.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
For all ASTs, the tenant’s deposit must be registered with a recognised deposit protection scheme.
Before the rental starts, a full inventory should be undertaken and supplied to both the landlord and tenant.
Other rules and regulations to consider include:
Right to Rent - Deposit HandlingRequirements - Fire Safety Measures The Deregulation Act - The Tenant FeeBan - Furniture and Furnishings FireRegulations
Please do give our lettings team a call if you’d like any further information on any of the 150+ pieces of legislation that relate to the private rental sector.* The legislation listed here is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice.
Your FAQs answered…
How much will it cost to let my property?
The main costs you’ll need to consider when letting your property are:
- An Energy Performance Certificate(EPC) – Check if this can be arranged by your letting agent. Costs may vary depending on the size of your property.
- An inventory and check in report – this needs to be carried out before your tenant moves into the property. The costs will vary depending on the size and furnishing of the property.
- Commission Fee – Varies in percentage per agency and could be for just finding a tenant or full property management. All agents must display their fees in their office and on their website.
- Safety checks and certificates - these may include gas and electrical safety certificates and legionella risk assessment.
Who will carry out viewings and when will they happen?
At Robinson Reade we accompany all viewings with any prospective tenants during office hours at a time to suit yourself, if you are living at the property, or the current tenant. We will always ensure that any current occupiers are provided with plenty of notice and that their needs are considered when booking viewings.
I’m interested in having my property managed - how much does it cost?
The property management fee is charged as a percentage of the rental price plus VAT. All of our fees and charges can be found on our website.
How much deposit should the tenant give and what happens to it?
There is now legislation that caps the amount of deposit paid by a tenant to between 5 and 6 weeks' rent depending on the rent charged. The deposit is to be paid on signing the tenancy agreement. Within 30 days of receipt, the deposit must be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme.
Failure to protect the deposit and serve the required documents has serious implications for a landlord.
Who is responsible for arranging an inventory?
You are responsible but at Robinson Reade we can organise this for you.
When do I receive my rent from the tenant?
At Robinson Reade we ask the tenant to set up a standing order to pay the rent on the rental due date every month.
The due date is usually the day the tenant moved in.
We run landlord payments twice weekly so it should only ever take a few days to reach your account
The Robinson Reade Promise
We hope you enjoyed our guide to successfully letting your property. It is always our aim to help our clients and make the letting process as smooth as possible. That’s why we created the guide.
We’re an independent agency and we believe that’s what gives us the edge over many of our rivals.
We’ve set out our promises to our clients below.
Honesty. Letting agents don’t have the best reputation and sometimes deservedly so. However, at Robinson Reade, we will ALWAYS be honest in our dealings with you. In fact, honesty is one of our core values.
Accessible. We are open from 9am until 6pm each weekday and on Saturdays from 9am - 4pm. Outside of these hours we are available by email and our managed tenants will be given an out of hours mobile phone number for emergencies.
Experience. Our team has a total of more than 25 years' experience in property lettings. There’s hardly anything that we haven’t seen or problems we haven’t solved.
Passion. It may sound corny but it’s true. At Robinson Reade, we are all passionate about property, otherwise we’d be in different careers. We bring that enthusiasm and passion to the process of letting your property successfully.
We would love the opportunity to meet you, discuss your needs, and help you achieve your property goals.
Call us today on 01489 579009.
Thanks for reading!