A landlord guide to renting your property

Tenant Management

A tenancy is a partnership between the occupier and the manager of the property. A successful partnership results from great communication between both parties. Not only are first impressions crucial but tenants will then need regular contact, help and support throughout the years of living in the property.

If you are managing the property yourself, you need to be on hand and accessible to help your tenants with any questions and offer speedy resolutions when issues arise. This is why all of our property managers work in an office no more than 15 minutes away from the properties they manage.

Tenants are excited when they first move into their new home and want to be proud of where they live. Great property management is about enhancing this feeling through good communication, getting off on the right foot from check-in to check-out - the key message is;

“This is a loved and valued property and we want to help you keep it that way. Whilst you are in charge of the everyday upkeep of your home, we are here to stay on top of maintenance with you as our eyes and ears so let us know if anything needs attention”.

This message falls flat if the property is not 100% prepared for the new tenant. Before the tenant moves in, it is essential that everything is working within the property, basic maintenance has been carried out, the property is clean and all manuals and useful information are provided.

Property Management

Just like your own home, it needs regular servicing, updating, and maintenance. Making a success of your investment needs a plan, a list of routine jobs and good habits. This is best approached with a preventative maintenance plan.

This proactive approach has several advantages, such as:

  • Maintaining a better relationship with the tenant
  • Helping tenants look after the property
  • Keeping costs down in the long run
  • Making sure that the property remains attractive to tenants

A preventative maintenance plan differs from one property to the next - a house or a converted flat being the most complex but even a brand-new flat needs regular work, especially if your property has a garden.

We have an in-house team of maintenance engineers who are on hand to keep costs down and help stay on top of the little to medium-sized jobs ranging from loose toilet seats and hinges to jet-washing patios. We can also help prolong the life of the boiler by organising a service at the same time as the annual gas safety certificate is carried out. These preventative measures reduce the likelihood of costly repairs and put the tenants mind at ease.

The rewards are reliable, long-term tenants, steady rental income and your asset continuing to gain not lose value.

Safety & Legal Compliance

The work we do in finding the tenant, setting up the tenancy agreement, helping arrange appropriate certificates and check-in formalities, covers you from many of the risks at the start of the tenancy.

There are now over 160 pieces of legislation for a landlord to keep on top of, the key ones being:

Electrical Safety

All rented properties now require an Electrical Installation Condition Report to be carried out every five years. You will also need to provide a copy to your tenant within 30 days of the certificate being issued.

Annual Gas Safety Check

Any property containing a gas supply needs to have an annual Landlord’s gas safety inspection. You will also need to provide a copy to your tenant within 28 days of the certificate being issued, otherwise, you won’t be able to serve a S21 to end the tenancy.

Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide detectors

Your property needs to be fitted with a smoke alarm on each floor and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room with a gas appliance, not including the gas hob on an oven. Both smoke and carbon monoxide alarms will need to be tested and working on the day of move-in and whenever you visit the property.

Property Inspections

Regular visits to the property during the tenancy will help you make sure the property is being looked after, there are no maintenance issues the tenant has missed and the smoke alarms are in working order.

Risk of Legionnaires Disease

Legionella can develop when water becomes stagnant. If your property is empty for a while, we recommend carrying out a Legionella risk assessment.

Property Licensing

We recommend staying in regular contact with the Local Authority to understand any changes to licensing schemes that affect your property.

Houses of Multiple Occupancy & Licensed Properties

If you rent to three or more unrelated tenants it’s likely that your property will be considered a ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO) and there are more legal requirements for this type of let. In some instances, regardless of how many tenants you have, you may also require a licence from your local authority in order to rent your property out. Licensing schemes are constantly changing, so we are here to help you keep on top of new schemes or amendments to existing ones.

There are a few differences when you manage a property with a licence or a HMO:

  • You may need additional certificates such as a fire risk assessment
  • There is a requirement for more frequent formal inspections when the property is licensed
  • Fire safety is very important and you, not the tenant, have to check the smoke alarms are working during the tenancy
  • The licence may require you to send a receipt to your tenant as soon as you receive a rental payment
  • The licence and certificates will need to be displayed prominently in the property

It is quite usual for the local authority to inspect your property and check its condition. They particularly look for issues with damp, mould and condensation, fire safety, waste management, security and check that the right number of people are living in the property. If they have any concerns with your property, they can issue an improvement notice which has to be acted on immediately.

Not having a licence when one is required or not following the conditions of a licence is a criminal offence and can lead to substantial fines. Managing a HMO or a property with a licence can be very time consuming and requires prompt action and we strongly recommend you ask us to manage any HMO or licensed properties.

Help, Advice & Ongoing Support

We want your relationship with the tenant to be a success and our objective is to help you keep the tenant in occupation for as long as possible. We will be right behind you throughout the tenancy and will stay in regular contact with you.

Our role is to make sure rent is paid and that the tenancy is renewed in plenty of time. We ask that you leave this to us and also contact us immediately if your tenant is considering leaving early or wants to change the Tenancy Agreement in any way. Our Agreements are finely tuned to look after your best interests and we are keen to manage these processes for you.

When you do need to find new tenants, your property should already be in good shape to be rented quickly without any void periods.

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