Things to Consider When Renting Your Property
There are quite of lots of things to consider when renting out a property. In many cases it is advisable to enlist the services of a Letting Agent from the onset. Letting Agents will be able to provide you with assessment of your property, usually free of charge and you will be under no obligation. This initial assessment will look at the location, size and condition of your property and what the market forces are, so that you can assess the potential rental value and any necessary works before letting.
How to attract potential tenants.
If you enlist the help of a Letting Agent to provide a “Tenant Find Service”, then they will be able to assist by professional marketing and accompanying any prospective tenants on viewings of the property.
How to prepare for viewings.
Always remember that first impressions count so ensure that the property is in first class condition.
- Get rid of all clutter
- Ensure the decor is in good order
- Painted surfaces are easier to maintain than wallpaper
- Neutral decor is best
- Gardens should be neat and tidy
- Professional cleaning is highly recommended
- If furnished, then pick modern contemporary styles.
What happens when you find a tenant?
The Letting Agent can also help with this stage. They can vet tenants, obtain satisfactory references, perform credit checks on the tenants named in the tenancy agreement and arrange for the moving in of your tenant. Therefore a Letting Agent is highly recommended for this element.
Do an Inventory and Schedule of Condition.
You will need to decide whether you want to rent out your property on a furnished or unfurnished basis. Landlords must prepare an inventory and Schedule of Condition for their property. This can usually be done by a Letting Agent if you are using one. This will enable you to claim recompense for any damage that has been done to your property or furnishings at the end of a tenancy. This is important as carpets and curtains can be costly items to replace.
The Tenancy Agreement.
You will need to have a tenancy agreement prepared. It is possible to buy a preformatted form but in most cases it is preferable to have one prepared by a Letting Agent or other professional to ensure that it is legal.
It is usual to start with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for a fixed period of 6 months. As a landlord you are protected by Section 21 of the 1988 Housing Act which gives Landlords the entitlement to recover their property at the end of the fixed term.
Finally some responsibilities of the landlord.
- All properties for let must have an Energy Performance Certificate.
- Tenancy Deposit Protection is obligatory for new ASTs.
- Landlords are responsible for all repairs and maintenance, so as the landlord you must budget for this.
- Landlords are responsible for Buildings Insurance; however if the let is furnished they should also consider Contents Insurance as well.
- Smoke and Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all rented accommodation.
- Any rental income is liable for tax, however there are several tax deductible expenses included mortgage repayments.
- Gas Safety Regulations.
- Electrical Safety.
- A landlord may be liable for Council Tax, if their property is empty.
- Furniture and Furnishing Regulations.