Guide for Landlords
Before a property can be let, there are several things you will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that you comply with the law.
On this page you’ll find information on preparing your property for rental. You also need to know about legal and health and safety requirements for letting out your property.
Preparing the Property for rent
Having a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy.
It is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their home and that they are getting value for their money.
Therefore a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also getting the best rent possible.
Gas plumbing, electrical, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.
Personal items, ornaments etc.
Personal possessions, pictures, ornaments, books etc. should be removed from the property. Some items may be boxed and stored in the loft at your own risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the tenant’s own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard. However, few tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, you may wish us to arrange visits by a gardener.
At the start of the tenancy the property must be in a clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants’ responsibility to leave the property in a similar clean condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
Information for the Tenant
It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant – any operating manuals for the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee’s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.
Bills and regular outgoings
We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings such as service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit.
Council tax and utility accounts
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents.
What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?
Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs). Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant.