Top Tips For Landlords

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LANDLORDS GUIDE TO LETTING PROPERTY

TOP TIPS FOR LANDLORDS

Whether you’re a first-time landlord or own a large portfolio of properties in Brighton, Hove or the surrounding Sussex area there are many things that you should be aware of as landlords.

We’ve created this guide to help residential landlords with tips on how to successfully let their properties.

GET YOUR PROPERTY READY FOR RENT

A good first impression counts. Ensure the interior and exterior of your property to let is well presented (clear your front garden, decorate your property in neutral colours, keep the property tidy and working fixtures, etc.) as all the small touches will make a difference.

Keeping your property immaculate and ready to let can really guarantee a good tenant. Other characteristics should include that they are clean – a tidy property with reasonable fittings and a neutral décor is always popular. If this could also include Wi-Fi, cable or satellite TV these are always preferable.

ALWAYS ASK FOR A GUARANTOR

We find that most tenants can obtain a Guarantor, preferably being their parents, who can then guarantee their rent. This gives you the comfort to make sure that your rental property with a backup in case the tenants don’t pay the rent. It is unusual but it can happen. Where a Guarantor enters into an agreement, he or she will normally agree to meet the full obligations of the tenancy agreement on behalf of the tenant. This will include rent arrears, damage to the property and any other liabilities. This is most important.

DEPOSIT

Collect a security deposit and protect it. Every deposit must now be registered with a scheme within 30 days of receipt. Tenants need to be informed in writing of which scheme is used to protect their deposit. This is a specific form and failure to serve correctly leads to a penalty of three times the deposit. Please refer to our previous article in relation to tenant deposit protection, click here.

TENANCY AGREEMENT

Obtain a proper Tenancy Agreement. To avoid any costly mistakes; our tenancy agreement has been approved by training standards to ensure that there is no miscommunication between you and your tenant.

INVENTORY

Before letting your property ensure that you have a full inventory check. This is a comprehensive document covering exactly what the state of the property is when the tenant took it, including photographs and the condition the property was in prior to your tenant moving in. If you are not sure what you should be looking out for one of our members of staff to discuss this with you. It is critical as without it you will not be able to potentially make any deductions from the deposit at the end of the term.

ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THE TENANT SIGNS A CONTRACT

We at Harringtons have all our contract’s approved by Trading Standards to ensure the rights of both landlord and tenant.

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING THE TENANCY

Carry out quarterly inspections. Even if your tenants pay rent on time and you have no issues during the tenancy. It is recommended to attend your property to make sure that there are no major problems and that the property is well looked after.

TAKING YOUR PROPERTY BACK

If you need to seek possession, be sure you serve the right notice. If your tenants’ default before the fixed term has come to an end you could serve notice under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. You could also serve notice under Section 21(1)(b) to get your property back at the end of the fixed term. Always make sure you serve notice in writing.

Please make sure that all the paperwork is correct before you serve such notice as these can often be invalid. Please refer to the Government guidelines in this instance, click here.

CARRY OUT A CHECK OUT INSPECTION

Check your Inventory with the current state of the property. Make sure you have photographic evidence of any damage caused by the tenant in case you need to make a claim from the deposit.

Find out if you need a license.

There are a lot of councils now that have what is known as selective licensing. Many councils have requirements such as fire alarm systems, fire doors etc. These are very much specific to the local authority as well as being across the whole of England regarding licenses. It is important you check with your local authority whether a license is required and also planning. Some councils require planning to be carried out for students etc. They are all very different.

Provide a valid energy performance certificate.

You will need to provide a valid energy performance certificate. This document basically ensures what your property saves a tenant by way of energy.

There are different rules in relation to EPC’s coming in over the years. From the 1st April 2018 your property must be at least a rated E. In the event you do not have an energy performance certificate that is valid then you could be fined. It is important these certificates are up to date and they are required to be done every 10 years.

However, there are new rules coming in over the next few years as these energy performance certificates need to be improved. Please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss this.

Do your safety checks.

Landlords are legally required to have all gas appliances in the property checked by a gas safe registered engineer every year. They must provide the certificate to the tenants within 30 days of the annual check. However, that doesn’t end their liability.

There has been a change in the law and landlords are now required to make sure all smoke alarms are fitted on every floor from the start of the tenancy. For instance if you have a property that has a door and then a set of stairs straight up to the rest of the flat then you need a smoke detector at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top. You will also need a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is a solid fuel that is burnt. This includes gas boilers. This is a change from the 1st October 2022. It is now a landlords responsibility. You must have these fitted.

It is absolutely critical that you understand what your legal requirements are in this regard. The rules are forever changing and more will come in in the 1st January 2023.

EICR’s.

Electrical installation certificate reports need to be carried out every 5 years and it needs to be done by a qualified electrician.

These checks ensure that the electrical equipment is safe and lasts for a 5 year period. They have to be served on the tenant within 30 days of being carried out.

Please note there has been some changes under the Human Habitation Bill that may require you to carry out maintenance requests by your tenant within a set reasonable period of time. It is important you do these.

 Get the right insurance.

We often find that landlords don’t appreciate that they have to have specific insurance for their property. Not just a normal insurance that they would have been provided when they purchased the property and were living in it. The insurance is very specific and covers different aspects of the property. Please don’t hesitate to contact our sister company iInsure 365 who will be able to give you an instant quote here.

Understand your property taxes.

When you are looking to purchase a buy to let you need to make sure what your position is regarding the taxes and costs. We often find with landlords that they don’t take this into account when dealing with purchasing properties. It may be that you are a higher tax payer that you want to put it in a limited company it just depends what you are purchasing the property for. Is it short term income or long term investment?

It is always best to speak to an accountant who will be able to help you with this. Additionally, they will give you the correct tax advice.

Why not ask us for a property valuation. If you are looking to invest in property we have an acquisitions department that may be able to help you. Alternatively if you are looking to purchase a property and have already found one we can give you some letting advice. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 01273 724000 or admin@harringtonslettings.co.uk

Finally, if you would like to find out more on how to successfully let your property in Hove, Brighton or the surrounding Sussex area, get in touch with Harringtons Lettings today.

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google-review Review
Cat Westmacott
Cat Westmacott
17:57 10 Jun 24
Generally helpful for Lettings. As with any company, sometimes need a push for a response, but often easier to speak on the phone than email. Feeling hopeful for the next year’s contract with Harringtons🤞.
Kirsty Turner
Kirsty Turner
20:50 04 Jun 24
Great experience. Everyone is so lovely and helpful over the phone at Harringtons! The best experience we have had with a letting agent in Brighton, none of the other agents in Brighton have been bothered to keep in touch and help us find a property as much as these guys. A special shoutout to the lovely lady who showed me around the flat (Georgie I believe -sorry if I got that wrong), great at answering all my questions and been very lucky in securing the first property we viewed with her (an amazing spacious flat that has everything we need - including nice storage space for our paddleboards!) Looking forward to moving into our seaside home. Thank you!
Shadan B
Shadan B
23:31 30 May 24
Great experience, very helpful staff and friendly. I wish you all the success. Thanks for your care. 💐😊
Rachel Roberts
Rachel Roberts
21:13 30 May 24
Best experience I've had with a letting agent!
Charley Besant
Charley Besant
10:25 30 May 24
So far the process with Harringtons has been amazing. We viewed 3 properties with Georgie and each time she was so informative and kind, she gave us the time we needed in each property to look around, take videos and ask questions about everything. The whole process has been easy so far and I can now happily say we found our property thanks to Georgie and the team at Harringtons.
Ainhoa Negro
Ainhoa Negro
09:15 30 May 24
Georgie at Harringtons Lettings in Brighton has been exceptional throughout my rental process. From the very beginning, her professionalism and friendliness stood out. She provided clear and prompt communication, ensuring all my questions were answered thoroughly. Georgie made the entire experience seamless, from viewing properties to finalizing the paperwork. Her attention to detail and genuine care for my needs made me feel confident and supported. I highly recommend Georgie and Harringtons Lettings to anyone looking for a top-notch rental experience in Brighton.
PRBL1
PRBL1
09:11 30 May 24
Joel Starcross
Joel Starcross
15:22 29 May 24
Beth has been an excellent agent, great communicator and enthusiastic member of the team. Highly recommended!
Jess Pond
Jess Pond
13:16 29 May 24
Had an absolutely awful experience with this company. Told me one thing on the phone and then told me another thing on email. Very mixed messages. Left 7 students homeless by putting the house back on the market with only 24 hour notice. Will never use them again. AVOID!
Roisin Lilley
Roisin Lilley
11:42 24 May 24
I recently had some problems with my previous agent and came to Beth for help! She took over the correspondence for me and sorted everything out for me! I can’t thank her enough for her patience and help!! I’d highly recommend her to other landlords that need help!
Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley
11:26 24 May 24
I’ve been a tenant with Harringtons Lettings for a while, they are great, they always sort out any issues I have quickly and efficiently, Beth in particular is really helpful and I’ll be going to her for my next rental property when I look to move in September!
Georgina Palzeaird
Georgina Palzeaird
11:21 24 May 24
Beth Roberts was a huge help when I needed to switch to a new letting agency. She was friendly and efficient and I’ve always felt I’m in safe hands.
Eliya Halim
Eliya Halim
10:26 24 May 24
Top service
Maryana Atiya
Maryana Atiya
10:20 24 May 24
Rees Harper
Rees Harper
17:53 21 May 24
Lauryn Keller
Lauryn Keller
15:20 03 May 24
Georgie was great on our viewing - super lovely, informative and honest. Thank you!
Sammi Richmond
Sammi Richmond
09:16 24 Apr 24
Well, they just contacted me via email asking for a review for money... so here, I guess.Does 3 stars get me that tenner? Probably not. Nothing terrible to say, but never had any issues with the property really. Don't enjoy that they were willing to pay for reviews though, seems sketchy.UPDATE: As the business has finally replied to my review 6 years later, I thought I would mention that I indeed have the email still as proof. Offer of £10 for a review, and to mention Rachel Erridge in the review. Also a prize of £200 to one lucky winner. The email was sent from the Harrington's admin email address. I can email the proof to whoever requests it.
Jayden Charles-Frempong
Jayden Charles-Frempong
01:20 18 Apr 24
Every interaction I've had so far with Harrington has been positive with workers responding to calls very quickly and addressing any queries efficiently.
severin severinov
severin severinov
10:05 11 Apr 24
It is very good that they do their job professionally and take care of the customers.
kate quick
kate quick
13:15 09 Apr 24
I am very happy and extremely grateful to have found Harringtons lettings and the beautiful flat that I am now living in. Not only is the flat perfect for me, ticks all the boxes and is in a great location; the whole communication/admin process was so fast and efficient. I spoke to many of the team, but the two main contacts initially were Georgie and Beth. Great personalities, friendly and fast at replying to emails and phone calls. It was all turned around very quickly and everyone at Harringtons seems to appear to really be happy in their jobs. Great letting agent and I would recommend them to others looking for a new home.
Michael Hollamby
Michael Hollamby
12:32 09 Apr 24
Having worked with many many lettings it has been refreshing to deal with such a dynamic and energetic team. From start to finish the team have outstanding. Special mention to Beth who has been fantastic. I can thoroughly recommend using Harringtons.
Celyn James
Celyn James
17:08 27 Mar 24
Great experience, Georgie was so knowledgeable and kind with any enquiries I had. Really put me at ease while house hunting, amazing service thank you so much!!
Madison Harris
Madison Harris
14:29 27 Mar 24
Georgie was so helpful and really kind very appreciative x
Amber-Rose Cook
Amber-Rose Cook
08:58 22 Mar 24
easy to use and navigate as a first time user
Buffy Vaughn
Buffy Vaughn
18:06 21 Mar 24
Harringtons have been so helpful so far. Everyone we’ve spoken to on the phone including Georgie have been so warm and receptive and easy to communicate with. As a couple renting together for first time me & Danny couldn’t have found better people to help us out, they’re clear and concise. We discovered them through Rightmove and would highly recommend anyone to use their services to rent with.Thanks guys!Buffy & Danny
Sajan Raja
Sajan Raja
01:48 21 Mar 24
Kerryn Johnson
Kerryn Johnson
16:58 18 Mar 24
Georgie was absolutely amazing! Very helpful, easy to talk to and all in all an absolute sweetheart. Made the process of renting and finding a property less stressful. Always happy to help and lovely to chat to!Thank you again for everything!
Julia Reinstein
Julia Reinstein
11:22 18 Mar 24
5/5 - Everyone I’ve spoken to on the phone has been so friendly and patient with our move in documents. We found Harringtons through Rightmove, and have been really happy with our interactions. The team respond to queries efficiently and are happy to answer any and all questions.
Andrew Brown
Andrew Brown
07:09 15 Mar 24
A really excellent agency, who are very easy and friendly to deal with. Highly recommended.
Rob Rainbird
Rob Rainbird
18:04 13 Mar 24
Lovely staff and all round positive experience - Georgie is an absolute diamond and a credit to the team!
Tori Tor
Tori Tor
11:15 08 Mar 24
Harringtons have been really helpful and very swift with their responses. Georgie was very proffesional and really friendly when she did the viewings with me and Beth on the phone was again really helpful and gave me hope when I was explaining my eagerness to find somewhere new to live. Thanks Harringtons!
christos papanicolaou
christos papanicolaou
09:33 07 Mar 24
Staff were brilliant. Very helpful
Yasmin Bright
Yasmin Bright
20:54 01 Mar 24
I'm in a difficult situation at the moment with my landlord wanting to sell the flat that myself and my 3 children have been living in for 7 years. I came across Harringtons Viewings by applying to view some properties outside of my area.Unfortunately I haven't been able to sort anything with Harringtons, however I wanted to write this to say that they have been nothing but kind, warm and very understanding of my situation. I've been really impressed by their customer service (namely Georgie & Beth) and hope that they are able to find me something eventually!Thanks so much.Yasmin
Tegan
Tegan
17:30 22 Feb 24
Have been very accommodating and helpful when calling agents. They have been very helpful in being able to secure a house for students.
TheFlyingCrocodile
TheFlyingCrocodile
16:42 21 Feb 24
Went above and beyond to get things sorted for me
Brittany Stace
Brittany Stace
11:18 24 Jan 24
Harringtons have been incredibly helpful and supportive of us as new renters and they have been super efficient in getting all of the documents sent through and signed in such a short period of time. Thank you!
Georgie Prebble
Georgie Prebble
20:36 05 Jan 24
Jade Innes
Jade Innes
10:24 04 Jan 24
So far the service has been good. The staff are very friendly and quick to respond to any questions and requests.
Polly Smith
Polly Smith
11:17 28 Dec 23
we chose this letting agents as they chose a good bills company that is much cheaper than other agents. When viewing houses the staff were very friendly and have been very helpful in answering our questions and making the process as easy as possible.
Emma Howe
Emma Howe
16:06 14 Nov 23
I would rate Harringtons Lettings a 5/5. Very lovely on the phone and very quick and easy to communicate with via email. Any problems have been resolved in no time at all. So far so good!I found Harringtons via Rightmove.
Akwisitions Feedback
Akwisitions Feedback
16:25 30 Oct 23
Very responsive and super helpful throughout the process. Highly recommended!
Chloe Ballard
Chloe Ballard
17:28 02 Oct 23
Although I have only been renting with Harringtons for a short period of time, I have had nothing but a positive experience. From viewing to admin updates. The admin team especially are very polite and quick to respond and I have no doubt that the rest of my tenancy will run smoothly. I would recommend to anyone considering renting in brighton.
Matthew Ball
Matthew Ball
11:46 19 Sep 23
Professional communication with tenant although entirely impersonal. There was a bigger disconnect in their communication with the landlord in most cases, which seemed to be either slow or non-existent (discovered after contacting the landlord directly).Property was full of spider webs on day 1 despite apparently being professionally cleaned. Took a day off of work to clean it on move out day, leaving it cleaner than when it received but still had to pay part of the deposit for professional cleaning.It has been a while since I have rented, but I'll avoid letting agencies completely now if this is anything close to the average renting experience.
Ronan SK
Ronan SK
12:38 12 Sep 23
Great professionalism/communciation from the start up until the end of my tenancy. Definitely set the standards for what agencies should be like. Highly recommend to those within Brighton.
Daniel Sutton
Daniel Sutton
10:29 24 Aug 23
I have rented with Harringtons Lettings before and have always found the agents to be quick, efficient, friendly and helpful. I loved their service so much I have chosen to rent with Harringtons again. Faultless 😊
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