LANDLORDS GUIDE TO LETTING PROPERTY
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.