How to make the most out of letting
The property appraisal/valuation
The first stage towards putting your property on the market to let is to meet us at the property. We are available weekdays, evenings and Saturday mornings. This is a free no obligation service.
Maximising Rental Income
Before the valuation appointment we will research the lettings market in your locality, compiling comparable rental details, a market overview and current pricing trends. We will advise about any items or discuss any issues that may affect the rental yield. We will also advise you of any action you can take to maximise the rental and minimise the time it takes to achieve it.
Experience tells us that the presentation of your property will increase the marketability and the level of rental income that we can achieve on your behalf.
Your property should be presented to the highest standard possible to secure an early tenancy. We can advise you on all aspects of furnishings, fittings and decorations. Recommend contractors to assist with any remedial work or improvements prior to your property being made available for letting. We would also suggest that prior to letting you have the property and carpets professionally cleaned. The garden should also appear well tended.
Practical tips for profitable letting
Tenants are very discerning and they expect quality when there are so many properties to choose from. The quality of decoration and contents in the property will have an effect on the levels of rent and the time scales involved in securing suitable tenants.
We recommend you avoid allowing personal taste to influence the choice of decoration. Experts recommend that the furnishings and decoration should not be too personal or elaborate. Your representative will be happy to advise you on what best suits the market. Maintenance is also much easier the simpler things are kept.
How to Present your Property
Choose Neutral colours such as cream or magnolia for decoration
- Carpets, curtains and any furnishings should be neutral and be able to stand wear and tear
- Gardens should be neat and well maintained
- We recommend a professional clean, including the windows prior to letting
- If you are seeking a company let, all furnishings including kitchens and bathrooms must be well equipped and to a good standard
- TV’s and Hi-Fi are not normally necessary as tenants will bring their own
- 3 piece suites must be of a good standard and meet current safety regulations
- Beds must be of good quality with new mattresses and linen, again meeting current safety regulations
- Protect any table or furniture tops with glass or suitable covers
- Cutlery and glassware should be robust
- Leave full instructions on appliances, alarms and any kitchen gadgets, plus details where main switches, stop taps etc. are to be found
Finding the right tenant
As soon as we receive your written instructions to proceed, we start the process of finding a suitable tenant by contacting all the prospective applicants that are registered with us on our database, and by placing the property onto our website and Rightmove. We will also photograph the property with 12 photos for advertising purposes. The visual aspects of marketing a property are of paramount importance and we extensively promote your property through the Internet . LetHomesNow will continue this active line of promotion until a suitable tenant is found and in doing so will accompany all prospective tenants to the property.
Upon receipt of an application for tenancy, we always endeavour to seek our landlord’s approval in principle, prior to proceeding to referencing and contract. We will explain the tenants circumstances and intentions.
Stringent referencing and credit checks are carried out upon all tenants, which results in you having a full understanding of their personal and financial circumstances, their employment history and credit worthiness before we ask you to proceed with the tenancy.
Only when you are satisfied with the tenant will we proceed with preparing a suitable tenancy agreement. We can also offer advice on what your current mortgage lender will need to know, along with inventories, insurance and the all-important collection of the rental payments.
Service Level Options
We offer two levels of service to accommodate the differing needs of clients ranging from a let only service for the investor landlord to the full management service for those wanting complete piece of mind. The full management service ensures that every aspect of the letting process is dealt with efficiently and cost effectively on the landlord’s behalf.
Tenant Find Includes
- Advertise on Rightmove, with a detailed listing with 12 pictures.
- Hold extensive database of clients looking for properties of your type, then call them when a property like yours becomes available.
- Conduct viewings, usually taking six viewings to find the suitable tenant.
- Extensive credit checking and referencing using Homelets, bank reference, previous landlords reference, employers reference.
- Create a detailed 6 page Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST), regularly updated to current legislation. We also issue a section 21 agreement, which gives the statutory 2 months notice which is required if you want possession back at the end of six months.
- Arrange gas safety check.
- Take 1 months rent plus the deposit of 1month plus £100 in cleared funds, eg cash, bank draft or credit/debit card.
- Set up standing order to pay the rent every month direct from their bank.
- Conduct a detailed photographic inventory of the property and get the tenant to sign it.
- Send landlord the payment less our fee.
- Contact the utility companies Gas/ Elec/ Water/ Council
Management (All the above+)
- Ensure monthly rent is paid
- Send statement to landlord for tax purposes
- Handle any repairs upto pre-agreed limit
- Free renewal with same tenant after six months. Check out Inventory when vacating and return deposit
Legal Aspects of Renting a Property
Legal Aspectsof Renting a Property
The Housing Act 1988 (as amended by The Housing Act 1996) – The Act brought fundamental changes to the law governing the letting of residential property individuals. Many of the changes made the market more attractive for landlords by making it easier to let at a market rent and recover possession when necessary. The new Act specifies the types of tenancy and whilst there are several types it is most likely that the tenancy of your property will be either an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ or a ‘Company Let’.
Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
Since the 1st of October 2008, it has been a statutory requirements to obtain an Energy performance certificate (EPC) prior to advertising a property for let. All agents should advise you of this and there is a large fine for homeowners who do not comply.
The benefit of an EPC is that it will advise you and potential tenants what the current energy efficient rating of your house and the potential if you took their advice. It also advises your environmental impact and the potential if you made the suggested changes.
These cover all gas appliances, flues , meters and associated pipe work and require landlords to ensure appliances remain safe at all times and are checked and certified at least once every 12 months.
A record of checks carried out by a Corgi registered engineer must be kept. Instruction booklets must be provided for each appliance supplied.
Furniture & Furnishings(Fire)(Safety)Regulations1988 Amendment Regulations 1989&1993
This act covers all upholstery and upholstered furniture supplied by the landlord in a rented property, including; beds, footstools, pillows, headboards, mattresses, beanbags, sofa beds, futons etc.
Furniture manufactured between 1950 and 1990 cannot be supplied to a tenant unless it has been professionally re-upholstered with conforming materials, fire retardant spray treatment is not acceptable by the DTI as it is ineffective in affording protection to foam fittings.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) regulations 1994
There is currently no legal requirements to have a formal annual safety check of electrical equipment. However this is open to interpretation, as far as Trading Standards are concerned a landlord must be able to demonstrate that electrical appliances are safe before the property is let. Should any piece of electrical equipment have a fault, which results in injury or fatality, the person is responsible for supplying the equipment could be prosecuted. Therefore professionals recommend annual checks of all appliances.
Taxation on Letting Income
Your net taxable profit from your rental business represents income received without tax deduction at source. This will need to be added to your other taxable income in order to work out your overall tax liability for a particular tax year. The normal method of reporting your taxable income to the inland revenue and calculating your tax liability is via a self assessment tax return.
Reducing Tax Liability
As a landlord the inland revenue will view you in the same way as a business, meaning that costs and expenses incurred may be off set against the rental income, these expenses can substantially reduce or eliminate your tax liability. The letting income on which you are subject to tax is gross income less certain expenses usually incurred, which usually include the following:-
- Loan interest (subject to conditions)
- Rent, rates and ground rent
- Cost of providing services included in the rent
- Professional fess, agents, accountancy and legal fees
- Cost of repairs
- Maintenance charges
- Water rates
- 10% wear and tear allowance (for furnished properties)