Deciding to let your property
Becoming a landlord can be very rewarding; a successful portfolio of properties will provide an income each month and be an investment for the future. With low interest rates available from banks, investing in property may be better option than any savings accounts. However there is a lot to know and consider before making the decision to let. Letting your property and being a landlord can be a complex and time-consuming process which needs to be carefully managed either by you or your agent.
Choosing a letting agent
The first choice to make is whether to instruct an agent to just let the property or to let and manage the property. Most landlords will choose the second option to relieve them of both time, pressure and ensure they comply with legislation. With both options, it is important to choose an agent who is qualified with proven experience and a successful track record. You should consider their ability to effectively and proactively market and manage your property and their reputation for doing so. It may also be a good idea to check if they are affiliated with any professional or regulatory bodies. Above all, if the agent is going to manage your property, you should be able to build a good relationship and know you can trust them.
Presenting Your Property
Your property should be presented to potential tenants looking its very best. A neutral colour scheme will make the property seem light and airy and having it professionally cleaned will make it feel fresh for the tenants to make it their home.
If the property is to be let furnished, it is best for it to be of a contemporary style and neutral in colour with no marks or scuffs, to appeal to the majority of potential tenants. Any items in the property must also be fire-retardant to comply with legislation.
The property must also have a valid energy performance certificate and gas safety certificate before being let.
Finding the right tenant
Finding the right tenant and having comprehensive details of their history is crucial. When a tenant applies for the property your agent should handle all the background checks, carrying out employment references, previous landlord references and a credit reference. It’s also worth considering whether you would accept pets. As most people do tend to have animals these days, most landlords are open to this however it is usually wise to ask for a slightly higher deposit to safe guard against any potential deterioration.
Having your property managed
When you have your property managed your agent will take care of everything throughout the process including;
- Compiling the legal documents such as the tenancy agreement and property inventory.
- Registering deposits within the government deposit scheme.
- Collecting rent and providing you with monthly statements.
- Managing any repairs or maintenance issues as soon as they arise. Your agent should have a team of professional tradesmen on hand to carry out the work to the highest standard but as cost-effectively as possible.
- Interim inspections at the property to ensure everything is being well looked after.
- Being on hand for any advice or guidance.