Lettings Agent Guide – Renting out your Property
A lettings agent can help with every stage of renting out your property from valuation, to viewings, comprehensively referencing tenants and providing a full property management service, if desired.
Even so, letting your property can be a daunting experience. Knowing the basic process can help put at ease a lot of those fears and help you understand what you should expect.
Step 1 – Accurate Valuation
Having an empty property can cause a great deal of stress and reduce your yields. The focus of every lettings agent must be to rent your property in the shortest period of time at the highest possible price. Care should also be taken to avoid overpricing your property which will increase void periods (time without a paying tenant). Therefore getting an accurate and realistic valuation is very important.
It’s always a good idea to :
- Do your research.
- Get the lettings agent to justify their valuation.
- Consider how much you need to cover your mortgage, ground rent and/or service charges, plus the agency fees.
Step 2 – Kerb Appeal
As with selling a property, the condition and presentation of your property is vitally important. Especially important if there are similar types of property to rent also available. Tenants often look for the same characteristics in a rented property as they might look for when buying their own property. This will be their home, so most are looking for something that is clean, tidy, well decorated and well maintained. In fact, most prospective tenants decide within the first few minutes of walking into a property if it’s right for them.
Step 3 – Selecting a Lettings Agent and Service Level
Selecting a lettings agent to help manage your property can in itself be a minefield with so many agents out there. The most important thing to remember is to go with a lettings agent you believe you can trust as they will be looking after and caring for your property. It’s also important to choose one that you can also get along with and will take time to find out your individual needs as a Landlord.
Deciding on which service to opt for is something that can be difficult. The decision usually comes down to what time and knowledge you have and also your location. Letting property can be very time consuming and everyone has busy lives. For example, trying to sort out a plumber on a Sunday morning is not everyone’s idea of fun especially if you live 100 miles away from Norwich. In the example case a Full Property Management Service would be the best service. All the hassle is taken away and someone else deals with those problems. If you are close to your rental property and have the knowledge of the Legal Legislation (and also the time), then maybe a Tenant Find Service is more suitable.
At Kings & Co Lettings we can tailor our packages to suit your individual needs.
Step 4 – Marketing
To find the perfect tenant, you need to give your property maximum exposure. Try to ensure that your property is advertised both online and in print. Social media is also a growing tool for marketing rental property.
At this stage you will also need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in place. Kings & Co Lettings can assist with this.
Step 5 – Viewing and Offers
Once your property is marketed hopefully the prospective tenants will come flooding in. Viewings will commence, which will either be carried out by the lettings agent or yourself if desired. When an offer is made to rent your property, the lettings agent will inform you of the rent offered and details of the prospective tenants. If you are then happy to proceed full referencing will then be carried out on the prospective tenants.
Kings & Co Lettings use an external referencing company who fully vet the tenants, including a credit check.
Step 6 – Preparing the property for move in
When the checks are being carried out now is the time to ensure that the following is ready:-
- Gas Safety Certificate.
- PAT Test – All electrical appliances have to be tested to be safe.
- Ensure the property is clean.
- Inventory and Condition Report to be compiled. Without this you could be powerless to deduct any monies at the end of the tenancy if there was a dispute.
- Take meter reading, which should be carried out at the same time as the inventory.
- Ensure instructions booklets for appliances are available.
- Ensure that there are working smoke alarms on each level of the property and for due diligence a working carbon monoxide alarm.
Step 7 – Move in
Once the tenants checks have come back and all legal requirements have been met then the tenants can move into the property. The lettings agent typically draws up an Assured Short-hold Tenancy for either 6/12 months, whichever is agreed, and all other necessary documentation.
The lettings agent will also take one months rent in advance and damage deposit. The damage deposit will then need to be held within a Government based scheme. There are three schemes to choose from. Kings & Co Lettings use the Deposit Protection Service.
Our aim at Kings & Co Lettings is to make life as simple as possible for our Landlords be they Fully Managed or Let Only and to ensure their property is maintained and cared for.
Call us today on 01603 666689 to see how we can help you in the Norwich and Norfolk area.
You may also like to read our landlord testimonials.