Letting your property

Thinking about letting your property? The process of letting a property can be a complex and time-consuming one, but the rewards can be considerable when you get everything right. Find out how to let a property and get tips and advice on how to achieve the best rental price from a reliable tenant, as well as understanding your legal rights, the latest legislation and regulations and your obligations to your tenants, whether you're letting a room, a flat or a house.

Preparing to let your property
Before you begin the process of letting your property, you need to be thoroughly prepared. There is a lot to do and plenty to think about before you can think about getting your new tenants through the door.

First impressions count for everything when it comes to property, so it's vital your home looks its best for potential tenants. Maintaining this condition for all your viewings will give you the best chance of letting your home and achieving the best possible price. So, what preparations should you make?

The external view
This is the first view your potential tenants will have of your property, so you should focus on optimising its appearance.

  • Tidy up the front and back garden (weed, trim hedges, add some new plants if necessary, clear any dead or unsightly plants, mow and fix any damaged lawn)
  • Repair cracks, holes or blemishes in the driveway or walls
  • Give the window frames and door a lick of paint if they need it
  • Make sure the house number is clearly visible
  • Keep rubbish and rubbish bins out of sight.

The interior

  • De-clutter
  • Make minor repairs if required
  • Clean thoroughly from top to bottom
  • Eradicate unpleasant odours
  • Decorate rooms if required

Make sure all aspects of your property are up to scratch and meet all of the required standards to give you the best chance of finding the right tenants and achieving the best price. Is your property:

  • Clean, tidy and presentable?
  • Of a sufficient size for the family composition?
  • Clean and free from damage, such as damp?
  • Free from serious disrepair?
  • Structurally sound and not suffering from conditions such as subsidence?

As well as the physical standards of the property itself, there are numerous other standards that will need to be met, including safety standards for gas and furniture. Read more about your health and safety obligations in our guide to being a landlord.

If the property is to be occupied by more than one family or party, this constitutes a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and further regulations will need to be adhered to, as well as registering with your local authority. Read more about requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation on the Communities and Local Government website.

It may seem like a lot of work, but with time, energy and even a bit of money spent now, it could really make the difference to how quickly you let your property and how much rent you can charge. Speculate to accumulate!

Who should you consult before letting your property?
Before you can let your property, you need to consult a number of parties:

  • Your mortgage lender - your lender may ask that you let your property on an Assured Shorthold basis
  • Your insurance company - if you don't let your insurance company know that you have let your property, you may not be covered in the event of damage, fire or theft in the property
  • Your freeholder (if you have one) - important if you wish to let a leasehold flat, for example.

The cost of letting your property
While your thoughts may be leaning towards how much you can make by letting your property, it is important that you consider and budget for the costs involved, too. You should budget for the following costs:

Agency fees
You should never underestimate the work involved in the successful letting of your property. There are considerable advantages in using us. We will:

  • Advertise your property efficiently to thousands of potential tenants looking for property to rent in the area (primelocation, findaproperty, rightmove, zoopla, facebook, gumtree, ebay and many printed publications such as London Property News, The Loot etc.)
  • Have knowledge of the local market, including the type of properties to rent in the area, the potential demand for them, the rental prices being achieved and the kind of tenants who might be interested in your property.
  • Manage and conduct viewings, giving us the opportunity to try and secure tenants for your property and providing you with valuable feedback along the way
  • Negotiate with tenants on your behalf when discussing the rental price of the property
  • Provide you with advice and guidance.

Managing your property
After we have found suitable tenants for your property, you have the option of either managing the let yourself, or appoint us to manage your property on your behalf. Much will depend on your circumstances. If you are living abroad, for example, you may want to employ us to make sure your tenants and the property are sufficiently looked after while you're away.

Our management team will:
Vet potential tenants by sourcing references from previous landlords, conducting credit checks and obtaining bank details

  • Organise tenancy agreements and inventories
  • Manage the start and end to the tenancy based on your instructions
  • Organise the collection of rent from the tenants and arrange for repairs during the tenancy
  • Inspect the property periodically on your behalf for its condition and state
  • Provide professional advice and guidance throughout the duration of your relationship.

Pre-tenancy checklist
A pre-tenancy checklist should help you make sure you've ticked all the right boxes before you make the next step in letting your property.

  • Update your insurance to take into account that your property is going to be let
  • Get the requisite permission from your mortgage lender
  • Inform the council's Environmental Health Department if you plan on letting as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • Make sure all furniture and furnishings comply with the latest fire regulations
  • Ensure that all gas appliances and equipment have been serviced by a Gas Safe -registered engineer and that safety records are kept in a safe place
  • Make sure that all electrical wiring has been checked and safety approved by a qualified electrician
  • Inform the Council Tax department and utility suppliers that the property will be let (relevant if you plan on being a non-resident of a self-contained property)
We do hope that the above was sufficient enough in helping you decide to use Nelsons. If there is anything you are unclear of, please contact a manager at any branch. Happy Letting.



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