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Advice on Private lettings

Making the decision to let your property privately and through your own resources is a very big and independent step. The process can seem very daunting and stressful if you do not take the correct measures to give you the ultimate assistance needed.

PROPERTY PREPARATIONS

Property Exterior

This is the first thing your potential tenant is going to see, it is a huge factor in the deciding of whether the tenants expected standard living will be met by the property. Below are some basic and useful tips that will enhance the process for your prospective tenants.

  • Clear and make presentable both front and rear garden.
  • Keep rubbish bins organised or out of clear view.
  • Repaint any damaged or cracked window seals, this is highly noticeable.
  • Make sure your door number is clearly visible and your mailbox is secure but easily accessible.

Property Interior

When letting it is important to present the property in a tidy manner and with as much open space as possible allowing for your potential tenants to envisage their stay. Below are some guidelines...

  • Have the property professionally cleaned or to a high standard before letting out (including fixtures and fittings).
  • Have a huge de-clutter. Place unecessary furniture into storage, and remove unnecessary objects and personal trinkets out of sight.
  • Complete all minor repairs- window and tile seals, fix leaky taps and replace any burnt out light bulbs.
  • If rooms need repainting then re-paint with white or light colours to allow more natural light to bounce off the walls.

 


MARKETING PREPARATIONS

To let your property fast and efficiently you will need to spend some money on marketing to reach out to as many potential tenants as possible.

  • Where will you advertise your property? - Online/ In local papers/ word of mouth/ through the council
  • What will your living circumstances be?- Will you be a live-in landlord? Nearby? or Abroad?
  • Will you be letting the whole property? or Individual Rooms?
  • How long are you interested in letting the property for? - 0-6months/ 6-12months/ 18-36months
  • What type of tenant are you marketing to?- Families/ Working Professionals/ Students
  • Will bills be included or separate? - Consider Council Tax/ Electricity/ Gas/ Water Rates/ Sewage Rates

WHO SHOULD YOU NOTIFY?

  • Mortgage Lender- If this is your first time letting the lender may change your mortgage plan, they may also ask you to let it as an Assured Shothold Tenancy.
  • Insurance Company- As this is a change you will need to inform them to change your current plan. If not then you may not be covered for damage from damage, fire or theft.
  • Your Freeholder (If there is one)- This is important as there may be special conditions in your Headlease.
  • A Solicitor- This is not a must, however, it may be useful to ask questions on forming a legal Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

 

COSTS INVOLVED

Many people believe that by letting a property it is a surefire way to making money and neglect to intially account for the total costs involved below is a few things to consider.

  • Monthly Mortgage Repayments
  • Solicitor's Fees
  • Insurance costs
  • Repair float/costs
  • Deposit Registration

DEPOSIT REGISTRATION

Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property. Landlords must protect their tenants' deposits using a TDP scheme if they have let the property on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which started on or after 6 April 2007.

If these conditions don't apply - for example, because you live in the property with your tenant - you do not have to protect your tenants' deposits. However, it is still good practice to do so.

Landlords or agents must use one of the three approved TDP schemes to protect tenants' deposits where these conditions apply. If any other scheme is used, deposits are not protected in law. The three approved schemes are:

  • Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
  • MyDeposits
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)