It’s all about the timing
The perfect time to start marketing your property for lettings is 6-8 weeks before the move in date. This gives you time to select the right agent, have an EPC done for marketing purposes and to get your property out there on all the property portals. It also gives you time to attract a good selection of quality tenants. Sometimes the process can be very quick and on other occasions it may take longer depending on the time of year. What else is on the market at the same time in the same area can be a factor too. Make sure you put the property on at the right price. Remember this! – If the rental price is too high it will just let other properties similar to yours to rent quicker.
Presentation is everything!
Take a good look at the property you are about to let out – could it do with any improvement? Think! – if someone is coming to have a look at the property with a view to calling it their home, make sure it looks inviting.
Some tips on presenting your property
- Take time to give it a clean and make it look inviting,
- If it’s been sitting empty for a while and the weather’s turned cold outside it’s a good idea to turn the heating on to take the chill away.
- Watch out for strong smells it may put people off, so don’t cook strong smelling foods, before the viewing, empty the litter tray if you have a cat, open a window and give the property a good airing.
- Be objective, if the property has been tenanted previously it may need a lick of paint.
- The carpets, how old are they? When was the last time they were replaced?
- The furniture, does it need updating? Mattresses on beds, are they in good condition? It’s always good to put mattress protectors on for each tenancy and replace with new ones on the next let.
Remember there are a lot of properties to rent out there so make sure yours stands out for all the right reasons and not the wrong ones! A good set of photographs is key, as the property is being marketed online so first impressions will last. On instructing Aston Knight we will send our in-house professional photographer to take a range of photographs.
Always make sure the property is looking its best! If you have tenants make sure you give them enough notice that a viewing is taking place at the property so they are fully aware and can give it a quick tidy beforehand.
What happens once prospective tenants have been found
- Aston Knight will use a referencing agency to take references, they will take a bank reference to check for affordability, current employer reference and previous landlord reference, they will also carry out a full credit check.
- Once references have passed and approved Aston Knight will draw up the tenancy agreement and arrange for both parties to sign.
- Aston Knight will arrange for full move in monies to be taken and cleared on account before tenants move in.
- Aston Knight will arrange for the Gas Safe Certificate and Inventory Check in to be done prior to move in or you can arrange this yourself.
Getting Your Property ready for your new tenants
Once you have successfully found new tenants and are happy with the references and contracts are in place, make sure the property is ready prior to the tenants moving in. A Gas Safe Certificate must be in place prior to move in as it is a legal requirement. We strongly suggest you get the property professionally cleaned so it will state this on the inventory report. A professional clean should include cleaning carpets (if any) and the windows. When the tenants then leave they will have to return it in the same state!
Get all relevant Legislation Covered before you let
Before you rent out your property its essential you get all the relevant current legislation in place. It’s a legal requirement to ensure you have a Gas Safe engineer carry out a Gas Safe Certificate prior to the start of the tenancy.
Also check all the furniture is fire regulated and carries the Kite Mark logo.
The deposit also has to be entered into the Tenant Deposit Scheme if it’s required under the terms of the contract. You must also seriously consider having a professional inventory done prior to tenants moving in as it’s almost impossible for you to deduct any monies from the tenants deposit without one due to the rules of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Schemes.
For more information please refer to our Current legislation section
Before handing over keys make sure the move in monies are taken in cleared funds
The initial move in monies will include the following:
- Rent for the first month in advance
- 6 week deposit (This has to be logged with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme)
- Any Reference Charges taken by a referencing agency
- Cost for the Tenancy Agreement
How to go about finding the right property
- When do you want to move? You should start your search 6-8 weeks prior to your move in date.
- What is your “must have” criteria – what won’t you compromise on?
- How much would you be prepared to pay for the right property?
- The rental market moves very quickly. If you find the perfect property be prepared to act quickly as you may find that by the time you go back to it, it may have already gone.
- Length of tenancy – how long are you planning on living in the property?
- If you’re after a short let, (less than 6 months) please refer to the section below for more information.
Short let properties how are they different?
- A Short Let Tenancy is for a term less than 6 months.
- All monies must be paid in full and in advance (including a 4 week deposit).
- Utility bills are included in the rental amount, except telephone and broadband billing, this should be stated in the tenancy agreement.
Make sure you always confirm the viewing with the negotiator and if something comes up and you can no longer make the appointment let the negotiator know in advance and they will happily re arrange a suitable appointment time.
- Upon acceptance of your offer, reference checks will be taken – please make sure you can provide bank details, current employment details and the contact details of your previous landlord.
- You will have to sign a Tenancy Agreement and set up a standing order for your rental payment and pay all move in monies to Aston Knight prior to moving in.
- Don’t forget to set up all the utilities relating to the property, council tax, gas, electricity, water rates, TV Licence, etc.
- Make sure you retain a copy of the Inventory report.
The initial move in monies will include the following:
- Rent for the first month in advance.
- 6 week deposit (This has to be logged with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme see below).
- Any Reference Charges taken by a referencing agency.
- Cost for the professional inventory if one is being done, the landlord will be responsible for the check out cost.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Tenancy deposit law was introduced on 6th April 2007 and provides protection for tenants by preventing landlords and letting agents from unfairly withholding a deposit. The scheme protects all Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales (covering most tenancies since 1997).
Tenancy Deposit Protection is designed to ensure:
- You get all or part of your deposit back, when you are entitled to it.
- Any disputes between you and your landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.
- Landlords and letting agents who do not protect tenancy deposits will have to pay their tenant back three times the deposit.
How it works
At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, pay your deposit to your landlord or agent as usual. Within 14 days, the landlord or agent is required to give you details about how your deposit is protected including:
- The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme.
- The contact details of the landlord.
- How to apply for the release of the deposit.
- Information explaining the purpose of the deposit.
- What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit.
If you don’t get this information, ask your landlord the simple question – ‘how is my deposit protected?’ You have a responsibility to return the property in the same condition that it was let to you, allowing for fair wear and tear.
What if your landlord isn’t protecting your deposit?
You can apply to your local county court. The court can order the landlord or agent to either repay the deposit to you or protect it in a scheme. If your landlord or agent has not protected your deposit, they will be ordered to repay three times the amount of the deposit to you.
At the end of the tenancy, check whether you are leaving the property and its contents in the condition in which it was let to you (allowing for fair wear and tear) and check that you have paid your rent and any other expenses. Then agree with your landlord or agent how much of the deposit should be returned to you.