A Landlords Guide To Renting Your Property

Whether you're letting a room, a flat or a house there’s plenty to consider if you want to receive the highest possible rental price for your property.

First of all you need to be thoroughly prepared and aware of all the little details before you begin the process of letting your property. There are plenty of things you have to consider and a lot to do before you can even think about letting tenants through the door!

If the property is to be occupied by more than 4 people, 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.

Parties you need to inform before letting your property?

Before you can let your property, you need to consult a number of parties/ people:

  • 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

Although your thoughts may be leaning towards how much you can make from letting your property, it is important for you to consider and budget for all costs involved in letting your property

The following cost should all be taken into careful consideration;

  • Any monthly mortgage repayments owed on the property
  • Any expenses involved in bringing the property up to the required standards, both physically and in terms of the regulatory safety standards of furniture, utility equipment and appliances
  • Furniture and furnishings (most tenants prefer a furnished property, a furnished property can assist in you receiving the highest possible rental price for your property)
  • Solicitor's fees (If applicable)
  • Letting agent/management fees
  • Insurance fees
  • Contingency budget for ad hoc repairs and maintenance

If you opt not to have your property managed, we would advise that you have access to sufficient funds at all times for unpredictable repairs that your property may need.

Pre-tenancy check-list

Our pre-tenancy check-list will help you make sure you've ticked all the right boxes before you take 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
  • Obtain approval from the council's planning office (if you plan to make structural alterations to the property or change the property's use)
  • 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 CORGI-registered engineer and that safety records are kept in a safe place (You should have an up-to-date Gas Safety certificate)
  • Make sure that all electrical wiring has been checked and safety approved by a qualified electrician (You should have an up-to-date EPC certificate)
  • 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)

Getting your property ready to rent

Maintaining an immaculate condition for all your viewings will give you the best chance of letting your property and achieving the best possible rental price. So here is a guide to preparations you should make before putting your property on the market!

The external view

  • First impressions are crucial - This is the first view your potential tenants will have of your property, so you should focus on optimising its appearance in anyway possible.
  • 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)
  • Look at any communal areas, if there is something that is out of place or needs repair contact your building management company to fix this.
  • 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 there is no visible mould and cracks!
  • Make sure the house number is clearly visible
  • Keep rubbish and rubbish bins out of sight – visible rubbish in a property is really unsightly

The interior

  • De-cluttering - create more space by moving some furniture into storage, tidy away or remove unnecessary objects, books and boxes, clear out cupboards and wardrobes of non-essential items to highlight potential storage and usable space
  • Make minor repairs - fix leaky taps and cracks in the walls, replace broken or crooked tiles, replace burned-out light bulbs - make sure everything works!
  • Clean thoroughly from top to bottom - carpets, floors, windows, fixtures and fittings, etc
  • Eradicate unpleasant odours, like pet smells and cigarette smoke
  • Decorate rooms if required - a freshly painted wall can re-energise the appearance of a roof

The checklist to go by

Is the property:

  • Clean, tidy and presentable?
  • Of a sufficient size for the family composition?
  • Clean and free from damage, such as damp?
  • The smell of a fresh home – A good automatic air fresher will go a long way!
  • Free from serious disrepair?
  • Structurally sound and not suffering from conditions such as subsidence?

We know it may seem like a lot of work, but with a little time, energy and possibly a bit of money spent, it could really make the difference to how quickly your property is let and how much rent you can charge. Every little helps as we like to say!