A Guide to Letting
Start the Process with a Valuation
You should always use a competent agent that has client Money Protection (CMP) and is a member of redress scheme (The Property Ombudsman). This starts you out knowing you are in safe hands.
A valuation will give you what the agent would look to achieve per month in rental for your property. This also gives the agent an idea of:
- What type of tenant you are looking for (family, couple, company)
- What fixtures and furnishings will be included in the property.
- Proximity to transport links and local amenities
- State condition of the property and decoration.
- The locality to local schools, transport links and local amenities.
As local lettings specialists (we are not estate agents) we have an in-depth knowledge of the local lettings market in Sutton and the surrounding areas. On the valuation, we advise you of current laws and legislation and give as much advice as possible to achieve the best rent with the best possible tenant.
Becoming a Landlord?
What Level of Service
You will need to decide what level of service you require and how much time you have on your hands. At Patricia Shepherd we offer three levels of service comprising of:
- Letting Only
- Letting & Rent Collection
- Fully Managed
You read more about these and the costs here.
Marketing Your Property
Marketing is key to letting a property quickly and efficiently. We will market on the UK’s largest property portals, on our own website and can erect a board for local awareness.
We will arrange the photography and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) which are required for advertising. Tenants registered on the portals will then get an instant alert and can book a viewing with the click of a button.
The Viewing Process
We will arrange viewings at convenient times with the most suitable tenants and will accompany to show them around and answer any questions they may have. If you prefer to carry our viewings yourself, you can just let us know.
If a tenant shows interest, we will negotiate any offers between the parties and secure the deal as soon as possible.
Once a deal has been reached, the tenants will need to pay one week’s rent as a Holding Deposit in line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (England only). This then reserves the property.
Once a deposit has been paid, we take up all necessary references which include employment reference confirming affordability previous landlord / letting agent reference confirming rent has always been paid on time and that they have been good tenants and full credit check making sure their credit is in good shape.
We also carry out the Right-to-Rent checks on your behalf. To us referencing is the most important part of the service giving both us and the landlord peace of mind.
Deposit and First Month’s Rent
An advanced payment of a month’s rent and the security deposit (five weeks rent) must be paid before you can move into the property and the keys be released. The one weeks holding deposit can also be offset against this payment. If your property is managed by us, we will protect the deposit via a relevant deposit protection scheme.
The Tenancy Agreement
We prepare and provide the Tenancy Agreement necessary for the landlord to gain protection of the relevant Rent and Housing Acts. This contract is signed electronically by both parties.
An inventory for the property is extremely important, all contents and conditions should be listed including decoration, carpets, curtains, garden equipment etc. We include this free of charge within our service.
Prior to your tenants moving in, an inventory clerk would have visited the property and taken a full schedule of condition. The tenants will meet the inventory clerk at a mutually agreed time to check the property against the inventory, test smoke alarms, take meter reading and hand over the keys.
Prior to the move in, we ensure your property is safe and up to date with all current legislations including:
- Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018
- EPC – Energy Performance Certificates
- The Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1998
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
- Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations (2015)
- The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020
- Legionella Risk Assessment
As a managing agent we carry out periodic property inspections and send a full detailed report outlining how the property is being kept and that it is still a safe environment.
If you do not have a managed service, we strongly recommend you check the property yourself throughout the term. Every six-months will suffice.
More information on laws and legislation can be found here.
If you would like any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.