Property: it’s life’s biggest investment. And for those who have bought property with the intention of letting it out to others, there’s no denying that things can get tricky. With a whole host of landlord laws and regulations, tenants’ rights, and the complications of contracts, it can be difficult to know where to start – which is why we’ve put together our handy guide on how to go about letting out your property…
The first thing to look at is the state of the property itself – is it in a liveable condition? It is vital, particularly if the property has not been occupied for some time, to go through each room and check its condition. Ensure that there are no draughts in windows, no damp issues and that all appliances and white goods are in proper working order. A clean, tidy and well-ventilated property will be snapped up far quicker, and will also help to prevent any future tenant disputes.
The next step to getting your property on the lettings market is to get a valuation – speak to a reputable letting agent with established knowledge of the local area, and you will get a fair and honest valuation of how much your property is worth in rent. If you’d like a free, no-obligation valuation, just contact our team!
Never underestimate the importance of inventories – the more thorough and rigorous the better! Note down the state of all appliances, white goods, furniture, curtains, cupboards, carpets, doors and windows – leave nothing un-noted. Ideally invest in a video inventory, which will help to prevent any disagreements over written notes of condition, but a second-best option is photos: take photos of whole rooms, and close ups of any objects which could be a cause of debates, such as items which already have some wear and tear.
Another legality to remember when thinking of renting out your property is deposit schemes. In accordance with UK laws, all landlords with tenants on an assured shorthold tenancy (the most common type of tenancy) must keep tenant deposits in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme – you cannot hold the deposit yourself. This could be with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. These third-party deposit schemes are in place for tenant protection – in case of deposit disputes (for example, over rent arrears or damage to the property), the scheme holds the deposit safely until resolved.
As well as deposit laws, there are an incredible number of landlord laws and regulations, and it’s vital to swat up on these! Learn how much notice you have to legally give your tenants before entering the property, and for what reasons you are allowed to enter. You must learn everything from the rights tenants have in terms of living standards, to the correct way to serve an eviction notice (commonly known as a Section 21 notice). If you let property in Wales, it is now becoming law that all landlords must be certified with Rent Smart Wales – a course filled with all of the information needed by landlords to safely and legally rent their property, with a test at the end. Even if your property is not located in Wales, it’s a great way to learn about all of the landlord laws in one place.
If you have any questions about becoming a landlord or letting out your property, get in touch with our friendly teams who will be more than happy to help!