Ever had your investment abused by careless tenants? Whether it’s damage to the property or a general disrespect, it’s a horrible feeling. You feel cheated by the people you trusted.
Deposits and tenant referencing companies are great ways of combating bad tenants, but there’s another step you should be taking. Regular landlord inspections are vital for ensuring your tenant is actually maintaining your property as agreed in the tenancy agreement.
Many landlords avoid checking their investment purely because there are clear regulations to follow. Don’t be one of those landlords! Here’s what you need to know about property inspections.
Why You Should Carry Out a Rental House Inspection
Not convinced about the need to inspect your property? Here are a few advantages of inspections:
- You can assess how your tenant treats the property
- You can check on any maintenance issues that need your attention, such as health and safety requirements
- You boost your reputation as a landlord and become more approachable
- You can create an open pathway of communication with your tenants
- You can take a look at the living conditions of your tenant
- You can keep an eye out for any illegal activities
- You can check that you’re still offering a safe and legal letting to the tenant
- You may not have a duty of care to neighbours, but it may avoid disputes to check in with them. They may be able to tell you information about how your tenants are behaving that you might otherwise miss
Can a Landlord Enter Without Permission?
When it comes to entering the property, there are rules.
You can’t just turn up and inspect the condition of the property. The landlord or agent doesn’t necessarily need permission before entering. However, there are laws you need to follow when it comes to regular inspections.
Legally, there are three main rights of entry:
The Right of Reasonable Access
As a landlord, you need to be aware of your Landlord access rights. ‘Reasonable access’ sounds like a very general term but it is simply defined. This ultimately refers to the need to access the property immediately to carry out emergency/necessary repairs.
The Right to Enter to Inspect the State of Repair of the Property
As owner of the property you can also enter to inspect the ‘state of repair’. For inspections, you aren’t granted immediate access.
You must also carry out all inspections at reasonable times of day. If someone other than yourself (or a previously agreed agent) is inspecting the property, you must give notice of inspection in writing.
The Right to Enter to Provide Room Cleaning Services
If you offer room-cleaning services to your tenant and this is stated clearly in the contract, you can access the property without permission. This is a relatively uncommon situation.
Can a Landlord Enter the Property Without the Tenant Present?
If the reason for access is one of the ones mentioned above, such as an emergency, the tenant does not need to be present during inspection.
However, tenants should still be informed. This is their home also, so it’s a good idea to let them know if you’ve entered, and for what reason.
A landlord entering the property without permission or reason is against the law.
How Much Notice Does a Landlord Have to Give?
Usually, you must provide at least 24 hours notice before entry. This can differ in an emergency.
Landlord Right of Entry – Try Not to Scare the Tenant
Inspections can be scary for your tenants, as they’re obligated to look after your property. As soon as you notify them of your intention to check your property, they’ll begin to sweat. Be as casual and relaxed about it as you can. Explain there’s no reason for them to be worried, it’s just a mandatory walk through.
If you’re able to, give your tenant more than the required 24 hours’ notice – a week is usually best. This gives them time to present the rental in a clean and tidy state. Be flexible about the time of your visit and offer to rearrange if it isn’t convenient.
Landlord House Inspection Checklist
So, what should you be looking for?
There are plenty of issues you might come across, some more serious than others. Your inspection can be as thorough or casual as you’d like. Having said this, keep your eyes peeled for these common problems:
- Damage beyond wear and tear (broken windows, stained carpets, etc.)
- Damp and mould
- Condition of furniture and white goods
- Excessive rubbish
- Poorly maintained garden
- Faulty smoke alarms/carbon monoxide detectors
- State of the loft/attic
- Signs or rodents/infestations
Periodic Inspection Report
It’s recommended to carry out a house inspection every 3 months or less. This depends on the length of the tenancy.
To help you monitor your property effectively and keep track of any recurring issues, you may want to fill out a house inspection form of some kind.
This can be particularly useful if you spot a problem on a particular visit, and find it has not been corrected next time. With all the obligations landlords have, having a record can help you stay informed about the condition of your rental property.
Can Tenants Refuse Access to a Property?
If you turn up unannounced, for example without written notice, the tenant can refuse to grant entry.
To avoid this, give plenty of warning.
What Happens If the Tenant Refuses Entry?
If a tenant refuses to grant permission for entry, you can’t go ahead without their blessing. As a landlord, you have to respect the tenant’s privacy. This can create a difficult situation where a harmonious relationship between landlord and tenant can be jeopardised.
Tenants only tend to refuse entry if they’re hiding something unsavoury from you. Unfortunately, you can’t take the issue any further.
How to End the House Inspection
Communication is key here. If there are issues you’re not happy with, explain why and discuss whose responsibility it is. If you’re coming back to complete any repairs, give full details of when this will be. Don’t forget to ask your tenant whether they know of any issues or damages that require your attention. Ultimately, thank them for their time – remember, they weren’t obliged to let you in.
How Can an Inventory for a Rental Property Help?
Want to lower the possibility of deposit disputes and damage to your investment? No Letting Go will manage the entire inventory process in a professional and open manner. This includes check ins and check outs. We’ll help you comply with your obligations, while improving the lives of tenants. Find out more about our inventory services here.
No Letting Go are proud to support the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC) in their bid for mandatory inventories for all private residential tenancies. An independent inventory ensures there’s no room for ambiguity during the check-in and check-out procedures – this dramatically reduces the number of deposit disputes.
Evidence of Fulfilled Landlord Obligations
We would like to go a step further. There are some health and safety requirements no landlord can ignore! We feel inventories should be combined with compliance reporting. A detailed inventory at the start and end of a tenancy can act as a crucial document which acts as evidence of a landlord fulfilling their health and safety obligations.
The report could also work as evidence of a landlord complying with:
- Smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations 2015
- Fire and furnishing safety regulations 1988
A Duty of Care
Nick Lyons, CEO of No Letting Go spoke to Landlord Today regarding the topic:
“Independent inventory providers have a duty of care to protect the interests of both landlords and tenants alike. The government has introduced legislation to protect tenants but with no real effective means to monitor it.
“The introduction of a compulsory combined inventory and compliance report for all let properties compiled by trained, independent professionals will help ensure that landlords meet their legal responsibilities and assist the government and trading standards to police the landlord’s requirement to protect tenants.”
Why Is the Petition Important?
The petition is being put forward by the AIIC. This is to encourage the government to introduce mandatory inventory reporting as part of its ongoing plans to increase regulation in the Private Rented Sector.
The AIIC sees mandatory independent inventory reporting as the next step from the 2007 introduction of compulsory tenancy deposit protection. This is because there’s not been additional legislation concerning the documents or evidence needed to resolve deposit disputes.
“With this in mind, regulating independent inventories really is a no-brainer for the government. An independent and professionally compiled inventory offers protection to both tenants and landlord and can prove invaluable in the event of a tenancy deposit dispute.”
Irrelevant of whether mandatory independent inventory reporting becomes a legal requirement, there is still an abundance of benefits for landlords, letting agents and tenants. An independent body like No Letting Go can take the hassle and strain out of the process while dramatically cutting down on disputes. Find out more about how we can help your inventory process here.
If you fancy turning your hand to property investment but unsure where to start, we’ve got it covered. We’ve taken a look at the best place to invest in property in the UK. To work this out, we’ve looked at the average rental yield all UK cities and ranked them accordingly. We’ve worked this out by looking at the average property value and average annual rent in each city. Where does your city rank?
Ranked from bottom to top by average rental yield percentage, here are the results…
68. St Albans – 2.76%
Average property price: £581,041
Average rent: £1,336 pcm
67. Truro – 2.85%
Average property price: £320,611
Average rent: £761 pcm
66. Worcester – 2.87%
Average property price: £260,039
Average rent: £623 pcm
65. Chelmsford – 3.04%
Average property price: £387,413
Average rent: £982 pcm
64. Salisbury – 3.08%
Average property price: £341,338
Average rent: £876 pcm
63. St Asaph – 3.1%
Average property price: £225,104
Average rent: £581 pcm
62. Hereford – 3.14%
Average property price: £249,947
Average rent: £655 pcm
61. Ripon – 3.2%
Average property price: £290,495
Average rent: £774 pcm
60. Lichfield – 3.2%
Average property price: £291,353
Average rent: £777 pcm
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59. Wells – 3.31%
Average property price: £308,536
Average rent: £850 pcm
58. Cambridge – 3.34%
Average property price: £455,104
Average rent: £1,268 pcm
57. Winchester – 3.36%
Average property price: £548,755
Average rent: £1,537 pcm
56. Chichester – 3.4%
Average property price: £428,867
Average rent: £1,214 pcm
55. Wolverhampton – 3.44%
Average property price: £188,146
Average rent: £539 pcm
54. Bath – 3.44%
Average property price: £444,257
Average rent: £1,274 pcm
53. Gloucester – 3.47%
Average property price: £230,997
Average rent: £668 pcm
52. Chester – 3.5%
Average property price: £254,681
Average rent: £742 pcm
51. Perth – 3.5%
Average property price: £202,679
Average rent: £591 pcm
50. Exeter – 3.52%
Average property price: £293,069
Average rent: £860 pcm
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49. York – 3.55%
Average property price: £282,874
Average rent: £837 pcm
48. St David’s – 3.56%
Average property price: £234,104
Average rent: £695 pcm
47. Peterborough – 3.7%
Average property price: £217,668
Average rent: £672 pcm
46. Carlisle – 3.73%
Average property price: £157,070
Average rent: £488 pcm
45. Ely – 3.8%
Average property price: £295,045
Average rent: £935 pcm
44. Norwich – 3.9%
Average property price: £265,871
Average rent: £864 pcm
43. Leicester – 4.01%
Average property price: £216,421
Average rent: £724 pcm
42. Bristol – 4.03%
Average property price: £314,629
Average rent: £1,057 pcm
41. Canterbury – 4.07%
Average property price: £335,782
Average rent: £1,138 pcm
40. Lincoln – 4.07%
Average property price: £192,423
Average rent: £653 pcm
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39. Wakefield – 4.08%
Average property price: £177,810
Average rent: £605 pcm
38. Derby – 4.12%
Average property price: £194,951
Average rent: £669 pcm
37. Lancaster – 4.25%
Average property price: £191,729
Average rent: £679 pcm
36. Dundee – 4.28%
Average rental price: £156,781
Average rent: £559 pcm
35. Southampton – 4.36%
Average rental price: £289,546
Average rent: £1,053 pcm
34. Hull – 4.43%
Average rental price: £133,306
Average rent: £492 pcm
33. Newry – 4.44%
Average rental price: £146,353
Average rent: £542 pcm
32. Oxford – 4.46%
Average property price: £503,570
Average rent: £1,870 pcm
31. Stoke-on-Trent – 4.53%
Average property price: £143,358
Average rent: £541 pcm
30. Bradford – 4.53%
Average property price: £129,444
Average rent: £489 pcm
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29. Aberdeen – 4.58%
Average property price: £197,352
Average rent: £753 pcm
28. Preston – 4.6%
Average property price: £179,405
Average rent: £687 pcm
27. Inverness – 4.68%
Average property price: £177,736
Average rent: £693 pcm
26. Newport – 4.71%
Average property price: £165,970
Average rent: £651 pcm
25. Stirling – 4.78%
Average property price: £194,439
Average rent: £775 pcm
24. Brighton & Hove – 4.79%
Average property price: £385,220
Average rent: £1,537 pcm
23. London – 4.8%
Average property price: £672,390
Average rent: £2,692 pcm
22. Newcastle – 4.81%
Average property price: £203,524
Average rent: £816 pcm
21. Sheffield – 4.91%
Average property price: £187,360
Average rent: £767 pcm
20. Sunderland – 5.02%
Average property price: £139,518
Average rent: £584 pcm
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19. Derry – 5.12%
Average property price: £110,884
Average rent: £473 pcm
18. Glasgow – 5.21%
Average property price: £175,623
Average rent: £762 pcm
17. Lisburn – 5.36%
Average property price: £143,435
Average rent: £641 pcm
16. Plymouth – 5.47%
Average property price: £200,655
Average rent: £914 pcm
15. Cardiff – 5.6%
Average property price: £233,833
Average rent: £1,092 pcm
14. Belfast – 5.72%
Average property price: £153,310
Average rent: £731 pcm
13. Swansea – 5.74%
Average property price: £167,147
Average rent: £799 pcm
12. Liverpool – 5.78%
Average property price: £164,838
Average rent: £794 pcm
11. Portsmouth – 5.81%
Average property price: £227,041
Average rent: £1,100 pcm
10. Edinburgh – 5.89%
Coming in at 10th place is Scotland’s capital Edinburgh. The city is a highly desirable place to live and is a huge cultural hub north of the border. Having said this, property prices are relatively low while rent remains high. This means, Edinburgh is a great place for any landlord to build a portfolio.
Average property price: £268,989
Average rent: £1,320 pcm
9. Nottingham – 5.97%
With a popular university paired with high standard of living, property investment in Nottingham could be a money maker. With a 5.97% average rental yield, this is a serious consideration for anyone looking to make money.
Average property price: £188,609
Average rent: £939 pcm
8. Birmingham – 6.27%
Proclaimed to be the second city in the UK, Birmingham was guaranteed to feature high in this list. The property prices are in line with much of the midlands while rent is high. The popular university also prevents an opportunity for those considering student lets.
Average property price: £188,235
Average rent: £984 pcm
7. Armagh – 6.42%
The Northern Irish city is claimed to be the fifth-least-populous city in the UK. Maybe that goes some way to explaining the low property prices. Rent, at least, is in line with the surrounding area.
Average property price: £105,815
Average rent: £566 pcm
6. Manchester – 6.5%
Though Birmingham takes the title of Britain’s second city, Manchester seems to be stealing the attention. It’s a highly favourable place to live, especially among the younger generations who seek a buzzy metropolitan area. This has led to rent remaining high while property prices sit in line with much of the north of England.
Average property price: £175,872
Average rent: £952 pcm
5. Coventry – 6.64%
Coventry storms ahead into 5th position in our list. As the ninth largest city in the UK, it’s no surprise it features high. The city is the only Midlands spot to break the £1,000 average rent mark.
Average property price: £195,255
Average rent: £1,080 pcm
4. Durham – 6.71%
At the business end of the list we find north-eastern city of Durham. The location is renowned for its beauty and highly respected university. There are plenty of reasons why people are attracted to the city, an alluring potential for investment.
Average property price: £159,146
Average rent: £890 pcm
3. Leeds – 6.89%
Another city that people are naturally driven to. Leeds is metropolitan city renowned for its shopping, nightlife and culture. If you consider the high rent prices and relatively low property prices, you may find yourself building a portfolio here.
Average property price: £204,644
Average rent: £1,175 pcm
2. Salford – 7.53%
If you’re looking to invest in Manchester, you may do better by looking to neighbouring Salford. The city offers similar average rent but with a reduction in average property prices, a win-win!
Average property price: £156,118
Average rent: £979 pcm
1. Bangor – 9.42%
The best place to invest in property in the UK is Bangor – an exceptional opportunity for anyone considering property investment. The house prices are aligned with the local area and pretty low. The average rent is considerably higher, exceeding £1,300 pcm.
Average property price: £169,148
Average rent: £1,328 pcm
All figures accurate on date of publish.
If you’re considering becoming a landlord, don’t get caught up in messy deposit disputes. We can help. Find out how No Letting Go’s inventory services can remove the hassle from the situation.
We are very proud to announce yet another success in franchisee Rachel Farr’s career with No Letting Go. Rachel has been handpicked as a finalist for the Woman Franchisee 2017 EWIF Awards. Being shortlisted for this prestigious award comes only months after she won the NLG franchisee awards for Best Regional Office, Busiest Office, Customer Service and Franchisee of the Year. Here’s her story so far.
Rachel initially purchased the Bath franchise in 2014. Originally attracted to the reporting technology, Rachel saw an NLG franchise as an opportunity to step into a management role and quickly grow her business.
By 2016 Rachel was running the top performing office for No Letting Go, delivering over 200 property reports every month. She quickly saw the growth she was craving as her team soon grew to five members. Rachel developed her own mentoring and quality checking programme on top of that already provided by Head Office. This reiterated the core values of No Letting Go, and delivered a service that’s consistent, reliable and accountable.
A Motivated Team
Rachel’s ongoing care and attention to the service her team provides has led to a consistent and motivated team. Something which isn’t easy for solo workers to achieve. Each individual working for Rachel knows exactly what’s expected from them and are confident in her ability to guide them through any issues they encounter.
Each of Rachel’s team is self-employed. This adds an additional responsibility to her position. She must ensure each member has a consistent workload to support themselves. Rachel understands these needs and as a result ensures everyone supplies the very best level of customer service.
Rachel takes an impressive approach to business development. In 2016, she completed a database of every letting agent within a 50 mile radius. She also maintains regular contact with all members of this database. This not only boosts NLG brand awareness massively but has led to an impressive reputation in the area. Being widely acknowledged for her reliability and quality, Rachel’s business development actions have led to a 39% increase in active clients in a year. The majority of which came from letting agent recommendations.
No Letting Go Development
Rachel’s key approach to business development doesn’t only stop with her personal ventures. She has also been a key player in regional improvements. She works closely with her three neighbouring franchises to support each other, share ideas and attend regional conferences. She has also worked with NLG Head Office to aid in the ongoing development of our technology. Rachel not only invests her time to understand her customers but does the same with her team and business too.
All this is made even more impressive when hearing that Rachel welcomed her second baby into the world last year. Working through her pregnancy, Rachel continued to strive for building her business, reputation and team. Moreover, four members of her team also have to juggle their work with young families making their achievements even more remarkable.
The EWIF Awards
The EWIF Award ceremony will be held on Tuesday 16th May 2017. We will be sure to notify you if Rachel wins the Woman Franchisee Award. Everyone at No Letting Go wishes her the very best of luck.
If you’re interested in mirroring Rachel’s success and getting involved in a No Letting Go franchise, we want to hear from you. You can find out more about becoming a franchisee here.
This week Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action and celebrity in the field of property, took to the Direct Line for Business blog to discuss the importance of getting your property inventory right. In this piece Paul discusses the need for property inventory services and recommends No Letting Go, explaining that the cost of the package is easily outweighed by savings and benefits. Paul also shed some light on the need for quality inventories and outlines what a landlord really ought to know. We’ve put together a few of his key points here for you.
Paul Shamplina’s Views on Property Inventory Services
Paul Shamplina writes about how landlords can ‘save a great deal of time and hassle’ by using property inventory services like No Letting Go. The benefits put forward by Paul centre upon the professional expertise and advice as well as the protection that comes with the impartiality of our service. Paul does rightly highlight the need for landlords to be selective in their choice of services, only opting for companies that are a member of The Association of Independent Inventory Clerks or The Association of Professional Inventory Providers. Paul ends his discussion of the topic with a strong recommendation for No Letting Go (a member of The Association of Professional Inventory Providers).
65% of Landlords Do Their Own Inventories
In the video accompanying Paul’s blog, he becomes animatedat the mentioning of this statistic. As a landlord carrying out your own inventory you are ‘exposed to more risk of a deposit dispute’. Paul attributes this to most landlords not putting detailed, correct or required information on the inventory. With an impartial service, this is not a problem that would be encountered.
Property Inventories on Unfurnished Properties
Paul’s article highlights a topic that we’ve encountered many times. Some landlords are led to believe that an inventory is only needed for furnished properties. Paul reiterates that this is not the right view to take. Decoration and condition of the floors, walls and garden should all be noted in the inventory. Mould and discolouration can appear very quickly if your property isn’t being maintained properly, the inventory will detail this clearly. If you do not include an inventory with your property, irrelevant of furnishings, you are opening yourself up to the potential of losing any deposit costs that you may wish to hold back.
Paul Shamplina goes on to highlight the importance of a mid-term property inspection. This visit is the ideal opportunity for you, as a landlord, to check that the property is being looked after in the correct way. The best time to do this is after at least three months of the tenant being in the property, though this is at your discretion. Don’t forget that by law you are required to give 24 hours written notice of any inspection. We highly recommend that you are flexible with your approach to inspections, this will help take the intimidation factor away from the process.
Are you looking to take away the stress and hassle of writing your own inventory? Get in touch to find out more about our property inventory services.
From all the media stories, no-one is quite sure whether the property market is booming or not!
The simple answer is that the buy-to-let sector is doing very well but it would be doing even better if there were more new properties to buy. There’s an increasing market in the number of people looking to rent which means that demand is pushing up rents.
Indeed, the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently said that investing in houses and flats to rent is growing in popularity once more.
They say that the number of buy-to-let properties soared by 84,000 last year – with buy-to-let mortgages now accounting for nearly 13 per cent of the total outstanding value of home loans in the UK.
That means that investing in property to rent is a worthwhile proposition once again.
But let’s not kid ourselves about the current situation for prospective investors. While the buy-to-let market is picking up, it’s nowhere near the heady heights of the 2007 property boom. And most of the investors picking up properties for their letting portfolios are cash-rich investors.
It makes sense really: property prices are relatively low and rent prices are still fairly high which means that there’s a good return on your investment.
And the market for renting a home in the UK is continuing to grow.
Estate agents Countrywide say that last year, more than 275,000 new tenants registered for private rental accommodation – a 24 per cent increase on the previous year.
Across most of the UK there is a shortage of property to rent which means rental prices are remaining high and increasing in some areas.
Potential landlords can still buy property to enjoy the rental market using buy-to-let mortgages from many lenders. In fact, there’s so much competition for a potential landlord’s business that the average borrowing rate on a buy-to-let mortgage has fallen in recent months.
The headline of this article is: How is the shortage of new properties affecting the buy to let market? However, it would be wiser to read this as: How is the shortage of new good quality properties affecting the buy to let market?
That’s because the population of the UK is growing and it’s a relatively transient one – people are moving to where the work is and they are willing to pay for a good quality home.
Though there is no doubt that underpinning the buy-to-let market is the fact that not enough new homes are being built and people are living longer as well as the fact that there are more single person occupied homes.
For more information and advice on the current state of the buy-to-let market, contact the UK’s premium provider of landlord services NoLettingGo.co.uk or call 0800 8815 366.
No Letting Go are the UK’s leading provider of inventory management services, providing check in and check out services, property inventory and condition reports and specialist on site services to landlords, lettings agents and property professionals.
I am always interested in great property stories around the world and read an interesting article on CNN World about how it is now cheaper to buy than rent in most US cities ( http://money.cnn.com/2011/08/16/real_estate/buy_rent/ ) – if only that were the case in the UK.
This article up from Property Drum by Operations Manager for ARLA, Ian Potter, further highlights how critical inventories with schedule of condition report have become.
With such large sums of money at stake, ARLA has called on tenants and landlords to consider the benefits of establishing a comprehensive property inventory check upon the commencement of a new let.
Ian Potter, Operations Manager of ARLA, said, “Deposit disputes can be one of the biggest problems for both parties involved in any rental property, and many potential issues can be avoided if a professional inventory is prepared.
“A licensed letting agent will offer you the best advice on checking to see if an existing inventory is available or whether any extra charges are invoked in drawing up a new document. A true inventory is not simply a list of items in a property – it also includes a description of the condition and cleanliness at the start and finish of the tenancy, enabling one to be compared against the other with clarity and accuracy.
“Photographs are a good support for comments made in a written inventory but should not be considered a replacement for the written word. Photographs which are unsigned and undated generally are not worth the effort, so make sure they are accepted at the outset and again at the check-out stage.”
Ian Potter said, “A well put-together inventory can give both landlords and tenants peace of mind throughout the occupation period. The inventory is not designed to catch tenants out, but rather to ensure both parties are in agreement over the quality of the property being rented.
“If conducted correctly, and agreed by both tenant and landlord, an inventory should form a key point of reference for any deposit-return queries or issues over reported damage. In recognition of the importance of inventories ARLA has its own sub division, the Association of Professional Inventory Providers, whose members have passed an accreditation exam as well as having a Code of Practice to follow.”
For Professional Inventory Management Services throughout the UK talk to No Letting Go, APIP members, who can provide all inventory management services including Inventory, Check In, Propert Visits and Check Outs with full dilapidations reports. Contact us on 0800 8815 366 or contact one of our local offices at www.nolettinggo.co.uk/contact