A good landlord or property agent understands that the relationship with their tenant needs to be carefully managed in order to build a positive and successful long-term partnership from which both sides benefit. This requires the reliable delivery of a broad range of services to ensure that the tenant is kept safe and happy and to protect the position of the property owner.
If you own a rented property, it is always worth considering whether you will benefit from engaging a specialist property manager with experience required to deliver on that relationship.
The importance of property management
Purchasing a property to rent is a major investment, and property management is about looking after that investment so that it continues to give you the best return possible. Landlords also understand the additional benefits that good property management brings:
- Freeing up your time from keeping up to date with a multitude of compliance requirements
- Providing additional support when a landlord doesn’t have the capacity to look after their properties themselves.
- Ensuring that buildings are well maintained to generate maximum revenue
- Looking after the resident’s needs and wellbeing
- Acting as a point of contact between landlord and resident
- Understanding the legal requirements of renting property
What are property inventory management services?
At No Letting Go we offer a broad range of property reporting services to ensure we can assist either a landlord or agent to manage a successful let. These services include:
- Vacant property inspections: Checking your property is secure, and there are no maintenance issues, internally or externally. There’s often an insurance requirement for vacant properties to be inspected weekly or fortnightly.
- Abandonment notices: Ensuring these notices stay in place by regularly visiting the premises and reporting on the property’s security.
- Mid Term Reports: Every three to six months, we visit a property to ensure it is being maintained as agreed, check for damage and ensure that tenants are happy. We then produce a report that can be used to provide valuable evidence should a dispute arise in the future.
- Block management Inspections: Estate and block inspections are broad ranging, from fire and safety to maintenance and cleanliness, but can be tailored to each client’s needs, highlighting key areas for necessary action.
- Inventory management: Reporting any change, from the commencement to the termination of a tenancy, and providing evidence for recovering costs against deposits or insurances
- Fire and CO compliance: Inspecting and testing all alarms to ensure compliance with relevant regulations.
Why use specialist inventory services?
With a specialist property inventory service like No Letting Go you have access to a national network of inventory specialists. In addition to our experience and specialist knowledge, our letting management and landlord clients benefit from:
- A dedicated account manager
- Capacity to manager large and small portfolios
- A flexible range of property reporting services
- Guaranteed report delivery turnaround, working to a Service Level Agreement
- Use of an online platform which makes tracking easy
- Fully insured and qualified specialists
- Building your reputation as a good landlord or management agent
No Letting Go
If you would like to discuss how our national network can help with your property inventory management to generate accurate reports and protect your reputation as a landlord or letting agent, please contact us online.
A report at the beginning of the 2020 year stated that 30% of landlord-tenant disputes were a result of tenants not receiving communications about why their deposit wasn’t being returned. The second most common cause for dispute was cleanliness (23%), and the third was damage to property (18%).
What is a property inventory?
A property inventory is a comprehensive report which details the state of your property at the beginning of a tenancy. It provides information on the furniture, fixtures, fittings and general wear and tear. Anything that is damaged or missing can be recorded in front of a new tenant.
Why is an inventory important?
The extensive details recorded in a property inventory provides the evidence to show the contents, condition and cleanliness at the start of the tenancy. A comparison report will be prepared at the end of the tenancy to determine if any damage occurred during the tenancy. This makes it easier to recover costs against a deposit or zero-deposit replacement insurance. Without this crucial evidence, landlords can find themselves liable for the cost of the damage. And on the other hand, without this evidence, a tenant can’t prove they weren’t responsible for some damage.
In addition to helping to place responsibility for property damage, the report also highlights any issues to be addressed at the start of the tenancy and provides tenants with a clear expectation of the state in which the property should be returned.
The benefit to all parties in preventing disputes makes inventory management an essential part of the property letting process and sets the relationship between landlord, agent, property manager and tenant off to a good start.
What should an inventory report include?
A comprehensive inventory report should include the following:
- A record of meter readings and keys provided
- The condition and cleanliness of each room, including appliances, fixtures and fittings
- A record of the condition of the garden
- A signature from the tenant confirming they agree with the contents of the report
- A record of the condition of the mattresses (if fully furnished)
- Date and time-stamped photos of the property and its contents
- A record of furniture and furnishing fire safety labels
- Evidence that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms comply with legislation
- A record of loose or frayed carpets, cracked glass or windows, missing keys and inoperable locks
Check In – Check Out
As important as the initial inventory report is, a check-out report recording the condition and cleanliness of the property as the tenant departs is equally important. This report, in conjunction with interim checks throughout the tenancy, documents any changes that have occurred to the property. This can be used to evidence to a tenant why deductions had to be made from their deposit. A sequence of reports also provides evidence for legal proceedings in the worst case.
No Letting Go
We offer an independent and unbiased professional reporting service, providing a written and photographic report on the condition of the property and its contents in addition to the standard of cleanliness. If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network could help you with your inventory management please contact us online or find your nearest branch.
Fulham has become one of South West London’s most popular areas for buyers and renters alike. With fantastic pubs, shopping and schools on offer, many young professionals and families are searching for properties for sale and rent in the area.
Looking for help managing your rental properties in the Fulham area? Our guide sets out some of the most trusted letting agents in Fulham and aims to help you find the services you’re looking for, right on your doorstep.
Whether you’re looking for property management support or help attracting the right tenants, the following London letting agents are on hand to help…
Winkworth Fulham & Parsons Green Estate Agents
Winkworth Fulham and Parsons Green estate agency has been active in Parsons green for 34 years and has seen first hand the rise in demand for property in the area. Their excellent knowledge of the local property market, combined with a strong team of property professionals makes them a highly recommended agency in the area.
Georgia Nicoll heads up the lettings team and is skilled at placing the best tenants in the right properties. The 4.7 Google rating attests to the excellent services they provide to customers.
40 New Kings Road, Fulham, Greater London, SW6 4ST
+44 (0) 20 7731 3388
John D Wood & Co Estate Agents Fulham Broadway
Located conveniently on the corner of Fulham road and North End Road, the Fulham office of John D Wood & Co offers sales and letting services to the surrounding area.
The lettings team provide tailored services to landlords and property professionals, aided by expert legal teams to help protect your investment. Satisfied clients attest to the teams’ efficiency, reliability and flexibility.
506 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5NJ
020 3151 4134
Strutt & Parker Fulham
If you’re a London landlord or property professional looking for help with Fulham properties, Strutt & Parker are dedicated to helping match both corporate and private tenants with outstanding properties. Solid market knowledge, seamless property management services and flexible options make this letting agency a popular choice in the area.
Their impressive 4.9 star Google rating comes from the team’s professionalism and excellent communication skills.
701 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5UL
+44 20 7731 7100
KFH (Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward) Fulham
From the picturesque Eel Brook Common to the plentiful green spaces of Moore park and South Park, the team at KFH Fulham are very much clued up on Fulham’s offerings.
This estate and lettings agent offer everything from residential and commercial lettings, to portfolio management. Their dedication to clients is reflected in the 5 star Google review rating as customers describe their services as honest, helpful and attentive.
825-827 Fulham Road, Fulham, SW6 5HG
020 3993 4671
Chestertons Fulham Road
Chestertons Estate Agents have three offices in Fulham and their lettings team is run by Graham Jennings who has been working at the firm since 2009.
Reviews describe the team as having fantastic knowledge of the area and local property market.
654 Fulham Road, Fulham London SW6 5RU
+44 (0)20 7384 9899
Knight Frank Fulham Estate Agents
According to lettings manager Chiara Thomas, Knight Frank Fulham have seen a 72% increase in the number of tenancies starting via their corporate relocation service year on year.
From marketing, to finding reliable tenants and collecting rent, this agency is experienced at providing essential services for landlords in the area. With a wide network of partners and experts, Knight Frank are well placed to help landlords protect their investment.
203 New Kings Road, Fulham, SW6 4SR
Hamptons International Estate Agents Parsons Green and Fulham
Landlords and tenants alike praise Hamptons Parsons Green and Fulham for their attentive customer service and dedication to going above and beyond for their clients.
The Fulham office of Hamptons has been running successfully for 25 years, covering the postcodes SW6, W6 and W14. The international agency has wide exposure on property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove and the team is confident they can get you the best rental price for your property.
193, New Kings Road, Fulham, London, SW6 4SS
020 3151 4176
Carter Jonas Parsons Green
The team pride themselves on their transparency, customer satisfaction and 24/7 availability.
783 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HD
020 7751 8898
Douglas & Gordon Fulham
The Douglas and Gordon Fulham office is well known for it’s high quality services and customer service, with the team being described as ‘diligent’, ‘approachable’ and ‘refreshing’.
The team are experts in both long term and short term lets and offer a wide range of professional services for landlords.
656 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5RX
020 3918 3699
Savills have been operating in the property industry for many years, and the Fulham branch has earned a reputation for seamless efficiency. The agency deals with some of the most prestigious properties for sale and let in the area and has a detailed understanding of renters’ needs.
The team ensures that their clients are at the heart of their services and are available at all times of day.
191 New King’s Rd, Fulham, London SW6 4SW
020 7731 9400
No Letting Go Fulham
Fulham is a hugely popular area of central London, thanks to its great transport links, quality schools and attractive properties, making it a great location for prospective landlords to invest. If you’re looking for property inventory services in London, we can help.
The No Letting Go Fulham branch is run by Yosha Hussain, an experienced inventory and property reporting specialist, with great local knowledge.
Available services include:
- Detailed inventory reports
- Property visits
- 360 virtual photography
- Property appraisals
- And much more….
Find our full list of property inventory services here to maximise returns and protect your investment.
Although we all do our best to avoid them, void periods are a fact of life and most landlords and letting agents will find themselves with a vacant rental property on their hands at one point or another.
If you find yourself with an empty property, it’s important to keep it safe and secure. We’ve got some advice on how to protect vacant property and keep it in good condition until your next tenant comes along.
From security solutions to regular inspections, keep your property safe with these tips.
How Long Can A Rental Property Be Vacant?
If your rental property is left vacant for an extended period of time, you will need to inform your insurer. How long this period is can vary from insurer to insurer, so make sure you read the small print in your contract.
Usually, when a rental property is left vacant the insurance will go up as it is considered to be more of a risk.
Vacant Rental Property: The Risks
With no one living in the property to take care of day-to-day maintenance and inform you if something goes wrong, vacant properties present more of a risk for landlords and letting agents.
Here are some of the potential issues you could come across;
- Leaks or water damage
- Electrical faults
- Structural damage
- Pest infestations
- Weather damage
Vacant Property Security: The Solutions
While these potential issues sound scary, there are several steps you can take to ensure your property remains safe and secure.
Secure Doors and Windows
It’s good practice to change the locks between tenancies to minimise the risk of unlawful occupation. Having secure doors and windows also helps to prevent theft or squatting.
The RLA recommends using five lever mortice locks for external timber doors or a multi-point locking system for PVC doors, as well as door chains.
Regular Property Maintenance
Regular property maintenance is vital throughout the year, whether your rental property is occupied or not. By keeping on top of maintenance tasks, when it comes to vacant buildings, there is a smaller chance of structural or internal damage.
The main tasks to address include;
- Exterior maintenance e.g. replacing missing roof tiles or clearing guttering
- Regular servicing of boilers, pipes
- Interior maintenance
Depending on how long the property is left vacant, it may be wise to switch off certain utilities such as the electrics to minimise the risk of fire. However, if you’re dealing with an empty building over the winter period, scheduling the heating to come on periodically can prevent mould growth.
Perhaps the most important measure you can take is to ensure all smoke and CO checks are up to date.
Installing Security Systems
Installing an alarm system or extra site security can discourage theft or vandalism to your property. Security services can include;
- 24 hour security cameras
- Alarm system
- Security lights
- Property security services
Alert the Neighbours
Having a quick chat with the neighbours or sending round a letter is a cost-effective way of protecting your investment. Asking the neighbours to act as property guardians and alert you if they spot any suspicious activity or leaks before they create permanent damage can save you time and money in the long run.
Take Advantage of PropTech
PropTech innovation has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and there are plenty of solutions out there to help landlords and letting agents protect their properties remotely. From leak detection to remote temperature control and live streaming- you’re sure to find an app to put your mind at ease.
Vacant Property Inspections
Vacant property inspections are vital for the protection and security of your property. Most insurance companies require vacant properties to be visited weekly or fortnightly to check for any security or management issues and ensure they are dealt with promptly.
Improve Your Marketing Materials
No landlord or letting agent wants a vacant rental property on their hands. To avoid this situation from occurring in the first place, it pays to invest in quality marketing materials.
We offer a 360 degree virtual property photography service to show off your property to a high standard, producing images for use in marketing and inventory reporting.
No Letting Go’s Vacant Property Protection Services
As experienced partners to landlords, letting agents and property professionals around the UK, we understand the importance of keeping your property safe and secure during void periods.
As part of our services, we offer essential vacant property inspections to check for any damage and arrange for swift repairs. Whether you are a landlord living overseas or a letting agency needing help with your portfolio, our dedicated clerks are on hand to help.
Discover the rest of our property inventory services here.
Looking for trusted Islington letting agents?
As a provider of landlord and letting agent services, we work with a wide range of companies within the property market and understand the importance of finding dedicated and reliable property agents to protect your investment.
A good letting agent has excellent local knowledge and understands the specific pain points of letting property in a particular area. While our previous blog looked at the best letting agents in London, we’re taking a closer look at specific localities to help you identify the best property management services in your local area.
First up, we list some of the best Islington letting agents providing professional, friendly services to landlords and businesses in the area.
Excellent Google reviews are a testament to this agency’s responsive customer service and dedication to clients. Taking great pride in the local community, the Islington branch of Chestertons lettings and estate agency is partnered with William Tyndale School, London Calling coat collection and St Mungo’s.
Their lettings team is head up by David Manning, who has over 20 years’ experience in the industry.
327-329 Upper Street, Islington London N1 2XQ
Daniel Rose Residential Ltd
Settling in Islington in 2004 after letting properties around North West London, this family run lettings agency take pride in the personal touch they provide as part of their property services, going above and beyond for their clients.
Daniel Rose Residential provides landlords with property valuation, marketing material and promotion on popular property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
This agency is a member of Client Money Protect (CMP) and The Property Ombudsman.
Ground Floor Office, 99 White Lion Street, London, N1 9PF
Felicity J Lord Letting Agents Islington
Described as sincere, trustworthy and tech-savvy by clients, Felicity J Lord Letting Agents in Islington is part of a multi-award winning agency.
The Islington office of Felicity J Lord covers a wide area, including Highbury, Canonbury, Barnsbury, Hoxton, Kings Cross, Caledonian Road, Holloway, Arsenal, Finsbury Park and Stroud Green.
Anthony Szabo, Area Director (Lettings)
Islington Felicity J Lord, 313 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 2XQ
Islington Properties describes itself as a ‘boutique residential property services company’ and is renowned for offering unique insights into the local area. Their Sales & Lettings Manager has worked in Islington for the past ten years and the rest of the team are ARLA qualified.
The team also offers tailored property management services as well as property valuations with no obligation to commit.
111 Upper St, Islington, London, N1 1QN
Founders Of London
From Islington to Regents Park, Founders of London have a combined 20 years of experience managing properties in prime central London locations.
With a close attention to detail, the agency offers free market appraisal to landlords as well as expert advice on maximising returns. The professional website and marketing materials on offer help to attract quality tenants with a short turnaround.
Founders of London are members of The Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and Clients’ Money Protection Scheme (CMP).
47 Islington Park Street, London, N1 1QB, United Kingdom
Hemmingfords lettings agent started out as a husband and wife team with a mission to make lettings more transparent for both landlord and tenant.
Working with properties in Islington, Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Hackney, Bethnal Green and the City, the couple live and work in the area and have extensive local knowledge. They also strive to be an eco-friendly option by minimising printing and using electric company cars.
Co-founder Rose has landlord experience herself and can offer guidance, care and value within all aspects of the rental process.
We Work, 41 Corsham St, Hoxton, London N1 6DR
This independent, family run lettings agent has been providing lettings and property management services since 1999. Described as helpful and professional without being ‘pushy, the small team at Friar Lettings are valued by clients for their down to earth nature and reliability.
Gainsborough Studios North, Unit A, 1 Poole Street, N1 5EB
Charles David James
Charles David James lettings in Islington provides professional services to a small number of clients to ensure each one feels taken care of and specialises in managing property for homeowners relocating overseas.
Charlie is described by clients as ‘approachable’, ‘honest’ and ‘helpful’ with a straightforward approach.
Unit 11 Canonbury Yard, 202-208 New North Road, London N1 7BJ
PG Estates Islington
Since taking the reins from his father in 2005, Ed Gormley has taken PG Estates lettings to new heights. Excellent customer service and forging long-standing relationships is at the heart of the company’s ethos.
Rave reviews from the landlords and tenants on their books are a testament to the care the team at Islington put into their dealings with customers. They offer bespoke marketing, property management and short lets as part of their services.
The lettings agent is a member of The Property Ombudsman and ARLA.
020 7226 4994
350 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0PD
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward Islington Estate Agents
In operation since 1977, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward can be found in 60 locations across London, making it one of the larger estate agents on our list. They have a wide network of specialists and experienced staff on hand. Their high Google review rating from Islington clients speaks volumes about their superb communication, professionalism and efficiency.
298 Upper Street, Islington, N1 2TU
No Letting Go Islington & Camden Property Inventory Services
No Letting Go’s Islington and Camden branch is led by Chris Ford. After 23 years of experience in the retail industry, Chris made the switch to property in 2017. Since then, property has become his passion and he always strives to go above and beyond for his clients of landlords and letting agents.
The Islington & Camden team offer;
- Highly detailed inventory reports
- Inventory Management in Islington
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Inspections
- 360 Virtual Photography
- Property Appraisals and Floorplans
- Property Visit (Mid Term Inspection)
- Legionella Risk Assessment and water testing
48 Weavers Way, London NW1 0XE, UK
Are you a letting agent operating in the Islington area that we’ve missed off our list? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch to be added to the list or head to the website to discover our range of property inventory services.
The number of older tenants in the private rental sector is growing. Factors such as a rising elderly population along with the cost and effort of property maintenance is making older people turn to rental properties in their later years.
The benefits of renting to elderly tenants are plentiful. From longer tenancy agreements to reliability, we explore these advantages, along with the factors landlords and letting agents need to consider to meet their needs.
The Benefits of Renting to Elderly Tenants
Focusing on elderly groups as your target tenant can bring great advantages to landlords and letting agents;
Older people are more likely to require a settled home rather than move house every few years. As they’ve passed the age of extending their families, older tenants have stable jobs or are in retirement. If you’re looking for a long term tenant (which means less costs and time spent on the property in the long term) then elderly tenants are a good bet.
Tenants with more life experience tend to be reliable, have a steady income from their job or pension and pay their rent on time. When issues arise, older tenants are more likely to have the experience and knowledge to report them swiftly and keep on top of their own day to day property maintenance responsibilities.
Unlike younger tenants and students, elderly tenants are unlikely to host lots of parties or demonstrate any behaviour that could irritate neighbours. If your property is located very close by other properties or you have had issues with noise complaints in the past, older tenants could be a solution.
Elderly Tenant Rights
As with any tenant, landlords must be vigilant in upkeeping tenants’ rights and not discriminating by age or any other factor.
Anti-discrimination laws are in place to protect tenants from unlawful eviction and ensure they find suitable housing.
As a landlord or letting agent you must;
- Ensure all rental property advertisements do not discriminate by age, race or any other defining factors. E.g. you cannot specify an age range when advertising for tenants
- Never tell a prospective tenant that the property is unavailable when it is
- Never end a tenancy without reason
- Make any necessary adjustments to your property when renting to tenants with disabilities as can be found in the Equality Act 2010
Elderly Tenants and Health Issues
One of the big factors to consider when renting to elderly tenants is the possibility of health issues and disabilities. Some common health problems that occur in later life include;
- Mobility issues
- Hearing impairment
- Sight impairment
Tenants with dementia may struggle to remember to pay rent on time or find the right numbers to call to report issues. In this case, you may need to set up an automated payment system and make more regular property inspections.
As a landlord, you may need to make adjustments or allowances for tenants with health issues or disabilities if they’re living in your property. From fitting stair lifts to changing your communication channels, we explore this in more detail further down the page.
Things to Consider When Renting to Elderly Tenants
Here are some main points for landlords to consider to ensure elderly tenants’ needs are met;
Elderly tenants are more likely to require a peaceful area with easy access to essential amenities such as shops, the post office and everyday services.
If you’re targeting elderly tenants, do your research first to find desirable areas for this tenant group.
Consider Allowing Pets
For many older people, pets provide essential companionship and emotional support. When renting to this tenant group, it’s worth considering allowing pets as this will make your property more desirable to a wider pool of tenants.
If you’re worried about damage to the property, asking for a higher deposit is a reasonable request.
Many older people who have not grown up with email or mobile phones may struggle to use these communication channels. When dealing with older tenants, you may need to stick to phone calls or letters.
Determining the easiest forms of communication at the start of the tenancy will help encourage a positive landlord/tenant relationship. Some tenants with sight impairments may require all written communication in Braille.
Property Adjustments for Older People
Under the 2010 Equality Act, landlords are required by law to make any reasonable adjustments to their properties to allow tenants with disabilities to live safely and comfortably.
This could include;
- Installing access ramps for wheelchair or mobility scooter users
- Installing stair lifts
- Installing railings in the bathroom
- Fitting accessible kitchen and bathroom facilities
- Widening doors for wheelchair access
- Ground floor level access
- Unrestricted parking access
Living Safely: Family Contact Numbers
If your tenant has a fall or you are unable to contact them and are concerned for their safety, it’s a good idea to have access to the contact details and phone numbers of close family members. Having a small number of people you can contact regarding your tenant can help ensure their safety and strengthen the lines of communication.
Elderly tenants can be more vulnerable to break ins and door to door scams. Ensuring the rental property is safe and secure can help protect your tenant against crime. To secure your property;
- Always change the locks between tenancies
- Ensure all windows have good quality locks
- Ensure all external doors are well fitted
- Consider an alarm system
- Fit security lighting
- Fit a front door buzzer or peep hole to allow tenants to check who’s at the door before answering
Evicting An Elderly Tenant: The Right Way
For elderly tenants, finding a new rental home can prove more difficult, particularly if they suffer from age related health issues. If your tenant is late on rent payments or if there are any property maintenance issues, try to find a solution before beginning the eviction process.
For example, helping the tenant set up automated rent payments or providing advice on where to find government financial support could make all the difference. Likewise, encouraging your tenant to employ a cleaner or approaching family members for help could solve any property maintenance issues.
However, if there is no alternative and you need to evict your tenant, here’s some advice;
- Seek legal advice before proceeding
- Always follow the correct laws, regulations and procedures
Protecting Your Property
For some older people, property maintenance becomes harder as they experience reduced mobility. This can be a concern for landlords of furnished properties, worried about damage beyond fair wear and tear.
To protect your property long term, always invest in a professional property inventory report as evidence of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy. This way, you will be in a better position to recover any costs at the end of the tenancy.
Get Help Being A Responsible Landlord
Renting to elderly tenants can be very rewarding, as older tenants tend to look for longer tenancies. However, renting to this tenant group can require certain adjustments and property management tasks that take up time.
If you rent to elderly tenants, investing in a professional property inventory service can save you time and help to ensure you’re fulfilling all your obligations as a landlord.
From regular property inspections to property inventory reports – No Letting Go provide a wide range of property services across the UK.
Browse our full list of property inventory services to find out how we could help.
Winter brings with it potential hazards that could harm your rental property and cost you money if left untreated. High winds, excessive rain, snow and ice can lead to anything from frozen pipes to blocked guttering.
That’s why it makes sense to get ahead and protect your rental property before the worst of the UK weather kicks in.
We’ve prepared a winter maintenance checklist for landlords and lettings agents, to help you protect your rental properties over the winter period.
Exterior Property Maintenance
As a landlord, you are largely responsible for the exterior maintenance of the rental properties in your portfolio.
This can include;
- Roof and guttering repairs
- Garden and fences
- Window cleaning and repairs
The following tips will help you protect the exterior of your property over the winter;
Roofs and Guttering
Missing roof tiles can cause expensive structural problems in the long-term. If your property is missing a few tiles, a particularly bad winter storm could result in leaking and interior damp.
Likewise, a blocked gutter can lead to water damage. An annual gutter clean is a sensible maintenance task to perform at the beginning of winter, after the autumn leaves have fallen and before the worst of the weather hits.
Repair Cracks and Crevices
Any gaps or cracks in the exterior of your property could result in long term problems if left untreated. If moisture from the outside finds its way into the property, you could be facing serious damp and mould issues. This is easily avoided through regular inspections and property maintenance.
Key areas to focus on include;
- Air leaks around windows and doors
- Garage or shed doors
- Ill fitted exterior doors
Winter Garden Maintenance
Usually, general garden maintenance is the responsibility of the tenant. However, if your property is experiencing a void period or you are preparing for a new tenancy, you may need to perform some garden maintenance.
Broken fences are the responsibility of the landlord, so it’s a good idea to check for any loose posts before the wind sets in. In addition, any trees with dangerous overhanging branches may need tending to.
To protect yourself from any disputes regarding garden maintenance at the end of a tenancy, always ensure the tenancy agreement clearly sets out which tasks are the responsibility of the tenant.
Winter Pipe Maintenance
When water freezes in very cold weather it expands and can result in burst pipes. To prevent this;
- Ensure pipes are well insulated
- And there are no cracks
- Fix any dripping taps
- Get the boiler serviced regularly
- Run the heating at a low temperature during void periods
- At the start of a new tenancy, make sure your tenants are aware of the location of the stopcock and understand what to do in case of an emergency
Fireplaces and Chimneys
If any of your rental properties contain working fireplaces, a professional clean by a chimney sweep will help to prevent debris build up which could pose a fire hazard.
Sometimes, extreme cold weather can freeze locks. Rather than getting a late night call from a tenant locked out of their home, a pre-emptive spray with lubricant will prevent sticking.
Cold weather can draw in pests such as mice and voles. To prevent any unwelcome visitors, ensure all small holes and cracks around the exterior of the property are properly sealed.
Interior Winter Maintenance
The following winter home maintenance tips refer to the interior of your rental property;
Winter Boiler Maintenance
Perhaps the most important consideration for your tenants, is ensuring the property’s heating system is in good working condition before the cold winter weather hits.
If the weather drops severely, your boiler is at risk of freezing. To avoid this;
- Remind your tenants to run the heating regularly.
- If your property is going through a void period, it’s worth setting the heating to come on at certain times throughout the day or to run it constantly at a low temperature to help prevent damp and keep the boiler in good condition.
- We also recommend bleeding the radiators regularly to prevent pockets of air entering and affecting the heat they give off.
- Get the boiler serviced once a year by a gas safe registered engineer before winter really kicks in.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The start of winter is a good time to check your smoke and CO alarms are all present and in working order.
Since 2015, it has been a legal requirement for landlords to install working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of a property. Failure to do so could result in a £5000 fine for each non-working alarm.
If you’re busy managing your portfolio, we provide Smoke and CO inspections as part of our inventory and check in service.
Winter Property Security
Fewer daylight hours and empty properties around Christmas time can result in higher levels of property crime. Encouraging your tenants to practice these safety tips should help to avoid any nasty surprises;
Timed Lighting Systems
If your rental property is left vacant over the Christmas period as tenants visit family and friends, it’s more vulnerable to theft and damage.
Encouraging tenants to use a timed lighting system when they go away for extended periods can help to prevent break ins. Alternatively, leaving the bathroom light on uses up minimal energy whilst warding off burglaries.
Exterior Safety Lighting
If you’re worried about a vacant property, installing security lights can help to prevent break-ins.
Emergency Contact Numbers
One of the most important ways you can protect your rental property over the winter is to provide your tenants with a list of emergency numbers to contact if things go wrong. This should include;
- General property maintenance provider
- Letting agent contacts
This is particularly important if you are planning to go away over the Christmas break.
By providing your own list of numbers, you can ensure that any repairs or maintenance issues are attended to by reliable tradespeople, approved by you.
Invest in a Professional Inventory Service
One of the easiest ways to protect your rental property over winter, is to invest in a thorough inventory service.
From maintenance reports to health and safety checks, our teams of inventory clerks across the UK are on hand to help you manage your property portfolio all year round.
Need some help? Browse our list of available property inventory services to protect your investment this winter.
Anyone who has worked within the lettings industry will understand the importance of a thorough inventory for rental properties.
And when landlords skip this vital step, major issues can occur. If you’re left facing serious damage at the end of a tenancy without the proper reports, you may lose out on thousands of pounds.
We explore the power of inventories by highlighting a recent high-profile case featuring a former pop star and £70,000 worth of damage.
Do I Need An Inventory?
Without a detailed inventory, you could be left having to repair damage out of your own pocket. We’ve created a simple guide on the key components to include and why they’re necessary;
Property Management Inventory Checklist
An inventory report must include the following key components;
- A record of meter readings and keys provided
- The condition and cleanliness of each room, including appliances, fixtures and fittings
- A record of the condition of the garden, including any damage
- A signature from the tenant confirming they agree with the contents of the report
- A record of the condition of the mattresses if fully furnished
- Date & time stamped photos of the property and its contents
It must also include essential safety points;
- A record of furniture and furnishing fire safety labels
- Evidence that the Smoke and CO alarms comply with legislation (working order & correct placement)
- A record of loose or frayed carpets, cracked glass or windows, missing keys and inoperable locks
Check Out Report
In addition to the initial inventory report and schedule of condition that takes place when a tenant moves into a rental property, you will also need a check out report when they move out at the end of the tenancy.
Following the final inspection, the check out report should;
- Include a detailed record of the condition of the property
- Clearly show how the property has changed throughout the tenancy (in combination with the initial check in report)
- Include recommended actions for landlords and tenants
This report provides a vital benchmark to help assess any changes to the property from the start of the tenancy to the end.
If any deposit disputes arise, these reports should provide clear evidence to help landlords get a fair return on any losses or repairs required.
Top Reasons for Tenancy Deposit Disputes
Some of the main reason’s disputes occur include;
- Cleaning 54%
- Damage 49%
- Decoration 31%
- Rent 20%
- Gardening 16%
Dealing with Deposit Disputes
The security deposit taken at the start of a tenancy is considered the tenant’s money. This means that it can be tricky for landlords to withhold the deposit in response to damage or loss without significant evidence.
You will need to prove there is damage to your rental property above normal wear and tear in order to claim on the deposit.
That’s why poorly compiled inventory reports are one of the most common reasons landlords lose disputes.
Tip: Always enter the deposit into a tenancy deposit protection scheme as this is a legally required step!
Celebrity Rental Drama: The Power of Inventories
To demonstrate our point, we’ve got a high profile case study in which a property rental disaster was averted thanks to comprehensive inventory reports.
Former En-Dubz star and X Factor Judge, Tulisa Contostavlos was recently ordered to pay over £70,000 worth in damage to the landlord of her former luxury rental property.
Reported damage to the luxury North London flat included a smashed sink, cigarette burns, stains and doors ripped from hinges. Despite arguing that the damage was normal wear and tear, she was ordered to pay compensation, interest and legal costs to her former landlord.
Key to this case was the presence of a thorough and professional inventory and check-out report.
Clearly, a high rental value is no protection against severe damage, so no matter which end of the market you’re positioned in, covering your back is essential if you want to recover your costs.
Looking for help managing your portfolio of rental properties in London? Find a list of our No Letting Go London offices.
What is Fair Wear and Tear?
It can be problematic working out what is considered fair wear and tear as it differs case by case. Some examples of fair wear and tear include;
- Small scuff marks on walls
- Naturally worn down carpets
- Frayed fabrics
- Faded curtains
- Carpet indentations
However, when we talk about damage this could include;
- Broken locks or doors
- Burn marks or large carpet stains
- Holes in the walls
- Broken windows or furniture
- Poorly painted walls
One of the easiest ways to determine the difference is by commissioning a professional inventory clerk to visit the property and make a detailed report, including photographic imagery at the start of the tenancy.
How To Protect Your Rental Property from Damage
There are a few more steps you can take to protect your rental property;
Regular Property Inspections
Target Long Term Tenants
In addition, targeting long-term tenants who are more likely to treat the property as their home will help to avoid intentional damage.
Keep it Simple
Keep decoration simple and ensure your property is thoroughly clean at the start of the tenancy to avoid any future disputes.
Avoid the Risks with A Professional Inventory Service
You’ve heard the warning, now it’s time to cover your back. One of the easiest ways to protect your investment as a landlord or letting agent is to commission a professional inventory company to undertake comprehensive inventory reports and checks.
Our independent inventory clerks across the country are experienced at providing essential reports, checks and visits to help you stay protected from move in date up until the end of the tenancy agreement.
To find out how we could help, browse our list of professional property inventory services to get started.
From where to advertise, to creating an engaging listing, getting your marketing right is essential for making your property stand out from the crowd.
Effective advertising generates greater interest in your property, attracting the right target tenants and providing you with a wider tenant pool to choose from.
Here, we share our advice on how to advertise rental property so you can speed up the rental process, find the right tenants and secure maximum returns on your investment.
Where To Advertise My Rental Property?
Let’s start with where to advertise. With the internet becoming the preferred source for property searches, it makes sense for your property to have a strong online presence.
Here are your options;
Online Property Portals
Online property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla are very popular as they allow prospective tenants to narrow their search by location, size, price and much more.
Even high street lettings agents are turning to these sites to help get the properties on their books seen by a wider range of tenants.
Here’s a list of some popular property portals;
- Prime Location
- On the Market
Most of these property portal sites don’t deal with private landlords directly. Instead you have two options;
- Enlist the services of a high street lettings agent to post the listing for you
- Use an online estate agent such as OpenRent or Upad
High Street Letting Agent
The benefit of advertising your property through a quality high street letting agent is that they will have the expertise and experience to market your property professionally and will take away the hassle of finding a tenant.
A letting agent will also conduct tenant referencing, property viewings and tenant checks which will save you a lot of time. However, this is often the more expensive option.
Online Letting Agent
When enlisting the services of an online letting agent, they will list your property for you on the relevant property websites and generate enquiries. You will still be able to meet potential tenants, conduct tenant referencing and choose the best fit yourself.
This is often cheaper than using a high street estate agent as there is just one fixed cost.
Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms such as Facebook are becoming a popular way of advertising and searching for rental properties, especially when it comes to finding rooms in shared houses.
The benefit of listing your property on social sites is that it is likely to reach wide audiences, as people can share with friends and comment directly on photos.
Lots of letting agents use social media to advertise the properties in their portfolio, or if you operate as a private landlord, you can create your own account. Join local online community groups to get your property seen by people looking for housing in the area and always reply to comments and enquiries.
How Do I Market My Rental Property Effectively?
Now we’ve looked at where to advertise, we now need to find out how. We’ve compiled a list of essential tips and advice to help rent your property to the right tenants, and fast;
Establish Your Target Tenant
The first step in the process is to establish your target tenant. Identifying a tenant profile will help tailor your marketing efforts to appeal to the right people.
For example, if you’re renting to students, make sure you advertise your property as furnished, or if you are targeting families, focus on space and the prevalence of schools in the area.
Calculate Your Rental Price
Next, you need to calculate a price bracket according to similar properties in the area and your target tenant’s income. Make sure you factor in maintenance costs, and any other outgoings.
Tip: When advertising on online property portals, take note of the price brackets of each site, and which price bracket your property will appear in. If you increase or decrease the rental price you could appear in a whole different price bracket and not be searchable to your target tenant.
Identify Your USPs
Your property’s USP or unique selling point is what makes it stand out from the competition, and what makes it attractive to your target tenant. It could be anything from a private garden or parking space to its proximity to local amenities such as schools and shops.
Whatever it is, make sure you highlight it in the description fields.
Include a Detailed Description
When it comes to writing a description for your property, you need to strike the right balance between engaging and informative.
Provide as much detail as you can about the property, including key features, the local area and USPs.
It’s best to start with a short, engaging paragraph describing the property as a whole, focusing on lifestyle aspects and the properties best bits. Then follow this up with a more detailed account of features, rooms and outside areas.
Always include the availability date and any other important details such as if bills are included.
Tip: If the property is furnished with quality furnishings and appliances, it may be worth incorporating some well-known brand names into the description. E.g, The modern kitchen features an LG fridge and Samsung washing machine.
Use Quality Photographs
Professional, good quality photographs are perhaps the most important factor when it comes to advertising your property. Be sure to include photos of each room, the exterior and any outdoor areas, paying particular attention to special features.
Try to take the photos on a sunny day to show your property in the best light and ensure everything is clean and tidy.
To maximise your properties potential, it’s worth investing in 360° property photography. 360° degree photography provides interactive, panoramic images that place the viewer in the footsteps of the photographer, bringing your property to life. These images can even be transformed into a virtual tour for remote property viewings!
The main thing to bear in mind is that first impressions count, and the images you provide will be make or break for many tenants.
Provide Details About Your Desired Tenant
As well as providing details for your tenants, it’s also a good idea to indicate what type of tenant you are looking for from the get-go. For example, state whether you allow pets or whether you are willing to rent to students. This will speed up the rental process by ensuring everyone is on the same page.
One you get an enquiry from a potential tenant, act fast. A swift reply will give a good impression and help secure a tenant as quickly as possible.
Ask For Help
Busy landlords have a lot to think about. That’s why it can pay to enlist professional services when advertising your property for rent.
We offer a range of property management services, all designed to help landlords, lettings agents and property professionals save time, streamline their processes and comply with regulations.
From 360° photography to help get your property noticed, to property viewings and comprehensive inventory reports, our teams across the UK are ready to help. Get in touch or browse our full list of property inventory services to find out more.
Budgets can be tough to manage for landlord and letting agents alike. Sometimes, property maintenance costs can eat into your finances dramatically.
From what’s involved to how to save, we offer insights and guidance on how to best manage budgets when undergoing maintenance on your property portfolio.
What Is Included In Maintenance Costs?
Before we go into budget management, we need to be clear on what maintenance costs are involved in renting a residential property.
Here’s a list of all the things to consider when it comes to maintenance;
As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to fix any repairs needed resulting from normal wear and tear. This can include;
- Repairing or replacing white goods and appliances
- Fixing boiler issues
- Repairing any electrical faults
Refurbishment & Decoration
Keeping your property looking fresh for new tenants is an important part of being a good landlord and attracting the right target tenants. It’s recommended that carpets are replaced every 5-7 years, and properties are fully redecorated every 3 years.
However, if your property is looking particularly lived in after a tenancy or you come across some questionable stains, you might need to redecorate more often.
Here’s what else is included in refurbishment and decoration;
- Painting throughout
- Replacing carpets or flooring
- Replacing curtains
- Replacing old, tired furniture items every 10-15 years
- Replacing kitchen and bathroom fittings every 10-15 years
It’s not just the inside that needs attention. Staying on top of the exterior of your property can help ward off future structural issues and save money in the long run.
Here’s what it could include;
- Replacing missing roof tiles
- Clearing guttering
- Garden fence maintenance
- Window cleaning and repair
Thorough cleaning is essential between tenancies, and you may also need to arrange for cleaning to be done during a tenancy. If the windows need cleaning for example, or if the property has suffered water damage.
Particularly important during void periods, regular property inspections are an important part of maintenance for buy to let properties.
Inspections protect your property from theft, vandalism or damage from unnoticed leaks, preventing the need for extensive future repairs. We offer a professional vacant property inspection service to give you peace of mind that your investment is protected.
Gas Safety Certificates & Safety Checks
UK landlords have a legal requirement to arrange regular safety checks, including;
- An annual gas safety inspection from a Gas Safe registered engineer
- Electrical safety checks
- PAT tests for white goods
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Ensure smoke detectors are present and working
This cost is usually overlooked by most landlords, but the time you put into the maintenance of your portfolio really adds up. Particularly if you are balancing your duties as a landlord with another paid job, extra time spent on maintenance may mean losing out on wages.
If this is the case, it may be worth investing in a full management service from a property management company so you can swap a management fee for more time for other ventures.
How Much Does It Cost To Maintain A Rental Property?
Maintenance costs will vary depending on several factors;
- Size of the property
- Age of the property- older homes require more upkeep
- Location of the property- service charges vary dependant on area
- Type and number of tenants
For example, if you rent to students or large families, you may have to fork out more for accidental damage repair costs.
Landlord Maintenance Costs: How to Save Money
Now we’ve discussed what’s involved, it’s time to look at ways to save.
Choose Your Target Tenant Wisely
While finding tenants may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to maintenance, the tenant you choose could have an effect on your maintenance costs.
For example, as mentioned above, renting to students can result in more accidental damage as there tends to be more people living in one property, and tenants have a reputation for partying! Similarly, renting to tenants with pets is likely to involve more refurbishment at the end of the tenancy.
Deciding on your target tenant from the get-go is an important part of the process.
Act Fast When It Comes to Repairs
The quicker you act on repairs and maintenance tasks, the more popular you’ll be with tenants and the less likely they are to develop into serious issues. Usually, dealing with problems as soon as they arise means you can save money in the long run as you have time to think about the best possible solution.
Paying for maintenance costs early will also help you to manage your monthly budgets and keep on top of your spend.
Buy Quality Furnishings
Opting for the cheapest furnishings available isn’t always wise. The cost of replacing flimsy furniture every year is likely to add up to more than investing in quality in the first place. This is particularly true for mattresses, sofas and dining tables. Our blog on furnishing your rental property will help you with some handy tips.
Keep It Simple
When it comes to decorating your properties, more is less. You don’t need to go overboard to provide a comfortable home for tenants. Simple, modern furniture without too many frills will appeal to most and will be kinder on the budget.
Tip: Avoid painting everything white as it will require more upkeep. Neutral, mid-tones are much more forgiving.
Don’t Skimp on Landlord Insurance
Landlord insurance is essential when renting a property. Finding the right deal can help you save when things go wrong. Quality contents or accidental damage insurance will protect you in the case of weather damage or accidental spills.
Make sure you shop around for the best deals.
Check Council Tax Exceptions
If one of your rental properties is vacant for a period, or you are performing refurbishment that renders your property inhabitable, you may be eligible for Council Tax redemption. This will leave you with some extra cash to spend on essential repairs and decoration.
Landlord’s Energy Saving Allowance
By increasing the energy-saving potential of your property, you could save money that can be injected back into the maintenance budget.
By reinforcing insulation in your rental property, you could save a significant amount in tax.
Know When To Ask For Help
While rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in can save on service fees, it’s not always the best option.
Botched DIY can end up costing more than the original problem, and when it comes to electrical or plumbing issues, professional is always best.
Get More Than One Quote
When you need to pick up the phone to a plumber or tradesperson, make sure you do your research.
Particularly important when it comes to bigger jobs, getting several quotes will help you find the most competitive price.
Invest In A Comprehensive Inventory Service
Compiling a comprehensive written and photographic list of all of the items and furnishings and their condition within your property is one of the best ways to recuperate maintenance costs at the end of a tenancy.
If there is any damage beyond normal wear and tear, it will be much easier to deduct the appropriate costs from the deposit.
A professional property inventory service provides an impartial account of your property and is delivered using high quality photography in a handy, easily accessible digital report.
Landlord Maintenance Responsibilities: Help From No Letting Go
The costs of being a landlord are wide ranging. From agent fees to mortgage interest, balancing your rental income with outgoing costs can be tough.
That’s why sometimes it pays to get some help. Whether it’s repairs and maintenance reports or inventory services, our teams of experienced clerks could help streamline your business so you can take control of your budget.
Browse our full list of property management services to find out how we can help.