Achieving a high rental yield is one of the main goals for successful landlords. In order to cover the costs of mortgage repayments, repairs and maintenance, an adequate rental yield is essential to stay afloat.

Although you may feel constrained by property location or property prices, there are ways to maximise profits and cut outgoings.

From making simple renovations, to targeting specific tenants, here’s some straightforward advice on how to increase rental yield on your rental property.

What Does Rental Yield Mean?

As a landlord, you’ll be more than familiar with the importance of rental yields. For anyone new to the game or thinking of taking the plunge into property investment, here’s a simple definition.

Rental yield is the annual return on investment you make as a landlord on a buy-to-let property. It’s the remaining amount of money left over after rent, divided by the value of the property and is expressed as a percentage.

How to Work Out Rental Yield on Rental Property

To work out the rental yield of your property, first deduct all annual expenses and outgoings from the annual rental income, then divide this number by the purchase price of the property. Next, times this number by 100 to find the percentage yield.

Alternatively, find a free rental yield calculator online to do the hard work for you.

What is a Good Rental Yield?

In order to comfortably cover outgoings, a rental yield of 8% or more is deemed good.

However, the average rental yield differs vastly depending on location. For example, cities like Liverpool and Nottingham enjoy higher rental yields of up to 12%, while London is more challenging and tends to stay around 4 – 5%.

Decide on a Tenant Profile

Having an ideal tenant profile in mind makes it easier to tailor your property to the needs and desires of tenants. By offering an attractive property to specific renters, you’ll be able to charge premium prices and stand out from the crowd.

For example, if you are renting to young professionals, it’s worth choosing properties in areas with good transport links and furnishing the property with convenient mod-cons.

Whereas families are more interested in space, excellent local schools and extra bedrooms.

It’s impossible to please everyone. Maximise rental yields by catering to a specific tenant group and provide them with what they really want.

Location, Location, Location

Property location UK

As always, location is key when it comes to improving rental return.

Picking an up-and-coming area is a good idea, as property purchase prices are lower and there is potential for increased rental income as the area expands. Somewhere with good transport links, access to great schools and a growing number of bars and shops is a safe bet.

Go Green for Tenants

With sustainable living becoming increasingly popular, improving insulation and making green changes to your rental property could strengthen the appeal to certain tenants.

Improving the energy efficiency rating of your property not only saves you money on energy bills,but is also a big deciding factor for potential tenants.

Think About Facilities

Equipping your property with high quality, time-saving facilities such as dishwashers, driers and high-speed Wi-Fi will attract more tenants and place your rental property ahead of the competition.

Think about what your ideal tenant profile wants out of a rental property and go from there.

Can You Add Another Bedroom or Bathroom?

Adding a second, third or fourth bedroom to your rental property is a guaranteed way of boosting rental yield.

If a property has a large living space that isn’t entirely necessary, turning it into a bedroom could drastically improve cash flow! Just take care to comply with bedroom regulations, especially if you plan to turn it into an HMO property.

A second bathroom is another way of adding value. Although this requires a little more upheaval, the results can be well worth it, especially in larger properties.

Keep Things Fresh

If larger scale renovation is out of your budget, simple, affordable updates such as new tiling in the bathroom or a fresh lick of paint can work wonders in attracting the best tenants.

The more you can do to make your property attractive to potential tenants, the more rent you can responsibly command.

Maximise Space for Maximum Yields

Another way to add value and appeal to renters is to maximise every inch of space in your property.

This doesn’t have to mean adding extra bedrooms. It can be something as simple as providing inbuilt cupboards and clever storage spaces. This is especially important if you’re targeting growing families.

Consider Allowing Pets

Pets in a rental property

Flexibility is a trait highly valued by prospective tenants. From allowing minor aesthetic alterations to saying yes to pets, remaining open to tenants helps grow your yield in the long run.

Rental properties which allow pets tend to be few and far between which means they are able to command more rent- another easy way to increase your rental yield!

Avoid Vacant Periods

Naturally, extended vacant periods will have a negative impact on your rental yield.

Asking current tenants what their plans are well in advance of the end of a tenancy is one way you can avoid this. Early preparation means you can start advertising for new occupants quickly.

In the case of an extended void period, it may be worth lowering the rent requirements to encourage tenants and minimise losses.

Make Regular Rent Reviews

It’s important to keep up with the rest of the property market. Keeping a finger on the pulse and raising or lowering rent as needed is essential for maintaining and increasing rental yield.

Factors such as a new school in the area can dramatically increase rent prices, so don’t miss out on opportunities to cash in on your property investments.

Assess Your Outgoings

Taking a regular look at all of your outgoings is an important part of managing your finances. You may find that a few simple changes could be surprisingly profitable.

Mortgage rates, for example, are always changing, and it’s possible to find good deals on property insurance on comparison websites.

Keep your eyes peeled for deals to cut costs and improve rental yield.

Keep Up to Date with Regulations

Part of being a responsible landlord includes keeping up to date with current health and safety regulations. Good maintenance of your rental property results in long-term tenancies and increased interest from renters.

Save Time and Money with A Professional Property Service

Instead of spending your time as a property manager, answering queries and sorting out viewings and check ins, allocating tasks to property professionals can help streamline your business, saving you time and money.

No Letting Go provide comprehensive property reports and essential services such as inventory management to help landlords protect their investment and increase yields.

For more information on how No Letting Go could help, visit our services page here.

There tends to be a focus on the need for potential tenants to make a positive first impression to secure the best rental properties. But making a good impression is just as vital for landlords and letting agents.

To attract reliable and responsible tenants, property professionals need to demonstrate their value to establish trust and secure an agreement.

Creating a positive first impression can determine what kind of relationship you’ll have with your tenant moving forward, not to mention positioning your property as an attractive prospect for renters.

If you’re a letting agent, property professional, or landlord, we’ve got some friendly guidance on how to give a good first impression to tenants and establish trust from the get-go.

What are Tenants Looking for in a Landlord or Letting Agent?

To make the right impression, it’s helpful to think about what a tenant wants from the person or company managing their rental property.

Top of the list are reliability, honesty and being easily reachable. Whether it’s at the first viewing, at the lettings or estate agency office or the first meeting between tenant and landlord, follow these tips to make a great first impression:

Be on Time

An obvious point to start with. Tenants want to know the person managing their home is reliable and can be depended upon in an emergency. Being late to the first meeting already puts you on the back foot.

If the first meeting is an initial house viewing, it’s worth getting there a few minutes early to ensure everything is in place and the property is looking its best.

Dress Appropriately

Giving an overall impression of professionalism goes a long way in securing a tenancy agreement.

One simple way of achieving this is to dress in business-casual attire.

Know Your Stuff

As the main point of contact for tenants, you need to demonstrate knowledge about the property and local area to build trust. Before the first meeting, make sure you’ve got all the answers to potential questions to hand.

Common questions that might be asked by potential tenants include;

  • Who are the current utility providers?
  • What is the council tax band for this area?
  • What day are the bins and recycling collected?
  • Where is the fuse box?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • What is the local area like?

Being able to answer these questions thoroughly and confidently will help to build a positive impression and demonstrate your experience and professionalism.

 

Friendly and Professional Body Language

A good landlord

Body language is key to making a good impression in any situation. From job interviews to meeting people for the first time, facial expressions and gestures really count.

Shake your prospective tenants’ hand while maintaining eye contact, smile, and try to display confident body language to really impress.

Stay in Contact with the Neighbours

Being in the position to introduce prospective tenants to the neighbours, or simply tell them who they will be living next door to, can go a long way in demonstrating your dedication to property management.

What are Tenants Looking for in a Property?

In addition to the way you present yourself, the way you present your rental property also has a huge impact on tenant’s initial impression. Here’s how to show your property in the best light:

Market Your Property Right

Most rental property marketing happens online these days. Be sure to regularly check and update any channels your property is advertised on to keep up a positive impression for renters.

A picture really can tell a thousand words and people expect to see clear, professional images when browsing for properties online. Any property with minimal or bad quality images will likely be dismissed instantly.

Include lots of pictures of all parts of the property and try to take them on a sunny day to show off your property in the best light.

If you’re a busy landlord or property professional, ensure your property looks the part online with a professional property appraisal. This service includes high quality photos and a record of essential details for marketing purposes, all uploaded directly to your platform. The easy route to impressing potential tenants!

Managing feedback is also important. Always reply to any complaints or queries online so that potential tenants know you are reliable and quick to respond.

Outward Appearances Matter

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but in reality, first appearances are important.

Make sure the exterior of your property is up to scratch. An overgrown front lawn, overflowing bins and scratched paint are likely to put people off before they’ve even stepped through the door.

Make Sure the Interior Lives Up to the Dream

When showing a prospective tenant around a property for the first time, they’re trying to imagine themselves living there.

Make sure everything is clean and tidy with minimal clutter to give the tenants as much of a blank canvas as possible to project their own visions for the future.

Consider A Moving In Gift

Whether it’s a simple, handwritten welcome card or a bunch of flowers. Providing a small gift is an easy way to demonstrate that you’re a thoughtful landlord or letting agent.

If you’re an agency managing several properties or a landlord with a large portfolio this may not be feasible. For smaller landlords however, it could be a well-received gesture that goes a long way in developing a positive ongoing relationship.

You need to assess whether a gift is appropriate from case to case. At the very least, provide an information folder with essential details about the property such as relevant contact numbers and rubbish collection days.

Ensure All Health and Safety Checks are in Place

If you can demonstrate that you are up to date with gas safety checks and Co2 regulations, your tenant will know you take your role seriously.

For landlords, demonstrating your responsibilities are being fulfilled puts tenant’s minds at ease. For example, landlords must ensure that smoke alarms are tested and working on every floor of a property. No Letting Go provide comprehensive reports which include a smoke and carbon monoxide safety section that will guarantee you meet all the requirements.

Tenants in the know will expect to see evidence and a thorough report will quell any potential reservations.

Invest in a Professional Property Inventory

Providing your tenant with a comprehensive, photographic inventory report sends the message that you don’t take shortcuts.

No Letting Go is the first choice for all types of property reporting for landlords and letting agents alike. To find out how we can help to position you as a first choice for tenants, browse the rest of the property management services on offer here.

The way you do your taxes is changing.

Say goodbye to piles of paperwork, the tax system is having a digital makeover.

Although changes to routines can be worrying, these alterations are being implemented to make life easier for businesses and self-employed individuals. The proposed scheme to completely digitise the tax system by the end of 2020 aims to make taxes more accurate, efficient and easier to manage.

As a landlord, you’ll need to be aware of these changes and how they affect you, in order to prepare for digital taxes becoming mandatory in April 2019. Here’s everything you need to know about making tax digital for landlords.

What is MTD?

Making Tax Digital, or MTD, is a government scheme to overhaul the tax system to make it completely digital by the end of 2020. This means that from April 2019, VAT tax records and VAT returns will be managed online.

Will MTD Affect Me?

Any VAT-registered business with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold will have to make these changes.

So, if you are a landlord with an annual rental income of over £10,000, then the MTD changes will apply to you from April 2019. With UK rental prices rising, this is likely to affect most landlords in the UK.

The Making Tax Digital timeline commences on the 1st April 2019, when the changes will become mandatory for all customers, excluding a small number of customers with complex requirements which are being deferred until October 2019. (These types of customers include trusts, non-profits and public sector groups).

The new process will require self-employed individuals and landlords to:

  • Use specific software or apps to keep track of their records
  • Update HMRC every quarter through a new digital tax account
  • Provide a full annual declaration at the end of each year

Further information can be found in the Finance Act, 2017.

 

The Income Tax Pilot Scheme

The government already has an income tax pilot scheme in place, which self-employed businesses or landlords can use voluntarily.

This scheme allows users to test out the MTD compatible software to store their digital records and send income tax updates to HMRC in place of filing a self assessment tax return.

Voluntary users can choose from a number of software options, sending a summary of income and expenses to HMRC every 3 months and sending a full report at the end of the year. You can even pay bills as you go and ask your accountant or bookkeeper to send the updates for you.

A Closer Look at the HMRC Making Tax Digital Scheme

Many landlords already choose to manage their taxes and accounts digitally through cloud based apps and software programmes.

Once the changes come in, these methods and software applications will need to follow new regulations. HMRC are not building their own software programme but will provide a list of approved software companies, some of which will be free of charge. You will still be able to use your current software system, as long as it complies with the new system.

Users will be required to communicate with HMRC via their Application Programming Interface (API) platform and submit VAT returns using information from these digital records.

This software should be able to calculate your return automatically- saving a whole lot of time and effort.

If you currently use spreadsheets to manage your taxes, it may be worth switching to a software solution now. Although spreadsheets are allowed if they comply with the new regulations, it might cost you more money to produce quarterly reports.

Your digital tax account will allow you to view and access all of your tax information in one handy place online. An agent services account grants accountants or other financial professionals you may employ access to relevant tax details.

Digital software programme

Is the MTD Scheme Compulsory for Landlords?

Unless your annual income from your rental property and trade combined is under £10,000 or you are unable to partake in digital programmes due to disability or age, this change is compulsory.

It is expected that late fines will be implemented if you fail to file reports on time once the scheme is established.

MTD for Multiple Properties

If you are a landlord of multiple properties, you will only be required to provide income and expenditure for your investments as a whole.

However, it’s best to keep a record of individual properties to manage and assess the income of various rental properties you may own.

The Benefits of MTD for VAT

According to the latest edition of the tax gap report, there was a gap of around £33 billion in the last tax year! This clearly shows that something isn’t right and suggests that lots of people are making errors when it comes to submitting their records.

By digitising the way tax records are stored and reported to HMRC, the scheme hopes to make tax reporting far more accurate and easier for stakeholders to complete. Sending this information directly to HMRC online will hopefully minimise any mistakes that currently occur during the exchange of information.

For busy landlords who manage multiple properties, it can be hard to stay on track of receipts and invoices. Implementing a digital system which allows you to add information on the go via mobile applications will help prevent taxable claims from escaping.

The digital system will also allow you to see approximately how much tax you owe ‘as you go’ rather than waiting to find out at the end of the tax year.

By seeing all of your reports for individual properties in one place, it will be easier to manage your portfolio and determine which properties generate the best return.

Get Ready for Making Tax Digital with No Letting Go

To sum up, from the beginning of April 2019, landlords will be required to use MTD compatible software to manage their tax records, updating HMRC every 3 months and providing an annual declaration.

Although the end result aims to make managing taxes more efficient, there’s likely to be some teething problems at the start.

To prepare yourself for this shift, it’s best to start early. Make sure your current software is compatible, and if not, plan which system to use. Staying organised across the whole of your property management processes is key to ensuring a smooth transition.

No Letting Go provide professional, accurate property reports to help landlords and property professionals keep track of their investments.

To see the full range of reports we provide, browse the No Letting Go Services section on our website.

Thinking of converting commercial property to residential?

While renting out a property this way has its clear advantages, there’s a lot to consider. Ensure you’ve thought every detail through before you decide to go ahead.

Unsure where to start? Here’s a handy guide for landlords considering this path.

What to Consider When Changing Commercial Property to Residential

First things first, you need to decide whether this conversion is feasible for you at this time.

The Type of Property

There are many kinds of commercial building, from office to retail. Some of these may be easier to convert than others – so it’s vital you look into the specific details.

Class J allows developers a lot more freedom, however there are still some exemptions and restraints. Ensure you’re aware of these from the start.

Building Conversion Costs

While you’re not starting from scratch, it’s important to note that the cost of converting the existing building could be considerable.

Particularly if the building requires significant structural work, it might be more costly than expected.

Are you prepared for this?

Planning Permission Commercial to Residential

While it’s not always the case, you may require planning permission before going ahead with any work. Even if the building falls within Class J guidelines, you may still need permission.

Particularly if you plan on knocking down walls, for example, you may need to prepare for this extra expense.

Local Planning Laws

You may need to speak to the local planning authority, or local council, before going ahead with any work.

Location

Bear in mind that the location of commercial properties might not be ideal for residents.

Consider:

  • Transport links
  • Local amenities
  • Nearby schools
  • Parking
  • Noise pollution
  • Access for developers

Ask yourself, ‘Can you live in your commercial building?’ If the answer is no, it’s unlikely it will appeal to tenants either.

More and more people are choosing to rent over buy, but location can make or break this. Particularly if you’re trying to encourage a long-term tenancy, the area is everything. Tenants will only want to lay their roots in your property if they like their surroundings also.

Mortgage

Unless you have enough cash upfront, it’s likely you’ll need a mortgage to purchase the property.

This may mean the conversion is subject to your broker’s terms and conditions.

Insurance

While all landlords should consider insurance, when it comes to conversion, there’s an extra need to safeguard the building.

During the work planned to go ahead, are you covered? Consider the terms of your mortgage agreement – you may be required to get insurance.

Making a Commercial Conversion Liveable

There are a number of requirements that need to be met before tenants could live in the property. A commercial to residential conversion should consider the following:

  • Plumbing
  • Heating
  • Electrical safety
  • Removal of hazardous material
  • Fire safety

Ensure all these needs are met before you consider letting tenants move in.

Commercial Property Change of Use to Residential – Other Considerations

Of course, there’s more to a conversion than simply making the property safe.

Residential units have things that commercial spaces may not, such as storage areas. Also, how secure is the rental?

It’s a good idea to imagine yourself living in the commercial property. Does it feel like a home?

The Pros of Changing Commercial Property to Residential

There are some undeniable perks with converting commercial buildings, including:

  • You could potentially get a bigger property for a lower price
  • You may not need planning permission
  • There’s no property chain
  • Investing in property can be hugely profitable

The Cons of Using Commercial Property As Residential

While there are some positives, there are also some inevitable downsides:

  • Sometimes the conversion can be more costly than expected, particularly if planning permission is required
  • You’ll need a specialist buildings survey, which can be expensive
  • It’s easy for conversion costs to spiral out of control
  • Conversions can run on for longer than anticipated

Meeting Your Requirements as a Landlord

Decided this is direction you want to take as a landlord? This journey is both an exciting and difficult one.

As with any property, there are a number of requirements you’ll need to meet as a landlord. But, you’ll also want to ensure your investment is protected every step of the way.

From check-in to check-out, No Letting Go will ensure you’re meeting all the necessary safety standards. As well as this, we’ll ensure your tenants are looking after the property as requested. Our comprehensive property inventory services offer you peace of mind, while making you the best landlord you can be!

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
  • Leaks
  • 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.

Letting out your property can be a daunting thought for many. How can you ensure your next tenant will be a good tenant?

Answer: with a tenant reference check.

But, many landlords are still in the dark about what the vetting process involves. So, what is it and why is it worth doing? Time to take a closer look.

What is a Tenant Check?

A tenant reference check is simply a way of determining whether a prospective tenant is reliable, and able to keep up with monthly rent payments.

Of course, there’s no way of guaranteeing how someone will behave in the future. However, tenant checks can give you an insight into who you’re letting your property out to.

Tenant Referencing – What Do They Check?

So, what do landlords check for?

Remember – this is about safeguarding both you and your property. You’ll want to ensure a potential tenant is who they say they are, and that they can keep up with their contractual obligations.

For this reason, the vetting process looks at a number of different areas, which can include:

Proof of Identity

Photo ID is usually preferable, such as a driver’s license or passport.

If this isn’t available, other forms of identification are sometimes accepted, such as a signed bank card. It’s up to you what to accept during the rent check.

Financial Situation

Most landlords’ primary concern is whether a potential tenant will be able to keep up with their monthly rental obligations.

Checking their background allows you to see proof of this. Usually, this part of the referencing process includes:

  • Proof of employment – such as a contract, a letter from an employer and/or recent payslips
  • Bank statements (particularly if someone is self-employed)
  • Proof of benefits claims (if applicable)

Credit Score

For a landlord, a tenant credit check is often seen as essential. However, when it comes to poor credit history, only CCJs and bankruptcy are public.

For this reason, their current financial situation is much more telling than a tenant credit check. Just because someone has fallen into rent arrears in the past doesn’t mean they will do now!

Unless, of course, their recent circumstances prove otherwise.

Right to Rent

It’s essential that your future tenant has a right to rent in the UK.

There are fines issued for private landlords who let to those not legally allowed to rent.

Guarantor Information

If you’re concerned that a certain tenant may not be able to afford their rent, you can ask for a guarantor. This is particularly prevalent in student properties, for example.

Sometimes, you can ask the guarantor to agree to a credit check. It’s also common to ask for recent payslips to ensure the rent can be paid should the tenant fail to do so.

If no guarantor is available, you can ask for a higher deposit upfront to cover any potential problems that may arise.

A Previous Landlord Reference

Ideally, you’re hoping for a reference that demonstrates that the tenant is reliable and trustworthy. This not only includes paying rent on time, but also respecting both the property and the landlord.

Questions to ask the landlord include:

  • Did the tenant have any outstanding rent?
  • Did the tenant cause any damage to the rental property?
  • Did the tenant have any problems with the neighbours?
  • Did the tenant receive their deposit back? If not, why?
  • Would they rent to this tenant again?

If a prospective tenant is unwilling to provide the necessary contact details, this may send alarm bells ringing.

Details of Previous Address

You may also want to see proof of previous addresses, to ensure the tenant is who they say they are.

 

You may also like: Landlord Deposit Rules: What You Need to Know

 

How to Run a Background Check on a Tenant

Some landlords are happy to ask for the necessary information themselves.

This can be a time-consuming process, as you’ll need to gather a number of relevant details, such as guarantor information. You’ll also need to reach out to the employer, establish whether the potential tenant has any current debt and interview them.

Questions you may want to ask the tenant include:

  • Will they be renting with pets?
  • Will they have any family or friends staying with them regularly?
  • What’s their working schedule like? Do they work night shifts?
  • Have they read the tenancy agreement?

If you’re using a letting agent, they should arrange the vetting process on your behalf.

Should You Use a Tenant Referencing Service?

To ensure the background check is as thorough as possible, it’s recommended to use a professional tenant referencing company. For example, the National Landlords Association can run a check for you.

While these won’t be free, they will help minimise the risk of rent arrears or other potential issues that may arise.

For many, the extra cost is worth the peace of mind.

How Long Does Tenant Referencing Take?

The length of the process depends entirely on each individual situation.

Sometimes, if everything runs smoothly, your referencing company can complete the check in around 48 hours.

But, this isn’t always the case. The process can be delayed by a number of factors, such as:

  • If a previous landlord drags their feet about giving a reference
  • If a potential tenant takes a long time gathering necessary financial details
  • If a potential tenant is unemployed, or a freelancer
  • If a potential tenant cannot get a guarantor

A tenant reference check gives many landlords peace of mind. We can also help remove the stress of letting your property, with our professional inventory management services. We’ll ensure you’re compliant with all regulations, protecting both you and your property. Find out more about our services here.

Historically, landlords and animals don’t have the best relationship.

The fear of damage, infestations and related costs sometimes seem too much hassle than they’re worth.

But, people love their pets!

So, landlords who ban them run the risk of putting off many potential tenants. It can feel like a catch-22!

To try and help, here’s a landlord’s guide to renting with pets.

Pros of Being a Pet Friendly Landlord

When you think of animals and rental properties, you might only conjure up negative images.

But, there are some pros!

Unconvinced?

Here’s a closer look:

Expands Your Options

By allowing pets in your property, you open the door to a far greater number of potential tenants.

To some landlords, this makes clear business sense!

Longevity

Tenants with pets know it’s not easy to find a landlord accommodating to their situation. This means they’re likely to stick around and settle in your house.

Encouraging a long term tenancy has many perks. From no rental void periods to the lack of hassle of constantly changing contracts, there are advantages to allowing tenants to lay their roots in your property!

But, this does come with its own compromises. Pets are one of these!

Higher Rent

It’s fair to up the rent of any property that accommodates pets. We recommend adding a small amount that will help to account for wear and tear later on.

Don’t forget, you can’t claim back any money from the security deposit for fair wear and tear.

Increasing the rent on a property from £600 to £650 per month, for example, is a reasonable decision. It’s not a drastic inflation that will put tenants off. But, it can help to cover any additional work needed when the property is vacated.

Higher Deposit

A pet brings a greater risk of damage to your property, especially, if it’s furnished.

We recommend adding a fair amount onto the deposit to cover any additional costs that could be caused by the animal. Your top priority should always be to protect your investment! Peace of mind should never be underrated.

Some landlords choose to do things separately, and ask for a pet deposit. This is in addition to the standard security deposit. It’s up to you!

Helps Build a Positive Relationship

The best tenancies are happy tenancies! Establishing a good relationship between landlord and tenant is key to this.

As renting a pet friendly house is so rare, you seem like a reasonable and positive landlord for allowing it. While there are no promises, this may give your tenant more respect for you.

Plus, since most tenants will be aware that landlords like you are rare, they’re more likely to respect your home in hopes of staying there.

Attracts Responsible Tenants

Tenants with pets are generally more settled in their lives. This is due to the responsibility that comes with owning an animal.

The more stable and responsible the tenant is, the more likely they are to respect your property. This is a general rule, of course, as we can’t speak for everyone.

Reduced Void Periods

A pet friendly property is likely to let out quicker than one which isn’t.

With the abundance of tenants with pets out there and lack of rental properties who allow them, demand will be high.

This means facing the prospect of a void period is far less of a concern!

Cons of Being a Pet Friendly Landlord

Of course, with the positives come some inevitable consequences.

Some of these you might already be aware of, but, let’s dig a little deeper.

Risk of Damage

Pets are renowned for causing damage to properties.

From chewing through furniture to lack of house training, there can be a number of potential causes of damage by pets.

Of course, you can claim this back through the deposit. However, for some landlords, it’s not worth the risk.

Pet Smells

Pets are notoriously smelly – even when they’re cared for properly. These smells can be difficult to shift.

The tenants often don’t notice it themselves, which makes it more frustrating.

This can also cause financial complications! Other than cleaning costs, pets can give the property a dirty feel which can lead to difficulty bringing in new tenants.

Animal Hair

Animal hair is difficult to remove from upholstery and carpets.

If you’re in the unfortunate situation of letting to a tenant who isn’t too fond of cleaning, this can be an arduous or costly process for you.

Extra Cleaning

A property which houses a pet requires an extremely thorough clean once it’s been vacated. This isn’t only costly, but time consuming too.

Allergies

There’s the potential that future tenants may have a pet allergy!

Alternatively, if you, as the landlord, have an allergy, this can cause complications when you inspect your property.

Aggressive Behaviour

If you let to an unsavoury tenant with an aggressive pet, you’re likely to face some serious difficulties.

This could be the welfare of your neighbours, the difficulty of communicating with your tenant, threatening behaviour or even being unable to inspect the property.

Of course, these are worst-case scenarios. But, it’s important to consider every possibility.

Slippery Slope

Some landlords feel that if they allow one pet into their property, tenants will take advantage of this.

Is there a danger of your investment becoming overrun with pets?

Problems With Neighbours

Will the neighbours be as accepting of the new houseguests as you?

Pets cause noise, wonder into nearby gardens or cause general annoyance.

If your tenants aren’t receptive to complaints, you’ll receive the brunt of the anger. Are you prepared for this?

Pest Infestations

How can you be sure that the pets you accept into your property won’t have fleas?

Infestations can cause lasting problems that can be costly to repair.

 

You may also like: How Much Rent Should I Charge My Tenants?

 

What Animals Will You Accept?

Now you know the pros and cons, have you decided to go ahead with allowing pets into your property?

If the answer is yes, you need to work out what you will accept.

Obviously, there’s a big difference between a dog and a fish tank. Also, just how many pets will you accept – only one, or multiple?

It’s important to be clear on this very early on.

Let’s examine what you might be up against…

Renting With a Dog

Renting a house with a dog is a big deal. For most landlords, these are the animals they’re most wary of.

Here are just some of the problems they can cause:

  • Noise, such as barking, causing complaints from the neighbours
  • Damage, such as chewing up furniture (particularly puppies!)
  • Bringing in fleas

You’ll need to be very clear on the rules you lay down before the tenant and their four-legged friend move in. For example, explain clearly that the animal isn’t to be left alone in the house for prolonged periods of time.

If your property is a flat, you might want to think carefully about with tenants keeping a dog is appropriate. They need lots of time outside, so access to a garden is often necessary.

Also, more often than not, the older the dog – the better! They’re more likely to be well trained, quieter and well behaved.

Assistance Dogs

Whether you want to accept pets into your home or not, assistance dogs must be allowed. This is due to anti-discriminatory laws against disabled tenants.

In these circumstances, the choice of renting with pets is out of your hands.

Birds and Rental Properties

Birds might seem harmless on the surface. However, if kept in cages inside, this could lead to mess.

Also, think of noise. One bird might be manageable, but dozens of them could cause your neighbours serious disturbances.

Renting with Cats

Cats are one of Britain’s most popular pets!

Luckily for landlords, cats are relatively trouble-free. Many of them spend most of their time outside!

However, this doesn’t mean there’s nothing to think about. For example, will you allow a litter tray in your property? If not, be clear on this before tenants move in.

Also, there are problems concerning cat fur. Some breeds of cat shed more than others! If you say you allow cats in your rental property, will this be breed-dependent?

Small Popular Pets

Particularly if you rent to a family with children, small furry animals might be a request.

These animals could include:

  • Rabbits
  • Gerbils
  • Guinea pigs
  • Hamsters
  • Pet rats

You might consider laying down rules that they must remain in cages outside, or live in rooms without carpet. Of course, the choice is entirely up to you!

Can You Let to Pet Owners?

Before you get carried away, though, you need to work out if it’s possible. Can you allow pets into your rental property?

Leasehold Properties

If your property is leasehold, you might find it tricky to rent with pets. As many leases ban pets, you’ll need to change yours.

But, this can be easier said than done.

For example, if you own a flat in a large block, other leaseholders will need to be consulted. The more property owners, the trickier this will be.

Tips for Landlords Letting to Pet Owners

Allowing pets in rentals is a big consideration.

So, if you’re going ahead with it, here are some tips to help you along the way:

Meet the Pet

It might sound strange, but meeting the pet before agreeing to let to its tenants is essential.

You’ll be able to get a feel for its temperament, noise levels, how it reacts to new people and whether it’s house trained.

Of course, you can only get so much from one meeting. But, if the pet is badly behaved, that’s all you need!

If you feel it’s necessary, ask to meet the pet more than once.

Think of this as a bit like a ‘tenancy screening’, but for an animal!

Get a Previous Landlord Reference

Asking for a pet reference may sound a bit extreme. But, when it comes to looking after your property, nothing is too far!

If the potential tenant has let with their pet before, ask for contact details for their previous landlord. Find out information such as:

  • How well behaved the pet was
  • Whether any damage to their property was caused
  • Was the tenant responsible?
  • Did the neighbours complain?
  • Were there any problems relating to the pet at all throughout the tenancy?

Set Up Open Communication from the Start

All tenancies require good communication from both parties.

However, when it comes to pets, this is even more important. It’s vital to speak with the potential tenant about their pet at the very beginning.

After that, clearly explain what it is you expect and lay down the rules. Make sure these are included in the tenancy agreement.

Consider Property and Pet

Your property and the pet itself… Are they compatible?

Cats and dogs might not enjoy living in a top floor flat, for example, as outdoor access is key.

Accept pets within reason. Think about the space and neighbours – not every pet will be able to live in your property!

If you’ve decided to rent with pets, your property’s inventory will be more important than ever. You’ll want to ensure there’s no room for miscommunication. No Letting Go can help you look after your investment. Find out more about our services here.

Landlords and inventories… Should they mix?

Anyone who has anything to do with the world of renting, be that landlords, letting agents or tenants, will understand the importance of inventories.

But, the question is, should people carry out inventories themselves? If so, what’s some advice they shouldn’t forget? What can still go wrong?

Let’s take a closer look at professional vs DIY inventories.

The Ins & Outs of Inventories

It’s easy to see why so many letting agents offer an inventory service, and why so many landlords carry them out themselves.

Inventories are beneficial for all parties. They help solve, or even prevent, disputes at the end of a tenancy, and provide peace of mind for everyone concerned.

Furthermore, they help protect the property from damage, determine fair wear and tear, and ensure tenants get their deposits back by ensuring no unjust deductions are made.

A good inventory will also reduce the risk of harassment during the tenancy, from either side, as everything will have been recorded previously.

Therefore, it’s essential these inventories are carried out correctly.

Is Going Professional an Unnecessary Expense?

But, is hiring a professional to do the inventory a waste of money?

Some believe that simply having an inventory in place is sufficient. Taking a few photos of the rooms, and any furnishings, should be enough to prevent disputes arising.

Why spend money on something you could do yourself? Also if landlords or letting agents sit down with their tenants to go through the inventory together, surely this eradicates the risk of disputes?

Plus, all tenancy agreements will state the condition the property is expected to be maintained in. Therefore, paying for professional inventory services can seem like an unnecessary expense.

What Issues Can Arise with DIY Inventories?

But, despite the initial upfront costs, a professional, independent inventory can end up saving landlords and letting agents more money in the long run.

So, what issues can arise when people do inventories themselves?

The Devil’s in the Detail

If an inventory lacks sufficient detail, what’s the point?

Many letting agents and landlords appear to think that photos are all that’s needed. However, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ doesn’t necessarily apply to the property industry, as you can only tell so much from one photo.

In certain lights, and from certain angles, a room or space can look completely different in a picture.

Also, with DIY inventories, important aspects can be accidentally omitted, as those carrying them out simply don’t consider them. For example, floor tiles. These can be cracked or damaged in some way, but without an inventory, this will be difficult to prove.

So, while an inventory is in place to prevent a dispute, it may end up causing one if not done correctly.

Finding the Time

With all the many different jobs and priorities letting agents and landlords have, inventories often fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

As a result, it’s easy for certain things to slip through the net, and some details are accidentally omitted, causing problems for everyone concerned.

Lack of ‘Know-How’

How many people can confidently claim they understand all the ins and outs of inventories?

For most letting agents, inventories aren’t their speciality. They’re something the business offers, without having fully developed skills or expertise in the area.

Meanwhile, many landlords aren’t necessarily experts in the property industry, particularly where inventories are concerned.

This can lead to inventories taking longer than they should, and lacking in certain parts. If the information isn’t there, it means specific points can’t be discussed at the end of the tenancy.

With an inventory company, these risks are eradicated.

Room for Disagreement

Not everyone’s definition of ‘clean’ or ‘damaged’ are the same. This not only allows room for disagreement, but also for one party to be exploited.

A landlord or letting agent may record something in the inventory from their own point of view. This may seem unfair to the tenant, and without pictures as evidence, a deposit deduction may be unjust.

On the other hand, simply going through the inventory with your tenant at the start of the tenancy might be putting too much faith in their honesty. Tenancy references are undeniably useful, but can’t show you someone’s true character! Some tenants may try to use a lacking inventory as an exploitative measure.

Tips for DIY Inventories

Despite the risk of certain problems arising, many letting agents and landlords continue to carry out their own inventories.

So, what are some handy hints no landlord or agent should forget?

The More Words the Better

Photos should be used as evidence to back-up points made in the inventory, not form the core of it.

Many fall down the trap of having too many photographs and not enough words. This leaves a question mark around the true condition of the property.

Writing everything down, in as much detail as possible, makes for the best inventories. Words will provide the details needed, and a photo can be used to support any claims made.

Clarity

Inventories should provide clarity.

Therefore, everything needs to be written down and recorded as clearly as possible. This ensures landlords, letting agents and tenants alike are better covered.

An inventory shouldn’t create disputes, but prevent them! When it comes to your property, you can never be too thorough.

Details As Well As Facts

Don’t simply list the key features!

If a floor is carpeted, also take down notes on the condition of the carpet. With inventory reports, facts aren’t sufficient without details to back them up!

The Benefits of Hiring an Inventory Expert

But, inevitably, hiring a third party has indisputable benefits, such as:

Help Getting Signatures

Getting signatures is a vital part of any inventory.

An independent third party has a duty of care to both landlords and tenants, stamping out any risk of a conflict of interests.

If one party, for example the tenant, doesn’t want to be present during the signing, an inventory expert can sign for them.

The key here is that a third party will be unbiased. This only has benefits for everyone involved.

Expertise in the Area

Why not hire the best in the field to do the job?

Getting help from a third party allows letting agents to do their job, excelling in their areas of expertise, while ensuring the inventory is being carried out to the highest possible standard.

Landlords can rest easier at night in the knowledge that the risk of disagreements or deposit disputes at the end of the tenancy has been dramatically reduced.

Solve Disputes Before They Occur

Inventories should be in place so that landlords and letting agents can take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach if any issues arise.

A professionally compiled inventory will determine any disputes at the beginning of the tenancy. At the end, it’s too late!

Preventing disputes is much more desirable than solving them after they’ve occured.

When it comes to your property, why take the risk?

Provide a Safety Net

For landlords, tenants and letting agents, a professional inventory is like a comfort blanket. They carry a lot more weight than DIY versions, simply because of the third party expert. Think of them as an independent adjudicator!

All parties concerned can rest assured in the knowledge an unbiased professional has carried out the inventory.

In many aspects of our lives, we choose a professional service. Why not apply the same principle to inventories?

No Letting Go specialise in providing comprehensive, unbiased, detailed inventories. We’ll take out the hassle of carrying them out for you, by ensuring every inventory is done by an expert, to the highest standard. This will not only help mediate disputes, but prevent them altogether, ensuring every tenancy is a happy one! Find out more about our inventory services here.

Looking to let out your property to new tenants?

It’s important to know who you’re renting your property out to and what to expect from them in the future. You’ll want a risk free applicant that doesn’t provide you with a mountain of financial stress and instability.

We’ve created a guide to the best tenant referencing companies that you should be aware of for your property management franchise and what they can offer you.

Husmus

Husmus offers three instant tenant referencing report types. Their comprehensive product instantly returns a report containing credit checks (CCJs, Bankruptcy, Insolvency, address verification), Identity and Right to Rent confirmation. Additionally, it covers past rent payment, as well as income and affordability verification based on careful analysis of tenant bank statements and long-term net disposable income.

Packages start from £9.95 for the basic option, up to £39.95 for full comprehensive checks. They also offer bulk and unlimited tenant referencing packages for high volume users.

FLS Tenant Referencing

An independent referencing service that’s available on a pay-as-you-order basis, FLS Tenant Referencing has operated in the UK since 1992 and offers all of the expected credit reports and associated services you’d hope to find from a tenancy referencing company.

Their packages include company referencing, credit check plus, insight referencing and full profile referencing. Ranging from £9.95 to £34.95, they provide various levels of detail for response times that can be immediate or within a 48 hour period.

Tenant Referencing UK

With multiple different services across the board, including advertising, referencing and insurance, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Tenant Referencing UK.

Numerous packages are on offer which suit a variety of needs, starting with ‘DIY Referencing’ at £7 and bumped-up versions for £40. They’ll calculate costs, process your forms and ultimately get you the answers you need for your potential applicants.

Rent 4 Sure

Rent 4 Sure keep their services at the forefront of their advertising, making it clear what they offer and how it can benefit you. With three types of tenancy referencing to choose from, including credit checks, full referencing and company referencing, you’ll have a variety of choice to suit you.

Van Mildert Landlord and Tenant Protection

Much like other landlord protection companies, Van Mildert has property security in mind when it comes to their referencing services.

You can expect to obtain a wealth of information from numerous sources, including a comprehensive credit report, employment references, landlord references, verified bank statements and a final judgement as to whether your tenant is likely to pay the rent on time or cause any problems.

FCC Paragon

Established in 1996, this letting company offers experienced services to its customers and prides itself on reliability. There are all of the standard options you’d want, with fast response times to keep you up to date.

You can select from full reference checks, instant credit searches, company references and remote referencing. Their most popular service, full referencing, benefits from a credit history check, voters roll confirmation, location information, PCC Paragon tenants database checks, agent and landlord references, as well as income information.

HomeLet

This insurance and tenancy referencing company has over 25 years’ worth of expertise at hand. With three levels of checks to choose from, and a rent guarantee designed to protect your income should a tenant fail to pay rent, there’s plenty to be drawn towards here.

HomeLet’s ‘Optimum’ choice offers full checks and a guarantee to remove tenants from a property should they fail to pay the rent. The other, cheaper options at £45 and £25 respectively, offer various degrees of checks and references to give you a clear picture of your potential tenant.

Experian

Experian’s tenant screening services allows landlords to monitor existing tenants and evaluate potentially new ones. They have a variety available with differing wait times. You can choose from instant or comprehensive checks, as well as background screening designing for private landlords.

RLA Tenant Referencing

Registering with the Residential Landlords Association is free and the company offers a pay-as-you go system for referencing services. You’ll be able to choose from tenant, guarantor and company references.

Tenants complete their applications online, and you can receive a discount if you’re an RLA member. Full support is available by email or telephone with comprehensive and uncomplicated reports to keep things simple.

Mudhut

Looking for something more immediate? Mudhut offers an instant, quick checking service starting at £12. You’ll receive a credit score, identity and residency checks, electoral roll checks, electoral roll checks, alters, aliases and financial associates, bankruptcy and insolvency checks, county court judgements and checks on previous addresses.

Information is sourced from Equifax and a risk assessment is provided to determine if you’re getting a suitable tenant for your property.

OpenRent

This tenant referencing company provides two distinct packages for £20.

The first is a ‘speedy reference’ that you’ll receive within one working day, and includes credit checks, linked addresses and identity information, as well as extra court information and the right to rent check and advice.

The second, the ‘comprehensive reference’, includes all of the above with extra stats on affordability rating, previous landlord referencing, employer’s references and rent guarantee insurance eligibility. You’ll have to wait longer however, and should expect your report back within three to five working days.

Rentguard

Established in 2001, Rentguard are confident in their ability to recognise the good and the bad when it comes to potential tenants. They offer a range of referencing services including a full profile, credit check, insight referencing, and company reference checks.

A full profile run down includes written verification of income, previous letting references, residency confirmation, affordability calculations, full credit history checks, application tracking and a comprehensive report sent by fax or email. They’ll respond within 1 to 2 working days.

Total Tenant Referencing

Implemented by Rent4Sure, Total Tenant Referencing pool from several sources of information and provide you with details on a potential application’s ability to pay rent, their general history, as well as additional stats and figures. They also offer rent protection, legal expenses and tenant’s liability insurance.

Alan Boswell

Alan Boswell aim to reduce the risks associated with letting properties by offering landlords both the full referencing service as well as an online credit check. Both are £29.50 and £12.50 per person respectively, and give an extensive insight into potential tenants.

Also available is the company reference check for £21.50 per company, where you’ll receive verification of business activities, details of any previous names or subsidiaries, an analysis of profit and loss counts, county court judgement searches, verification of director details and a full comprehensive report sent by email.

Being a landlord is no easy business, and since your property is your livelihood, we believe in protecting it. We can help you safeguard your property, with full check-in and check-out services that ensure a hassle-free and impartial inventory check. Find out more about how No Letting Go can help you here.

Do you have a property that you are hoping to let out? If so, you might be looking to take on a letting agent.

Whether you’re new to the world of buy-to-letting or not, you may be asking yourself ‘Which letting agent should I choose?’
To try and help, we’ve put together our advice on choosing a letting agent.

Why go with a letting agent?

While some landlords choose to manage their property alone, letting agencies are still hugely popular. Whether to choose an agency or not is down to the individual situation.

What is the role of a letting agent?

The role of a letting agent varies, depending on what you’re looking for. Their role can range from simply providing a tenancy agreement to full-on maintenance of the property.

Most letting agents will offer to collect the rent and deposit on behalf of the landlord, while many letting agents also offer extra services.

These extra services can vary from tenancy vetting’s to full-on maintenance and ensuring any damage costs are reimbursed.

What are the advantages of choosing a letting agent?

While a letting agent will entail fees, there are numerous advantages alongside this.

1. Firstly, letting agents will be regulated. Ensure that the one you choose is a member of a trade association, such as NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) or ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).

2. Secondly, a letting agent will have a full understanding of the buy-to-let market. If you’re a first-time landlord, it’s likely that you will benefit from this knowledge! This expertise should result in the process running more smoothly.

3. Finally, choosing a letting agent will mean that you won’t have to navigate the world of buy-to-let alone. An agency will have a dedicated team in place to manage any property related issues.

You may also like: Landlord Responsibilities – A Guide to Health & Safety Obligations

How to choose a letting agent

Once you’ve decided to go with a letting agent, it’s important to detail what service you’re looking for. There are many other factors that should go into your final decision.

You’re entrusting your property to a third party, so it’s not an easy choice to make!

Marketing and advertising

It’s important to remember that using a letting agent will cost you money.
Therefore, when considering the question ‘Which letting agent should I choose?’ you should look closely into their marketing strategy.

If their advertising is effective and they are proactive in their marketing, you will know they’re more likely to find you a tenant.

Enquire into which newspapers they advertise in.

Also, ask them to show you which potential tenants they have on their books. They should prove that they will make it their mission to see your property let out!

Listen to recommendations

An important factor in choosing a letting agent is their location. Our advice is to choose an agency in your property’s area, so you can take advantage of their local knowledge!

When choosing a letting agent, it’s important to ask around for recommendations. Listen to those who live in your area, for example other landlords, who can be found through a local landlord association.
Word-of-mouth can be a reliable source of information!

Understand their fees

You need to be clear on how an agent’s fees are organised. You don’t want to be caught out with any unexpected costs!

An agent’s fees tend to be organised either as a fixed fee, or as a proportion of rent. Fees are completely dependent on each agency itself.

One way to ensure that a letting agent is reputable is by checking that they have insurance. An agency should be able to prove they have CMP (Client Money Protection) in place.

Also, ensure that you have landlord insurance, to protect you in the unlikely event of the misappropriation of money.

In understanding an agency’s fees, you need to understand what is meant by ‘guaranteed rent’. While this sounds appealing at first, it has its drawbacks.

If an agency offers guaranteed rent, it’s likely you will receive a lower price. However, you will also avoid periods of no rent at all.
Make sure you fully consider your decision!

Check the contract

While this sounds obvious, it’s essential.
Checking the contract can help avoid some costly surprises.

You need to be clear on everything from cancellation periods, to whether there are any vacant property charges.
Aside from the fee for when new tenants move in, do they charge commission also?

Make sure you understand all the clauses within your contract.

Remember maintenance

Your letting agency should detail whether they will run safety checks, for example annual gas readings, or if this is down to you.

Consider routine repairs. Will there be any extra costs for the general maintenance of your property?

 

Being a landlord can be tough! As your property is your livelihood, we believe in protecting it. With No Letting Go inventory services, we can help you safeguard your property. Our full check-in and check-out service can ensure a hassle-free and impartial inventory check. Find out more about how we can help you here.