Perhaps one of the most sensitive and potentially litigious times for landlords and tenants comes at the end of a tenancy, when the state of a property or its fittings can put a deposit at risk, leading to disputes.
A checkout report completed by an impartial party can help avoid this potential issue by providing an objective view of the condition of the property and define who is responsible for any costs.
What exactly is a checkout report?
This report is done at the end of a tenancy and provides a thorough record about the state of the property on the departure of the outgoing tenants. Each room is inspected and graded with the assessment of specific items, clearly stating whether any action required. The resulting report provides clear evidence to justify a deduction from the tenant’s deposit. It also provides information to the landlord of what action needs to be taken before the next tenants arrive.
The checkout report, together with an inventory at the beginning of a tenancy, provides evidence of when any damage may have occurred and so who is liable. If there is a dispute, these documents can be used as part of any adjudication process.
What does a checkout report include?
A checkout report provides a detailed description of damage, maintenance and cleanliness. As the reports are written in detail and contain photographic evidence, they offer a definitive set of findings from the checkout inspection.
It can be difficult for a landlord to make an objective assessment of acceptable wear and tear, but an independent assessor completing a checkout report will use their experience to make a fair judgement. Tenants can also be assured that there is nothing for the assessor to gain from the decisions they make regarding responsibility.
What are the benefits of a checkout report?
The great thing about Checkout Reports is that there are benefits for both parties:
- Reports can be completed by independent specialists to reassure tenants of the fairness of the checkout process.
- Tenants are more likely to agree with the Checkout Report findings if they see a fair assessment has been completed.
- A good checkout report process helps maintain a positive relationship between tenant and landlord.
- They prevent unnecessary costs and saves time for the landlord.
- They make the transition between consecutive tenants smoother, with the reports identifying early on any action to be taken before the next tenants arrive.
At No Letting Go, our trained inventory specialists provide a comprehensive Checkout Report and a service that both tenants and landlords can have confidence in. Their accurate and timely information to landlords and tenants facilitate a smooth and amicable departure the rental property.
No Letting Go
If you would like to find out more about how No Letting Go could become your property management partner, with our local and national network of specialists streamlining your costs, reducing your workload and keeping accurate inventories for your properties, then contact us today.
In England and Wales, Public Health England confirmed 359 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, with 25 leading to death. The financial consequences to those held responsible for the infections were serious, but as a landlord, are you also in danger of breaking the law?
What is Legionella?
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacterium. It can spread in small airborne droplets of contaminated water which people inhale. These droplets can be produced by water outlets in the home, such as taps and showerheads. It can also be caught by drinking contaminated water. Legionella can cause coughs, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and, in the worst cases, to death.
Any man-made water system can provide an environment in which Legionella bacteria can grow, with the right temperature and nutrient sources, such as rust, sludge, scale or biofilm). The more it can multiply, the greater the risk of exposure. For this reason, the water systems and outlets of a rented property need to be properly maintained and checked.
What does the law say?
If you are a landlord and rent a property or even a room within your home, you have a general legal responsibility under Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) to ensure the health of your tenant by preventing their exposure to health and safety hazards in your property. There is also specific guidance for Legionnaires’ disease:
- Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH): This refers to hazardous substances, including biological agents such as the Legionella bacterium. It requires the landlord to identify and assess the risk to others on their property and to implement any necessary measures to control risk.
- L8 Approved Code of Practice (3rd edition) (ACOP): Published in 2001 and updated in 2013, this guidance stipulates a duty for landlords to carry out a risk assessment on tenants’ exposure to Legionella.
The penalties of failing to carry out a legionella risk assessment
If the Health and Safety Executive can prove that you, as a landlord, did not take adequate steps to control the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease, you can be liable to up to two years in prison, and an unlimited fine or both.
In 2016, one well-known company was fined nearly 2 million pounds for failing to take adequate measures to prevent a Legionella outbreak. That’s not even mentioning the damage done to reputation, business profits and the potential for legal action by the injured person.
A legionella risk assessment from No Letting Go
As well as our comprehensive range of services to private landlords and letting agencies nationally, including inventory management, No Letting Go also offer legionella risk assessment visits.
All of our inspectors are City and Guilds qualified, and they will give you clear, concise and comprehensive reports that highlight any risks and explain any actions you need to take to meet your recommended safety requirements.
If you want the peace of mind knowing your property is safe from the risk of Legionnaires’ disease, then contact us today.
A property inventory is a very important tool for anyone renting or managing a let property, and having this facility as a specifically designed system can greatly enhance its efficiency.
What challenges should a property inventory address?
When completing a property inventory, you need to have the confidence that it’s not only recording information accurately but that it’s also recording all the information necessary. If a dispute arises over the condition of a property, the information you’ve recorded could be integral to resolving the issue. A property inventory, therefore, needs to do the following:
- Ensure all key information is included in each report
- Provide proof of property issues
- Minimise financial risk by creating records that can be relied upon
- Reduce the risk of tenants, landlords, agents etc. not agreeing on the property’s condition
- Remove doubt by recording changes that have occurred over time
- Ensure the rented property is meeting legal requirements
How an inventory system addresses your challenges
Using the technology of an inventory system, such as No Letting Go’s Kaptur app, can provide a solution for many of the challenges of keeping good inventory management:
- Provides a web-based centralised booking system that’s easy to access and update, even remotely
- Allows current and historical inventories to be seen side by side to simplify viewing any changes
- Provides a fully documented audit trial
- Produces clear and precise records, agreed by both tenant and landlord, to reduce disputes when claims from deposits are required
- Identifies work to be done before the next tenant moves in
- Is mobile, allowing all administration to be completed on-site, capturing all information immediately
- Helps agents manage time efficiently by managing admin tasks such as orders, appointments, change notifications and alerts
- Provides documents in a format accepted by all Government deposit protection schemes
When an inventory system is made specifically for the task in hand, its real power is that it offers confidence for all parties and captures data very easily.
Who benefits from using this technology?
Whether tenant, landlord or agent, the success and benefit of Kaptur as an inventory management system is that it benefits all parties involved.
For agents, the efficiency of the app allows them to save time and provide uniformed reports. For landlords and tenants, the accuracy of the information and its real-time capture provides confidence in what’s been recorded. This reduces the risk of dispute over information and minimising the financial risk for both parties.
For those looking to increase efficiency in their lettings business and deliver professional reports to clients, an inventory management system provides a “one-stop-shop” solution.
No Letting Go
If you would like to discuss how our local support or national network at No Letting Go could help you as your property management partner, streamline your costs, reduce workload and keep accurate property inventories, then contact us today.
Owning a franchise is a very popular starting option for anyone with an urge to run their own business. At No Letting Go, our franchise business is thriving as entrepreneurial spirits join us and take advantage of the many opportunities an inventory management franchise offers.
Why is inventory management a good business opportunity?
The rental market is booming right now, and lockdown has done little to slow it down. Recent figures show a 22% increase in demand for lettings in comparison with the same period in 2019. In fact, it’s predicted that households within the private rented sector is set to rise by 5.79 million by 2021. This level of expansion offers exciting opportunities for anyone involved in the sector.
To manage the growth in the lettings market successfully, there will need to be a robust infrastructure of support services around it, and inventory management will play an essential role. Inventory management ensures the protection of both landlord and tenant and reduces the potential for disputes. Landlords value the ability to outsource inventory management as it saves them time, and our independence gives tenants greater confidence in the process.
Moving into a market with such growth opportunity is an exciting proposition for any new business owner, but when this can be done through a franchise, which offers the prospect of a readymade set-up and a recognised brand, it’s an opportunity to get your business career off to a flying start.
What’s special about a No Letting Go franchise?
In addition to an active market, business owners need to ensure that the franchise they’re considering can realise business opportunities and meet their aims.
Inventory management provides a clear advantage to those owning or managing a let property, but the advantage of owning a franchise comes when that franchise is established as a provider of a specialist service. A No Letting Go franchise offers just that:
- A recognised brand and the UK’s largest franchised provider of property reports to the UK residential rental market
- Provides a range of services in addition to the inventory management report, increasing income
- Has services established with a wide variety of letting businesses, including major chains of letting agents, independent local letting agencies, estate agencies, landlords, property management companies and local authorities
- Invests in extensive training in all aspects of delivering the services and running a business, from when you start up and continuing throughout your franchise ownership
- Based on a repeat business model, so once established you’ll see an ongoing flow of business
- Offers assurance that reports are comprehensive, compliant and simple to create, so you’ll always be in demand
Become a franchise owner
The desire to provide great customer service, deliver on promises and work hard are the main assets you need for starting out on your franchise ownership journey; no industry experience is required.
If you think you have what it takes, and running a franchise would suit your life and your business aims, please contact us to discuss joining the national network of inventory management specialists at No Letting Go.
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.
Do you own or manage rental property in Battersea, London? If so, the right letting agent can help you maximise rental income, find the right tenants and save you time for the more important tasks.
We’ve analysed customer reviews to compile a thorough list of the best Battersea letting agents that can help you manage your property portfolio and handle day-to-day tenant requests.
Find professional and reliable letting agencies in London and the Battersea area…
Chestertons Battersea & Clapham
With an impressive 4.8 Google review from satisfied clients, the Battersea office of Chesterton’s lettings team is managed by Gary Noone. Priding himself on his excellent customer service, Gary has been working in the industry since 2001 and brings a youthful energy to his work.
Overseas landlords highly recommend the agency for their responsive communication and expert advice.
+44 (0)20 7298 5630
6 Battersea Rise, Clapham London SW11 1ED
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward Battersea
From family homes to apartments for young professionals, the Battersea branch of KFH is experienced at letting a wide range of properties in the area.
Directed by Kiera Sapiets, the lettings team have been praised for their helpful, professional and friendly outlook.
From property management to short term lets, this office in South West London is a reliable choice for busy landlords.
020 8131 4326
Battersea Lettings108 Northcote Road, Battersea, SW11 6QP
Foxtons Battersea Estate Agents
Foxtons Battersea letting agents specialise in a wide range of services, from properties for sale, properties to rent and property management and valuations.
Foxton’s tenant finding service covers long term, short term and managed lets, taking the pressure off you to find the perfect tenant for your property. They also offer a digital assistant for landlords featuring 24/7 support, real time notifications and financial updates. The perfect way to streamline tasks and cut down on admin.
020 7801 1111
168 Lavender Hill, Battersea, SW11 5TG
Knight Frank Battersea and Riverside Estate Agents
Knight Frank Battersea and Riverside Estate Agents manage some of the most sought-after properties for rent in Battersea, located in the Nine Elms SW8 regeneration zone.
With exceptional local knowledge and a wide network, this letting agent is well practiced at placing tenants and providing seamless services. The 4.9 Google rating attests to the effort the team at Battersea put into their customer service when dealing with landlords and tenants alike.
+4420 3642 9711
Unit C1 Vista, 346 Queenstown Road, SW11 8BY
Haart Letting Agents Battersea
As part of one of the largest independent letting agents in the UK, Haart Letting Agents Battersea have a wealth of experience in the industry.
Branch manager Ollie Seymour provides reliable local knowledge, alongside a large database of potential tenants. Described as ‘attentive’ without being ‘obtrusive’, Ollie has helped many new and experienced landlords let properties in the area.
020 7223 0637
255 Lavender Hill, Battersea, London, SW11 1JD
Gordon & Co Estate Agents in Battersea
Since 2008, Gordon & Co Estate Agents in Battersea have been letting properties and providing essential property management services in Battersea and Clapham.
This registered office covers the following postcodes; SW2, SW4, SW6, SW8, SW9, SW11, SW12, SW15, SW17, SW18, SW19.
Reviews describe the team as ‘kind’, ‘informative’ and praise them for going above and beyond for their clients.
020 7223 3100
200, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 1JA
Douglas & Gordon Battersea
From the best schools in the area to green spaces and safety, the team at Douglas & Gordon Battersea understand the requirements of families looking to rent in the area.
Covering property promotion to rental agreements, the letting’s team at Douglas & Gordon are on hand for every step of the lettings process.
Lettings manager Emma Seckel is part of a small and experienced team who are always happy to help.
020 7924 2002
128 Northcote Road, London, SW11 6QZ
Aspire Estate Agents Battersea
Combining the latest in property technology with original marketing strategies, the team here are confident they can let your property quickly. Their lettings department is registered with ARLA and the team is big on integrity and honesty.
020 7801 3400
242 Battersea Bridge Road, London, SW11 3AA
John D Wood & Co Estate Agents Battersea
Located centrally on Battersea park road, John D Wood & Co Estate Agents’ specialised lettings team has been operating in the UK for over 145 years.
This long running company offers bespoke marketing strategies, a flexible array of services for landlords as well as excellent corporate and relocation services.
501, Battersea Park Road, Battersea, London, SW11 4LW
020 3369 4316
Hamptons International Estate Agents Battersea and Wandsworth
With an impressive 5-star Google review rating, Hamptons International Battersea and Wandsworth are often praised for their efficiency in finding tenants and for taking the hassle out of the lettings process.
Armed with award winning marketing, a strong reputation and wide exposure on popular property portals, the team at Hamptons Battersea know how to make life easier for busy landlords.
98-100, Northcote Road, Battersea, London, SW11 6QW
Battersea Property Inventory Services
No Letting Go Battersea is head up by Rafi, Farhat and Armad Kahn. This family run franchise is dedicated to providing their clients with professional inventory services and reports for landlords and letting agents in the areas of SW11 and SW18. Rafi is an experienced inventory and property reporting specialist, with great local knowledge. Give them a call today to see how they could help your property business.
The No Letting Go Battersea branch offers;
- Inventory management
- Smoke and CO inspection and installation
- 360 virtual photography
- Property appraisals and floor plans
- Property visits
- Legionella risk assessments
- Digisign automated check in
12 Saint Olaves Road, London E6 2PA, UK
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.
As a landlord or letting agent, what do you do if your tenant disappears? Tenant abandonments can cause a lot of hassle and complications for those managing the property, so if it happens to you, it’s best to be prepared.
If a tenant is expected of abandoning, the landlord or letting agent will need to place a notice of abandonment at the rental property. We explain what this means, the responsibilities involved and how we can help with our abandonment notice service.
Tenant Abandonment: The Facts
Tenant abandonment is the term given for when a tenant leaves your property before the end of the tenancy agreement without notifying you (the landlord or letting agent).
In the case of abandonment, whoever is managing the property needs to ensure the tenant has permanently vacated the property before they can rent it out again.
Rent will still be owed until the end of the tenancy or until the property is let out again.
Issues for Landlords
If your tenant abandons the rental property, this can cause several problems;
- Loss of rental income
- Risk of vandalism and lack of security at the abandoned property
- Abandoned properties can result in higher insurance premiums
- If tenants leave possessions behind, these become the responsibility of the landlord to safeguard
What is an Abandonment Notice?
If you believe your tenant has left the property before the end of the tenancy, you need to place an abandonment notice.
An abandonment notice is a written statement that must be displayed in a prominent, accessible position on the property informing the tenant that the locks have been changed and where to find a replacement key if they wish to return.
It should give the tenant a limited time to get in contact and request a new set of keys.
By completing an abandonment notice, you are protecting yourself from being accused of unlawfully evicting the tenant.
What is Considered Property Abandonment?
Tenants are obligated to inform their letting agent or landlord if they plan to leave their rented property for more than two weeks. The tenancy agreement should include this clause as a form of protection for residential landlords.
Landlords and property professionals need to act cautiously, as under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, the tenant is entitled to return to the property within the tenancy period. If the tenant decides to return and the property has been let to someone else, this could constitute a criminal offence on the part of the landlord.
Without obtaining a lengthy and expensive court possession order, the tenant is still legally the occupant- even if they are in rent arrears.
This means you need to be certain that the tenant has permanently vacated and surrendered the property before re-letting or entering the property.
Landlord and Letting Agent Responsibilities
In order to ensure you are not making an unlawful eviction, if your tenant appears to abandon the property there are steps that must be taken;
Before letting the property to someone else or changing the locks you must first ensure the tenant has surrendered the property.
Firstly, try to contact the tenant to establish whether they are surrendering the tenancy. If you can get written confirmation from the tenant and they return the keys, you are safe to go ahead and re-let the property.
If you cannot get a hold of the tenant check if;
- The tenant has stopped paying rent
- The tenant has removed their belonging
- The tenant has left the keys at the property
- The neighbours have seen the tenant at the property
Housing and Planning Act 2016: Abandonment
If you can ensure that your property has been abandoned, and your tenant is in rent arrears you are now able to take back possession of your property under the Housing and planning Act 2016.
In this case, you can place a written warning at the property requesting rent repayments. If the first warning is ignored, a second warning notice is required. If the tenant still fails to respond, a third and final notice must be displayed. If this is also ignored, the landlord can take repossession of the property.
Can I Enter an Abandoned Property?
If you believe your tenant has abandoned, you can only enter the property if;
- It is in a vulnerable state and you need to secure the property by changing the locks
- There is any danger to neighbours (e.g. regarding the electric or gas supply)
There is damage that needs urgent repair
That’s where we come in. Our clerks can act as independent witnesses and help with the abandonment notice process, informing the tenant the locks have been changed.
What Should an Abandonment Notice Include?
There are certain elements an abandonment notice should include;
- Written notice that you believe the tenant has abandoned the property. Don’t forget to include important dates such as how long the property has been empty
- The full name, address and contact details of both the landlord and tenant
- A section asking anyone who knows the tenant’s current location to contact the landlord or property manager
- An agreed date by which the tenancy will be assumed abandoned or surrendered by the tenant (if the tenant fails to make contact by this date)
- A section recommending the tenant seeks legal advice
- The name of the independent witness
No Letting Go’s Abandonment Notice Service
In the event that either a landlord or letting agent places an Abandonment Notice up at a property, it is vital that someone attends the property on a regular basis (ideally every 3-4 days) to ensure the notice is still in place. We offer an abandonment notice service whereby we will visit the property as instructed to ensure the notice has not been removed or displaced and to report on the security of the property.
No Letting Go are dedicated to providing professional and unbiased property inventory services from the start of tenancy to the end. From appraisals and right to rent checks, to property inspections and maintenance reports – we’re here to help you protect your investment.
Discover how we could help by browsing our full list of property inventory services.