When letting your property, we know how much there is to think about. We have put together a step by step process to make life a little easier.
We know how much there is to think about when you’re letting a property, so we’ve put together this guide to make life a little easier. It takes you through the life cycle of a typical let, from finding the right tenant to minimising the time your property is empty between tenancies.
Your relationship with Great Newport Ltd could be one that lasts for years, so it makes sense to set aside some time for a face-to-face meeting. This is a chance to find out more about what kind of services we can offer you and how we can work.
These are the typical questions landlords should be asking:
How do you source tenants?
Who will be the main point of contact?
What success have you achieved with this kind of property (rent levels, amount of time to find a tenant)?
What do you think is the highest achievable rent, and how did you arrive at this figure?
What are your commission rates?
Are there any additional charges (up-front costs of setting up the tenancy)?
Is marketing included?
One decision you need to make early on is who will be dealing with your tenant and managing your property on a day-to-day basis. You have two options: your agent can look after everything for you, or you can take on the responsibility yourself. Whichever route you choose, your tenant will expect a professional and prompt service, and for someone to be on call 24/7 for emergencies. Asking Great Newport Ltd to manage the property has a number of advantages. It keeps the relationship with your tenant at arm’s length and allows you to avoid the stress and hassle of dealing with midnight calls about burst pipes. You also have the reassurance of knowing that your property is being looked after by a professional team and maintained by their network of trusted contractors. Research shows that tenants tend to stay longer in managed properties, too.
Are you prepared to be called at any time of the day or night by your tenant?
Will you be able to establish a professional relationship with your tenant and deliver the high level of attentive service they expect?
Do you have the flexibility to visit the property promptly when problems arise?
Do you have a good network of local contractors able to carry out maintenance work?
Do you have enough time to dedicate to your tenant?
Investing a little time and effort before prospective tenants step through the door can have a big impact on the income you generate from your property. When you let your property it becomes an asset rather than a home. You need to detach yourself emotionally and view it objectively as a prospective tenant would. It can be worthwhile spending some money before you put it on the market – revamping the kitchen and bathroom could move it up to a higher rental bracket, for example, as well as potentially adding capital value. Whether you’re planning to let your property furnished or unfurnished, there are some basic things that will help to show it off in its best light. First of all, make sure it’s clean and in good decorative order – including curtains, carpets, windows and walls. Any white goods that are being left should also be clean and in good working order.
There’s no right answer to the question of whether or not to include furniture in a let – it depends on what works for you and your tenant. If you’re moving out of a furnished house, for example, it can be a lot easier to leave your furniture behind and avoid the costs of removal and storage. But if you’re worried about damage to precious possessions, don’t want the expense of furnishing an empty property, or your tenant has furniture they want to bring with them, going unfurnished can make more sense. If you are letting your property furnished, make sure it is not over furnished, as this can make it seem smaller. De-clutter and remove anything you would hate to see damaged during the tenancy, such as expensive items or anything of sentimental value. If the property is being let unfurnished, it can still pay to dress it temporarily, as this makes it easier for tenants to picture themselves living there.
When an offer comes in, it’s important to weigh it up carefully to make sure you end up with the right tenant. This goes beyond simply finding someone able to pay the rent and takes in issues such as how long they are planning to stay, when they would like to move in and how many people will be living in your property. Begin by deciding what your basic requirements are, and make sure you stick to them. You may need a certain level of rent to cover your costs, for example, or you might have a particular timescale in mind for the start or the duration of the let.
Reaching agreement It’s common for there to be some negotiation before an agreement is reached between a landlord and tenant. Depending on the strength of the market, the tenant may make an offer on the marketing price, for example, or you might request a higher deposit for a tenant with pets. Some tenants will have a list of things they’d like you to do to the property before they move in. The general rule is that as long as the requests are reasonable, try to be flexible – it can be a very positive way to start your relationship. Accepting an offer When you’ve considered all the offers, Great Newport Ltd will make sure you hear them all, even the cheeky ones – make your decision and be prepared to move quickly. We will then check the tenant’s references.
Once you’ve accepted an offer and the tenant’s references have been checked, Great Newport Ltd will draw up a contract for both parties to sign. As well as containing all the standard clauses designed to protect your rights and those of the tenant, it should include any additional requests that were agreed at the negotiation stage (this may include automatic tenancy extensions). Great Newport Ltd will then advise you on how the tenancy progresses from here and what you need to do in terms of paperwork
A couple of months before the tenancy comes to an end, Great Newport Ltd will contact you and the tenant to find out your plans. Should they stay? If you are both happy to agree a new tenancy, you might want to discuss modifying the terms of your original agreement. Typically this will involve adjusting the price (up or down, depending on the market) and anything pre-agreed in the original tenancy, but it’s also an opportunity to add or tailor other terms that both you and the tenant agree on. Or should they go? If you or the tenant do not wish to renew the tenancy, you should check the contract to make sure the right amount of notice is served (usually two months). Great Newport Ltd will start working on a new marketing plan for your property, and this can also be a good opportunity to carry out any maintenance that’s needed. The sooner all this can happen, the less time your property will be standing empty before the new tenant moves in. If the property is managed, Great Newport Ltd will handle the tenant’s exit, including organising the outgoing inventory and the return of the keys. They will also arrange the release of the deposit minus any agreed deductions.
Contact us for further details or to book a free consultation.