Landlord Guide

Accurate valuation

The achievable rental value of your property is determined by many factors including location and number of bedrooms, local services and amenities, the cosmetic appearance and overall condition of the property. DRE will advise you on a realistic rental value taking into all these factors into consideration together with the current state of the local market.

Consider Property Management

Looking after a rented property is easy when you have responsible tenants and live locally. However, if anything does go wrong, from a boiler breaking down to a tenant losing their job it can get very stressful. There is a mountain of legal obligations, with seemingly more forms to complete every day. Let us take the strain and manage your property for you. We can ensure that you’re protected in every way and we’ll work hard to make sure you’re not out of pocket financially. We’re proud of our knowledge of the industry and will always act in your best interests at all times. We’ll even renew your Landlords Gas Safety certificate automatically.

Our full management service includes the following:

  • Free Property Appraisal to make sure we get it marketed at the right price.
  • Good quality photos
  • Advertising on all major portals e.g Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation
  • Full background and credit checks, guarantor referencing, employer and earnings validation, immigration and Right to Rent checks and previous landlord reference checking on all potential tenants.
  • Registering security deposits.
  • Drafting and signing of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements
  • Arranging independent photographic Inventory
  • Arranging end of tenancy cleaning
  • Arranging EPC and Landlords Gas Safety Record where required
  • Advising on adherence to current rental property legislation
  • Check-in Service For the new tenants
  • Collection and payment of rent (less fees and other payments as agreed)
  • Check-out Service
  • Regular property inspections and full written follow up report
  • Full management of maintenance issues
  • Rent collection and onward payment
  • Automatic renewal of Landlords Gas Safety Record (where applicable)
  • Chasing arrears
  • Service of Notices
  • Preparation of court paperwork and eviction handling (if required)

The small print

There are several things to consider when renting a property. Neutral colours work best on walls, keep the garden simple and laid to lawn where possible, and remove all personal items. Find all window and door keys, ensure that all locks work effectively. Find the manuals for all white goods and any other equipment in the property. If the property was your home, arrange for your mail to be forwarded. Decide what you are going to leave there and what you want to take away, and make all minor repairs. Several things to consider before you even put the property on the market:

  • Mortgage – If your property is mortgaged you’ll need permission from your lender.
  • Leasehold properties - If the property is leasehold you’ll also need to check the Head lease for any special terms or conditions, and seek permission from the Freeholder if necessary
  • Insurance – Ensure that Landlords insurance is in place
  • Tax – Income tax is payable on rental properties and it is the Landlords responsibility to declare that income to HM Revenue & Customs. For overseas Landlords, you will need to apply to HMRC for an exemption certificate which we need to see for us to pay rent without deducting tax. More information on UK and non-resident tax liability can be found at www.hmrc.gov.uk

For any rental property, you need to consider:

  • The Gas Safety Certificate (Installation and use) Regulations 1994
    Any rental property must have all gas appliances and installations tested by a Gas Safe qualified engineer on an annual basis, and this needs to be in place before any tenants move in. A copy of the valid Gas Safety Certificate must be given to the tenant(s) before the start of their tenancy. If there is no valid certificate then we can help in this matter, at the landlord’s expense. Failure to provide or maintain a valid Landlords Gas Safety certificate could lead to up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a very hefty fine.
  • The Electrical (Safety) Regulations 1994 / Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994
    It is a criminal offence to rent properties without safe electrical equipment. Landlords must make sure that ALL electrical equipment, appliances and electrical supply is safe. Electrical items must be examined by a qualified electrician before the tenancy commences. If you wish, we can instruct an approved contractor to carry out this check.
  • The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire and Safety) Regulations 1988
    If you intend to provide your property furnished, you must make sure that all soft furnishings or upholstered furniture complies with the Furniture and Furnishings act. You don’t need a certificate for this.
  • Energy Performance Certificate
    Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) give information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce your energy costs. All rental properties require an EPC, and the values need to be displayed on all adverts. A copy of the EPC is given to all tenants at the start of the tenancy as part of the welcome pack.

Preparing your property for tenancy

Decide whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished. Furnished properties will give a better visual impression to the prospective tenants on how the property will look, making it more likely to rent quicker. If the quality of the furniture warrants it, you can charge a premium rental price than if it was unfurnished. However the down side is that offering the property furnished will increase costs over time as wear and tear necessitate replacing the furniture.

We recommend that the landlord provides white goods as a minimum (washing machine, cooker and fridge freezer) if letting the property unfurnished. Flexibility is key as this will broaden the appeal of the property to prospective tenants as individual requirements vary. Anything surplus to requirements should be removed and placed into storage if need be.

Marketing your property

DRE vigorously market all our available stock across a wide variety of mediums. We subscribe to platforms such as Rightmove & Zoopla we display your properties on this website as well as within our branches and Overseas. We have many highly visible, strategically placed ‘To Let’ boards in the area. Your property will receive maximum exposure using a combination of these methods backed up by daily contact with pre-vetted potential tenants from our database. We aim to avoid void periods and to maximise the return on your investment.

Receiving an offer

Once we receive an offer, we will relay that information to you, together with detailed information on the potential tenants. We check their situation, employment status, who is intending to move in, and how long they are looking to rent for. As the Landlord you have the final say as to whether you wish to proceed and accept their offer. If not, viewings will continue until a suitable tenant is found.

Offer agreed

At this point, we will ask for a holding deposit from the applicants and ask them to visit the office with their Right to Rent ID which will be checked and copied. We will also commence the referencing process. During this time, viewings are suspended until all checks have been completed to everybody’s satisfaction. If the deal falls through at any point, we will re-commence viewings immediately.

References checked

All tenants will undergo thorough background checks. We use an independent reputable referencing company to report on their suitability and credit-worthiness, including their payment history on any previous lending and any adverse credit e.g. CCJ’s or bankruptcies.

Their identity is also verified as is their right to live and work in the UK – We cover the Right to Rent checks including whether they are subject to any immigration control. If they have rented properties in the past, we will ask their Landlords to provide us with a reference. This information is provided by a variety of sources including credit reference agencies like Experian or Equifax and is compiled into a report which gives a final credit score, and whether they have passed or failed. From that we can paint a very good picture on their suitability as a tenant for your property.

Move In Monies taken and agreement signed

Once all referencing is completed and deemed satisfactory, we then ask the tenants to pay their first months rent and security deposit (usually 6 weeks equivalent rent). Upon receipt of cleared funds, we will arrange for the tenancy agreement to be drawn up and signed by all parties. All deposits are protected in a Government approved deposit scheme.

Move In Date

If an inventory was taken, the Clerk will meet the tenants at the property to conduct the check in process. The meter readings will be taken, the keys will be photographed and then handed to the Tenant. If the property is managed, we will also retain a set of keys at our offices. Within seven days the inventory will be sent to the Tenant for them to agree and sign, with any amendments highlighted within 14 days or the inventory will be locked down.

We will then send a welcome pack to the new tenants which will include:

  • A copy of the signed AST
  • Your contact details, unless we manage the property for you
  • Bank account details for rent payments
  • A copy of the Gas Safety Record (if applicable)
  • A copy of the EPC
  • A copy of the Electrical Testing Certificate
  • Inventory report (unless sent separately)
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Information for Assured Shorthold Tenancy Tenants:

Relevant letting fees and tenant protection information

In addition to paying rent for the property, you may also be required to make the following permitted payments:

Before the tenancy starts: Holding Deposit: 1 week’s rent, which forms part of total deposit.

Deposit: 5 weeks rent (or in the case of rental income of more than £50,000 per annum 6 weeks rent).

During the tenancy:Payments to other third parties: such as council tax, utilities or payments for communications services;

Default Charges: such as payments for the replacement of lost keys or security device actual cost of replacement. Interest on overdue rent 3% per annum over The Bank of England base rate.


Tenant Protection

DRE Residential is a member of Client Money Protect, which is a client money protection scheme, and members of Property Redress Scheme, which is a redress scheme. You can find out more details on our website or by contacting us directly.

 

Landlord Fee Information

Let Only 12.0% inc VAT
Rent Collection 14.4% inc VAT
Fully Managed 16.8% inc VAT

 

For more information, please call us on 0203 059 4500