Check out our landlord's quick guide of things you'll need to consider before renting out your property:
Getting the property ready for rental
Now that you have decided to rent out your property you'll want to maximise the letting potential by making sure you address the condition, the quality of the presentation and attention to detail. The most important thing to remember is that you are not going to be the one living in the property, so your personal taste should take second place to what the market demands. Better properties tend to attract better tenants and yield the highest rents.
The first thing that a potential tenant sees is the front of the property, so the exterior should be in good, fresh decorative order. Any pathways and driveways should be cleared of weeds and should be tidy, presentable and rubbish free.
Trim hedges, mow the lawn, repair any cracks, holes or blemishes or walls, give the windows a lick of paint and make sure the house number is clearly visible.
If you are letting a garage with the property, this should also be cleared and made ready for use. The garden should also be tidy and presented in an attractive manner, dig up any dead or unsightly plants and if possible add some new ones.
Ensure that all available utilities are connected to the property including, telephone line, gas, water and electricity. Where provided, check any LPG/OIL tanks are in working condition.
Furnishings, Carpets, Curtains & General Interior
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or non-furnished, this will be entirely up to you. We can advise you at the time on whether to furnish or not, and to what level.
ALL electrical, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems MUST be safe, sound and in good working order
Any instruction/operating manuals for any appliances and electrical equipment should be left in the property. Details of any maintenance contracts should also be supplied.
Before the commencement of a tenancy the whole property should be made clean throughout.
Legal Requirements & Health and Safety
As a landlord of a property equipped with gas appliances you need to understand and comply with the law relating to gas safety.
- Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a GAS SAFE registered gas installer.
- All gas appliances and associated pipe work and flues should be maintained to ensure they are safe to use and prevent risk of injury to any person.
- Provide the tenant with a copy of the safety certificate before their tenancy commences or within 28 days of the checks being done.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The electrical supply and appliances within a property must be safe at all times. Appliances must be checked for defects (e.g. badly fitted plugs or frayed wires etc.). If an item is found to be unsafe then this should be removed from the property prior to offering it for rent. There is no statutory checking procedure but we strongly recommend that all landlords? have an annual inspection of electrical appliances including an electrical supply safety check, by a qualified electrician. Records of any checks should be retained and provided for inspection if required.
The Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 (Consumer Protection Act 1987)
Any plug, socket or adapter supplied which is intended for domestic use, must comply with the appropriate current regulations.
The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993
It is now an offence to install any furniture in let properties that do not comply with these regulations.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
From December 2008 EPCs will be required whenever a building is built, sold or rented out. The certificate provides 'A' to 'G' ratings for the building, with 'A' being the most energy efficient and 'G' being the least, with the average up to now being 'D'.
The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home?s energy efficiency to save money and is valid for 10 years.
EPCs will only be required for properties which are having a change of tenant, not for existing tenants or for extensions of an existing tenancy agreement. The EPC must be made available for viewing by any prospective tenant at the point of viewing or enquiring about the property.
Please contact us to discuss your individual requirements for you and your property; we look forward to being of assistance to you.