Top Tips for Landlords Letting out a Property.
Letting out your property should be simple providing you follow these top tips. Its important as a landlord you fully understand the letting process and the legislation, which is constantly being updated. If you are not fully up to date with the latest legislation it is recommended you use a letting agent who can guide you and make sure you are doing things correctly.
Make sure any maintenance issues you are aware of are dealt with before listing the property to rent. This includes any redecoration and garden maintenance as first impressions count. It also gives the impression to any potential tenants that you take price in your property and are likely to be proactive in fixing any potential issues that come up in the future.
Make sure your property in cleaned throughout including any appliances you plan to include with the property. This should be done regardless of how the previous tenant may have left the property, it also sets the bar for how the property should be left at the end of the tenancy and providing you have an inventory and schedule of condition report from when your new tenant moves in, any cleaning costs can be deductible from the security deposit.
Before you list your property to rent you should make sure it meet the required safety standards and that you have the necessary compliance paperwork & certificates. These include an EPC (energy performance certificate), gas safety certificate if your property has a gas supply & an EICR, electrical condition report. Some properties may also require a landlord license or a HMO license. You should check with your letting agent or local authority to confirm this.
Its vital before you move a tenant into your property that you complete an inventory and schedule of condition report. This is basically a snapshot of the property at the start of the tenancy and will detail everything in the property, noting its current condition with photo evidence. Its important to note that if you need to make a claim against the tenants deposit at the end of the tenancy & dont have an inventory, the deposit protection scheme would likely see in the tenants favour even if it is a genuine claim being made. This is because you have no evidence to prove the condition at the start of the tenancy, its your word against the tenant.
You should carry out regular property inspections, these should be done at least every 6 months & documented with photos. Firstly you should be checking that the property is being well looked after and is clean and tidy and that no additional people are living at the property from the start of the tenancy. Secondly you should be checking that their isnt any maintenance issues that need addressing, tenants will often fail to report what they deem to be minor issues. Minor issues can quickly become major issues so its important that you or your property manager are actively looking for any potential problems. Finally you need to check that all the necessary compliance certificates are still valid and that you meet the current safety standards. This includes checking that your smoke alarms & carbon monoxide alarms are working. You should also record there location they are fitted as sometimes tenants will remove them. Many landlords are unaware that it is usually a condition of your buildings insurance and landlord license conditions that these inspections are being carried out regularly. As a landlord if you are unable to conduct inspections yourself you should be employing a property manager to do them on your behalf.
By following these simple tips you should eliminate any major issues throughout the tenancy and in turn keep your tenants longer meaning less void periods. Alot of these tips might sound obvious but lots of landlords fail in these areas which in turn can lead to problematic tenancies.
If you need any help letting, managing a property or just general landlord advice, contact Matt at Liverpool Residential on 0151 322 2003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org