First Stages of Renting a Property in London
We will initially view the property to assess its rental value. At this point we will answer any questions you may have and determine the most suitable service to meet your requirements. We will also be able to make recommendations where necessary that could potentially increase the rental value of your property. Our advice at this point is completely free and aimed at making sure you have a firm understanding of all your obligations before proceeding to let your property.
Marketing your property
Once you have decided to appoint us as your agent, one of our representatives shall visit the property in order to take some internal and external photographs. We shall use the photographs and the information we have collected to create an attractive advert which we shall display whilst marketing your property.
Presenting the property
As the lettings market becomes more and more competitive, it is important that the property is presented in the best way possible. Without this, the property could remain empty for longer as well as affecting its rental value.
To help a rental property appeal to a wider market, we would suggest the following:
- Keep the colours in the property neutral.
- Gardens must be kept maintained (when a tenant occupies the property, the maintenance of the garden becomes their responsibility).
- Keep the equipment provided and furnishings as contemporary as possible (can still basic).
- Check for any grouting issues in places such as the bathroom. Any mould issues here can really affect a prospective tenant’s decision to rent the property.
- Double glazing and gas central heating is another popular feature amongst prospective tenants.
Obtaining the tenants and referencing
Arguably the most important factor when letting the property is the prospective tenant. The whole success of letting depends on finding the right tenant. If an applicant wishes to proceed with a tenancy, we will assess their suitability.
The references aim to check that each tenant is creditworthy by for example checking for CCJ’s and arrears and obtaining employer, landlord and character references. Once references have been received, we will contact you to confirm the results of this and advise of the proposed checking in date.
All necessary legal paperwork, including an inventory, will be prepared and signed and any outstanding balances settled by the tenant before the tenancy commences.
Important Safety and Legal Requirements
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 say landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for tenant’s use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a technician registered with the Gas Safety Register (which superseded CORGI on 1st April 2009).
The landlord must keep a record of the safety check for two years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
While there isn’t a legal obligation on landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical appliances, there is, however, an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – Part P, and the British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
All electrical certification should be carried out by an electrician who is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers and Contractors (NICEIC).
The Landlords agree that it is their responsibility to ensure that the property meets all the health and Safety Regulations in regards to the fixture, fittings, appliances and all service suppliers such as gas and electricity. The Landlord undertakes to take all the necessary steps to ensure compliance with all the relevant statutory undertakings and guarantees that he has complied with his statutory obligations arising under Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993), General Product Safety Regulations 1994, Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 that the Property is made available for letting in a safe condition and in compliance with the above regulations.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide
All properties built since June 1992 must have interlinked mains-connected smoke detectors/alarms on each floor of the property. Smoke alarms must be checked regularly to ensure that they are in full working order. A carbon monoxide detector should also be supplied. These can be purchased for around £5 from most DIY shops.
Energy Performance Certificate
With effect from 1st October 2008, all new tenancies require an Energy Performance Certificate. Their purpose is to determine how energy efficient homes are on a scale of A-G. The most efficient homes – which should have the lowest fuel bills – are in band A. The certificate uses the same scale to define the impact a home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The average property in the UK is in bands D-E for both ratings.
The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home’s energy efficiency to save money and help the environment.
As from the 1st April 2018 there is a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations came into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy
If the landlord wishes to rent their property to multiple occupants, it may mean that a license is required before the property can be legally rented. Houses in Multiple Occupation are also referred to as “HMOs” and the purpose of the licensing scheme is to improve management and safety standards in this area of the rental sector.
It is now a mandatory duty for:
- All Local Authorities to have a licensing scheme
- Owners of certain types of HMOs to have a license
The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
Under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 every landlord or letting agent that takes a deposit for an Assured Short-hold Tenancy in England and Wales must join a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The new regulations came into effect from April 6, 2007. The purpose of this regulation is to ensure good practice. The secondary purpose of the new regulations is to try and keep disputes between landlords and tenants out of the courts by encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution.