If you are considering renting out your house or flat, there are a number of things to consider, before placing it on the rental market.  The better presented the property, the higher the calibre of the tenant, coupled with the prospect of maximising, the highest rental income for your home.  Here are some points to consider:

  • Firstly, you need to ensure that the property is in good repair, both externally and internally.  Repair leaking gutters, replace missing roof tiles and ensure that everything is water tight.  Freshen up paint work in the main rooms, with neutral colours.
  • Renew fitted carpets, with low budget hard wearing carpets and renew curtains with purpose made-to-measure, off the shelf curtains, found at retail outlets.
  • Legally, before you rent, you must have a Gas Safe Registered accredited engineer to inspect all the gas appliances, including the boiler and a Landlords Safety Certificate, which must be provided annually, as part of the Landlord’s obligation.
  • Strangely, it is not a legal requirement, or mandatory to have the electrical system checked, but it is considered good practice, to have all electrical appliances checked and certified, as being safe.
  • All upholstered furniture, must be passed as fire safe and have a sewn in ‘triangle’ sign label. 
  • Since October 2008, Landlords are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  This must be carried out by a Domestic Energy Assessor, who will assess the energy performance of the property and give it a rating (A to G).
  • Always seek professional advice from accredited Letting Agents, such as the RICS , ARLA, or similar recognised accredited bodies.  Surprisingly, there is no legislation requiring Letting Agents to belong to a professionally recognised and accredited body, that adheres to a Code of Practice, to ensure you receive a fair and correct service and a redress scheme, if problems arise. 
  • For full management, Letting Agents will charge a fee of around 10% of the monthly rent, plus set-up costs (vetting the tenant, furniture inventory and schedule of condition inventory).  If you opt for a ‘Tenant Find’ service, the fee is likely to be around two and a half to five times the monthly rent, but thereafter any maintenance or tenant problems, become the Landlord ’s responsibility.
  • As a Landlord , since April 2007, it has become mandatory  to comply with the Tenants Deposit Scheme (TDS) legislation, which requires all deposits, to be registered with the Government-approved scheme.  Your accredited Letting Agent, will be familiar with this scheme.
  • The most common form of Tenancy Agreement, is known as the Assured Shorthold Tenancy and leases will be for a minimum of six months and thereafter, will continue on a periodic basis, where it may be terminated, either by the landlord giving two months’ notice, or the tenant giving one month’s notice.
  • Before you rent out your property, you will require approval from your Bank or Building Society, if the property is mortgaged and in addition, you will also need to inform your Building Insurance Company.
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