valuation tips and advice for landlords

tips & advice for landlords


We have a huge success rate in achieving the highest possible price on behalf of our Landlords. To help you achieve this, please see our handy tips on preparing your property for rental.

Preparing Your Rental Property

There is of course a market for dated properties as long as the asking price reflects this. However, you will need to consider that a poorly presented property may well only attract a slovenly tenant. When we visit your property for a valuation, we will help guide you as to whether certain repairs or replacements would be worthwhile economically to improve the rental value of your property or not.

If you are planning on letting your current property and purchasing elsewhere, we would recommend not securing a tenant until you have exchanged on your purchase unless you have the ability to move somewhere else temporarily.

In an ideal world, you would want to let in a robust market. However the lettings market is subject to monthly, even weekly changes. We will give you a true and honest indication of how the local property market is moving and whether it is the best time to let. Whether you are able to wait does highly depend on your financial situation. Sometimes it’s better to secure a tenant at a lower rent rather than to leave it empty whilst trying to attract a higher figure. Overall, you may well be better off in the long term financially, even if it is at a lower rent.

First Impressions

First impressions are important, so check your kerb appeal. Tidy your front gardens, clear side entrances, paint or repair faded or damaged window sills and front door, and make sure your house number or name is clearly visible. Also ensure your rear garden is kept neat and tidy.

Some potential tenants may just drive past your property initially. If they don’t even get out of their car because they don't like the exterior of your house, they'll never come inside.

Rooms inside should be kept tidy. Declutter, consider putting some of your belongings into storage. Clear kitchen worktops and put essential everyday items in a box that can be stored in a cupboard when not in use. Neutralise animal smells and arrange for boisterous pets to be taken out if applicable.

Make Minor Repairs

Consider replacing kitchen cupboard doors and drawer fronts, replace cracked floor tiles, patch holes in walls and so on. A poorly lit property can be off-putting, so replace any defective or dull light bulbs, and open any curtains and blinds during daytime viewings.

Out of date bathroom suites can also let a property down, but this doesn't mean that you have to spend a fortune; simply installing new taps or a new shower screen and regrouting can make all the difference.

If a bathroom does not have a window, get a suitable extractor to help avoid condensation and mildew problems.

A lick of paint can transform a room and bring it up to date.

Ensure that your property is well maintained and replace or repair any defective items. If you have gas central heating then you should have this serviced and a gas safety certificate provided.

Keep Your House Clean

Start a tenancy with a professional clean, to ensure that your relationship with the tenant starts off on the right foot and that your tenant will need to return your property professionally cleaned too.

If your carpets are dirty, get them cleaned professionally. If they are badly worn or will not respond to cleaning, then it will probably be wise to replace them.

Clean windows (inside and out), mirrors, work surfaces and furniture. Remove cobwebs and dust from corners, light fittings etc.

Ensure that bathrooms and kitchens sinks and taps shine. Hang up fresh towels. All these small things really can make a difference in making your property more attractive to a potential tenant.

Furniture

If your property is empty, we would recommend that you do not purchase furniture before we have found you a tenant. Some tenants require unfurnished or have some items of their own. Should the tenant require furniture you can then furnish the property to their specific requirements rather than supplying unwanted items. If you are supplying furniture, you must ensure that it conforms with Fire Regulations.

Please be mindful that even with unfurnished lets; curtains and lamp shades are usually expected, as are kitchen white goods. A telephone line should be present in the property however it is the tenant’s responsibility to have the line connected.

If you require any assistance with any of the above suggestions, please let us know and we can provide suitable tradespeople and further advice.

How can I prevent damp in my flat?

Condensation is one of the root causes of damp, a lack of ventilation through windows not being opened after a shower or drying washing in a property and not ventilating properly, adds to damp which leads to mould, which can lead to health problems if left untreated. Tenants can keep mould and damp at bay with a variety of products that can be obtained from large supermarkets and hardware shops.

You & The Law

Under the Furniture and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations 1993 all furniture must comply with current fire safety standards. Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and 1996 there must be a gas check carried out to your property by a qualified contractor who must supply you with a gas safety certificate in compliance with these regulations.

Every electrical appliance must be tested for safety under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. All the wiring in the property must also be checked by a qualified electrician who should supply you with an electrical safety certificate. Serious breach of the safety laws above could result in heavy fines, or even imprisonment in cases causing death.

Please contact us to arrange gas and electrical safety on your behalf.

To comply with the government legislation, tenant’s deposits will be protected by a regulated agent and disputes about their return should be resolved swiftly, inexpensively and impartially. However, to reach a resolution, one must have an independent inventory in place. An inventory will provide an independent report on the condition and furnishing at the property at the time of the tenancy beginning. The inventory can then be used to refer to, at the end of the tenancy if arbitration is required.

On the 6th April 2006, mandatory HMO licensing came into force across England. In brief, a property let to more than two people who are not related, and where tenants share a kitchen and a bathroom will require a licence. Once a valid application has been submitted, you will still be able to let your property whilst the applications is being considered. The cost of a licence will depend on the local authority concerned, and lasts up to five years. For more detailed information on compliance, criteria and the application process etc. we advise you visit the government website.

Unless agreed otherwise, the tenant is responsible for payment of utilities such as gas, electricity, water rates and the local authority Council Tax. As far as leasehold properties are concerned you as the landlord are responsible for payments of service charges, ground rent and buildings and contents insurance. You should also inform your freeholder (if applicable), mortgage lender and current insurance company that you intend to let the property.

Conclusion of the Tenancy

Unless you have arranged a management or check out service, it is this landlord’s responsibility to meet the tenants on the final day of the tenancy when all their personal effects have been removed, to the check the condition of the property, obtain meter readings, and check through the inventory. Landlords should obtain a forwarding address for the tenants and final readings sent to the relevant utility companies so that closing accounts can be sent to the outgoing tenants. The services will be transferred back into the landlords name until they are informed of a new tenant. At the end of the tenancy, the deposit which has been deposited under the scheme must be reimbursed, provided of course, that there has been no dispute over damages, damaged or missing furniture, or unpaid rent as set out in the tenancy agreement. In the event that a dispute is not resolved within 14 days, the disputed amount shall be passed to the deposit protection scheme the deposit is lodged with. An independent complaints examiner (ICE) will adjudicate and will distribute the disputed amount according to their findings.

Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you to arrange a free no obligation valuation.


In our most recent survey 99% of our customers would recommend us to others of which 100% were either satisfied or very satisfied with our service.

More properties exchanged in the last 12 months than any other local agent

More new instructions in the last 12 months than any other local agent

In the last 12 months, 99% of our sales have been at asking price or above