Letting property – the process
Letting out a house or flat can be a great investment, but there are a few things to look out for. We can help you find tenants, get the right price and manage the paperwork.
We’ve been letting property and managing flats and houses in Bristol for over 15 years, so let us take you through how it works.
- Step 1: Make your property look its best
- Step 2: Get a valuation from a letting agent
- Step 3: Landlords’ obligations
- Step 4: Find your tenants
- Step 5: Get the paperwork done
- Step 6: Taking a deposit and moving in
STEP 1: Make your property look its best
We’ve found that when a place feels ‘right’, the first few minutes are often all prospective tenants need to decide.
This means that making your property look its best could be the difference between a quick rental and a long haul with an empty house or flat on the market. Letting property doesn’t have to be hard work.
Presenting to rent
- Be objective – don’t overlook flaws just because you don’t mind them
- Reduce clutter – get rid of everything but the bare essentials
- Decorate neutrally – tenants should be able to see it as their home, not yours
- Keep it light – clean the windows and use light colours to decorate
- Outside and in – fresh paintwork and well cared for outside spaces make a great first impression
STEP 2: Get a valuation from a letting agent
A little research can give you an idea of what the right rent is for your house or flat. Ask yourself:
- What’s the going rate in your area? Check with us or search this site for similar properties.
- How much do you need to cover your mortgage and other expenses?
If you want a professional opinion on where to set your rent, get in touch with us and we’ll value your property for free and without any obligation to use us for letting or management.
To arrange a free valuation by one of our experienced team, use the ‘request a valuation link’. We can usually make an appointment for the next day.
STEP 3: Landlord Obligations – Ready to Go!
EPC, Gas Safety Certificate and Pat testing all have to be arranged before marketing can commence. We also advise, whilst it’s not a legal requirement, that a fixed wiring inspection be carried out.
STEP 4: Find your tenants
If you decide you’d like us to let your property, give us a call.
You’ll deal with a local lettings team who know the area well. It’s their job to know everything about your rental. They’ll keep you up to date on letting your property, from who’s interested in renting, to when tenants are looking round and what they think of the property.
We’ll advertise your property on the web, in our offices, in print and with a ‘board’, making sure it gets seen by as many potential tenants as possible.
We’ll show prospective tenants around on your behalf and we’ll make sure it’s convenient for you and for any current tenants. It’s always best to show off a property in daylight, which is why we are also open on Saturdays.
STEP 5: Get the paperwork done
When we’ve found the right tenants and they’ve agreed to move in, there’s some paperwork to be done before the tenancy can start. We’ll take care of this, and send all the legal documents to you and your tenants, unless we are signing on your behalf (this applies to managed properties only).
We call this stage ‘let agreed’, and starts with checking references. We’ll request three references and investigate the tenant’s financial situation. We will talk you through any potential problems.
Next we’ll draw up a tenancy agreement that sets out exactly the terms of your contract with your tenant, including any special requirements you have. We’ll send you and your tenant copies to sign. All you have to do is check the agreement, sign it and send it back to us before the tenancy starts. We will forward a copy of the tenant’s signed agreement to you and your signed agreement to the tenant.
Finally, you will require an inventory which records the contents of your flat or house at the point when your tenants move in. We will attach a copy of the inventory to the tenancy agreement which will then form part of your contract.
STEP 6: Taking a deposit and moving in
Before the tenancy starts, we’ll collect the deposit and the first rent payment on your behalf. As soon as this money clears, your tenants can move in.
For our managed properties we will be there to check your tenants in and make sure they get the keys.
Letting your property is now complete and you are now a landlord.
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