Guide for Landlords
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs
smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or
assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Preparing the Property
We have found that a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers this
relationship is our job, but it is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are
receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will
go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater
Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs
and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good
condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of
property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a
minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on
the property and any items provided.
Personal items, ornaments etc.
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or
sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner's risk. All cupboards and shelf space
should be left clear for the Tenant's own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a
reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you
value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is
the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their
Information for the Tenant
It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine
and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee's written consent to the letting. They may require additional
clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform
your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and
Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.
Bills and regular outgoings
We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing
order or direct debit. However where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain
bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.
Council tax and utility accounts
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your
closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require
instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their
agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the
Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and
sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the
case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of
being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in
the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds,
headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a
dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made
before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which
comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is
no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common
law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted
property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each
floor (in the hall and landing areas).
We are able to suggest a variety of insurance policies for both landlords and tenants.
With typical returns of up to 10% achievable on capital investment in residential property to let in much of the UK, the buy-to-let
market provides a highly efficient long-term investment medium.
Our considerable local experience in this field, together with our independent status, means that we are able to provide practical
and impartial advice on such matters as the type of property and the area that you should consider.
From minor works to complete refurbishment, we are able to assist in the process of preparing the property for letting in a variety
of ways, including the arranging and supervising of redecoration and repairs, carpeting, curtaining and furnishings. Our
relationship with local suppliers and tradespeople ensures competitive pricing and quality workmanship.
We hope that you will find the above information useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look
forward to being of assistance to you in the letting and management of your property