Letting Your Property with Everbest Properties
BUY TO LET MORTGAGES / CONSENT TO LEASE
Before becoming a landlord, you will need to ensure you have the right to let a property. If you are looking to purchase a property, you must check that there are no restrictions preventing it from becoming a rental property. There are occasions where a property is a leasehold and there will be restrictive covenants preventing it from becoming a rental property and that it must be solely owner-occupied. You should check this before making any offers.
If there are no restrictions in this respect and you are not purchasing the property by cash-only, you must check that you have a buy to let mortgage if your sole purpose is to rent the property out or a mortgage which has 'consent to lease/consent to let.'
You should consider how much you expect to receive for your rental income to ensure that these will more than exceed your mortgage repayments and allow for any unexpected costings throughout the tenancy.
Once you are confident that your lender will allow for the property to be rented out, you should next consider the safety regulations in providing your property to let.
As part of becoming a landlord, you have a duty of care to your tenants to ensure that if you let a property, it is safe and free of hazards. Things to consider are as follows:
Gas Safety Checks- As a landlord, you MUST ensure that these are carried out on an annual basis. If you rent out your property through a managing agent, they may arrange this on your behalf, but it is still your responsibility to confirm that it is carried out and a copy provided to the tenants. Any gas equipment must be safely installed and maintained by a gas safe engineer.
Electrical Installation Checks and PAT Testing - As a landlord, you MUST ensure that the electrical installation is checked every 5 years, by a qualified contractor and a certificate must be supplied to your tenants within 28 days of the check. Previously, this was only a recommendation and only a requirement for HMO's but from 2020, this is now mandatory.
PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing) is currently not mandatory for rental properties (unless HMO's). However, you must check any additional licensing on your rental property as this may be a compulsory requirement and therefore we recommend checking with your local council. This applies where you as a landlord, provides items such as kettles, washing machines, TV's etc in your rental property. Depending on the appliance, these may need to be checked from as little as every 12 months. As an advisory, we would recommend that these be carried out regardless to ensure peace of mind that any equipment that you are providing is safe for tenants to use.
Smoke Alarms- Whilst there are slightly different regulations between England and Wales, in England, as a landlord, you MUST ensure that there is a functioning smoke alarm on EACH floor of a property where a room is used wholly or partly as living accommodation. Additionally, carbon monoxide detectors MUST be fitted in any room containing a solid fuel-burning appliance e.g. a wood burner.
Furniture- Before becoming a landlord, you may need to consider whether you want to provide a property furnished or unfurnished. All furniture and furnishings must comply with the Fire Safety Regulations Act 1988. Provided furniture must be 'fire resistant' and should display a permanent label. If this becomes detached, it is recommended that it is kept in a safe place to serve as proof that any items meet regulations.
Energy Performance Certificate/EPC- Since 2007, it has been a requirement that any property which is rented out must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate. These last for 10 years and must be provided to tenants prior to taking up the tenancy (and on renewal or a section 21/ section 8 will not be valid). Recent changes also now confirm that a property must meet rating 'E' or above otherwise improvement works are required to bring the rating up to the minimum standard. Sometimes small changes such as the installation of energy-efficient bulbs can assist in bringing a property's score up. A property must not be marketed unless a valid EPC is in place.
Landlord Insurance- There are various forms of insurance which can be taken out to protect our investment. Many brokers provide 'landlord's insurance' which can cover not only the building but any potential arrears which may occur.
HMO Licensing/Additional Licensing/Selective Licensing- Before you let a property, you should check whether there is a requirement for an HMO licence or any other licence is involved. This will define what standards your property must be rented out to (e.g. requirement of door closers, smoke alarms in every room) and how many occupants it can be rented out to). Our experienced property managers can talk you through the requirements, application process and more.
SERVICE LEVELS FOR YOU
Whether you're new to becoming a landlord or have a strong portfolio, its completely up to you how hands-on or off that you want to be with your investment. For many starting out, a fully managed service can take any stress or worries completely away knowing it is in a safe pair of hands. For others with smaller properties which are easy to manage, a let only option may be the best fit. Our lettings services, whilst offered on a tiered basis, can be completely bespoke. For a breakdown of these to choose the right fit for you, you can find them via our fees and charges page.
ADVERTISING AND RENTING YOUR PROPERTY
Once you are confident that your property is ready to market, let us find you the best tenants that you deserve. In order to let a property, the offered rental price needs to be attractive and realistic to prospective tenants. To find out how much to expect for your rental income, you can arrange a free valuation with our team. We advertise on Zoopla, RightMove and Onthemarket, our website and social media platforms to ensure your property gets maximum exposure.
As part of our lettings service, we offer free professional photography, write up and listing on these platforms with accompanied viewings and negotiations to get you the best rental income.
Once tenants are found, we take care of referencing, the tenancy agreement (generally an Assured Shorthold Tenancy), collection of first month's rent and tenant deposit and if required, we can facilitate the key release.
If you choose Everbest to manage your property, we deal with your tenants directly through the tenancy, including the check-in, check-out, inventory, interim inspections, deposit protection, rent collection and more.
We are members of 'The Property Ombudsman' redress scheme, Member No: E01892. For more information, please visit their website www.tpos.co.uk.