Letting Agent in Sheffield – 10 things you should know :
When letting a property it is important you know you are entering into a legal process which is governed not only by the Housing Acts but an array of different types of legislation and regulations.
Below is a quick guide to consider before you start the letting process:
1. Consents to Let?
a) Have you informed your Mortgage lender and obtained their consent? You may have a charge on your title or covenants which prevent you from letting?
b) Have you a Head Lease and the right to let under the lease?
c) Have you the correct insurance in place?
2. Is the Property Safe?
It is your legal obligation to make sure your property is safe for any prospective tenant to occupy.
a) There are safe escape routes which are quick and accessible without obstructions.
b) Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are on each level.
c) A current Gas Safety Certificate is in place and a copy supplied to the tenant within 28 days.
d) The electrics are safe and have certified.
e) If furnished the furnishing are fire safe.
f) Stored water is at 60 degrees Celsius or above.
g) Keep the property well ventilated and reduce condensation to prevent mould.
h) Ensure all repairs and maintenance are up to date before letting.
3. Marketing your Property
a) Before marketing you will need an up to-date Energy Performance Certificate.
b) What is your target market?
c) What is the market rent?
d) How and where to market?
4. Vetting Prospective Tenants
a) Obtain, verify and copy proof of ID to ensure they have the right to rent in the UK.
b) Obtain personal and employer details. Financial information and current letting details.
c) Obtain high quality and detailed referencing.
d) Is there a Guarantor?
a) Ensure a detailed Inventory and Schedule of Condition are taken with photographs and description. Have these signed as a true record by the tenant.
6. Tenancy Agreement
a) Ensure you have an up to date Tenancy Agreement (Assured Shorthold Tenancies are most commonly used for residential).
b) Attach the Inventory to the Tenancy and obtain signatures, taking a deposit to a value appropriate for the property (eg 1 to 1 ½ x’s rent).
c) Advisable to have the first month’s rent paid on signing with future payments by Standing Order. Obtain signatures to a Standing Order Mandate.
7. Deposits & Prescribed Information
a) Ensure any deposit taken is in accordance with one of the government approved tenancy deposit schemes and serve the required “prescribed information” on the tenant within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
b) Note: Landlords who fail to comply will be liable to pay a penalty of between one and three times the value of the deposit and will be barred from using the s.21 repossession route.
8. How to Rent Checklist
a) Give an up to date version of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s “How to Rent” checklist for renting in England to the tenant.
a) Consider taking out insurance for Rent Recovery (in the event of default in payments) and to cover eviction costs if required.
a) It is essential all procedures and documents are carefully carried out and recorded in the event a dispute arises for whatever reason.
b) A court will look favourably on a landlord who has complied with all his obligations.
c) Note the Private Rented Sector Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations require all private rented property to achieve EPC level E before it can be let to a new tenant from 1 April 2018.
We hope you find the above helpful and if you are considering letting your property or have a specific query please call David Miller who will be able to assist you.
David is a fully qualified Chartered Surveyor and a Registered RICS Valuer with over 20 years’ experience in letting residential properties, land and buildings from a “2 up, 2 down” to 1000 ’s of acres of farmland.
Contact David on Tel: 0114 327 0120 for a free no obligation consultation totally in confidence.