Residential lettings : Let Only Service

Today, Gwen Williams, Property Manager at Belvoir Bedford advises about the procedures involved in preparing a property for rental. This article deals with the final steps of moving a tenant in.

Finding a tenant

Once a rental value has been established, the agent will start marketing the property. Typically this will involve  advertising, sending out details to prospective tenants, and to local employers, erecting a To Let board and in some cases advertising on local or national web sites. Does your agent use Social Media ?

Applicants who are considered suitable and fit the criteria set by the landlord i.e. non-smokers or pet owners, will be shown around the house.

Once they have expressed an interest in the property, they will be asked to complete and return an application form, one for each tenant, usually with an administration fee (it should be noted that it illegal to charge tenants a fee for holding their details on a register).

The landlord should also be consulted to check that he is happy in principle with the proposed tenant.

A good agent will then carry out extensive checks on the tenants before agreeing to rent the property to them. These include credit checks, employers references, personal references and references from previous landlords. Only when satisfactory replies to all of these have been received should the tenant be offered the property to rent.

Once a tenant has been found

Once a suitable tenant has been found and has passed all the necessary checks, the agent will approach the landlord with a draft tenancy agreement, ask for his written consent to the letting and arrange for a suitable move in date.

On receipt of the landlord’s agreement, the agent should ensure that all the statutory safety requirements have been met i.e. landlords gas safety certificate and/or electrical safety check. If any work needs to be completed to gain these certificates, the agent will arrange for it to be done immediately.

The agent will then carry out either a full inventory on furnished properties or a statement of condition on unfurnished lets, listing the décor in the house together with any stains, marks or defects. At this stage, he will issue all the required advanced legal notices to the tenant and ensure that the property is ready for occupation, making sure that it is clean etc.

Moving a tenant in to the property

On the day that the tenants are due to move in to the property, the agent will meet them to go through and sign the tenancy agreement and statement of condition/inventory and to hand over a set of keys.

An agent will always keep a set of keys to the property in case of emergency.

He will take the first month’s rent and dilapidation deposit from the tenant and in most cases these have to be cleared funds. He should explain how items in the house work, i.e. the heating system and point out to the tenants their rights and responsibilities.

The Agent will then inform the relevant utility companies of the change of occupant. This notification will also apply for the council tax.

Be it a let only or full management service using the skills of a good agent will ensure the smooth and trouble free letting of your property.

Want to discuss more options , contact Gwen at our Tavistock Street Office. Or give her a call on 01234 290685