Step by step guide to letting

Finding the right letting agent is crucial to ensuring that your property is let at the maximum rental value to suitable tenants and managed effectively ongoing. When choosing a letting agent consider factors such as how they will market your property, how they will conduct viewings, their high street presence and their available pool of quality tenants.

An often-overlooked, but vitally important consideration is that you select a compliant letting agent who meets all industry standards to ensure that you, your money and your property are fully protected.

Our expert negotiators complete hundreds of rental valuations each month, so combined with their local expertise and up to the minute knowledge of the market conditions; they’re in the perfect position to help you achieve the best possible rental value for your property.

Complete the rental valuation request form to find out how much your property is worth.

Choosing the correct service level is entirely based on the level of responsibility and time that a landlord is willing to give. Northwood provide a range of letting service options to accommodate every type of landlord.

Tenant Find

Northwood finds the next quality tenant for the property.

Rent Collection

Northwood takes the responsibility for finding a suitable tenant and collecting the rent monthly. The landlord is accountable for liaising with the tenants and managing the maintenance of the property.

Fully Managed

With a fully managed property Northwood takes full ownership for managing the tenancy right through from check-in to check-out.

Guaranteed Rent

The guaranteed rent service is the perfect ‘let it and forget it’ solution for busy landlords who are looking to minimise both the risk and the hassle of letting out a property. Northwood take full responsibility for managing the tenancy but also provide a financial guarantee that no matter whether the property is empty or the tenant stops paying, the rent will still be paid each and every month.

When it comes to letting out a property successfully, first impressions really do count.  If you want quality tenants who will look after your property, you need to present it in a clean, tidy and well maintained state. Undertaking just a few, free or low cost jobs really can make a difference.

Consider completing any outstanding DIY jobs and declutter spaces as much as possible. A fresh coat of paint can make a real difference to a property.

At Northwood we can give you expert advice on how to present your property in the best possible light, using the best quality photography and creation of  quality property details.

Initial paperwork includes notifying your mortgage lender, having appropriate landlord insurance and ensuring all tax-related affairs are in order.

A variety of legal certificates need to be obtained such as an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), a Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) and PAT tests to name a few* Your Northwood team can advise you on the legal requirements relevant to letting out your property.

It is important to get a comprehensive and professional inventory completed. This provides a thorough record of the condition of the property and its contents – something that is key for subsequent inspections and at check out. We can help organise this for you depending on the level of service selected.

* Requirements will vary between England, Wales and Scotland.

In order to find the best tenant for your property you want the widest possible exposure to the best quality tenants.

By using Northwood you not only tap into a database of thousands of potential tenants but you also benefit from comprehensive marketing packages including:  listing on the major property websites such as Rightmove / Zoopla, exposure on our own Northwooduk.com website, appear in our prominent office windows, accompanied viewings and email alerts out to tenants that fit the appropriate search criteria.

Once the final rental price has been agreed prospective tenants should always be thoroughly referenced, credit checked and confirmation obtained that they have the right to rent in the UK.

A tenancy agreement is then drawn up – the agreement itself needs to be fully compliant with all current regulations based on which part of the country the property is located in. It is at this stage that the security deposit and the first rental payment is taken.

It is a legal requirement that the deposit is registered with one of the Government approved deposit schemes once the tenant has moved in. Northwood have produced a Landlord’s guide to tenancy deposit protection which explains in simple terms what is required.

It is important to ensure that all paperwork is completed before checking the tenant into the property and handing over the keys. A handbook of information such as rubbish and recycling days, where meters and stopcocks are located, appliance instruction manuals etc. can avoid a number of queries and questions that will otherwise arise. The inventory that has already been prepared needs to be signed by the tenant and the council, water, gas and electricity suppliers must all be informed that the tenant has moved in.

Both you and your tenant have responsibilities that you must adhere throughout the duration of the tenancy

 Your tenant is obliged to

  • Pay the agreed rent on time each month
  • Pay the council tax
  • Pay the utility bills and TV licence unless otherwise stated
  • Use the property as a home and not for commercial purposes
  • Take good care of the property and it’s fixtures and fittings
  • Carry out basic maintenance
  • Keep the property secure at all times
  • Advise the landlord / letting agent of any repairs needed as soon as it arises

Your responsibilities will vary depending on the letting service option that you choose. At a basic level the tenant can expect you or your letting agent to:

  • Allow the tenant to live in the property undisturbed. If access is required 24 hours’ notice must be given
  • Maintain the property to a good state of repair
  • Ensure all gas, electricity and water supplies are installed and in working order
  • Provide all operating instructions for appliances and equipment
  • Insure the property and contents, fixtures and fittings belonging to you
  • Charge a fair market rate

Routine inspections are a great way of ensuring that all is well with both the property and the tenancy. Northwood can arrange to have inspections carried out on your behalf depending on the level of service you have with us.

At the end of the tenancy the landlord or letting agency should go to the property to formally take possession. The rent should be paid up to date, all keys handed back and an assessment made of the cleanliness and state of the property.

All the paperwork must be completed, a forwarding address for the tenant obtained and the utility companies informed of the changes.

Assuming all is well with the state of the property and its contents, taking into account Fair Wear and Tear , the tenant’s deposit should be returned.

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