Tips and advice

Tips and advice

1. Obtain permission early to let your home with your mortgagee and/or freeholder

Before you place your property on the rental market, you may first need to obtain permission from your Mortgage Company, Freeholder or Managing Agent (where applicable), to allow you to rent. You may find some will not allow you to let the property at all, whilst some will insist on seeing references before giving you the go ahead. You may incur a small fee before you receive permission. There can be up to two weeks delay before everything is approved so ensure you have the necessary approval before lining up a tenant.

2. Keep track – organise an inventory list

Both landlord and tenant need to be clear before signing the contract, as to exactly what terms have been discussed. To prevent any potential disputes, it is important to write a full inventory of household items, furniture to be provided and any relevant repairs which need to be made, etc. If all such details are confirmed in writing, there can be no confusion later on.

The report should also outline the condition of the property and its contents at the time of the tenants moving in. In the event of damage, tenants may be charged for repairs, or replacement of items. In the case of disputes, the inventory list can be a reference in settling any conflicts. To provide peace of mind, we recommend that all landlords have a check-in inventory organised on signing of a tenancy agreement.

Our Inventory department

To make this easier for you, we have set up a specialist inventory department who can help you with this, every step of the way. Should you be interested in this service, all you need to do is contact us on 0208 8844844 and we'll arrange this for you.

3. Arrange safety checks

Besides a property being simply 'fit for habitation', landlords, with the assistance of our negotiators, must ensure that all gas appliances and installations supplied are maintained in good order and that annual safety checks are carried out by someone registered with CORGI (Council for Registered Gas Installers).

By law, you must ensure that the electrical system and any electrical appliances supplied with the flat, such as cookers, kettles, toasters, washing machines and heaters are safe to use. If you are supplying new appliances, you should also provide any accompanying instruction booklets. If you supply furniture or furnishings with the let, you must ensure that they meet the fire resistance requirements (sometimes known as 'match test') in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. It is also important to ensure that smoke alarms are fitted and have been tested so as they comply with legislation and that a fire extinguisher and fire blanket are placed in the property.

4. Arrange specialist landlord insurance

Despite the best of tenants' intentions for prompt payment, coupled with a healthy reference and credit history, occasionally unforeseen events, such as redundancy, can result in unpaid rent. Even less likely (however pre-warned is pre-armed!) is the instance where a tenant refuses to move out. In circumstances such as these, legal protection cover can help cover the costs of legal action. The insurance is specifically for lettings and covers buildings insurance, rent guarantee and legal fees. If you would like further information on arranging landlord insurance please contact our Property Management Department on 0208 88 44 844.

5. Join an accredited tenancy deposit scheme

New legislation affecting tenancy deposits came into force on 6th April 2007. This legislation is for ALL Assured Shorthold Tenancies and each landlord will now be required to join a Government –accredited tenancy deposit protection scheme.

There are three schemes to choose between:

Alternatively, we can arrange this for you. Sign up to Greene & Co Property Management services and we'll take care of everything for you at no extra charge. Call us today, on 020 7328 3393 to get this simple process underway.

6. Finalise the little things

If you are the current occupier of the property, making sure all the little things – such as redirection of your post, cancellation of your council tax and utility bills, along with payments of any outstanding amounts will allow your letting experience to run that much more smoothly. Also, provide several sets of keys, keeping a set for yourself and one for your agent.

Your tenant will also find it useful to have a file of all instructions and guarantees, for any appliances left in the property. It's nice to have a dishwasher, though pointless if, as a new tenant, you don't know how to use it!

7. Keep it clean

Professionally cleaning your flat prior to tenants moving in means that they have to professionally clean it when they move out, at the end of their tenancy.

It also shows them – right from the first instance – exactly how you intend your property to be kept, making them much more likely to keep things neat and clean throughout their tenancy. First impressions speak volumes!