Step 1 – Preparation and Presentation
- Careful assessment of the rental value is essential, along with the good presentation of the property. Over-optimism of the rent will lead to no interest from prospective tenants and a loss of rental income. Poor presentation will deter people from wanting to view or put them off the property during a viewing.
- Good photos of the exterior and interior are essential to attract quality tenants who will look after the property. If tenants think you care about the property they will be attracted to the house and be prepared to look after it themselves once they’ve moved in.
- A high-profile and clearly identifiable To Let board enables viewers to easily find the property and tenants are drawn towards reliable and honest agents who they believe will look after the property once they move in.
- A database of waiting tenants can be searched and details emailed within minutes of the property being listed on our books.
- Well laid out office/showroom windows to catch the eye of any visiting tenants and car parking outside the door is a bonus.
Step 2 – Effective Marketing
- Advertising effectively on the internet is vital. Market properties on all the major property portals, not just the business website.
- Accurate and honest descriptions of your property should appear on the websites complete with external and internal colour photographs providing you with a “virtual estate agency” working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Step 3 – Interest and Enquiries
- Pick a property manager whose office is open 7 days a week to service any enquiries on your behalf.
- Look out for a trained, full-time, team of co-ordinators, experienced in matching tenants to available properties, and eliminating the “not-so-good” leads that private landlords struggle to manage effectively.
Step 4 – Viewings
- Tenants cannot always view properties during the day so find a managing agent that is available to do evening viewings during the week and at the weekend. This fits in with tenants’ expectations of good service and it gives the agent more opportunities to attract the quality tenants you are looking for.
- Pick an agent who demonstrates that the agents have knowledge of the area and can provide information to prospective tenants about the location, amenities, public transport, shopping, entertainment, etc.
Step 5 – Feedback
- Make sure the agents are set up to obtain feedback as they show the property and will pass on this feedback to you with advice on how to make the property more attractive to prospective tenants if need be.
- Historically, tenants didn’t negotiate with rental property but in the last 5 years the market has changed and tenants often now make offers. These offers need to be negotiated professionally if you are to achieve the best rent in the market.
- Ensure that once you become a client you will have direct access to your agents by phone and email and that they offer a prompt and personal service.
- Ask how they track enquiries and ensure they are geared up to quickly analyse web-based enquiries.
Step 6 – Tenancy Applications
- Ensure your agent has staff trained in the tenant application process and that it adheres to current legislation and that they can competently interview and reference to determine their suitability for your property.
- Your agent should be well-versed in all the due-diligence checks when referencing tenants and should offer a 6 month rent guarantee on full management service provision.
Step 7 – Tenancy Set-Up
- A comprehensive Inventory and Schedule of Condition should be a standard service.
- An Assured Short-hold tenancy contract needs to be prepared and executed in compliance with all leading mortgage lenders criteria.
- The Agent will take bond money and rent in advance and set up standing orders for future rent payments, with the bond either being transferred to you if you are registering the bond with a recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme or by the agent if they are handling the registration process for you.
- Meter readings are taken and utility companies notified of the change of occupier
Step 8 – Post Tenancy Set-Up Work
- An Agent should be able to provide an invoice and statement for tax purposes, along with initial rental monies paid and provide this on a monthly basis.
- Choose an Agent who is able to provide general information on taxation and tax-deductible items of expenditure along with regular revaluations for potential Capital Gains Tax liabilities if this is to be a long-term letting.
- Annual safety checks should be a standard
- Quarterly inspections of properties by a surveyor are ideal, with reporting to you on the general condition of the property, whether the tenants are looking after it (and whether we recommend resigning them upon the expiry of the fixed-term) and highlighting any repairs that may be required and any future maintenance that may be needed, allowing you to plan and budget appropriately.
- Ensure your Agent will take care of any repairs on your behalf with fully qualified contractors.
- Your tenants should have access to our Maintenance Department 7 days a week by phone, email via the Agent’s website with contractors available 7 days a week – and ideally have a 24/7 emergency response team for those jobs that just can’t wait.
- Make sure your Agents can be fully supportive towards the end of the fixed term agreement with regards to review, negotiation of new terms if appropriate, re-signing of contracts or re-letting of the property.
- Choose an Agent who deals with the Post-Departure Inspection, handle the return of the tenants bond and deal with any disputes at the end of any tenancy agreements.