In order to ensure you are in a position to let your property, you will need to obtain Consent to Let from your mortgage provider, insurance provider and superior landlord. In addition as part of new anti-money laundering regulations we are required to obtain original or certified copies of your proof of identity and proof of ownership of the property. The tenancy cannot commence before we receive this documentation.
Next is to decide the level of service you would like from us, dependent on how involved you would like to be as a landlord or what your experience is in letting legislation.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
As of the 1st October 2008 an EPC is now required prior to marketing your property. This will be valid for 10 years whether you sell or rent your property. Please note, listed properties are exempt of this requirement. If you are unsure whether your property already has one, you can check on the EPC register. As of 1st April 2018 Minimum Efficiency Standards came into force and it is illegal to issue a new lease or extend a lease on rented properties in England and Wales that do not reach at least an E efficiency rating.
If you let your property through Errington Smith & Co, you will automatically benefit from our unrivalled comprehensive marketing package. We use high quality marketing material to make your property stand out from the rest, alongside local information, location maps and aerial views. It is important that your property is presented in its best light to make it as attractive as possible to prospective tenants.
Our viewing times are between 9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 2.30pm on Saturday to provide flexibility when accommodating prospective tenant’s requirements. On many occasions we conduct viewings outside of these hours at no extra charge.
All our viewings are accompanied by a member of our team familiar with your property and feedback from every viewing will be given to you the next working day.
Agreeing a Let
Once a prospective tenant has confirmed that they would like to secure your property, we ask them for a holding payment. We will negotiate move in dates, rent amount and the tenancy term. When agreement has been reached and you have agreed that you wish to proceed we will ask them to complete our application forms and obtain references for them.
All our references are outsourced and suitable tenants will have no adverse credit, declared bankruptcy or IVA’s – Tenants who do have any of the above will not be recommended to you as tenants, however, as much information will be gathered for your consideration as not all situations are the same. It may be advisable to have a guarantor or for the tenant to pay all of the rent in advance of the commencement of the tenancy, this would be discussed with you at the time.
The referencing company we use will be checking to make sure the tenant is in permanent employment, not under probation and there is no threat of redundancy. They also check that the tenant earns enough to comfortably afford the rent.
The referencing company we use will also contact the previous landlord to make sure that there has been no history of late payments and that no damage has been done to their property.
Regardless of whether you have a gas, oil or electric boiler you will need to have it serviced annually.
If there is gas in the property, we will need to arrange for a Gas Safety Record to be carried out by a qualified engineer. This would need to be done annually along with a service.
All electrical appliances and installations have to be deemed safe. To ensure this, an Electrical Installation and Condition Report must be undertaken. This is normally valid for up to 5 years. All portable appliances should have a Portable Appliance Test.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms and Smoke Alarms
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 came into force on 1 October 2022. From that date, all landlords must: 1. Ensure at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015. 2. Ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers). 3. Ensure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty. These alarms need to be checked at the start of each tenancy.
All soft furnishings provided as part of the let have to comply with Fire and Furnishing Regulations that stipulate that all foam based items are fire retardant. This is shown by a Fire Safety sticker present on items, however, any items pre 1950 and post 1990 will automatically comply with the regulations.
Internal and External Presentation.
However you leave the property for the tenant is how the tenant is expected to return it to you. Our recommendation is that you have the property thoroughly cleaned, including shampooing of carpets, cleaning of windows and tidying of any garden prior to the commencement of a tenancy.
Legal Documentation Preparation
We prepare the legal paperwork in anticipation of your new tenant moving in.
This is a comprehensive 25 page document written in line with ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) and OFT (Office of Fair Trading) guidelines.
Inventory & Schedule of Condition
This is a legal document with photographs outlining the condition the tenant finds the property in so that at the end of the tenancy it is very clear what damage, if any, the tenant may be held liable for. Without a thorough document detailing this it is very difficult to prove the original condition of the property in the event of any disputes.
Move In Day
On the day the tenant is scheduled to move in, they will meet us in our office to sign the relevant paperwork, pay the first months’ rent and deposit, and we will then hand over keys to the property to them.
If you have opted for our managed service, we will then be your eyes and ears at the property. We will collect rent payments and chase arrears, if any, in the appropriate legal manner. We will be the first port of call for your tenant for any repairs or enquiries. A formal property visit will also be conducted every three months to ensure that the tenant is complying with their obligations as per their tenancy agreement. We will pay any property bills on your behalf, assuming your account with us has sufficient funds to cover them. We also operate an emergency out of hours service for tenants on your behalf.
For our managed properties, we will arrange for a formal check out to be done by a third party. The inventory clerk will go through the inventory and schedule of condition with a fine tooth comb to ensure the property is returned in the same condition that it was found, bar fair wear and tear.
Deposit Protection Requirements
We will deal with administration regarding deposit refunds.