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Letting property

Guide to letting your property

Thinking about letting your property? The process of letting a property can be a complex and time-consuming one, but the rewards can be considerable when you get everything right.

Find out how to let a property and get tips and advice on how to achieve the best rental price from a reliable tenant, as well as understanding your legal rights, the latest legislation and regulations and your obligations to your tenants. Click here to arrange your FREE rental appraisal now.

Preparing to let your property

Before you begin the process of letting your property in Herne Bay you need to be thoroughly prepared. There is a lot to do and plenty to think about before you can think about getting your new tenants through the door.

First impressions count for everything when it comes to property, so it’s vital your home looks its best for potential tenants. Maintaining this condition for all your viewings will give you the best chance of letting your home and achieving the best possible price. So, what preparations should you make?

The external view

This is the first view your potential tenants will have of your property, so you should focus on optimising its appearance.
Tidy up the front and back garden (weed, trim hedges, add some new plants if necessary, clear any dead or unsightly plants, mow and fix any damaged lawn)
Repair cracks, holes or blemishes in the driveway or walls
Give the window frames and door a lick of paint if they need it
Make sure the house number is clearly visible
Keep rubbish and rubbish bins out of sight.

The interior
De-clutter – create more space by moving some furniture into storage, tidy away or remove unnecessary objects, books and knick-knacks, clear out cupboards and wardrobes of non-essential items
Make minor repairs – fix leaky taps and cracks in the walls, replace broken or crooked tiles, replace burned-out light bulbs – make sure everything works!
Clean thoroughly from top to bottom – carpets, floors, windows, fixtures and fittings, etc.
Eradicate unpleasant odours, like pet smells and cigarette smoke
Decorate rooms if required – a lick of paint can re-energise the appearance of a room.

Make sure all aspects of your property are up to scratch and meet all of the required standards to give you the best chance of finding the right tenants and achieving the best price. Is your property:
Clean, tidy and presentable?
Of a sufficient size for the family composition?
Clean and free from damage, such as damp?
Free from serious disrepair?
Structurally sound and not suffering from conditions such as subsidence?

As well as the physical standards of the property itself, there are numerous other standards that will need to be met, including safety standards for gas and furniture. These are very important and we can provide all the details of the standards required and organise the appropriate certificates.

It may seem like a lot of work, but with time, energy and even a bit of money spent now, it could really make the difference to how quickly you let your property and how much rent you can charge. Speculate to accumulate!

Who should you inform before letting your property in Herne Bay?

Before you can let your property, you need to inform a number of parties:
Your mortgage lender – your lender may ask that you let your property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy basis
Your insurance company – if you don’t let your insurance company know that you have let your property, you may not be covered in the event of damage, fire or theft in the property
Your freeholder (if you have one) – important if you wish to let a leasehold flat, for example.

The cost of letting your property

While your thoughts may be leaning towards how much you can make by letting your property in Herne Bay, it is important that you consider and budget for the costs involved, too. You should budget for the following costs:
Any monthly mortgage repayments owed on the property
Any expenses involved in bringing the property up to the required standards, both physically and in terms of the regulatory safety standards of furniture, utility equipment and appliances
Furniture and furnishings (if required)
Solicitor’s fees
Letting agent/management fees
Insurance fees
Contingency budget for ad hoc repairs and maintenance.
Contingency for void periods – these should be minimised even if it means sacrificing some rent

Plan carefully and make sure you always have access to funds to make essential repairs if and when required. It will put you in a much better position to retain a satisfied tenant.

Choosing a Herne Bay letting agent

You should never underestimate the work involved in the successful letting of your property.

The vast majority of landlords prefer to hand over the responsibility for finding a tenant to a dedicated and qualified letting or estate agent. This cuts out all of the necessary awkwardness of having to deal directly with viewings and negotiating with potential tenants. There are considerable advantages in using a letting agent, who will:
Advertise your property efficiently to thousands of potential tenants looking for property to rent in the area (make sure you choose an agent that lists its properties on a major portal, like OnTheMarket.co.uk)
Have knowledge of the local market, including the type of properties to rent in the area, the potential demand for them, the rental prices being achieved and the kind of tenants who might be interested in your property.
Manage and conduct viewings, giving them the opportunity to try and secure tenants for your property and providing you with valuable feedback along the way.
Negotiate with tenants on your behalf when discussing the rental price of the property.
Provide you with advice and guidance.

Managing agents

After you’ve found suitable tenants for your property, you have the option of either managing the let yourself, or hiring the services of a managing agent to work on your behalf. Much will depend on your circumstances. If you are living abroad, for example, you may want to employ a managing agent to make sure your tenants and the property are sufficiently looked after while you’re away.

The majority of Herne Bay letting agents also offer property management services. If this is an option you’re interested in, consult the letting agent first to make sure they can offer this service. A managing agent will:
Vet potential tenants by sourcing references from previous landlords, conducting credit checks and obtaining bank details, employment references.
Organise tenancy agreements and inventories
Manage the start and end to the tenancy based on your instructions
Organise the collection of rent from the tenants and arrange for repairs during the tenancy
Inspect the property periodically on your behalf for its condition and state
Provide professional advice and guidance throughout the duration of the tenancy.

Pre-tenancy checklist

A pre-tenancy checklist should help you make sure you’ve ticked all the right boxes before you make the next step in letting your property in Herne Bay.
Update your insurance to take into account that your property is going to be let
Get the requisite permission from your mortgage lender
Make sure all furniture and furnishings comply with the latest fire regulations
Ensure that all gas appliances and equipment have been serviced by a CORGI-registered engineer and that safety records are kept in a safe place
Make sure that all electrical wiring has been checked and safety approved by a qualified electrician
Inform the Council Tax department and utility suppliers that the property will be let (relevant if you plan on being a non-resident of a self-contained property).

What do I do next to get my Herne Bay property let?

Click here to arrange your FREE rental appraisal now and we will guide you through every step of the process.

The content provided in this guide is for information only. In all cases, independent and professional advice should be sought before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial services products. All advice is offered in good faith, and readers who choose to act upon it do so at their own risk. David Clarke Letting Agents Herne Bay accept no responsibility for any action taken, or loss occurring as a result of any advice/information given here.