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Lettings Made Easy # A Landlord's Guide

Things to Consider When Choosing a Letting Agent

The letting agency business is a very competitive one.

And with so many different agents to choose from finding the right one to let your property can be bewildering.

That’s why we came up with the Lettings Made Simple Guide for Landlords – to make your life easier.

We also suggest mystery shopping your chosen agents to see how they’ll treat your prospective tenants by making an enquiry yourself. Were they helpful? Did they call you back?

Here are seven things to consider before you instruct a letting agent to market and possibly manage your property.

1. DO THEY HAVE A TRACK RECORD IN RENTING PROPERTIES LIKE YOURS?

Ask for evidence of properties similar to yours that they have let and achieved a good monthly rent on.

2. DO THEY HAVE CLIENT TESTIMONIALS?

A good agent will always have previous clients who will vouch for them or have positively reviewed them.

3. DO YOU LIKE THEM?

You’ll be working closely with the agent you choose so it’s important that you like and trust them. If in doubt, go with your instinct.

4. FEES AND COSTS.

Remember the old saying ‘If you pay peanuts you get monkeys’? Well it’s never truer than in the world of estate agency. Those agents who offer very low fees are often not experienced or qualified to handle your business correctly.

5. WHERE DO THEY ADVERTISE?

Increasingly buyers begin searching on the internet. So ask the agents where they advertise. It’s also worth asking an agency how its marketing strategy differs from its competitors. What makes it stand out from the crowd?

6. WHAT KIND OF CONTRACTS DO THEY OFFER?

Ask the agents about the different service levels available. Usually there are Fully Managed and Tenant Introduction options but sometimes there are additional service levels so it’s always worth asking.

7. ARE THEY ACCREDITED WITH RELEVANT INDUSTRY BODIES?

Lettings is heavily legislated for Landlords, but government does not yet require letting agents to have any formal qualifications. Reputable Letting Agents will be qualified and licensed by key governing bodies such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents, the National Association of Estate Agents and the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

7 Steps to Landlord Success

Below is a seven step guide through the lettings process.

1. GET RENT APPRAISALS

So, you have a property to rent. We suggest seeking advice from a qualified local lettings agent.

2. CHOOSING AN AGENT

As discussed on the previous page. Look out for experience, integrity and proven success.

3. MARKETING MATTERS

How and where your property is marketed contributes greatly to its success. We use many different platforms to attract viewers to your property.

4. PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION, PRESENTATION

If you want to attract quality tenants at the best price it’s imperative that your property is clean, well maintained and nicely presented.

5. OFFERS

Once quality tenants have been found and the rental price agreed we will carry out all the necessary paper work including: Collecting references, arranging tenancy agreements, collecting initial deposit and rent, and arranging for a thorough check in and inventory.

6. COMPLETION

Once all of the above has been carried out and is in full order you can release the keys to your new tenant.

7. PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

We offer different tiers of service. From let only where we will find you a quality tenant and carry out the introductory work right through to full property management. Having your property fully managed means we take care of arranging pretty much everything including collecting rents, arranging safety checks and ensuring maintenance and repairs are undertaken professionally. With over 150 pieces of legislation to comply with, many Landlords find this service invaluable.

“Want to say that what a great team
Theresa and her colleagues are.
Highly professional. If you are a
landlord or someone looking to rent
see these guys first.

Thank you for all your valuable input
in looking after our properties over
the years.”

JANET PACKMAN

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Landlords and the Law

Being a landlord is a responsible role and carries certain legal obligations.

Below is a brief summary of just some on the areas covered by laws and regulations.* There are dozens more but we will guide you through.

CONSENTS TO LET

Do you have permission from your mortgage lender to let the property?

TENANCY AGREEMENT

This is a very important document in the lettings process. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is the most common type of agreement which provides the tenant with certain protections and gives the landlord rights to regain possession.

GAS SAFETY

Every gas appliance must be checked before a tenant moves in and annually thereafter.

ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Any electrical appliances in the rented property should be checked by a qualified engineer to verify their safety.

ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE

As a landlord your property must have one of these certificates assessing its energy performance. The law does not allow you to rent unless your property’s energy efficiency is of a suitable standard.

SMOKE ALARMS

Properties built after 1992 must have mains wired smoke alarms on each floor. We strongly recommend that landlords provide smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in their properties.

TAX ON RENTAL PROPERTY INCOME

All rental income from property in the UK is taxable. If you are unsure of your liabilities contact a specialist tax accountant.

TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME

For all ASTs the tenant’s deposit must be registered with a recognised deposit protection scheme.

INVENTORY

Before the rental starts a full inventory should be undertaken and supplied to both the landlord and tenant.

“I have been dealing with David
Clark estate agents for a number of
years with the purchase of buy to
let and the subsequent lettings of
the property’s , and i can honestly
say that in the last 8 years i have
not had any unsuitable tenants
recommended to me.

There is always someone on hand
to deal with any queries with a
quick response and feed back .
Excellent service.”

STEWART SKULL

Your Questions Our Answers

Q: HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO LET MY PROPERTY?

A: The main costs you’ll need to consider when letting your property are:

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Check if this can be arranged by your letting agent. Cost will vary but £60 – £80 is fairly normal. Good news, your EPC remains valid for 10 years.

An inventory and check in report
This needs to be carried out before your tenant moves into the property. Again, costs vary due to property size.

Commission Fee 
Varies in percentage per agency and could be for just finding a tenant or full property management.

Q: WHO WILL CARRY OUT VIEWINGS AND WHEN WILL THEY HAPPEN?

A: At David Clarke we aim to accompany all viewings, during or outside office opening hours.

Q: SHOULD I BE PRESENT AT VIEWINGS?

A: We aim to accompany all viewings wherever possible.Only in some rare circumstances would you be asked to carry out a viewing as many tenants feel more relaxed when the owner isn’t there.

Q: I’M INTERESTED IN HAVING MY PROPERTY MANAGED – HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

A: The property management fee is charged as a percentage of the rental price plus VAT. Our fees are detailed at https://www.davidclarke.co.uk/terms-and-fees.

Q: HOW MUCH DEPOSIT SHOULD THE TENANT GIVE AND WHAT HAPPENS TO IT?

A: Five weeks. This is to be paid on signing the Tenancy Agreement. Within 14 days of receipt the deposit should be registered with a tenancy
deposit protection scheme.

Q: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRANGING AN INVENTORY?

A:  You are responsible but at David Clarke we can organise an inventory for you.

Q: WHEN DO I RECEIVE MY RENT FROM THE TENANT?

A: You should receive your rent by standing orderwithin 2-7 days of the rental due date every month. The due date is usually the day the tenant moved in, and rent is payable in advance.

“I have had dealings with Paul, David
and Teresa over the years and I have
always found them to be helpful and
accommodating to all of my request’s.

It is refreshing dealing with someone who I
feel actually values your custom.”

PETER WALSH

Why We Can Help You

Selecting the best agent to help you manage your property is a big decision, especially with so much already going on in your life. Here’s why we like to think you’d be wise to choose us to work for you.

EXPERIENCE

We’ve been helping the people of East Kent buy and sell their property since 1968. And collectively, our team has more than 70 years of experience.

RESULTS

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REVIEWS

You can gain a lot of reassurance by seeing what past clients think about us.

Lettings Made Easy # A Landlord’s Guide 1

We’re happy to put you in touch with some of our past clients so you can hear their experiences with us.

ALWAYS LOOKING AHEAD

We have invested heavily raft of new technologies. This means you know your property will be expertly marketed, which leads to achieving premium prices.

As our client you will have online access to your property account and statements 24/7, giving you peace of mind.

YOU FOCUSED

We are focused on you. That means getting you the results you are looking for. And we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. We will be with you every step of the way to advise, support and celebrate with.

We’ve built our reputation on the quality of our relationships rather than the number of transactions. This has led to most of our business coming from word of mouth.

THANK YOU

Thanks for taking the time to read our guide. We hope it’s helped you. If you want to chat about anything contained in this guide or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us.

GET IN TOUCH
01227 362248
mail@davidclarke.co.uk
www.davidclarke.co.uk