Tips & Advice for Landlords & Agents
It might be very tempting to place the rental price below market value (to reduce your rent significantly), but we suggest pricing your room or the whole property according to the market value price in the area, because it is suggested that prolonged reduction in rent income can cause ridges and tension with your tenants, due to rising bills and not enough property income coming out, as well as financial issues for you.
The property may rent very quickly, but you will be receiving less income for the whole length of the lease. In the long run it might have a potentially serious consequences, because every future increase in your rent will be based on a lower base.
So please do your research and follow the local price guidance. Also bear in mind that according to a research the UK house price has an annual increase of an 1.8 % per year.
You might take into consideration what the tenants have contributed towards the property and how they have been treating it, the way they pay and live there and lastly if they want to rent for a long term.
If your price is too high, due to rising in prices or a recent refurbishment of the property, then you may wait one to three weeks before you reduce you price and accept a lower market rate. But please make sure that your price always covers all the expenses and taxes associated with the property.
In this case it is more worth to keep a tenant like that, instead to increase your rent, because the benefits of having a regular and proper tenant outweighs the benefits of raising your rent annually.
Think about who your target tenant is – and make sure the property is ready for them. Consider if you can offer your property as a furnished home or are striped for money and rather have the place unfurnished. A good practice is to offer a certain budget to the tenants to choose the furnishings, if its neutral, instead of doing it yourself.
If you are tenting a room, you can consider capping your deposit to 2 weeks only as it is more likely that tenants renting rooms only cannot afford such a big amount of money going out of the account at the same time.
Also, you can consider charging half of the deposit when the first rent is paid and then the second instalment with the next rent, to make it easier for the tenant to manage financially.
Make sure you stay on top of tenant checks and ensure that they are reliable and responsible tenants. Checking their credit eligibility, getting any references from previous landlords and ensuring they have the right to live in the UK.
It is good practice to respond to any maintenance requests in a positive and efficient manner too, even if you are unable to go ahead with the maintenance or refurbishment. Do not ignore your tenants, because you can be legally held and fined.
The Legal Stuff
- It is not a legal requirement but getting a Tenancy Agreement drawn up and signed by both you and your prospective tenants is crucial, especially when it comes to things such as rent arrears. There are a lot of free options and you and your tenants will have a peace of mind and feel more protected.
- When drafting your tenancy agreement, you might consider including a clause to assure the tenants that if they want the property for a longer period, you are willing to not change their price.
- You must protect your tenants’ deposits safely in a Government-accredited scheme within 30 days of receiving it. You will need to give your tenant the Deposit Protection Certificate. You have a choice of three schemes: Deposit Protection Service (DPS), My Deposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), who also help deal with deposit disputes over potential damage to the property.
- Government bodies state that the deposit amount you can take from a potential tenant is capped at five weeks’ rent or six weeks’ if the rental costs are more than £50,000 a year. We suggest based on our experience with tenants and landlords, that you can realistically cap your deposit at 4 weeks rent, or “one month rent, one-month deposit”.
- Make sure your property is up to scratch in terms of its energy performance – and hand a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to your tenant.
- You are legally required to have all gas appliances in the property checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer every year – and provide tenants with a Gas Safety Certificate.
- It is a landlord or the managing agency liability that smoke alarms should be fitted on every floor of the property from the start, and carbon monoxide detectors must be in any room. Test both alarms on the first day of the tenancy. It is a good idea to install carbon monoxide detectors near gas appliances, and if possible, to have a gas alarms as sometimes it can happen that the gas stove is not closed properly and that can indicate a gas leak.
- Make sure that your rental property in England is fit for human habitation.
- Remember that you also must have every fixed electrical installation inspected and tested at least every five years by a qualified electrician.
- You need to obtain a report of the results of the inspection and test and retain a copy until the next inspection.
- It is a good idea to regularly check the state of your property. It is best to give your tenants 24 to 48 hours’ written notice – and this should be included in your tenancy agreement.
- A good landlord insurance policy is a must and will cover loss of rent, damage, legal expenses, and liabilities.
- If you are busy arranging a new letting without ensuring your property is up to this standard, you may be fined.
Above all, it must be clean, tidy, and safe!!
Advice for Landlords & Agents
- Keep the rent at the price you are asking but offer another insensitive or other amenities for free. A weekly cleaning of the property, all supplies included (washing liquid, toilet paper, kitchen towels etc.)
- Offer one month’s free rent. Never make this the first month since you may find yourself with a tenant that does not pay in the second month either and now you have a squatter. Tenants are open to this and it allows you to preserve your base rent.
- Increase your market depth by considering pets. You can reduce risk by asking for a pet deposit in addition to the security deposit. Make sure that it is acceptable price according to the national minimum.
- A great idea is to offer amenities that improve or increase the value of the property. Amenities that tenants cannot take with them such as: washer/dryers, microwaves, or dishwashers. Tenants really do like the added convenience and it adds value to the property. A good win-win choice.
- Maximize your marketing presence by using our social media share button. Make sure that you share your listing on all your media channels. As a part of our free and paid packages we will advertise your property on our website as well as our growing property groups in Facebook and Nexdoor, which will give you a bigger exposure.
- When Posting a listing make sure all the information you provide its accurate and the image are the most recent. A survey we conducted showed that renters do not require professional images, quite the opposite, they would like to see unpolished images, that accurately show the size and condition of the property.
- Where possible please include a video of the property as its more likely to have more interest by potential renters.
- Last, but not least important, consider using the Feature your Listing option from your account options, or Upgrade your Package as your property will have a greater exposure and it will gather more interest in the first few day’s publishing, which has been shown to have a great impact on the speed of renting.
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