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Preparing Your Property

There are many things to consider above and beyond the safety elements of being a landlord.  Some you must do and some you should do if you want to get the best possible return on your investment. Here are a few things to think about. For any more information give us a call or fill in your details and one of the team will get back to you ASAP!

Consent to Let - Mortgage / Leasehold

If you are thinking of letting your own home out then you must have consent to let from your mortgage provider.  The consequence of not having this can be quite severe and your lender could demand you to repay the mortgage immediately and incur any fines that are included in their T&C’s.

If you are leaseholder then make sure you check you Head Lease.  Most Head Leases require you to obtain consent to let however permission is not usually withheld unreasonably. In certain cases you are not allowed to let under any circumstances.

It’s also worth knowing that if you don’t have consent to let your insurance will probably be null and void.

Landlord Insurance

It’s a common mistake that your buildings and contents insurance will cover you as a landlord however it’s highly likely it doesn’t.  You must get the correct insurance for landlords which will cover your building and contents and importantly public liability. There are many other insurances you can get including Rent Guarantee (free with our fully managed service), boiler cover, plumbing and drains cover but the right landlord insurance is the most important thing here.

EPC

You are required to provide the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of a property when marketing it so tenants can make an informed judgement on the performance of the property and how this might affect their outgoings.  The fine for not having one upon request is £200 so it’s a no brainer really – get one! Or ask us to arrange one for you!

Damp / Condensation

Wherever possible it’s advised to have the right sort of ventilation in place to minimise condensation.  With so many old properties in Watford and the surrounding areas it’s important to try to help your tenants out and minimise any complaints. Trickle vents on windows should be left open and it goes without saying there should be suitable extraction in problem areas such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Tenant Manual

We highly recommend you put a manual together for your tenants.  This should include:

  • Operational instructions for any appliances and heating controls
  • Information on waste collections and recycling and where the communal rubbish areas are in blocks of flats
  • Where the stop cocks are for Water & Gas and the consumer unit for Electricity.
  • Where the meters are
  • Who to contact for council tax
  • In permitted areas, where to obtain your parking permit
  • Any other useful local information

Presentation

If you want our help to get you you the best possible rental return and the best possible tenants for your property then you must consider these points.

Clean

There’s nothing worse than moving into a dirty old property and it certainly makes our job tougher when showing prospective tenants around if there are stains and much everywhere!  Get it cleaned to a high standard and then you can expect your tenants to keep it that way. If you need a reliable and reasonable cleaning company to come and do the work for you then let us know and we’ll arrange it for you with pleasure.

Décor

It should be neutral throughout. Feature walls can look nice but they’re not too everyone’s taste and you want to appeal to as broad a market as possible.

Flooring

This really depends on the type of property but in most cases a reasonable wood effect laminate can lift a neutral room and carpets give a nicer feel in bedrooms.  Don’t go for the cheapest of either if you can afford a couple of steps above in the pricing it usually offers a much nicer finish.

Gardens

Gardens should be trimmed and well presented.  The less maintenance required the better unless you are going to provide a gardener of course.