Your 6-step guide to being a landlord
We know that letting your home or your investment is one of the most important decisions you will make and therefore here at Belgarum we have put together a guide to letting property to steer you through this process:
1. Accurate valuation & selecting a letting agent
We understand when letting a property that you want to achieve the best possible price in the shortest possible time, negating unnecessary void periods.
When considering a letting agent it worthwhile considering the following prior to making your decision- their opening hours, when they will be able to conduct viewings, their presence on the high street, how they are going to market your property and perhaps most importantly they are a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents).
At Belgarum our expert valuer’s carry out a number of valuations a month, coupled with us having one of the largest letting portfolios in the city this gives us intimate and unparallel knowledge of letting values throughout Winchester. In addition to this we are members of ARLA, giving you the reassurance of the Client Money Protection scheme. We register all our deposits with TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and we are also part of the TPO (The Property Ombudsman) redress scheme. Giving you complete peace of mind when letting your property.
2. Consider the service & the length of lease
Consider how much you want to be involved in the tenancy of the property; we offer three levels of service to suit your needs. These are 1) Tenant Find 2) Tenant Find and rent collection 3) Full management. This decision is largely based on how ‘hands on or off’ you would like to be with the day to day running of your property.
The biggest benefit to tenants is the reassurance that the property will be looked after by a quality, trusted brand and can be the key to reaping maximum rental returns on your property. In fact many tenants insist on renting managed properties and are often prepared to pay a premium for this.
Instructing Belgarum to manage your property gives you peace of mind that both your property and tenant will be cared for 24/7. Your dedicated Property Manager will look after the general day-to-day management and more complex issues such as emergency repairs, collection of rent, transfer of utilities and much more. Letting property on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) for a minimum period of six months is an ideal solution as you will benefit from fixed returns on your property, should you be looking to let your own home whilst relocating then timing and length of tenancy will need careful consideration to dovetail with your plans.
3. Presenting & Marketing your property
First impressions count, presentation is critical to a successful let and can not only mean that your property spends less time on the market but that it achieves a greater rent and boosts your yield. Consider addressing any DIY jobs you have been meaning to get done, add a fresh coat of paint where necessary and try to declutter to make rooms appear larger. We will be delighted to advise at the valuation stage of any works that may need to be done.
Belgarum will arrange to produce floor plans, commission an EPC and write comprehensive property descriptions, all in just one visit and to show your place off in the best light. To find your perfect tenant you need to give your property maximum exposure across a wide range of media. When you instruct Belgarum to let your property you will automatically benefit from our unrivalled, comprehensive marketing package, including: exposure on our fantastic new website, Rightmove, OntheMarket and The Guild. We create full colour property details, email and SMS alerts and editorial in the local press directed from our marketing department. Accompanied viewings also mean we can use our expertise to help let your property and remove you from the complexities of meeting and greeting potential tenants.
4. Preparing your property for tenancy
Before you let your property for the first time you must obtain a professional and comprehensive inventory. This will set out the condition and contents of the property. Belgarum will organise a professional inventory on your behalf. You are responsible for checking that the tenants have set up accounts with utility companies, telephone suppliers, council tax and TV licensing although if you have instructed us to fully manage this then we will take care of this. The property will also need a gas safety inspection every 12 months. A fixed wiring test, is not mandatory, but is also recommended.
5. Receiving an offer
As soon as an offer is received we will contact you communicating full details of the bid along with any special conditions and the applicants desired timings to help you decide whether or not to accept. Once you accept an offer we will do the following, regardless of whether your property is fully managed: Obtain references from the tenants, arrange signing of tenancy agreement and collect the moving-in payment (rent + deposit). We can also, get your property ready for move-in carry out the inventory, organise Gas Safety Inspection, portable appliance test and arrange professional cleaning of your property.
6. Move in
Dependent on what service you choose, what happens from here will vary.
For our Let Only or Rent Collection only services; upon completion, keys will be released to the tenant on moving-in day.
For Fully Managed properties, we will provide the tenant with contact details of their dedicated team including their Belgarum Property Manager. Our property managers will update you and bring anything to your attention should we need .to when we undertake our quarterly inspections.
If you would like speak to us about property letting then please give us a call on 01962 844460 and we would be delighted to value your property.