Buzz Blog #2 – Landlord Requirements

Many landlords start the process looking at the best yields and purchase prices, but they don’t look into the stages after the initial purchase. It is important to think about the whole picture in order to make the most out of your investment. The type, condition and location of the property are all important in order to try to maximise your potential tenant base and to attract a longer term tenant reducing any void periods or re-letting costs.

Local licensing fees and legislations are often a surprise to potential landlords. As an agent we are happy to talk to investors as they begin their search and endeavour to ensure that we answer any questions, on or before any valuations. Valuations are free and you are under no obligation so please contact us to find out more.

The marketing of the property is key to attracting the right tenant and finding one quickly. The majority of the marketing now is completed online via websites, database mailings and on social media. As an agent we also have seven local offices from all of which potential tenants can access information ensuring that we have the best possible coverage. The condition of the property at the time of the photographs and viewings is important to ensure that it stands out against its competition and reassures tenants that the property is in a good condition and that you will be a good landlord. Make sure that you dress your property to make it as attractive as possible.

Finding the right tenant

If you are a landlord, then finding the right tenant will probably be your main concern. As an agent we place a huge importance on the referencing process and report all of our findings back to you before any confirmation is given to the tenants. Depending on whether or not you are looking to manage the property yourself, there are some landlords that would prefer to meet tenants before any referencing process begins. We try to tailor our packages and services to each individual landlord so they feel secure in the process. We will talk you through the whole process step by step so that you are knowledgeable at every point.

Before any paperwork is signed we will provide our landlords and tenants with a draft copy of the tenancy agreement to ensure that all parties have time to read and digest the agreement that they will be signing. It is at this point, before any move in, we are also required to provide tenants with the government ‘How to rent’ information along with a copy of the gas safety certificate. Deposits are also taken to cover any potential dilapidations and should be lodged with a registered deposit company alongside an inventory being completed.

Using an agent to market and let your property ensures that you are compliant and that your investment is as secure as possible. Failure to meet some of these requirements (which can seem unimportant at the time) can result in a future section 21 notice (polite notice to leave) being invalid.

Maintenance & Repairs

When tenancies are signed and tenants move in it is then the landlords or agents responsibility to deal with any maintenance. This will need to be dealt with in a timely manner and the correct notices given to tenants for tradesman to enter for any quotes or works. Funds should be put aside regularly to ensure that you are able to complete any works and necessary legal checks as they are required. Are you aware that you will also be on 24 hour call for your tenants to report any emergencies unless you instruct an agent to deal with this on your behalf? As part of our full management package we will collate quotes for you and instruct any works on your behalf as agreed. If funds are available on account we will pay any tradesman out of the following months rent. Funds will be required in advance before any larger works are instructed.

Regular inspections throughout any tenancy and maintenance checks ensure that the property is properly maintained and that your investment is well cared for. Dilapidations not only lead to unhappy tenants and longer void periods but also potential reductions in sale value. Asset management is the key to ensuring the longevity of your investment and to maximising your potential long term profits. As an agent we have six other sales offices across Sussex and Kent that can provide you with sales valuations and information on the market at any time. We also have access to independent financial advisors who can ensure that you are making the most of your money.
Contact the office on 01424 430011 to find out more about our packages and services. We look forward to hearing from you.