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Information for Landlords

A LANDLORDS STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO LETTING A PROPERTY

If you have not let a property before or even if it is something you do all the time, Balfours are here to help you all the way. Here is our simplified step by step guide to letting your property.

1. GETTING AN ACCURATE VALUATION

  • We all want to let our property for the best possible price in the quickest attainable time.
  • Balfours offer free market appraisals with honest, straight forward advice in their mission to achieve this.

2. CHOOSING YOUR LETTING AGENT

  • The highest valuation is not all it takes to choose the right letting agent.
  • It is very hard not to fall for pound signs sometimes!
  • There are many factors involved which should include evidence that they have let similar properties, an understanding of the area, combined with some good old fashioned service all contribute to instructing the correct agent.
  • Rigorous, experienced and qualified letting agents are a must. Balfours are members of RICS, ARLA, NAEA, National Landlords Association, National Approved Lettings Scheme, NGPP and the Property Ombudsman.

3. MANAGED OR UNMANAGED SERVICE

  • How involved do you want to be with the tenancy?
  • Are you up to date with current legislation?
  • Would you know how to solve a potential problem should one arise?
  • We can be as involved as you would like us to be, carrying out regular inspections and monitoring rental income giving you peace of mind that your property is in good hands.

4. LEGISLATION & COMPLIANCE

  • There are some important pieces of legislation you will need to comply with before your property can be successfully let.
  • If your property has gas then a gas safety certificate will be required to ensure all gas appliances (including the boiler) are safe to use. This needs to be carried out by a Gas Safe engineer and we can arrange this for you. This certificate will last for 12 months.
  • As of 1st October 2008 all let properties are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (unless the property is listed). This will need to be completed before we can commence marketing.
  • Whilst legislation does not dictate the need for an electrical check on the property we would recommend this as best practice.
  • Having an oil boiler service carried out on an annual basis is also a good idea to ensure it is working properly and to rectify any problems before they become too expensive or damaging.

5. PRESENTING YOUR PROPERTY FOR LETTING

  • This is key. Present your property to your best ability.
  • A shiny front door, sparkling windows, hedges and grass that have been cut all help draw in a potential tenant.
  • A clean tidy and uncluttered home with all the light bulbs working help to emphasise that the property has been well looked after and will encourage a tenant to do so in future.
  • This will also reinforce to the tenant that issues are dealt with in a timely and effective manner which will provide them with peace of mind should any arise during their tenancy.

6. FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED PROPERTY

  • Dressing your property can help a tenant to visualise how their own furniture will fit in the property.
  • Demand in this area is much higher for unfurnished properties.
  • If you need to rent your property furnished your soft furnishings must comply with The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
  • The more flexible you can be, the more tenants you will appeal to!

7. MARKETING YOUR PROPERTY FOR LETTING

  • We would recommend your property is launched to the market approximately 6 weeks prior to being available.
  • Balfours draw up particulars with photographs to enhance your property. Floor plans are a useful tool to help market your property.
  • It’s all about maximum exposure! Your property will be advertised on our dedicated Balfours website, Rightmove, and Onthemarket.com.
  • We arrange personal marketing schedules for each property which include advertising in local press such as the Shropshire Magazine and Shrewsbury Chronicle. We also advertise in regional press such as the Birmingham Express and nationals such as Country Life.
  • We offer an accompanied viewing service should you prefer us to handle the viewings for you.
  • After every viewing we always provide feedback be it positive or negative.
  • Communication is key.

8. RECEIVING A LETTING APPLICATION

  • Once we have an interested party we will ask them to complete an application form.
  • We employ a one stop referencing agency to carry out credit checks and seek employment and landlord references.
  • It is a good idea to meet applicants before accepting their application.

9. TENANCY AGREEMENT

  • When the referencing process is complete and you are happy to proceed we will draw up your agreement.
  • The standard agreement used is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement under provision of the Housing Act 1988 but other agreements are available. We will discuss which is the most appropriate for your situation.
  • The minimum length of term for the agreement will be 6 months.
  • We are happy to include any additional clauses which may be relevant to your property and situation, provided they comply with current legislation.

10. LETTING DEPOSIT

  • We always recommend holding a deposit for the tenancy which is normally equivalent to 2 months rent.
  • This can be used at the end of the tenancy to cover non payment of rent, damages to the property, cleaning, gardening or any other works required to bring the property back to the condition it was let in (allowing for fair wear and tear.)
  • The deposit will need to be protected by a government approved scheme.
  • Balfours are registered members of the Tenancy Deposit Service and use them to protect deposits.
  • You and your tenants will be provided with a copy of the Prescribed Information and a certificate showing the deposit has been protected and complies with current legislation.

11. MOVING IN

  • Prior to moving in we recommend a thorough inventory is carried out and we can arrange for this to be completed on your behalf.
  • The inventory should include a good written description supported by digital, date stamped photographs.
  • Once all paperwork has been signed and monies received then the tenants will be issued with the keys.
  • If you have chosen to manage the property yourself, we will provide your new tenants with your contact details and hope the tenancy runs smoothly for you both.

Development sales are driven by detail. We collect as much knowledge of the site as we can and present it clearly to the potential buyers.

From paddocks to country estates, through commercial and residential farms our knowledge of the market and strong marketing help drive sales and purchases.

From charming cottages and town houses to country homes and estates, we offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you sell your house on the right terms for yourselves.

It should be no surprise that Balfours is Shropshire's largest residential lettings agent: We know how to position a property on the market.