How to Let – Get the new guide to letting property in London

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To compliment the Government’s updated guide to letting, Henry Wiltshire’s London letting agents have provided a summary of the advice for landlords with property to let in London. This condensed guide is designed to give an overview of the rights and responsibilities that all landlords have to uphold.

Good communication is the key when letting a property. Maintenance of the property and fixing all repairs leaves your property in good condition and prevents huge bills and headaches further down the line. See our checklist below, or contact our property management team in London to find out how we can take the hassle out of letting your property.

Get the Official Government Guidelines

This article is a simple outline of the “How to Let” guide, but you can get the most recent official government guides for landlords from the following links:

Before starting to let your London property

  • Become a member of an accreditation scheme. This is better for everyone and there are a number of schemes to choose from. The NLA, the RLA and the Landlords Guild are all good options.
  • If you would like to use a London letting agency to take the inconvenience out of the situation, ensure that they too are accredited through a professional body. Henry Wiltshire is accredited with ARLA, the Property Ombudsman and we are part of the NFOPP Client Money Protection Scheme
  • Know the length of the tenancy you want to offer before you start.
  • Check the property is safe and comfortable to live in. Have all of your certifications done and ready to go. The government also provides a publication on safe homes and what to look for.
  • Find out more about the process of letting in London with Henry Wiltshire

Finding your tenant

  • You cannot discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant on the basis of their disability, sex, gender reassignment, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion/belief, or sexual orientation.
  • Landlords must check that all people over 18 have the right to rent.
  • Check all prospective tenants documents. Make copies of all of their relevant documents and return originals to them.
  • Check their references thoroughly. Do not be afraid to ask questions of former landlords, employers or character referees. They are an important part of the process.
  • Be very clear about pets, smoking and sub-letting. This will lead to fewer problems in the long run.
  • Show your tenant how to work all appliances and find the stopcock for cases of emergencies.
  • Give them the correct contact details for whoever is managing the property. Ensure whoever will be managing the property is following the correct code of practice.

What you must provide your tenants

  • Their tenancy agreement. This should include an up to date inventory, meter readings and your own name and address.
  • The energy Performance Certificate of the property must be provided to show the tenant the likely cost of energy bills. This rating must be over an E since April 2018.
  • A record of any electrical inspections. All appliances should be tested every 5 years.
  • Evidence that the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are in good working order.
  • A gas safety certificate.
  • Deposit paperwork. Tenants deposit’s must be protected in a government approved scheme.
  • A copy of the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ is mandatory.
  • If you are renting a house in multiple occupation or a HMO it may need to be licensed. Check if yours does need a licence and ensure you have the correct license for the property.
  • You should let your tenant know if the property is mortgaged. This may affect them down the line if payments to your mortgage are skipped.

After your tenant moves into your London property

  • Good communication is key. Let the tenant know their responsibilities and be a good landlord by honouring your own.
  • Insure the property. The building needs to be insured to cover the costs of any damage from flood or fire.
  • Deal with any problems as they occur. Small repairs/maintenance can turn into big problems if left unattended.
  • Maintain the structure and exterior of the property.
  • Arrange an annual gas safety checklist.
  • Rent can only be increased by agreement as set out in tenancy or by following a procedure set out in law.
  • If for any reason the tenancy becomes a problem try to communicate with your tenant first. If a problem persists and you need to end the tenancy you must follow the correct procedure.

When it comes to the end of the tenancy

  • Check if the tenant wishes to stay longer. You may allow them to carry on with a rolling periodic tenancy. This has no fixed term and the tenancy agreement should state how much notice both parties needs to give to end the agreement.
  • Carry out an inspection. Try to ensure the tenant is present. Have the original itinerary and/or photos. Discuss any damage or issues with your tenant. Let them know how much of their deposit you will be returning.
  • Ensure they have cleaned the property, paid all bills and left a forwarding address along with handing back all keys upon leaving.

Are you a landlord with property to let in London?

Contact your local Henry Wiltshire office to see how we can help with the ongoing maintenance and management of your London rental properties. Henry Wiltshire offer a full range of service packages to London landlords, from let-only to full property management. Give us a call today, we have expert knowledge all around the city and someone will be there to talk you through the process in more detail.

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