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How to let your home

Landlord Responsibilities The Guild 25th April 2017

Once you have decided to let your property, there are a number of ways to get your home ready. Here are our top tips: 


Insurance

  • The property and your contents should be adequately insured, both while the property is empty and while it is let. 
  • Your insurers must be told that the property will be let, or you could risk invalidating your cover. 


Security

  • Security systems, including locks on windows and external doors, lights, and even full-alarm systems, are valuable additions. 
  • They are also taken into consideration by all the leading insurance companies when calculating premiums.


Decorations and Carpets

  • Choose fresh and neutral colours and styles. 
  • Letting a well-presented property could mean the tenants treat it with more respect. 


Furnished or Unfurnished?

  • Demand is highest for properties that are unfurnished, which traditionally includes carpets, curtains and a cooker. 
  • An unfurnished property has the advantage, from the landlord’s perspective, of avoiding the need for additional maintenance/replacement and for annual testing of electrical appliances. 
  • Tenants would expect furnished properties to be fitted with everything they need for daily life. 
  • Whether you choose to let your property furnished or unfurnished, it's still a good idea to have an inventory carried out on your property, as this documents the condition of everything from carpets to sofas.  



Domestic Appliances

  • These should also be of good quality and condition. They are subject to regular servicing, which you will be responsible for.  
  • Leave instructions on the premises to help the tenant. 
  • Gas and electrical appliances must meet legal safety requirements and oil appliances should be tested annually.


Cleaning

  • Let the property in a clean condition. 
  • Professionally cleaning the property throughout, including all carpets, is part of establishing a benchmark that will be recorded in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition. 


Gardens

  • Ensure the exterior is in good seasonal order when it is let. 
  • This will set a standard for the tenants, who will be responsible for maintaining the garden. 
  • If the garden is particularly large or is a little complicated to maintain, it may be appropriate for you to retain responsibility for maintenance. 
  • If this is the case, the cost will be reflected in the rent. 




Gas, Electricity and Water

  • These services should be left connected for the tenant. The services will need to be transferred into their name. 
  • Under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System, tenants must be able to control and regulate heating systems.


Keys

  • It’s a good idea to have at least three complete sets of keys. 
  • It is sensible to give the tenant two sets so that they have a spare, one for the letting agent and one for yourself. 


Telephone 

  • If a telephone line is already installed at the property, instruct the provider to put a temporary stop on the line when you vacate, and send you a closing account, then you won't be charged for any potential telephone fees. 

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