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Whether you are a first time landlord or have a number of rental properties in your portfolio, there are a few important matters that you will need to consider in the letting of your investment(s): 

Before a property can be offered for rent an EPC must be obtained.  Whilst Grade II listed properties are considered to be exempt from the current legislation, we recommend that one is provided for every property.  We can put you in touch with an independent assessor to obtain an EPC. 

Since April 2018 all rental property must comply with the MEES Legislation which stipulates that all properties that are to be newly let (or a renewed tenancy) must reach an E Rating, or above, on its Energy Performance Certificate or be subject to an exemption on the Private Rental Sector (PRS) Register. The regulations apply to all tenancies from April 2020.

Current regulations require both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in rented residential accommodation.  Smoke alarms must be fitted on each floor, and a carbon monoxide alarm must be fitted wherever there is a solid fuel burning combustion appliance/open fire and beside the gas or oil fired boiler.

A gas safety inspection must be carried out by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered qualified gas engineer on all gas appliances, installations and pipes and completed satisfactorily prior to any letting and a safety certificate must be provided to the tenant before the commencement of a tenancy. Gas safety certificates for domestic properties should be prepared annuallyand updated copies provided to the tenant throughout the course of the tenancy. We have a list of approved Gas-Safe registered contractors who would be delighted to help.

It is your duty to ensure that all electrical installations and appliances are safe for use by tenants. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) must be prepared every five years by a qualified electrician on all wiring within the property and completed satisfactorily prior to any letting. A safety certificate showing that the installations within the property are satisfactory and in line with the 18th edition wiring regulations must be provided to the tenant before the commencement of a tenancy. PAT testing is strongly recommended but is not a legal requirement. We have a list of approved electrical contractors who would be delighted to help

In order to comply with the ‘Health and Safety Executive's Code of Practice’ Landlords are responsible for carrying out a risk assessment at their premises prior to letting especially if there are open water tanks, cooling systems or a swimming pool.  

All furniture and furnishings in the property to be let and included in the letting (whether originally provided or added during the tenancy) must fully comply with the requirements of theThe Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993).

You should obtain the written consent of your mortgage company, insurers and superior landlord (if necessary) before letting your property, if it is not already subject to a Buy To Let mortgage.

There is a range of insurance policies specifically tailored to landlord’s to protect their investment(s). You are required to have an adequate level of Building & Contents Insurance to cover your property but there are other policies including those that guarantee or cover lost rent that you may wish to consider.

It is important to consider how you are going to find a tenant for your property and whether you are going to enlist the services of a reputable letting agent to help. RH & RW Clutton provide proactive marketing advice and our team takes a full personal interest during the marketing process which includes, for each property, colour brochures incorporating photographs and floor plans (when provided).  We also post every property our own website and social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram and X, and also on various property portals, including on Rightmove and OnTheMarket.

We aim to accompany all property viewings as we believe a face-to-face meeting with a prospective tenant helps to provide a complete picture. RH & RW Clutton ensures that viewings are carried out by an experienced member of our letting agency team and ensure that clear feedback is provided to our landlords as soon as possible. 

When you have a tenant that is interested in your property, it is important to carry out the appropriate checks on them to ensure they are suitable. Verifying that tenants are who they say they are, carrying out a credit check, obtaining a previous landlords reference and an employment/financial reference gives a landlord the best possible chance in avoiding problems further down the line.

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract governing the relationship between the tenant occupying the property and the landlord collecting rent. The Tenancy Agreement makes it clear what is expected of both parties. RH & RW Clutton ensures that Tenancy Agreements are up to date and legally compliant.  There may also be instances when the services of a solicitor are required when preparing an agreement.

A professional inventory report should be prepared at the start of every tenancy, as an inventory will help to reduce the possibility of disputes at the end of the tenancy over the condition of the property, any missing items and the deposit.  The use of a qualified, independent professional inventory clerk to prepare the inventory and check-in report at the start of the tenancy and the check-out at the end is essential, as in the event of a dispute an adjudicator will favour an impartial inventory as evidence when assessing any claim on the tenant's deposit.

It is usually a tenant’s responsibility to pay for the cost of all utilities, including water, electricity, gas, oil, drainage and council tax.  We can assist with the transfer into and out of a tenant’s name at the beginning and end of a tenancy.

Deposits taken from tenants in connection with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be registered by the landlord or their letting agent with a government backed deposit protection scheme within a certain timeframe. There are two types of deposit scheme available; a custodial and insurance backed scheme. RH & RW Clutton are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) Insured Scheme.

Click here for more information on our services. Our fee structure is competitive and can be tailored to suit each individual landlord client’s requirements.

Should you wish to discuss your requirements or arrange a free market appraisal for your rental property, please contact our offices.

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