Know your market
To begin you need to know how much your property is worth by obtaining a detailed and credible valuation. You need an established expert in the area who understands that square footage values are purely a guide and not to rely on the property portals estimation of value; local knowledge is crucial which is where Hotblack Desiato’s excel.
The right marketing plan
Marketing is key! All agents should understand the importance of presentation along with Internet and High Street exposure. Details need to be succinct, well written with professional photography and floorplans. The use of social media is now playing an important role. Hotblack Desiato now has a state of the art website and have members of the teams allocated to ensure maximum exposure through all mediums.
All viewings through Hotblack Desiato are accompanied by an agent who knows the area and your property in depth, many of our viewings are carried out after (or before) ‘normal’ working hours as we understand how hard it often is to get away from work during the week, all agents should do this.
We will visit the property and advise you as to the appropriate market rental value and provide any recommendations we may have as to how best present the property together with information regarding relevant legislation.
Once instructed we prepare particulars by taking professional photographs and floor plans and ensure your property is presented to its best prior to advertising on our website, the major property portals and, on request, in local publications. We do also need an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) which needs be prominently displayed.
Once a tenant is found we negotiate the terms for the tenancy which includes:
- Applying for references through independent credit referencing agency
- Preparing the Tenancy Agreement.
- Ensure the property will have a current Gas safety Certificate (if applicable)
- Collect and transfer the tenants’ deposit. (Managed & Rent collection only)
- Collect and remit monthly rent. (Managed & Rent collection only)
- Arrange routine repairs. (Managed only)
- Arrange Gas Safety Check. (Managed & Rent collection only)
- Instruct inventory provider to prepare and check inventory with tenant. (Managed & Rent collection only)
- Return deposit as agreed with landlord and tenant to relevant parties. (Managed & Rent collection only)
If your property is subject to a mortgage you should notify your Bank or Building Society of your intentions. Likewise if the property is leasehold it is good advice to get confirmation from your freeholder that there are no restrictions or covenants which prevent you from letting. Any unusual covenants need to be added to the agreement with the tenants.
Prior to letting
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. As such, for non-managed properties, we will need confirmation of which scheme you use (along with registration number) before preparing the tenancy agreement.
The inventory ensures all items of furniture, the fixtures and fittings at the property are recorded and their condition noted. The Tenants deposit is held against any damages or excess wear and tear shown against the inventory.
A qualified Engineer must also check all gas appliance and installations in the property and do so on a yearly basis. The engineer must issue a certificate and a copy must be made available to the tenant at the start of any tenancy. Any items that fail to comply with the regulations must be repaired or removed immediately. Failure to comply with the Regulations is a criminal offence.
If you are an overseas resident we are bound under the Taxes Management Act 1970, Section 78 and 83 to assess you at the basic rate of income tax due from rents we collect on your behalf if you are not “self-assessing” your own tax. To avoid this we require a letter of confirmation from your Accountant and Tax Office confirming that they accept liability for payment of your tax.