Tips for letting your Coventry property out

It’s never been a better time to enter the buy to let market as an investment option.  The financial benefits of doing so are enticing more and more investors into the buy-to-let market.
Demand for rented houses in Coventry is very strong and with house prices continuing to rise, this demand will continue for the foreseeable future. Additionally, fuelling the surge in buy to let investment is the ability that over 55’s now have to take part of their pension as a lump sum, to spend or invest how they wish.
However, becoming a landlord for the first time still requires important decisions to be made and this article, we’ll cover some of those. You have the option to manage the property and rental agreements yourself or pay a management company to do it for you.
Before you can market your property, you need to have an energy performance certificate for the property, and have it available for any prospective tenant to view. Similar to the coloured energy rating sticker on electrical appliances, an EPC certificate for a property will show how energy efficient the property is. Bear in mind, the rating on the EPC could affect how much rent you can charge.
You also need to have permission to let from either the freeholder of the property or the mortgage company. Not all mortgages will allow the property to be let so check first.
You will need to draw up a tenancy agreement to cover the terms of the rental and fees charged. If managing the property yourself, there are templates online you can use but check them carefully as they mot be up to date.  This is where using a letting agent in Coventry will help as their tenancy agreements will be up to date with the latest legislation.
It’s always a good idea to obtain references for tenants you are considering renting your property to. The landlord is now responsible for ensuring that a tenant is legally allowed to live in the UK so it’s up to you to check this. Again, using a lettings agent will make this easier as they will have processes in place to check this.
Before letting your property, you need to complete an inventory and these can be carried out by an independent company.  It avoids any disputes in future, for example if things go missing or get damaged.  There’s also a safety element to these inventories; there is a check for smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. Finding an inventory clerk is easy, either search online, ask landlord friends for recommendations or ask your lettings agent.

Before they move in

 After changes in regulations, deposits from tenants must now be held in a government approved tenancy deposit scheme and this will be for the duration of the tenancy agreement. Within the tenancy agreement, you will need to document where the deposit is being held and the conditions with which it will be returned to the tenant, either in part or full.
Don’t forget to inform the local authority and utility companies about your tenancy and date it begins, otherwise you may be liable for bills run up by your tenant.
If there is gas served to the property then having a Gas Safe certificate is a must have, prior to allowing a tenant to move in. Gas Safe checks must be carried every 12 months, and by a qualified Gas Safe engineer. A copy of the certificate should be given to the tenant for their records.
Fire safety risk assessment should be carried out to ensure there is clear escape routes as well as ensuring soft furnishings have fire retardant materials.
Electrical checks should also be carried out prior a tenant moving in, and then PAT tests every 12 months.

While they’re living there

 While your tenant is living in your rental property, it’s a good idea to keep records and accounts, so everyone knows where they stand. If you use a lettings service, then this is something they will do for you. As a landlord, you have a duty to provide a safe and healthy environment for the tenant to live in. This means repairs which present a danger to the tenant must be dealt with as soon as possible. Emergency repairs will need dealing with immediately so it’s important to let the tenant know how to contact you, including out of hours arrangements.
Remedial work in the property must be carried out with minimal disruption and to a standard whereby a repair won’t be required within a short time. In other words, don’t bodge the job on the cheap.
Tenants are expected to take care of some basic maintenance in the property, such as replacing light bulbs and unblocking drains. This should be made clear in the tenancy agreement.
New rules now mean that tenants cannot be evicted for requesting repairs to the property.
To ensure that the tenant is looking after the property, a regular inspection should be carried out. This can also identify any maintenance issues which have not been noticed by the tenant.
If you need to access the property while you have a tenant living there, then it is reasonable to give 24 hours’ notice, unless there is an emergency situation and immediate access is needed. Access to the property should be covered in the tenancy agreement.

When a tenant is about to move out

When a tenant has given notice but I still living in the property, any viewings for new tenants should be arranged by giving 24 hours’ notice.
On the day the tenant moves out, make arrangements with them about the handover of keys, tidying of rooms and notification to the utility companies.
When the tenancy ends
When a tenant is due to leave your property, it is highly advised you use an external company to carry out a check out report.  Tenants are advised to attend this and the report is issued to the tenant. The findings of the report will determine whether or not the deposit will be paid.
Once you are happy that no damage has been incurred by the tenant, then the deposit can be returned. If you are holding all or part of the deposit back, then you must inform the tenant in writing. This is in compliance with the deposit protection scheme.

Our List of Letting Agents

If you’re looking for a letting agent, then here is a list we’re compiling:
 Elite Property
112 Walsgrave Rd,
Coventry,
West Midlands,
CV2 4ED.
024 7665 2200

 …

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