Your guide to letting a property in Leytonstone – or anywhere in the UK!
Whether you’re renting your property for the first time or you just need a reminder of the steps involved in letting a property, our experienced agents have put together this helpful, comprehensive landlord’s property letting guide so you know what to expect throughout the process.
Things to consider before letting a property...
Our property letting guide covers all landlords – whether you’ve specifically invested in a buy-to-let property or are moving on but wish to keep hold of your previous home. Letting a property comes with various responsibilities but it can be a great way of building a portfolio and creating a secondary income stream.
As experienced local letting agents, we’ve helped many landlords to rent out property in Leytonstone, E11 and surrounding areas, but there are a few things we also advise taking care of before you put your property on the rental market:
- Type of rental and permissions – as a private landlord (and depending on the type of property you’re renting out), you can rent to a single ‘household’ e.g. an individual/couple/family, or you can choose to go down the HMO (houses in multiple occupation) route and rent the property on a room-by-room, or shared basis – Waltham Forest, Redbridge and Newham operate licensing schemes in the majority of their borough, which will entail securing a licence and some additional legal obligations. You’ll also need to decide if you’re renting the property as furnished or unfurnished too. If the property is mortgaged you’ll need to ask your lender to grant permission to let in writing, and if it’s leasehold, you’ll probably need to seek the same from your landlord.
- Safety and certificates – landlords have several legal obligations regarding safety, plus other formal obligations to meet. You’ll need an up-to-date, annual gas safety check carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer; an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR); to install smoke alarms on every floor of the property which must be tested at the start of each tenancy (it’s also advisable to install carbon monoxide detectors, which in certain instances will also be a legal requirement) and you need to ensure your property conforms with the minimum standards under the Home (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018). You’ll also need to ensure you have building insurance (and possibly public liability insurance) a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), plus any furniture or soft furnishings must comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989, 1993 and 2010). This is just a selection of the regulations that apply to renting out a property, and we’ll guide you through the details if you’re letting locally and wish to arrange a rental market appraisal and valuation with us.
- Find a reputable, local letting agent – while it’s possible to rent privately through local ads, having a good letting agent to help you market and manage your property can save you a lot of time and hassle. A good letting agent will be able to advise and assist with all of the above decisions and responsibilities, and will use their knowledge of the local lettings market to help secure you the best monthly rent. While there is of course a fee for their service, a professional agent will keep things running smoothly, deal with the tenant on your behalf, carry out inspections and deal with referencing and credit checks. If you’re thinking of letting a property in Leytonstone or surrounding East London areas, you can find out more about our services by contacting us here.
Our 10 step property letting guide
So you’ve got your property ready to rent out with all your safety and legal obligations fulfilled and you’ve checked out some local letting agents. Now what?
Here’s our quick-fire property letting guide.
- Market appraisal and valuation – a good letting agent should offer this for free and without obligation, so it’s worth getting two or three valuations from the agents on your shortlist. Their valuation will be based on properties of a similar size, location, condition and other market conditions. A good agent will also provide recommendations for any required repairs, refurbishments or unmet regulatory requirements that need attention.
- Get your property rental-ready – now’s the time to attend to any required repairs, move any unwanted furniture out, check your white goods are in working order and spruce the interior and exterior up ready for letting.
- Marketing – effective marketing is everything. To give you an idea of what your letting agent should be doing to market your home, some of our methods include advertising properties on our website and all major online property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation and OnTheMarket, plus:
- Professional photography
- Tailored, engaging descriptions
- Touchscreen property displays at London Park Lane location
- Social media marketing plus our fortnightly e-zine
- Email campaigns
- Direct marketing to suitable pre-qualified tenants
- Tenant pre-qualification – as soon as a potential tenant expresses an interest in renting your property, your agent should run through the necessary checks to ensure they’re suitable, while also ensuring compliance with the Right to Rent regulations. Once pre-qualified, a viewing can be arranged with the interested party – we always provide fast, honest feedback to our landlords, keeping them informed all times.
- Receiving a rental offer – after some viewings have taken place at your property, your letting agent will start to receive offers from interested parties. We always clearly communicate all the information we have available as soon as possible, giving you details on their proposed moving date/tenancy period, their professional circumstances and anything else we can tell you to help you decide whether or not to rent your property to them. If both parties agree, the tenant will usually be asked to put down a holding deposit – then the real action starts to happen!
- Inventory – an inventory and schedule of condition gives both you and your tenant a full reference of the condition and included furnishings at the outset of the letting agreement, providing evidence should there be a disagreement at the end of the tenancy term or a claim against their deposit. A good inventory should be a fully detailed and professional document covering contents, fixtures, fittings, etc., accompanied by photographs (like ours!) rather than a basic list of contents.
- Deposit and rent in advance – as moving-in day approaches, your letting agent will start to process of collecting the advance rent and a deposit to help give you some security against potential damages or unpaid rent. Your agent MUST, by law, protect the deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme and if they’re acting as your property manager, they’ll help you to deal with any disputes that may arise at the end of the tenancy. By this stage all the final checks/references will also have been made, so it’s just a case now of...
- Signing the tenancy agreement – it’s the first day of the agreed and arranged tenancy, so providing all the monies have been received by you/your agent, it’s time to complete the signing of the agreement, issue all required documentation and hand over the keys! You should provide a set of keys to each tenant plus your agent will also need a set too.
- Utilities and council tax – when letting a property, it’s usually the tenant’s responsibility to pay the council tax and utility bills. On moving day, you or your agent will need to make a note (backed up with photographs if possible!) of the meter readings. If you engage an agent to manage your property they should be happy to help with transferring these bills over to the tenant on your behalf.
- Ongoing maintenance and management – letting a property does mean an ongoing commitment to dealing with tenants and any issues that may crop up with the home. You can usually choose between a basic letting service which mainly covers the initial tenant-finding stage, or a property management service which will ensure you can take a genuine ‘hands-off’ approach while they deal with any maintenance, repairs or enquiries from your tenant, keeping you in the loop but taking care of everything on your behalf.
That’s it! Our property letting guide in a nutshell – but if you have any more questions about the process, preparing your house for rent or anything else, please feel free to contact our friendly team who will be happy to offer their honest, expert advice.
Why should you consider letting a property through us?
If you’re looking at letting a property in Leytonstone or the East London area, the team at Trading Places are here to help – and without blowing our own trumpets, we think we have a bit of an edge over other local letting agents. Here’s why...
- Husband and wife team with 50 years of combined experience in buying, selling, letting and renting property.
- Genuine locals – we live in and LOVE Leytonstone, we play an active part in the local community and can give you genuine, firsthand insight into neighbourhoods, amenities, things to do and, of course, rental properties!
- We’re supported by a team of local expert letting and property management agents and office staff who also happen to be our family and friends – and they all share our strong values and dedication to providing the best possible service every time.
- We have many accreditations and professional memberships under our belts:
- The Guild’s member for E11
- The Property Ombudsman
- Propertymark ARLA
- Propertymark NAEA
- We’re also award winners! Over the years we’ve been the proud recipients of accolades from:
- The Best Estate Agents Guide
- The British Property Awards
- Three Best Rated Agent
- Tracker (no longer operating)
We’re always here to act as your guide you through the process of letting a property and to offer any advice you require – just get in touch and we’ll be delighted to help!