Step by Step Letting Guide
When asking an agent to value your home you will have several options. It is important to consider more than just fees when making this decision. The reputation of a letting agent can attract tenants, and an agent with membership to regulatory bodies can offer you peace of mind that your money is in safe and secure hands.
A property valuation will take into account the many factors which affect the appropriate rent to charge your tenants. At CityLets York, when we value properties for rent, we look into all these aspects including:
- What type of tenant will the property attract (e.g. families, couples, single professional or corporate)?
- Local knowledge and comparison of similar properties that have previously been let in the area
- What fixtures and furnishings will be included in the property (white goods, furnishings etc)?
- Demand for the property type in the area (and whether this is likely to change over time) taking into account local factors
- Proximity to transport links and local amenities
- State of repair and decor.
As experts in letting property in York we have an in-depth knowledge of what tenants are looking for from rented property in the area. We base our valuations on our knowledge and experience of local market trends and use this information to guide how we market your property.
Choosing you Service Level
Before you become a landlord, consider how much involvement you want to have with your tenant and property. Day to day maintenance, monthly rent collection and other responsibilities may affect your current lifestyle in a way you do not want.
When using CityLets York, you can choose from our two service levels to find the best fit for your needs and personal requirements. Build on the basic Let Only Service to a more comprehensive Managed Service to make your property investment hassle-free.
Our top tip: In our experience, corporate tenants often opt for properties fully managed by agents to ensure their maintenance needs are looked after by professionals so if you are aiming to attract a corporate tenant, consider our fully managed service.
Marketing the Property
Without a letting agent, finding the right tenant can be expensive, time consuming and hard work. You want to get the word out about your property and encourage a tenant that is in the best position for you.
At CityLets York as soon as we receive your instruction, we’ll prepare your property’s details, which can include professional photography to enhance the property. We’ll start marketing your property to attract the right tenant right away.
Your property will receive a wide exposure on our website and various major on-line property portals including, Rightmove and Zoopla. Potential tenants can sign up to on-line property alerts when rental properties that match their criteria become available. Our website is also available in a mobile format for customers with internet enabled phones so they can search for properties when they’re out and about.
In addition, we work closely with relocation agents searching for corporate accommodation for National and International companies including AVIVA, Nestle and Deloitte.
Our strong and recognisable brand, with our prominent ‘To Let’ boards (and our eye-catching Mini often seen throughout the City!) provides an image to attract prospective tenants searching for quality properties.
Our centrally located office, an attractive listed building in the heart of the city centre, provides a visible showcase for our properties with a prominent and attractive window display and extremely helpful staff to welcome any landlords or tenants visiting our office.
Arranging gas and electrical safety certificates
Your property must meet the UK’s legal safety standards, therefore an impartial service must be employed to provide you with essential certified gas inspections. CityLets York will be able to provide this and also can offer additional certified inspections of your property’s electrics.
Our top tip: Keep up with the latest legislation. At CityLets York we ensure our landlords and their investments are up to date with the newest regulations and protected at all times. It’s all part of the service.
We recommend you keep your property as a blank canvas for prospective tenants by keeping the space clean and clutter-free. As standard, CityLets York will accompany the prospective tenants on all viewings on your behalf. However if you choose to host the viewing yourself, remember to highlight all the good points that aren’t immediately obvious, such as friendly neighbours, secure gated access or in-built storage. As a licensed agency we adhere to a code of practice, and all prospective tenants are treated in a professional and courteous manner.
Our top tip: Appeal to the masses. If you are decorating your property keep it simple; don’t let your personal taste put off potential tenants. Neutral colours usually suit most tastes.
Agreeing an offer from the Tenant
CityLets York can handle negotiations between you and the prospective tenant. We strive to achieve you an attractive rental; however factors such as the references of the tenant and whether they have a reliable income, may influence your decision.
Our top tip: Be clear about the type of tenant you will be happy with; for example, are pets an issue?
Agreeing an offer
Once negotiations have reached a positive conclusion and you are happy to accept an offer, we ask the tenant to sign our terms and conditions, pay our administration fees and a £200.00 holding deposit on the property. We will carry out all the checks on the prospective tenant and secure the deposit.
Please note: all our fees are visible on our website and property portals, giving the tenant clear and transparent details of any charges.
Referencing the Tenant
It is important to run thorough checks on prospective tenants to ensure that your investment will be secure. At CityLets York, we use strict referencing procedures carried out by independent experts which can give our landlords a comprehensive understanding of their personal and financial circumstances, including a check on their employment history, credit worthiness, previous landlord (if appropriate) and previous addresses.
Our top tip: CityLets York low rent arrears. We believe strict referencing betters your chances of avoiding problems with payments further down the line.
Payment and signing the Tenancy Agreement
This document outlines the agreed responsibilities of both parties. It is important that both tenants and landlords take the time to read this carefully before signing. The tenants not move into their new home until they have paid the security deposit, at least one month’s rent in advance and all administration fees.
The Inventory and Schedule of Condition
An inventory is a detailed list agreed and signed by both parties itemising the contents and condition of the property at the time of the tenant moving in. CityLets York uses an independent AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks) trained inventory clerk to provide a comprehensive list and schedule of condition designed to minimise the risk of any dispute over the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
The Security Deposit
Once the deposit has been paid in full, the tenant has secured the property. This deposit is held against possible damage to the property which can be checked against the inventory at the end of the tenancy. The Housing Act 2004 protects all parties in this regard as the deposit is now required to be held within a government-approved scheme on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This scheme offers quicker and easier ways of resolving disputes, without the need for court action. We use the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) for all our managed properties and recommend The DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) to all our landlords who manage their own properties.
In order to keep checks on the property and that it is being well looked after, you will need to agree a number of visit dates with your tenant.
If you have opted for our popular fully-managed services, we will carry out an interim inspection and provide a written and photographic report of the property tenancy overview and pre-tenancy inspection. Of course, if anything breaks down or needs repairing then you/we may be required to visit the property more often. If you want to minimise your workload CityLets York offers the fully managed service option to lighten the load.
Our top tip: Small gestures will go a long way in building good relationships with your tenants: for example, leave out instructions to appliances. (This may also mean tenants will be less likely to break the appliance!)
Once the tenancy period has nearly come to an end, your tenant will need to decide whether to extend their stay or move out (remembering to give two months’ notice in writing).
As a CityLets York landlord, if anything else arises before, during or after the tenancy we will be on hand to offer you full, supportive lettings advice. Whatever your enquiry, contact us – we will be more than happy to help.