Introduction to Lettings
Preparing the home that is to be let is important, ensuring that it is in good decorative order, tidy and that repairs have been carried out. The better the condition of the house the better quality tenants you will attract. First impressions are important and any problems with the home will not go away. In fact they are likely to get worse.
Energy Performance Certificates
Since 1st October 2008, Landlords have been legally required to provide copies of an Energy Performance Certificate to potential tenants. An EPC tells a landlord and prospective tenants how energy efficient a rental property is, with A being the most efficient. The EPC certificate also indicates the impact the property has on the environment. A minimum rating of E is required for a property before it can be rented out. The Government has also indicated that it plans to increase this minimum rating to C by 2025 for all new lets, and from 2028 from all existing lets.
All furniture and furnishing need to meet strict criteria laid out in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations1988 (amended 1989 and 1993). The regulations aim to improve safety by requiring all furniture and furnishings in rented properties to pass the “cigarette test”.
What items are covered? Upholstered furniture and furnishings containing foam: beds mattresses, headboards and pillows, settees, armchairs, scatter cushions, beanbags, pouffes, foot stools, children’s chairs, beds and prams, convertible furniture, furniture supplied in kit form, outdoor furniture suitable for use inside the home, loose fittings, permanent or loose covers, any fabrics supplied to provide or replace a permanent cover. Carpets are not included. Furniture manufactured before 1st January 1950 does not need to comply with the regulations. This exempts ‘period’ or antique furniture.
Since 1st April 2021 all tenancies in England have required a valid EICR. Landlords must supply a copy of a valid EICR to all tenants at the beginning of the tenancy, when issuing a new contract (including renewals), and also to any prospective tenant, if asked, within 28 days of receiving a written request. Often new installations are issued with an EICR valid for 10 years but it is a requirement under Lettings Law that this been updated every 5 years.
Landlords are also required to ensure that any gas boilers and other equipment are serviced once a year. A landlord is also legally required to provide a tenant with an annual gas safety certificate. The service must be carried out by a contractor registered with Gas Safe previously known as CORGI. The relevant law is The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. Current regulations require a CO (Carbon Monoxide) alarm in the same room as a gas boiler or appliance or open fire. We also recommend a CO alarm in the same room as a gas cooker or boiler, although this is not currently a legal requirement.
Types of Landlord Insurance
We recommend that you notify your insurance company of the letting to ensure that your policy covers lettings, particularly if the property is furnished.
Sinclair Hammelton can recommend insurance products which are designed specifically for Landlords and thus take into account all risks involved but it remains the landlords responsibility to take insurance for the property and his own contents, and the tenant to arrange cover for their own possessions.
Advanced Rent Offer
When you rent out a home you traditionally receive your rent monthly. With Sinclair Hammelton’s ‘Advanced Rent Option’ (ARO™) we will pay your rent one year in advance. There is no direct cost for the service and provided you pay our Standard Management fees there’s nothing more to pay.
Click here for details
The Primary Tenancy™
No-one can deny that renting your home can be a profitable and worthwhile thing to do. It is also true that as the private rental market expands, landlords are faced with ever increasing legislation, regulations and obligations.
One of the key benefits a good agent offers its landlords is to simplify the process of letting your property and ensure you comply with all the rules.
With our Primary Tenancy, Sinclair Hammelton goes one step further and offers landlords the ultimate in simplicity and peace of mind.
Instead of acting just as your agent, with a Primary Tenancy Sinclair Hammelton becomes your tenant and we sublet your property for a profit rather than a commission. By becoming your tenant we are providing you, our Landlord, with more privacy, protection and peace of mind.
For example we are not obliged to hand your contact details to our sub tenants and in the event of a problem with our sub tenants we can undertake enforcement action against them without your involvement. Even better we offer this option at no cost to you!
Download The Primary Tenancy Brochure
In conjunction with our Primary Tenancy service we can offer you our own Rent Guarantee which protects you against unpaid rent and legal fees, so we can offer you total peace of mind.
Permission to let
Before you can let your property, you should contact your Mortgage Lender to advise that you will be renting your property and also your Freeholder (if applicable). Your Freeholder may also charge for the Permission to Let and it may be provided on a yearly renewable basis.
Download The Landlords Guide
Client Money Protection is provided by Safeagent (previously known as NALS) – 01242 581712 – https://safeagents.co.uk/.
Click here to view our Safeagent certification
Client Redress Scheme is provided by the Property Ombudsman – 01722 333306 – https://www.tpos.co.uk/