Once you’ve agreed to let out your property and a tenant has been found there are a number of things you need to consider. Here are some tips:
You should make arrangements with the Post Office for the redirection of your mail if appropriate. We cannot do this for you, as the Post Office needs your direct instruction. The tenant will be responsible for the utilities during the term of tenancy, unless otherwise agreed and we will arrange for the services to be transferred when the tenancy commences. However, we recommend that you take your own meter readings and instruct the utility companies to forward your final account to your new address or to us for payment. You will also need to arrange for the disconnection of your telephone or cable/satellite TV service. You’ll need to contact the supply company directly yourself and make arrangements for the service to be discontinued once the property is vacated. Unless you notify the Telephone Company before your service is disconnected the tenant will be free to change the number without reference to you.
It is good practice to provide a folder of useful information for your tenant. This will help them settle in more quickly and gives them a good impression. Essential items to include are instruction manuals for kitchen appliances (including the cooker), central heating system and particular features of the property, such as guidance on how to work the alarm. It is also advisable to notify the tenant of the location of the mains water stop tap and the gas stop valve. Instructions for the lawn mower and other equipment should also be included. Other helpful information may include the address of nearest doctors and dentists surgeries, which day the refuse is collected and details of local bus services. It may also be nice to provide telephone numbers for window cleaners; gardeners and the local takeaway as these could prove useful to your tenant.
If there is an extended period after you vacate, or after you have bought the property, before the tenant is due to move in, you should ensure that the appearance of your property does not quickly deteriorate due to the accumulation of junk mail, or overgrown garden. During colder weather you may need to leave the heating on a low setting, or arrange for the water and central heating to be drained down to prevent frost damage. Please remember that we are unable to accept responsibility for these matters or for the safety and security of your property during periods when it is unoccupied.
An inventory of household contents together with a description of the property is essential to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding at the end of the tenancy. On a fully managed package, we will arrange for a comprehensive inventory to be prepared before the tenants move in. Whether you are letting a furnished or unfurnished property, you are advised not to leave any items of sentimental or significant monetary value. Please note that when the inventory is prepared we will be unable to record individual items of cutlery and crockery unless these are laid out in complete sets on the day the inventory arrives. The statement ‘assorted cutlery’ and ‘assorted crockery’ will otherwise be used Please note that the Inventory and schedule of Condition can only be prepared after you have moved out. We usually require the property to be vacant and fully prepared for the tenant at least three working days before the tenancy is due to start in order to ensure that the inventory can be prepared in time. It is advisable to ensure that no further access to the property is needed after the date of the inventory inspection. When one tenant moves out and a new tenancy has been arranged, it is normally necessary for an interval of at least five working days. This is to ensure that the inventory can be amended and any minor work carried out to prepare the property for the next tenant.
There are many different types of agreement and we will explain to you the various options, advising you on the most suitable for your needs. We will also organize the necessary legal documentation, including the Tenancy Agreement and Notices required to secure possession of the property at the end of a Tenancy Agreement. It is essential that a Tenancy Agreement is properly prepared The Tenancy Agreement is a contract made up of two identical parts- one to be signed by you as the landlord and one to be signed by the tenant (called the counterpart). Once a tenancy has been agreed, we will forward documentation to you for signature. The tenancy cannot start until both parties have signed the Tenancy Agreement and we will not allow the tenant to sign until you have returned your part to us duly signed by all joint owners. This Agreement clarifies the responsibilities of both landlord and tenant and will be used in the event that a dispute arises between you and your tenant. If you are away from home or not in contact by post or fax, please notify us in advance so that alternative arrangements can be made for signing your Tenancy Agreement. In the event that we sign the Tenancy Agreement on your behalf, a copy of the Counterpart signed by the tenant will be sent on to you. The Tenancy Agreement must be constructed carefully to enable you to regain possession of the property when you need it and to ensure that any action against the tenant (if necessary) will be successful. We therefore prepare agreements according to circumstances with additional clauses being available to suit specific requirements (e.g. allowing pets). This also applies if you are letting out your property to a company. It is also important to note that in order to obtain possession of your property, (even upon expiry of the agreed term); you need to give the tenant the agreed notice in writing, stating your proposed intentions. We will serve this notice on your behalf under the terms of our Full Management service. Once notices are correctly served, we find most tenancies terminate according to plan.