As landlords ourselves, we understand the importance of choosing the right agent to look after your investment. You will never become just another landlord with just another property, you will always be you and we respect and understand what you need.
The following guide has been produced to help explain different stages of this process.
- Why let?
- Choosing the right property
- Can you let my property at the best possible price, in the desired timescale?
- Preparing to let
- What certificates do I need to rent out my property?
- How will my property be presented?
- Moving the tenant in
- Finding a tenant
- Choosing the right tenant
- During the tenancy
- 24 hour maintenance
- Ending the tenancy
- What is my investment worth?
There are many practical and financial reasons why people choose to let. Purchasing residential property to let can be a secure and worthwhile form of investment- with returns rivalling many other kinds of investment. More and more people continue to invest in property as a way of providing for their retirement.
Moving abroad, whether it’s temporary or permanent has become increasingly popular and letting your home offers you the opportunity to maintain an income from your property with the option to return at a later date.
Changes in the job market mean more than ever, mobility and flexibility are important career issues, and letting offers a swift solution. Many homeowners who can’t sell, find that letting out their current property enables them to relocate or buy another. Lenders now offer “Let to Buy” mortgages which enable you to achieve this. Through extensive experience we have been able to clearly identify the needs of landlords and develop our services to meet their needs.
Choosing the right property
The key to success with buy-to-let is choosing the right property. If you are buying a property to let, choose one that will appeal to the type of people who live in that area. For example, the main tenant market could be made up of busy professionals, single people or couples who may be looking for a two or three-bedroom flat or house with good transport links and a small or no garden.
Our staff can tell you about what gaps there are in the rental market. Before you buy, check that the house or flat you are interested in conforms to health and safety regulations. Otherwise you could find yourself needing to replace boilers, gas fires and appliances. We know and understand the market inside out in the areas we operate and will gladly offer assistance to our landlords who are looking to increase the size of their property portfolios or buying for the first time. We can offer advice on the location, yield potential and ‘let-ability’ of the property you may be considering to purchase. If you’re not local we’ll even view the property on your behalf and forward you our opinion.
Can you let my property at the best possible price, in the desired timescale?
We aim to achieve the best possible price for your home by getting things right from the start. We will value your property using our local database of let properties and extensive experience to ensure we advise you of the most suitable price to begin the marketing your home. We will take the time to talk to you about your property and find out about your needs and expectations.
We will gain feedback about your home from viewings so that we can ensure we are maximising each and every opportunity and keep you updated. We also analyse marketing updates from Rightmove, Zoopla and social media so that we can advise you on how your home is performing on the open market. You will be looked after by everyone in the Evolution family from day one and receive regular contact from us.
Preparing to let
When people view your property, they will compare it to others available, so its condition and appearance will affect both the rental value and the speed at which it is let. So remember first impressions count:
- Decorations should be light modern and neutral; be prepared to re-decorate as necessary.
- Carpets need to be clean and neutral
- Kitchens and bathrooms are modern and clean.
- In general the property should be thoroughly cleaned and uncluttered.
- Any gardens should be tidy and easily maintained.
What certificates do I need to rent out my property?
These are just some of the certificates that you will need but don’t worry, we will guide you through whatever is needed to rent out your property:
- Energy Performance Certificate
- Electrical Safety Certificate
- Gas Safety Certificate
- You will also need to be aware of the legislation around providing smoke detectors along with carbon monoxide detectors
How will my property be presented?
You only get one chance to make a first impression and we know how to make your property stand out. All our property particulars are produced to superior standards, giving a comprehensive, clear and accurate representation of your home. We take pride in taking the right photo and we also include detailed floor plans that are proven to help secure quality viewings.
Our state-of-the-art video and virtual tours allow everyone to view your home in near real time viewings. The feedback we have received from both sides of the process has been exceptionally positive with many people even making offers before carrying out a physical viewing. We know that if you show the right information to the right client, it will enable us to secure viewings for serious clients rather than window shoppers.
Using our amazing “Key Facts For Tenants” reports, we allow potential tenants to see information about your home and the surrounding area for the first time in one place. Clients want to know what schools are local and more importantly, what are the Ofsted ratings along with information about transport hubs, bus routes and many other key points to attract more interest.
As soon as your property is ready for the market, we will text, email and phone our extensive database of pre-qualified potential tenants. These are clients that have expressed an interest in homes like yours, have a proven financial ability to proceed with an application and are in a position to do so. Your home needs to be shown on as many different platforms as possible and we ensure that it can be viewed anywhere in the world, from any device that has access to the web.
Alongside this, we will begin the process to get your property advertised on the UK’s leading property websites, Rightmove and Zoopla as well as through our own website and social media platforms such as facebook and Twitter. Whilst many agents will charge a fee for promoting your home on the social media platforms, at Evolution we understand the importance of utilising these medias to ensure your home receives the maximum amount of exposure and we even have an in house, experienced marketer who will ensure that your home isn’t just placed on to the market, it’s made to stand out so that we make sure as many people as possible know about your property.
Moving the tenant in
Once we have received suitable references and you have agreed to a date we will prepare all the legal documents. But, before we move the tenant in, we will visit the property, check as much of it as possible using our comprehensive checklist to ensure the property is ready for the new occupants to enjoy it. From simple things like the keys working to lightbulbs operating along with any smoke or CO detectors working correctly. All of our documents, where possible, are signed digitally to ensure everything is signed correctly and without faults and why not, it also means tenants and landlords can easily access their documents on line rather than losing copies.
We arrange to meet the tenants at the property on the day and will complete all necessary documents on your behalf. We have found this, along with pre moving in check, to be beneficial on behalf of both landlord and tenant as we can enable the tenant to settle into the property with the minimum amount of disruption and because of that personal touch they tend to treat the property as a home rather than just a property!
All utility companies will be informed of the new occupiers and rent payments will be set up to ensure this minimises any future problems for both parties.
Finding a tenant
Evolution will expose your property through all the available channels with local and national advertising as well as using our
qualified database of potential tenants to give your property maximum exposure
in the shortest amount of time.
All viewings are carried out by our trained members of staff and we will ensure that we let you know any feedback that we receive.
On your behalf we will take references on every tenant who is to be named in the tenancy agreement, which will normally mean everyone over 18 intending to reside in the property. To ensure this vital process is carried out as objectively and thoroughly as possible we use an independent professional referencing company. The report sent to us will be actioned on the basis that the conclusion deems the applicant to be a suitable tenant and acceptable to underwriters for legal and rent protection policies.
Choosing the right tenant
One of the principal functions of a managing agent is the identification and referencing of a quality tenant. Our aim is to ensure and secure the right tenant at the right rent in the shortest possible time.
We will discuss any potential tenant with you and it is always your choice whether you would like us to proceed with the referencing.
Unlike many agents, Evolution will aim to pay any rent received to you within 5 working days. We don’t wait until the end of the month as we understand this is your income so you deserve to have it as soon as possible.
We will send you a full statement detailing any income and expenditure, along with any invoices that we have paid on your behalf to contractors, which will assist you with your yearly tax return. You can access any live tenancy accounts via “Your Area” available 24 hours a day.
Under government regulations, all deposits must be registered without exception. We strongly advise you to discuss this with your Evolution representative to ensure you are fully compliant with the latest rules.
We currently use the DPS scheme and will send the deposit to them to secure. A deposit will not be released in most cases, until we have confirmed any deductions at the end of the tenancy. Full details will be given upon request.
During the tenancy
Evolution will ensure that regular inspections are carried out during a tenancy and a report will be sent to you highlighting any issues that need to be dealt with.
We use the same program that the inventory is carried out on recording the condition along with photographic evidence. The initial tenancy will be 6 months, unless agreed otherwise, and we will contact you to discuss renewing the Assured Shorthold Tenancy so that you are always in control.
24 hour maintenance
Peace of mind is essential for Landlords and tenants alike and we are fully equipped to resolve any emergency within the quickest possible time with the smallest possible amount of stress for all parties concerned. Should an emergency occur outside of working office hours, tenants only need to follow the detailed prompts on our answer phone service.
We will always contact you regarding any issues, subject to arrangements, which again, keeps you in control of your property and finances.
Evolution has always believed that the rigorous process that we adhere to when letting a property will ensure a trouble free let but there are always exceptions that are out of everyone’s control. We always recommend that the tenant has adequate protection insurance to protect any damage that happens to your property by them and subsequently we would always recommend that the landlord has similar cover as well.
Rent Guarantee policies can be put in place to protect your rental income along with any necessary legal recovery costs to ensure that your investment is protected at all times.
Ending the tenancy
Whilst Evolution works hard to ensure continual occupations, there are many factors that can cause a tenant to have to move out. The tenant is required to give one contractual month’s notice, not ending before the end of the AST date, in writing and we will liaise with all parties to ensure a smooth handover.
We will arrange to remarket your property and find a suitable replacement thus minimising any rental void. On the day of checkout, our Inventory clerk will attend the property and carry out a thorough inspection against the original inventory and report any defects discovered. We will then negotiate any works to ensure your property is ready for occupation as quickly as possible and deal with the costs via the registered deposit scheme if required.
What is my investment worth?
Don't forget we can always advise you on the value of your portfolio and when the time comes to sell, ask us about our preferential rates for landlords.