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Landlord Guide

Being a landlord can be a satisfying and lucrative experience when you work with the right team. At Storeys we filter out unsuitable tenants, excessive admin and wasteful practices to provide streamlined support, expert advice and exceptional service. Our landlords benefit from a partner with a finger on the pulse – we understand tenant expectations, the competitiveness of the London lettings market, and its constant evolution, and work proactively to ensure our landlords enjoy ongoing tenant demand and high rental yields.

Management of the property

When you rent your property out you have a number of ongoing responsibilities to the tenant. These include keeping the property in a good state of repair and responding to communication. Landlords who want to be hands off hire a letting agent to manage the property, including dealing with tenant queries, arranging repairs and chasing late rent. Factors to bear in mind when considering whether to manage the property yourself include:

  • Are you good at paperwork?
  • Do you live nearby?
  • Are you happy to communicate with tenants?
  • Can you handle adding more to your day-to-day responsibilities?
  • Do you have access to trusted and reliable contractors?
  • Do you keep up to speed with new legislation?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘no’ then a specialist letting agent might be the best choice.

Property Management Inspections

With every managed Storeys property, we arrange regular property inspections throughout the life of the tenancy. Any minor repairs or maintenance that’s required to keep the property in good repair will be detailed in an advisory report to keep your property in tip top condition throughout the life of tenancy.

Good tenants make for happy landlords

Finding a reliable tenant who will look after your property and enjoy living in it helps to avoid 90% of landlord and tenant issues. Credit checks and references are crucial, as is meeting tenants face-to-face. If you don’t want to be involved in this part of the process an agent, such as Storeys, can do it for you.

Right to rent checks

This immigration status check has become a legal requirement in England now. The check can usually be satisfied by taking a copy of the tenant’s passport and or residence permit. If you don’t do this then you risk a hefty fine.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

Landlords are obliged to provide tenants with an EPC to show how energy efficient the property is. The cost is usually around £80. You can be fined for failing to provide an EPC – the fixed penalty is £200 per property.

Health & Safety

  • Gas Safety – All gas appliances in the property need to be checked once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer, and a copy of a gas safety certificate given to the tenants.
  • Electrical - There is no exact requirement for electrical systems in the property but best practice is to check electrical appliances at the same time as the gas.
  • Smoke Alarms - All residential rentals now require smoke alarms to be installed and carbon monoxide alarms must be present in rooms with a solid fuel appliance.
  • Legionnaires - A Legionnaire’s assessment will also need to be carried out.

If you chose to have your property managed by Storeys, we will arrange for all of the above services to be carried out, inclusive within our management structure.

Tenant deposits

It’s normal to request a security deposit of 6-8 weeks rent from tenants. This will go towards the cost of any damage caused, repairs, unpaid rent and or utilities etc. An inventory of the property at check in and check out will prove what damage is attributable to your tenants and make justifying any potential deductions much easier when they leave.

Protecting tenant deposits

Landlords must protect received deposits in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme within 30 days of receipt. Unprotected deposits make removing tenants very difficult. They also allow tenants to make a small claim against a landlord for up to four times the deposit amount. Storeys is a member of the TDS tenancy deposit Scheme – we can arrange protection for you.

The tenancy agreement

Almost all new residential tenancies are now Assured Shorthold Tenancies. This type of tenancy is recommended, as it will give a landlord the option to evict a tenant without needing a reason, subject to contract. The tenancy will cover essential details, such as length (usually 12 – 36 months), how to end the tenancy, who is responsible for breakages (tenant) and repairs (landlord) and whether the tenancy can be brought to an end early (a break clause).