June 14, 2023
Landlords – What You Need to Rent a Property
Before you even think about finding tenants for your rental property, there are some key things you’ll need to do. If you’re wondering “what do I need to rent a property?” then this is the article for you. We’ve put together a checklist ranging from the legal aspects to the administrative and decorative side of things. In other words, all you need to know.
Get permission to rent out your property
It’s vital to make sure you get permission from your mortgage lender to rent out your property. You will need to switch to a buy-to-let mortgage and fit within the mortgage lender’s buy-to-let eligibility criteria.
If your property is leasehold, you will also need to get consent from the freeholder to rent out the property.
Finally, you should check with your local authority about the rules relating to renting a property in your area. Some local authorities operate selective licensing, which means you need to have permissions in place before you rent to tenants.
Make sure your property is legally fit for tenants
If you’re wondering “what do I need to rent a property?” then top of your list should be making sure that your property is legally fit and safe for tenants.
You will need to ensure that your property meets current electrical safety standards, adheres to existing fire and smoke and carbon monoxide alarm regulations, and ensure the relevant gas safety checks are carried out. You must also secure an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to show how energy efficient your property is.
Prepare your property to rent
The condition of your rental property is a deciding factor in how long it takes to rent out your house.
Most landlords want to attract good tenants who will pay on time, look after the property and take out a long term lease. To attract the right type of tenant, you’ll need to make sure that your property is as appealing as possible.
So, replace worn out carpets, fix any maintenance issues such as leaky taps or broken cupboard doors, and look at providing added extras, such as high speed internet and home workspaces to make your property more rentable.
Neutral shades are best for rental properties as they are inoffensive and appeal to most people, so consider giving everything a lick of new paint. Finally, it’s a good idea to get the property professionally cleaned.
Check your landlord insurance
Another point when thinking about “what do I need to rent a property?” is landlord insurance. Your mortgage provider will usually require you to have a specific landlord buildings insurance policy in place.
Contents insurance is usually down to the tenant, although if you are renting the property furnished or providing appliances, you should look at insuring these yourself.
Decide how much rent to charge
You’ll need to pitch this carefully. Aim too high and you’ll put off potential renters, but go too low and you won’t make a profit.
Check out rental prices in your local area as a guide, taking into account the size of your property, location to amenities and local demand. Take a look at our guide, What is a Good Return on Rental Property? for more insight, and talk to your local letting agent too.
Market your property
Sourcing new tenants can be hard work. You can use a local letting agent to do this for you. Or, if you’re doing it yourself, consider hiring a professional photographer, invest in a 3D virtual tour to help you appeal to non—local or overseas tenants, and think carefully about your marketing strategy and budget.
Carry out references and a Right to Rent check
It’s a legal requirement that you check that tenants over the age of 18 can legally rent in England. You can do this through the government website.
You will also need to request references to check your tenants are the type who will pay their rent on time and act respectfully to your property. Ask for proof of income, and carry out credit checks to make sure that your prospective tenants are not in any debt.
Tenancy agreement and deposit protection
Write up a tenancy agreement for both you and the tenants to sign. You should also issue your tenant with copy of the government approved How to Rent Guide.
If you’re asking your tenant for a deposit, you will need to protect it under one of the government approved tenancy deposit protection schemes.
Conduct an inventory
Carry out a detailed inventory and schedule of condition of your property, and ask your new tenant to sign it so that if any damages occur during the tenancy, you can justify why you are proposing to deduct an amount from their deposit to cover them.
What do I need to rent a property?
As you can see, there’s a lot to be done before you can even think about attracting tenants. If the amount of work involved or time taken puts you off the thought of renting, don’t panic, because there is another way.
A guaranteed rent scheme, such as the one offered by City Borough Housing, can take on a lot of this work and effort for you. We will deal with the legal and administrative paperwork, making sure that your property is legally fit and ready for rent, as well as carrying out referencing and the Right to Rent check.
We’ll also source new tenants and deal with any day to day queries or maintenance issues that the tenants may have. Our scheme is backed by an exclusive service promise and fully comprehensive professional property management east London, which means we promise to return your property to you in its pre-let condition at the end of the agreement, allowing for fair wear and tear.
A guaranteed rent scheme removes the uncertainty that many landlords experience because, even if your property experiences void periods, you will still receive a regular monthly income.