Our 7 step property letting guide has been created to help first time landlords and property investors through the property letting process.

1. Arrange a rental valuation

Choosing a specialist Letting Agent with extensive local knowledge and an understanding of the current market trends, will allow you to receive the best advice. As part of this process it is also important for you to consider your needs and required timescales. Our local property valuation experts can provide you with an up to date rental valuation of your home.

Our tip: Values can change quickly with market conditions, keep yourself updated regularly.

2. Marketing your property

Having established the value of your property, it is important to choose a Letting Agent that absolutely understands your needs, in order to set the correct asking price and marketing strategy to find you the most suitable tenant. With ever changing legislation and best practice guidelines being introduced, it is also important to work with an agent that understands these and can best guide, advise and support you. If you have any legal and compliance questions, ask our specialists today.

From low key marketing, EPCs, photography and accompanied viewings, to ‘open house’ events, on-line advertising and to let boards, our lettings experts can help guide you.

Our tip: Not all Letting Agents are equipped to offer the after care and knowledge.

3. Showcase your property to find the perfect tenant

Whilst demand for properties is generally strong, first impressions are still important when aiming to attract the best tenants. Presenting your property in the best possible way is something our lettings experts can help you achieve. One example might be refreshing the decoration or a mini makeover to attract a different profile of tenant.

When it comes to finding a tenant and dealing with any offers, it is important to consider all factors, not least, the quality of the tenant, any initial and potential future void periods, along with any requests that may be made by the proposed tenant. The highest rental yield in isolation is not always the best offer, so remaining open minded and flexible is essential.

Our tip: Tenants appreciate the value of having access to a managing agent.

4. Offer accepted - what’s next?

Having accepted an offer it is vital to take a holding deposit in order to confirm the tenant’s motivation and commitment. Once this has happened, details relating to the offer should be put in writing for your confirmation, at which point the referencing of your tenant will be undertaken. Best practice would be for your agent to employ an independent and specialist referencing company.

Our tip: An offer is not an offer, without a holding deposit.

5. The legal process (before completion)

Prior to completion, there are a number of important stages that need to be dealt with in order to keep you and your property safe. At Stirling Ackroyd we handle all of this for you from preparing the contract, to protecting the security deposit, arranging the inventory and check-in process, to organising any gas and other safety checks that may be required.

With ever changing legislation, one of the newest being The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015, we can also offer our landlords a fantastic product known as our Home Safety Kit which ensures that you have all the right equipment in place when your tenant moves in.

Our tip: Execute the tenancy agreement as early as possible prior to completion day.

6. Completion (moving day)

On the day your tenant is due to move in, a time will be arranged for an inventory clerk to meet your tenant at the property for the formal handover of keys. A final condition check is carried out to ensure everything in the property is as expected by the tenant, with any meter readings also being taken before they sign the check in report.

Lastly, your agent can now complete all other matters including the sending of deposit protection documents and the setting up of any financial arrangements regarding rent payments and monies due to you.

Our tip: Have all operational manuals and warranties available in order to avoid any potentially costly maintenance call outs.

7. After your tenant has moved in

The service level you have arranged will govern what happens next.

If your property and tenancy are being managed by an agent, there is nothing further you need to do. They should have everything agreed and in place with a full debrief and handover having taken place with a Property Manager responsible for looking after you and your tenancy.

If you are self -managing, you will be responsible for dealing with all property and financial matters with your tenant and both parties will need to have each other’s contact details so that they can get hold of each other, especially so in an emergency.

At Stirling Ackroyd, unless you have the time and expertise, we recommend our managed service.

Our tip: Deal with any maintenance matters quickly