1. Register with Stirling Ackroyd to get an accurate property valuation
Our expert lettings team have a vast knowledge of local market factors. We understand the trends that influence real-time rental values and are ideally placed to carry out an appraisal of your property. Our team will take the time to really understand the selling points of your investment in order to match it with the perfect tenants.
We’ll also be happy to advise on any minor changes you could make in order to maximise the value of your property and attract a wider pool of tenants. If you need to let the property quickly, our property consultants will advise on a realistic initial marketing price based on your timescales.
2. Marketing your property to the widest pool of applicants
Our property marketing service ensures we’ll find the best match for your property. We get to know all potential tenants to understand whether they’d be a good fit for your investment. With a branch network across Surrey and London, our approach accesses the widest pool of potential tenants, targeting an extensive database using the most effective tools.
We advertise on the most popular property portals, including Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket, and our website also sees 20,000 page views every week. We’ll also promote your property across our active social media platforms and on Google to ensure we capture wider interest. Our approach also means your property will be promoted to the highest standards, using professional photography, floorplans and detailed descriptions.
In addition, we’ll look at our growing database of live tenants searching for their next rental property. Our branch staff will then manage all viewings and negotiate the best agreement on your behalf.
3. Preparing your property to let
Once we’ve found the ideal tenant, we’ll begin drawing up a tenancy and preparing your property. Our move-in team will conduct professional referencing checks using the Lettings Hub, which includes a detailed report of a potential tenant’s affordability and credit history. We’ll also supply a tailored Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement so both parties are fully aware of their obligations.
It’s our duty to ensure that our landlord clients comply with the law at all times, even before a tenancy begins. Our Fully Managed Plus service covers all the bases, including tenancy deposit protection (TDP). This critical piece of legislation requires deposits to be protected in one of three government-authorised schemes. We’ll also cover all other legal requirements before a tenancy begins, including checking that a tenant has the right to rent in England.
Our service also offers an alternative to TDP. Zero Deposit reduces the upfront cost of renting for tenants, making your property even more attractive. This solution lets your tenants purchase a guarantee, which still provides you with the same protection as a traditional security deposit.
4. Protecting your interests
Once the background checks and paperwork are all complete, our team will start the check-in procedure. We’ll start by compiling a thorough inventory to protect your property and avoid any disputes about the return of a deposit once the tenancy has ended.
Even after all the proper reference and credit checks, sometimes a tenant’s situation can change at short notice. Our Rent and Legal Protection insurance policy is an exclusive benefit for landlords choosing our Fully Managed Plus service. We’ll add your interest to our policy and should the need arise we can claim on your behalf. This benefit means we’ve got your best interests covered from the start, with none of the hassle.
Our lettings expert are also members of ARLA Propertymark, which means they’re trained to the highest standards and are committed to upholding the best level of service.
5. Beginning a tenancy and staying compliant
Our inventory specialists will check your property is complying with the law. With our Fully Managed Plus service, all of your compliance requirements are handled by our team of experts. This includes looking at your water supply to assess the risk of exposure to legionella. If your property uses solid fuel, such as coal or wood, then you must also fit carbon monoxide alarms. We’ll also test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
You must also supply a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and complete the necessary gas safety checks. If you let a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), make sure you obtain the correct license from your local council. Your tenants will receive a welcome pack, which will include the government’s How to Rent guide – which is another legal requirement. .
Once your tenancy has begun, you must remain compliant at all times. Legislation is continually changing, but our team always stay up-to-date so you don’t need to worry. Our Fully Managed Plus service means we’ll look after your property as if it were our own.
6. Professionally managing your tenancy
Once your tenants have moved in, our Property Management Team will manage your investment and communicate closely with your tenants. It’s essential to regularly visit the property and walk through an inspection report to check that there hasn’t been a breach of any conditions.
However, as with any property, things can go wrong now and again. Our out of hours emergency service means we look after your property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For the day-to-day repairs, tenants can access our online tenancy management portal Fixflo, which allows them to report any work required quickly. This tool can be accessed on smartphones and is available in over 40 different languages. We can also organise all utility services through Spark Energy.
Landlords also have access to the latest technology which allows you to keep track of a tenancy and efficiently manage your finances, including rental yields. With our online Tenancy Management Portal, you can access records and download documentation via your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone at any time.
7. Ending or renewing your tenancy
Our renewals and re-lets team will work to negotiate a new agreement on a fixed-term or rolling basis at least three months before your tenancy ends. If you choose to renew a tenancy, we’ll manage all legal documentation, including compliance checks, before negotiating a new agreement and re-issuing a contract to your tenants.
Should you opt to re-let the property or your tenants choose to move on, we’ll begin searching for new tenants straight away. In this situation, it’s crucial to carry out a detailed check-out procedure where the original inventory is reviewed and the property inspected for any damage. After this is complete, our team will arrange the appropriate return of the deposit money.
8. Find your next buy-to-let opportunity
If you’re looking to expand your property portfolio, our team can share the latest buy-to-let opportunities in your area. We work closely with our sales team to understand which properties might make a good investment.
If you require a mortgage, dot financial services can advise on the ideal plan from thousands of products via hundreds of providers.
Make sure you understand any risks associated with your latest purchase by employing the services of an experienced surveying firm. We work with Tyser Greenwood Chartered Surveyors, who have over 100 years’ experience surveying residential property.
Should you need any additional help with your property remember that Stirling Ackroyd are here to help, we have a range of dedicated property services including:
Book your free no-obligation lettings valuation today.