Landlord Guide - Evolution Property - The Ashford Lettings Agents

 

We outline on this page a basic, quick guide and overview for Landlords, to explain what is typically involved with letting property in Kent or anywhere in the UK. If you need any further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. Request a free valuation
  2. Why let?
  3. Choosing the right property
  4. Preparing to let
  5. Finding a tenant
  6. Referencing
  7. Choosing the right tenant
  8. Moving the tenant in
  9. Accounting
  10. Deposits
  11. During the tenancy
  12. 24 Hour Maintenance
  13. Protection
  14. Ending the tenancy
  15. Checklist

Request a free valuation

If you'd like one our specialist managers to conduct a valuation or review of your property, please click here to request a free valuation.

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Why let a property?

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.

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Choosing the right property to let in Ashford or Kent

The key to success with buy-to-let is choosing the right property. If you are buying a property to let in Ashford or Kent, 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 Ashford letting agents 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.

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Preparing to let a property

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.

Remember that first impressions count:

  • wherever possible decorations should be light modern and neutral - be prepared to re-decorate as necessary
  • carpets need to be clean and neutral
  • kitchens and bathrooms should be modern and well presented with white bathroom suites ideally
  • in general the property should be thoroughly cleaned and the rooms left neat and uncluttered
  • any gardens should be tidy and easily maintained
  • ensure that any obvious day to day maintenance is dealt with prior to letting

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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.

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Referencing

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, Homelet. 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.

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Choosing the right tenant - Advice from our Ashford Letting Agents

One of the principal functions of a managing lettings 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 frame. We will discuss any potential tenant with you and it is always your choice whether you would like us to proceed with the referencing.

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Moving the tenant in

Once we have received suitable references and you have agreed to a date we will prepare all the legal paperwork.

We arrange to meet the tenants at the property on the day and will complete all necessary paperwork on your behalf. We have found this to be beneficial on behalf of both landlord and tenant as we can enable the tenant to settle in to 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.

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Accounting

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.

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Deposits for Properties to Let

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.

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During the tenancy

Evolution will ensure that regular inspections are carried out approximately every 3 months and a report will be sent to you highlighting any issues that need to be dealt with. 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.

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Our Ashford Letting Agents Provide 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 hour’s 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. 

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Protection of Rental Properties

Evolution have 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 you rental income and Evolution can arrange this as well as the payments giving you total peace of mind.

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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.

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Checklist

  • Make an appointment to see Evolution
  • Get permission to let from your Mortgage Lender and/or Lessor
  • Review Buildings and Contents Insurance
  • Ensure all appliances are working and leave appropriate instruction manuals at the property
  • Make sure your Gas Safety check is organised prior to letting
  • Check any furniture to be left in the property complies with the Furnishings regulations
  • Redirect mail with the post office
  • Leave the property in good order for the incoming tenant
  • Provide Evolution with 3 full sets of keys

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We hope this guide has been useful and informative. If you require any further information or wish to make an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01233 501601 or through the Contact Us section on our website. 

 

 

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