Our Guide to letting
Whether you are new to being a landlord or have been doing it for years, the Helmores team is here to hold your hand through the entire process – taking away the worry and hassle.
The First Steps
Call us to arrange for one of our team to look at your property. We will provide you with an accurate guide as to the likely rental return that property will achieve. We may even be able to do this over the telephone if you require a rough guideline and will base it upon other similar properties that we have recently let.
We will run through our comprehensive marketing strategy with you including newspaper and website advertising which we do more of than any other agents locally.
If you decide to go ahead and instruct us, we will produce a professional set of particulars for the property with carefully taken photos, to show your property off at its best.
Fully Managed or Tenant find only?
For many, this question is easily answered – Fully Managed! Why would you want the hassle of dealing with your tenants directly, collecting their rent and worrying about your property? With a fully managed option we take the stress and hassle out of the process for you and we will deal with any problems that might arise.
If you do want a tenant find only, that’s absolutely fine of course – Helmores will still carry out all the checks and take a full inventory etc. After your tenants move in, we’ll hand them over to you for the remainder of the tenancy. At any stage you want us to take over the management, then we’d be delighted to do so.
Finding a Tenant
We’ll leave no stone unturned with our marketing. We advertise extensively in the local press including the Express & Echo and Crediton Courier, and on the major national property websites like Rightmove.co.uk and OnTheMarket.com.
On top of this, Helmores run a large mailing list to ensure we match the right tenants to your property, not just any tenant! Once we have a tenant interested, we then carry out a full credit/reference check to ensure we know as much as we can about your prospective tenant. If necessary we’ll ask the tenant to appoint guarantors if the need arises.
Before moving in
Before your tenant moves in, we will complete a photographic inventory so there is no argument over the condition and what was included in the rental. We will also read the meters, arrange for the keys to be ready, ensure any safety checks are completed and ask you to ensure that the property is clean and ready for your tenant to move in to.
Whether it is fully managed or tenant find only we will complete the tenancy agreement, collect the first months’ rent, set up a standing order for future rent payments and take a deposit (see below). We have a credit card machine so that you don’t have to experience a delay in waiting for cheques to clear.
Current legislation means that any deposit taken for a rental property has to be held in an approved scheme. Helmores will pay your tenants’ deposit into a government-backed scheme and supply you and them with the details. This safeguards everybody and protects the deposit.
At the end of the tenancy, assuming everything is ok, the deposit is returned to the tenant once the checkout process is completed. If there are grounds to retain some of the deposit then this can be put to the scheme for a decision.
The landlord will generally be responsible for insurance of the property being let and is advised to check that appropriate buildings insurance has been obtained. It is also prudent to check the policy provides cover when the property is let since many policies specifically exclude cover in this situation.
As a landlord, it is wise to ensure that the insurance includes protection for public liability. There is a small risk that a defect in the property could cause injury to a third party for which a landlord could become liable. Most policies drawn up specifically for rented property will contain such cover.
The landlord should also consider taking cover for any contents provided in the property (especially for furnished accommodation) either as an extension of the buildings insurance or as a separate policy.
We will hand over the keys to the new tenants on the day the tenancy starts.
After moving in
The tenants are in, and you have some rent! If we are fully managing the property, we will arrange to pop in and have a quick look around every quarter to check things are okay. In the meantime the tenant will contact us or you if there are any issues. Equally if you need advice then you can call us.
If you want to regain possession again, this needs to be done in writing and can only be done after a set period (outlined in the tenancy agreement). The minimum length of a tenancy is usually 6 months, and this will be explained to you when you sign your agreement.
Once a date has been agreed for the tenant to move out, Helmores will complete the checkout process, which involves meter readings, condition checks against the inventory and getting this signed off by you, the landlord. We will then apply to have the deposit returned back to the tenant so long as it is in the condition it was at the beginning of the tenancy.