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A Landlord's Guide To Letting Your Property

D&G will be your trusted partner, to make the letting process run smoothly for you. Our dedicated team will guide you through each step to get your property on the market.

We’ve compiled our top tips for a successful letting into this handy guide.

Keep hold of it. Refer back to it.


Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Don’t let this be the reason to hold up D&G letting your property. Your property needs one before we can get it on the market.

EPC’s rate the energy efficiency and environmental impact of your property, on a scale from A to G. You’ll need an energy efficiency rating of E or above to rent your property.  

You’ll be pleased to hear, an EPC lasts 10 years.


Electrical Installation Certificate Report (EICR)

Another must, a satisfactory EICR report is required. Great news, these also last for 5 years, but must be compliant with the 18th edition of the wiring regulations.

The electrician will test 10% to 20% of the wiring in the house and will also test sockets, switches, lights and the fuse board.

Please bear in mind costs will vary depending on number of bedrooms the property has. If by any chance the EICR is substandard the remedial work will need to be carried out before the tenancy can begin. You don't need to use the same electrician to carry out the remedials, but this is recommended to avoid any hold ups, as a second electrician may test a different wiring. Let’s avoid delays, and have the test carried out ASAP.

Remedial work costs can vary depending on the amount of work required. The tenant MUST be furnished with a satisfactory report before the tenancy can start and D&G need proof that this has happened.


Gas

Don’t blow away the opportunity to let your property. Nobody likes to talk about gas, but your property must have a valid certificate making sure all appliances are safe to use. These last a year and D&G and the Tenant are required to have a copy of the valid certificate.


Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)

Being a landlord comes with a fair amount of responsibility. This means that all your portable appliances should be safe to use for your tenants. Make sure this is the case and book in a PAT test and this only needs to be done once a year.


Smoke & Carbon alarms

It’s a given that all properties require a working smoke alarm on every floor of the property. Don’t forget, carbon monoxide alarms are also necessary where there is an open flue or wood burning appliance. If your property requires a licence, the Local Authority may require a hard-wired smoke alarm (and heat alarm for the kitchen).

Check your batteries! Both alarms need to be in date, in working order and tested at the start of the tenancy. If the tenancy has a change of sharer, the alarms will need to be retested on the date the change takes place.


Fire & Furnishings

In line with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, you will need to make sure that all furniture in your property has the necessary necessary labelling to prove that it is fire safe. This includes any upholstered furniture, soft furnishings, beds, mattresses, pillows, headboards, seat pads etc.


Referencing

We, like you, appreciate good tenants. They make all our lives easier.

All tenants are referenced to ensure they are the best suit for your property.


Licensing

The stuff you don’t want to know but need to know.

There are three types of licencing in accordance with The Housing Act 2004. Mandatory House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) is nationwide and applies to properties with five or more occupants from two or more households. Additional HMO Licensing is borough dependent and applies to properties with three of more occupants from two or more households. Selective licencing is borough dependent and depends on the street the property is on.

Pricing varies depending on the borough and type of licencing. Lasts up to 5 years.

If your property requires a licence, you’ll have to supply us with an application number and proof of application or a copy of the licence before the tenants move in.


Cleaning

Another one fights the dust.

Keep it clean in between tenancies and before new tenants move in, we recommend that the property is professionally cleaned. This helps with the inventory and sets a standard for the tenants when they move out. Costs can vary depending on the number of bedrooms, types of flooring and furnishings.


Inventories (Check ins and outs)

D&G are here to make renting your property easy.

A great way to ensure this, is to get a professional inventory carried out. Using a trusted third party, they will go through the inventory and complete a check-in and check-out schedule. This will minimise the risk of any disputes between yourself and tenants about the condition of the property. These can also be used to support any claims you may want from a deposit at the end of a tenancy.

Costs can vary depending on the number of bedrooms and furnishings.


Legionella

Don’t muddy the water.

As a landlord you have a duty of care to ensure that the necessary precautions are taken to avoid stagnation of water that could lead to the growth of Legionella. This includes the following:

  • flushing out the system prior to letting the property
  • avoiding debris getting into the system (e.g ensure the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight fitting lid)
  • setting control parameters (eg setting the temperature of the hot water cylinder (calorifier) to ensure water is stored at 60°C)
  • make sure any redundant pipework is removed.

Blind cords

Calling all people who want to soften their windows. Roman blinds are where it's at people!

New blinds with looped cords must have child safety devices installed at the point of manufacture or sold with the blind. However, blinds installed earlier may not have these features.

Changes to standards for blinds in 2014 have led to improved product safety.

Fit a tidy, tensioner or a cleat: tidies and tensioners should be firmly fixed to an adjoining surface so that the cord or chain are permanently held tight. Cleats should be positioned out of children’s reach on an adjacent surface, at least 1.5 metres from the floor.

Cords should be fastened in a figure of eight after every use of the blind, making sure all the spare cord is secured on the cleat.

For more information, do not hesitate to contact Contact Estate Agents | Douglas & Gordon - London Estate Agents (douglasandgordon.com) to discuss how we can help you manage your property in London.