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Letting or Renting Residential Property

Letting or Renting Residential Property

First Impressions Count

First impressions are important therefore we would recommend:

  • A secure front door in good condition (newly painted or double glazed)
  • Clean living accommodation
  • Clean curtains (fully drawn open – Neutral & lined or neutral blinds)
  • Clean carpets (Plain neutral colour or wooden floors)
  • Light and Airy atmosphere (Good quality lighting)
  • Quality furniture (So that the room does not look cluttered)
  • A well equipped kitchen preferably with: washer-dryer, fridge-freezer microwave and dishwasher
  • Dressed beds with clean neutral linen
  • Plenty of Storage
  • Good shower facilities (Power shower is preferred)
  • Good Security locks
  • Tidy Front and Rear Gardens

It is advisable to obtain Gas and Electrical certificates prior to the tenancy starting and service any appliances including the boiler (providing instructions). It is also a good idea to have sinks and baths checked and if applicable: re – sealed and/or re-grouted to avoid any potential leaks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When should I instruct an agent?
It is advisable to consult us when you first contemplate venturing into the letting market. This will enable you to take advantage of our store of experience in letting business, obtain guidance on what kind of preparation is necessary before putting your property on the market and the level of service you require. Your investment in safe hands !

Can you advise me on property to acquire for letting purposes?
For several years we have been offering clients invaluable and detailed advice when they are considering buying property for rental purposes. Our constant contact with prospective tenant keeps us fully alert to changes in the demand for rental properties and the standard required. We will be happy to discuss with you specific properties and give guidance on the rental to be expected, without obligation.
Additionally, in conjunction with our active sales division, we are able to offer a selection of properties, which may be suitable as letting investments.

How much furniture should I provide - if any?
To qualify as a 'furnished letting' a property should contain at least carpets, curtains and kitchen appliances although some tenants require properties to be fully furnished It is difficult to generalise, however, about the extent of furnishing required in your area before becoming involved in this kind of expenditure it is wise to discuss this with us.

Does a property need to be newly decorated?
The letting market is sophisticated and highly competitive; therefore it is essential that the furnishing and decoration is of a high standard in order to let the property quickly and at the best possible rental.
For those unable to devote time and effort to supervising such works, we can arrange decoration and furnishing through our contacts. Our detailed knowledge of tenants' requirements will ensure that the property is ideally suited to the lettings market. This service can be provided when the property is available for the first letting and at a later stage if the property needs decoration.

How will letting affect my insurance?
Most insurance policies covering household contents relate only to owner - occupied home, therefore it is important to advise your insurers that the property is to be let and check that it is fully insured against all normal risks. In the case of a flat, building insurance is usually paid from the service charge and arranged by managing agents, but it is wise to obtain confirmation that this is adequate. It is possible to secure an insurance policy specifically designed to cover tenanted properties and detailed information on these can be obtained from us. Tenants are responsible for arranging insurance cover on their own personal belongings taken into the property.

Will letting affect my mortgage?
Before letting you should consult your bank or building society if there is a mortgage on the property. They might wish to approve each letting and we can liase with them on your behalf if so required. It is wise to seek consent in principle before marketing the property to avoid unsecured delay when negotiating a tenancy.

How long will it take to find a tenant?
This is difficult to predict and will vary according to the standard of the property, demand and even the time of year. It is important therefore that you advise us as quickly as possible that the property is available to minimise the vacant periods. Some properties rent the first day that they hit the market while others may take a little longer. In this regard, it is important that your property is priced accurotely and well presented.

My property is leasehold - is this significant?
If your property is leasehold, your lease will specify whether it is necessary to obtain permission to sub let from your landlord or managing agent. Normally they will require copies of the proposed agreement and references prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

How much rent can I ask?
Many factors determine the rental level of the property including the size of the rooms, standard of furnishings, location and prevailing market conditions. To obtain accurate information, contact our local lettings representative who will be pleased to inspect the premises and provide an opinion of rental achievable.

What is included in the rent?
A landlord is usually responsible for payment of service charges and maintenance (if applicable). These outgoings should be taken into account when determining the rental level.

What kind of tenancy agreement is most appropriate?
There are many different types of tenancy agreements and changes in the law and its interpretation means that our agreements are constantly reviewed. The type and length of agreement most suitable will vary according to the requirements of the landlord and the tenant.

Who is responsible for gas, electricity and telephone charges?
The tenant is usually responsible for payment of all utility bills. We will notify the relevant authorities that a tenancy has been agreed, request that the accounts be transferred and arrange for meter reading to be taken at the commencement of each tenancy.
Please ensure that you provide us with details of the current suppliers and account numbers (gas, electric, water and council tax). Tenants are allowed to change suppliers if they wish though we do ask that the Landlord is kept informed of these changes as a matter of courtesy.

How will you market my property?
We are one of the few agents with a professional marketing division and a comprehensive advertising strategy. Our marketing advice will ensure that your property is presented in a planned and strategic way, targeting the most suitable tenants for your property. Detailed property lists are regularly circulated. We maintain a presence in local press alongside sending text messages, emails, using various internet sites, telephone and post.
We would endeavour to find high quality tenants for your property and obtain references for each tenant and guarantor if necessary. If you have objections to tenants who smoke or have children or pets, please notify us prior to us marketing your property.
Once we have found the right tenants for your property and received all the relevant references we will organise the necessary legal documentation to proceed with the letting. A tenancy agreement is a legal binding contract between Tenant and Landlord and its sets out both parties’ obligation and responsibilities.

Who will show the property?
Our experienced staff are trained to emphasise the finer features and benefits of the properties they are showing and will always accompany prospective tenants unless the owner wishes to be present.

Do I need a Solicitor?
We have standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements, which are available for your use. However, you may wish to involve your own solicitor, especially if there are special circumstances to be taken into account of you wish to receive independent advice. We can provide specimen agreements if required, once a letting has been agreed.

How will you check the reliability of a tenant?
Any terms negotiated on a tenancy will be subject to obtaining satisfactory references for the tenant. The type of references we will obtain for your approval may vary accordingly to whether the tenant is a company or private individual. We qualify all our prospective tenants, according to two main criteria; their ability to pay the rent and their ability to maintain your property in it's current condition.

How will safety regulations affect me?
We will endeavour to keep you informed of legislation affecting you as a landlord. Our staff will be pleased to talk to you about these regulations or provide you with a leaflet.

What deposit does a tenant pay?
A tenant pays a deposit as security against damage, breakage's or other liabilities as assessed at the end of the tenancy. The deposit is normally an amount equivalent to one month's rental, but can be negotiated higher or lower should you wish. Since 6 April 2007, when a landlord takes a deposit from a tenant, the deposit must be protected in a goverment authorised tenancy deposit scheme Christopher Rawlinson + Co can protect the deposit free of charge in (The Tenancy Deposit Scheme).

Do I need to make an inventory?
The inventory will contain a full list of contents of the property together with details of conditions. It is an important part of your tenancy agreement and must be comprehensive, fair and unbiased.

Will I have to pay more tax?
We recommend that you seek professional advice on your tax position in relation to lettings and if required can refer you to a specialist accountant.

More information can be found at

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What are your fees?

We offer a range of services specifically designed to meet our landlord's circumstances. Letting a house or flat need not be a complicated operation but, with the present complex laws relating to the letting of the residential it is essential that you minimise the risk by choosing a professional agent to represent you. As our clients have widely differing circumstance we have devised a letting service, which will provide assistance at all levels.

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Christopher Rawlinson & Co has an excellent reputation for working closely with Landlords who wish to be involved with decisions relating to their property. We also have a team of staff always on hand to take control for those Landlords who simply want a cheque at the end of the month.
Whichever service best suits your needs the following will need to be in place prior to the commencement of the Tenancy.
Landlord Checklist:

  • Landlords must supply an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Terms and conditions must be signed by all Landlords
  • A set of keys must be supplied for each tenant
  • Landlords must supply valid annual gas safety certificates
  • Bank details must be supplied for future monthly rents to enable us to set up a standing order
  • Each named Landlord must sign tenancy agreements except where you require us, the letting/management agents, to sign on your behalf. If you require us to sign on your behalf then the Landlord must sign the authorisation on the last page
  • For overseas Landlords and tax exemption form is required for each owners name
  • For properties that Christopher Rawlinson & Co are managing we will also require and extra set of keys and a fund of £500 towards any repairs.
  • We recommend the landlord has arranged adequate Building Insurance for Letting purpose

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Services For Landlords

The Standard Service
The standard service is designed to find the ideal Tenant for the Landlord who prefers to look after the day-to-day activities of the tenancy.

Having received your instructions to act on your behalf in finding a suitable tenant we will actively market your property. After interviewing potential tenants and assessing their suitability we will seek comprehensive and satisfactory references. Subject to satisfactory replies to our enquiries a tenancy may then be agreed. We will of course make these available to you and it will be your decision to agree the tenancy.

  • Our Letting Fee Includes:
  • Arranging the preparation of the (EPC)
  • Pro - actively marketing of your property
  • Erect one of our ‘To Let’ boards to promote your property
  • Introduction of prospective tenant(s)
  • References enquiries
  • Arranging the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement and relevant notices to protect your legal rights
  • Collection of deposit and first month’s rent (monies will be held in our clients account until the tenancy begins)
  • Arrangement of inventory
  • Notification to the relevant authorities and utility suppliers of the change of occupancy
  • Arranging the preparation of an annual gas safty certificate

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Choosing Mangement

Management Service
The management service is designed for the Landlord who wants minimum involvement in the routine management and maintenance of the property. In addition to the standard service:
Our Management Fee Includes:
· Carry out regular inspections to ensure the property is maintained in good order
· Arrange any repairs necessary to both the building and any contents
(i.e. washing machine, boiler, cooker, guttering)
· Deal with any problems that should arise with the property
· Collection of rent each month on your behalf
· Provide regular statements for rental payments
· A minimum fund of £500 is held in our Client Account towards emergency repairs.
· Visit the property at an agreed time to meet Landlord and Tenant at the end of the tenancy to check the tenant out and assess any damage and unreasonable wear and tear Process the tenants security deposit upon satisfactory settlement of any damage and unreasonable wear and tear Landlords expenses are kept to a minimum, but high standards are maintained Landlords own tradesmen are welcome though we have approved contractors.

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Safety Regulations
How will safety regulations affect me?

When letting your property you must ensure that your property complies with the current legislation. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 puts the responsibility on Landlords to ensure all Gas Appliances and Electrical Installations in their property are safe when the tenancy begins, and that it is maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. From 1st January 2005, all domestic installation work must comply with British Standard Safety Requirements (BS7671). Failure to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence.
Upholstered Soft Furnishings and Furniture must have a fire resistant filling material and must pass a cigarette resistance test. These items include beds, mattresses, headboards, scatter cushions, pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture, children’s furniture, garden furniture and any other items of similar type fillings.

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What else do i need to know?

Since 1st October 2008, an Energy Performance Certificate has been a legal requirment to have in order to market a property to rent.

A valid EPC will last for 10 years and Christopher Rawlinson & Co. can arrange this on your behalf.

To make a success of your investment, or weather you would like some more tips of advice, please call Christopher Rawlinson & Co on 0208 904 0111



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Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)

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