Renting Residential Property
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
- 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
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
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
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 -
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 or read the furniture regulations
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 numerous 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.
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
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
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
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.
How will safety regulations affect me?
We will endeavour to keep you informed of legislation
affecting you as a landlord. We have therefore
produced a section in this leaflet to assist you
with some of the relevant details on: Electrical
Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994; Furniture
and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendments) Regulations
So that you can identify your statutory obligations,
our staff will be pleased to talk to you about
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 between 6 weeks and 2 mounths rental.
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 www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr.
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
Choose CHRISTOPHER RAWLINSON & CO?
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.
- Terms and conditions must be signed by all
- A set of keys must be supplied for each tenant
- Landlords must supply valid Gas safety certificates
- Bank details must be supplied for future
monthly rents to enable us to set up a standing
- 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
- We recommend the landlord has arranged adequate
Building Insurance for Letting purpose
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:
- 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
- Collection of deposit and first month’s
rent (monies will be held in our clients account
until the tenancy begins)
- Notification to the relevant authorities
and utility suppliers of the change of occupancy
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
· Provide regular statements for rental
· 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
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
(FIRE) (SAFETY) (AMENDMENTS)
In 1988 the Government introduced new Regulations
on the use of any filling material in furniture
or re-upholstery (whether foam or not foam) and
the requirements for furniture to meet the ‘cigarette
test’ was introduced in 1980. Since March
1993 all newly rented furnished properties should
only be furnished with contents that meet the
‘cigarette test’ and carry the appropriate
Furniture manufactured prior to 1950 is exempt
from Regulations as the Department of Trade and
Industry has pointed out that most of the defective
materials, which cause fire, were not in use prior
to 1950. All furniture manufactured after 1988
should already comply with the Regulations but
there is particular concern for foam filled manufactured
between 1950 & 1983.
There are transitional arrangements for properties
that were already let prior to March 1993 so that
existing furniture can be used up to 31st December
1996. However, any replacement furniture or additional
furniture provided for the property must comply
at the time of provision.
The supplier of your furniture, who is required
to keep records for five years, should be asked
to produce a certificate of compliance with BS7177
from the manufacturers should you be able to identify
Safety in the home is very important especially
in respect of fire and no less important when
tenants occupy your home. As a responsible landlord
employing professional Letting and Managing agents
you will wish to ensure that you are complying
It may also be worth considering the installation
of such items as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers
or fire blankets for further peace of mind.
An extract of the Regulations is set out below
for your general information.
The DTI has issued a very helpful guide to the
Furnishing Regulations and a copy of this guide
may be obtained from the Consumer Safety Unit,
Department of Trade & Industry, Room 302,
10 – 18 Victoria Street, London, Sw1H 0NN.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety)
(Amendment) Regulations 1993
Second – hand furniture
14 (1) Subject to paragraph (1a) below this
applies to furniture that has previously been
supplied (whether before or after 1 March 1990
Provided that it is not excluded by regulation
4 above, and whether in the United Kingdom or
elsewhere) to any person who acquired it otherwise
that for the purposes of a business of dealing
(1a) Until 31 December 1996 paragraph (2) below
does not apply to any furniture which is hired
out at the same time as in connection with the
letting of accommodation if that furniture has,
before being so hired out, been hired out in connection
with the letting of the same accommodation.
(2) Furniture to which this regulation applies
shall satisfy the requirements of 5, 6 and 8 (1)
to (3) subject to the exceptions to those requirements
for certain furniture specified in those regulations.
(3) Subject to paragraph (4) below, no person
shall supply any furniture to which this regulation
applies in the period before 1 March 1993 unless:
(a) It meets the cigarette teat in the case of
furniture to which regulations (Safety) Regulation
1980 (a) as amended by the Upholstered Furniture
(Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1983 (b) applied:
(b) There is attached to the furniture the display
label specified in Schedule 8 to these Regulations
so as to be clearly visible to anyone inspecting
the furniture and to enable him to read both the
front and the back of the label with as little
difficulty as is reasonably practical.
(4) The display label specified in Schedule 8
to these Regulations need not be attached if the
furniture meets all requirements of these Regulations,
which would have had to be met if paragraph 2
of this regulation had been in force.
Consumer Protection Act 1988 Section 12 (1) –
the 1988 regulations make it an offence to supply
furniture to which the regulations apply unless
the furniture meets what is basically known as
the ‘cigarette test’. The regulations
basically apply to all upholstery and upholstered
furnishings, loose fittings, permanent or loose
covers and to knowingly make such a supply the
offence carries a punishment of six months in
imprisonment or a fine subject to a maximum of
£5,000 or both.
(Installation and Use)
Every year at least 30 people die of carbon
monoxide poisoning caused by gas appliances, which
have not been properly installed or serviced.
If gas does not burn properly, excess carbon monoxide
You are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning if:
· Your appliance was poorly installed.
· Your appliance is not working properly.
· Your appliance has not been checked or
· There is not enough fresh air in the
· Your chimney of flue gets blocked up.
· You allow unqualified people to install
or service your appliances.
On the 31st October 1994 the Gas Safety (Installation
and use) Regulations 1994 came into force. Under
Regulations 35(2) it is the duty of any person
(i.e. the landlord) who owns a gas appliance and
pipe work is maintained in a safe condition so
as to prevent risk or injury to any person. The
landlord must ensure a qualified gas engineer
checks each appliance for safety at intervals
of not more that 12 months, e.g. An employee of
British Gas or a CORGI registered tradesman. A
record of each safety check (form Cp12) must be
kept by you or your managing agent and a copy
supplied to the tenants upon entry to the premises
and within 28 days of the inspection to the existing
tenant (by Law).
“Gas appliance” means an appliance
designed for use by a consumer of any mains, propane,
or calor gas for heating, lighting, cooking or
other purposes for which gas can be used, i.e.
central heating systems and other heaters, cookers,
hobs, refrigerators, tumble dryers, etc.
“Installation pipe work” is defined
as gas pipe work, valves, regulators and meters.
Gas Safety Action Line 0800 300 363 or obtain
a leaflet “Landlords Inspection Complete
Peace of Mind” which can be obtained from
British Gas on 08459 500400 X 23780.
Extracts from the Regulations are set out below:
(1) The responsible person for any premises shall
not use a gas appliance or permit a gas appliance
to be used if at anytime he knows or has reason
(a) That there is insufficient supply of air available
for the appliance for proper combustion at the
point of combustion:
(b) That the removal of the products of combustion
from the appliance is not being or cannot safely
be carried out:
(c) That the room or internal space in which the
appliance is situated is not adequately ventilated
for the purposes of providing is not adequately
ventilated for the purpose of providing air containing
a sufficiency of oxygen for the persons present
in the room, or in, or in the vicinity of the
internal space while the appliance is in use:
(d) That any gas is escaping from the appliance
or from any gas fitting used in connection with
(e) That the appliance or any part of it or any
gas fitting or other works for the supply of gas
used in connection with the appliance is so faulty
or maladjusted that it cannot be used without
constituting a danger to any person.
To quote from Regulation 2 (1):
“The responsible person”, in relation
to any premises, means the occupier of the premises
or, where there is no occupier or the occupier
is away, the owner of the premises or any person
with authority for the time being to take appropriate
action in relation to any gas fitting therein:
To quote from Regulation 35:
(1) It shall be the duty of every employer or
self employed person to ensure that any gas appliance
or installation pipe work installed at any place
of work under his control is maintained in a safe
condition so as to prevent risk of injury to any
(2) It shall be the duty of any person who owns
a gas appliance or any installation pipe work
installed in premises or any part of premises
let by him to ensure that such an appliance or
installation pipe work is maintained in a safe
condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph
(2) above, a person subject to a duty imposed
by that paragraph shall –
(a) Ensure that each appliance to which that duty
extends is checked for safety at intervals of
not more than 12 months by, or by an employee
of, a member of a class of persons approved for
the time being by the Health and Safety Executive
for the purposes of regulation 3 (3) of these
(b) Keep a record in respect of the appliances
to which that duty extends of the dates of inspection,
the defects identified and any remedial action
(4) The record referred to in paragraph (3) (b)
above shall be supplied to tenants upon entry
to the premises within 28 days of the inspection
to the existing tenant.
The Regulations cover ALL appliances and not only
the central heating system, i.e. cookers, space
heaters etc. whether served by mains, propane
or calor gas.
Only Corgi Registered Engineers are approved to
be used under these Regulations. This includes
the Gas Board. There are, however, various Corgi
registrations and Agents should clarify whether
contractors are specifically registered to service
and maintain all gas appliances.
The Consumer Protection Act 1987 controls the
safety of consumer goods, which extend to consumer
goods supplied in the course of business –
in this case rented accommodation.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure
that safety rules are complied with and in particular
that all electrical appliances must be safe for
use. Other legislation covers electrical installation
and the safest way of avoiding prosecution or
breach of one of the many regulations is to ensure
that everything in the rented property is regularly
checked and serviced at least every 12 months
and at the commencement of any new tenancy.
You or your managing agent should keep records
of all safety checks and works carried out. Items,
which have been purchased since January 1997,
will bear the CE marking either on the appliance
or the packaging. Some old stock that meets the
Low Voltage 1989 Regulations can continue to be
sold but without the CE mark.
A NICEIC registered member should check electrical
appliances, as follows:
· Live parts should not be accessible and
leads should not be worn and frayed but be complete
with no joins.
· Plugs marked BS1363 should be fitted
and correctly fused.
· Electric blankets should be serviced
according to the manufacturers instructions.
· Microwave doors should be clean and free
· Washing machines, cookers etc…
should be serviced and in good working order.
Moving parts should be guarded.
· Electric heaters and central heating
appliances should be serviced annually.
· Fireguards should meet BS3248.
· Fire extinguishers should be marked B5423
· Fire blankets should be marked BS6575
· Instructions must be supplied for use
with all equipment
Where a house is divided into flats and the landlord
retains control and occupation off all the common
ways, legislation such as the housing (Management
of Houses and Multiple Occupation) Regulations
1990, the Occupiers Liability Act 1958 and the
Housing Act 1985 as amended by Part II of the
Housing Act 1996, place responsibility on all
landlords for the safety of tenants, visitors
and anyone else who comes into the property.
The amendments include:
a) Registration Schemes
b) Fire Safety
c) Code of Practice
d) Landlords Duty of Care
Failure to take the necessary steps may result
in two consequences:
1) Any tenant or other occupant, or any person
who suffers loss, damage or personal injury arising
from such a failure can sue the person in control
for damages for breach of statutory duty.
2) The person in control commits a criminal offence,
punishable in the Magistrates court by a fine
of up to the maximum scale 5 (currently £5000).
These regulations are strictly enforced and landlords
must ensure that all parts of the building that
are in common use are maintained in good repair
and decoration and are clean and in good order.
All staircases, corridors etc… must be kept
free from obstruction and must be kept safe. Any
missing handrails or banisters must be replaced
immediately. There must be full fire precautions
and means of escape in case of fire.
Shared kitchens, toilets, bathrooms or showers
must be kept in proper working order, clean and
Copies of the Housing (Management of Houses multiple
Occupation) Regulations 1990 and amendments can
be obtained from HMSO Publications Centre.
PO Box 276, London, SW8 5DT.