You may be considering letting your property for a variety of reasons, perhaps you are relocating, finding it difficult to sell your home or simply purchasing a property as an investment.
Whatever your reasoning if you have a residential property to let, it makes economic and practical sense to put the letting in the hands of experts.
We understand that letting your property, especially for the first time, can be a worrying and stressful experience. With this in mind, the team at Dawson Estates strive to deliver the best possible service, never forgetting that your property is your most important asset. We will at all times seek to find you the best tenant, and indeed give you the confidence that your asset will be in professional and caring hands.
There are a number of factors to consider with the letting of your property. Our qualified and experienced team aims to provide you with the best advice and can tailor our services to meet your personal needs.
A free, no obligation service where we will meet you at the property and take account of current market conditions to provide advice on:
Maximising your rental income - All properties and Landlord situations vary. Our advice will identify actions to allow the maximum rental return to be achieved and minimise the time taken to achieve it.
Your home presentation - The presentation of your home is vital for its marketing and will impact upon the rents achievable. Let us guide you through what is best for your property.
The marketing of your property is key to generating interest from potential tenants.
Our marketing initiatives include the provisions of ‘to-let boards’, extensive internet coverage including Rightmove. Find a Property and our website, social media advertising including Facebook and Twitter and local media advertising including the Halifax Courier and Huddersfield Examiner to ensure the best exposure for your property.
Any experienced letting agent will identify that there is an element of risk involved with letting a property. We seek to reduce the level of risk for you by conducting detailed referencing of tenants prior to occupation.
Further protection against risk can be provided by Landlord insurance products; just ask a team member for more information.
Our experienced and professional staff work to ensure that the most is made from initial enquiries and provides an opportunity for us to get to meet the tenant at an early stage. Where possible we will endeavour to match the tenant’s requirements with your own to ensure the most suitable relationship between parties can be generated.
Once the tenant has been found and fulfilled reference requirements, we turn our attention to protecting you and the property.
A tenancy agreement is a legal document signed by the Landlord (or agent) and tenant that identifies the rights and responsibilities of each party in line with the occupation of a property. Dawson Estates will prepare the tenancy agreements for the letting of each property, tailoring it to match your requirements and protect you as a Landlord. Most commonly an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is used, with a minimum term of six months.
An inventory and condition report details the contents and condition of a property at the start of a tenancy. This is vital for the protection of you, your property and its contents.
As a landlord, it is important to ensure that an up to date and suitably detailed inventory or schedule of condition is provided to the tenants at the commencement of each tenancy. Without a good inventory/schedule of condition, it is difficult to assess and justify any deductions for damage from the tenant's deposit at the end of the tenancy.
The deposit is paid by the tenant to the Landlord / agent prior to taking occupation in the property. The Housing Act 2004 introduced Tenancy Deposit Protection for all deposits paid from 6th April 2007. Dawson Estates currently utilise the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) in line with this legislation.
Dawson Estates operate a computerised accounting system that allows payment dates to be readily identified and paid over to you after clearance and charges, along with a detailed statement.
Property inspections are carried out on a three or six monthly basis during the tenancy to allow the condition of the property to be monitored.
Maintenance issues are the responsibility of the Landlord during the tenancy. Dawson Estates are always on hand to deal with maintenance issues, oversee essential repairs and arrange payment of the completed works. Please advise us if you have any preferred contractors in the event that maintenance is required.
At the end of the tenancy a full check out procedure is required to check the contents and condition of the property, with deductions being made from the deposit in the event of damage being caused to the property. Depending upon your requirements Dawson Estates can remarket the property to find another tenant or help to advise upon the sale of the property. Alternatively you may be moving back into the property yourself.
It is important that a landlord meets their legal responsibilities at all times.
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required for a property to be marketed to let, from 1st October 2008. Dawson Estates have qualified Domestic Energy Assessors to produce these certificates, which will remain valid for ten years.
If the property is mortgaged consent to the letting of your property must be obtained from your lender, to avoid breach of mortgage terms. Otherwise you may have to switch to a buy to let mortgage.
...if your property is leasehold. You’ll also need to ask any housing association or other body which has regulations applying to the property, e.g. shared ownership.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection and Landlord's Buildings and Contents insurance if required.
As a Landlord you will be required to pay tax, but the exact amount will be dependent upon if you are classified as a UK resident or not.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the case of gas appliances), it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care' is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, and beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. In practice, most (but not all) items which comply must have a suitable permanent label attached. Items purchased since 01/03/1990 from a reputable supplier are also likely to comply.
The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as hot surfaces, electric lawnmowers, etc. for the tenant.
There is no specific legislation requiring smoke alarms or other fire safety equipment to be fitted in ordinary tenanted properties, but you could be held liable if a fire should cause injury or damage and such equipment was not fitted. You should therefore ensure your property is safe in the event of a fire by fitting at least one smoke detector on each floor in the hall and landing areas (ideally mains-wired and inter-linked) and providing a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the kitchen. The extinguisher should be serviced every 12 months. Also make sure that upper floor windows are large enough to permit escape in the event of a fire.
As earlier identified, Dawson Estates are able to tailor our services to ensure that we meet your personal requirements. The following standard services are available;
Dawson Estates has been letting and managing property in Calderdale for over 10 years. This experience in conjunction with our drive and determination enables Dawson Estates to provide the best advice to clients.
The Best Advertising Coverage for your Property
Dawson Estates utilises a range of advertising publications, websites and technology to ensure that available properties reach the widest target market. Our property marketing includes the Halifax Evening Courier, the largest property websites including Rightmove and Find a Property and technology including Facebook and Twitter.
Service Levels Tailored to Meet Your Requirements
Our service levels provide a range of options from simply finding a tenant for a Landlord, through to a comprehensive full management service. Each service can also be tailored so that it meets your requirements to ensure we have the perfect service for you. We are there to work for you. To provide our professional guidance, knowledge and expertise tailored to you and your property every step of the way.
Experienced and Qualified Team
Dawson Estates has the luxury of having a fantastic team of qualified and experienced staff, who are dedicated solely to lettings.
Our Lettings office is located in the centre of a busy town.
Plus much, much more; tailored advice to maximize the return of your property, accompanied viewings, tenancy negotiation, tenant referencing, comprehensive tenancy agreements, Detailed inventories...to mention only a few.
We hope that this guide has provided some useful information about letting. If we have not visited your property, we would be happy to provide further professional advice for you and your property via a no obligation, free property appraisal. Please do not hesitate in contacting a member of the Dawson Estates team to schedule your appraisal or if you have any questions or queries. We look forward to hearing from you.