Guide to Letting

We understand the lettings market and know that whether you are a first-time landlord or have rented out properties before, getting that property marketed and let, whilst ensuring everything is legally compliant, can be a minefield. With this in mind, we put together our Guide to Letting a property, arming you with all the information you need to let your property. From getting that first valuation and choosing an agent all the way to your new tenant moving in.

Letting with a mortgage

In most cases, a buy-to-let purchase includes a buy-to-let mortgage. This is commonplace, but if you wish to let a property that has an existing owner-occupier mortgage, make sure you receive consent from your lender and insurance provider.


The main reason you will be considering investing in property is to make money. There are two main ways in which you can do this via buy-to-let, the rent itself from the tenants, and through capital gain of the property value.

You must consider that through turbulent times, it is possible to lose money if the value of your property decreases, you have long void periods or your outgoings are higher than the rent received. There are financial risks involved so it is worth speaking to an agent about this risk before going ahead.


As with any property purchase there are a range of fees associated with your property purchase you must factor into your budget:

  • Stamp Duty
  • Property Survey
  • Legal Costs
  • Valuation (lender)
  • Mortgage fees
  • Income tax

As well as those fees paid up front before your purchase, you must also consider the ongoing charges you will have to bear as the landlord:

  • Our fees (fully managed service)
  • Interest on your mortgage
  • Insurance
  • Safety checks
  • Maintenance
  • Rent insurance

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

What is a HMO?

A property is considered a House in Multiple Occupation if:

  • Five or more people occupies the property
  • Those people share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom
  • Can form two or more households regardless of number of storeys

What are your responsibilities?

As well as your statutory legal responsibilities as a landlord you must ensure:

  • Electrics are checked every 5 years
  • The property should not be overcrowded
  • Adequate cooking and washing facilities
  • Communal areas and shared areas clean and in good condition
  • Smoke detectors installed

Choosing the right agent

There are several things to consider when choosing an agent to value your home and attract the best possible tenants. We take great pride in not only meeting but exceeding our landlords expectations. Choosing a letting agent to either manage your property, or find your tenants, is an important first step, and we recommend starting this research early as there are several factors to consider.

Create a shortlist of letting agents

It helps if you can get the list of agents you have to choose from down to three, then invite them out to do a valuation before you do this make sure you find out more about the agent such as following below:

  • Ask trusted friends and family – nothing is more powerful than someone you know offering their recommendation from recent experience.
  • Compare local agents based on their recent reviews online. After friends and family, other consumers are your next best point of reference.
  • It is also a bonus that your letting agent is affiliated with a professional body within the letting industry such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). Reassuring you that your money is in safe hands and that they follow correct systems and procedures.
  • They must also have valid Public Liability Insurance, Property Redress Scheme and Client Money Protection these three legal documents are necessary and any agent who does not have them is flouting the law.

Valuation of Your Property

The agent also needs to show competence in valuing your property and look out for specific factors when doing so such as the following:

  • Who will rent out your property? i.e. students, couples, corporates or families.
  • Will it be furnished, part furnished or unfurnished?
  • Current state of repair and any works needed
  • Internal decoration – is it presented at its best?
  • Proximity to shops, transport links and schools
  • Is your property type in demand locally and will this change in the future?
  • Compare the rental value with other comparable properties in the area

Choosing the right service for you

Once you have chosen your agent, you need to consider how much involvement do you want with your property, tenant, rent collection and maintenance?

Our lettings services are set out in three categories:

  • Let Only Service
  • Let Only Plus Rent Collection
  • Full Management

For details on what each service includes and the fees:

Check out our Landlord Fees

Marketing your property effectively

We want to help you find the perfect tenant who is in a great position to rent your property. We know that there are three key factors for landlords:

  1. Getting you quick let
  2. Achieving the best price
  3. Peace of mind that your property investment is well cared for

Once the terms have been signed, we will:

  1. Instantly prepare your property details, complete with photographs, EPCs and floor plans and advertise your property on the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla.
  2. We will upload your property to our website. Your property has 3 seconds to make an impression online. We will make sure your property is presented in the best possible way.
  3. Contact our 'Hot Tenants' via phone and email and arrange viewings. We will ask you to share your live property link with your friends and contacts via social media.
  4. We will also provide virtual tour or video footage of the property in cases where we recognise the importance of getting the property exposed to a wider audience for the purposes of renting out your property to corporate clients and families.

We make sure your property meets the correct legal safety standards (certified gas inspections and EICR) as well as keeping up to date with UK Legislation. If there is a possible upcoming change, we will notify you in advance.

Receiving offers and preparing for your tenants

We like to accompany the prospective tenants to view your property so we can highlight the selling points and find out more about your potential tenants. Plus, it is more professional as we can answer any questions from the outset.

Once this is all agreed and your property goes under offer, what we will do:

  • Credit referencing of the tenant
  • Prepare inventory with photos
  • Prepare Tenancy Agreement
  • Prepare standing order
  • Arrange a Gas Safety Certificate and EICR
  • Ensure the property is ready for the tenant to move in.
  • Getting the property ready for your tenants
  • Gas and electric appliances

At the start of the tenancy, you should provide a gas safety certificate and EICR. If you do not provide this, you cannot evict a tenant using a Section 21 notice.

It is now mandatory to carry out an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) before a tenancy begins and we also recommend you carry out regular Portable Appliance Tests (PAT) on all appliances at regular intervals.

Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms
Regulation is now in place which requires all landlords to have at least one smoke alarm on each storey.

These must be working and in addition to this, any rooms with a solid fuel appliance (wood stove) you should also install Carbon Monoxide alarms.

On the first day of the tenancy, you must check these alarms; after that, the responsibility to check regularly lies with the tenant until their tenancy is over.

Energy efficiency
Legally, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate registered to the property. In April 2018, regulation came in that meant a legal property must have a rating of E or above.

You must provide tenants with your EPC as early as possible and tenants can ask permission to improve the energy performance of your property and you cannot refuse consent. If the tenant is responsible for paying the energy bills, they can choose to have a smart meter installed.

Water safety
As a landlord you have a duty of care to your tenants to make sure your water supply is working properly to protect them from Legionella.

There are three ways in which a property can be furnished when a tenant moves in:

  • Unfurnished: This does not mean leaving the property empty. Usually curtains, carpets and certain white goods will be included such as a fridge and cooker.
  • Part furnished: Part furnished will usually include curtains, carpets, specific white goods and larger items such as wardrobes, beds, dining table and chairs.
  • Fully furnished: This means the property is ready for move in. The specifics of what will and will not be included is down to the landlord and tenant to negotiate.

Setting up the tenancy & move in

The Paperwork

The first thing you must do is provide your tenant with a tenancy agreement. We recommend you use our agreement.

Tenants should be given enough time to read and understand the terms of the tenancy, before agreeing to sign.

You should consider who is responsible for utility bills and council tax. In most cases, the tenant will pay for this, but it must be clear in the agreement.

Move in

The service level you have chosen will determine how much contact you will have with the property and the tenants once they moved in. We can offer a Fully Managed service which will help minimise your workload as much as possible.

For a smooth move in process, we recommend a neutral decor throughout, the removal of all your personal belongings, leaving instruction manuals for appliances and placing picture hooks for your tenants to use.

During the tenancy period, whatever the length of the tenancy, you have a responsibility to keep the property well maintained and in working order, fit for habitation in line with the Homes Act 2018 and ensure you arrange regular, annual gas safety checks.

You are now a landlord, congratulations if you are letting a property for the first time.

Call us now on 020 8870 5800 or email us for further information on and we would be very happy to assist you.