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Landlord Guide


The Guide to Letting your property:

Letting your property need not be a daunting or complicated process, and we at Douglas Martin can offer you sound, professional advice based on our extensive local knowledge and experience in the business.

We hope this guide will enable you to achieve the best rental income for your property, and the right tenant. We will also outline your responsibility as a landlord. You may also like to consider if our property management service is right for you.

For landlords looking to rent and or manage their property, our charges are given on the Fees and Charges page. If you need any further information please call a member of our lettings team.


Market Appraisal

The first step to letting your home is to make an appointment for a free valuation with one of our experienced team.

We believe a sound and accurate valuation is vital enabling your property to be listed correctly on the market. As the market leader in the area, we will give you a realistic rental valuation based on our extensive knowledge and current market conditions.  This will enable us to achieve the best market price for your property. After all no landlord wants their property to remain empty for long periods of time.


Preparing for marketing

When you decide to put your property on the market, we’ll agree times with you for various tasks to be carried out, including:

  • Writing up the property details.
  • Carrying out photography of your property.
You must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This is a legal requirement and must be obtained before marketing can begin. This is simple for you to arrange and we can recommend energy assessors to you who can undertake an EPC for you.


Marketing 

Our job is to let your property to tenants for the best rent possible. To do this we need to showcase your property to the largest possible audience.

At Douglas Martin, we believe our marketing approach is second to none:

  • We have a prominent shopfront at Hendon Central Underground Station with large window displays viewed by thousands of commuters.
  • Large dedicated & experienced team of lettings negotiators.
  • An extensive applicant database.
  • Our prospective tenants will be alerted to your property via telephone, text and email contact.
  • Your property will appear in the main online portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla including featured and premium listings.
  • We endeavour to accompany all viewings.


Legal requirements

As a landlord you have a number of legal responsibilities, these cover gas appliances, electrical installations and any soft furnishings supplied for the Tenancy.

As mentioned above an EPC will also be required. From the 1st of April 2018, each property would need to meet a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards rating of E, unless an exception has been obtained.


Viewings

This is the key to renting your property. Ease of showing your property will increase the number of viewings.

It is important that we can access your property smoothly and swiftly. We will agree convenient times with you and if there are any times that are better than others, please let us know and we’ll do our best to fit everyone in. Contact details for the current occupier is essential so we can react quickly to the interest generated in your property.

We endeavour to undertake all viewings. Where we have keys to the property we will always accompany the viewing.  Being able to show your property at short notice is important and we recommend that you provide us with a set of keys as this will enable us to maximise the number of viewings at your property.

After each viewing we get feedback. We will regularly update you on any progress with potential tenants and discuss any changes that we think might help improve your rental income.


Choosing the right tenant

When we have a suitable offer (or offers) from potential tenants for your property, we will discuss everything with you, considering the pros and cons of each. We will help you to decide on the best option for you. We will then obtain references on the tenant(s) on your behalf and forward this on to you for your consideration. Alternatively, we can arrange rent guarantee through leading industry insurers.  If the tenant proves to be acceptable we will proceed to the next stage.


The Tenancy Agreement

We will advise you of the most relevant and suitable Tenancy Agreement and prepare the documents for your consideration. Once the Tenancy Agreement has been approved by you, we will invite both parties to sign.


Inventory
An inventory details the contents of the property and is a schedule of its condition. We would advise an inventory being compiled by a professional inventory clerk and this needs to be prepared prior to the commencement of a tenancy. We can recommend independent inventory clerks if required. If we manage your property, we will be arranging the inventory on your behalf.


Deposits & Rent

All surety deposits taken from tenants for any Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) are protected by law and need to be held by one of the authorised deposit protection schemes.

If we are managing your property, and the deposit is required to be held in a scheme we will be using the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) Custodial Scheme. The tenants deposit will be lodged with the DPS and they will hold it for the duration of the tenancy. Further information is available at www.arla.co.uk or www.depositprotection.com

Prior to the commencement of the tenancy we will collect the agreed advanced rental and deposit payment from the tenant on your behalf. These funds must be cleared into our account before the tenancy commences.


Utilities

Please ensure that we are given details of the current utility suppliers for your property, account numbers and the location of meters (especially water meters), to pass onto the in-going tenant, who will be responsible for payment of services once they are in the property.

We also recommend you notifying the suppliers so any closing balances can be settled. If we are managing your property, we will notify the utility companies when there is a change of occupier on your behalf.


Tenancy 
On the day the Tenancy commences, we recommend you meeting the tenant to carry out a ‘check in’ (going through the inventory and showing them how everything works). If we are managing your property we will arrange for your tenant to be checked into the property by an independent inventory clerk and for the keys to be handed over.