Landlord guide

Protect your investment and maximise your income with landlord advice from the property experts.

This page introduces the Abbey Property Landlord Advice Guide. The guide includes everything you need to know from getting your property ready and choosing the right tenants through to successfully and legally running and ending your tenancies.

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Get your property ready to let with our landlord advice guide to this critical stage.

Three critical questions to answer at this stage. Please see the full guide to this section here.

Is your property allowed to be let?

Is your property being paid with a mortgage? If so, contact them to get authorisation for a consent to let. Being exactly that, consent to let your property, in turn there may be a small fee and slight increase in interest rate on the repayments.

Is your property ready to be let?

A property that is let needs to have all the correct certificates in place. These are a Gas Safety Certificate an Electrical Safety Certificate, and a valid Energy Performance Certificate.  You should also be aware of landlord advice and legislation around carbon monoxide and install the relevant alarms.

Compliance pays a huge role when renting a property out. Not being up to date could potentially mean un-actionable eviction notices, fines, banning orders, possibly even custodial sentences!

Will you find tenants, by yourself, or use an agent?

Finding quality tenants can be a difficult feat. Some landlords decide that they will let the property on their own without professional support. If you choose this route there are a number of areas you should start to look at and our landlord advice is that you should proceed with caution so as not to endanger your property.

Finding a tenant yourself

As an individual you do not have access to property portals such as Zoopla, Rightmove, Boomin’ etc. You will however be able to create listings on sites such as Openrent or Gumtree.

We have a useful article here on writing your advert.

Using an agent to find you a tenant

An agent however does have access to nationwide accessible portals, so will have a wider reach of an audience. As well as this, a letting agent may have a database of existing clients that have been looking over the course of 2-3 weeks prior, that they may be able to tap into.

There are loads more articles we have available related to the ‘Research Stage’, all written by our dedicated property experts, go ahead and explore the Landlord Advice Hub.

Chosen by Landlords just like you

Sakeena ShahSakeena Shah
09:34 18 Jan 23
I spoke with Naeem, he was very helpful and answered all my questions. Was very polite and a pleasure to speak to. I always personally come to Abbey properties to look for a nice place before looking at any other letting agency.
rekha shajirekha shaji
19:12 03 Jan 23
Abbey property is the excellent agency in Luton. Indeed, we are looking for a house nearly 3 months whenever I contact abbey property I got one bedroom flat within 4 days. The staffs are also very good and friendly especially Naeem. He done the paperwork very quickly without any delay. Anyway we are so happy.Thank you…
Tanvir RamzanTanvir Ramzan
00:41 02 Dec 22
I am very impressed with Abbey Property who have been excellent in finding me a new tenant. Naeem was very professional, approachable, organised and friendly.I am happy with their efficient service and will definitely recommend to friends and family.
Purnima P S EPurnima P S E
17:11 01 Nov 22
The current team at Abbey property is really excellent. They are very professional and quick in response. Naeem was extremely efficient and always happy to help. He helped in fixing the boiler within hours ensured we had hot water. Would highly recommend the Abbey Property-Estate And Letting Agents Luton for the great service they offered over the last 4 years.
Shanmuga PremanandShanmuga Premanand
19:04 12 Oct 22
I have been letting throw Abbey property past 3 years. I have received Excellent service such as finding tenant, paying the rent ontime and looking after property very well. Although once the tenant moved out and finding new tenants. I never had my property emptied not more then week. Particularly I would like thank Naeem and team providing me an excellent service throughout the letting period. Keep it up and we'll done Abbey properties

Pre-tenancy Guide – Landlord Advice for things you need to know before handing over the keys.

Write-up a descriptive advert, get photographs and possibly even a video-tour and floorplan.

A descriptive advert plays two parts, it offers complete transparency regarding all the information relating to your property, and in turn, it also limits the number of nuisance or unnecessary phone calls made asking questions that could have easily been included in the advert.

Bear in mind, you cannot discriminate. Whether someone is on means-tested benefits, has pets, or children. Discriminating factors cannot be a reason for whether you accept someone or not.

Take and retain a holding deposit to start the reference checks.

Look to take a holding deposit based on the initial information they’ve given you. At this stage you will be checking their working history and any adverse credit events such as CCJs.

Based on this information you’d have decided whether they meet initial criteria. And if they do, take no more than the equivalent of one-weeks’ rent as a holding deposit whilst you do referencing.

In the unlikely case they’ve given false information, that referencing has brought to light, you’re legally within your right to retain and keep the holding deposit to cover the waste of time and effort on them.

Follow a thorough referencing procedure.

Your property is a valuable asset and the nightmare of having bad tenants is one you’ll want to avoid. You should therefore make sure you fully vet tenants and check out their references.

The following should be obtained, and looked through with a fine tooth comb for anomalies and discrepancies. Such as fraudulent documents, or amended bank statements.

  • Payslips – Check the household income is sufficient for the rental amount, usually 2.5x the rental figure monthly as a minimum.
  • Bank statements – Are they responsible with money? Check for unhealthy outgoings such as overdraft lending or gambling.
  • Credit check – To check their record for previous red flags, if they’ve been in debt, or have a habit of late payments.
  • Employment and previous landlord reference – A well-returned reference will cast light over their character, to ensure they’re good employees, pay rent on time and keep their property in good condition.
  • Right to rent in the UK – A requirement in the UK, documents to be provided to the effect showing their legal entitlement to be able to rent in the UK.
  • Sufficient funds for the deposit and first months rent – The last thing you’ll want to encounter is to complete all the checks to satisfaction, to then hear they don’t have the right funds in place to start the tenancy.

Alternatively for a fee you can get an external referencing company to do checks for you, for peace of mind you can use them.

References satisfied, time to take the advance rent and deposit.

Due to recent UK Legislation in terms of what you can charge a tenant, the maximum deposit has been capped at five weeks equivalent of the rent you charge.

It is standard practice to also take the first months rent in advance, with the rent payments commencing the following month onwards.

Secure the deposit with an approved governmental supported scheme. Either the Deposit Protection Service, Tenancy Deposit Scheme, or MyDeposits.

Conducting a check-in inventory.

We rave on about inventories, whether check-in, check-out, or mid-term inspection. All are incredibly important! A check-in inventory – will log and record all aspects of the property. From its exact condition, room to room, to the contents, and the fixtures & fittings in the property.

You’ll also record the meter readings for all accessible meters, such as gas and electric, if the water meter is in the property, record that too and take photos throughout.

Signing and handing over of documents.

First up, the tenancy agreement. showing  how much rent is to be paid, the deposit amount that was taken, dates of rent due to be paid, as well as much more specifically relating to the do’s and don’ts of what you allow in the property.

Further to this, there is a legal requirement to ensure that hard-copies of a ‘How To Rent Guide’ and ‘Understanding Damp and Mould’ leaflet are supplied to the tenant. You should draw up a document to this effect, and they’ll sign to acknowledge receipt of it. Keep this as evidence for future reference.

Hand over the keys!

Give them a guided tour, explain where gas and electricity meters are. Make the process as easy as possible, your tenants will really appreciate it.

Let the energy suppliers, water company and local council know of the new move-in, the new tenants details, and from that day onwards they’ll be entirely responsible for the bills that are due!

Abbey Property is trusted by property owners just like you.

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Landlord Advice for running a hassle-free tenancy.

Your responsibilities as a landlord doesn’t end when the tenancy begins. You want to care for your tenants and your property to ensure smooth running.

You’ve got mid-term inspections to conduct, to ensure the property is kept in good condition through the tenancy, and there are no signs of overcrowding to be concerned about.

A schedule of maintenance, to ensure you’re following the legal rulings on timescales that issues need to be rectified, defying these and you’re in breach of legislation!

Amongst this you’ve got other factors to consider, rent increases, money-saving strategies, tenants that overstay, potentially facing rent arrears, renewals, and even evictions!

We have a full downloadable guide to help you oversee all the instances you may find yourself in, share your email address with us below to get it sent over now!

For more in-depth info on getting rent on time, maximising your rental income, dealing with problematic tenants, handling absurd tenant demands, and so much more! Visit our Advice Hub.

After Tenancy Guide – Landlord Advice for making sure the property is returned how it should be.

As the tenancy has ended, your responsibilities to that tenant don’t end there.

Firstly, knowing what the correct notice period to vacate is, that your tenant is giving the correct time frame as set out in the initial agreement so that you aren’t at a loss. Then conducting a check-out inventory, and ensuring you’re covering all bases to make sure you wont be footing the bill for repair or replacement of anything in the property.

Make sure you know exactly what to look for, how to judge whether areas affected are just wear and tear, or chargeable issues.If necessary, deductions to be made. How to make them, state a case, and follow it through to completion.

To download the full guide please enter your name and email address here.

Taxation Guide – Landlord Advice for making sure you don’t pay more than necessary.

Tax implications are something to bear in mind when looking to rent a property out, no matter how the property was obtained, whether handed down, or bought with intention to let, it’s classed as taxable income and should be treated as such with any rental income you generate.

This is an area to be extremely knowledgeable about – there’s no point in finding out too late that you owe HMRC more than you have in the bank. Our guide will help you understand the basics.

To download the full Landlord Tax Guide please enter your name and email address here

Renovation Guide – Landlord Advice for those wanting to build & improve.

We have a full guide on property renovation advice where we explain exact facts and figures to help you determine what you should renovate, and how much you spend on it. Direct from our property experts in-house!

To download the full landlord renovation guide please enter your name and email address here

Property Investment – Landlord Advice for making sure you buy the right property and how.

Investing in property is a sure-thing, right? WRONG! Make sure you’re in the know regarding all to do with property investment.

Property is a good way to go, but make sure you make decisions based on good advice – how you finance your property is key as well.

To download the full guide please enter your name and email address here

Our Advice Hub is here to help.

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