Letting property has never been easier with Darlows. We are here to make your letting experience as smooth as possible. We have well informed and trained specialist teams, and our unique approach to letting and managing properties, plus our quality of service and sound advice, has won us an enviable reputation within the industry. By choosing us you can be assured of a service which, we believe, is the very best.
If you decide to let your property, there are a number of things to think about. Darlows estate and lettings agency have been letting properties in South Wales for over 25 years and know the lettings property market inside out.
We have put together a lettings process guide to assist you every step of the way.
Step one - Research
Researching the local area properties to let in South Wales can give you a good guide of prices for properties similar to yours are being let for.
Whether you are looking for an agent who can not only find you tenants but also manage the property or you would like to manage the letting of the property yourself, it is important to research local letting agents to find the right agent to let your property. There are a number of lettings agents in South Wales, so selecting the right agent for you can be tricky. Take a look at our 'Selecting the right letting agent' guide.
Step two - Valuation
Once you have researched letting agents in your local area that you would like to consider using, ask at least three to visit your property and carry out an up to date valuation. It is advisable to have at least three so that you are confident of the price your property could achieve and you can assess each agent to see which you feel you could work with the best. Agencies also have different rates - it isn't just the cheapest you want to use, but the letting agents that you feel give the best value for money whilst achieving the best price for your home. Property valuations for letting properties are usually free with most letting agencies.
Step three - Choose an agent or let yourself
Do you know yet whether you would like to instruct a letting agency manage your property? It is a real advantage to use a professional Lettings Agency to manage your property/properties for let. Here are some of the advantages of property management services:
- Property management services will co-ordinate all rent collection, giving you piece of mind;
- Your tenants benefit from a fully managed property and having a 24/7 service should there be any issues requiring attention;
- Day-to-day management issues and emergencies can be handled for you;
- Businesses looking for accommodation for members of staff will quite often prefer using a property management service;
- Yearly inspections and safety checks such as gas safety certificates are taken care of for you;
- Property management services will have a directory portfolio of local contractors such as plumbers, electricians and builders who will not only give them very competitive prices but will also be trusted and approved;
- Many property management services will also provide you with legal advice should you need it.
Step four - marketing your property
Once you have chosen the agent you wish to use, you can look to getting your property on the rental market. Getting your property prepared for viewings also set you up for the professional photography that is needed for the marketing of the property. Read our getting your property ready for viewings (LINK) guide to help get your started.
Don't forget to allow plenty of time before a photographer arrives so you can ensure it is as presentable as possible.
The marketing of your material needs to include:
- Good quality, full colour property details which include the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and a floorplan of the property;
- Listing on the letting agent’s website that includes a full and detailed write up of your property, the rooms and their dimensions, quality images, location map and if possible a street view of the area around your property;
- Listing on the major property portals such as Rightmove and OnTheMarket.com;
- Coverage in local newspapers and magazines;
- PR opportunities in local and national press where possible;
- Email and SMS property alerts to potential tenants who are interested in a property like yours in the area;
- Professional signboards to promote your property at all times, however it is your choice whether to have one displayed outside your property.
Step five - Viewings
Now that your property is on the market, it is essential to ensure you home is prepared and ready for viewings. Basic things like keeping your property clean and tidy can help fo any unexpected viewings therefore decluttering beforehand can help free up space and keep areas tidy. If you can see that a little redecorating is required, be sure to chose neutral tones to allow it to appeal a larger number of people. Carrying out those small repairs that make a big different like mending the guttering would also be advantageous.
Before a viewing takes place, ensure you make your house comfortable by putting the heating on if it is cold outside or opening windows if it is too warm. Get rid of any odours such as stale smoke or odours from pets by opening the windows. Fresh bed linen, fresh flowers or putting coffee onto brew just before a vieiwng are also great ideas for adding homely touches and nice smells! A property that is light and airy will give a good impression so open up all curtains and blinds or put some lighting off if necessary to show off the property. If the viewing takes place in the evening when there is a possibility of it dusk or even dark, ensure you have working lightbulbs in all lights so there is adequate lighting in all rooms.
Read our preparing your property for viewings guide for more tips.
Step six - Getting the let agreed
Once a potential tenant has viewed and expressed their interest in renting your property, it is time to move forwards in getting the let agreed.
There are a few tasks your chosen lettings agent is now responsible for, whether they are managing the property or not:
- Written communication is needed for all parties to confirm the rent, how regular the rent is paid (e.g. weekly, monthly etc.) and any conditions of the tenancy;
- Obtaining references from the tenants and a guarantor if this is required will need to be carried out at this stage;
- All parties will need to read and sign the Tenancy Agreement;
- Collect payments owed for the tenancy to start, such as the deposit and the first month’s rent. All deposits should be registered with a deposit protection scheme;
- Carry out the inventory list and condition report. You as the landlord will need a copy as well as the tenant(s) to ensure both sides are satisfied. Inventory lists will set out all the items that are in the house such as carpets, any furnishings etc. It must also set out the condition of any of the contents.
At the start of any new tenancy, your new tenants will need to have set up the necessary accounts and transferred names for providers of utilities (gas, electric and water) and have provided meter readings if requested by the utility companies. They will also need to set up accounts or transfer the names for telephone suppliers, council tax and TV licensing. If this is only a short-term tenancy, the landlord remains responsible for the utility accounts, council tax and TV license, therefore it is important to ensure they are included in the rent. The tenant will still need to set up accounts for telephone services.
Once all is complete, you can set a moving day that is mutually convenient to yourself and the new tenants.
If the lettings agency holds the keys to the property, you will need to ask them to hand these over to the tenants on completion day. If the property is to be managed by a property management service through the lettings agency, it is important the tenants are given the contact details.
Congratulations on successfully letting your property!
If you would like to speak to your local Darlows lettings branch about letting your property, visit our branch finder page - our dedicated lettings teams will be delighted to help you.