How to Manage Rental Properties Without an Agent
Letting agents are often involved in the rental process, but what do they actually do?
Letting agents are used as the middleman between the landlord and the tenant, managing everything to do with the rented property. They are responsible for collecting rent payments, arranging repair work, and communicating with the tenants.
This may well not seem worth the often extortionate rates that letting agents charge for their services; there is no reason why a landlord like yourself who wants to self-manage their property cannot carry out this entire process themselves.
While we assume that, because of the cost, letting agents have access to trade tools, local knowledge and resources that allows them to perform the task better than you could, this is not necessarily the case.
The truth is, any landlord can learn the essentials of managing their rental without an agent or extensive training. In this concise guide, our experts delve into how you can easily rent your property without the need for a letting agent, covering everything from preparing and marketing your property to getting all the necessary insurance, as well as crucial tenant deposit legislation and more.
Make sure the property is legal
Before you even begin the process of placing your property on the market and searching for tenants you need to ensure that your property is safe to reside in. This is a legal requirement as stated in the 1988 Housing Act.
Here are the 4 safety obligations and requirements your property must meet before you can rent:
- Electrical safety
- Gas safety certificate
- Energy performance certificate
- Valid buy-to-let landlord insurance policy
You should also conduct a thorough check of everything you include in the property, such as the shower, any kitchen appliances and all the doors and windows to make sure everything works properly.
After you have ensured that everything is in working order and presentable, you can place your property on the market.
Market the property
Once you have decided how much rent you should charge for your property, you can start to think about marketing.
Did you know? The Rentr mobile app is the perfect place to advertise and easily manage your property for free.
All you have to do to add a property to Rentr is fill in some basic details, for example, the address of the rental and whether you have any current tenants. As soon as this is completed you can move on to advertising.
You can choose which websites you want your property to appear on, such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Adverts can even be customised to the frequency you want to remain on these sites. And away you go!
Tenants can also use the app to connect with you instantly to book viewings.
During viewings, we recommend that you can provide the following information to, and discuss it with, any potential tenants:
- The Energy Performance certificate
- Who the providers of gas and electricity are
It can also help prevent any confusion or nasty surprises to reaffirm the cost of the monthly rent, how long the tenancy is for and when a deposit is required.
You must get all the relevant information for each potential tenant before you decide who will reside at your property. This information includes:
- Rental history and references from previous landlords
- Employment status
- Credit check
With this information, you will gain a clear idea of who will make the most reliable and responsible tenant.
Once you have chosen your ideal candidate you can arrange a date for moving in! Correct documentation
It’s crucial that you are aware of and can provide all the necessary documentation and contracts for you and your tenant to sign before they move in. You should provide two of each so that both you and your tenant can keep a copy.
These contracts and documents include:
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) – Tenancy agreements are widely available online, which is why you need to ensure that you obtain yours from a reputable source, such as a solicitor.
- A tenant guarantor form. A tenant guarantor is someone who can accept liabilities on behalf of the tenant if they cannot meet their obligations in the tenancy agreement, such as damages to the property.
- A property inventory form. This is a great way to protect your property and avoid any unpleasant disputes if you need to make a claim should damage or theft occur.
Once every contract has been signed, as well as the security deposit and the first month of rent has been paid, you can hand over the keys! (Make sure to keep copies for yourself).
Registering new tenants
Have a conversation with your tenants about who they need to inform that they are the new residents of the property, such as the council tax office and the energy providers. If suppliers are not updated, there may be billing complications.
Tenancy security deposit
Following tenancy deposit legislation to the letter is crucial to protect your rights, especially if you ever need to repossess your property in the event of housing bad tenants.
Therefore, you need to ensure that your deposit is secured in a tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of having received the money. The scheme is backed by the government and ensures that the money is released at the end of the tenancy. Your tenant should also be provided with details about the scheme.
Landlord building insurance
If you have an insurance policy on your property, you will need to update the insurance company and provide details on the new tenancy.
Manage your property independently with Rentr App
If you’re looking to start managing your property independently, the Rentr app is the end-to-end, hassle-free solution. You can rely on Rentr to:
- Advertise your property
- Arrange viewings
- Vet tenants
- Stay on top of legislation
- Keep track of finances
- Manage communications
All of this for free. To find out more visit our website, or contact our friendly team of property rental experts today.