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A Landlord’s Guide to Residential Lettings

1. Preparing your Property 
Your property needs to appeal to the broadest range of potential tenants. Use neutral decor and furnishings. Avoid the temptation to stamp your own personality on it.

If you already have tenants in the property, ask them to keep things clean, fresh and odour free. Make them aware that viewings may take place at short notice.

2. Legal Requirements 
You have a legal obligation to your tenants to ensure their safety. A Smoke Alarm and Gas Safety Certificate will be required and the property’s furnishings need to comply with current furniture & furnishings fire safety regulations 1988.

Check the terms of your lease to ensure you have permission to let your property. If you have a mortgage you’ll need to make sure that consent is granted for you to let.

It’s essential that you have a valid, assured tenancy agreement drawn up and the security deposit must be registered with an approved scheme. If you’re using a letting agent, they will arrange for this to be carried out.

3. Marketing
A letting agent is best placed to take your property to market. It’s likely that they’ll have potential tenants already lined up and available to attend viewings.

Most agents will be signed up to a whole multitude of online resources including the major property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

4. Receiving Offers

Consider various factors when accepting offers. When can the tenant move in? How long will they want to stay in the property?
It’s vital that you are confident of their ability to pay rent, so consider their employment status carefully. If they’re self-employed, are they contracting or freelance?

Be prepared for potential tenants to make requests that you may not have planned for. How do you feel about pets? Would you mind a smoker moving in to the property?

5. Accepting an Offer
References will need to be provided and a credit check carried out. Your agent will do this using one of the accredited credit reference agencies.

It’s wise to consider taking out rental guarantee insurance. Your letting agent should be able to easily arrange this. Premiums are minimal and offer invaluable peace of mind.

Your agent should take a nominal (non refundable) holding deposit to take the property off the market.


6. Exchanging Contracts 
The two parties have agreed the terms of the tenancy and are ready to sign the tenancy agreement. It’s at this point any outstanding deposit is paid.

This now constitutes a legally binding contract.

7. Tenant Move In 
On the day of the move in, the tenant will meet an inventory clerk at the property and take note of its condition. A copy of this report will be sent to both parties and all utility metres are read.

Whether your property is being fully managed by an agent or you’re doing everything yourself, consider insurance against problems occurring.

This can cover everything from a new boiler to flooding and plumbing problems.

That’s it. Be sure to be a good landlord. Goodwill goes a long way.

Ellisons deal exclusively in the Wimbledon, Morden, Raynes Park, West Wimbledon, Motspur Park, Colliers Wood and Merton Park areas.

For valuation, viewing, and general advice on property call or email us today Telephone; 020 8944 9494 E-mail;


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