Do you own or manage property in the London area? Whether it’s a single rental property or a large portfolio of flats and houses, it helps to have a professional team behind you ensuring things run smoothly.

With over 65 UK offices, we offer professional property inventory services throughout London and the surrounding areas.

Looking for property inventory in London? We’ve gathered a list of our London offices to help you find your local No Letting Go branch.

 

What is a Property Inventory?

An inventory is a legal document providing an accurate record of the contents and condition of a property at the start of a tenancy.

Property Inventory reports can include written and photographic evidence to protect landlords and tenants alike. A professional inventory service helps landlords recover costs to cover damage and repairs by determining how much money is deducted from the deposit.

A comprehensive, quality inventory report can even help settle disputes at the end of a tenancy by providing unbiased evidence.

 

What is an Inventory Check-In?

An inventory check-in is simply the process of the inventory being taken and provided to the tenant by the inventory clerk or landlord at the start of a tenancy. Usually, the tenant is given a short period to check the property before signing.

A check-out report then determines any changes made to the property between the start and end of the tenancy.

 

When Should Inventory Be Done?

The best time to schedule an inventory is immediately before the start of a tenancy. This means that the report will provide the most accurate representation of the cleanliness and condition of the property on move-in day.

 

Do Landlords Have to Provide Inventory?

While there is no legal requirement for a landlord to provide an inventory, it is highly recommended.

When claiming against a deposit, it is the landlord’s responsibility to prove that the tenant has damaged the property. Without a high-quality inventory report, this becomes a lot harder to justify and conflicts can arise.

For this reason, having the protection of an inventory report undertaken by independent inventory clerks is essential if your tenant decides to contest any deductions taken.

 

Our Property Services at a Glance

Property inventory is just one of the wide-ranging professional services we offer. Here’s a taste of what working with us could provide;

  • Inventory management
  • Check in services
  • Right to rent checks
  • Property visits and inspections
  • Check out services
  • Dilapidation reports
  • House viewings
  • Floor plans
  • Property appraisals
  • 360 virtual photography
  • Health & Safety reports
  • Real time support

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at the No Letting Go property inventory services, London and where to find them;

 

Property Inventory West London

Looking for property management services near you? Here’s a list of our No Letting Go offices in West London:

 

No Letting Go Ealing

From 360 degree virtual photography to property appraisals, the Ealing No Letting Go branch provides professional property services to Ealing, West Ealing, Northfields, Acton, East Acton, Park Royal, Chiswick, Gunnersby, Turnham Green, Hounslow, Hanwell and Boston Manor.

Contact details:
Shelton St, London WC2H 9JQ, UK
Email: ealing@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 01322 555 128

 

No Letting Go Uxbridge

The Uxbridge office is run by John Farrell, an experienced inventory and property reporting specialist, with great local knowledge.

Their DigiSign feature enables the collection of digital signatures with automated reminders, meaning no more chasing up tenants!

Contact details:
48 Drayton Grove, London W13 0LA, UK
Email: uxbridge@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07889 996922

 

Property Inventory Services in East London

For landlords, letting agents and property professionals in the East London area, here’s where you can find our services:

 

No Letting Go Romford & Docklands

Lead up by Patur Mohan, the Romford and Docklands Inventory services cover Romford, Ilford, Dagenham and the Docklands.

Offering a professional, reliable check-in/check-out service to help safeguard your property, this branch is dedicated to helping businesses and landlords protect their investment.

Contact details:
Romford UK
Email: romford@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07544 466617

 

No Letting Go Stratford & Newnham

The No Letting Go Stratford & Newham team are headed up by Mundeep and Satinder Grewal.

Covering Stratford, Royal Docks, Gallions Reach, East Ham, Canning Town, Plaistow, Beckton and Forest Gate, the team offers everything from inventory management to Smoke and CO inspection.

Contact details:
London Borough of Newham, UK
Email: stratford@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0207 760 7569

 

Property Inventory North London

For rental properties in the North of London, we have the following branches:

 

No Letting Go Barnet

With Mitchell and Gabriella Walters at the helm, No Letting Go Barnet is committed to providing detailed reports tailored to their client’s needs. With over 7 years in the property industry, Mitchell is passionate about representing his clients out in the market.

This branch covers North London, St Johns Wood, Swiss Cottage, Hampstead, Highgate, Finchley, Barnet, Hendon, Willesden, Cricklewood, Muswell Hill, Edgeware and Borehamwood.

Contact details:
41 High St, Barnet EN5 5UW, UK
Email: barnet-enfield@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0845 139 1400 / 07761 236340 / 07811 209773

 

No Letting Go Enfield

Also run by the Mitchells, No Letting Go Enfield covers the following areas;

Enfield, East Barnet, Stoke Newington, Seven Sisters, Tottenham, Edmonton, Southgate, Welwyn Garden City, Stevenage, Winchmore Hill, South Woodford and Ilford.

Contact details:
41 High St, Barnet EN5 5UW, UK
Email: barnet-enfield@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0845 139 1400 / 07761 236340 / 07811 209773

 

No Letting Go Islington & Camden

Chris Ford has been busy building a strong, highly trained team around him at the Islington and Camden property inventory company. With over 23 years in the retail industry, Chris is dedicated to providing a high level of customer service.

This branch covers; Islington, Kings Cross, Haringey, Harringay, Hornsey, Upper Holloway, Archway, Crouch End, Camden, Highgate, Hampstead Heath, Holloway, Barnsbury, Tufnell Park, Highbury and Highbury Fields.

Contact details:
48 Weavers Way, London NW1 0XE, UK
Email: islington@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07415 087316

 

No Letting Go Walthamstow

Walthamstow property inventory services are owned and operated by Ann Ennis who has over 45 years of experience in the property industry. The team prides itself on providing a smooth service to free up time for property professionals.

This branch covers Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone.

Contact details:
Bramley Close, London E17 6EG, UK
Email: walthamstow@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07854 966621

 

Property Inventory Services South London

For landlords and letting agents looking for help managing their portfolios in South London, here’s who to turn to:

 

No Letting Go Battersea

Owned by Rafi Khan, the Battersea No Letting Go franchise pride themselves on going the extra mile for customers and will always try and accommodate last minute bookings.

Covering SW11 & SW18, the team provide wide-ranging services such as property visits and Legionella Risk Assessments.

Contact details:
12 Saint Olaves Road, London E6 2PA, UK
Email: battersea@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07863 357196

 

No Letting Go Bromley & Bexley

Andre Verazzo has worked in the housing sector for most of his life, including social housing and housing associations in London.

The Bromley and Bexley No Letting Go team are the people to go to for professional, tailor made reports.

Areas covered; Bromley, Bickley, Downham, Keston, Shortlands, Hayes, Beckenham, Eden Park, Elmers End, West Wickham, Orpington, Petts Wood, St Paul’s Cray, St Mary Cray, Chelsfield, Green St Green, Chislehurst, Swanley, Bexley, Albany Park, Sidcup and Foots Cray.

Contact details:
The Glades, Bromley, High St, Bromley, UK
Email: bromley@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07760 298698

 

No Letting Go Croydon

The Croydon property inventory services branch is run by Sean Rieder and provides detailed reports, designed to protect landlords in the event of a dispute.

Covering Croydon, South Croydon, Mitcham, Warlingham, Purley, Streatham, Norbury, Thornton heath and Furzedown.

Contact details:
Beckenham Rd, Beckenham BR3 4RL, UK
Email: croydon@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07889 634974

 

No Letting Go Fulham

Yosha Hussain leads the No Letting Go Fulham office, providing inventory services to all letting agents, property management companies, estate agents, councils, commercial letting agents, housing associations and landlords in and around the Fulham area.

Covering SW6 & W14.

Contact details:
67c Holland Road, London W14 8HL, UK
Email: fulham@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07885 727265

 

No Letting Go Greenwich

From inventory management to smoke and CO reports and installation, Shewana Zaffar is more than happy to discuss your needs as an agent or landlord at the Greenwich No Letting Go branch.

This branch covers Greenwich, Woolwich, Plumstead, Blackheath and Thamesmead.

Contact details:
Tarnwood Park, London SE9 5PA, UK
Email: greenwich@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07581 248953

 

No Letting Go Richmond

Syed and Zoofa Wasti own the Richmond No Letting Go office, providing Kingston, Richmond, Staines, Chiswick, Ealing, Surbiton, New Malden, Hounslow, Feltham, Kew, Teddington, Hampton, Worcester Park, East Molesey, Roehampton and Barnes with professional property services.

Contact details:
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, UK
Email: richmond@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 07880 343851

 

No Letting Go Southwark

Richard Seymour has a breadth of experience within the lettings industry and comes highly recommended by clients for his professional, reliable team at Southwark.

Covering Southwark, London Bridge, Shad Thames, Borough, Tower Bridge, Waterloo, The Southbank, Elephant and Castle, Old Kent Road, East Dulwich, Camberwell, Denmark Hill, Peckham, Herne Hill and Nunhead.

Contact details:
London Borough of Southwark, UK
Email: southwark@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0207 237 6666

 

No Letting Go Sutton & Merton

No Letting Go Sutton & Merton is owned & operated by Garry Lockwood. As a landlord, Garry understands the importance of a detailed inventory and takes pride in his team’s thorough, common-sense approach.

Covering Ashstead, Carshalton, Cheam, Epsom, Leatherhead, Merton, Morden, Raynes Park, Wallington, Wimbledon and surrounding areas.

Contact details:
Grove Rd, Sutton SM1 2AP, UK
Email: sutton@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0202 8234 6189 / 07905 619060

 

Property Inventory Services in Central London

And last but not least, here’s where you can find out property inventory services in and around central London.

 

No Letting Go City West End

Luke Marriott leads the No Letting Go City West End office, which offers inventory services and 360 virtual tours to all estate agents, holiday rentals and management companies.

The City West End branch covers the following areas; Victoria, Pimlico, Belgravia, Chelsea, Kensington, Mayfair, Marylebone, Whitehall, Fizrovia, Bloomsbury, Covent Garden, West End, Clerkenwell, Islington, City of London, Shoreditch and Hackney.

Contact details:
3c Great Ormond Street, London WC1N 3RA, UK
Email: citywestend@nolettinggo.co.uk
Office Tel: 0203 151 7027

 

How Can I Make My Inventory Easier?

From floor planning to mid-term inspections, No Letting Go can help you stay on top of your property portfolio, even on the go!

We use the latest Kaptur technology to provide comprehensive inventories including safety reports, fire furnishing requirements and meter readings to ensure you remain compliant with current regulations.

To discover the rest of our property services in London, visit our services page and find out how we can help.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission have recently revealed that 93% out of 8.5 million rental homes in the UK are not fit for disabled access, leaving at least 365,000 disabled people in unsuitable accommodation.

There is a pressing need for more accessible rental properties across the UK and the government is cracking down on landlords who do not make the necessary changes. However, this does mean that there is a large number of disabled tenants looking for appropriate housing.

From entry ramps to chair lifts, there are many ways to adapt a property for disabled access. Adapting a home and renting to disabled tenants could even open your property up to a wider range of potential renters.

Here, we look at ways to adapt your rental property so you can welcome a new target tenant group to your portfolio.

 

UK Rights for Disabled Tenants

Before you start thinking about adapting your property, it’s important to be aware of disabled people’s rights in the UK.

The Equality Act 2010 set out ways to protect people in society, including the rental sector.

According to the Act, a person has a disability if;

  • The person has a physical or mental impairment, and
  • This impairment has a substantial, long-term effect on their ability to carry out day-to-day activities.

Now, let’s look at your responsibilities as a property professional.

 

Laws for Private Landlords and Letting Agents

It is against the law for a landlord to discriminate against a disabled tenant. For example, as a landlord, letting or estate agent it is illegal to;

  • Refuse to rent to a disabled person because of their disability
  • Refuse to allow a guide dog or assistance dog under the no pets rule
  • Charge higher rent or deposit to disabled tenants
  • Refuse access to additional facilities that are available to other tenants (e.g. laundry room or parking space)
  • Evict a tenant due to disability or illness
  • Give tenants a less secure tenancy agreement

If a tenant feels they are being discriminated against, they could talk to Citizens advice or the EHRC and you could experience serious repercussions.

 

Landlord Responsibilities when Renting to Disabled Tenants

When renting to a disabled tenant, you are responsible for providing necessary, reasonable adaptations to make your property accessible and suitable to their individual needs. This can include additional services or equipment known as ‘auxiliary aids’.

Auxiliary aids can include;

  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Written documents and signs in Braille
  • Accessible door handles
  • Accessible taps
  • Special furnishings (e.g. raised toilet seat)

Refusing these changes could mean you’re breaking the law.

 

How to Adapt Your Property for Disabled Tenants

When renting to a disabled tenant, it’s likely you will need to make some changes to your property in order to make it accessible. These changes very much depend on the individual needs and requirements of the tenant.

Here are some of the ways you may be required to alter your rental property;

 

Installing Access Ramps

If your tenant uses a wheelchair or mobility scooter and your property has steps up to the entrance or between rooms, you may need to install access ramps at entrances.

 

Installing Chair Lifts and Railings

For multi-story homes, chair lifts and railings may be required for less able tenants. Railings may also be needed in bathrooms.

 

Fitting Accessible Kitchen and Bathroom Facilities

Wheelchair users may need lower kitchen and bathroom facilities which are accessible at chair height. Bathrooms may require a wet room and accessible toilets.

 

Widening Doors

Doors and entrance ways may need to be widened to allow for safe wheelchair access. (Usually 750mm)

 

Raised Plugs and Features

Features such as plugs and light fixtures will need to be accessible to your tenant(s).

 

Ground Floor Level Access

Some disabled tenants will require ground floor level access. You will need to provide a bathroom, bedroom and kitchen at ground level.

 

Unrestricted Parking

Your tenant may need access to a parking space which is easily accessible from the property.

 

Written Signs and Documents in Braille

Visually impaired tenants may require all tenancy documents and signs throughout the home to be provided in Braille. This includes features such as fire safety notices. Tenants with learning disabilities may ask for documents provided in alternative formats.

 

Covering the Costs of Adapting a Property

You may be thinking about the cost of these changes and how you’re going to cover them.

It’s true that some of these adaptations involve significant work, costing around £20,000 to adapt a standard property.

However, there are ways to help cover the costs;

 

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG)

Landlords and tenant alike can apply for a disabled facilities grant which provides funds for adaptations. This grant is supplied by the local council and is subject to an eligibility test where an occupational therapist will assess the property and the adaptations needed before making a decision.

The amount you receive depends on the changes needed, but sums of up to £25,000 can be granted.

To apply, contact your local council.

Remember, if you fail to make the necessary changes, it could cost you a whole lot more in legal costs if the case goes to court!

 

A Helping Hand from No Letting Go

While this information may appear daunting at first, No Letting Go are on hand to help;

  • For example, our 360 Virtual Tour and Photography service allows potential tenants to view your property from any location- solving accessibility issues for many disabled tenants.
  • Providing a safe, comfortable and accessible home is particularly important when renting to disabled tenants. All of our property services are designed to streamline your workload and ensure your property is fully compliant with current health, safety and legal regulations.
  • Once you’ve made these adaptations to your rental property, it’s important to protect your investment. Our professional inventory service helps to safeguard your property by providing evidence of the condition of your property at the start and end of the tenancy.

Discover the rest of our property management services to find out how we could help.

No Letting Go have entered the ESTAS for 2020, and now we need you to cast your votes!

The ESTAS Customer Service Awards are one of the biggest events in any property professional’s calendar. Celebrating exceptional customer service across the property sector, from estate agents to conveyancers and industry suppliers, the ESTAS help companies like ours maintain a high standard of care.

Here’s more about the awards and how you can get involved;

What are the ESTAS?

The annual ESTAS awards take place in Spring and Autumn, attracting the top players in the UK’s property and lettings industry.

The purpose of the awards programme is to celebrate excellent customer service and recognise the companies going above and beyond for their clients.

How Does it Work?

Once a company has signed up to the ESTAS programme, they are then open to receive feedback from their clients and customers.

The awards are based purely on feedback from customers, ensuring honesty and transparency in the voting process. All reviews and votes will be verified by the ESTAS group.

Once all reviews and votes are counted and compared across the other property companies in the running, the winners are celebrated at the prestigious ESTAS awards ceremony.

The ESTAS Awards Ceremony

Over 1000 guests gather for the ESTAS Estate & Letting Agent Awards in May where property TV personality, Phil Spencer presents the award.

The ESTAS conveyancer awards are held in October.

Why Should I Vote?

For landlords and property professionals, reviewing the companies you work with will help improve overall customer service in the industry.

By providing honest feedback from clients and customers, the platform encourages agencies in the property industry to constantly improve their customer care. The official ESTAS stamp means that all feedback is authorised and regulated.

At No Letting Go, keeping track of our performance only makes us want to strive for more and provide the best services for our clients.

For prospective tenants, the home moving process can be stressful and complicated without a little help from the right places. The ESTAS provide a platform for honest feedback, helping you find trusted professionals. This gives you the peace of mind you need that your chosen property professionals are up to scratch.

Why No Letting Go?

At No Letting Go, we’re dedicated to providing the best customer service for our clients and customers. Across all of our branches throughout the UK, our franchisees receive extensive training in how to deliver our services and put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

Here’s a little reminder about the services we provide;

Professional Inventory Services

We offer a professional, unbiased property inventory service to help settle disputes through effective negotiation and provide the evidence needed for end of tenancy deposit claims. Using the very latest technology and audit tracking, our reports act as your compliance manager, including relevant health and safety checks.

 

Health and Safety Reports

Health and safety reports include Smoke and C0 reports, HHSRS and Legionella risk assessment.

Mid-Term Reports and Inspections

Reports and inspections ensure tenants are meeting their contractual obligations. They also check the wear and tear of a property and assess the satisfaction of tenants.

Pre-Check Outs

Our pre-check out service ensures that tenants are aware of how the property is expected to be returned at the end of the tenancy. This helps to prevent disputes before issues arise.

Open House Viewings

We can provide and facilitate property viewings on the landlord or estate agent’s behalf.

UK Branches

We have over 65 No Letting Go offices throughout the UK lead by dedicated franchisees with excellent knowledge of the local property market.

At local level, we pride ourselves in the turnaround time of our services. We achieve better or equal returns of our reports with our service level agreement time over 98.4% of the time.

Real Time Support

We offer real-time support for landlords and property professionals via a live and online support centre to get you the help you need instantly.

Latest Property Technology

We use the latest in property inventory systems to collect, prepare, report and manage information. The Kaptur system is designed for busy property professionals, helping to streamline your workload.

Previous Awards and Recognition

We’re proud to be Lettings Supplier of the Year 2016 and Best Inventory Supplier 2009 award winners. We’re also accredited by Safe Contractor, the British Franchise Association (BFA), Property Redress Scheme (PRS) and are regulated by Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA:PropertyMark).

Supporting No Letting Go

No Letting Go have an exceptional record for reliability, quality and professionalism. We have had less than 0.001% of reports losing a dispute since we started (as reported to us) and had no reported full lost cases as a result of using the complete No Letting Go service.

But don’t just take our word for it! Head over to our website where you can find customer testimonials and a full list of our property management services.

If you’ve worked with us or used any of our services, we’d love some feedback! Vote in the ESTAS awards 2020 to get your voice heard!

Landlords and property professionals get ready!

Thanks to the introduction of the Tenant Fees Act on 1st June, you’re likely to see an influx of tenants looking to benefit from this ban on tenant fees.

Recommendations from No Letting Go have recently been featured in the Property Reporter, exploring the impact of this upcoming ban on tenant activity and how landlords and property professionals can get prepared.

Read on to find out how to prepare for the tenant fees ban with our handy quiz and guide.

What is the Tenant Fees Act 2019?

The Act sets out new rules and standards for landlords and letting agents, banning several upfront fees.

This ban includes the following:

  • Security deposits must not exceed the cost of five weeks rent
  • Holding deposits must not exceed one weeks rent (and should be refundable to the tenant)
  • The fee to change a tenancy will be capped at £50

Any breaches to these new standards could result in hefty financial penalties from the enforcement authorities, and landlords will be unable to seize possession of a property through section 21 notices until they have repaid these charges.

When is the Tenant Fee Ban Coming In?

The Tenant Fees Bill was first proposed by the government in 2017 with the aim of making renting more affordable for tenants.

The Tenant Fee Act comes into force on 1 June 2019 from which date landlords and lettings agents will no longer be allowed to charge fees as described above.

Tenant Fee Ban Update: Impact on Tenant Activity

Research from the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) identified a lull in rental activity during the first quarter of 2019 which they attribute to tenants delaying moving until this ban becomes law on 1st June.

According to Nick Lyons, No Letting Go’s CEO;

“It’s no surprise to see shrewd tenants delaying moves until after the fees ban and deposit caps are introduced on 1st June. The upfront cost of moving between rental homes can be high – particularly in London and the South East – so renters will do anything they can to keep costs down, even if that means putting their move on hold for a few months.”

The Impact on the Private Rented Sector

With potential tenants waiting to make their move, landlords and property professionals will need to prepare for a surge in activity after 1st June.

It’s likely that tenants have continued their property search over the last few months and will be ready to begin the rental process as soon as the ban is in place.

This swell in tenants could be an exciting time for landlords and property professionals, with lots of potential profits on the horizon. The better prepared you are as a landlord to take this on, the more you can benefit from this demand.

How to Prepare for the Tenant Fees Act

The first thing you can do as a landlord or property professional is to ensure you are fully aware of the details of the ban and which fees are prohibited payments.

The Tenant Fees Act Quiz

Here at No Letting Go, we’ve put together a useful quiz including all the important points you need to remember about the upcoming Act.

This short, multiple choice quiz consists of 15 questions encompassing everything from tenancy deposits to permitted payments.

Another way to stay ahead of the curve is to outsource important reporting and services to the experts.

The Importance of Professional Inventories

With deposits being capped at five weeks rent, landlords and letting agents will need to take extra precautions when it comes to protecting their rental properties.

If you own property in locations such as London or the South East, this change could make a difference to the amount of deposit you can ask tenants to pay. To compensate, having a comprehensive inventory in place can help when it comes to making deposit deductions.

No Letting Go provide independent inventory reports detailing the condition and contents of your property at the start and end of the tenancy. Using the latest software, the report contains extensive written and photographic evidence in addition to meter readings and safety compliance checks.

The benefit of investing in a professional inventory service is that an unbiased account can help prevent and resolve any conflicts that may arise.

For lettings agents, partnering with us could save time and money at what looks set to be a busy period this June. Outsourcing this administrative work will free up time to provide a personalised service to your clients.

Get Prepared with No Letting Go

To ensure you have everything in place before 1st June, it’s best to start preparing now. Once you’ve got clued up and taken our quiz, it’s time to think about streamlining your workload.

No Letting Go provides services encompassing everything from right to rent checks and house viewings to unbiased property inventory reports.

Browse our full list of services here to find out how we can help you navigate this transition.

In a rapidly changing world, the property management industry needs to keep up. With the widespread digitisation of products and services taking over almost every sector, estate agents, property professionals and landlords alike will need to stay on the pulse.

PropTech has become one of the latest buzzwords on everyone’s lips. However, this doesn’t look like a passing fad. Not only could property tech improve the property market, but it could completely transform it for the better.

With this year’s Future PropTech event coming up, we thought it was a good time to explain what PropTech is, and why as a landlord, you should embrace it.

What is PropTech?

Firstly, let’s try to define this much-used term.

PropTech, or property technology, refers to the digital transformation of the property industry. This includes innovative technology products to improve the real estate industry as a whole. From 3d printing and machine learning to big data and virtual reality, real estate technology is ramping up a gear.

So, how could PropTech benefit you as a landlord or real estate professional?

Simplifying Tenant Checks

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes for property professionals when letting a property. From tenant checks to inventory management, the list goes on.

New, smart technologies could help simplify and streamline some of these processes.

Moving potential tenant checks into the online space could be key in managing workloads. PropTech innovations can help this happen, by providing easy online systems or applications. These online systems can conduct credit checks, employment history checks and process references, all at a few clicks of a mouse.

Finding the Right Tenants

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making waves in the private rental industry and could help landlords and tenants alike find the perfect match.

By providing accurate data, smart algorithms can pair landlords with the right tenants, eliminating unsuitable partnerships and saving time.

The Badi Platform, for example, helps novice landlords rent out spare rooms safely and securely.

Smart PropTech in the Home

Smart technologies using Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are becoming increasingly popular and widespread.

Smart meters, smart security and intelligent temperature control in the home, for example are all big attractions for potential renters. To stay ahead of the competition, getting excited about these advancements could benefit you as a landlord.

We’re not saying that every tenant now expects a smart fridge that monitors its contents, but high-speed broadband could be a game changer in today’s rental market.

Handy Mobile Applications for Landlords

Mobile apps are a great way of staying on top of your portfolio. There is now a growing number of mobile apps for landlords designed to save time and make your life easier.

From tracking rent to keeping important documents safe, there’s now an app for everything! There are apps for setting key reminders such as when to update your gas safety certificate, and apps to help advertise your property to the right tenants.

For busy landlords, these organisational miracles are worth getting excited about!

Collecting Rent on Time

It’s become so prevalent now that we can barely remember our lives without it but setting up online direct debits is all thanks to these new technologies!

By setting up regular, online payments with your tenants you can feel reassured that your rent will be delivered to your bank account on time, without having to chase it up.

This process has become even quicker and easier with the development of mobile banking, meaning you can access vital information and make emergency payment transfers on the go.

These technologies are evolving all the time, so who knows how convenient rent collection could be in a few years’ time!

Streamlining Maintenance Work

For landlords with several rental properties in their portfolio, dealing with routine maintenance can feel never ending.

New PropTech technologies can take the hassle out of maintenance by providing convenient apps and systems to make requesting and performing maintenance tasks easier than ever.

For example, a tenant could report a broken boiler on an app, which could then be assessed for level of urgency, then a message could be sent to both you, the landlord, and your chosen engineer or tradesperson. Uploading photos of the repair needed also cuts out the middle step of the landlord or letting agent visiting the property to assess the issue.

360 Virtual Reality Tours

Virtual reality is becoming more prevalent everywhere we look, including within the real estate market.

Virtual tours of properties allow buyers, sellers and renters to view buildings remotely. For example, if you’re a landlord living in a different country to your rental property, a virtual tour allows you to inspect your investment without the hassle and expense of travel.

It’s also a big draw for potential tenants who are often time-poor and can help your property stand out from the crowd in an increasingly saturated market.

No Letting Go provide a nation-wide 360 virtual tour service for all types of properties with a speedy 24-hour turn around. Our tours can be embedded into any compliance report or be used in commercial sales and marketing literature. A VR tour is a great way of providing a thorough inventory for tenants or for inspecting derelict or uninhabited buildings.

Future PropTech 2019

Future PropTech 2019 is described as the world’s number one PropTech event and is a great opportunity for landlords and property professionals to discuss challenges in the industry and collaborate to find solutions.

Through a series of talks, workshops and brand showcases, this event is an easy way of keeping track of current trends and gives you the chance to network with fellow property professionals.

Stay on the Pulse with No Letting Go

Here at No Letting Go, we are dedicated to staying ahead of the latest technology in the property industry.

For our reports and inventory services, we use Kaptur, the latest in property inventory software. It’s designed by property inventory professionals to provide the most efficient way to collect, prepare, report and manage information.

If you’re a landlord or property professional looking to get ahead of the PropTech curve, we could help. We have branches across the UK providing professional, comprehensive inventory services, unbiased compliance reports and property viewings.

Browse our full range of property services here to find out how we could help.

Some believe tenants with criminal convictions are less likely to pay rent, and more likely to cause damage.

However, is it really that simple?

Should you let to tenants with a criminal record? Let’s take a closer look to help you weigh up the different factors.

 

Why Do Some Landlords Have Their Reservations?

First things first, let’s explore why some landlords have reservations about letting to certain tenants.

All private landlords are looking to safeguard their investment. This means making sure a tenant:

For this reason, many run tenant reference checks to ensure someone doesn’t have a criminal history.

However, someone with a criminal past may not necessarily be a bad tenant. This also works vice versa.

How to Find Out If a Tenant Has a Criminal Past

Asking a tenant for a basic disclosure certificate will show their criminal record. Also, certain reference checks can give you the information you’re looking for.

What to Consider When Running Criminal Record Checks

If you run a background check and discover a prospective tenant has a criminal record, there are some key factors to consider:

What Crime Was Committed?

Some crimes are far more serious than others. You should consider the severity of the offence before deciding whether to rule out a potential tenant or not.

You should also weigh up whether this crime would impact them as a tenant. If someone was caught growing cannabis in your property, for example, this is grounds to serve them with a Section 8 eviction notice.

How Many Crimes Were Committed?

Was the crime a one-off offence or multiple? This should give an indication into whether they’re a reformed character or not. An isolated incident is very different to a long rap sheet.

How Long Ago Was the Crime?

Time is also a significant factor that you should weigh up. How long ago was their crime committed?

Arrests vs. Criminal Convictions

If considering a potential tenant, you need to ensure you only look at convictions – not arrests. Being arrested for something does not make someone guilty of that crime.

Is Anyone Else at Risk?

If you’re letting a HMO, you need to make sure your other tenants won’t be at risk. This involves looking at the nature of the crime; violent offences are very different to others.

Can They Still Pay Rent?

As a landlord, your primary concern will often be to ensure your investment is secure.

Has this criminal conviction prevented them from holding down long-term employment? If so, this may impact their ability to keep up with rental payments.

This is why thorough credit checking is essential.

Is Your Rental Property at Risk?

Does the prospective tenant have a history of arson, or vandalism? This may make you think twice about whether to let to them.

Regular landlord inspections can help you ensure your property is being looked after as agreed.

 

Tips for Letting to a Tenant With a Criminal Record

If you’ve decided to proceed, here are some tips:

Landlord Insurance

Tenants with unspent criminal convictions can cause havoc for landlords, as they can make their insurance invalid.

You’re not legally required to check if your tenant has a conviction. However, many insurance providers insist you inform them if anyone with a conviction is living in the property.

Some insurance providers may refuse the tenant altogether, while others may increase your premium.

Run Thorough Checks

When it comes to a tenant with previous convictions, being thorough is key.

Don’t take any information at face value, always gather the facts for yourself. If anything seems unclear or vague, ensure you get to the bottom of it.

Meet the Tenant More Than Once

Form your own opinion of the tenant! Remember, you’re letting to a person, so building a relationship is highly important.

Meet them multiple times if possible, and decide for yourself whether you’d like to let to them.

 

To Let or Not to Let?

While many landlords have their reservations, there are some undeniable positives to letting to tenants with a criminal history:

You need to weigh up what’s right for you, considering all the factors mentioned above.

 

Need Help Safeguarding Your Property?

Regardless of who you let to, you need to ensure your property is being looked after properly.

From check in to check out, our property inventory services can help. We’ll make sure you’re compliant with safety regulations. We’ll also reduce the risk of disputes and ensure the terms of the tenancy agreement are being met! Hassle-free renting has benefits for everyone – so we’ll help you get there.

Ending a tenancy can be awkward for both tenants and property professionals. Dealing with tenancy deposit returns, outstanding rent and resolving disputes can take time and a lot of effort. So, how can tenants and landlords alike ensure the end of tenancy goes smoothly?

No Letting Go’s chief operations officer, Lisa Williamson recently joined Richard Blanco on his podcast ‘Inside Property’ to discuss the types of issues that can arise and how to resolve them through unbiased, end of tenancy services.

Lisa was joined by Suzy Hershman, head of dispute resolution at My Deposits, and Al McClenahan, the director of Justice4Tenants to get a full picture from all sides of the story.

Here is a roundup of the key insights that came out of the programme;

Start as You Mean to End

Lisa’s top tip on ending a tenancy well is to determine a clear position from the start. The way to do this is through a well thought out inventory including detailed but concise information, clear photographs and a comprehensive list of contents and condition.

Creating a tenancy format which is easy to read by both parties is essential for avoiding confusion at the end of the tenancy.

Another tip for landlords from Lisa is to ensure that tenants sign the inventory report to avoid deduction disputes during check out.

 

An Unbiased Outlook is Key

One question that arose in the podcast was whether landlords should create their own inventory reports.

While it’s completely fair for a landlord to perform their own survey, they run the risk of using emotional language which can be interpreted in different ways.

This is where an independent inventory service can resolve issues. No Letting Go inventory reports include a glossary of terms to determine the condition and cleanliness of items in the property. For example, rather than a landlord using the word ‘immaculate’ to describe a piece of furniture which could come across as biased or open to interpretation, instead ‘professionally clean’ is a clearly explained term in the NLG glossary.

Another benefit of using a professional, unbiased property inventory service is that in the case of a dispute over deposit returns, judicators can clearly understand the benchmarks.

 

Are Pre-Check Out Meetings A Good Idea?

As an active landlord himself, Richard highlighted the benefit of arranging pre-check out meetings with tenants to go over what is expected of them during the moving out process.

This all sounds well and good, but the question is, who will pay for it? Landlords and tenants may be reluctant to fork out this extra cost, but it could save money further down the line.

Alternatively, providing tenants with an end of tenancy letter detailing all the tasks that need to be completed before moving out is a great way to prevent confusion over where responsibilities lie. This can include the date and time of the key handover and what needs to be cleaned.

 

End of Tenancy Property Cleaning

As the head of dispute resolution at My Deposit, Suzie Hershman has a lot of experience dealing with the common issues affecting landlords and tenants during the checkout process.

According to Suzie, cleaning comes top of the list when it comes to end of tenancy disputes.

The resolution is simple. Start with an inventory report which plainly states the condition of the property and how it is expected to be maintained. For example, if the property has a garden, the inventory needs to clearly state that the grass needs to be cut or the paving de-weeded and power washed before leaving the property.

Other issues that can arise include whose responsibility it is for window cleaning and whether professional carpet cleaning needs to be undertaken.

The main rule of thumb for tenants, is that the property needs to be returned in the original state as at the start of the tenancy. This may involve hiring an end of tenancy cleaning service (make sure you keep the receipt as evidence) or giving the property a thorough clean yourself. Either way, ensure you leave on the last day of your tenancy confident everything looks the same as it did when you moved in!

Fair wear and tear can be a bit of a grey area when it comes to cleaning. Suzie recommends that landlords should think of the items in their property as having a lifespan. A carpet or decor has an average lifespan of 5 years, which needs to be taken into consideration during the checkout report.

 

Managing the Landlord-Tenant Relationship

According to Al from Justice4Tenants, the main reason for the breakdown of the landlord- tenant relationship at the end of a tenancy is disputes over deposit deductions.

Al attributed this to poor inventories which leave too much room for interpretation and miscommunication, which is more common when landlords create their own.

Another common reason for strained relationships is when tenants are in arrears at the end of the tenancy agreement. To minimise conflict, Al recommends that tenants are as open and communicative with their landlord about their financial difficulties to help landlords remain understanding until the issue can be resolved.

However, when landlords view their role purely from an investment perspective and ignore the human side of the relationship, this is when disputes are likely to arise. The lesson? Landlords who are more understanding and willing to negotiate are likely to have better relationships with their tenants, resulting in a smoother parting.

 

How Will the Letting Agency Fee Ban Effect End of Tenancy?

There has been much discussion over what changes the letting agency fee ban will bring to the industry. However, for now, Lisa doesn’t see much change to the way check out reports will be processed.

Currently, landlords usually pay for the inventory, and for either check-in or check-out services while the tenant pays for the other. This means there is only one cost that needs to be recuperated by landlords.

According to Lisa, most landlords and tenants can see the advantages of having these services managed by independent professionals.

 

Unbiased End of Tenancy Services from No Letting Go

To ensure the end of a tenancy goes as smoothly as possible and you retain a positive relationship throughout, using an independent property service can help resolve issues and disputes before they arise.

No Letting Go provides all the documentation needed at the start and end of a tenancy to determine how much money is deducted from the deposit. Using the latest technology, No Letting Go can advise against fair wear and tear and create reports to ensure you are fully compliant with regulations.

To see the full list of services on offer, head to the No Letting Go services page.

There tends to be a focus on the need for potential tenants to make a positive first impression to secure the best rental properties. But making a good impression is just as vital for landlords and letting agents.

To attract reliable and responsible tenants, property professionals need to demonstrate their value to establish trust and secure an agreement.

Creating a positive first impression can determine what kind of relationship you’ll have with your tenant moving forward, not to mention positioning your property as an attractive prospect for renters.

If you’re a letting agent, property professional, or landlord, we’ve got some friendly guidance on how to give a good first impression to tenants and establish trust from the get-go.

What are Tenants Looking for in a Landlord or Letting Agent?

To make the right impression, it’s helpful to think about what a tenant wants from the person or company managing their rental property.

Top of the list are reliability, honesty and being easily reachable. Whether it’s at the first viewing, at the lettings or estate agency office or the first meeting between tenant and landlord, follow these tips to make a great first impression:

Be on Time

An obvious point to start with. Tenants want to know the person managing their home is reliable and can be depended upon in an emergency. Being late to the first meeting already puts you on the back foot.

If the first meeting is an initial house viewing, it’s worth getting there a few minutes early to ensure everything is in place and the property is looking its best.

Dress Appropriately

Giving an overall impression of professionalism goes a long way in securing a tenancy agreement.

One simple way of achieving this is to dress in business-casual attire.

Know Your Stuff

As the main point of contact for tenants, you need to demonstrate knowledge about the property and local area to build trust. Before the first meeting, make sure you’ve got all the answers to potential questions to hand.

Common questions that might be asked by potential tenants include;

  • Who are the current utility providers?
  • What is the council tax band for this area?
  • What day are the bins and recycling collected?
  • Where is the fuse box?
  • What are the neighbours like?
  • What is the local area like?

Being able to answer these questions thoroughly and confidently will help to build a positive impression and demonstrate your experience and professionalism.

 

Friendly and Professional Body Language

A good landlord

Body language is key to making a good impression in any situation. From job interviews to meeting people for the first time, facial expressions and gestures really count.

Shake your prospective tenants’ hand while maintaining eye contact, smile, and try to display confident body language to really impress.

Stay in Contact with the Neighbours

Being in the position to introduce prospective tenants to the neighbours, or simply tell them who they will be living next door to, can go a long way in demonstrating your dedication to property management.

What are Tenants Looking for in a Property?

In addition to the way you present yourself, the way you present your rental property also has a huge impact on tenant’s initial impression. Here’s how to show your property in the best light:

Market Your Property Right

Most rental property marketing happens online these days. Be sure to regularly check and update any channels your property is advertised on to keep up a positive impression for renters.

A picture really can tell a thousand words and people expect to see clear, professional images when browsing for properties online. Any property with minimal or bad quality images will likely be dismissed instantly.

Include lots of pictures of all parts of the property and try to take them on a sunny day to show off your property in the best light.

If you’re a busy landlord or property professional, ensure your property looks the part online with a professional property appraisal. This service includes high quality photos and a record of essential details for marketing purposes, all uploaded directly to your platform. The easy route to impressing potential tenants!

Managing feedback is also important. Always reply to any complaints or queries online so that potential tenants know you are reliable and quick to respond.

Outward Appearances Matter

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, but in reality, first appearances are important.

Make sure the exterior of your property is up to scratch. An overgrown front lawn, overflowing bins and scratched paint are likely to put people off before they’ve even stepped through the door.

Make Sure the Interior Lives Up to the Dream

When showing a prospective tenant around a property for the first time, they’re trying to imagine themselves living there.

Make sure everything is clean and tidy with minimal clutter to give the tenants as much of a blank canvas as possible to project their own visions for the future.

Consider A Moving In Gift

Whether it’s a simple, handwritten welcome card or a bunch of flowers. Providing a small gift is an easy way to demonstrate that you’re a thoughtful landlord or letting agent.

If you’re an agency managing several properties or a landlord with a large portfolio this may not be feasible. For smaller landlords however, it could be a well-received gesture that goes a long way in developing a positive ongoing relationship.

You need to assess whether a gift is appropriate from case to case. At the very least, provide an information folder with essential details about the property such as relevant contact numbers and rubbish collection days.

Ensure All Health and Safety Checks are in Place

If you can demonstrate that you are up to date with gas safety checks and Co2 regulations, your tenant will know you take your role seriously.

For landlords, demonstrating your responsibilities are being fulfilled puts tenant’s minds at ease. For example, landlords must ensure that smoke alarms are tested and working on every floor of a property. No Letting Go provide comprehensive reports which include a smoke and carbon monoxide safety section that will guarantee you meet all the requirements.

Tenants in the know will expect to see evidence and a thorough report will quell any potential reservations.

Invest in a Professional Property Inventory

Providing your tenant with a comprehensive, photographic inventory report sends the message that you don’t take shortcuts.

No Letting Go is the first choice for all types of property reporting for landlords and letting agents alike. To find out how we can help to position you as a first choice for tenants, browse the rest of the property management services on offer here.

International Women’s Day is held on the 8th March each year with the aim of re-addressing gender imbalances and recognising the achievements of women across the globe.

With International Women’s Day campaigns kicking off this week, what better time to celebrate some of the most successful female franchisees in the No Letting Go network?

Many of our successful No Letting Go branches across the UK are run by women. We spoke to some of these flourishing branch owners to get their insights into their experiences as women in the property industry.

Celebrating the achievements of women in property and lettings, we’re turning the spotlight onto No Letting Go’s most successful female franchisees.

International Women’s Day History

Before we dive in, here’s a brief history of the development of the day.

The International Women’s Day movement is growing from strength to strength each year.

The movement took its first steps back in 1909 in the US with the first National Woman’s Day, inspired by working women’s protests against poor conditions in the garment industry.

The first International Women’s day took place in 1911 and was celebrated by over a million women and men demanding women’s right to vote, to hold public office and to end discrimination at work.

It was 1975 when the United Nations implemented a recognised International Women’s Day to be marked on the 8th March each year. The International Women’s Day 2019 theme is all about “balance for better”. The idea behind this slogan is to foster a more equal gender balance around the world.

Women in Property

With the recent focus in the media on the gender pay gap, it was revealed that women working for estate agents and consultancies can earn up to 58% less than their male counterparts. These pay gap figures are above the national average, indicating that something needs to be done to ensure more women are filling senior roles.

According to the National Association of Estate Agents, 3 in 4 salespeople are men, however lettings is a more female dominated sector.

Thankfully, businesses are beginning to introduce flexible working and put more effort into re-balancing their hiring processes. The Bisnow property site’s ‘51 most influential women in UK real estate’ also points to women making waves in the industry.

No Letting Go is proud to champion successful women in property. We interviewed some of the most successful female No Letting Go franchise owners for their perspective on the industry;

Rachel Farr, No Letting Go Bath

Rachel purchased the No Letting Go Bath franchise in 2014, and by 2016, was already delivering 200 property reports every month.

Rachel and the rest of the Bath team have a reputation in the area for reliability, quality and excellent customer service.

How did you get into the property business?

‘I started working as a property/refurbishment manager doing up buy to lets for clients living and working abroad. I was in procurement and marketing for many years before moving into property’.

What do you consider to be the greatest success in your property career?

‘Growing and managing a business whilst having two small children and through two pregnancies.’

What do you attribute this success to?

‘A great business partner and building good client relationships.’

Do you have any female career role models?

‘Anyone who is a working mum and who manages to juggle everyday life and run a successful business in any industry.’

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

‘A good work-life balance, no day is the same and I get to meet new people’.

What are your future career plans?

‘To build and grow the business we have by taking on more employees to offer a greater range of services.’

Rachel’s impressive list of accolades include; No letting Go Best Regional Office, Busiest Office, Customer Service, Franchisee of the Year and a nomination for the Woman Franchisee 2017 EWIF awards.

Alison Hardy, No Letting Go Swindon

Alison Hardy became a No Letting Go franchise owner along with her husband over eight years ago. Since then, the pair have been busy winning their own clients and building their business in the Swindon area.

What has been the biggest success of your property career?

‘Winning all our own clients, having one of the lowest percentages of national contract work, and winning marketing and customers service awards from No Letting Go.’

Alison attributes this success to; ‘immense pride in the No Letting Go brand, a lot of flexibility, adaptability, resilience and hard work’.

What has been the greatest challenge?

‘Getting into agents that use local competition or do the work themselves and maintaining motivation with lower paid national contract work which is driven by volume sales across the whole network of offices.’

Have you ever felt any advantages or disadvantages to being a woman in the property industry?

‘None whatsoever. Especially compared to previous career roles in large organisations.’

Do you have any female career role models?

‘I have had many over the years and like to think that I have used the experience of working with such positive role models to empower me to be a little bit of each of them… and at least the best I can be!’

Do you think there is an equal gender balance in the industry?

‘Yes. But in relation to the structure/ranks they sit in is a very different answer. But that is an observation of the Lettings Industry as a whole and in no way a reflection of our franchise business which, of course, is equal as we [Alison and her husband] are joint business partners.’

What do you think needs to change in the property industry?

‘Greater understanding from the government, more mandatory regulation, compliance standards and best practice that brands like NLG can deliver on. These expectations would improve the recognition of what we do and it’s key relevance in the process for agents, landlords and tenants alike.’

What is your favourite thing about your job?

‘Being responsible for generating our own workload, a portfolio of clients and building something ourselves (albeit with the backing of a proven brand identity). Also, the sheer diversity of properties we attend. We can be in a rambling country farmhouse with outbuildings and paddocks and then on through some gorgeous countryside to a swanky penthouse or urban apartment in the same few hours. No two days are ever the same which is exactly the same when it comes to our agent clients, landlords and tenants so it’s a great mix for the property mad and if you are a people person all rolled into one!’

Has the property industry changed since you started?

‘Yes. More people want to rent, more agents want to do things properly, everyone wants contractors to do things for as little as possible. The government is trying to bring in changes that are causing increases in rent and lack of affordability on a monthly basis rather than via fees charged in the first place.’

Alison and her husband are currently in the second stint of a five-year franchisee renewal cycle and are considering their options for the future.

Virginia Chrapowski, No Letting Go Edinburgh

Virginia became the owner of the No Letting Go Edinburgh branch along with her husband when looking for a way to escape her busy job and make a living in preparation for their retirement.

After a tricky first year, the business is moving in the right direction and seeing some great successes.

How did you get into the property industry?

‘Myself and my husband both wanted to leave our previous roles and work for ourselves. I previously worked in the Scottish ambulance service as a paramedic which was a very physical job, requiring me to work night shifts. The No Letting Go franchise opportunity was something we could both do together. We visited the Aberdeen franchise show, did lots of investigative work and eventually decided on No Letting Go due to lower start up costs and great support.’

What has been the biggest success of your property career?

‘We did well last year. Every time we win a new account we celebrate with a bottle of bubbly!’

What has been the greatest challenge?

‘Learning to run a business and keeping accounts as this was a big career change. Our next big challenge will come in May when all the students leave and we have to manage hundreds of properties in less than two weeks. Interviewing and taking on part-time clerks has been another challenge, although I have previous teaching experience which made this easier.’

Have you ever felt any advantages or disadvantages to being a woman in the property industry?

‘No, not particularly. Especially compared to previous roles I’ve had where I worked in a more archaic, masculine environment.’

Do you think there is an equal gender balance in the industry?

‘I’m not sure about the industry as a whole, but I seem to work with more women agents.’

Do you have any female career role models?

‘My family has a very strong work ethic. My daughter is very hard working, that’s just how we were brought up, I hope I’ve passed that onto my children.’

What is your favourite thing about your job?

‘I like the admin side of working in the office, something I wish I had more time to do!’

Virginia and her husband have no plans to throw in the towel for the foreseeable future, aiming to keep building the business until they reach the age of 70 (at least).

Claire Parfitt, No Letting Go Portsmouth

Claire Parfitt of No Letting Go, Portsmouth purchased a No Letting Go franchise with her husband in 2017.

How did you get into the property industry?

‘After graduating I moved to London and worked in the recruitment sector for a while before taking a job as an inventory clerk for a large estate agent. After a few years my husband and I moved from London to Hampshire and I continued to work as an inventory clerk but in house for a local estate agent and then self-employed, working for a few small inventory companies. My children were young at the time and I worked part time to fit in with their needs.’

What do you attribute your success to?

‘I had 13 previous years’ experience in the industry and a good local knowledge having worked for local agents. I also worked for the previous owners of the franchise for 3 years prior to us taking over. My experience has been combined with my husband’s experience outside of the industry.’

What has been your greatest challenge at work?

‘Currently the greatest challenge is recruiting and training suitable staff’.

Have you noticed any advantages or disadvantages of being a woman in the property industry?

‘Having children can impact the job roles a woman may consider as not all roles are easily adaptable to family life.’

Do you think there is an equal gender balance in the industry?

‘Yes, generally, although working part time around family life may affect sales target roles within the industry.’

What’s your favourite thing about your job?

‘Being my own boss.’

Has the property industry changed since you started?

‘When the tenancy deposit scheme was introduced in 2007 it meant that more landlords were using proper inventory companies to complete their inventories which increased business. The increase in online estate agents has changed the dynamic of the industry and high street agents are having to adapt to compete.’

A Franchise with No Letting Go

From the successful female franchisees we spoke to, juggling work and family life was the main issue faced by women. However, each franchise owner asserted that they felt little to no disadvantage to being a woman in the industry with No Letting Go.

Is a franchise for you?

Franchising allows you to hit the ground running by offering tailored training and support. You don’t need any previous industry experience as No Letting Go provide everything you need to get started, as well as the backing of a well-established and trusted brand.

If you’re interested in joining the No Letting Go franchise network, request an information pack or call back to find out more.

There’s been lots of talk over the last few years around the possibility of abolishing letting agent management fees. Now, it seems, it’s come to fruition. On the 12th February, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 was passed and became law.

While good news for tenants, for lettings agents and landlords, this change requires careful planning. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, it’s helpful to have all of the facts.

That’s why we’ve rounded up all the information about the new letting agent fees ban and what it means for landlords, letting agents, property professionals and tenants.

What are Letting Agent Fees For?

Up until now, letting agents have been legally permitted to charge fees for admin, tenant reference checks and other costs.

The responsibilities of letting agents include sourcing tenants, collecting rent, and acting as a means of communication between tenants and landlords.

Typical letting agent fees for tenants should be around £200 to £300 per tenancy, however some groups argue that this figure has been greatly increased by some rogue agencies. For tenants paying higher costs, this ban comes as welcome relief. However, lettings agents who charge reasonable and necessary fees may think otherwise.

The Government Proposal

The effort to get letting agent fees abolished was driven by the government’s aim to make renting more stable for tenants. With 4.5 million households in England now renting, this market is growing rapidly.

While they accepted that many letting agents provide a legitimate and valuable service, the issue of varying admin fees from agency to agency needed to be addressed.

According to the government, banning agency fees will result in greater transparency for tenants, make moving more affordable and allow landlords to ‘shop around’ to find the best letting agent.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019

The proposal to ban letting fees has been in process for a number of years.

The ball started rolling in April 2017, when the government opened up a dialogue to work on the details of the ban. The aims of the ban were to make renting ‘fairer and easier’ for tenants by making costs more transparent and to improve competition in the rental market. This consultation received responses from tenants (50%), lettings agents (32%), landlords (10%) and other stakeholders (8%).

The Tenant Fees Bill draft was then announced in June during the Queen’s speech at the opening of parliament.

In May 2018, housing secretary James Brokenshire MP introduced the bill to parliament, which then passed through the House of Commons in September.

January of this year saw the ban being passed in parliament which was then cemented as law on the 12th of February as the Tenant Fees Act 2019.

What is the Tenant Fee Ban?

The act sets out the new rules and standards for the ban on letting fees;

  • Security deposits cannot be more than the cost of five weeks of rent payments. (Unless rent exceeds £500,000 when it’s capped at six weeks)
  • The ban includes capping holding deposits to one weeks rent and making them refundable to the tenant
  • The fee to change a tenancy will be capped at £50
  • If a landlord or letting agent breaches the requirements, a fine of £5000 is payable in the first instance. If a similar offence has been committed within the last five years, it could be deemed a criminal offence. Prosecution or fines of up to £30,000 could be issued
  • The ban will be enforced by Trading Standards who will help tenants recover funds that were unlawfully charged
  • Landlords will be unable to seize possession of property via Section 21 until they have repaid any unlawful charges
  • Letting agent fee transparency should be extended to property sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove

What Can Landlords and Letting Agents Charge Under the New Act?

Under the new act, property agents will only be permitted to charge for the following;

  • Rent
  • Deposits
  • Early termination of a tenancy at the tenant’s request. This means the costs to the landlord or letting agent to find tenants will be covered
  • Council tax, utilities and communication services
  • Payment of damages in the case of breached agreements
  • Late rent payment
  • Replacing keys etc.

Can Letting Agents Still Charge Fees?

Currently, yes. The ban only comes into play on the 1st June 2019. Until the letting agent fees ban date, this practice is still legal.

However, if you’re a landlord or letting agent you might want to start thinking about this change and what plans to put in place.

The Impact of the Ban on Landlords and Agents

One issue that is being raised regarding the ban is the possible impact on landlords. Some are arguing that the ban will result in charges being passed on from letting agents to landlords.

This, they argue, is counterproductive as it means landlords may be forced to raise monthly rent collections in order to make up costs.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) for example, are against the ban and believe that instead of an outright abolishment, fees should be ‘open, transparent and reasonable’. In response to the Government ban, ARLA recommend that upfront fees should be banned, but letting agents should be allowed to spread these costs across the tenancy.

They believe that a blanket ban would ‘put additional pressures on landlords, with fewer tenant checks and a lower quality of service’ and that ‘spreading the cost of these services will allow letting agents to retain current service levels to tenants’.

The Impact on Inventory Management

One suggested outcome of the ban is that letting agents will start to take inventory services ‘in-house’. A guide has been created by TDS, Propertymark and the Association of Independant Inventory Clerks (AIIC) to provide information on avoiding disputes regarding poorly executed inventories and deposit deductions.

Speaking on the report, the AIIC encouraged unbiased, comprehensive reports to protect all parties involved. Similarly, Propertymark highlighted the importance of a thorough inventory and the need for an ‘evidence-based approach’ to protect investments for both landlords and tenants.

Be Prepared with No Letting Go

Whichever stance you take, it‘s best to prepare for the changes early.

If you’re a landlord or letting agent looking to get ahead and prepare for the changes, No Letting Go can help.

We offer reliable, professional property management services to help you stay on top of your responsibilities and protect your investment. From property inventory reports to appraisals and tenant checks, No Letting Go helps protect your property for the long term.

Browse our full range of services here to see how we can help.