If you’re weighing up the pros and cons of providing a furnished or partly furnished property for prospective tenants, you’ve come to the right place.

Letting a furnished property has plenty of benefits, including quality tenants and longer tenancies. However, furnishing your property can get expensive and cause issues down the line if not done properly.

Here, we discuss how to furnish a rental property with tips and tricks on making the most of your portfolio.

 

What’s the Difference Between Fully Furnished and Partly Furnished?

Let’s clear this up before we get started.

 

Furnished

Usually, a furnished property will come with essential electrical appliances, white goods and basic furniture. In short, everything a tenant needs to move in straight away.

 

Partly Furnished

A partly furnished property will only include white goods, lighting and essentials such as curtains and kitchen cabinets. It may also include some other furniture items at the discretion of the landlord or letting agent.

 

Unfurnished

An unfurnished property will come with only the very basics- light fittings, carpets and essential appliances such as an oven.

 

Should you Furnish Your Rental Property?

Furnished or unfurnished? It’s a tricky question. While renting unfurnished properties may seem like the easy option, providing a furnished property comes with attractive benefits;

 

You Can Charge Higher Rent

A well-furnished property may affect the amount of rent you can charge.

With a lack of quality, furnished properties on the rental market, tenants searching for a ready-made home are prepared to pay a little more for the convenience.

Good quality furnishings that make your property look welcoming will attract tenants and help your property stand out.

 

Attract the Right Tenants

A well-furnished property will attract a wider pool of renters, allowing you to pick and choose to find the right tenant for you– whatever that might look like.

 

Secure Longer Tenancies

A home that feels well cared for and inviting will encourage tenants to stay longer term.

 

Who is Your Target Tenant?

The tenant group you’re targeting should be the biggest consideration when deciding whether to furnish your property. Well established families or older professionals are likely to have their own furniture they want to bring with them.

Whereas students or young professionals may be looking for convenience and a place they can move in straight away.

 

What Does a Landlord Have to Provide in a Furnished Flat?

When providing tenants with a furnished home, there are certain items they will expect to be included;

 

What to Include

A furnished property should include;

  • White goods (oven, washing machine, fridge freezer etc.)
  • Dining table and chairs
  • Beds
  • Sofas and chairs
  • Wardrobes, chest of drawers and cupboards
  • Light fittings
  • Curtains
  • Carpets

 

What Not to Include

However, there are a few items landlords are not expected to provide;

  • Bed linen, duvets and pillows
  • Cleaning supplies

 

Furnishing a Buy to Let Property: Top Tips

To make things easier for yourself at the end of the tenancy agreement, we have some tips and advice on how to furnish your rental property;

 

Choose Easy to Clean Furniture

Wear and tear is inevitable, but to keep your property in good condition, easy to clean appliances will encourage your tenants to keep things well maintained.

 

Avoid Decorations

When it comes to personal taste, we’re all different. Let your tenants choose the little details so they can feel at home. Similarly- neutral colours work best.

 

Choose Easy to Replace Items

This way, if things get broken, they can be replaced with a ‘like for like’ item without too much bother.

 

Replace Furnishings as Needed

Old, stained carpets will do nothing for your properties appeal. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme recommends replacing most items of furniture after 7 years.

 

Provide Basic Tools

Providing basic tools will encourage tenants to take care of minor issues themselves, taking one more thing off your plate.

 

Follow Safety Regulations

As a responsible landlord, you need to follow fire safety laws when it comes to soft furnishings.

 

Choosing the Right Furnishings

Let’s take a closer look at some of the types of furniture to include in your rental property, room by room.

Image of blue sofa in front of white brick wall

Living Room Furniture

Basics to include:

  • Sofa(s) or armchairs
  • Coffee table
  • Bookcase
  • Carpet
  • Lights

 

Best Sofas for Rental Properties

Here’s a few of our top picks of the best sofas to buy for your rental property:

The Budget 2-Seater

This modern 2-seater sofa in a neutral grey will work well in slick apartments for young professionals and is pretty easy on the budget too!

The Classic Sofa Bed

A sofa bed is a big plus among tenants, and this one is great value for money. This simple, classic style will work well in most interiors and families will love the extra storage space.

The Quality 3-Seater

If you’re trying to attract professionals willing to pay high prices for the right home, a quality sofa is essential. This one comes from an esteemed brand and the elegant style will have mass appeal.

 

Kitchen/Dining Room Furniture

Basics to include:

  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Essential appliances (oven, washing machine, fridge freezer, toaster, kettle etc.)
  • Table and chairs

 

Best Dining Tables for Rental Properties

A dining table is the hub of any home and getting the right one is important.

The Space Saving Solution

This handy piece of furniture features built in storage and a fold-out table design. Perfect when letting properties with small kitchens.

The Extendable Table

The simple, modern design of this table will fit neatly into any interior, and the extendable section can accommodate extra guests. It’s also budget-friendly!

 

Bedroom Furniture

Basics to include:

  • Bed
  • Mattress
  • Wardrobe
  • Chest of drawers
  • Bedside table
  • Carpet
  • Lighting

 

Best Mattress for Rental Properties

A mattress is perhaps the most important piece of furniture for your rental property. A considerate investment, you need it to be durable and long lasting. Here’s our top picks;

The Affordable Memory Foam Mattress

This mattress from the Memory Foam Warehouse makes quality memory foam affordable. Starting at under £100, you’re unlikely to find anything cheaper.

The Bed-in-a-Box Mattress

Buying a mattress for your rental property is only half the battle. The next job is delivery. Opting for a bed in a box mattress means the mattress can be delivered straight to the property in a convenient sized box.

The Mattress Topper

Once you’ve invested in a mattress, it makes sense to protect it. A mattress topper can prolong the life of a mattress and guard against stains to keep it looking fresh at the end of the tenancy. This memory foam mattress topper is a cheap but comfortable option.

 

Protecting Your Furnished Rental Property: Inventory Management

Once you’ve gone to the effort of furnishing your rental property, you need to ensure it’s protected.

The easiest way to do this is by investing in a comprehensive inventory report delivered by unbiased professionals. A property inventory helps guard your property and its contents against damage by providing full details of its condition at the start and end of a tenancy.

At No Letting Go, we provide landlords and property professionals with comprehensive services and reports to protect their investment and streamline processes. Browse our full list of inventory management services to find out how we can help.

If you’re a landlord looking for a trusted letting agent in London, we might be able to help. We understand the importance of leaving your investment in safe hands and work with a wide range of property specialists in London and across the UK.

No Letting Go help letting agents and property businesses streamline their inventory management processes and provide essential reports. Thanks to this, we know a thing or two about finding the right partner for you and your property needs.

We’ve listed some of the best letting agents, London to help you find a reputable agency in your local area.

 

Letting Agents: North London

Let’s start with lettings and estate agents in the North London area. The following agencies have either been recommended by trusted sources or are businesses we currently work with.

 

Davies & Davies

This well-established independent letting agent has been running since 1927, managing sales and lettings from Finsbury park.

Voted as the 7th best Letting agent in the UK by the Best Estate Agent Guide 2019, Davies & Davies pride themselves on their bespoke level of service and their socially responsible attitude towards the local community. If you’re looking for a collaborative partner, this award- winning agency could be for you.

Best for: Slick, creative marketing campaigns

Contact information
info@daviesdavies.co.uk
Finsbury Park Office, 85 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EG

 

Oliver’s Town

Another long-running agency, Oliver’s Town Lettings have been around since 1988 and cover a wide area from Camden to Hampstead.

The agency deals with buying, renting, letting and selling for landlord and tenants and have excellent knowledge of the areas they work in.

Best for: Approachable customer service

Contact information
hello@oliverstown.com
Offices in Primrose Hill, Kentish Town, Hampstead and Mayfair

 

Parkheath Lettings

Parkheath is a well-established lettings agent in North West London with a business philosophy of ‘sold on service’. The results speak for themselves, with 99% of sales and lettings clients happy to work with them again in the future.

Looking after properties located in areas around Belsize and Tufnell park, Parkheath lettings agent offer excellent knowledge of the property market and a reliable service.

Best for: Professional customer service

Contact information
Offices in West Hampstead, South Hampstead, Belsize Park, Kentish Town and Kendall Rise.

 

Matthew James

Serving the areas around Dartmouth Park, Kentish Town and Tufnell Park, Matthew James estate agents are an independent company specialising in lettings and sales.

With customers describing them as ‘efficient’, ‘friendly’ and ‘honest’, your rental property will be in safe hands. They even have area guides on their website to help prospective landlords and tenants get to know the different areas they operate in.

Best for: Friendly team of staff

Contact information
43-45 Fortess Rd, Kentish Town, London NW5 1AD

 

PG Estates

If you’re looking for sales and lettings experts in Islington, Highbury, Barnsbury, Shoreditch, Dalston, Hoxton, Haggerston and the City, PG Estates are a good bet.

Dedicated to establishing long term relationships with their clients, this agency has a wide range of property types on its books. They can even help you with short Airbnb lets!

Best for: Variety of services

Contact Information
islington@pgestates.com
350 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0PD

spitalfields@pgestates.com
66 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6RL

 

Your Move Sterling & Co – Walthamstow

Centrally based in Walthamstow, Your Move Sterling & Co is the place to go for friendly and professional lettings services in the area.

As a landlord, when you let a property through Your Move Sterling & Co, you gain access to the landlord portal for quick and easy communication.

Serving Walthamstow, Leyton, Leytonstone and Chingford in North East London.

Best for: Convenient communications

Contact Information
Email directly on the Your Move Sterling & Co website

 

From health and safety reports to property viewings, our franchises across North London all put the same level of dedication into their client services. No Letting Go Walthamstow property inventory services are owned and operated by Ann Ennis who has over 45 years of experience in the industry. Get in touch to find out how they could help.

 

East London Letting Agents

Now let’s turn our attention to the best letting agents in and around East London;

 

Martin & Co – Wanstead

Head up by local landlord, Mike Molloy, the Wanstead branch of Martin & Co provides a wealth of information on the surrounding area and property market.

With first hand experience of the private rental sector, Molloy understands the needs of landlords and tenants, providing an honest and intuitive service to clients.

The Wanstead branch manages property across Wanstead, East London and West Essex.

Best for: Landlords

Contact information
74 High Street, Wanstead, London, Greater London, E11 2RN

 

Dabora Conway – South Woodford and Winchmore Hill

The experienced team at Dabora Conway lettings and estate agents put customer satisfaction at the heart of everything they do.

As a member of NALS (The National Approved Letting Scheme), this growing business is committed to providing quality, tailored services.

With glowing customer testimonials and a professional team of staff, Dabora Conway is a great choice for lettings in the Wanstead, South Woodford and Winchmore Hill areas.

Best for: Customer commitment

Contact information
enquiries@daboraconway.com
Wanstead Head Office, 9 High Street, Wanstead, London, E11 2AA

 

David Daniels

Winning gold in the property agency of the year awards 2018 for Stratford in the AllAgents Annual Awards, David Daniels is a trusted agency in the East London area.

Serving Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Barking & Dagenham and Havering, David Daniels is a member of ARLA Propertymark, NAEA Propertymark and the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS).

Combining highly qualified staff with a close attention to detail and local knowledge, this agency provides a comprehensive service for landlords.

Best for: Recognition in the property sector

Contact Information
info@david-daniels.co.uk
Offices in Leyton and Stratford

 

Looking to save time on property management? If you operate in the East London area, our No Letting Go branches in Stratford & Newnham and Romford & Docklands provide landlords and property professionals with unbiased, professional services to help safeguard your investment.

 

Letting Agents: South London

If you’re a landlord looking for letting agents in the South London area, add the following businesses to your list;

 

C James & Co

For lettings in Wimbledon, Tooting, Colliers Wood and surrounding areas, C James & Co is committed to providing their customers with the latest innovations in Proptech.

C James & Co have dedicated teams of staff handling accounts, contracts and maintenance, ensuring each member is experienced and dedicated to their field.

As a member of ARLA, the agency stays on top of current regulations to protect landlords and their investments.

Best for: Dedicated network of staff

Contact Information
wm-lettings@cjames.co.uk
141 Kingston Road, Merton Park, London SW19 1LJ

tt-lettings@cjames.co.uk
110 Tooting High Street, Tooting, London, SW17 ORR

cw-sales@cjames.co.uk
190-192 High Street, Colliers Wood, London, SW19

 

SW19

As the name suggests, this independent estate agent has an extensive knowledge of their local area postcode. Their slogan ‘It’s all in the postcode’ reflects their passion for the Wimbledon area and local communities within it.

Offering zero deposit schemes and experienced staff, SW19 guarantees speedy rental processes and security for landlords.

Best for: Local area knowledge

Contact Information
sales@sw19.com
Offices in Wimbledon, South Wimbledon and Colliers Wood

 

Ellisons

With an outstanding local reputation and a straightforward ethos, Ellisons are a registered office approved by The Office of Fair Trading, The Estate Agency Ombudsman Scheme and ARLA.

With thousands of let properties in their portfolio, they are experienced at providing hassle-free transactions. They even offer free rental guarantee insurance to newly appointed lets.

Ellisons letting agents serve Wimbledon, Morden, Raynes Park, West Wimbledon, Motspur Park, Colliers Wood and Merton Park.

Best for: Fuss-free service

Contact Information
Individual office contact details are available on the website

 

From No Letting Go Battersea to No Letting Go Croydon, our branches across South London understand the importance of an unbiased, detailed property inventory. Interested? Contact the team to discuss your requirements.

 

Letting Agents: West London

Here’s our pick of west London lettings agents;

 

Ludlow Thompson- Kilburn

With fantastic reviews on AllAgents, the Kilburn branch of Ludlow Thompson is one to look out for.

Described as professional, helpful and communicative, this lettings agency covers extensive areas across Kilburn, West Hampstead and other West London areas.

All staff at Ludlow Thompson have undertaken industry qualifications to ensure professional property management at all times.

Best for: Customer satisfaction

Contact information
kilburnlet@ludlowthompson.com

 

We work with a number of lettings agents in West London, helping them to deliver inventories and organise property inspections.

Keen to be part of our extensive network? No Letting Go Ealing offers 360 degree virtual photography and property appraisals in Ealing and surrounding areas.

For landlords in the Uxbridge area, John Farrell leads the No Letting Go Uxbridge branch, delivering results through extensive local knowledge and the latest in property technology.

 

What We Offer

We offer a lot more than just property inventory services. Here are some of our other services at a glance;

  • Check in/check out services
  • Right to rent checks
  • Property visits & inspections
  • Dilapidation reports
  • House viewings
  • Floor plans
  • Property appraisals
  • 360 virtual photography
  • Health & Safety reports

 

Find Your No Letting Go London Branch

Gaining access to the lettings and inventory services you need should be simple and fast. We provide lettings agents and landlords with a wide range of property services to save you time and ensure your compliance with the latest regulations.

Find your local London No Letting Go office here.

From comprehensive inventories to check in/check out services, our teams are experienced at providing professional, fuss-free solutions.

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

Mould. The scourge of the rental property market. No matter how much effort you put into ventilating a property and keeping things dry, it somehow seems to find its way back again and again.

But whose responsibility is it to deal with mould in a rental property? And are tenants able to demand rent reductions for lingering mould?

We’re exploring this common problem to help landlords and tenants alike come to a happy solution. From prevention to deposit deductions, let’s look at landlords mould responsibility to get to the bottom of who is culpable and prevent disputes before they arise.

 

What is Damp and Mould?

Before we delve into who is responsible for dealing with mould in rented properties, let’s look at the different types of mould and its causes.

Rising Damp

Rising damp is the name given to the process of water rising up and into a building from the ground through bricks and mortar. All houses should have a layer of waterproof material called a ‘damp proof’ to prevent rising damp. However, when this fails, problems occur.

If this issue isn’t solved promptly, it can lead to mould forming that’s difficult to remove for good.

Penetrating Damp

Penetrating damp is caused by leaks that allow water into the property, causing surface mould growth. These leaks could come from broken roof tiles, blocked guttering or faulty plumbing.

The main thing to remember about penetrating damp is that it comes from outside the property and is usually a structural issue.

Condensation

Condensation happens when moisture in the air comes into contact with cold surfaces, leading to water droplets and mould growth. If a building is poorly insulated or the ventilation or heating system is faulty, then the condensation is considered a structural issue. However, condensation can also be caused by tenant’s lifestyle habits.

 

The Health Risks of Living with Mould

The Housing Health and Safety Rating (HHSR) dictates that damp is an essential repair as it can cause health issues for tenants.

Mould is a fungus which can trigger or exacerbate the following health problems;

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin rashes
  • Asthma attacks

Not only is mould detrimental to physical health, it can also have an impact on tenant’s sense of wellbeing. This is why it’s so important for landlords to deal with mould swiftly and efficiently.

 

Is Mould the Landlord’s Responsibility?

With regards to mould, when fingers are pointed, things can get complicated.

Legally, rising damp or penetrative damp caused by structural leakage is the landlord’s responsibility to put right. Under section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, it is the landlord’s responsibility to resolve mould issues caused by structural faults.

However, when interior condensation is caused by the tenant, this shifts the responsibility.

Condensation can be caused by;

  • Drying clothes indoors
  • Showering and not opening the window
  • Cooking without opening the window
  • Not heating the property sufficiently

Determining whether mould in a property is due to the tenant’s lifestyle habits or the poor ventilation of the property can be tricky.

 

First Steps When Mould Is Spotted

If you’re a tenant whose spotted mould anywhere within your rental property, you need to alert your landlord straight away. Describe where the mould is and any damage to furniture or belongings. Once the problem has been reported, the landlord has to respond within 14 days.

For landlords, when a tenant reports mould in the property, arrange an inspection to determine the cause of the mould and, where necessary, ensure repairs are made.

Once a damp problem has been resolved, you may also need to repair any damaged plaster or flooring and redecorate affected areas.

If you don’t respond within the two-week timeframe the tenant could contact the local authority who could force the issue through. That’s why it’s vital to arrange an inspection and repairs as soon as possible.

 

Can I Withhold Rent for Mould?

If your landlord refuses to make repairs, withholding rent can be risky. Technically, tenants do not have the right to withhold rent and could be subject to repossession or even eviction.

However, tenants do have the right to make the repairs themselves and make up the cost in future rent. If you decide to go down this route, you need to be certain that the repairs needed are the responsibility of the landlord. Be sure to seek legal advice before making this stance and follow the correct procedures.

 

Can a Landlord Deduct Deposit for Mould?

If there is mould in a property at the end of a tenancy which was not there at the start, landlords have a right to deduct money from the deposit only if the mould was caused by the actions of the tenant.

The amount deducted is at the discretion of the landlord, and will take into consideration any repairs or redecoration needed above the level of fair wear and tear.

 

Is Mould Considered Normal Wear and Tear?

Whether mould is considered to be fair wear and tear depends on the cause. If there is evidence to show that the mould has been caused by the negligence of the tenants and advice and regular maintenance has been supplied by the landlord or letting agent, then compensation can be claimed.

 

Can I End My Tenancy Early Due to Mould?

If you’re a tenant who has found themselves in a mouldy property with an inefficient landlord, there are steps you can take.

If your tenancy agreement has a break clause, then you may be able to end the tenancy early. However, if not, contact your local authority who will perform an inspection to determine whether the landlord is culpable of negligence. If so, they will issue a notice to the landlord demanding repairs.

From a landlord’s perspective, if you attempt to evict your tenant without fixing a reported mould problem within six months of it being reported, this could invalidate a Section 21 notice.

 

Condensation and Mould: Advice for Tenants

If you’re a tenant living in a rental property, there are some simple ways to prevent mould;

  • Dry clothes outside when possible or keep them in the bathroom with the doors closed and windows open
  • Cover pans with lids when cooking to prevent excess steam escaping
  • Close the kitchen and bathroom door when in use
  • Use a bath mat to soak up excess water
  • Turn on the extractor fan when cooking or bathing
  • Leave a gap between furniture and external walls
  • Air out cupboards and wardrobes regularly
  • Turn on the heating regularly and try to keep the house a consistent temperature

 

Preventing Mould: Advice for Landlords

Minimising the chances of mould growing at the start of a tenancy agreement could save you money on maintenance in the long run.

Here are some ways to prevent mould in your property;

  • Ensure the property is well ventilated
  • Maintain gutters and roofs to prevent leaks
  • Ensure all plumbing is in good working order
  • Repair any rotten window frames
  • Improve the insulation of the property
  • Install extractor fans in the bathrooms
  • Repair or replace faulty damp proof course

 

Avoid Disputes with a Comprehensive Property Inventory

In cases where it’s difficult to determine the responsibility for mould, a detailed property inventory could help.

Prevent disputes before they can occur by investing in a professional, unbiased inventory report. By providing detailed written and photographic evidence of the state of the property, this report helps landlords and tenants alike by proving responsibility and supporting claims.

At No Letting Go, our team of experienced inventory clerks are well versed in helping landlords and property professionals streamline their workload and comply with regulations.

Whether you’re a landlord looking to recover costs against mould damage, or a tenant leaving a rental property, browse our full list of property services to find out how we can help.

As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your rental properties are safe and comfortable for your tenants. One element of this is to make sure that the boiler is maintained and checked regularly.

With the summer coming up, you might think that your usual boiler maintenance checks can take a back seat while it’s not in use. However, it’s important to keep on top of boiler maintenance throughout the summer months to ensure it stays in tip top condition, saving you money in the long run.

To help you stay on top of your responsibilities, Paul Ritchie, Managing Director at All England Gas has an essential boiler maintenance checklist landlords will need this summer.

 

Run the Heating Once a Month

Let’s get started with some simple boiler maintenance tips;

In the summer, the warmer weather means it’s likely your tenants won’t have the heating on. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore the boiler completely. Leaving the boiler doing nothing all season can cause some mechanical components to seize up and corrode. To prevent this, you should remind your tenants to run the heating for around 10 minutes, at least once a month throughout the summer.

This short period of time should not significantly affect the energy bill, leaving both you and your tenants happy.

 

Bleed Radiators at the Start and End of Summer

Even when the central heating system is off, pockets of air can find their way into the system and enter your radiators. This means they won’t heat up as well as they should when they’re switched back on in the colder months.

To prevent this, you should bleed your radiators at the start and end of the summer season to avoid any heating mishaps when it gets cold. This is something you can do as a landlord, but if your tenants have the radiator key, you can advise them to do it themselves.

To bleed your radiators, you or your tenant will need a key that fits into a valve at the top and side of each radiator.

Once you have the key, follow these steps;

  • Turn this valve with the key until you hear a hissing sound — this is the air escaping.
  • When the hissing stops and water starts to spurt out, this indicates that all the air has gone, and you should turn the valve back until the water completely ceases escaping.
  • At this point you will usually notice that the system pressure has dropped and needs topping up.
  • You can do this by locating the filling loop, which should be a hose with a valve at either end, and opening both valves to allow cold water to enter the main system.
  • This two-stage process of bleeding the radiator and re-pressurising needs to be repeated until all of the air has been removed and the pressure is sitting at around 1.5 bar.

Close up image of a radiator valve

Get the Boiler Serviced

An annual service is essential for boiler safety and maintenance. Since your tenants will need the boiler throughout the winter, it might make sense for you to get it serviced during the colder months.

However, it could be more beneficial to have the boiler serviced in the summer instead to make sure it’s in full working order before temperatures drop. Servicing appointments will be cheaper and more readily available during these months, and you’ll have plenty of time if you need to get anything repaired or replaced.

Top tip: ensure you book a Gas Safe registered engineer for the job.

 

Read the Manual

If you haven’t already, read through the boiler’s owner’s manual. This will show you how it actually operates, and you might find that any issues that arise the following winter, like leaking pipes, are simple enough for you to diagnose and fix yourself.

For safety reasons, never remove the cover to fix any internal components of the boiler. If you suspect there’s an issue inside the cover, always call a Gas Safe engineer to take a look for you.

During the summer, your tenants aren’t going to be using the boiler quite as much as they would in the colder months. This provides you with the perfect opportunity to conduct these basic maintenance checks and get the boiler ready for the following winter.

 

Stay Secure with Boiler Cover

It’s always a good idea to protect yourself and your tenants against emergency boiler breakdown by purchasing boiler cover.

Your tenants have a right to hot water, working plumbing and heating no matter the season.

Don’t get caught out! Make sure you have a plan in place for when things go wrong.

Have some more questions? All England Gas offer a wide range of boiler tips and advice to help you keep up with all of your landlord responsibilities.

 

Protect Your Rental Properties this Summer with No Letting Go

If you go away over the summer, leave your property in the safe hands of the No Letting Go team. With 360 virtual photography you can even check up on your rental properties remotely!

For landlords with student properties, you might find yourself left with void periods over the summer months. To prevent damage and protect your investment during this time, No Letting Go offer vacant property visits and reports to ensure your property is secure and there are no leaks or other maintenance issues.

To discover the rest of our professional property services, including unbiased inventory reports and carbon monoxide safety checks, head over to our services page.

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.

For landlords and property professionals, finding the right tenant for your rental property is fundamental for business success.

But who should be your target tenant?

It’s not as simple as finding someone who can pay the rent on time. Wide-ranging factors such as profession, marital status and long-term goals should also come into play when thinking about what you want from the arrangement and the safeguarding of your property.

Here, we look at the pros and cons of renting to different types of tenants so you can identify the right target tenant for you.

Choosing the Right Tenant

Before you start marketing your rental property, you first need to identify a target audience to gear your tenant search towards.

By identifying a specific tenant persona from the get-go, you will be in a better position to rent your property and attract your ideal tenant. Whether your first priority is the careful upkeep of your property, or to find a long-term tenant, establishing your needs and requirements at this stage will help narrow down the search.

When it comes to finding a good tenant, think about your future relationship and who you want to be dealing with on a regular basis. A good tenant looks different to different landlords. Do you want someone looking for a long-term let, or a you happy with a quick turn-around?

Whatever your needs, here are some of the pros and cons of different types of tenants;

 

High Income Tenants

The income of your target tenant depends largely on the type and size of the rental property you own and its location.

For example, landlords with property in central London will need to target high income tenants in order to meet monthly rent payments.

One of the biggest benefits of renting to high income tenants is that you can rely on sufficient rent return and are unlikely to have to chase up missed payments. However, a tenant with a higher income is likely to hold your property up to higher standards.

Any good landlord will be committed to ensuring their properties are pleasant, safe spaces to live in, but renting to this group requires a higher level of detail.
This means replacing carpets and furnishings more regularly and providing sought after benefits such as high-speed internet and modern security systems.

 

Low Income Tenants

If your property is located in a less costly area, it’s likely you will need to target lower income tenants.

Renting to tenants receiving housing benefits comes with its advantages and disadvantages;

  • One disadvantage is that rent is paid to the landlord in arrears rather than in advance.
  • There is also a lot of paperwork involved in renting to tenants on housing benefit and administration processes can be slow.
  • Another issue is contents insurance. Premiums can rise when letting to this tenant group.
  • Unfortunately, some landlords are wary of renting to tenants on housing benefit due to an assumption that their property won’t be looked after properly, and payments will be missed. However, this negative stereotype is unfounded and is down to a minority of individuals.

However, renting to this group comes will lots of benefits to landlords;

  • Due to the lack of rental properties available, advertising your property as accepting housing benefit means you will have a large pool of prospective tenants to choose from.
  • Tenants in receipt of housing benefit are often looking for long-term housing
  • As the rental payments are made by the Department for Work and Pensions, payments should be regular and guaranteed.

 

Renting to Families

Renting to families comes with wide ranging benefits;

  • For one, most families are looking for a long-term home as moving with children is a hassle usually best avoided.
  • There has also been research to show that renting to families results in less property management time.

The downside is that with children, there usually comes more damage and wear and tear to your property. If you’re particularly precious about a certain property in your portfolio, you may want to avoid renting to large families with young children.

However, if you’re letting the property long-term, you will most likely be redecorating at the end of the tenancy agreement anyway.

Most families are looking for a rental home with a little extra space. Make sure you highlight this benefit of your property when attracting tenants. Families are also more likely to have their own furniture so may be looking for an unfurnished home.

 

Tenants with Pets

It could be debated what causes more damage to a property- children or pets! While lots of landlords refuse renting to tenants with pets outright, accepting these tenants may be to your advantage.

For one thing, you can charge more in rent. With rental properties that accept pets being few and far between, pet owners will expect to pay a little extra for the privilege. The extra maintenance needed allows you to justifiably charge a premium.

If you do decide to go down this route, obtaining a previous landlord reference from your potential tenants will alert you to any problems caused in the past.

 

Renting to Student Tenants

Students have a bad reputation when it comes to taking care of rental properties. However, the student rental market is ripe with opportunity, with student homes in high demand in University towns.

Here are some of the benefits;

  • If you own property in a University town, finding tenants won’t be a problem.
  • If you’re looking for short-term lets, students tend to move on after a year.
  • Students are less fussy when it comes to appliances and furnishings, so if you have an older property with basic furnishings it shouldn’t be a problem. As long as your property complies with health and safety obligations and is a comfortable place to live, you won’t need to offer state-of-the-art appliances.
  • Renting per room means higher returns!

But don’t forget to consider the following;

  • Maintenance and repairs needed may be higher as there tends to be more individuals living in student properties.
  • Students like to socialise. When renting to students you need to be aware of the neighbours as you might be called upon to deal with complaints!
  • For most students, this is their first time living away from home. In place of a credit check, you will need to ask for a guarantor to safeguard your investment.
  • There is growing competition in the student rental market, with purpose-built housing being created. Do your research before you commit.

 

Renting to Young Professionals

Young professionals are often favoured by landlords due to their independence and financial security.

Here are some of the advantages;

  • While still young, this group are less likely to host big parties than students and tend to be more house proud, resulting in less wear and tear.
  • With more experience behind them, young professionals are better able to deal with minor issues independently before asking the landlord for help.
  • If you decide to rent an HMO property you can expect greater returns.
  • Professional couples tend to be stable tenants and are better able to manage rent requirements with two incomes.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind;

  • Like high income tenants, young professionals will expect certain living standards and mod cons. You may need to provide a dishwasher, high-speed internet and contemporary furnishings to attract this group.
  • If your property is an HMO, you need to be aware of the added paperwork and responsibilities this requires. You may also need to consider potential conflicts between tenants.
  • Young professionals tend to move jobs more often which may result in the premature end of a tenancy.
  • Younger renters usually search online to find rental properties. Bear this in mind when choosing where to advertise your property.

Finding the Right Tenant

Once you’ve chosen a target tenant group, make sure you complete this checklist before renting your property;

  • Meet your potential tenants face to face. It’s important to have a good relationship with your tenants and meeting in person is the best way to work out if it’s the right match.
  • Ensure essential tenant checks are undertaken. No Letting Go offer a right to rent check service which is a legal requirement for landlords and letting agents in the UK.
  • It’s also worth getting a credit history check and a previous landlord check to be on the safe side.

What Happens Next?

The rental property industry works both ways. If you want to attract your ideal tenant, you need to prove that you’re a responsible and organised landlord with the right safety checks in place.

No Letting Go provide a range of professional services to help streamline your workload and ensure you are fully compliant. From house viewings to inventory management, we can help during all stages of the rental process.

Browse our fully-compliant suite of letting services and feel confident that your property inventory management needs are taken care of

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.