Landlord Guide Video | Advice on letting a property

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Expert advice on letting a property

With over 28 years’ of experience our experts can guide you through the process of being a Landlord so you can earn a strong return on your property investment.

Read our guide to becoming a Romans' Landlord

Step 01

Rental Valuation

When asking an agent to value your home you will have several options. It is important to consider more than just fees when making this decision. The reputation of a letting agent can attract tenants and an agent with membership to regulatory bodies can offer you peace of mind that your money is in safe and secure hands.

A property valuation will take into account the many factors which affect the appropriate rent to charge your tenants. At Romans, when we value properties for rent we look into aspects which may influence the rate you are able to charge including:

  • The type of tenant will the property attract (families, couples, corporate)
  • What fixtures and furnishings will be included in the property (oven, fridge etc)
  • The local trends and demand for the property type in the area (and whether this is likely to change over time)
  • Proximity to transport links and local amenities
  • State of repair and décor

As experts in letting property in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire and Surrey we have an in-depth knowledge of what tenants are looking for from rented property in the area. We base our valuations on our knowledge of the local market trends and use this information to guide how we market your property.

Did you know? As members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) we can offer landlords and tenants security as our processes and procedures are monitored by ARLA standards.

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Step 02

Select your service level

Before you become a landlord, consider how much involvement you want to have with your tenant and property, day to day maintenance, monthly rent collection and other responsibilities may affect your current lifestyle in a way you do not want.

When using Romans, you can choose from our four service levels to find the best fit for your needs and personal requirements. Build on the basic Let Only Service to a more comprehensive Rent Collection Service or choose the Fully Managed Service to make your property investment hassle-free. The final option is our Portfolio Service for investors looking for an experienced agency to manage all aspects of their multi-property investments.

Our top tip: In our experience, corporate tenants often opt for properties fully managed by agents to ensure their maintenance needs are looked after by professionals so if you are aiming to attract a corporate tenant, consider our fully managed service.

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Step 03

Market your property

Without a letting agent, finding the right tenant can be expensive, time consuming and hard work. You want to get the word out about your property and encourage a tenant that is in the best position for you.

At Romans as soon as we receive your instruction, we'll prepare your property's details, which can include professional photography, floor plans, a location map and an Energy Performance Certificate. Then we'll start marketing your property to attract the right tenant with:

High profile advertising
We invest in marketing through high profile advertisements in all the leading local property newspapers and publications across our branch network as well as using our extensive tenant database to target direct mail campaigns.

Online exposure
Your property will also be marketed on our website romans.co.uk, where potential tenants can sign up to our online account service which alerts them when rental properties that match their criteria become available. We also use rightmove.co.uk and other online portals to market properties.
The website is also available in a mobile format for customers with an internet enabled phones so they can search for properties when they're out and about.

In addition Romans' local market knowledge, large database of potential tenants, in-branch visibility, and open house viewings, will ensure that your property will soon be seen by thousands.

Arranging gas and electrical safety certificates
Your property must meet the UK's legal safety standards, therefore an impartial service must be employed to provide you with essential certified gas inspections. Romans will be able to provide this and also can offer additional certified inspections of your property's electrics.

Our top tip: Keep up with the latest legislation. At Romans we ensure our landlords and their investments are up to date with the newest regulations and protected at all times. It's all part of the service.

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Step 04

Viewings

We recommend you keep your property as a blank canvas for prospective tenants by keeping the space clean and clutter-free. As standard, Romans will accompany the prospective tenants on all viewings on your behalf however if you choose to host the viewing yourself remember to highlight all the good points that aren't immediately obvious, such as friendly neighbours and in-built storage.

Our top tip: Appeal to the masses. If you are decorating your property keep it simple, don't let your personal taste put off potential tenants.

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Step 05

Negotiating and agreeing an offer

Negotiation
Your estate agent can handle negotiations between you and the prospective tenant. At Romans, we strive to get you the best price, however there may be other factors worthy of consideration in this decision, such as the references of the tenant and whether they have a reliable income.

Our top tip: Be clear with your agent about the type of tenant you will be happy with, for example are pets an issue?

Agreeing an offer
Once negotiations have reached a positive conclusion and you are happy to accept an offer, we will work on carrying out all the checks on the prospective tenant and securing the deposit.

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Step 06

Reference and credit checks

It is important to run thorough checks on prospective tenants to ensure that your investment will be secure. At Romans, we use strict referencing procedures carried out by independent experts which can give our landlords a comprehensive understanding of their personal and financial circumstances, including a check on their employment history, credit worthiness and previous addresses.

Our top tip: Romans maintains low rent arrears at 0.8%. We believe strict referencing betters your chances of avoiding problems with payments further down the line.

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Step 07

Signing the tenancy agreement

This document outlines the agreed responsibilities of both parties. It is important that both tenants and landlords take the time to read this carefully before signing. At Romans, we use an online signing system called Docusign for speed and efficiency.

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Step 08

The inventory

An inventory is a detailed list agreed and signed by both parties itemising the contents and condition of the property at the time of the tenant moving in. Romans uses an Independent Inventory Service to provide a comprehensive list designed to minimise the risk of any dispute over the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

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Step 09

Securing the deposit

Once the deposit has been paid in full, the tenant has secured the property. This deposit is held against possible damage to the property which can be checked against the inventory at the end of the tenancy. The Housing Act 2004 protects all parties in this regard as the deposit is now required to be held within a government-approved scheme on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This scheme offers quicker and easier ways of resolving disputes, without the need for court action.

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Step 10

Tenants move in

In order to keep checks on the property and that it is being well looked after, you will need to agree a number of visit dates with your tenant, usually a couple of times a year. Of course, if anything breaks down or needs repairing then you may be required to visit the property more often. If you want to minimise your workload Romans offers the fully managed service option to lighten the load (see service level section for more details).

Our top tip: Small gestures will go a long way in building good relationships with your tenants, leave out instructions to appliances. (This may also mean tenants will be less likely to break the appliance!)

Once the tenancy period has nearly come to an end, your tenant will need to decide whether to extend their stay or move out (remembering to give two months' notice in writing).

As a Romans landlord, if anything else arises before, during or after the tenancy we will be on hand to offer you full, supportive lettings advice. Whatever your enquiry, contact us - we will be more than happy to help.

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