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Thinking of letting a property in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth or Acton?

Becoming a landlord is a potentially lucrative venture, but not always a straightforward one. It takes lots of planning, time and investment before you will see the return. If you are prepared to devote all of that, then this ‘Advice for Landlords’ guide is for you. Here we break down the most important things to consider when letting a property in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth or Acton. Full details of our client fees, redress scheme and client money protection insurance can be found here, and details of tenant fees can be found here.

Arrange your finances

Buying any property is a huge investment and you first need to get your finances in order to make it a success. There are some key costs involved with becoming a landlord that will need to be paid out before and during any tenancy:

Buy-to-let costs:

Refurbishment costs:

Landlord insurance:

Income tax:

Find the right property to buy

To get the most from your investment it pays to do thorough research on any property you are interested in to ensure there is long-term value. This includes:

Market research:

Decide on property type:

Consider the tenants:

Keep to your budget:

Choose a letting agent

Your choice of letting agent could make all the difference between buying the right or wrong property to let. Working with the right letting agent offers a number of benefits, such as:

  • Providing insightful up-to-date advice about the local property market
  • Assistance in helping you to maximise rental yields
  • Knowledge about current landlord-related laws and legislations
  • Vetting tenants and carrying out referencing procedures to ensure their credibility
  • Dealing with all relevant paperwork related to the property
  • Collecting rent and dealing with any outstanding amounts
  • Property management services throughout the duration of the tenancy
  • Ability to deal with difficult tenancy situations and evictions

When it comes to choosing the letting agent you want to work with, ensure they are a member of the Property Ombudsman . Also do your research online by looking at testimonials and reviews from previous landlords. This will give you a strong indication of the agent’s professional capabilities.

Determine your rental price

You want to get the best possible return on your investment which means settling on the right rental price for the property. To strike the right balance you need to cover all costs associated with the property (see above) while factoring in the profit you would like to make.

On top of that, conduct your own research to see what similar properties are charging in the area. Location plays a big part in the rent you can charge. The general rule is that the nearer to the centre of London the property is, the higher the rent will be as it attracts more affluent tenants. Also think about the type of amenities that are nearby and if the flat will be furnished. Will pets be permitted? All of these things play into the monthly rental costs.

This is where letting agents can also help, using their experience in the property market to offer advice on the right level of rent to charge. Organising a rental valuation with a local letting agent can make this process a lot more straightforward and far less stressful.

At Thorgills, we offer free rental valuations for those looking to let property in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth and Acton. If you would like to know what your rental property is worth, book a rental valuation with one of our expert letting agents.

Find suitable tenants

There are some key points to cover when looking for suitable tenants for your property. This includes things like:

  • Checking the tenant is legally able to rent in the UK. Original documents must be provided and not copies. Landlords cannot discriminate based on race, gender, religion, nationality or religion.
  • A tenant’s yearly income should be at least 2.3x the annual rent. For example, a £15,000 annual rent charge would require a wage of £34,500. Their rent should not just cover rent costs but also allow them to live comfortably.
  • Background checks to verify the tenant’s previous landlords, credit history, work references and a basic affordability test.
  • Secure a 5 week deposit along with the first month’s rent upfront before the tenant moves in, along with a direct debit for future rent payments to provide some security.
  • If a tenant wants a 12-month tenancy or longer and are employed full-time by a UK company then these should be the preferred option.
  • Tenants that communicate well and are transparent throughout the whole process are far less likely to cause any major issues further down the line.
  • Most importantly of all, listen to your gut instinct. Don’t rush into making a decision you may regret later and if you don’t have a good feeling about the tenant, don’t agree to becoming their landlord.

Deposit scheme and tenancy agreement

You should provide the tenant with a tenancy agreement that lays out the details and responsibilities of both parties while they are living in the property. It should include things like:

  • Names of the people involved
  • Rental costs and method of payment
  • The full property address
  • Start and end date of the tenancy
  • Deposit amount and where it will be held
  • Tenant and landlord responsibilities

The deposit must be placed in a tenancy deposit protection scheme where it has to remain until the end of tenancy. It should be put there within 30 days of receipt and full information about the scheme must be provided to the tenant.

Prepare your property

It is the landlord’s responsibility to make the property a liveable space for the duration of the tenancy. This involves ensuring all of the agreed fixtures and fittings are in place and in good working order. If the property is furnished these items must also be put into position.

The inside of the property should be clean and presentable, with any cracks, holes and repairs all taken care of. If there is a front and/or back garden, this should be tidied and cleared for the tenant to use.

Redecorate the property with new wallpaper, paint and carpeting (or other type of flooring) if this hasn’t been done in a while.

Know your responsibilities as a landlord

Aside from providing a tenancy agreement and using a verified deposit scheme, there are some other important legal responsibilities to be aware of.

This generally relates to safety, maintenance and repairs throughout the tenancy, which means taking care of flooring, windows, roofing and plumbing issues that may occur.

As the landlord you must also install a wired smoke alarm on each floor of the property, along with carbon monoxide detectors. All furniture must meet fire safety standards and a gas safety certificate for each appliance should be made available.

The property must legally have an EPC rating of at least E, and a certificate will have to be provided to the tenant upon moving in. Ongoing responsibilities include a gas safety check every 12 months and an electrical check every 5 years.

How to end a tenancy

When you want a tenant to leave the property, this has to be managed in a particular way. If you would like them to leave without giving a reason the following conditions must be met:

  • Give the tenant at least two months’ written notice with a fixed leaving date
  • The deposit has remained protected in the scheme throughout the tenancy
  • They have lived in the property for a period of at least 6 months after signing the tenancy (a tenant must have lived in the property for 4 months before notice can be served)
  • Either a periodic or fixed-term tenancy has reached its conclusion

While the above is the most common way a tenancy agreement is ended, there are a number of other circumstances that can be read in more detail here.

If you are thinking of letting property in West London, get in touch with our expert letting agent team for more information on our landlord services in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth and Acton.

Get in touch

Call us on 020 8994 9886 or use the contact form below