The private rental market in Cheltenham is extremely competitive and we will be pleased to advise you on how best to present your property so that it attracts careful, professional tenants.
The most important thing to clarify is that your legal position as a landlord is the same whichever option you choose, and that there is a demand for both. Landlords are legally obliged to maintain whatever is provided in a let property, and safety is, of course, of paramount importance. Padded soft furnishings manufactured or re-upholstered from 1950 must comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. An unfurnished property should still include carpets, curtains, lamp shades and, if it’s an apartment, usually white goods in the kitchen.
We recommend that you have your heating / hot water system serviced by a qualified engineer before letting your property and annually thereafter to keep the appliances in optimum condition. As part of your legal obligations as a landlord, you will be required by law to prove that any gas or electrical installations are safe. All gas installations and appliances must be certified by a ‘Gas Safe’ engineer and a Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate issued to adhere to Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. We are required to hold a copy of the certificate before any tenancy can commence and keep up to date records for the duration of the tenancy. We also are obliged to provide the tenant with this documentation prior the tenancy commencement.
If you are intending to provide any electrical items as part of a let, you will be responsible for the maintenance and annual safety testing of them. It is a requirement to ensure that electrical installations are safe and maintained in a safe condition, and the way of determining this is to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) undertaken every five years and annual Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) for any appliances in the property. From 1st July 2020 five year EICR testing became mandatory on any new tenancies and for any existing tenancy from 1st April 2021. You can be liable if something goes wrong and failure to comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and The Consumer Protection Act 1987 is a criminal offence and can incur serious penalties.
Electrical appliances need to have a minimum CE rating (Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994).
We use qualified engineers that we can recommend to carry out these works and our property management system will automatically alert us to the renewal of the tests as required.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires smoke alarms to be provided on each floor of the property, including mezzanine levels, and carbon monoxide alarms to be provided next to solid fuel burning devices.
A set of keys, including security keys / fobs, must be provided for each tenant, as well as a set for us to hold as managing agent for all managed and rent collection properties. Please also ensure that we have any alarm code or entry codes that may be required for your property.
Not all tenants are keen gardeners, and you may wish to consider making your garden as low-maintenance as possible before letting, and presented in a tidy condition before the first tenancy. During a tenancy tenants are responsible for keeping gardens tidy, while landlords retain responsibility for larger shrubs and trees. It will encourage tenants if a basic supply of appropriate tools and a lawn mower are provided. In certain cases, it may be worthwhile factoring in a degree of gardening maintenance within the rent and employing a professional to tend to the garden.
This is a subjective issue at the best of times, which is why Morgan Associates employ an independent inventory company that maintains an objective view of the standard of cleanliness that must be achieved at the start of a tenancy and at the end. If you are letting your property for the first time, please ask for a quotation to have it cleaned to the required standard.
Landlords are responsible for utility accounts, including council tax, while the property is vacant. Please notify your providers of your leaving date when you first let your property, together with meter readings. It is extremely important that tenants know where meters are located and have any keys required to access them. If your property is a flat, please mark the meters with your flat number. You should close your telephone account when you leave the property, and cancel your TV licence.
Your mortgage lender (if any) must give written permission for the property to be let and we will ask for a copy of this permission before the start of the tenancy. If your property is leasehold it may also be necessary to obtain permission from your freeholder prior to letting.
Should your property be in need of some improvement / updating prior to letting, we would be happy to advise you on any works required to bring your property to the required standard.
All rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before we can advertise the property, unless they are listed and certified on the PRS register.
The energy efficiency and environmental impact of your property will be rated on a scale from A-G (where A is the most efficient and G the least efficient). The EPC is valid for ten years from the date it is issued. The minimum energy efficiency standard required for all residential tenancies is an ‘E’ rating.
We can appoint a fully trained Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA), who is able to carry out the assessment at the point of the valuation, enabling us to advertise your property without delay. Further information is available upon request.