Letting a property in Brighton and Hove can generate impresive return on investment. From locating the perfect Brighton investment property and finalising the deal, to sourcing tenants and all the way to move-out day, our guide on how to let property in Brighton takes you through every step of the letting process. Either click on any of the topics below, or read our full guide underneath.
Our letting guide broken down
Preparing a rental or investment property is one of the most crucial steps in the entire letting process, and there are several factors to consider to ensure a successful rental experience:
Clean and Repair
Before listing your property for rent, it's important to ensure that it is in excellent condition. Take the time to thoroughly clean the property and address any maintenance issues. Fix leaky faucets, repair broken appliances, and touch up paint as needed. A well-maintained property not only attracts quality tenants but also helps prevent letting problems from escalating and becoming costly in the long run.
To ensure the safety of your tenants, it is essential that your property meets all safety regulations. Install smoke detectors on each floor of the property and carbon monoxide detectors in rooms with fuel-burning appliances. Additionally, make sure that gas and electrical systems are tested annually by registered professionals. Providing an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will demonstrate the property's energy efficiency.
Furnishing and Decorating
Deciding whether to market your investment property as furnished, part-furnished, or unfurnished is a significant decision in the letting process. Keep in mind that furnishing the property can significantly increase its rental value, but it may also increase maintenance requirements. Opting for neutral décor will ensure that the property appeals to a broad range of tenants.
Obtaining suitable landlord insurance is vital to protect against potential damage or loss caused by tenants. This insurance can also provide liability coverage in the event that a tenant or visitor sustains an injury on the property.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your investment property is well-prepared for the rental market and establish a positive and secure letting experience.
Landlord legislation is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. There are several important aspects to consider to ensure legal compliance for when letting property in Brighton. Here are some of the key requirements:
Prepare a comprehensive and legally binding tenancy agreement that clearly outlines all the terms and conditions of the tenancy. Make sure to cover crucial details such as rent, deposit, responsibilities, and any special clauses. If you engage a letting agent, they will handle this task to ensure maximum benefit for you.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
As per the law, you must protect your tenant's deposit in a government-approved scheme. This must be done within 30 days of receiving the deposit. Additionally, provide your tenant with the prescribed information regarding the scheme and how their deposit is safeguarded.
Right to Rent Checks
Before renting to any tenant, conduct thorough Right to Rent checks to verify their immigration status. It is your responsibility to ensure that you do not let your property to individuals without legal residency. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in severe penalties.
Gas and Electrical Safety
To maintain safety standards, make sure to have gas appliances and installations checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer. Similarly, electrical systems and appliances should be regularly inspected by qualified professionals.
By adhering to these regulations and fulfilling all necessary obligations, you can ensure a smooth and legally compliant letting experience.
Once you have the property ready, it's time to decide who to work with to bring it to market. Here are the steps you can take:
Research and Shortlist
- Research local letting agents online and through recommendations.
- Look for agencies with a good track record, positive reviews, and a strong presence in the area where your property is located.
Talk to Multiple Agents
- Contact multiple agents and arrange to sit down with them.
- Ask about their experience, services, fees, and marketing strategies.
- Assess their communication skills and knowledge of the local rental market.
- Consider if their strengths align with yours and will optimise your property's potential.
- Determine what services each agent offers.
- Full management includes tasks like tenant screening, maintenance coordination, and rent collection.
- Let-only services focus on advertising and tenant selection.
Fees and Contracts
- Understand the agent's fee structure.
- Fees are usually a percentage of the monthly rental amount or a fixed figure.
- Study the contract terms, including termination clauses and responsibilities of both parties.
- Ensure the agent is a member of a professional body such as the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
- Membership indicates adherence to ethical and professional standards.
Everything depends on how a property is brought to the market and advertised to prospective tenants. Even if you have the most stunning property in the country, if your listing fails to showcase its beauty, people won't be able to appreciate it.
Collaborate with your chosen agent to create a compelling property listing that stands out. To attract potential tenants, include high-quality photos and a detailed description that highlights the property's key features. Offering a virtual tour can provide viewers with a clear vision of how they could live there and generate interest rapidly.
A reputable letting agent will conduct thorough tenant checks, which may include assessing credit history, references, and affordability. This process helps minimise the risk of dealing with unreliable tenants.
Fair Housing Practices
When selecting tenants, it is important to adhere to fair housing laws, which prohibit discrimination based on factors such as race, religion, gender, or disability.
Offering Property Viewings
Arranging property viewings for as many interested tenants as possible increases your chances of finding the right occupant. Before the viewings, ensure that the property is clean and well-presented. Be prepared to answer questions and showcase the various benefits of the property.
Alternatively, you can entrust the entire process to your letting agent – a service that we specialise in at Brand Vaughan.
Choosing the Right Tenant
Review the tenant screening report and references provided by your chosen letting agent. Select a tenant who meets your criteria and demonstrates responsible behaviour. Key factors to consider include timely rent payments, a history of good behaviour, and a willingness to sign long-term tenancy agreements.
Inventory and Check-In
Before the tenant moves in, it is important to conduct a comprehensive inventory of the property's condition and contents.
This inventory will serve as a reference point for any future disputes that may arise. Additionally, it is crucial to complete a thorough check-in process with the tenant. During this process, take the time to explain how appliances work and highlight any important features of the property.
Rent Collection and Ongoing Maintenance
If you have instructed an agent and opted for full management services, rest assured that your letting agent will handle rent collection and all maintenance requests. They will take care of coordinating with tenants and ensuring that any necessary repairs or refurbishments are carried out on your behalf.
Furthermore, they will handle landlord taxes by deducting them from income statements. At the end of the tenancy, they will also manage inventory checks and oversee deposit repayments.
However, if you have chosen let-only services, it will be your responsibility to manage these tasks on your own. This includes tasks such as chasing tenants for payment, organising repairs and refurbishments with contractors, deducting landlord taxes from income statements, and managing end-of-tenancy duties such as inventory checks and deposit repayments.
Regularly inspecting your investment property is essential to ensure that it is being well-maintained by the tenant. Always remember to give your tenants proper notice before entering the property, respecting their privacy. It is advisable to arrive with a checklist to ensure that nothing gets forgotten during the inspection.
In the event of any disputes or issues, it is crucial to address them promptly and in a professional manner. Maintaining open lines of communication with your tenants throughout the tenancy agreement is key. In cases of disagreement, it is equally important to mediate and find resolution in a fair and constructive manner.
Renewing or Serving Notice
Having open discussions with your tenant as the initial agreement approaches its end is crucial to decide whether to renew or not. If you decide not to renew, it is important to provide proper notice as per the terms outlined in the tenancy agreement. Similarly, your tenants should do the same if they plan to move out.
Check-Out and Deposit Return
When the tenancy agreement comes to an end, it is recommended to conduct a comprehensive check-out inspection to assess the condition of the property in comparison to the initial inventory. Deduct any reasonable costs from the deposit and return the remaining amount to the tenant within the required timeframe.
One of the most challenging aspects of the letting process for landlords and investors is dealing with void periods. This refers to the time when a property does not have a tenant, resulting in it being vacant. Obviously, without a tenant, the rental property cannot generate income.
To minimise the duration of void periods, serve notice well in advance or request tenants to provide notice within a similar timeframe. This will give you ample time to find new tenants and reduce the vacant status of your property. Similarly, scheduling a move-in date close to the completion of refurbishments can also help achieve the same goal.
Before a new tenancy begins, make sure to update the property's inventory based on any changes that occurred during the previous tenancy. This will ensure a clear record for your new tenants and maintain proper organisation.
Letting a property in Brighton and Hove is a process that requires careful planning, adherence to legal obligations, and effective communication with both tenants and letting agents. This comprehensive guide will help landlords successfully navigate the process and make the most of their investment property, and it is important to stay informed about changes in regulations and market trends to ensure a smooth and profitable letting experience.