If you are considering letting out your property or investing in rental property, you have probably already realised that it is “quite a jungle” out there in the property rental sector. All sorts of dilemmas arise.
• Should you use a property management company
• Attracting and vetting suitable tenants
• How are you going to manage repairs and other issues
• Managing the financial aspects of your property rental
• Limiting outlay on fees and commissions
This guide aims to answer your questions, set your mind at rest and ease you gently onto the path to successful and prosperous property rental.
Do you really need a letting agency?
On the surface, professional property management seems like a great option. It eliminates the problem of finding and vetting tenants, takes care of rent collection and manages that age old problem of maintenance and repairs.
The drawbacks are mainly financial and loss of control. If you need a good and reliable property management company then you will need to pay a good price for it. Tight financial margins become even tighter and you are likely to be required to agree a robust contract that takes a lot of the control over your property away from you
Rent out your property without using an agent
In the age of the internet and with the plethora of online platforms available to assist with just about anything, self managed property rentals are within the reach of just about anyone. The Monkey VS Owl portal is one such platform and you can read more about it further on in this guide.
Putting the groundwork in place make sure your property is the best it can be and is a desirable place for someone to live will pay dividends.
Preparing your property for inspection
Presenting your rental property in the best possible light is basic rental 101. Refreshed bright and neutral décor, a functional kitchen and sparkling clean bathrooms say a lot about a property. If there is an outside area or garden, make sure it is safe and tidy.
You should have already made decisions about whether you are offering furnished, unfurnished or unfurnished but equipped with some services like a washing machine for example. This should be made clear as part of the Letting Agreement
How much rental to charge and level of deposit
A scan of the local rental market should give you a good idea of the market rate in your area for similar properties. The bottom line is that you need to cover your outgoings and even make some profit from your rental. What you should not do is be so ambitious that you price yourself out of the market
Once you have a weekly rental figure, normal practise is to require the equivalent of 4 or 5 weeks rent as a deposit. You cannot legally ask for more than 5 weeks under current regulations
Finding tenants for your rental property
Your property is prepared and ready for letting, You are probably wondering how to find tenants without laying out a fortune in agency fees.
Self Advertising for FREE
Here are three ways you can get your property details out there potentially without spending a single penny.
1. An interesting statistic is that 95% of all potential renters search for their rental online. Fee-free advertising is available if you know where to look. A search on your favourite search engine should throw up a few options. Try and choose a resource local to your rental property.
2. Use the advertising boards in local shops and supermarkets. Yes hardly the latest high-tech method but guess what … it still works
3. Social media and in particular Facebook is another easy way to get your property details out there. Facebook offers three avenues for you to explore
Post on your own timeline and ask your friends to share. Chances are a friend of a friend is looking for a property to rent. Don't forget a good picture paints a thousand words, an album full of pictures is even better.
Search for Facebook groups and pages local to your area. Some will be open and public and others will ask you to join before you can post. Join them all. Try and find property specific pages if they are around but any local page that lets you post is worth trying.
Use Facebook Marketplace to get your own personal rental ad out there.
2 Essential Considerations for Residential Property Letting
1. The Letting Agreement
Also known as the tenancy agreement or the rental agreement, this is the contact between you as the landlord and your tenant. This will outline the conditions that both the tenant and the landlord agree to and should include the basic terms;
• the date when the tenancy will start
• the date when the tenancy will end
• conditions upon which the tenancy could be renewed
• amount of rent charged
• how much deposit is required
• how much notice is required to be given by either party
• any additional fixtures fittings or services you have agreed to provide
This is the point at which you might need to consult. The Agreement is a legal document that should adhere to the latest regulations.
2. The Landlord Gas Safety Certificate
A Gas Safety Certificate is not only a legal requirement it is probably the most important undertaking that you make to ensure the safety of your tenant. It proves that gas appliances, flues and all gas fittings have been checked and approved by an approved gas safety engineer.
The certificate is renewed every 12 months. The Monkey vs Owl portal makes it easy to manage and make available your gas safety certification and schedule inspections so that you always stay completely within the law.
Online Platforms for Property Management and Tenant Communication
So you have recently completed the paperwork on your perfect rental property. What next?
What you need is an online platform that lets you list your property, manage the viewings, receive and process applications from potential tenants. If you want us to take care of that for you, we can! With our complete property management solutions, we’ll even take care of repair and maintenance issues.
We offer a user-friendly private landlord and tenant platform complete with a mobile app for Apple and Android devices. Simple and straight-forward convenience for dealing with;
2. Viewing Appointments
3. Property Maintenance
Login in to your Monkey vs Owl Dashboard and boom! Everything you need to manage your property is set out in front of you. A virtual middle-man in the communication process between landlords and tenants. A way that tenants and landlords can both be …. happy!
Manage Tenant Applications and References
Potential tenants can book a viewing of your property via the Monkey vs Owl platform, receive viewing confirmations making your life that bit easier. For landlords using our fully managed property management service, document upload facilities mean that reference documents can be uploaded for checking.
Managing Deposits and Rental Income
Managing the financial aspects of property rental is where our platform really comes into its own. Landlords using our fully managed property management service can keep track of all income and expenditure on your property and immediately establish whether rents have been paid or are still owing, while those choosing to manage their properties themselves can easily view their property marketing expenditure, view invoices and download statements.
With such a complete financial record easily available to you, working out profit or loss and submitting tax returns is made that much easier.
Monitor Repairs and Maintenance
Using your tenant as your eyes and ears for repair and maintenance issues is the way forward. Using the online portal and linked mobile apps, our service allows a tenant to report problems in real time, upload a picture and for you to make a timely response.
For landlords using our fully managed property management service, our platform suggests steps and checks that the tenant can make before reporting the issue to you and makes clear what the agreements are regarding who is responsible. This means that by the time the problem reaches you, all possible steps have already been taken to sort it out. In any case, you always have a handle on repairs and maintenance
To Finish Up...
As someone who has been considering renting your home out privately we hope you have found this guide useful and that you can see how Monkey vs Owl can allow you to undertake your own property management, retain control over your property rental and save money too.
Virtual online platforms are great but sometimes you just really need to speak to a real person. We are always here to help.