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Guide to letting property

A step-by-step guide to letting a property. Hopefully this will help you understand the process a little better. Good luck with your let.

Step one – An Accurate market valuation:

Your aim should be to let your property at the best possible price and in a time scale that suits your needs. One of the first and most important tasks is to obtain an accurate rental valuation. The Lettings Manager, Mark Kraven, dedicates his time to valuing property. Having worked in the rental market for over 27 years, of which 7 has been with Peter Ball & Co, he has an unparalleled knowledge of property values in Cheltenham and the surrounding area. This is why we consistently achieve the asking price across all our Landlords’ properties. Take the first step and call our lettings office or request a rental valuation on line.

Tip: Always obtain a minimum of two rental valuations on your property to compare prices and level of service.

Step two – Choosing the right Letting Agent:

With over 30 Estate Agents covering the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury areas all purporting to offer the same level of service,  it’s not surprising what a challenge this can be.

Recent research has indicated that 88% of Landlords and sellers do not base their choice of estate agent on price alone but also consider factors such as local reputation, success in letting property similar to yours and experience and local knowledge of the area.

Peter Ball & Co has over 25 years' experience in letting and selling property with 5 offices across Cheltenham, Bishop’s Cleeve and Tewkesbury. We can confidently confirm that all Estate Agents are NOT the same.

We use the following to advertise homes for our Landlord's properties:       

  • Window and wall displays in branch
  • Direct communication with potential Tenants we think would be interested in your property, bearing in mind your personal timescales and price expectations
  • Property alerts before they go online, creating urgency in the market place
  • Brochures for issuing in branch, at viewings and via the post which will contain accurate floor plans, dimensions and photography
  • Internet promotion on our popular website to include featured properties and portals such as Rightmove and On the Market.com
  • 'To Let’ signs (never underestimate the power of traditional To Let signs as many homes let as a result of a friend or neighbour spotting the board and spreading the word)
  • Monthly newsletter and campaigns promoting our properties

In addition to finding Tenants, letting through Peter Ball & Co offers other benefits to ease the stress when letting your home. We accompany the majority of our viewings, conduct negotiations for the Let,  monitor the whole letting process through to the tenant’s moving in and continue to manage your property during the tenancy period. All Estate Agents are NOT the same.

Tip: Put yourself in your Tenant’s shoes, visit your local estate agent's branch and website and question whether the branch is a welcoming environment with friendly staff and if the website is easy to navigate.

Step three – Consider Property Management:

More and more Tenants are asking if the property is managed or not.  Property Management gives you peace of mind that both your property and Tenant will be cared for 24/7. We: 

  • Manage Tenant enquiries
  • Organise emergency repairs
  • Collect rent
  • Transfer of utilities

Tip: Tenants often opt for managed properties. It’s worth considering a fully managed service.

Step four – Presenting your property: 

First impressions really do count. The presentation of your property helps achieve the asking price and a successful let. Consider addressing any DIY jobs you have been meaning to get done, add a neutral, fresh coat of paint where necessary. If the property is to be let furnished then try to declutter to make rooms appear larger. It is also important that any outside or communal areas are kept tidy and clear of obstruction.

Our experience letting team can help to advise you on the best way to present your home so why not ask for a free consultation

In addition to the presentation of the property it’s important for your Letting Agent to provide good quality photographs, essential floorplans and a brief, accurate description for full colour brochures.

Tip: Keep up with the latest legislation. At Peter Ball & Co 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. 

Step five – Marketing your property: 

As soon as terms have been agreed and contracts signed our lettings office is at your service, behind the scenes, proactively marketing your property. Property alerts are sent out immediately to all active applicants, followed up by telephone calls to encourage them to view. We often let properties prior to producing brochures and going online.

In the meantime, we'll arrange for an Energy Performance Certificate (If required) to be carried out and prepare ‘draft details’ for your approval. Once approved, your property is ready to go online as a New Instruction and full marketing can commence.

To find your perfect Tenant your property requires maximum exposure across a wide range of media. When you instruct Peter Ball & Co to let your property, you'll benefit from a comprehensive marketing package, including: exposure on our website, tenant email alerts, promotion on property websites such as OnTheMarket and Rightmove and representation by our local letting office.

Tip: Ask your Estate Agents to arrange for their letting staff to visit so that they are familiar with your property and can immediately start speaking to their active applicants about it prior to it being officially marketed.

Step six – Accompanied viewings:

Peter Ball & Co accompany the majority of our viewings Monday through to Saturday. We are happy to chauffeur them around giving us quality time for a better understanding of their requirements. Some of our Landlord’s insist on accompanied viewings and we are happy to oblige.

Potential Tenants will want to imagine themselves living in your property, so above all your home needs to be clean, comfortable and clutter-free. We suggest the following to make them feel at home:  

  • Control the temperature. Keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter
  • De-clutter and remember Tenants may look in cupboards and drawers to investigate storage space
  • DIY jobs. It's worth finishing off any niggling jobs that may put off tenants
  • If you are thinking of redecorating, use neutral tones so Tenants can picture their own furniture in the rooms
  • Replace any odours of smoke or pets with flowers or freshly brewed coffee

Tip: Listening to feedback from viewings can be helpful to determine how to make your property more attractive to Tenants.

Step seven – Negotiating and agreeing an offer:

All offers are negotiated and put forward by managers/senior members of staff. Experience is key in negotiating the best possible price for you. As soon as a tenant makes an offer we will contact you to communicate full details and any special conditions to help you decide whether or not to accept.

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. 

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

Step eight – Accepting an offer:

Once you accept an offer we will:

  • Collect references from the tenants 

    It is important to run thorough checks on prospective tenants to ensure that your investment will be secure. Tenant referencing gives you an understanding of their personal and financial circumstances, including a check on their previous rental history, employment and ability to meet the cost of the let.

  • Arrange signing of 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.

  • Securing the deposit 

    This deposit is held as security for the landlord in the event that the tenant defaults on rent payments and/or is responsible for damage to the property above and beyond normal wear and tear. Any damage to the property is assessed by checks 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.

We can also, subject to a fee, organise:

  • 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. This will minimise the risk of any dispute over the deposit at the end of the tenancy.

  • Gas Safety Inspection & Portable Appliance Test 

    Your property must meet the UK's legal safety standards, therefore an impartial service must be employed to provide you with essential certified gas & electrical inspections. Peter Ball & Co are happy to recommend and organise these inspections for you.

  • Arrange professional cleaning 

Step nine - Completion:

Upon completion, keys will be released to the Tenant on the agreed move in day.

For managed properties, we will provide the Tenant with contact details of their dedicated Property Manager.

Congratulations, your property is now let!