Category Archives: News

Rent your Property Without an Agent

Being a DIY landlord doesn’t have to be difficult and can save you a fortune in fees.

With the advent of online letting agents, thousands of landlords are seizing the opportunity to take a more hands-on approach to their buy-to-let properties and reaping huge financial rewards.

Finding Tenants

First and foremost, you need to find tenants.  The most cost effective way to do this is by using an online letting agent such as ourselves, The Online Letting Agents.

We help thousands of landlords advertise and rent their properties.  Our landlords benefit from their properties being advertised on the UK’s leading property websites and having access to expert advice from our property specialists all for a hugely reduced rate.

With our service you get exactly what you want and need, from the most basic tenant find, all the way up to full property management. You build your own advertising package and we give you all the help and support you need to get your property let quickly and easily.

Once you’ve created your bespoke advertising package, you simply upload the property details to our website via our step by step uploader and we get the advert live – it’s normally on all of the main sites within an hour or two (if you upload during our working hours).

Before you start uploading, it’s handy to prepare a short description of your property, take some photographs and have a good idea of the rental price you would like to achieve.

If you’re not sure, we’re always on hand to offer advice on how to get the best from property advertisement or you can read our guide here.

Once it’s live, you’ll start receiving enquiries from tenants. Before we send their details on to you, we’ll find out a bit more about them, like how many people would be moving in, whether they’re working, if they have any pets and what sort of date they want to move by. This means you have a bit more of a run-down before you make contact.

The benefit of using an online agent is that you accompany the viewings yourself.  This is great as it means you can hand-pick the tenants you want to live in your property rather than simply be given the tenants an agent chooses for you.

Starting Your Tenancy

Once you have found a good tenant, you’ll want to have them reference checked. We can do this for you for a small fee, or you can do it yourself.

Once reference checking has been completed, there’s just a bit of admin to complete. We have a really easy check list you can use to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered (click here).

You’ll need to sign a contract with the new tenants. Our tenancy agreement is regularly checked by solicitors and is up to date with all of the latest legislation, and we can also customise the agreement to include any specific clauses you may want to add. You can order yours here.

You really should make sure you have a good inventory too. They’re not mandatory, but are definitely a good idea. We can help you with this – just click here. You should bear in mind that the inventory will form the basis of any claim you have for deductions from the deposit, and as such, it should be thorough and include photographic evidence.

Deposits must be lodged in a deposit protection scheme, with the appropriate paperwork being supplied to the tenant.  Again, we can help you with this, or can point you in the right directly if you’d prefer to register the deposit yourself.

On the day your tenant moves in, you’re nearly there with only a few final things to do; collect the first month’s rent and deposit (if you haven’t already done so), hand over keys and take meter readings. It’s also best practice to ask the tenants to sign the inventory – they’ll normally want a couple of days to check the property before they sign it.

During Your Tenancy

As a DIY landlord, you won’t have to pay your letting agent for property management, representing huge savings over the term of the tenancy.  You will, however, need to do a few things yourself:

  • Collect the rent, usually by standing order
  • Check the property, usually every 3 to 6 months
  • Arrange for any on-going or ad hoc repairs
  • Make sure any safety certificates are up to date

If you’re not sure that a DIY service is right for you, and you need a bit more support, we offer both a part management service a full management service too.

Ending Your Tenancy

If, for any reason, you would like your tenant to leave the property, you will need to advise them in writing.  We can advice you of the most appropriate way to do this, and can also supply you with the appropriate document.

Alternatively, your tenants may serve you notice.  If this happens, simply get back in touch with us and we’ll advise you what to do next, and get started on finding your next tenants straight away.

Letting Requirements

In order to let your property, regardless whether you use a traditional agent or online letting agent, there are a few things you will need to have in place.  This includes:

Being a DIY landlord can be very rewarding.  It gives you a truly hands-on approach to letting your property and allows you to decide on your tenants, tradesmen and rental amount, whilst giving a maximum return on your investment.  Using an online agent, such as The Online Letting Agents, means that you have support as and when you need it and allows you to save you hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.

Mandatory Electrical Safety Certificates in the Private Rented Sector (England) from 1st July 2020

Electrical Safety Certificates will become mandatory for all new tenancies in England from 1st July 2020, and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2021. **ORDER YOUR EICR NOW!** From 1st July 2020 Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICRs) become mandatory in the private rented sector for new and renewed tenancies in England, and for all… Continue Reading

Updated Notices for Coronavirus

The government has published new eviction notices for use during the coronavirus pandemic. Section 8 Notice: The updated Section 8 notice should be used by landlords in England up to 30 September 2020 and requires 3 months notice from the landlord to end a tenancy on the basis of one or more of the prescribed… Continue Reading

Sample Letters For Landlords Regarding Coronavirus

We’ve created a selection of free resources for landlords to use when writing to their tenants regarding coronavirus. Please feel free to amend the letters as you see fit to suit your circumstances. General Coronavirus Letter It’s imporant to ensure that your tenants are safe and well. Heading off issues with rent payments before they… Continue Reading

New EPC Regulations in Effect from 1st April 2020

From today (1st April 2020), landlords must not grant a new tenancy (including the renewal of an existing contract), or continue to let a property where the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is below the minimum permitted energy efficiency level of a band E. This means that anyone whose rental property has an F or G… Continue Reading

COVID-19: General Tenant Advice

** Updated 13th May 2020 ** With the “stay at home” order in place across the UK due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, it’s more important than ever to ensure your safety as well as the safety of your landlord or prospective landlord, and any contractors that may need to complete work at your home.… Continue Reading

COVID-19: General Landlord Advice

* Update 13th May 2020 at 10:00BST – The government have released a detailed document with regards to reopening the lettings market. Please see below for updated advice, more details can be found on the government page below * You can find the government guidance for landlords and agents here, it was published at 10:00am… Continue Reading

Commercial Property Advertising

If you need to find new tenants for your commercial property, we can help! Your advert will be listed on the commercial areas of rightmove, zoopla, primelocation and of course, our own website. We are the only online letting agent (that we know of!) who advertise on zoopla and primelocation as well as rightmove. Unlike some… Continue Reading

Mandatory Electrical Safety Certificates to be introduced

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced that mandatory five-year electrical installation checks on private rented housing in England will be introduced in a phased approach. Whilst the implementation date has not yet been clarified, MHCLG has stated its intention to introduce legislation as soon as possible. Although dates are yet… Continue Reading