We created the this guide to help landlords feel more confident when it comes to renting their property.

Being a landlord carries many legal obligations and responsibilities and we want you to feel informed, confident, and comfortable with the letting process.

During the many years we’ve been involved in the local property market, from our offices in Upminster and Romford, we’ve helped hundreds of landlords rent their properties successfully.

It’s a privilege to be able to do so and one that we do not take for granted –ever.

We hope you find the guide helpful and if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Seven Things to Consider When Choosing a Letting Agent

At first glance, the letting agency business is a very competitive one.

And with so many different agents to choose from, finding the right one to let your property can be bewildering.

That’s why we came up with the Lettings Made Simple guide for landlords – to make your life easier.

Here are seven things to consider before you instruct a letting agent to market and possibly manage your property.

1) Do they have a track record in renting properties like yours? Ask for evidence of properties similar to yours that they have let and achieved a good monthly rent on.

2) Do they have client testimonials? A good agent will always have landlords and tenants who will vouch for them or who have positively reviewed them.

3) Do you like them? You’ll be working closely with the agent you choose, so it’s important that you like and trust them. If in doubt, go with your instinct.

4) Fees and costs. Remember the old saying, ‘If you pay peanuts you get monkeys’? Well, it’s never truer than in the world of letting agencies. Those agents who offer very low fees are often desperate for business. These rock-bottom commission fees are often at the cost of you receiving the service and care you deserve.

5) Where do they advertise their properties? Most tenants begin their search on the internet. So, ask the agents which portals they advertise on. It’s also worth asking an agency how its marketing strategy differs from its competitors to attract the best tenants. Ask, ‘What makes your agency stand out from the crowd?’

6) What kind of contracts do they offer tenants? Ask the agents about the length of their standard contracts. Usually, it’s six to 12 months. Check what tie-ins they have for you as a landlord. A good letting agent is always open and transparent so this shouldn’t be a problem.

7) Are the agents experienced experts in the legal compliance of managing / letting a property, therefore avoiding any potential ramifications for non-compliance / negligence that you, as the landlord, may have to face.

The Stepping Stones to a Successful Letting

1) Get Valuations. So, you have a property to rent. We suggest calling in three different agencies to help you determine a realistic rental value.

2) Choosing an Agent. Look out for experience, integrity, and proven success.

3) Marketing Matters. How and where your property is marketed contributes greatly to your rental success. We use many different platforms to attract viewers to your property. The more interest there is means you can receive higher rents and benefit from a bigger selection of tenants to choose from.

4) Presentation, Presentation, Presentation. If you want to attract quality tenants at the best price, it’s imperative that your property is clean, well maintained, and nicely presented.

5) Offers. Once quality tenants have been found and the rental price agreed, we will carry out all the necessary work including: Collecting references, arranging tenancy agreements, collecting the initial deposit and rent, and arranging for a thorough check in and inventory.

6) Completion Once all the above has been carried out and is in full order, you can release the keys to your new tenant.

7) Property Management. We offer different tiers of service. From let only, where we will find you a quality tenant and carry out the introductory work, right through to full property management. This means you can sit back and relax knowing that we’re taking care of everything, including collecting rents, arranging safety checks, and ensuring maintenance and repairs are undertaken promptly and professionally.

Keep reading to discover what keeps many unprepared landlords up at night.

Landlords and the Legal Maze

1) Being a landlord is a responsible role and carries hundreds of legal obligations.

Below is a brief summary of just some of the maze of laws and regulations.*

Consents to Let

Do you have permission from your mortgage lender to let the property?

Does your buildings insurer know the property is let out and are you adequately covered?

If the property is leasehold, have you gained the necessary leasehold consents?

Tenancy Agreement

This is a very important contractual document in the lettings process. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is the most common type of agreement which provides the tenant with certain protections and gives the landlord rights to regain possession. There are other forms of tenancy agreement, it is however vital the correct tenancy agreement is used for the circumstances to ensure you are properly protected.

Gas Safety

Every gas appliance must be checked by a certified Gas Safe engineer before a tenant moves in and annually thereafter.

Electrical Safety

The electrical wiring in the rented property must be checked at least every five years by a qualified and certified NICEIC electrician to verify its safety.

Energy Performance Certificate

As a landlord, your property must have one of these certificates assessing its energy performance.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Properties built after 1992 must have mains-wired smoke alarms on each floor. It’s a legal requirement that landlords provide at least one battery operated smoke alarm per floor and where there is a solid fuel appliance, carbon monoxide alarms must also be installed in the property. Don’t forget to make sure they are installed in the appropriate places within the home.

Tax on Rental Property Income

All rental income from property in the UK is taxable. If you are unsure of your liabilities, we recommend you contact a specialist tax accountant.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

For all ASTs, the tenant’s deposit should be registered with a recognised deposit protection scheme.


Before the rental starts, a full inventory should be undertaken and supplied to both the landlord and tenant.

Other rules and regulations to consider include:

Right to Rent; Deposit Handling Requirements; Fire Safety Measures; The Deregulation Act; The Tenant Fee Ban; Furniture and Furnishings Fire Regulations; Legionnaires’ Disease; A Landlord Licence (if required); Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector; Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulation 1994.

We can help you safely navigate your way through this maze and keep you the right side of the law.

*The information on this page is for guide purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice.

Your FAQs answered

The main costs you’ll need to consider when letting your property are:

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Check if this can be arranged by your letting agent. Costs will vary depending on the size of your property. We can arrange an EPC certificate on your behalf for a cost of £55.

An inventory and check-in report

this needs to be carried out before your tenantmoves into the property. Again, costs vary depending on the size of the property

Commission Fee

Varies in percentage per agency and could be for just finding a tenant or full property management. Our full fee schedule is available on request

Gas Safety Certificate and EICR

We can arrange a gas certificate for £55 or £95 including a boiler service. An EICR cost variesfrom £150 - £200 depending on the size of the property.

Who will carry out viewings and when will they happen?

At Accord Sales & Lettings, we always aim to accompany all viewings during office opening hours.

Should I be present at viewings?

Our recommendation is that we conduct viewings with any prospective tenants. Only in some rare circumstances would you be asked to carry out a viewing, as many tenants feel more relaxed when the owner isn’t there.

I’m interested in having my property managed – how much does it cost?

The property management fee is charged as a percentage of the rental price plus VAT. Accord charges 10% plus VAT for our fully managed service.

How much deposit should the tenant give and what happens to it?

There is now legislation that caps the amount of deposit paid by a tenant to 5 or 6 weeks’ rent, depending on the rent charged. The deposit is to be paid on signing the tenancy agreement. Within 30 days of receipt, the deposit should be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Failure to protect the deposit and serve the required documents has serious implications for a landlord.

Who is responsible for arranging an inventory?

You are responsible but at Accord Sales & Lettings we can organise an inventory for you.

When do I receive my rent from the tenant?

You should receive your rent by standing order on the rental due date every month.

The due date is usually the day the tenant moved in.

If you have any questions about lettings or property management in general, please feel free to contact us on 01708 981229.