Mrs Letting Agent says to enquiring potential Landlord “before I start, tell me what you know about Letting property?”
Mr Potential Landlord replies “well I let someone live in my home and they pay me money for it!”
Loved it, what an opener for my gambit! An everyday reminder that just because we live and work letting, there are lots of people that don’t and have never needed to even think about it. I was in my element for sure and this lovely opening statement was the start of an easy and friendly conversation. That’s just what it was, not just me reeling off the never ending list of compliance and do’s and don’t in letting property, the fines, the penalties but a conversation about wants, wishes, woes and needs.
Most importantly I asked why was Mr Potential Landlord looking to let, is it his home or investment? What sort of home is it, what sort of tenant might fit best? How involved does he want to be, where will he be? I love this part of the conversation it’s a great way to get to know people and how I can best help them. Everyone’s needs are different, and I love being able to adapt my comments and advice to everyone. If as an agent you win an instruction, these early chats are vital not just in laying the foundations for continuing the relationship and maintaining a high and efficient level of customer service, but also finding the right tenant to meet the landlords needs and extending that level of service to your tenants as well. I love these early foundation chats.
Back to the conversation in hand, now I knew as much as Mr Potential Landlord wanted me to know so ‘Yes’ of course the compliance has to be next part of the chat; EPC, Gas Safety, EICR, Fire Risk, Pats, Chimney Sweeping, Legionella Risk Assessments……of course if you are a landlord looking to manage the tenancy yourself there is the ICO registering, Deposit registering, potentially inventory preparation etc. as well but that’s another conversation.
EPC – just 3 letters! Easy to overlook the importance but if that isn’t at least an E then you have work to do either improving your property or dealing with the application for an exemption before you can consider letting your property. If the work needed to improve the property is in excess of £3500 including VAT, then an exemption is the option if you don’t want to spend more. There are still grants available to help with improvements that tick the boxes. I love the EPC subject but at this stage you just need to know the rating. EPC’s last for 10 years and are there for public information, so you can check yours online by just entering your postcode. This was an important part of this conversation as the property was older, no double glazing and electric heating! I would pick that up separately at another stage if I needed too.
We touched on the rest of the compliance especially EICR’s of course which are now mandatory as well as Gas Safety. All of which if Mr Potential Landlord hasn’t got or needs help with, we have a great team of reliable and professional tradesmen, all trade checked and insured that can deal with everything needed to ensure properties are fully compliant and safe to let. Whether Mr Potential Landlord is looking for Fully Managed or Let Only we cannot start a tenancy without all these things in place.
We went on to chat about marketing, making sure your property is looking it’s best at the start, well maintained good decorative order and clean, properly clean! All of which makes a difference, not only to how quickly a property will let (currently within 24 hours as a rule, yes 24 hours!) but will ensure we attract great tenants who appreciate the standard of decoration and cleanliness.
We talked about tenants, how we pre-qualify our applicants, just like I want to know about Mr Potential Landlord we also want to know about or potential tenants, all about them in order that we don’t waste theirs or our time trying to fit tenants to the wrong home for them. Again, that’s another conversation about tenants, how they all have their wants, wishes, woes and needs as well.
Finally Mr Potential Landlord our job is to pull all this together, ticking all the boxes as we go to ensure all the paperwork is in order for the tenancy start, certificates on file and in the welcome pack, payments made, inventories and deposits in place, home ready for move in and smoke detectors checked and working on day 1 – naturally there is a bit more to it than I can put in one sentence but that’s our job it’s what we do to ensure the best possible start as well as ensuring you are covered if at any point you need to issue notice but yes that’s another conversation too!
So yes, in a nutshell Mr Potential Landlord; you let someone live in your home and they pay you money!
I can’t wait for the next phone call or the return call from Mr Potential Landlord asking more about how and when I can make this happen