Property Lettings & Management

If you're thinking about letting, or changing your letting agent, this guide will introduce you to White Walls agency and answer many questions you may have about letting your property.

First steps

You will want to know the rental value of your property. We can give you an estimate over the phone and a more accurate valuation following a visit to your property. Another good indication of the rental value is by checking similar properties to your own on the rental pages of our website.

These are some of the things you must do before letting your property:

  1. If you have a mortgage, you'll need to inform your lender and get their permission. If they don't give this, you may need to change your lender. We can give you advice on this.
  2. If you are planning to let a leasehold property, you may find that there are clauses in the lease relating to what you may do. Check your head lease, if it is unclear in any way, show it to us and we can advise you.
  3. Your buildings and contents insurance may be affected by a letting. You'll need to inform your insurer to make sure that cover will continue if you are absent from the property, or find a new insurer. Again, we can advise.
  4. There are safety regulations that have to be followed and maintained on property that is let. We will help you understand compliance with fire and furnishings regulations and we can arrange safety checks for gas and electrical appliances.

Wouldn't it be cheaper to do this all myself?

There are many other things you'll need to take care of if you do let privately. For example, you'll need to advertise your property and find time to answer calls, be available for viewings, vet tenants, get references and draw up contracts.

A letting agent can take this weight off of your mind, manage the property on your behalf and give you advice. At White Walls agency we have access to credit referencing agencies that enable us to check the tenant can afford the rent and does not have a history of defaulting on payments.

So how much is this going to cost me?

Well it may cost you nothing at all. A letting agent will know the market well and may be able to achieve a higher rent than you could do yourself direct with a tenant.

At White Walls agency the initial rental valuation of your property is free. You only pay commission when we successfully let your property and you'll always have access to a specialist team dedicated to letting.

Another agent may inflate the value of your property with a higher rental income. If you accept this, you could be out of pocket and lose weeks of rental income while your property remains un-let.

For a full list of our fees please contact us.

Furnished or unfurnished?

You may let your property furnished or unfurnished. Once we have seen your property we can advise you what would be best to do. The standard for furnished is:

White goods: cooker, microwave, fridge/freezer, washing machine/tumble dryer.
Bed(s), chairs and sofa that comply with safety regulations.
A kitchen or dining room table and chairs.

You could leave a TV and hi-fi equipment, but it will be your responsibility to repair and replace these in the event of breakdown.

Do not leave personal effects such as vases, ornaments and pictures that could get easily damaged.

Preparing your property for rental

Should you wish we can organise a professional spring-cleaning of your property, to include steam cleaning of carpets and redecorating if needed.

Conducting a property viewing

Make sure all keys are available to open windows, fire escapes or a garage if you have one.

If you wish to be present at the viewing, give time for the applicants to discuss the property alone before they leave. Resist the temptation to ask viewers if they like your property. They may spontaneously tell you. Either way, it makes negotiating easier if we handle feedback until matters progress to an offer.

How long does it take to find a suitable tenant?

According to market demand and the desirability of your property, anything from between a few hours to several weeks. At White Walls agency we are able to maximise the speed of letting due to our extensive marketing of your property and our professional service driven staff.

How do I go about vetting a potential tenant?

White Walls agency will do this for you, by undertaking credit and fraud checks together with obtaining references from an employer or previous Landlord.

Obligations during the let

Any repairs needed during the tenancy must be carried out promptly. You must also ensure your property complies with safety regulations. With White Walls agency as your letting agent, you can be assured that we can take care of these on your behalf and because we deal with many properties, we get better terms from suppliers. This means that if for example a washing machine breaks down or a shower fails, we can arrange a quick repair or replacement on your behalf.

We also visit the property from time-to-time to keep an eye on its condition and send you an annual statement of account for your tax records.

What's an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy offers the landlord a guaranteed right to repossess his property at the end of the term. It also sets down rental payment details and who will pay for council tax, water, etc.

What happens if the tenant becomes a problem or doesn't pay their rent on time?

White Walls agency minimise this risk by undertaking vetting procedures prior to letting. Additionally, we

  • hold a rent deposit on your behalf
  • set up Standing Orders for rent payments
  • chase late or unpaid rent

This Guide has been prepared by White Walls agency. All advice is offered in good faith, and readers who choose to act upon it do so at their own risk. White Walls agency accept no responsibility for any action taken, or loss occurring as a result of any advice/information given here. For a full understanding of what we undertake please read our Terms and Conditions given on our website.

Call Oxford 01865 246100 or Bicester 01869 251590 for a FREE, no obligation valuation