award-winning lettings team

smart lettings services

Trust us to be your letting agent and you will not be disappointed. At smarthomes we fully appreciate that your property is the most valuable asset you’ll ever have, and we want to make sure it’s looked after as well as possible, by a reliable tenant. We’ll find the most suitable tenant for your property, ensuring they pass all our referencing checks.

And once they’re in we can help as much as you need – from queries on who should do what, advice on who pays for what, questions on government legislation regarding tenant safety - whatever you need to know about letting your property, we’ll have the answer.

showcasing your home

Taking a bit of time to present your home in its best possible light can get more potential purchasers though the door and can result in a higher sale price.

tenant find only service

  • A well-prepared advert and high-quality brochure highlighting the key features about your property
  • Immediate advertising on rightmove.co.uk, Zoopla and smart-homes.co.uk
  • Professional advertising in local newspapers and publications
  • smarthomes ‘To Let’ board
  • Tenant checks and referencing to find the best tenant
  • Preparation of all legal paperwork including the tenancy agreement
  • Deposit protected and registered with the Tenant Dispute Service
  • Tenancy renewals

Fee: one-off charge of 75% of the first month’s rent. Please note: all fees are subject to VAT.

rent collection service

  • As Tenant find only service plus:
  • Monthly rental collection together with statements
  • Rental arrears management service, if the need should arise
  • Legal notices prepared and served
  • Annual gas safety reminders

Fee: one-off charge of 40% of the first month’s rent plus a monthly charge of 8% of the rental value. Please note: all fees are subject to VAT.

property management service

  • As for tenant find and rent collection services plus:
  • Free professional inventory with photographs
  • Meter readings taken, and utility companies informed
  • Gas and electrical safety inspections, if required
  • Energy performance certificate
  • Tenant check in, check out and deposit resolution
  • Routine management visits with detailed reports

Fee: one-off charge of 40% of the first month’s rent plus a monthly charge of 10% of the rental value. Please note: all fees are subject to VAT.

contact smarthomes for your FREE lettings valuation

Just call us today for a free, no-obligation valuation or any advice you may need on selling or letting your property and experience the smarthomes approach.

indepth information

the importance of tenant referencing

Referencing is the best way to protect yourself against poor tenants - ensuring that they are who they say they are and giving an insight into their ability to pay the agreed rent and their history of paying rent in the past.

First and foremost, ensuring that the tenant is who they say they are is very important. A tenant giving false details is obviously indicative of potential bad intentions. It is also important to establish their identity in order to ensure that the contract is enforceable.

A good reference should include both employer and landlord references (although these may not be available if you are renting to a social housing tenant, or if the tenant has not previously rented).

The reference should include:

  • Details of any bankruptcies and CCJ’s
  • Previous credit history, which will indicate whether they have failed to pay bills in the past
  • Confirmation of their employment status and current salary, which helps identify if they can afford the monthly rent

If a prospective tenant fails the credit check, it can be prudent to consider why, and how serious this actually is. For example, if they have a CCJ or were declared bankrupt, they will automatically fail the credit check. If the reason for this was that they were made redundant during the recession, but they have now had a full-time job for two years and are easily able to cover the cost of their rent with their income, and have good references, perhaps it is worth considering allowing them as tenants, but with a guarantor. A guarantor someone who will pay the rent if the tenant fails to do so. Of course, it is important that the guarantor also passes a reference check.

rent guarantee insurance

Whilst it is vital a landlord follows a strict referencing procedure, they may still find they have a tenant who doesn’t look after the property, doesn’t pay rent on time - or at all in some instances. This can happen for a variety of reasons such as ill health or the loss of a job and it’s vital that a landlord protects their investment. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the cost to evict a tenant can run into thousands of pounds.

A Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses policy can provide peace of mind in that it covers rent arrears, as long as the tenant occupies the property up until vacant possession of the property. In addition, all legal costs associated with removing the tenant from the property are covered.

gas safety certificates

If you let a property equipped with gas appliances, you have three main responsibilities under UK law:

  1. Maintenance: gas pipework, appliances and chimney/flues need to be maintained in a safe condition. Gas appliances should be serviced in accordance with the frequency given in the manufacturer’s instructions. If these are not available, annual servicing is recommended unless advised otherwise by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  2. Gas safety checks: gas appliances and flues must be safety checked annually by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer. New regulations introduced in April 2018 allow a landlord to arrange for a gas safety check to be carried out any time from 10-12 calendar months after the previous check whilst still preserving the original check expiry date.
  3. Record: a record of the annual gas safety check should be provided to your existing tenants within 28 days of completion, or to new tenants upon the start of their tenancy. You’ll need to keep copies of the record for at least 2 years.

energy performance certificate

As from the 1st April 2018 any properties rented out in the private rented sector must have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations came into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and will come into force for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.

smarthomes support package

We are here to help you every step of the way and have a comprehensive support package in place to deliver this.

frequently asked questions

are there any additional marketing costs?

We include all marketing expenses within our commission fee, so you know where you stand. Some other agents may charge an additional fee for advertising.

who will conduct viewings on my property?

We accompany all viewings on your property. It is advisable to choose a local estate agent who offers longer opening hours, like smarthomes, to maximise viewing potential and minimise the number of viewings you have to do yourself.

do I need to be present for viewings?

As we accompany all viewings, your presence is not required. However, if you would prefer to be present this can be arranged - although tenants often feel more relaxed when the owner is not present.

what is an EPC and how long will it be valid?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G and is valid for 10 years. It is a legal requirement for landlords to have a valid EPC before their property is let. From April 2018, it is also a legal requirement for all properties to attain a rating of E or above.  If they do not, recommended works will need to be carried out and the property reassessed before the property can be let.  We can arrange an EPC on your behalf.

how much will it cost to have my property managed?

Your Property Management fee will be charged as a percentage of the rental price (plus VAT) and is payable upon the tenant signing the Tenancy Agreement. You will be advised of this at the outset and it will be written into our Agreement with you.

how much is the tenant’s deposit and what happens to it?

Typically this is six weeks’ rent and is payable upon the signing of the Tenancy Agreement. The deposit for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) should be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days and we will take care of this on your behalf.

how much does an inventory cost and who is responsible for organising this?

If you decide on a fully managed service, this cost is included in your service. Prices vary depending on the size of your property and we can organise an inventory on your behalf.

how long does it take to receive my rent once paid by the tenant?

You should receive your rent within 3-5 working days of the rental due date each month. The due date is typically, although not always, the date on which the tenant moved in.

could I let my property without using an agent?

We always recommend using a reputable letting agent to let out your property.  We have vast experience in dealing with selecting tenants, referencing tenants and drawing up agreements that protect you and your interests.