Letting a cottage can be an exciting yet daunting experience. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve done this before, it is important to understand how to let a cottage properly for the best results. It involves more than just finding tenants; there are lots of things to consider when letting a cottage and this guide will help you through each stage.
1. Create an inventory
Before letting your cottage, make sure you create an accurate inventory of all the items in your property as well as general condition notes on how they were at the start of the tenancy agreement. This helps both parties know exactly what was present when the tenants moved in which can be used as a reference point when they move out.
2. Understand your rights and obligations
Make sure you understand how the tenancy agreement works and that you are following legal requirements, such as having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and appropriate fire safety measures in place. Your local authority can provide guidance on these issues or if you need something more detailed then StayCotswold is a great resource to find out more information.
3. Find tenants
Before selecting tenants for your cottage, ask them to fill in a tenant application form so you can verify their identity and check references from previous landlords, which will help determine how reliable they will be with the rent payments and how well they look after the property. Additionally, it’s important to have a written tenancy agreement in place.
4. Perform regular inspections
As the landlord, it is your responsibility to inspect the property at least once a year and make sure necessary repairs or improvements are made when needed. If any issues arise between inspections, encourage tenants to communicate them with you so that they can be dealt with promptly.
5. Manage rent payments
The most important part of letting a cottage is making sure rental payments are collected on time each month and kept up-to-date records of these transactions throughout the tenancy period. Make sure you’re familiar with how tenant deposit protection schemes work as well – this is mandatory in England and Wales.
6. End of tenancy procedure
When the tenant leaves, you need to check how they’ve left the property and compare it against the inventory you created earlier. If there are any damages or missing items, then these must be discussed with the tenants in good time before their tenancy ends. You also have a duty to return any deposit that was taken at the start of the tenancy agreement within 10 days.
Letting a cottage can seem like a lot of work but it is important to adequately prepare for each stage so that both parties can enjoy a successful and stress-free experience. Make sure you understand how tenancy agreements work and what your rights and obligations are as a landlord. Additionally, always double-check everything is in order before selecting tenants and throughout the tenancy period. For further support and information on how to let a cottage, visit StayCotswold howitstart.