Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

Lettings agents charging £210m in tenant fees each year

United Kingdom

Following yesterday’s vote by MPs to reject a ban on letting agent fees to tenants and the government’s announcement regarding greater transparency of fees, research by the UK’s largest online letting agent sheds light on just how urgently the reform is needed, including how £210 million is charged by agents to tenants in fees each year.

Last month Upad asked 740 tenants who had recently moved about their experiences. They found that a third rated high street lettings agents as either ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’ and only a third rated their experience ‘good’.
On average, those tenants surveyed had been charged £210 in “admin” fees. With over 1 million tenancies created in the UK each year, tenants are being charged at least £210 million in “admin” fees. Many agents charge further renewal fees on the anniversary of the tenancy.

The research also revealed that half of all tenants were not made aware of the costs of letting before they viewed a property and that 70% had not met their landlord before moving in.

The importance of today’s announcements was further highlighted by the research’s additional findings, which revealed that 29% of tenants think getting rid of the administration, reservation and contract writing fees charged by agents is the No.1 element they would change about renting. A further 19% said the cost of renting was the most important issue. The third most important issue, highlighted by some 17% of respondents, was ‘poor agents’.

“Our research shows that the high fees charged by letting agents to tenants are seen by many of today’s ‘generation rent’ as unacceptable, particularly given the already high costs of paying rent and providing deposits upfront.” says James Davis, founder and CEO of.

The company, which lets over 1,000 properties a month and enables landlords to manage their properties directly, offers the services of a traditional high street lettings agent but at a fraction of the cost for both tenants and landlords.

Note: Amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill voted on yesterday in parliament and tabled by Labour follows last year’s OFT reports into the lettings industry which examined nearly 4,000 complaints by landlords and tenants about letting agents. Some 30% of these complaints were about fees and charges while 23% were complaints about poor service from agents.

Links:
OFT Report: http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/markets-work/lettings/oft1479.pdf

Notes to editors
Upad has taken the traditional high street lettings agent model and deconstructed it. Like the dating and travel categories before it, Upad empowers the customer with all the tools and support they need to self-manage their properties. Upad.co.uk offers immediate cost savings over using a traditional agent and offers landlords the largest online property distribution platform, ensuring extensive exposure for their properties – thereby maximising tenant leads. Tenants find a great choice of properties from professional landlords, and are treated openly and fairly throughout.

In September 2013, Upad reached its 6,000th transacted landlord and continues to grow exponentially every quarter as it drives true change in the lettings market.

Tenant survey reveals the good (and bad) landlords

Tenant survey reveals the good (and bad) landlords

United Kingdom

As the government prepares to regulate the private rented sector more closely with a code of practice and a draft Tenant’s Charter, the UK’s largest online letting agent, Upad.co.uk publishes research into what tenants believe makes a good or bad landlord.

 

Upad asked 720 tenants what they thought made an ideal landlord and the answers highlight the qualities that tenant cherish most. Highly rated landlords are those who deal with problems quickly, give plenty of notice before entering a property, consult on when repairs will take place and keep in contact throughout the tenancy.

 

Some 95% of all tenants say landlords being easy to contact is ‘essential’ or ‘very important’ but not all are worried about other ‘minimum standards’ as one might assume. Only 88% believe it essential or very important that the property was property maintained and just 37% expect a landlord to give the correct notice before entering a property, which should be a minimum of 24 hours written notice. And 89% think it essential or very important that a landlord consult with them on the timing of repairs to a property.

 

Tenants were also asked what one piece of advice they would offer landlords and the answers reveal the less cordial aspects of the landlord/tenant relationship. This includes to ‘fix things when we say they are wrong – not if you think they are a danger’; ‘follow through on your words’; ‘respond to issues seriously – it´s someone´s home, albeit temporarily’ and ‘do jobs properly and not cut corners to save money’.cartier replica watches rolex replica watches replica watches rolex replica watches

 

Other landlord behaviour that clearly annoys tenants includes those who moan about the cost of repairs, accidental landlords who are too precious about their former homes, landlords who charge excessive admin fees and those who rely too much on ‘cheap furniture from IKEA’. The most common comment on a more philosophical note is that tenants dislike being treated like an ‘income stream’ and not a ‘real person’.

 

James Davis, Founder of Upad.co.uk and a landlord of 15 years’ experience commented: “The results of the survey show that to be successful as a landlord the same rules apply as for any business: invest time listening to your customers’ needs and you’ll earn their loyalty and respect.”

 

 

Notes for Editors

 

Upad has taken the traditional high street lettings agent model and deconstructed it. Like the dating and travel categories before it, Upad empowers the customer with all the tools and support they need to self-manage their properties. 

 

Upad.co.uk offers immediate cost savings over using a traditional agent and offers landlords the largest online property distribution platform, ensuring extensive exposure for their properties – thereby maximising tenant leads. Tenants find a great choice of properties from professional landlords, and are treated openly and fairly throughout.

 

In September 2013, Upad reached its 6,000th transacted landlord and continues to grow exponentially every quarter as it drives true change in the lettings market.

Could longer tenancies be the key to reducing rent arrears?

Could longer tenancies be the key to reducing rent arrears?

United Kingdom

With the latest data from LSL Property Services revealing that the average monthly rent in England & Wales has gone up by 4.2% and the cost of renting in the Capital has risen eight times faster than wages over the past year it’s no wonder than tenants are feeling the pinch.

According to the latest Upad Tenant Survey (Feb 2013), over three quarters of tenants spend up to 40% of their monthly income on rent, a 10% increase compared to just one month earlier, with 4 in 10 stating that they were only renting because they could not afford to buy.
Indeed with rent accounting for an ever growing proportion of income and increases far outstripping salary rises, it is no wonder that tenant arrears are on the rise. LSL report that the total amount of late or unpaid rent reached a staggering £284 million in March 2013, rising £36 million from February.
Commenting on the situation James Davis, CEO of Upad, says,
“I don’t know of any landlord who hasn’t faced rent arrears up close and personal at some point. Here are some simple tips to help avoid arrears: 1. ALWAYS comprehensively reference your tenants no matter how nice they seem. 2. Discuss the prospective tenant’s plans with them. Is this a stop-gap or a long-term choice? And 3. Get to know your tenants. If you have a more personal connection they are more likely to keep you informed if they’re getting into trouble.”
But what can be done? Well with an ever growing proportion of the UK renting and for longer, the suggestion of extended tenancies has been raised which would allow tenants to better plan ahead financially and help to reduce large rent hikes every 6 to 12 months as is often seen when standard Assured Shorthold Tenancies are renewed.
Housing charity Shelter has long called for longer tenancies especially for the 1 million privately rented households with children and with the Upad Tenant Survey revealing that nearly 1 in 3 expects to rent for 5 to 10 years or more, the case is gaining momentum.As James comments,
“From a traditional letting agent’s perspective, shorter tenancies are good news as they get to charge renewal fees or additional payments if a new tenant moves in but from the tenant’s perspective, this can become costly and often unnecessary.
“Here at Upad, we strive to be fair to both tenants and landlords. We do not charge tenant renewal fees and encourage our landlords to treat renters not as cash-cows but valued clients. As a landlord myself I can see the benefit in long term tenancies as it allows the tenant to budget further into the future, reduce any void periods between shorter tenancies and have someone in your property who views it as their home and so will take better care of it.”
With Upad including tailored tenancy agreements as part of their Essential service available at £189 + VAT call 0333 240 1220 or visit www.upad.co.uk to find out more.
UK renters can now get a fairer deal with The Upad Tenant Guarantee

UK renters can now get a fairer deal with The Upad Tenant Guarantee

United Kingdom
  • 3.8 million UK households now rent privately, up from 1.9 million in 2001
  • Complaints about lettings agents have more than doubled in the last 5 years (The Property Ombudsman)
  • UK renters can now get a fairer deal with The Upad Tenant Guarantee

 

The UK´s 3.8 million privately renting tenants can look forward to getting a fairer deal in 2013.

 

Tenants will no longer have to put up with rogue traders and excessive agency fees: a new amendment has been introduced by the House of Lords giving better protection to tenants, and many industry organisations ( including RICS, The Property Ombudsman, Which? and ARLA) have started campaigning in earnest for the regulation of lettings agents.

 

To reflect their ambition to give tenants a fairer deal and transform the sector, Upad have published their Tenant Guarantee – a five point practice that creates a transparent lettings process for tenants.


The Upad Tenant Guarantee

 

1. We do not charge tenants “administration” fees for the property letting

The rental price (and deposit) is the only charge the tenant has to pay Upad for letting the propert

 

2.   If the landlord chooses to comprehensively reference their prospective tenants through Upad, we charge tenants (and any guarantors) £50 +VAT each

This is an additional service available to landlords. It includes a previous landlord reference, employer reference, affordability check and credit score.

 

3.       Upad tenants have a direct relationship with their landlord

This usually starts with the viewing meaning the tenant (and the landlord) can have all of their questions answered. A Upad survey showed 91% of tenants would like to meet the landlord when looking for a property

 

4.       When a tenant enquires about a property they are sent the landlord´s details by text and email to arrange a viewing.

If permission is given, the landlord is also provided with the tenant´s details

The Upad Tenant Line (0333 240 1210) is also open 7 days a week, 8-8 Monday toFriday and 9-4 at weekends. This allows us to connect tenants with the landlord as soon as possible

 

5.       We actively encourage our landlords to treat their tenants as valuable customers

Upad believes landlords should run their properties as a business. We provide weekly information and a Landlord Guide to all of our registered landlords

 

Commenting on the new Tenant Guarantee, Upad CEO James Davis says,

 

“Tenants have frequently been on the receiving end of high agency fees or fees that have been hidden from view. The Upad Tenant Guarantee shows tenants exactly how they will experience Upad, including their direct relationship with the landlord and the low fees they will pay.

 

With the rental sector continuing to grow it is important that tenants are treated as valued customers entering into a professional relationship with the landlord. The Upad Tenant Guarantee will aim to do just this.”

 

For more information on the Upad Tenant Guarantee please visit the Upad facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/upadUK which provides a tenant guide and the opportunity to ask our Tenant Team any questions you may have.

Say no to extortionate letting agent fees, save £614 and maximise yields by becoming a Upad landlord

Say no to extortionate letting agent fees, save £614 and maximise yields by becoming a Upad landlord

United Kingdom

With an ever growing pool of renters and inflation beating yields which averaged 6.3% in 2012 (Paragon Mortgages) it´s no wonder that buy-to-let property investment is so popular in the current economic climate. But unlike owning the home within which you live, landlords, be they professional or accidental, must treat their properties as income generators and this means minimising costs to maximise yields.

One cost which all too often reduces overall yield is the amount charged by high street letting agencies to find and place tenants. At present, despite calls from a wide variety of organisations, there is no regulation of letting agents or the fees they charge. Of course some do act responsibly and charge fair rates but all too often landlords are forced to pay extortionate fees equivalent to one or even two month´s rent to secure tenants.
Times are changing however and continuing on their quest to revolutionise the UK lettings industry Upad are offering a more cost-effective alternative. On average a Upad landlord saves £614 by switching to the 5* online lettings service from a traditional high street agent (Jan 2013).
James Davis, Upad CEO and hands-on landlord for 14 years, explains,
“As a landlord myself I think of each of my properties as a micro-business. Detailing in black and white the costs each property accrues against the income it generates gives me a good idea of the annual yield I can expect. From experience, high agency fees can destroy yields so I always look to reduce these as much as possible with self-management and online tenant finding services such as Upad.”
With nearly half of all UK landlords already self-managing and subscribing to the Upad model of meeting tenants face to face rather than via a third party lettings agency and indeed paying through the nose for the privilege, the tide is turning and for the better.
As one Upad landlord, Vito Cilenti from Leeds comments,
“After using Upad six times in the last 6 months with fantastic results every time, I would never consider using a high street agent again. Upad offer very good value for money, a website that´s easy to use and if your property is displayed properly with good photos, Upad will find you a tenant quickly and efficiently.”
In total, Upad landlords saved £1,890,938 last year by switching from traditional agents and if every UK landlord currently using a letting agent switched to Upad they would save a staggering £700,347,600.
James concludes,
“In comparison with high street letting agents who, as a group, received over 4,000 complaints to the Office of Fair Trading last year, the benefits of being a Upad landlord are significant. Our rates are transparent and one-off, we don´t drip-feed additional charges throughout a tenancy and by operating an online model, our exposure is vast yet overheads are low enabling us to offer fair pricing without comprising on customer service. The fact that 57% of Upad landlords surveyed in January 2013 switched from high street letting agents to our service speaks for itself!”
For further detailed information on being a Upad landlord and price plans which start from £299 + VAT which includes professional photography and a floor plan, a ´To Let´ board erected outside the property and advertising across all major UK lettings sites as well as comprehensive tenant referencing, drawing up of the tenancy agreement, deposit registration and crucially, rent collection call 0333 240 1220 or visit www.upad.co.uk .
Property Inspector: Should letting agents be regulated?

Property Inspector: Should letting agents be regulated?

United Kingdom

TheMoveChannel.com´s Property Inspector, taking a closer look at global real estate each month.

In February´s podcast, the Inspector investigates the latest calls from the Office of Fair Trading to regulate the lettings market. Analysing 4,000 complaints received by people renting a home, the OFT found 1,557 of them were about fees and charges, while 1,211 were about agents providing a poor service.
They follow similar statements from both The Property Ombudsman and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. With the number of tenants still on the up, the market is now a £1 billion per annum business, handling £14 billion per annum of clients´ money.
At the moment, though, anybody can become a lettings agent. There are around 11,500 letting agents in the country – but the exact number is unclear because there is no single, official register. This system, which opens itself up to loopholes and abuse, sees horror stories from tenants or landlords regularly appearing in the media. Indeed, complaints to The Ombudsman were up by 12pc in 2012 compared to 2011.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has described the rental sector as “the property industry´s Wild West”.
Are they right? Does the sector need a sheriff? Should lettings agents be regulated?
The Property Inspector sits down with James Davis, CEO of the UK´s largest online letting agent, Upad, who argues that the sector needs educating – not regulating.
Click here to listen to the full investigation.
The RICS described the lettings sector as the “property industry’s Wild West”. Is that a fair description? Does it need a sheriff?
“I think the amount of rogue landlords or agents are a very small minority but they tarnish the sector. I think having a sheriff or compulsory licensing of some form would have a disastrous effect in driving rogue agents underground and would make them harder to track. It’s important to keep things above the surface and to make landlords and tenants both aware of the Kitemarks to look out for that relate to best practise and trust.”
Complaints increased last year as more people became tenants. How widespread a problem is this?
“The OFT have had 4,000 complaints and The Ombudsman received around 8,000 complaints. To put that into perspective, those 12,000 complaints in the last year have come about from the 2 to 3 million tenancies that were created last year – well less than 1 per cent of all tenancies. Of course, there are more complaints as the rental market is growing, but we need to keep it in perspective.”
If agents were trained to a certain standard, would that be enough, instead of full regulation and enforcement?
“There are no regulations for landlords to train as such. It could be argued that there should be; the reason for the rising number of complaints is partly because there is no formal training for agents, landlords or tenants. It’s not surprising that there are complaints if all three parties haven’t had formal training.
 “There are voluntary schemes now, such as ARLA [Association of Residential Letting Agents], of which I and Upad are accredited members. What that offers is protection against money laundering, secured deposits, but it also means that they’ve done professional exams, which are the equivalent of an A-Level, so that the person you are dealing with understands what the lettings process all about. But only a minority of letting agents are actually members of ARLA.”
Should there at least be some kind of official, compulsory register, so that we can track agents in the country?
 “What I think makes more sense is to make tenants aware of what to look out for – like whether a landlord is a member of an accreditation scheme or how long they’ve been trading for, and using those Kitemarks that are out there, maybe go on the ARLA website to see what agents are operating in their area, to know that they are moving into a property where that landlord is a professional.
“From a tenant perspective, tenants should look beyond the property and at whom it is being letted by. Is that agent ARLA accredited? Is their landlord a member of the NLA [National Landlords Association] or the RLA [Residential Landlords Association]? Do your own due diligence: “Buyer beware” is the important phrase.
“Landlords have a choice as well. When they want to let their property, they can self-manage through notice boards, like Gumtree, use a traditional high-street agent, or an agency like Upad, where we explain our fees clearly and have a wealth of information online about how to run your property as a business. Whichever you look to use, do you your own due diligence, make sure your letting agent is accredited, or look at other testimonies from landlords.”
Notes to Editors 
Property Inspector image courtesy of Snowshot.
Founded in 1999, TheMoveChannel.com is the leading independent website for international property, with than 400,000 listings in over 100 countries around the world, marketed on behalf of agents, developers and private owners.
The website address is http://www.TheMoveChannel.com and the office address is 45 Lafone Street, Shad Thames, London, SE1 2LX.
Contact Dan Johnson on 0207 952 7650 for further information.
“We’re not stuck, it’s a choice” say 30% of UK tenants who rent rather than buy

“We’re not stuck, it’s a choice” say 30% of UK tenants who rent rather than buy

United Kingdom

High house prices, the need for a hefty deposit and lack of access to mortgage finance have all undeniably contributed to the creation of ‘Generation Rent’ but not everyone is stuck in the trap – 30% of UK tenants choose to rent rather than buy according to the latest data from leading online lettings agent, Upad.

 

Indeed it may well be officially £120 cheaper to own your home today then rent (Halifax, Jan 2012) but bricks and mortar is never a simple numbers game and now nearly a third of UK renters actively choose this path because they don’t want the commitment of buying a property.
A case in point is Charlotte Ashton, 31 from London, who has lived rented accommodation for over 10 years now. She explains,
“Whilst it is my ultimate aspiration to get on the property ladder at some point, I have actively chosen to live in rented accommodation for all of my adult life. The freedom, flexibility and being able to rely on the landlord to repair any problems has been a real draw for me and with house prices in London skyrocketing there is no way I could ever live where I do unless I rented.”
Charlotte has lived happily in her current 5 bedroom property in Shepherd’s Bush, West London since 2009, a trend also seen in the Upad Tenant Survey (Jan 2013) which revealed that 39% of UK tenants expect to rent for 3 years or more.
With the Upad survey also showing that nearly half of all UK tenants lose more than 30% of their salaries to rent, finding the perfect property is essential. 47% of tenants start looking for their next new home 2 months or more before they have to move and expect to see on average 16 properties during their search.
As James Davis, CEO of Upad and hands on landlord for 14 years, comments,
“With rents escalating across the country, tenants are becoming increasingly fussy about the properties they rent and rightly so, living standards should be the same for owners and tenants alike.
“As a landlord I am always asked to provide prospective tenants with photos of the property and indeed this and other advertisement features rank highly in our survey with 93% of UK tenants believing photos to be either very important or essential, 72% stating distance to transport links and 58% a broadband connection.”
For further detailed information on the state of the UK rental market from a tenant’s perspective, contact the experts at Upad who handle 20,000 tenant enquiries per month on 0333 240 1220 or visit www.upad.co.uk .
With confidence on the wane in H2 2012 according to latest data, should UK landlords be bullish or bearish in 2013?

With confidence on the wane in H2 2012 according to latest data, should UK landlords be bullish or bearish in 2013?

United Kingdom

According to new figures released by Upad, the leading online lettings agency, a mere 63 per cent of landlords remain bullish on the outlook for the UK private rental sector in 2013, a drop of nearly 10 per cent compared to this time last year.

Upad’s latest Landlord Confidence Index (December 2012) reveals that whilst confidence overall in the UK buy-to-let market remains positive, not all landlords may be quite so bullish in 2013.

James Davis, CEO of Upad, comments,

“The overall trend for 2012 shows a decline in confidence in the 2nd half of the year (barring an Olympic blip) as economic growth failed to pick up – generating concerns about tenant’s personal finance with bank lending continuing to be challenging and increases in rental values slowing.

“The problems affecting the wider economy are highly unlikely to disappear in 2013 with the recent snow even tipped to trigger a triple-dip recession, so for that reason I suspect landlords to be cautious about over-exposing themselves. However, that said many of our landlords do appear to be in a far stronger place than might have been anticipated a couple of years ago.”

Indeed, this more optimistic outlook for the next 12 months is supported by IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer who explains that despite the lack of confidence, falling house prices and low interest rates, on-going demand for rental property in the UK and higher yields have created the perfect environment for UK landlords to thrive with over 8% achievable in some UK cities such as York, as revealed by Zoopla last week.

The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) has also seen an upward trend in landlord investment over the past 12 months with the number of buy to let properties owned by landlords rising to eight in Q4 2012, up from seven at the beginning of the year.

Be they bullish or bearish, first and foremost in landlord’s minds should be the avoidance of void periods in 2013 as this will directly affect their yields. And for those looking for an innovative new way to find tenants then the UK´s market leading online lettings agency, Upad, is the answer. Standing out from the crowd, Upad specialise in helping professional tenants rent properties from landlords directly by allowing landlords to manage their own viewings. As a result, Upad receive around 20,000 tenant enquiries per month.

Upad offers a complete lettings service for a flat fee of only £299 (+ VAT) which includes professional photography and a floor plan, a ‘To Let’ board erected outside the property and advertising across all major UK lettings sites as well as comprehensive tenant referencing, drawing up of the tenancy agreement, deposit registration and crucially, rent collection. For more information please contact Upad, on 0333 240 1220 or visit www.upad.co.uk.

If you don´t know your EPCs from ABCs, Upad are here to help…

United Kingdom

With the property advertising display rules being recast again as of, 9th January 2013, EPCs are once again on the industry´s radar. But what exactly are EPCs?

 

EPCs or Energy Performance Certificates are documents which give a full rundown of the energy efficiency of a property and its environmental impact. It also offers tips and advice as to how to improve the energy performance of the property as well as giving contact details for the person who carried out the assessment.
 
 
Does everyone need one? If you´re just living in your property, you´re okay but should you decide to sell or lease it out, you definitely will need to have an assessment carried out, one requirement often overlooked by landlords.  
 
 
James Davies, CEO of Upad, leading online lettings agent comments,
 
 
"A valid EPC is a legal requirement for every rental property. Estate agents and other third parties must ensure that an EPC has been commissioned before they can market a property for rent.  Landlords must provide a copy free of charge to the person who takes up the tenancy.  It is not necessary to commission a new EPC each time there is a change of tenant, or the property is sold.
 
 
"Although agents will have had to include EPC details on all property advertising since January 9th 2013, the requirement to include the front page of the EPC will be dropped. Furthermore, listed buildings will no longer need to have an EPC at all."
 
 
With these changes in mind, Upad have strived to make it even easier for landlords across the country to meet the legal EPC requirements by removing the hassle that comes with the paperwork. Simply list a property online at just £99+VAT and receive a free EPC, with the process normally completed in 48 hours. 
 
 
For further information please visit www.upad.co.uk or call 0333 240 1220. You can also now follow Upad on Twitter @Upad or like the dedicated Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/upadUK 

Essential winter reading for landlords! 7 top survival tips for the big freeze…

United Kingdom

Britain is set for freezing temperatures as the mild weather ends, with reports from The Met Office predicting snow in some parts of the country!

 

As a landlord you are ultimately responsible for the upkeep of your property and therefore it’s vital to remember to protect your bricks and mortar during the winter months.
 
 
James Davis, CEO of Upad, leading online lettings agent, has utilised his 12 years of hands-on experience to provide landlords with his 7 top tips on caring for your property this winter and avoiding any costly surprises:
 
 
1.       Make sure your tenants are informed
Keep your tenants well informed about potential winter property damage. Do not assume that your tenants know how to deal with the cold weather.  It is your responsibility as a landlord to make sure they have the information they need. Put together an information pack including details such as basic boiler operation etc and remind tenants to periodically turn the heating on using the timer if they are not in the property for several days.
 
2.       Think about insulation
A fully insulated property is crucial for the winter. Make sure the basics such as the obvious draft points are covered and loft insulation is in good condition. Invest in some draft excluders to keep gaps underneath doors and between windows secure. Also check the cladding around your pipes and make sure that taps are not leaking.
 
3.       Check your pipes
Inspect all external pipes and guttering for breaks and blockages. Blocked pipes can quite easily freeze during the cold months, expand and then burst, which can cause expensive water damage. Check that all pipes are in good order and that they are correctly secured to the walls and also have a look at the brickwork around your property for cracks, which could potentially allow water in. Clear out any guttering regularly especially if there are trees overhanging your property.
 
4.       Fix underlying problems in advance
Deal with those little snagging problems such as a drafty door, a flimsy pipe or damp room now, rather than later. By sorting the little problems before the really cold weather sets in, you can help to prevent bigger, potentially expensive problems later on.
 
5.       Minimise void periods
If your property is going to be empty over the winter, you need to make extra plans to ensure it is maintained and no disasters happen. Void periods are a major threat during the cold months to landlords. Make sure that you visit regularly, ensure the heating is kept on at a low level and that condensation does not build up.
 
6.       Stock up for emergencies
It is a good idea to keep a few key items in your property just for emergencies such as a torch, a fan heater and basic tool kit; this will help to ensure that minor disasters can be dealt with quickly and effectively.  Remember that your tenants may not be able to deal with all issues on their own therefore make sure that they also have contact numbers for you and local tradesmen.
 
7.       Check your insurance policy
Maintenance-related issues are often not always covered by certain insurance policies. Make sure that you ready thoroughly and understand the terms of your insurance policy, both for your own peace of mind and for your tenants! Specialist landlord insurance is available from a number of brokers.
 
 
As one of the UKs largest and fastest growing letting agencies, Upad now receives around 20,000 tenant enquiries per month and specialise in helping professional tenants rent properties from landlords directly by allowing landlords to manage their own viewings, an approach which 90% of tenants are in favour of according the latest Upad research.
 
 
Offering a complete lettings service for a flat fee of only £299 (+ VAT) which includes professional photography and a floor plan, a ´To Let´ board erected outside the property and advertising across all major UK lettings sites as well as comprehensive tenant referencing, drawing up of the tenancy agreement, deposit registration and crucially, rent collection.
 
 
For more information please contact Upad, on 0333 240 1220. You can also visit www.upad.co.uk or the dedicated Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/upadUK  and now follow @Upad on Twitter.