Thursday 31 May 2018

10 things to check before you let

When I’m invited out by a landlord to discuss my lettings service and provide a free valuation of their rental property, there are a number of things I inevitably check to ensure the property is actually capable of being let; here’s a quick round-up of 10 things to check before you let:

1) Mortgage terms - if you have a residential mortgage because the property is currently your home, you’ll need to get the lenders permission before you can let it out, or switch to a buy-to-let mortgage.

2) Insurance - you should get proper landlords insurance, a normal policy for homeowners won’t cut it.

3)  Freeholder’s permission - if your property is leasehold (generally a flat) you’ll need to check the lease to see if it is permitted to let your property and if there are special conditions or permissions that need to be granted first.

4)  EPC - you’ll need an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for the property and it must be rated E or better (some exemptions apply).

5)  Smoke alarms - you need a smoke alarm on each level of the property.

6) Carbon monoxide alarms - necessary in every room that has a solid-fuel burning device; although I choose to install one free of charge in all my managed properties regardless (…unless it’s all electric!).

7)  Electrical safety - talking of electrics, whilst there isn’t (currently) a legal requirement for landlords to have them certified, you are responsible for providing them in a good condition - so if they look a little ‘iffy’ it’s best to get them checked by a professional. Any loose electrical items (microwaves/kettles etc) will need PAT testing.

8)  Gas safety - any gas appliance (boiler/hob/fire) needs to be certified by a registered gas engineer.

9)  Furnishing - most rental properties are let unfurnished, but if you plan to supply any furniture it needs to comply with fire safety regulations (look out for the manufacturers label).

10) Legionnaires disease - a simple risk assessment should suffice for most residential properties along with a few preventative actions (such as checking for ‘dead-legs’, de-scaling showerheads and flushing through water systems). 

Bear in mind this is a quick look at just some of the 150+ bits of legislation that letting agents and landlords need to comply with! It doesn’t even touch upon looking at the condition and desirability of a property, its likely target market or rental value. If you’d like further advice on any of the above or would like a free appraisal of your rental property, please get in touch.

For more tips about buying, selling, letting and renting in Chichester, please visit

(This article was featured in the Chichester Observer's property section on 31st May 2018)

Clive Janes, CRJ Lettings

If you are looking for an agent that is well established, professional and communicative in Chichester, then contact us to find out how we can get the best out of your investment property.

E-mail me on or call 01243 624 599.

Don't forget to visit the links below to view my previous buy-to-let deals and Chichester Property News articles:

c/o CRJ Lettings, 30B Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 1DP

Chichester rental valuation

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