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Landlord Guide

Being a landlord can be lucrative. However, without the right advice it can also be a stressful process as well as a legal minefield. Luckily we are here to help. We are a member of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Its 10,000 members in the UK are bound by strict rules of conduct to ensure they offer you the highest level of integrity and service.

We are also a registered member of The Property Ombudsman scheme, a scheme that provides a free, safe and independent service for dealing with disputes between member agents, tenants and landlords of property in the UK. Member agents must follow the Letting Code of Practice.

Being registered with The Deposit Protection Service, a recognised scheme in accordance with The Housing Act legislation will ensure that any disputes between you and your tenant will be easier to resolve. Our property management team are further accredited by ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

Click our handy Lettings Regulations For Landlords to ensure your property is compliant. Below is a brief summary of the lettings process. Contact us to clarify further…

Stage 1 – Arrange a free valuation of your property.

Arrange a free valuation of your property
Book a Valuation

Stage 2 – Select an estate agent and arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Select an estate agent and arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

Stage 3 – Agree a rental price.

Agree a rental price

Stage 4 – Consider property management

Consider property management

Stage 5 – Make the most of your property.

Make the most of your property. First impressions count so ensure your property is presented in the best possible light. For tips on how to do please visit our Guide to preparing your property
Tenant Guide

Stage 6 – Prepare your property for tenancy.

Prepare your property for tenancy – organise for an inventory to be prepared and ensure you have all the relevant safety certificates so the property is compliant. See our regulations guide below

Stage 7 – Market your property.

Market your property – choose an estate agent with a fantastic marketing package included in the fee. Elliot Leigh advertise on the major portals of Rightmove, Zoopla (and the ZPG Group), our website as well as various social media platforms

Stage 8 – Supervised viewings of your property take place.

Supervised viewings of your property take place

Stage 9 – Offers are received.

Offers are received

Stage 10 – Agree an offer.

Agree an offer

Stage 11 – A holding deposit is paid by the proposed tenant(s), the reference process starts.

A holding deposit is paid by the proposed tenant(s), the reference process starts

Stage 12 – A tenancy agreement is drawn up.

A tenancy agreement is drawn up

Stage 13 – Pay remainder of monies.

The remainder of the monies is paid by the tenant(s), i.e. the balance of the deposit plus rent in advance

Stage 14 – Moving.

Tenant(s) move into the property and check the inventory

Stage 15- Register Deposit.

The landlord must register and place the tenant’s deposit in a tenancy deposit scheme (if relevant) within 30 days of the commencement of the tenancy. If managed, we organise that for you

Stage 16 – Property management.

Responsibility for repairs and maintenance is handed over to a property management company (if relevant)


Lettings Regulations For Landlords

Below are your legal obligations as a landlord in England and Wales. Failure to comply can lead to severe fines and in some cases imprisonment. Make sure you comply!

Gas and electrical legislation

Any gas appliances in the property must be inspected before a tenant moves in, and annually thereafter, in compliance with Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. A Gas Safe registered engineer must carry out this inspection. Elliot Leigh Residential will be able to organise this on your behalf as part of our letting service.

Electrical appliances left in the property must be tested by a qualified engineer to assess their safety in compliance with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. Again, Elliot Leigh Residential is able to organise this on your behalf as part of our letting service.

Landlords of private rental properties and houses of multiple occupation are required to have an electrical installation condition report (EICR) carried out and available for the start of a new tenancy and for existing tenancies. This is to comply with the electricity safety standards in the private rented section (England) regulations 2020.

It is a legal requirement for a rental property to have a valid EICR before a new tenancy starts and are typically valid for 5 years from the date of the test. On completion of an EICR being carried out faults that have been identified are required to be rectified within 28 days from the date of the test and need to be undertaken by a Part P registered competent person.

Fire & Safety

Before you let your property, you must examine all appliances and furnishings to ensure they meet the required standards. If necessary, you should repair or replace any fittings, equipment or appliances which are damaged, cracked, loose or defective to avoid injury or ill-health. The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. Furniture manufactured after 1988 must have the relevant safety labels attached prior to the property being let, in compliance with the 1988 regulations and their subsequent amendments.

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015 require that a working smoke alarm be fitted on every floor and a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance.


Every property that is rented out requires an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and this should be prepared before marketing the property.

An EPC shows how energy efficient and environmentally friendly your property is on a scale of A-G, with A being the most efficient and therefore having the lowest fuel bills and making less impact on the environment through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

An EPC also lists measures that will improve the energy and carbon emission rating of the property. It’s worth noting that investing in energy-saving measures can make your property more attractive to tenants.

As of April 2016, new government regulations mean your tenants can request your consent to make energy improvements to the property at their expense and also from April 2018, Landlords will need to ensure that the EPC rating of the property is E or above for all tenancies starting after this date.

Property Licensing

You may be required to apply for a licence to rent your property. Regulations vary depending on the Borough and style of property.

Tenant Guide

Below is a step-by-step guide of the lettings process. Check out our FAQs for more useful information and our guide on Fees you will be expected to pay.

Step 1: Start Your Property Search

Determine your budget (see our affordability calculator) and search the property portals or Elliot Leigh Residential’s website for your next home.

Step 2: Reserving A Property

Once you’ve found your ideal home, let us know and we can discuss and agree the terms of your tenancy with the Landlord.

We will then need you to undertake a reference check in order to reserve the property – these may include credit checks and personal references. In order to apply for references, you’ll need to put down a 1 week holding deposit, and will ensure the property is taken off the market.

Step 3: Signing A Tenancy Agreement

Once you’ve passed your reference checks, we will take a deposit of 5 weeks rent, and then your first months rent in advance, whilst also signing your tenancy agreement.

Step 4: Move in

Upon completion, you will be given a set of keys and if your property is managed we will provide you with your Property Manager’s contact details. We will issue you a welcome pack with the relevant certificates and an inventory of the property. We advise you to check this and let us know if there are any discrepancies as soon as possible.

Step 5: Renewing A Tenancy

We will write to you a couple of months prior to the end date of your tenancy to ask of your intentions – if you would like to extend it, or move out. Once this is known we can take the appropriate course of action.

Step 6: Checking Out

We will undertake a final inventory/inspection at the end of your tenancy, whereby the property is checked for any damages, etc.

Step 7: Deposit Refund

Should everything be satisfactory with the inventory/inspection, your deposit will be returned to you.



Below is a list of fees you may be expected to pay prior and during your tenancy. Before making a decision on your property, check out our affordability calculator.

1. Reservation of property – 1 weeks rent. If your offer is accepted this will be deducted from the total balance. If not, the payment is fully refunded.
2. Deposit – Five week’s rent (six week’s rent if the annual rent exceeds £50,000).
3. If you are late in paying your rent you may be charged interest on the rent outstanding if it is owed for more than 14 days at a rate of 3% over the Bank of England base rate.
4. Changes to the tenancy agreement, for example, a change of tenant will be charged at £50.00.
5. If you lose your keys or other security device you will be charged reasonable costs incurred by the landlord to replace these or the locks at the property.
6. If you leave or request to terminate the tenancy early, you will be liable to pay for any fees for re-letting and outstanding rent owed to the Landlord.
7. Other charges in addition to the above that are applicable to tenants where required under a tenancy agreement: Rent, payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence, council tax.
Affordability Calculator



What checks do I need to pass?

You will need to pass a credit check, residential history check and provide employment references. If you feel you may struggle with the checks you can still rent through us. You just may need to pay additional rent in advance or have a UK guarantor. Speak to us for advice.

What if I am a student without a UK Guarantor?

You can still rent with us. You may need to make an up-front rent payment of 6 – 12 months or speak to us for our recommended company guarantor for students.

Can I have a pet?

Not all landlords welcome our furry friends. They may cause damage or be a nuisance to neighbours. Some leasehold properties also forbid them in the lease. However, with good previous references and an additional pet deposit (usually an extra 2 weeks rent) to cover any possible damages, your landlord may agree.

Furnished or Unfurnished?

We would usually advertise whether the landlord is furnishing the property or not. Some landlords are flexible to both so please enquire to see what can be negotiated as part of the deal.

What is a break clause

A break clause allows either the landlord or tenant to end the agreement early in writing, usually 6 months before the end of the tenancy. Without this you will need to wait until the end of the tenancy to move out, unless your landlord agrees to another tenant replacing you. This is to be agreed as part of the AST (contract) and communicated at the time of offer ideally.

Can I decorate or make changes to the property?

In most cases, a tenant can only decorate or make changes to the property with the express permission of the landlord. We recommend receiving this permission in writing.

Who pays for gas, electricity etc?

All utilities such as gas, electricity, water, telephone and council tax are the tenant’s responsibility, unless stated otherwise. When you move into the property we will provide you with a list of useful numbers to help you get set up with the relevant providers.

How do I pay my rent?

When you sign the Tenancy Agreement we will also ask you to complete a Standing Order form authorising your bank to pay your rent to us monthly on the appropriate date. This is by far the simplest way of paying your rent regularly without payments being missed through forgetfulness.

These FAQs are the most common questions we receive from tenants but we appreciate there could be many more!

Please contact us for any further enquiries.

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