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Tips for selling a rented property

A legal expert is giving her top tips for those thinking of selling a rented property.

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) reports one in four landlords have recently sold or put property on the market following the government’s changes to Mortgage Interest Relief.

Sarah Barnes, head of Residential Property at regional law firm Napthens solicitors, says organisation is the key to ensuring a smooth sale, and is advising estate agents and owners to follow several important steps.

“Begin by putting together a checklist to make sure nothing is forgotten which could delay proceedings. Once the property is on the market, make sure relevant paperwork is in order and up-to-date. This is an important part of the process because the conveyancer will need it to complete the sale.

“You’ll need a copy of the existing tenancy agreement and to ensure the latest agreement is in place. If the property is furnished, locate the inventory detailing the items originally included in and the overall condition of the property.

“Obtain and complete a Property Information Form, which asks if there are any tenants or lodgers occupying the property. This document must be completed honestly, providing as much detail as possible, to prevent potential legal action further down the line.

“If tenants have paid a deposit, it should be held by the Deposit Protection Service or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and you’ll need to have the reference number to hand so the new owner can access it.

“Another important aspect is the health and safety requirements in a property, for example annual gas safety and electrical appliance checks, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. This is the seller’s responsibility so necessary measures must be in place.

“For more advice on matters relating to selling a rented property, be sure to consult your legal advisor who will be able to help.”