Landlord guidelines

What we can do for you

  • Arrange to meet at the property to be let at a time convenient to you. Even evening appointments, Saturdays and Sundays
  • You must have a smoke detector on every level of your property in working order prior to a tenant moving in. You must also provide a Carbon Monoxide detector if you have any solid fuel burners in your property.
  • Advise you on a professional letting rental valuation, taking into consideration your personal circumstances and the current lettings market in Sussex to gain you the best possible rental
  • Guide you through all the current legislation to ensure you let your home within the law and suggest ways to prepare your home for your new tenants
  • We market on our website, Zoopla, OnTheMarket, Primelocation, our website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and our office window
  • We accompany all letting viewings and are available to fit around our applicants so can do evenings or all over the weekend
  • Fully reference your prospective tenants and discuss our findings with you
  • Arrange for a detailed inventory, schedule of condition and check in including photographs by a professional inventory clerk
  • Draw up a detailed Tenancy Agreement relevant to you and your requirements
  • Collect a deposit from your tenants normally 6 weeks of the monthly rental and register it with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
  • Set up for the tenant to pay the monthly rent by standing order
  • We could arrange the final accounts for some of your utilities
  • Quarterly statements for your tax returns
  • Our property management team will arrange to visit your property quarterly in order to ensure your tenants are looking after your property and then report back to you our findings
  • We contact your tenants every month to ensure they are happy and enjoying living in their new home
  • Use our local contractors to carry out any repairs/maintenance works as instructed by you
  • We will negotiate any renewal of your tenancy
  • Arrange a professional check out at the end of the tenancy and establish any dilapidations which maybe paid from the tenants deposit
  • Then we will start all over again!


Please note that Lawton & Dawe Properties will only provide your relevant personal details to third parties to fulfil terms of our relationship with you. For example, to contractors to arrange for maintenance. For further details on how your personal information is stored please contact the office.

Why us

  • We are an independent sales and letting agent based in Hove, covering the whole of West & East Sussex
  • We specialise in property management, sales and lettings
  • Lawton & Dawe Properties has professional, good quality tenants for our landlords and serious buyers for our vendors
  • We offer premium properties to rent or buy in all areas of the market
  • We operate 6 days a week
  • Our website is updated daily.  Also, we advertise on  Zoopla and onthemarket
  • Lawton & Dawe is one of only a few ARLA registered Agents in Sussex
  • Our staff are ARLA trained.  Moreover, our Managing Director has a specialised diploma in property management and lettings
  • We can offer a bespoke level of service to ensure all your needs are met

Preparing your property to let

Lawton & Dawe Properties is pleased to offer the following landlord guidelines.  However, it’s not just advice, though.

Basically, think of it as more of a must-do check list.

And, make sure it’s done.

In brief, renting out your property is a commitment.  To remain legally compliant and, of course, a decent landlord, there’s a lot to do.  Obviously, we want you to get it right, so feel free to print out this list and tick everything off.

Give us a call on 01273 917 791 to place your property with us.

Absolute Essentials if You Rent Property.  You MUST have these by law:

  • A Landlord’s Gas Safety Certificate, gained by an inspection prior to the tenant’s occupancy. This meets the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations Act, 1994, amended 1996. We also advise you have annual service on the boiler, to ensure that it’s working as it should.
  • The electrical installation and appliances must be checked prior to occupancy. This is in accordance with the Electrical Equipments (Safety) Regulations Act, 1994 and the General Product Safety Regulations, 1994.
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors must be installed and be proven to work before the tenancy starts.
  • If the property is unfurnished, you must still supply:
    • Carpets
    • Curtains
    • Light fittings
    • Any white goods that are left


  • If the property is furnished, all upholstered furniture must meet the strict regulations set out in The Furniture and Fittings (fire safety) Regulations 1989, amended 1993).


  • It is your obligation to give your tenant the How to Rent checklist, although you can also email it to them.


  • Lastly, you must protect your tenant’s deposit through the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We can take care of this, so contact us to find out more.

Important Landlord Guidelines

  • It is your responsibility to ensure that there is a working telephone landline at the property.


  • An independent inventory is strongly advised prior to the tenant occupying the property.


  • If there is a chimney, you should ideally arrange for it to be swept before occupancy; your tenants will be advised to do the same before they leave.


  • 3 sets of keys should be cut and supplied: two sets are for the tenant and one for Lawton & Dawe Properties. You should ensure that these are supplied to us before the tenant moves in.


  • We would recommend that you keep any maintenance contracts that you may have regarding central heating systems, alarms and for white goods.


  • You should arrange for your mail to be re-directed to your new address.

Lawton & Dawe Properties will/can:

  • Inspect your property every 3/6 months to ensure that your tenants are keeping it in a good condition; we will report back to you our findings.
  • Deliver final accounts and readings on utilities but will require instructions from you to do this.

Renting out your property is about keeping your tenants safe.  Safe as houses, in fact.

Summary of the Law

Acts of Parliament, such as The Rent Act 1977, The Housing Act 1988 as amended 1996 and The Housing Act 2004 regulate the relationship between Landlords and Tenants. This legislation has been brought in to protect both Landlords and tenants.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) were brought in with The Housing Act 1988 as amended 1996. These are the most commonly used agreements and allow greater security to both parties. Using an AST agreement gives you the flexibility to create it for any length of time, although a landlord cannot normally recover possession within 6 months from the start unless there has been a serious breach of the agreement. Contrary to popular belief there is no difference as to the security of tenure for the tenant between a furnished house or an unfurnished house.

The Housing Act 2004 saw the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) as amended on 6th April 2013, which is now a requirement for a landlord to have for each rental property before it is brought onto the market.

Leasehold Properties

If you are letting a Leasehold property more common if you are letting an apartment then written confirmation must be obtained that letting is permitted. A copy of the Head Lease must be provided to us and we will then attach it to the tenancy agreement.



If you have a mortgage on the property you are looking to let then we require written approval from your lender. This can take some time so we suggest as soon as you know you are going to let this is of high priority.


The income you receive from letting your property is classified as ‘unearned income’ and is liable for tax. If you remain in Great Britain whilst letting your property then you are responsible for declaring the rental income you receive to the Inland Revenue, but you may claim allowances to offset the tax due. We recommended that you seek advice from an accountant.

Overseas Tax

If you are to be an overseas resident whilst letting your home then basic rate tax had to be deducted by Lawton & Dawe Properties and then paid to the Inland Revenue. If you wish to receive your rent gross of tax you should complete a NRL1 form and return it to FICO. A separate form must be completed by all owners of the property and we can provide these to you.

Legal and Loss of Rent Cover

To provide peace of mind, we would recommend you have legal and loss of rent insurance in place. For further information please contact us.


Services – Tenant find, Managed and Premium Service

Lawton & Dawe Properties offers a unique service which in this strong lettings market means we can ensure excellent returns being paid to landlord on their investments.

Letting your property whether it is your home or an investment is a serious business and if handled by non-professionals could cause you unnecessary hassle and expense.

Lawton and Dawe Properties is here to guide you through every step of letting your property, from the initial marketing to issuing legal notices.

The services we offer are bespoke to your needs but will fall within these three levels;

Tenant Find Only 50% of 1 months rent

  • Rental valuation and advice
  • Advising on HHSRS, furniture and furnishings and general safety compliance
  • Advertising and marketing the property
  • Negotiation of tenancy including comprehensive referencing
  • Right to Rent checks
  • Initial tenancy agreement (at agreed cost)
  • Arrangement of inventory (at agreed cost)
  • Registration of deposit and administration of prescribed information


Managed Service 12% of monthly rent

All of the above plus…

  • Arrangement of annual gas safety check
  • Arrangement of EICR report
  • Arrangement of EPC
  • Receiving ongoing payments and payment of invoices
  • Deduction of taxes for overseas landlords
  • Regular property checks (3/6 months depending on service)
  • Checkout report and initial deposit negotiations
  • Arrangement of routine maintenance during tenancies
  • Set up of new utility accounts

Premium service 15% of monthly rent

All of the above plus…

  • Renewal agreement included (additional cost at managed level)
  • Termination of tenancy fee (additional at managed level)
  • Arrangement of non routine maintenance and improvements
  • Caretaking services between tenancies
  • Serving of notices (Section 8, Section 13, Section 21)
  • Addendums to tenancy agreements
  • Liaising with block management agencies

Please contact us for further information or clarification. You can download a copy of our landlord fees here.

Buy to let

Are you looking to start or increase your portfolio of rental property? If you are, then this is the page for you.  Our landlord guidelines will guide you through the whole process.  In brief, there’s a lot to know.  But, don’t worry.  With our experience and expertise, we can offer objective and professional advice on the type of property and the area in which to invest.

What we can do for you?

Research and find suitable properties for you, taking into consideration your financial requirements.

Advise on market trends

Discuss portfolio strategies

Secure good returns on short and long term investments

Oversee portfolio management

View properties prior to purchase, to advise on rental value and on work needed prior to letting

Recommend reputable financial advisors of which we have solid relationships