Welcome to Doorknobs
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FAQ's For Landlords

Why do I need an Agent like Doorknobs to let my property?

Having a property to let and finding someone who is happy to rent it may sound straightforward. If only life was that easy! At Doorknobs, we have experience in marketing property, maximising your rental income and advising on safety aspects. Then after selecting an appropriate tenant, we take up references, draw up tenancy agreements, create an inventory and written and photographic records of conditions. It doesn’t end there, but that’s enough for now!

Don’t forget, do it on your own and there’s nothing you can do if you find that you have accepted the wrong person. Professional tenants have plenty of experience in persuading DIY landlords to accept them – much too their cost.

Why do I need my property managed in my absence?

Many landlords believe that their parents, friends or neighbours can easily manage property on their behalf or that this can be left to maintenance contractors. But that’s only the half of it!

Letting the property is one thing - management is another. It involves collecting rent on a regular basis and demanding it if it goes unpaid; visiting the property regularly to ensure the tenants are taking care of it and while there, checking for general maintenance issues.
If works need to be done, contractors need to be supervised and their accounts paid. Then there’s the issue of renewing tenancies and advising on tax and allowances. Also, an agent will know how to deal with problem tenants including those that default completely on their payments, do not pay or who refuse to vacate on time.

How often do you inspect my property?

Landlords like to feel that their property will be cared for by their tenant as if it were their own and while this can by no means be guaranteed, we believe that by taking the following steps there is every chance that this will happen and if not, that you will be reimbursed 100% for any damage at the end of the let.

Before a tenant moves into any property we make a detailed written and photographic record of the condition of the property. We believe that a photographic record makes it next to impossible to dispute the condition of fixtures and fittings that is not always the case with a written description. Doorknobs have pioneered the use of photographic records and this is a facility you will rarely find elsewhere.

On-going property inspections are carried out by agreement with you quarterly, half yearly or annually. Frequent inspection helps us establish how well your property is being cared for and most tenants do not object, since our visit means we can be proactive in looking for any maintenance problems so that these can be remedied quickly before becoming bigger, expensive issues.

During long lets, we will sometimes recommend work be undertaken for refurbishment or to maintain the property in an attractive condition. This often helps when it comes to renewing tenancies and increasing rents.  

What’s best, should I let my property furnished or part furnished?

The majority of rental property is now part furnished, i.e. offered with carpets, curtains and white goods in the kitchen. One reason why part furnished is becoming more popular with landlords is The Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1998 (amended 1989 & 1993) which imposes fire resistance levels for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishing and other upholstered products present in a residential letting.

How much rent will I get?

Rents are driven by the location, the condition of your property, access to local amenities, especially schools and transport links, current market conditions and the style and décor of the property.

At Doorknobs, we aim to get good tenants at good rents and believe that it is often better to let a property rather than holding out for a higher rental that the market cannot bear and that leaves a property empty. This ensures that you maximise your monthly rental while maintaining high occupancy rates.

We will also advise on what decorations and maintenance should be undertaken to get a new tenant and understand that you will need a return on investment for any work like this that needs to be undertaken.  

How will you advertise and market my property?

Our website is at the top of property searches throughout the area and our on-going investment in this and Search Engine Optimisation ensures that we get a high number of visitors looking for a property in our catchment area. Prospective tenants can search for a property that meets their exact requirements or register their requirements so that we can contact them when suitable property becomes available. This means that we have a constant flow of property requests and thus are always looking for new landlords!

Traditional advertising still plays an important role in attracting tenants and our reputation is also important. We have been letting property in and around Tunbridge Wells for over 30 years and the walk-in inquiries we get as a result of this are valuable.

Relocation. There are a number of big employers in the area who often need to move staff into the area at short-notice. Through our contacts with them and via our website these companies can get comprehensive information on properties suitable for their staff.
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