get references from a tenant

Getting good tenants is vital in helping your buy-to-rent property pay its way.

You need tenants who are solvent, who will care for your property, and who will be good long-term renters.

Tenant selection is an art.

There are three things every landlord must check when they get references from a prospective tenant:

  1. They are who they say they are – including checking previous names/aliases.

It’s important to know who your tenants are. You cannot carry out effective background checks without knowing this.

You should check aliases and previous names, either changed by deed poll or by marriage.

A good agent will check electoral rolls and ask for proof of identification and residence such as passports, driving licences, and utility bills.


  1. They have the means to pay their rent.

Financial references are vital. Typical references here would come from employers, who would provide the level of annual salaries and whether prospective tenants are in full-time, part-time, or temporary work.

You may also want references from previous landlords, if they have rented homes in the past or are currently in other rented accommodation.

These references would give you a good idea that the prospective tenants have paid their rent on time and left properties in a good condition.

If you’re renting a commercial property, you’ll need to run checks with Companies House and other agencies about the companies who wish to rent it.


  1. If there are some doubts, they have a guarantor.

If the prospective tenants are not approved after the financial and identity checks, you may wish to ask that a guarantor be appointed to ensure their rent is paid.

This is usually a parent or guardian who will assume responsibility for the rent if it is not paid by the tenants, paying any arrears and any damages over the value of the deposit.


These are important steps in the tenant selection process.

So, why not leave it to the professionals who have years of experience in dealing with these matters?

Experienced agents such as Louvain Properties take the hassle out of the process and ensure you get the best possible tenants for your South Wales flat, house, or commercial property.

We’re also registered as an agent with Rent Smart Wales – saving you the hassle of registering as an agent yourself.


Looking for a South Wales property agent? Could we help you? Call our friendly team on 01495 440264. Find out more about what we do for landlords here.

Estate Agency in Tredegar

House sellers in Blaenau Gwent have a new way of finding buyers – thanks to our estate agency in Tredegar.

We’re expanding our successful lettings and property maintenance business into the sales market.

Louvain Properties founder Steve McPherson said he saw a gap in the market in Tredegar when one estate agent moved his business out of the town.

We’re opening our new estate agency in Commercial Street Tredegar with an opening evening for our landlords and local business people on May 4.”

Estate Agency in TredegarThe new shop will be offering a full service – including sales, lettings, and property maintenance for landlords.

One new job has already been created, and Ebbw Vale man Steve hopes to create more employment in his home county borough in the future.

“We offer something different because we have the whole package,” he said.

“My background is in the construction industry so we have been offering property maintenance for the past 14 years.

“We also offer the smart deposit scheme which is popular with both landlords and tenants. Instead of a bond, the tenants pay for £229 worth of insurance cover which ends to be hundreds of pounds cheaper than paying the equivalent of a month’s rent as a bond.

“Blaenau Gwent is an excellent place for first-time buyers to look for property, and with the Cardiff to Ebbw Vale rail line we are now getting enquiries from people who want to move into the area because house prices and rents are so reasonable here.

“We are offering two levels of service. We’ll have an advert-only service similar to Purple Bricks for those on a budget, where sellers carry out their own viewings, and the full-service option including negotiations and supervising viewings.”

Our lettings service is known for providing landlords and tenants with an excellent level of service – including reference checking, dealing with repairs, and acting as an effective method of communication between them.

Our new sales agency will also offer excellent service to both sellers and buyers.

See our latest properties here:

If you have a house for sale, call us on 01495 619 811


After a long, hard winter, most of us are delighted Spring’s now here.

It’s a time for clearing our homes and giving ourselves a brighter, new look.

So, if you’re a landlord looking to rent your house or flat this Spring, it’s time to give your property a Spring make-over.

This will help you attract the sort of tenants you want.

Here are our top 5 ways of spring cleaning your South Wales rental property:

  1. Create kerb appeal – You only have a few seconds to make a good impression. The tenants you want will want to create a home in your property, so help them to see it right at the start of their viewing. You could repaint the front door, or replace it with a new composite door. You could also repaint your porch, tidy up the front garden, and put some planters around it. Make them feel this is somewhere they could call home.
  2. Give it a thorough Spring clean – Ensure all the carpets are professionally cleaned to get rid of stains and lingering smells from past tenants’ cigarettes or pets. Get the kitchen appliances and bath and bathroom fittings steam cleaned. Your property should smell fresh and welcoming.
  3. Ensure your paperwork is up to date – Tenants will want to know you have up-to-date certification for checks on gas appliances, for example. It’s one less reason to think twice about your house or flat.
  4. Give it a lick of paint in three key areas – These are the sitting room, hall, and bathroom. These are the rooms which get the most use and can be vulnerable to finger stains on paintwork or marks from moisture. The hall, in particular, is a key space which sets the tone for the rest of the property. A messy, badly-maintained hall makes tenants fear the rest of the house or flat will be equally neglected.
  5. Dress the property to attract the tenants you’d like – If you want to attract professionals with a good salary, dress your property like they would wish to see it. It’s all about getting them to visualise themselves living in your house or flat. It’s worth investing in or renting a few pieces of good quality furniture. If they are renting your property furnished, they will appreciate it. If not, you can rent the furniture and return it when they move their own in.


Need help renting your property in South Wales? Talk to our experienced professionals at Louvain Properties – we make the process simple! Call us on 01495 440264. Check out our full list of services for landlords here:

Property managers know repairing a rental property can cause a headache for landlords and inconvenience to tenants.

The thought of looking for separate contractors for electrical work and painting and decorating can make landlords’ hearts sink.

Tenants may also be badly inconvenienced by a delay to getting a job completed while a landlord waits for a new contractor. They may even start looking for a new home.

That’s why a service which provides in-house maintenance for repairs and routine maintenance could well be the best option for both landlords and tenants.

Here are our six reasons why:


It’s perfect for landlords

  1. You don’t have to spend your precious time looking for trustworthy contractors to complete work on your property. Finding a good tradesman can be a hit and miss affair, particularly if you’re living outside the area. There’s also no need to source different trades. We do everything from full re-wires to putting up a few shelves. We also know our experienced workers will turn up when you need them.
  2. In-house maintenance saves you money. Look for a property management company which passes on its trade discounts to you, just like Louvain Properties. That could save you thousands over the years
  3. Your relationship with your property management company will probably last many years. So, it’s in their interests to ensure the work carried out is of the best quality and appropriate for your budget.


It’s also ideal for tenants

  1. Property managers can act as a buffer between you and your landlord when you need to report problems. They assess what repairs are needed and report back to your landlord. You don’t have to feel like you’re a complainer because you’re raising the issue.
  2. An in-house maintenance team will understand your value as a tenant and the property management company will have control over when they do the work and the quality of the job they do.
  3. You have a relationship with the property managers which is likely to continue for years. It’s in their interests to ensure you remain a happy tenant with good quality and timely repairs.


Are you looking for a property manager?

Talk to us about our efficient and cost-effective in-house maintenance service. Find out more here:

Call us on 01495 440264.


first rental property?

Will 2017 be the year you buy your first rental property?

If you’re new to buy-to-let properties, take a look at our must-do legal checklist to ensure you comply with the law.

  1. If you’re a landlord in Wales, you must be registered with Rent Smart Wales. If you manage the property yourself, you’ll also have to apply for a licence to do that. Read our guide to Rent Smart Wales here:
  2. You must have the correct planning permissions if you’re converting a property from a single home into flats, and if you’re converting a house into a House of Multiple Occupation.
  3. You must have permission from your mortgage holder, from your insurers, and if the property is a leasehold flat, from the freeholder.
  4. Your property must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when you market to a new tenant. An energy assessor will look at the energy efficiency of the property.
  5. If your property has gas appliances, you must have them checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer and have a 12-month gas certificate. If you fail to do this, there are hefty fines.
  6. Check the fire safety requirements for your property, especially if you have three or more tenants in one property. You can do this with the local authority as rules for this kind of property are complex and stringent.
  7. If you’re letting a furnished property, you must check that the furniture and furnishings like curtains and cushions provided meet the requirements of the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1993. If tenants provide their own, you are not liable for checks to them.
  8. Tenants must be provided with the latest government-issue How To Rent guide:
  9. You must protect tenants’ deposits and a statutory deposit notice, an s213, must be served within 30 days. Get proof that documents have been served. Without proof, you could be fined and won’t be able to evict them in the future under the s21 process – in other words, eviction becomes a far more difficult process.
  10. Ensure you have a filled-in tenancy application form, written tenancy agreement, and a written inventory. This gives your tenant information about what they are responsible for, and helps you ensure there are records if damage occurs or if you have to go through the eviction process.

Although ensuring electrical wiring and appliances are tested before a new tenant takes over isn’t a legal requirement at the moment, it is common sense to do that.

It’s recommended that electrical checks are carried out every five years after the initial check.

Once you’ve let your property, let the local council and utilities know immediately so they can organise payment of council tax and energy bills by your tenant.

First-time landlords should consider taking on an experienced letting agent, like Louvain Properties, who can act as their agent under the Rent Smart Wales scheme and take the hassle out of owning a rental property. See what we can do for you here:


Need advice on your first buy-to-let property in Wales? Call us on 01495 440264.


Looking to rent a flat or house in South Wales

If you’re a tenant Looking to rent a flat or house in South Wales, you need to create a checklist to ensure you get the new home you need.

If you go into your search with focus, you’re more likely to get a flat or house which meets your requirements.

Here’s our checklist for your search:

What’s the length of contract you need? – If you’re moving to a new area for work or study and need to get to know it, would a periodic contract on a month to month basis suit you? Most tenants who are expecting to stay in an area for a while prefer a fixed-term tenancy agreement which may run for six months or a year, for example. Most private rental properties are rented out on assured shorthold tenancies. Find out more about the contracts and which would suit you here:

Read more about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant here:

Which areas would suit you? – Look at rental prices in an area, how close it is to work and schools, and whether it’s close to family members or friends. Look at the amenities in an area like shops, parks, post offices, and banks. Think about what you need – a young family will need access to good schools, parks, and play areas, while young professionals without children may well like to be close to bars and restaurants for their social lives.

What monthly rental price can you afford? – Work out a budget using this helpful guide from the Money Advice Service You’ll need to factor in the cost of bills like food, travel, gas, electricity, your phone and broadband, water rates, and council tax. The local authority will be able to tell you the council tax rate on a property. Choose your budget carefully and leave yourself with some disposable income each month to save or use in emergencies.

What’s the relationship between the landlord and property manager? – A good relationship between a landlord and property manager is usually a good sign that repairs will be carried our promptly, for example. It’s worth chatting with the property manager about issues like that – and how often they are in contact.

It’s worth getting your financial ducks in a row as quickly as possible – so that you’re able to move quickly and secure the house or flat you like.

When you start your search, get your deposit, first month or two months’ rent, and references ready.

Check out the latest rental properties on our books here:

Louvain3There are just two months left for landlords to register with Rent Smart Wales and comply with new Welsh Government legislation.

Landlords who let their properties on assured, assured shorthold, and regulated tenancies are covered by the new law. All landlords in Wales have until November 23 to register themselves and their properties online at

The process costs £33.50 online or £80.50 for a paper registration.

Run by Cardiff City Council but covering the whole of Wales, Rent Smart Wales is the new body licensing landlords under the Housing (Wales) Act 2014.

You or your company need to register if:

  • You rent out a property to someone as their main home and they pay you for it.
  • Your company rents out that kind of property.
  • You jointly own a property which is rented out in this way – a ‘lead’ owner has to register in this case.


What landlords have to do

Landlords must register themselves – an agent can’t do it for them.

If you manage the property yourself, you’ll also have to apply for a licence. All properties with a domestic tenancy owned by a landlord have to be registered. They have 28 days to register any new properties.

Registration lasts for five years, then landlords have to re-register.

During the registration period, landlords have to keep records up to date on any changes to their names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and other contact information given during registration.

They also have to notify Rent Smart Wales of any changes to people letting their properties or those managing it for them, or if they sell it.


Protection for landlords and tenants

Agents who manage properties for a landlord have to be licensed – even if they are friends or family members.

The Welsh Government wants all agents to be properly trained and to be ‘fit and proper’ people to take on the role – having no convictions in the relevant area, for example.

Rent Smart Wales, which also offers training courses for agents, can refuse licence applications from people it deems to not be ‘fit and proper’ agents.

The five-year licence requires agents to comply with a code of practice.

That gives landlords protections like written fees and details, and tenants protections like banning misleading statements about a property, getting their consent for credit checks, and giving existing tenants proper notice of viewings for prospective new tenants.

Agents and self-managing landlords who fail to abide by the code can see their licence revoked and they won’t be able to manage any properties in Wales.


If you’re a landlord looking for a property management service, ensure you choose one which is licensed and already complying with the law – just like Louvain Properties!

If you’re a tenant, protect yourself by choosing a, experienced and professional service which complies with the Rent Smart Wales Code of Conduct. Take a look at the properties we have to rent now


wordcloud-679949_1280Rent Smart Wales

The law in Wales now requires private landlords to register themselves and their properties with Rent Smart Wales.

Rent Smart Wales is a landmark scheme that will drive up standards in the private rented sector by requiring managing landlords and agents to register, undertake training and apply for a licence to ensure they understand their responsibilities.

It will help prevent the involvement of rogue, and even criminal, landlords and agents in the management and letting of properties. The scheme will help to protect tenants and will support good landlords and agents by helping them keep abreast of their responsibilities and legal obligations, raising the reputation of the sector.

The deadline for registration is 23 November, 2016.       

  1. Landlords must now be registered and deemed fit and proper by Rent Smart Wales to be able to rent out their property. They must also provide the address and details of each rental property for which they are the landlord. There is also a fee to pay.
  2. During registration the landlord must state who undertakes the letting and management at each rental property. It is that person who will need a licence from Rent Smart Wales.
  3. If a landlord or agent cannot obtain a licence, or due to non-compliance the licence is removed, they are unable to undertake the letting and management of rental properties in Wales.
  4. If you are a landlord and would like us to manage your property, then please get in touch. As we are Fully Licenced, we can take the financial burden away and offer first rate management over your property.


Check out our home page video.



This is Jane she’s decided that it’s time to get help managing her growing portfolio of properties.

Jane decided that Louvain properties were the company for her.

We ensured all her homes complied with legal requirements, to the correct standard; and carried out the required work with our expert team of tradesmen.

It wasn’t long before Louvain properties found quality tenants and every home was filled.

We can even offer a Rent guarantee in the event your Tenant loses their job, so if they can’t pay, you still get the rent!

In fact, we can even guarantee 100% of your rent from the word go whether your tenant pays us or not!

Truthfully, anyone can market a house, however, yours isn’t “any old house” so you don’t want just “any old company”

    You want – Straight forward, honest advice

    You want – a company with years of experience in property

    You want – people you can really trust

   You want – professionals that look after your property like it’s their own, ensuring you get the best price on your property.

You want – Louvain properties.

We’re a family run business, founded on delivering exceptional, personalised customer service

Come join our Family


Louvain properties have an ex show house to let in Brynmawr Ebbw vale.

Three bedroom townhouse , master bedroom with en-suite, family bathroom, large living area with french doors opening onto rear garden, fitted kitchen, alarm, double glazing, garage and driveway. £650 pcm. Ask about our smart deposit solution. All freshly painted and ready to move in. Photographs to follow soon.   Early viewing recomended!  Make a move this summer!

We also have commercial properties available in Ebbw vale, brynmawr and pontypool.  More details and photographs to be added to website soon.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 12.01.14Our website company is doing an outstanding job on the website this week, soon to have a video introduction on the homepage,  easier navigation with lots of new information for both landlords and tenants.