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Landlords Guide

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Whether you are an experienced or new landlord, there are certain essentials when letting your property.

We have put together a guide to assist you in having all the necessary well prepared, we appreciate that it can be a bit of a boring read, but we want to ensure that you are fully prepared and protected.

However, if at any time you need advice or guidance, please contact us and we will be more than happy to help.

 

    1. If you have a mortgage you should obtain your lenders permission, they are likely to charge n administration fee for this and may even increase your interest rate.  If you already have a buy-to-let mortgage then this isn’t necessary

    1. Insurance- you will need to have in place landlords insurance, it is also a good idea to see if rent guarantee and legal expenses covers is part of your cover, this will save you purchasing one separately.  If you are accepting housing benefit tenants you should also make the insurer aware when obtaining a quotation. We can assist you with this.

    We can assist with arranging all of the above for you.

    Please contact the branch for more information.

    1. If you are providing furniture, then anything upholstered must meet fire resistance standards under the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993). Items that comply will usually have a permanent label attached.

    1. Obtain a gas safety certificate (CP12), this must be done by a gas safe (previously corgi) registered engineer.  This is required under The Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998.  This must be done annually.

    1. Portable Electrical Appliances – Although there is no specific requirement you should ensure that any portable appliances in the property are safe as you have a duty of care to have them PAT tested (portable appliance testing), this should be done yearly.  There is no legal requirement to have a periodic electrical test on the property, however you should consider whether or not you think the property is safe under your duty of care as you are supplying in the course of business.

    1. Obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you have a legal requirement to obtain this, they are valid for 10 years.

    1. Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide sensors – Although there is no specific legislation for this, you could be held liable in the event that someone suffered death or injury if none were fitted.  Therefore we strongly recommend that a smoke alarm be fitted on each floor in the landing/hallway areas, and a carbon monoxide sensor be fitted near the boiler.

    We can assist with arranging all of the above for you.

    Please contact the branch for more information.

    1. Tenant Deposits – If your intention is to hold your tenant deposits yourself then you should register with a deposit protection scheme.  If we are arranging the deposit protection for you then this is not necessary. If you are holding the deposit yourself you will be required to provide proof to your agent before they transfer the funds to you.

    1. Moving abroad? – HMRC will consider you as a non UK resident landlord if you are overseas for a period of six consecutive months or more in a tax year. Your Agent will be required to deduct basic tax rate income tax from your rent and forward this to HMRC on a quarterly basis.  Alternatively you can apply for exemption to HMRC by completing form NRL1.

    1. Presentation is key  - so ensure that any rubbish or unwanted items are cleared from the property.  Redecorating is not necessarily essential if the current decor is clean and tidy, if you do find yourself needing to decorate keep it neutral.

    1. Marketing and rental asking price – The rental asking price will be determined by many factors, you should be realistic, every day that your property is unoccupied is a loss of income.  These days the internet is the most powerful way of letting property, you can check our online portals by looking on our home page.

    1. Tenant type – You will need to consider the criteria you prefer before advertising your property; you can take a look at our tenants guide to see what we require of our tenants.

    1. Viewings – if you already have a tenant in residence, then they should be given sufficient notice, this all depends on the relationship with your tenant.  It is advisable that all viewings are accompanied so that any questions that potential tenants have can be answered immediately and/or any concerns can be alleviated.

     

    1. References –  a credit check, employment reference and previous landlord check should be carried out on any potential tenants before allowing a tenancy to take place.  As tempting as it might be to just get the property let, by not carrying these out you could be creating yourself a lot more headache later on down the line.  All of our tenants are comprehensively referenced.

    1. Tenancy Agreement – It is most common that an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is used for the letting of residential property in the UK.  It is advisable to offer either a 6 or 12 month tenancy.  This is a legal document and will set out the terms of the tenancy which both landlord and tenant must abide by.

    1. Deposit – A dilapidations deposit is taken to be used in the event of rent arrears or damages to the property.  This is usually 1 month or 6 weeks of the monthly rental income.  This is secured in the DPs or you can register to hold the deposit yourself.

    1. Inventory – It is essential that an inventory is carried out, if this is not done then you will not be able to make any deductions from the deposit for damages as there will be no proof of the properties condition at the beginning of the tenancy.

    1. Tenant check In – This is when the tenants will collect the keys and sign the inventory, this will be their tenancy start date and usually their rent due date.

    1. Rental Payments – Rental payments are requested in advance, therefore the first month’s rent will be taken before the tenants move in.  After this a standing order should be set up for rental payments.

    1. Maintenance – As a landlord it is inevitable that you will at some point be required to carry out maintenance.  It is the tenants responsibility to upkeep the property but yours to ensure that any health and safety issues are rectified.

    1. Renewals/termination of tenancy – If a landlord wishes to terminate a tenancy then at least two months notice must be given on or before the rent due date, this is done by issuing a section 21 notice or a notice to quit.  If a tenant wishes to terminate their tenancy then one months notice must be given in the same way, they should do so in writing.

     

    If the tenancy is being renewed then this should be considered two months before the tenancy end date.  A new Tenancy Agreement can be issued or the tenancy can be left as a periodic.

     

    1. Tenant Vacation – When your tenant vacates the property should be checked to ensure that it has been left in an acceptable condition.  If so then the deposit will be returned to the tenant.  If not then negotiations for deductions should be made, if an agreement cannot be made, then adjudication will be required.


Should you have any questions or queries about a rental property of yours or a current tenancy that you are having issues with, please contact the branch where we will be happy to give you advice – No catch, No charge.