What Length of Tenancy Agreement do you use?
Initially we will issue a 6 Month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement in the majority of cases, but there are a number of different agreements that may be required depending on the circumstances of the landlord, tenant or the property. Upon the expiry of this initial tenancy most landlord look to renew the fixed term with either a 6, 9 or 12 month tenancy which will secure the period and rental income from the tenant. We will of course discuss this with you in more detail at the time including discussing any potential rent increase.
What will my outgoings be?
Your outgoings are normally as follows: • Mortgage payments • Insurance • Maintenance and repairs • Managing agents fee • Utilities and council tax (when the property is empty) • Ground rent and services (if Leasehold)
I would like to rent my property how do I know what rent to charge?
We will conduct a rental valuation of your property based on comparable evidence of rental prices achieved on similar properties in the surrounding area. After the valuation we will be able to give you a guide of what the monthly rental value should be. Unlike some agents who will give you the figure you want to hear we feel it is important you receive a realistic rental valuation to avoid any extended empty periods or unnecessary price drops.
How do I receive the rent?
Your tenant will pay the rent into our client account. Once the money has cleared the rent will be paid by BACS into the account of your choice less any expenditure i.e. management fees or repairs. We will forward a statement of the account by email for your records.
Do I need to inform my mortgage lender if I want to let out my property?
You will need to gain permission called ‘consent to let’ from your mortgage lender to let your property out or you may need to change your mortgage to a Buy to Let mortgage. Your mortgage provider may impose special conditions, which you will need to inform us about. If you are looking to buy a property with the intention of letting the property out, you may be able to obtain a Buy to Let mortgage where the permission is already granted.
What about tax liabilities?
You are liable to pay tax on any profit your rental property has generated. Tax amounts payable will depend on your circumstances. If you are away overseas for more than 6 months in any tax year, you will be classed as a non-resident landlord. Under the current legislation we are required to deduct the Revenue tax at the basic rate and pass this over to the inland Revenue, unless we are in receipt of a letter of exemption from the inland Revenue. After we have received a letter of exemption we will no longer need to deduct any tax.
If I let my property out do I need to change my insurance policy?
When renting your house out you will need to change your homeowner’s insurance policy to a rental / landlord insurance policy. This policy covers the buildings structure, pipes and electrics but does not include contents. We strongly recommend to any tenants that they should get their own contents insurance to cover their belongings. Failure to change your insurance will result in a void policy if the property is tenanted and something goes wrong.
What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay?
If your property is on either our fully managed or rent collection service we will chase all late and unpaid rent, we will assist you with choosing the right course of action in the event the tenant does not pay the rent or fails to vacate the premises.
What are my responsibilities and duties regarding gas?
It is a legal requirement under Gas Safety Regulations 1998, that the landlord ensures any gas appliances, gas fittings and flues provided for tenants are safe, you must also have a Gas Safety Certificate undertaken by a Gas Safe registered engineer at least once every 12 months. You must issue a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate to the existing tenants once completed, or to any new tenants before they move in. You should keep a record of each Gas Safety Certificate for at least 2 years as may be asked to produce it in the event of an issue arising.
Who is responsible for the garden?
The tenant is responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the garden as specified in the tenancy agreement.
What is an EPC and why do I need one?
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) has been a legal requirement on a rental property since 2008. An EPC will give a property an energy efficiency rating from A to G, this will allow tenants to compare properties on an energy efficiency basis. You do not need to get a new EPC with every new tenancy as they are valid for 10 years, but any improvements made to a property after an EPC was issued may improve the ratings. A copy must be provided to any new tenant. From the 1st April 2016 a tenant can request energy efficiency improvements to a property and reasonable requests cannot be refused. From April 2018 all rental properties must have a minimum rating of E or better, there is also plans for a minimum rating of D or better from 2025 (although this legislation has still not been passed).
Do I have to supply furniture?
You can let your property Fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished the choice is up to you. But you must ensure that any furniture you leave comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. We usually find unfurnished properties are more popular and attract longer term tenants.
Do I need an electrical safety certificate?
Since the 1st April 2021 it is a legal requirement for all privately rented properties to hold a valid Electrical Safety Certificate (EICR). Any C1 or C2 remedial works identified must be completed.
Who is responsible for any repairs and maintenance?
It is always important that the Landlord and tenants understand clearly where their responsibilities lie when it comes to repairs and maintenance. For example, a bulb which needs replacing in a cooker hood we would expect the tenant to carry out, whereas a bulb in a security light at a height requiring a ladder would be unreasonable to ask a tenant to carry out.
Do I need carbon monoxide and smoke alarms?
From October 2015 it is now a legal requirement for Landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor in a rented residential property. Landlords are also legally required to install carbon monoxide alarms in every room with a solid fuel source or a gas applicance such as a boiler, gas fire or gas hob.
Will you organise any repairs and maintenance?
If your property is on our full management service, we will arrange for all works approved by the you to be carried out by our network of local tradesmen and contractors. We will liaise with the tenant, process the invoice and forward the payment to the contractor. Alternatively, if you have a preferred contractor you may instruct them instead, however due to GDPR and for insurance purposes we cannot instruct them on your behalf but will provide you the information required.
What is Right to Rent?
The Right to Rent scheme now requires Landlords to check all tenants or lodgers aged 18 and over have the right to rent a property in the country, even if they are not named on the Tenancy Agreement. Failure to comply to the new scheme can result in a £3,000 penalty per tenant.
What are my obligations?
As landlord you are obligated to ensure that your property meets all legal liabilities and that the property is safe. Below are a list of your obligations (please follow the link to more details):
Who is liable for utility bills and council tax?
Your tenants are responsible to pay all the utility bills and council tax for the duration of the tenancy, unless you rent your property out with these included. In the case were the property is vacant responsibility for the council tax and utility bills falls back on to the landlord.
Who is responsible for paying the TV licence?
It is your tenant’s responsibility to get their own TV licence, unless you provide a Television in the property when it becomes your responsibility to provide a TV licence.
What is an Inventory and why should I have one?
An inventory is a document that describes the condition of the property and the condition of anything left behind by the you this will be supported by several hundred photos. The inventory will be carried out before the tenants move in to the property and will be signed by all tenants at the start of the tenancy to agree that the inventory is correct, this will help with any disputes at the end of the tenancy if necessary.
What happens to the tenants deposit?
The holding of deposits changed in April 2007 as new legislation means that all deposits received from the tenant by law must be registered with a government run deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit. Fair-Way Properties are members of the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) which is a government backed scheme. The deposit will be protected throughout the length of the tenancy and re-paid at the end to the tenancy to the appropriate parties, as long as the deposit is not in dispute. Any dispute at the end of the tenancy is supported by an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution service.
What is a periodic Inspection?
If your property is managed by a Fair-Way Properties, we will arrange with your tenant to carry out periodic inspections during the tenancy as required. The inspection is to check your property is being looked after properly, to raise and report any potential maintenance issues. Appropriate notice to the tenant must always be given before attending. The cost of the property inspections are included in your management fee.
Do I need a Letting Agent?
Many landlords believe that letting and managing a property is a simple task. However, they are rarely aware that there is now about 160 different pieces of legislation and regulations that have to be adhered to when letting a property. Understandably many landlords choose to go with a tenant find option to save costs but rarely account for the amount of time it takes to manage a property and ignorance of the law can be very very expensive.
What services do you provide?
We offer three service options Full Management Service, Tenant Find Service and our Rent Collection Service. Click here for a full breakdown of our services and what we offer.