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We strive to offer the answers to the burning questions affecting you:
Yes, if you have a residential mortgage you must obtain the permission of your mortgage provider before looking to rent out the property.
Your properties should be clean, well-maintained, and well decorated to increase your chances of finding a tenant. Properties without curtains, light fittings, smoke alarms and furniture indicate an uncaring landlord. Make sure that your rental property looks and feels like somewhere that you yourself would be happy to live.
Managing agents create a professional distance between you and your tenants. They can also help take the strain out of dealing with un-pleasantries such as deposit disputes or rent arrears. If you decide to use a managing agent, then you should choose one which is a member of the Property Ombudsman (TPO) as this way you can be sure they will be up to date with current legislation, and provide an independent arbitrator should you be unhappy with their service.
If you are using a letting agent, they will conduct a full rental valuation for you. However, if you are managing your property independently, you should calculate an appropriate rental figure based on a variety of factors – the location, condition and size of the property and your overheads for example. You should look at what other similar properties in your area are on the market for. Obviously you want a healthy rental yield, but don’t be greedy as this may price you out of the market, especially in areas of high competition.
An inventory is a comprehensive documentation of the contents and condition of your property. It is important you draw one up at the beginning of the tenancy as this is your proof should there be any dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy. It is also a good idea to take photographs of the current condition of the property and items in it such as furniture as further proof should there be any disputes. Remember to include outside assets such as sheds, gardens and the tools within them as well as household items.
The landlord should insure the property and any contents (such as furniture) provided with it. Get a quick quote on your property now. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents within the property – check out our great range of Tenants Contents Insurance here.
You are legally required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to any prospective tenant viewing a property. Failure to comply may result in a fine. The certificate ranks the property’s energy efficiency on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. Simple improvements such as double glazing and loft insulation can help improve your rating.
Since April 2007, it is a legal requirement to register the tenant’s security deposit for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales in an approved deposit protection scheme. Visit https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview for more details.
You can, provided you give the tenants fair notice – usually at least 24 hours. Do not turn up unannounced (except in an emergency), although it is your property it is their living space, so always consider your tenant’s privacy.
A Landlord’s Gas Safety check must be carried out on a 12 month basis by a properly qualified engineer on any property which has gas appliances. Further information can be found on www.gassaferegister.co.uk
The deposit taken at the beginning of the tenancy (or a suitable amount of it) can be withheld from the tenant to carry out any necessary repairs at the end of the agreement. You should also get comprehensive building and contents insurance for each one of your properties to protect yourself against any permanent structural damage and loss or damage to your possessions.
Landlords are liable to pay tax on their rental income (whether based in the UK or overseas). You can find further information on this on the Inland Revenue’s website www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.htm
The Property Ombudsman is an independent body to which Landlords can refer any complaint should your letting agent fail to address it in a satisfactory manner.
It is a combined responsibility to ensure that the address has a valid TV licence, which one of you is responsible for the upkeep of this, is just one of the many points that should be covered in the tenancy agreement. However if you as landlord provide a television with the property then you are expected to pay for the TV licence, especially if it is in a communal area.
Yes, however the tenant must return the original locks at the end of the tenancy and allow the landlord access as required.
Possessions and furniture left behind at the end of the tenancy are still classed as the tenants and if sold or disposed of a claim can be made against the landlord. The landlord becomes a ‘bailee’ when the goods are left behind and can only legally sell or remove them under the Torts (interference with goods) Act 1977. Landlords are not permitted to sell the goods for compensation against any damage Landlords are not permitted to sell the goods for compensation on any damage caused by the tenant or for any unpaid rent. You should keep evidence that you have done everything you can to contact the tenant and return the possessions, before using your judgement on what to do with them.
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