Guide for Landlords
Once we receive an instruction from you, we will immediately inspect your property and undertake a rental valuation. During the inspection, professional photos will be taken in order that they can be used for marketing the property.
We will discuss with you how much we realistically feel you could achieve for the property in terms of rent levels. From our experience, we believe in carefully sourcing the right tenant for your property.
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which you will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly and also that the law is complied with. These are listed below.
Mortgage / Leaseholds
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee’s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us. If you are a leaseholder you should check the terms of your lease and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
It is unlawful for a residential property to be let without a current EPC. Recent changes require the rating to be between an A and E rating, unless the property is granted an exemption ie. Listed building.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies.
Council tax is the responsibility of the occupier. You should inform your local council that you are leaving the property. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents.
When the landlord is resident in the UK, it is entirely his responsibility to inform the HMRC of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. However, where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as landlord’s agents are obliged to retain and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received, less certain expenses.
Gas Appliances & Equipment
All gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. Gas safe registered, gas installer).
Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipe work are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
Records: Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.
Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.
Since April 2021, it has been a legal requirement for all rented properties to have a valid Electrical Safety Installation Report (EICR) undertaken within the previous 5 years.
Similarly, appliances such as washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord’s expense unless misuse can be established.
Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. If your garden is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange maintenance visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of a tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant’s responsibility to leave the property in similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense.
You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we are managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.