I would like to rent my property but how do I know what rent to charge?
We will conduct a full 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. It is important you receive a correct rental valuation to avoid any extended empty periods.
Do I need to inform my mortgage lender if I want to let out my property?
You will need to gain permission from your mortgage lender to let your property out. 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.
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 homeowners insurance policy to a rental insurance policy. This policy covers the buildings structure, pipes and electrics but does not include contents. We advise you stipulate to any tenants that they must get their own renters 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 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 must have a Gas Safety Certificate undertaken by a GasSafe registered engineer at least once every 12 months. You must issue a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate within 28 days of the check being completed to the existing tenants, or to any new tenants before they move in. You should keep a record of each Gas Safety Certificate for at least 2 years.
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. The Landlord must keep a copy on file and provide a copy for any new tenant. From the 1st April 2016 a tenant can request energy efficiency improvements to a property and reasonable requests cannot be refused.
Do I need an electrical safety certificate?
Although Landlords do not have a statutory obligation for professional checks to be carried out on electrical systems or appliances, abiding by The Electrical Equipment ( Safety ) Regulations 1994 and The Plugs and Sockets etc (Safety) Regulations 1994, which come under The Consumer Protection Act 1987, Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure all electrical installations e.g. (light fittings and sockets) in a rented property are safe throughout the duration of the tenancy, and all electrical appliances supplied in the tenancy e.g. (kettles and cookers) must have as a minimum the CE marking.
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.
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.
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 your tenancy agreement states otherwise. But 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?
If you provide a Television in the property it is your responsibility to provide a TV licence. If you do not provide a TV, it is your tenants responsibility to get their own TV licence, this is normally stated in the tenancy agreement.
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 Landlord. The inventory will be carried out before the tenants move in to the property either by the Landlord or the managing agent. It is important at the start of the tenancy both parties sign and agree that the inventory is correct, this will help to clear up in any disputes at the end of the tenancy.
What happens to the tenants deposit?
The holding of deposits changed in April 2007 as new legislation meant that all deposits received from the tenant by law must be registered with a government run deposit protection scheme within 14 days of receiving the deposit. Barrington and Blake are members of the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) which is a government backed scheme. The deposit will be protected through 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 letting agent, the agent will arrange with your tenant to carry out periodic inspections once every 3 months of a tenancy term. 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.
Do I need a Letting Agent?
There is no legal reason to stop landlords acting for themselves when renting a property, however letting agents understand the many legal requirements as a landlord you have to fulfill, which if not complied with could lead to criminal prosecution. We have systems in place to ensure you are compliant with your legal responsibilities.
What services do you provide?
We offer three service options Full Management Service, Tenant Find Service and our Rent Collection Service. Click on Service Options for a full breakdown of our services and what we offer.
What Tenancy Agreement should I use?
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement fixed for a minimum 6 months is normally used in the majority of cases, but there are a number of different agreements that you should use depending on the circumstances of the landlord, tenant or the property.
What will my outgoings be?
- Mortgage payments
- Maintenance and repairs
- Managing agents fee
- Utilities and council tax when the property is empty - Ground rent and services if Leasehold
Your outgoings are normally as follows:
How do I receive the rent?
A standing order will be set up from your tenant's bank account, the rent is then payed in advance. Once the monies have cleared the rent will be paid by BACS into the account of your choice. We will forward a statement of the account by email or hard copy if preferred.
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 deduct any tax.
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. Rent guarantee insurance is available on request.
Who is responsible for the garden?
The tenant is usually responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the garden, unless specified in the tenancy agreement. Even if the property is let unfurnished we advise you leave appropriate equipment for maintaining the garden.
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.
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. We have prepared a Maintenance and Repair Guide to assist in the understanding of each parties responsibilities.
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 landlord 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. A work arrangement Fee of 12% Inc VAT of the invoice will be charged for this service.
Still need help?
Whether you are new to the buy to let market, thinking of becoming a landlord or just wanting to keep up to date with the latest legislation. We have compiled a list of FAQs to help answer a few of those questions you may have.
For any further information please call your local branch on 0191 3758111.