Landlord Guide

Request a free valuation

If you'd like one our specialist managers to conduct a valuation or review of your property, please

Letting Only Service - includes

1. Let Only - Fee Equivalent to 50% of monthly rent including VAT. This includes:-
  1. Visiting you at your property, and providing a free no obligation rental valuation and any other advice which you may require about letting your property
  2. Taking photos and marketing the property
  3. Advising you on compliance with the various safety regulations and arranging a gas inspection and energy performance certificate.
  4. Locating suitable tenants. Your property will be advertised, however, usually have tenants waiting.
  5. Accompanying tenant applicants to view the property.
  6. Obtaining and evaluating references and credit checks.
  7. Preparing a suitable tenancy agreement and arranging signature by the tenant.
  8. Collecting a tenancy deposit, which will be treated in accordance with current legislation.
  9. Collecting first month's rent.
  10. Preparing an inventory and schedule of condition if necessary at an extra cost
  11. Checking the tenant into the property and agreeing the inventory.

Full Management

The complete service includes (all the above) plus:

2. Full management Fee Equivalent to 50% of monthly rent plus 10% per month including VAT. . This includes:-
  1. Inspecting the property periodically, and reporting any problems to you.
  2. Arranging any necessary repairs or maintenance, first liaising with you in the case of larger works.
  3. Keeping in touch with the tenant on a routine basis, and arranging renewals of the agreement as necessary.
  4. Checking tenants out as required, re-letting and continuing the process with the minimum of vacant periods to ensure that you receive the optimum return from your property.

Legal Matters

Our staff have been trained and receive ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and clauses, possession and have vast practical experience. They will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal matters.
The relationship between Landlord and Tenant can sometimes have its ups and downs and the need for a professional agent is paramount in closing any divide to allow for a smooth and enjoyable property experience for all parties concerned, whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you are best advised to conclude your property transaction via a reputable agent.
Tenancy law is now far better regulated than ever before with balanced rights for all parties, tenants holding deposit held in Approved Scheme and are returned at the end of the tenancy subject to the property being returned in the manner it was taken and subject to there being no outstanding bills relating to utilities etc. The lettings market has grown immensely due to the increasing Buy to let market and with an increase to new build added to the marketplace the level of quality has improved greatly.


Guide for Landlords

Before a property can be let, there are several matters in which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:


Preparing the Property

We have found that a good relationship with the Tenant is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.


General

Condition

Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.


Furnishings

Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.


Personal items, ornaments etc.

Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner's risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenant's own use.


Gardens

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. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.


Cleaning

At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.


Information for the Tenant

It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.


Keys

You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.


Other Considerations

Mortgage

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.


Leaseholds

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.


Insurance

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. We can advise on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.


Bills and regular outgoings

We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However, where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.


Council tax and utility accounts

The tenant will be responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, water, telephone, council tax and television licence. (Unless otherwise agreed and stated) As the landlord you are still responsible for the payment of service charges and ground rent in leasehold properties and buildings insurance on Freehold properties


Tax

Under the Taxation of income from Land (non residents) Regulations 1995, the rent receiving agent (or where there is no agent, the tenant) will be required to deduct an amount equivalent to Basic Rate Tax from the rent (after taking deductible expenses paid by the agent into account) and pay the balance to the Inland Revenue each quarter.

However, the overseas landlord can apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from this requirement. Provided the landlords tax history is good and tax affairs are up to date, the overseas landlord will be issued with a certificate that will be sent to his rent receiving agent. This will authorise the agent to pay the rent to you with no tax deducted.

We can provide you with an NRL1 form which you must complete and send to the Inland Revenue. Neither your rent receiving agent nor your tax advisor can file this application for you - it must be done by you.

Failure to return this form in time may result in the exemption certificate not being issued before the payments become due. We would have no alternative but to make the required tax deduction before paying the rents to you.

Our company are not tax advisers so if you are unsure as to how the above will affect you, you would be advised to speak to an accountant or professional tax advisor.

Any Non resident Landlord Tax payments deducted by us, in the first quarter can be refunded, if the exemption certificate is in our possession before the first quarter has ended. Any deductions after the first quarter can only be reclaimed after the first year has ended. Any refunds due after the first quarter are made by the Inland Revenue.


The inventory

We strongly advise our Landlords to carry out a full inventory for each separate tenancy. The purpose of checking an inventory is to establish damages which can only be done if descriptions and conditioning remarks are sufficiently detailed at the commencement of the tenancy and then at the end of the term.

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenant is required to return the property and contents at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as they were at the commencement, fair wear and tear accepted. It is almost impossible to ascertain whether damage was caused during a tenancy without a proper inventory signed by all relevant parties.

If instructed we will arrange a professional inventory and check in on your behalf, the cost of which is borne by the landlord. The tenants are responsible for paying for the check out.


Tenancy Agreements

Most tenancies are classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies. Under the Housing Act 1998 (as amended 1996) landlords have more rights to possession than with tenancies commencing prior to the Acts and procedures for possession are now quicker and simpler (provided the process is carried out correctly).

There is no minimum period for an Assured Shorthold tenancy; however we recommend that the tenancy is for not less than six months.

Most tenancies are drawn up for a period of twelve months, some have break clauses. A break clause allows either party to terminate the agreement with two months notice after an initial period of four months the notice may be served. We will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of different time periods with you.


Consent to let

If the landlord has a mortgage, it is normal for mortgagees to require notification of any proposed lettings and the landlord should seek their initial consent. In the case of leasehold premises the consent of the Head Lessee of Freeholder will be required. The landlord should also advise his insurance company of the proposal to let the property as this could either invalidate the insurance altogether or increase the premiums. You should obtain written documentation of these consents prior to letting.


Legal Matters

Our staff have been trained and receive ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and clauses, possession and have vast practical experience. They will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal matters.

The relationship between Landlord and Tenant can sometimes have its ups and downs and the need for a professional agent is paramount in closing any divide to allow for a smooth and enjoyable property experience for all parties concerned, whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you are best advised to conclude your property transaction via a reputable agent.

Tenancy law is now far better regulated than ever before with balanced rights for all parties, tenants holding deposit held in Approved Scheme and are returned at the end of the tenancy subject to the property being returned in the manner it was taken and subject to there being no outstanding bills relating to utilities etc. The lettings market has grown immensely due to the increasing Buy to let market and with an increase to new build added to the marketplace the level of quality has improved greatly.


Health and Safety, and other Legal Requirements

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.


Gas

Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 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 pipework 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. We can arrange this for a cost of £70 including VAT.


Electrical

There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate. We can arrange this for you at a cost of £100.00 including VAT


Fire

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.


Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove). After that, the landlord must make sure the alarms are in working order at the start of each new tenancy. In the case that Almond Property are managing the property, we will test alarms quarterly at management checks.


Selective Licensing

Selective licensing is dependent on a designation by the local authority.

A local authority may designate the whole of their district or part of their district, subject to selective licensing.

An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour and some or all of the private sector landlords are failing to take action to combat the problem that it will be appropriate for them to take. A designation can last for five years.


Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply. Learn more here:


The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities. For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-health-and-safety-rating-system-hhsrs-guidance


The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

From 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme will be supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents will be able to choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes. The deposit has been capped at 5 weeks rent. You can learn more on the government website, which includes an overview of the requirements, and also links to the sites of the companies running the various schemes: https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection


Equalities Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. It sets out the different ways in which it's unlawful to treat someone. For more information, please click on the link below https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance


Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

As from the 1st April 2018 there is a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. The cost is currently £75.00 including VAT. For more information, please click on the link below https://www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-private-rented-property-minimum-energy-efficiency-standard-landlord-guidance We hope that you will find the above information useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the letting and management of your property.

Almond Property - All rights reserved