This is a brief guide for landlords who are considering letting out their property. It details some of the things you will need to consider when renting a property out. For further information please contact our office to arrange a free, no obligation meeting with one of our trained advisers to discuss your options and advise the rental figure that we would expect to achieve for your property.
Consent is needed from your mortgage lender to let the property out. Failure to do so would result in breach of your mortgage terms and ultimately could lead to the property being repossessed.
The property must be covered by adequate buildings insurance and the insurance company must be informed that the property is rented. When gaining approval to rent or taking out a new policy make sure that you are covered for public liability.
A landlord’s gas safety certificate is required on all rented accommodation by law to be carried out annually as stated in the Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1994 (1996).
It is a legal requirement that to advertise a rental property an energy performance certificate is required. As of 2018 The Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 changes will mean that any property with a rating of E or below will not be able to be marketed for tenants.
The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 requires that all rented properties have smoke alarms on each floor of the property and that they are regularly tested by the landlord or their Agent.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 require that all electrical equipment left in rented accommodation must be “safe and of no risk or injury to human or animal”. The landlord has a duty of care to provide documented evidence that a qualified electrician has checked the property on a regular basis.
All soft furnishings such as settees, sofas, beds, padded chairs, pillows, cushions and so on must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (1993). Usually a label is attached to the item of furniture to confirm it is acceptable.
When preparing your property for potential tenants to view make sure that the property is in a condition that you would find acceptable to live in yourself. The property should be cleaned, uncluttered with gardens tidy and clear of obstruction. Remove any unnecessary electrical items as anything left in the property becomes the landlord’s responsibility i.e. if they break down they will need to be repaired or replaced. When vacating the property make sure to contact Royal Mail and arrange redirection of your post as the tenants will not be able to forward this on.
If you are planning to move abroad whilst letting your property you will need to complete an NRL1 application form. Once accepted by Inland Revenue a certificate will be issued confirming that rent can be paid to the landlord without deduction of Income Tax. If you are unsure of how to apply please speak to one of our representatives or alternatively contact Inland Revenue for advice.
All income from property including rent is taxable. Some expenses can be claimed against tax owed, including Letting Agent fees. Tax returns will need to be submitted to the Inland Revenue every financial year. We are unable to complete these for our landlords. However, we can recommend independent accountants who are qualified to complete the returns on behalf of our landlords for an agreed fee.
OUR LANDLORD SERVICES
Once you have made the decision to use our service we can start to proactively market your property. The property will be advertised on many online platforms including Rightmove and Zoopla as well as our own highly ranked site. Once listed we will offer the property to clients who have registered with us previously and advertise the property in office window displays. At your discretion, we can place a ‘To Let’ board at the property to gain maximum exposure. All viewings will be accompanied by one of our representatives.
Once suitable tenants are found we will confirm the information with the landlord. We will check their references thoroughly including credit checks to confirm that the applicant is in a financial position to rent your property. Before the tenancy can begin we will take one month’s rent in advance and a security deposit equal to a minimum of one month’s rent.
Prior to the tenants taking possession of the property, a tenancy agreement will be compiled by us and signed by the tenants. This agreement will usually be a Shorthold assured tenancy for a period of six or twelve months. Our tenancy agreement is updated constantly in keep with any new legislation making sure that our landlords get maximum protection.
The rent will be collected monthly in advance and will be paid to you less our commission and any costs in respect of repairs. A statement of your account will be provided by email monthly.
For Landlords who wish to protect their rental income we can purchase a product and note you as having an “interest in “ this policy. Having an interest in this policy means that you may be able to benefit should a successful claim be made.
An inventory and schedule of condition is made and checked at the start and end of the tenancy. We also read meters at the start and end of the tenancy and advise all the appropriate authorities of the change of occupier (please note that we are unable to change services such as telephone providers}. Inspections are made on request, making sure that the tenant is looking after the property in keeping with their tenancy agreement. With the introduction of deposit registration with approved schemes it is imperative that a detailed inventory is compiled and agreed to by the tenants to minimize the potential for disputes when the tenancy ends.
As part of our management service all eligible deposits are registered by us in one of the government approved schemes. Not completing this process correctly can invalidate any tenancy agreement and potentially make it very difficult to remove a tenant from a property. We make sure that legal requirements are met and manage the process from start to finish.
As the tenant has no direct contact with you any maintenance problems are reported to us. We will then make you aware of the problem and give you the option of arranging the repair or authorising us to do so. We have many specialist trusted contractors and can arrange quotes prior to works being completed.
Here are just a few of our five star and excellent allAgent reviews...
We purchased a property with Shortland Horne and they were great to work with throughout the process. Met our expectations at every point and were quick to reply to all of our queries.Genaro Bedenko August 30th 2020
Excellent service from start to finish. Sold our property within a week of going onto the market. Thanks to Andy and the team.steve King July 31st 2020
I have had recent experience of Shortland Horne estate agents both from a sales and lettings perspective and have found them to be truly exceptional in both . They are a hard working agent that always keeps you in the picture , chasing up solicitors or anything else that might be impeding a sale or let . Recently Michelle Broadbent has helped me so much as I have become a first time landlady . Shortland Horne are second to none .Janet Ingham July 24th 2020