Landlord Information
The benefits of Letting your property

The increase in short term and flexible employment contracts mean people are likely to have to move area with their jobs and the 'job for life' has become a thing of the past. In many ways renting provides flexibility and security for those in this position. You may have inherited a property and wish to keep it, renting in this case would be a viable option and provide an extra income.

Recent legislative changes have removed many of the uncertainties associated with letting, so you should always be able to regain posession of your property at the end of the letting period. New mortgage schemes such as 'Buy to Let' have made it easier for the Landlord to offset most costs associated with letting against rental income for tax purposes.

Vetting process

Good quality tenants are assured through our thorough referencing system. Employment, financial and personal references are obtained for all potential tenants. A banker's opinion or credit score may be obtained and where possible previous Landlords' references. Once presented with the references and background information the choice is yours, you can either select or reject.

The Inventory

The preparation of an inventory is invaluable in helping to monitor the condition of your property. This detailed report will at the start and end of a tenancy highlight any new defects, damage or need of further cleaning and where necessary a tenants deposit can be used to remedy this. The inventory will also provide a breakdown of all furniture, its condition and cleanliness.During a typical tenancy your property will suffer some wear and tear which should be monitored so that we can keep your property looking good. Before and at the end of a tenancy expect a full clean of the property.

The Tax Position

Landlords are liable to pay income tax on net income from the property. This is the gross income less allowable expenses which are incurred in letting the property.

Ensuring Rent is paid

The Tenancy Agreement drawn up by is a legal contract and as such is enforcable by the law. We do everything we can to ensure that the right tenant is selected to minimise the probability of non-payment of rent or arrears.

Who do I need to tell?

As this industry becomes more modernised the banks, building societies and other institutions have recognised the need to be kept informed. The following institutions should be informed of your intentions:

  • The mortgage holder must be asked for permission before you let the property.
  • Freeholders and Management Associations must be advised of your decision to let your property.
  • Predominantly flats and maisonettes are leasehold and in turn certain regulations are imposed upon the residents and making your tenant aware of these will avoid misunderstanding at a later date.
  • Both buildings and contents insurers need to be informed to ensure that cover exists while tenanted.
  • The Inland Revenue, will have to be informed of your rental income and you will be expected to declare this in your self-assessment. When a landlord resides overseas as agents for you we are obliged to retain 22% of rental income to pass quarterly to the Revenue, however landlords can apply for rent to be received without deduction by completing a form NRL1 available from us.
  • The council tax department must be advised that there is a change of occupancy allowing the tenant to assume responsibility for the account and for your own account to be settled.
  • The utilities, gas, water, telephone and electric companies are best given some notice before arranging for the change of account to the tenants. It is important that key meters are left operational and any debt to them satisfied before a tenant takes up occupation.

Property Assessment and the Law

A Tenancy Agreement will be prepared for you and can stipulate any number of clauses you feel are necessary to safeguard your property. It is the management of the tenancy that ultimately leads to a successful tenancy. Included with the agreement are the necessary notices to regain possession.

Although extremely uncommon, a tenant who fails to vacate a property at the end of a tenancy must be served a court order for eviction to take place. It is prudent to seek legal advice in such instances although will give every assistance.

The legislation governing our industry is always being improved and amended and we are constantly ahead of these changes and advise our clients accordingly. To follow are important regulations that you as Landlord must adhere to:

Gas appliances
- Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998
- Gas Cooking Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1989

All place special legal responsibilities on landlords.
  • You are required by law to meet certain criteria in respect of installed gas appliances and the supply of electricity and electrical appliances.
  • All gas appliances and associated pipe work and flues should be maintained annually and should only be worked on by a qualified CORGI gas engineer.
  • A gas appliance with an open flue should not be installed in a bedroom.
  • Where the gas meter is installed in a meter box, you should be supplied with a suitably labelled key to the box.
  • After work on any gas appliances, a defined series of safety checks must be performed.
  • Instructions for any gas appliance must be left for the occupier.
  • Any gas appliance that is suspected or known to be faulty or incorrectly installed must not be used by anyone.
  • A record of the gas appliances must be kept with the dates of inspection, any defects identified and made available for inspection by the tenant if requested.

Electrical Appliances and electric supply

- Electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994
- Electricity at work regulations 1989
- Low voltage electrical equipment regulations 1989

  • Electrical supply and appliances within a property must be 'safe'.
  • All electrical appliances must be checked at regular intervals for defects (e.g. frayed wiring, badly fitted plugs etc.)
  • Any unsafe items should be removed from the property.
  • No statutory checking procedure or time scale exists. However an annual inspection for electrical appliances including an annual electrical supply safety check, by a qualified electrical engineer is advisable.
  • Records of checks conducted at the property should be maintained for inspection. If you do not comply with these regulations the maximum penalty is a fine of £5000.00 or six months imprisonment, or both.
  • They will be done every year or at the commencement of a new tenancy, whichever is sooner.

Fire & Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 amended 1989 & 1993

  • It is an offence for a landlord to supply furniture which does not meet with this legislation and failure to comply could result in fines of up to £5000.00 and/or 6 months imprisonment.
  • Upholstered furniture must have fire resistant filling material and pass a cigarette resistance test.
  • Furniture in any property, which qualifies for the transitional period (i.e. was let prior to March 1993 and continued to be let), does not have to comply until the tenant, who occupied the property prior to 1st January 1997, vacates the property.
  • Any furniture added to the property since March 1st 1993 must comply with these requirements whether new or second hand.

The regulations do not apply to:

  • Antique furniture
  • Bed-clothes (including duvets and pillowcases)
  • Loose covers for mattresses - curtains

Please contact us or send an email if you require any further information on any of these matters.
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