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Landlords Letting Guide

Answers to your most frequently asked property letting questions.

How can I make my property more attractive to potential new tenants?

In a competitive market, to achieve the highest rent and attract the best tenants, Landlords must recognise the importance of presenting their property in the best possible way in order to make it more appealing. Here are a just a few tips that will help create more demand for your property:

  • Neutral colours are best for the interior walls – Ideally, flooring should be wooden, laminate or plain carpets.
  • Choose fabrics and furnishings (if any) that can withstand reasonable wear and tear.
  • Keep your whole property clean and well-aired and give the garden (if any) a tidy.
  • Put the heating on when the weather is cold and open windows when it is hot.

Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?

Whilst in the past furnished properties may have achieved higher rent, however in today’s market furnishing a property generally makes no difference to its rental worth. However we would always advise Landlords to be flexible with regards to furnishing / un-furnishing their property so as to appeal to the widest range of tenant requirements.

If I’m leaving furniture, how do I know if its fire safe?

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety Amendment) Regulations 1993. These regulations were amended in 1993 and set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a residential property to be let.

The regulations apply to; sofas, beds, bed-heads, children’s furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows, stretch or loose covers for furniture or other similar items. The regulations do not apply to: curtains, carpets, bedclothes (including duvets and mattress covers).

Any piece of furniture manufactured after March 1990 is likely to comply, but if the appropriate labels cannot be located on the furniture, compliance is in doubt and checks should be made with the manufacturer.

Who pays the service charge on my apartment while it’s rented out?

A landlord would pay for the service charge on a rented apartment and in general we believe costs / charges relating to a property should be apportioned in the following way:

LandlordTenants
InventoryContents Insurance
Letting FeeRental Payments
Management FeeAgency Admin Fees
Ground RentsElectricity & Gas Bills
Service ChargesCouncil Tax & Water Rates
Annual Safety ChecksInventory Check-out
Initial Telephone Installation FeeTV License
Maintenance & RepairsDeposit Against Dilapidations
Inventory Check-inTelephone and Satellite Charges

Is an Inventory essential?

This is an important legal document forming an integral part of the Tenancy Agreement. Unfortunately, many landlords fail to realise its importance and try to ‘save money’ by preparing their own inventory, or worse still, not preparing one at all. More often than not this proves to be a false economy, as money cannot be withheld from a tenant’s deposit in compensation for loss or damage unless it can be proved that the loss or damage was actually caused while in the tenant’s possession. This is impossible to do if the condition of the item in question is not accurately and thoroughly described in an Inventory and Condition Report. Unfurnished properties also require an inventory, as there will be walls and floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom fittings etc the condition of which will also need to be described. Therefore PhilipAlexander strongly recommends that you allow us to arrange for a professional inventory to be carried out.

Do I need a Gas Safe Certificate in order to let my property?

If Gas is supplied into your property it’s a legal requirement to obtain a valid Gas Safety Certificate, click here for more info ›

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate in order to let my property?

Yes, our agency needs to be in receipt of this certificate before any viewings can take place, click here for more info ›

How many sets of keys should I give my tenants?

One set of keys should be provided by the landlord for each tenant on the tenancy agreement. PhilipAlexander will also require a full set should we be instructed to manage the property.

Do I need permission to let my property?

If you have a mortgage you must obtain consent from your mortgage lender. If your interest in the property is leasehold your lease may require you to obtain consent from your landlord prior to sub letting.

Do I need to pay Tax on my rental income?

Income Tax is payable on all letting income received by a landlord whether they are residing in the UK or abroad. The introduction of self-assessment under the Finance Act 1995, means that landlords must complete a Tax Return form declaring their rental income for the tax period and it is the Landlords responsibility to inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) accordingly. Visit or call the HMRC hotline on 08459 000 404 for more information.

Do I need to pay Tax on my rental income?

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government has introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. The legislation aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent and are entitled to receive all or part of it back at the end of that tenancy, actually do so. At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, the tenant pays their deposit to their landlord or agent. The landlord or agent must then ensure it is protected. Landlords and agents have a choice of two types of scheme to protect the deposit:

Custodial schemes
Money is held by the scheme until it is time for it to be repaid at the end of the tenancy. The custodial scheme is free to use. The landlord simply puts the deposit into the scheme at the beginning of the tenancy. There is one custodial scheme provider.

Insurance-based schemes
Under the insurance schemes the landlord keeps the deposit, and pays the insurance scheme to insure against the landlord failing to repay the tenant any money they are due. More information on this legislation is available at: www.gov.uk

If you have any questions regarding anything relating to the rental of your property, we’d love to answer your questions and remember our professional advice is always free!

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