Why do you carry out ID and proof of owner checks?
All of our landlord clients are required to complete an ID check prior to marketing the property or properties. We will ask for official photographic ID and carry out a land registry check to confirm ownership of the property to be let. If ownership details are not listed, we will need to request proof of ownership.
It’s extremely important that we include the correct details on our terms of business documentation and also on the tenancy agreement. These are legally binding documents, and any incorrect details could adversely affect insurances and the ability to get the property back from the tenant.
We are also required to provide the rental property address to HMRC, protecting the interests of our landlords and avoiding discrepancies in the records held at the tax office which could cause unnecessary problems for the landlord.
Why do I need an EPC?
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is legally required before any property can be let. It details the energy efficiency of a property from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). All rental properties, including those with tenancies already in place, must show an EPC rating of E or above (some exemptions apply).
Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?
You will usually be liable to pay tax on the rental income from your property.
Who is liable to pay the council tax – me or my tenant?
In most cases, unless specifically agreed otherwise, council tax is payable by the tenant.
Do I need a fully managed service?
Every landlord is different and of course, this really depends on the effort and time you want to put into your let.
Letting’s legislations is increasingly complex and can be a minefield for landlords and excessively expensive for the unwary. If you want peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that your asset is being professionally taken care of, our managed service is definitely right for you.
What if my tenant falls into arrears?
Due to our extensive checking, rental arrears are rare, and you can be confident of timely payments. We chase tenants for any outstanding rent. If need be, we will begin legal proceedings for which additional fees will apply. We offer a rent guarantee and legal protection service.
Please contact us on 01905 734733 for further details.
Can I appoint an ‘authorised’ care-of contact?
It is quite common for a landlord to live overseas, and this is fine as long as there is a willing and able ‘care of’ contact that is officially appointed by the landlord. Your appointed contact will have authority to make decisions on your behalf as landlord should you be unreachable for any reason.
It is also quite common for property owners to appoint an authorised 'care of' contact to deal with all matters relating to the property, even if they themselves are based here in the UK.
This permission must be by way of a signed and dated written letter appointing a particular contact to act on the property owner’s behalf.
The appointed person will then have authority to make all decisions and signatures. In addition to the owner, they will also be required to complete an ID and proof of ownership check as detailed above.
Do I need to advise my mortgage lender if I rent the property out?
You should speak to your lender before letting the property out.
How can I maximise my rent and the chances of letting my property quickly?
It is important to remember that tenants are generally looking for a home, not simply a place to stay. A warm and inviting property that is clean and neutral will nearly always let faster than something tired and dated and poorly maintained.
We advise hard wearing but neutral carpets, with neutral walls, kitchens andbathrooms.
What if I am based abroad?
If you live overseas for 6 months of the year or more, you will be classed as a ‘non-resident’ landlord. HMRC will consider this to be the case, even if you are a UK tax resident. When collecting rents (and letting property) for overseas landlords we are legally obliged by the Taxation of Income from Land (Non-Residents) Regulations 1995 to deduct tax at the rate of 20%, to cover any tax liability.
In order for tax not to be deducted, we must have received exemption in writing and therefore recommend that all overseas landlords complete an NRL1i form to avoid tax deductions. An exemption will be required for each owner of the property. Lettings Agents are legally obliged to deduct the tax and failure to do so could result in us being fined £5,000.
Tenants are liable for all utility bills, including council tax unless otherwise stated and included in the rent.