Ensure you are fully informed and prepared
Here are some of the most frequent questions we are asked. If you have your own please use the form to submit and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
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.
We carry out extensive checks on our tenants too, and believe in the same level of due diligence to tenants by confirming the legal standing of the property they are applying for. Likewise, if you were selling or buying a property, ID checks would be mandatory in order to complete the sale/purchase.
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 required by law annually 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 quite a bit of hassle 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). From April 2020 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 may be liable to pay tax on the rental income from your property. Click here to find out more
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 help you feel you may want with your let. There are hundreds of lettings legislations and it can be a bit of a worry for landlords. If you want peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that your asset is being professionally taken care of, our Exclusive Service for landlords is most definitely right for you.
What if my tenant falls in to arrears?
Rent Guarantee, provided as part of our Exclusive Service option guarantees your full rent is paid, whether the tenant pays it or not. If your tenant falls in to arrears and you don’t have the benefit of this service, we will begin legal proceedings for you but additional fees will apply.
Can I appoint an ‘authorised’ care-of contact?
It is quite common for a landlord to live overseas and this should be no problem at all, 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 of the landlord, should the landlord 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 their behalf. Your appointed landlord will then have authority to make all decisions and signatures. The appointed landlord and the owner will still 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?
We would absolutely advise that you speak to your lender ASAP upon deciding to let the property.
How can I maximise my rent and the chances of letting my property quickly?
It is important to remember that tenants these days are 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. Go for hard wearing but neutral carpets, neutral walls and kitchens/bathrooms.
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.
If you are self-managing (you do not have a letting or managing agent) you should be aware that if your tenant pays more than £100 a week in rental payments, the tenant must deduct the tax from their rent payment and pay that over to inland revenue.