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Landlord FAQs

Why do I need an agent?

There is nothing to prevent a landlord acting without an agent. However, there are many legal requirements that a landlord has to fulfil and failure to comply with these requirements may result in criminal prosecution. Our staff are trained to understand current requirements, keep abreast of any changes and have systems in place to ensure they are complied with. We properly vet potential tenants and undertake full independent referencing, allowing you to make the right choice.

 

Do I need an inventory / schedule of condition?

Yes. A comprehensive document detailing the fixtures and fittings and their condition, along with photographs are essential. In a deposit dispute, the adjudicators will ask for proof of how the property was prior to move in. If there is no detailed evidence, it is difficult to prove that the property has been left in a worse condition and an adjudicator could claim that the landlord/agent is claiming “betterment”.

 

How is the rent paid?

Typically, a standing order is set up from the tenant’s bank account and the rent will be paid monthly in advance. Once the money has ‘cleared’ through our banking system the rent is paid promptly into the account of your choice. A detailed statement of your account is provided.

 

What sort of Tenancy Agreement is used?

There are a number of different types of agreement that can be used depending on the circumstances of the tenants, the landlord and the property. In the majority of cases, it will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for a fixed period of at least six months.

 

What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent?

As part of our fully-managed service we endeavour to ensure that the rent is paid on time. If the tenant does fall into arrears we’ll advise you on the appropriate course of action.

 

What about a deposit?

We ask tenants for a deposit, which is usually equal to one month’s rent. We hold the deposit as Stakeholder. The money will only be returned when there is vacant possession of the property and it has been left it in a satisfactory condition, allowing for fair wear and tear.

 

What happens when my property is empty?

You must advise your insurance company in accordance with their requirements regarding empty property.

 

What are my outgoings?

These will usually include:
• Mortgage
• Insurance (buildings and contents)
• Rental guarantee insurance (optional)
• Maintenance or repairs to the property
• Ground rent and services charges (where applicable)
• Managing agent fees (where applicable)
• Utility bills and services (when property vacant)
• Council tax (when property vacant)

 

What about tax?

You may be liable to pay tax on income generated from letting your property. The amount of tax you pay will depend on your circumstances.

If you are overseas for more than six months in any tax year, you will be regarded as a non-resident Landlord. The current legislation requires us to deduct and pay to the Inland Revenue tax at the basic rate unless we are in receipt of an exemption letter from the Inland Revenue. Once the Inland Revenue notifies us that you are exempt, we will no longer need to deduct tax.

Please note that where there are joint landlords (including married couples) an exemption is required for each landlord.

 

Do I need to tell my mortgage and insurance companies?

Yes, or your policies may be invalidated. You need written “consent to let” from your mortgage provider. They may also insist on restrictions to the type of tenant to which you can let the property.

 

What do I do if my property is leasehold?

The managing agents or freeholders must be advised as a change in the type of occupancy may affect the building’s insurance. You should obtain the freeholder’s or managing agent’s consent prior to letting and advise us of any restrictions within the head lease, of which your tenant should be aware.

 

Is it my responsibility to register the deposit?

It is the responsibility of the landlord to register the tenants’ deposit; if we provide a property management service then we will register the deposit on your behalf with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). It is a requirement to safeguard any deposit relating to Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’s) in England and Wales and they must be registered with a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.

There are three government back tenancy deposit schemes (TDP):

• Deposit Protection Service
• My Deposits
• Tenancy Deposit Scheme

What am I responsible for repairing?

As a landlord you have a legal obligation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to maintain the structure of the building, the sanitation and the supply of services. In addition, should an item supplied with the property require replacing or repairing, it is up to you to do so.

What fees will I be charged?

To see the fees for our Newcastle office please click here.

To see the fees for our Alnwick office please click here.

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