The Property Tree

Landlord Guide

This guide is a general overview for Landlords, to explain what is typically involved with letting a property. If you need any further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Request a valuation

If you’d like one of our specialist managers to conduct a valuation or review of your property, please contact us.

Letting only service

  • Marketing of your property to find suitable tenants
  • Organise viewings
  • Referencing the tenant
  • Take the deposit and register it with DPS (Deposit Protection Service)
  • Handing over the tenant details to the landlord
  • Take first month’s rent and deduct our agreed fee from it
  • Please note – Letting Only Service does not include providing the tenancy agreement.

Part management

  • Marketing of your property to find suitable tenants
  • Organise viewings
  • Referencing the tenant
  • Credit checking the tenant
  • Take the deposit and register it with DPS (Deposit Protection Service)
  • Take the first month’s rent and set up a standing order for future payments
  • Provide the tenancy agreement
  • Move the tenant into the property
  • Collect rent on your behalf and deposit it to your designated bank account

Full management

As part management above plus

  • Dealing with tenants on a day to day basis
  • Sorting out maintenance queries
  • Property inspections every 3 months (maximum of 4 per year)
  • Out of hours telephone number for tenants in the event of an emergency
  • Carrying out repairs, maintenance and safety certificates at an agree cost and fee
  • Ensuring that the tenants treat and look after your home at all times.

Inventories

We strongly advise our Landlords to carry out a full inventory for each separate tenancy. The purpose of checking an inventory is to establish damages which can only be done if descriptions and conditioning remarks are sufficiently detailed at the commencement of the tenancy and then at the end of the term.

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenant is required to return the property and contents at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as they were at the commencement, fair wear and tear accepted. It is almost impossible to ascertain whether damage was caused during a tenancy without a proper inventory signed by all relevant parties.

If instructed we will arrange a professional inventory and check in on your behalf, the cost of which is borne by the landlord. The tenants are responsible for paying for the check out.

Consent to let

If you have a mortgage, it is normal for mortgagees to require notification of any proposed lettings and you should seek their initial consent. In the case of leasehold premises the consent of the Head Lessee of Freeholder will be required. You should also advise your insurance company of the proposal to let the property as this could either invalidate the insurance altogether or increase the premiums. You should obtain written documentation of these consents prior to letting.

Utilities

The tenant will be responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, water, telephone, council tax and television licence. (Unless otherwise agreed and stated) As the landlord, you are still responsible for the payment of service charges and ground rent in leasehold properties and buildings insurance on Freehold properties.

Tax

Under the Taxation of income from Land (non residents) Regulations 1995, the rent receiving agent (or where there is no agent, the tenant) will be required to deduct an amount equivalent to Basic Rate Tax from the rent (after taking deductible expenses paid by the agent into account) and pay the balance to the Inland Revenue each quarter.

However, the overseas landlord can apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from this requirement. Provided the landlords tax history is good and tax affairs are up to date, the overseas landlord will be issued with a certificate that will be sent to his rent receiving agent. This will authorise us to pay the rent to you with no tax deducted.

We can provide you with an NRL1 form which you must complete and send to the Inland Revenue. Neither your rent receiving agent (us) nor your tax advisor can file this application for you - it must be done by you.

Failure to return this form in time may result in the exemption certificate not being issued before the payments become due. We would have no alternative but to make the required tax deduction before paying the rents to you.

Our company are not tax advisers so if you are unsure as to how the above will affect you, you would be advised to speak to an accountant or professional tax advisor.

Any Non resident Landlord Tax payments deducted by us, in the first quarter can be refunded, if the exemption certificate is in our possession before the first quarter has ended. Any deductions after the first quarter can only be reclaimed after the first year has ended. Any refunds due after the first quarter are made by the Inland Revenue.

Tenancy agreements

Most tenancies are classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies. Under the Housing Act 1998 (as amended 1996) landlords have more rights to possession than with tenancies commencing prior to the Acts and procedures for possession are now quicker and simpler (provided the process is carried out correctly).

There is no minimum period for an Assured Shorthold tenancy; however we recommend that the tenancy is for not less than six months.

Most tenancies are drawn up for a period of twelve months, some have break clauses. A break clause allows either party to terminate the agreement with two months notice after an initial period of four months the notice may be served. We will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of different time periods with you.

Legal matters

Our staff have been trained and receive ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and clauses and possession, and have practical experience. They will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal matters.

The relationship between Landlord and Tenant can sometimes have its “ups” and “downs” and the need for a professional agent is paramount in closing any divide to allow for a smooth and enjoyable property experience for all parties concerned, whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you are best advised to conclude your property transaction via a reputable agent.

Tenancy law is now far better regulated than ever before with balanced rights for all parties, tenant’s holding deposits are held in an Approved Scheme and are returned at the end of the tenancy subject to the property being returned in the manner it was taken and subject to there being no outstanding bills relating to utilities etc.

Fees

There is a one off administration charge of £199. All management fees are flexible and taken as a percentage of a property’s monthly rental (part and fully managed properties only).

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