This is an essential guide and overview for Landlords, to explain what is typically involved with letting property. If you need any further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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We strongly advise our Landlords that a full inventory is carried out prior to occupation for each and every tenancy and a Check Out conducted when tenants vacates. The purpose of the inventory is to list the condition and contents of the property and the check out establish any missing items or damages at the end of the tenancy.
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 on your behalf, the cost of which is borne by the landlord. The tenants are responsible for paying for the check out.
If the landlord has a mortgage, it is normal for mortgagees to require notification of any proposed lettings and the landlord should seek their initial consent. In the case of leasehold premises the consent of the Head Lessee of Freeholder maybe required. The landlord should also advise his 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.
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. If the property is furnished we recommend that you also get cover for the contents whether Freehold or Leasehold.
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 the agent to pay the rent to you with no tax deducted.
We can provide you with an NRL1 form (individuals), NRL2 (Companies), NRL3 (Trustees) which you must complete and send to the Inland Revenue. Neither your rent receiving agent 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.
Most tenancies are classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies. Under Part 1 of 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).
The minimum period for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is usually six months. However, most tenancies are drawn up for a period of twelve months, which can include break clauses if agreed. A break clause allows either party to terminate the agreement before the expiry of the term by giving sufficient notice as agreed.
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. Deposits are protected as required by statute and are returned at the end of the tenancy subject to the property being returned in the manner it was taken, subject to fair wear and tear, rent is paid up to date and a forwarding address of the tenant is received.
Deposit Protection: As from the 6th April 2007 all deposits must be protected as required by statute in one of the three Government backed schemes. For further information on the schemes, visit https://www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection/overview
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC): As from the 1st October 2008, all rented properties must have an EPC.
Gas Safety Checks: All properties with gas must have a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate which must be checked annually. All checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
Electrical Safety Checks: It is recommended that all electrical installation and appliances must be safe.
Smoke Alarm, Heat Sensor and Carbon Monoxide Detector Smoke alarms must be installed on each floor, Heat Sensor installed in kitchen and Carbon Monoxide Detector installed in room(s) where gas is supplied.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)All properties with unrelated sharers are HMO’s - some are licensable and some are not and whether they are or not will be down to each local Authority. For Luton, visit http://www.luton.gov.uk/HMO
How To Rent Guide Department for Communities and Local Government have issued an Updated HOW TO RENT GUIDE For use from the 1st February 2016
The How to rent guide needs to be served on all new and renewal tenancies from the 1st February 2016. The guide serves as a helpful check list for anyone searching for a property to rent, offering guidance through every step of the letting process.
It provides a check list and more detailed information on each stage of the process, including the following.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE GOV.UK WEBSITE