Landlords Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an agent?

Of course there is nothing to stop a Landlord acting without an agent. However, there are many legal requirements that a Landlord has to fulfil, failure to comply with these may result in criminal prosecution. Our staff are trained to understand these requirements and have systems in place to ensure they are complied with. We have facilities to properly vet a potential Tenant, allowing you to make the right choice.

What services do you offer?

We provide 3 levels of Tenant Introduction Service and 3 levels of Letting and Management service. The Tenant Introduction Service is geared towards experienced Landlords who's day to day business is the management of their portfolio. The majority of our clients choose the Letting and Management option, as this provides a complete service from start to finish, offering you peace of mind and the satisfaction of knowing that your property is in capable hands. Our comprehensive Tenancy Agreement will make sure that your interests are protected in line with current legislation. So why take the risk when there are experts who can do it for you. We will save you time and could even save you money.

How do I know I am getting a good tenant?

We conduct identity and residency checks on all applicants. We also obtain a credit reference and take up employer and current landlord references. For applicants who have a clean credit history but who are financially weak for the rental commitment we either ask for a guarantor or obtain full settlement of rent in advance for the tenancy term. For non-UK applicants we have access to international referencing facilities, which cover many countries.

How is the rent paid?

Typically a standing order is set up from the tenant's bank account and the rent will be paid in advance. Our fully computerised systems mean that the rent is paid by BACS directly into the account of your choice. We carry out our accounting on the first working day of each month and a detailed statement of account is naturally part of our service which saves you time in completing your tax returns.

What sort of agreement is used?

There are a number of different types of agreement that should be used depending on the circumstances of the tenants, the Landlord and indeed the property. In the majority of cases it will be what is called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a fixed period of at least 6 months.

What is an inventory?

A list detailing every item contained within a rental property and the condition each listed item is in, usually checked by all parties on the day the tenant moves in and signed by all parties. Evolution can provide a comprehensive inventory service for landlords. We also back this up with approximately 200 digital photographs.

How much notice do I have to give the tenant if I want my property back?

Typically you will need to serve 2 clear contractual months’ notice to the tenant for them to leave. This would be done via the appropriate section notice which we can arrange. In return, the tenant needs to give a minimum of 1 contractual months’ written notice to vacate but this would not take place before the end of the contracted term.

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

As part of our service we endeavour to ensure that the rent is paid on time. Having carefully selected the tenant in the first place, there's unlikely to be a problem. However people's circumstances do sometimes change during a tenancy and if the rent is not paid, we’ll advise you on the appropriate course of action. We can provide rent guarantee cover for you, for this eventuality, so please don't hesitate to ask for details for terms and conditions.

What about a deposit?

We ask tenants for a deposit which is usually equal to a months’ rent. It will only be returned when the tenant has given vacant possession of the property and left it in a satisfactory condition, allowing for wear and tear, and complied with his or her responsibilities under the Tenancy Agreement. Tenant's deposits are now protected and must be registered with a government approved scheme.

What happens when my property is empty?

You must advise your insurance company in accordance with their requirements regarding empty property. Please check your insurance policy for the relevant details. We can provide further cover for vacant properties between management periods, just ask one of our staff for details.

What are my outgoings?

These will usually include: Mortgage Insurance- Buildings & Contents (as a minimum) Repairs to the property and contents unless it is caused by the tenants If leasehold - ground rent and service charges Managing agent’s fees When the property is empty, utilities and services

What about tax?

You will be liable to pay tax on any profit 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 over to the Revenue tax at the basic rate unless we are in receipt of an exemption letter from the Inland Revenue. Once we are notified by the Revenue 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. Our staff will be happy to discuss these arrangements with you.

Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?

In short, YES. From 1st October 2008, all rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

Do I need to tell my insurance company?

Most certainly, yes - otherwise you may find your insurance is invalid. Should you need it, we are able to provide information Buildings and Contents insurance cover. Please ask our staff for further details.

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 buildings insurance. You should obtain the freeholders or managing agents consent prior to letting and advise us of any restrictions within the head lease which your tenant should be aware of.

Who looks after the garden?

The maintenance and upkeep of the garden is usually the responsibility of the Tenant. However, should you have a particularly large garden or any precious plants then it may be advisable to arrange for a gardener - the cost of which should be incorporated in the rental value. It is advisable to provide the materials for maintaining your garden even if the property is unfurnished.

Do I have to provide furniture?

No. Interestingly enough, in most cases we have found that there is very little difference in rental values between furnished and unfurnished lettings. Our staff will advise you on the most appropriate option for your property. An unfurnished property would require carpets, curtains and cooker. The requirements for a furnished property can vary depending upon the style and location of your property. For our Furniture Pack range

Are smoke alarms required?

Smoke alarms have to be installed on each floor of the property. We also advise you to check with your Mortgage Company and also Insurance Company.

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 in the property require replacing or repairing through fair wear and tear then you would be expected within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement to deal with this.

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