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Whether you're renting out your property for the first time, or have many different properties with different requirements, there can always be something you feel you need some more information on.
Please find here some of the most frequently asked questions we recieve from landlords...
1 – I want to let out my property. Do I need to tell my mortgage lender?
Yes. Mortgages and their conditions vary, please speak with your lender to ensure you have the right permissions prior to marketing your property. If you are buying a property with for investment purposes, speak to your lender about a buy-to-let mortgage.
2 – Do I need to be present for every viewing?
Of course if you would like to be present as potential tenants view your property then you can be, however we know that being available at various times of everyday may not always be plausible; that’s where we come in! Whichever service package you choose, fully accompanied viewings are included as standard; all you need to do is provide us with a set of keys. One of our lettings team will show the prospective tenants around and be there to answer any questions they may have – we will also provide you with regular feedback from our experiences on the viewings.
3 – How do I know what rent to charge?
Let us do the hard work for you! Belvoir Leicester offer a no obligation, free of charge, valuation service. Call us or click here to arrange an appraisal today! We will meet you or your tenant at the property and give you advice on how much your property is worth for both rental and sales. We can also provide you with information on the excellent services we offer for both rental and sales properties.
4 – Should I furnish my property?
This, again, is entirely your decision. Our representative can assist you in recommending what is best for your rental yield at the property. Please bear in mind, furniture and appliances are other items that you will need to continue to maintain should they breakdown during tenancy. Furniture and appliances also need to be compliant with legal requirements, such as fire regulations. For more information on whether or not your furniture is compliant please look at our landlord’s legal requirements page.
5 – How do I know I am getting a good tenant?
Finding a quality tenant is vital for a smooth tenancy. Here at Belvoir Leicester we do all the hard work for you. As per our referencing criteria, an applicant must pass the below, before being allowed to rent one of our properties;
- A positive income to rent ratio
- A positive credit check
- A positive income and previous landlord (where relevant) reference
- Proof of their identity
- Proof of their current residency
- Proof of their ‘right to rent’ in the UK
6 – Why do I need a managing agent?
Choosing whether to manage your property yourself or to use an agent really depends on your lifestyle and availability. Whilst you could oversee the property yourself, choosing to have an agent to manage your property gives you full peace of mind throughout your tenancy. No late night phone calls, regarding maintenance issues – we have emergency contacts for that. No worrying over an empty property and the lack of rental income – we market your property to thousands of potential tenants everyday through Rightmove and Zoopla and our own Belvoir Website. No confusion over ever-changing landlord legal requirements – we are fully up to date on any changing laws, and will inform you also. And most importantly, no concerns about dealing with rental arears or deposit disputes – we will mediate all areas of complaint and dispute for your property from beginning to end of each tenancy and in between too, in order to ensure the best outcome possible for yourself.
7 – How much will I have to pay to let out my property?
This really depends on how much support you need. At Belvoir Leicester we offer two service levels; ‘Let Only’ and ‘Managed’. Each requires a different level of involvement from Belvoir and the fees we charge reflect this. This is another area our agents will discuss with you fully at a property valuation, that way we can help tailor make our service to best suit you.
8 – Do I need to have an inventory?
YES! Never let out your property without a detailed, and signed, statement of condition. This needs to include; the property itself, all fixtures and fittings, as well as any supplied furniture and appliances. It is important to have proof of its condition, in case of any disputes about damages at the end of a tenancy. Here at Belvoir Leicester, we ensure an inspection is carried out and a highly detailed inventory report produced with plenty of photographic evidence, prior to each tenancy, in order to protect you and your property.
9 – What is an EPC and do I need one?
An EPC is an ‘Energy Performance Certificate’. This is a report which details the energy efficiency of the property, and provides it with a rating from A - G. This is valid for 10 years and is a legal requirement for all rented properties. For more information on this and how to obtain one for your property please look at our landlord’s legal requirements page.
10 – What is a Gas Safety Certificate and do I need one?
This is a certificate obtained after the yearly check is carried out on all gas appliances in the property. Any property with a gas supply is legally required to perform this check once a year, to ensure all appliances are still safe to use. This must be carried out by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. For more information on this and how to obtain one for your property please look at our landlord’s legal requirements page.
11 – What are my responsibilities regarding the electrical appliances?
It is your responsibility to ensure that any appliances, and the property itself, are safe for tenants to use and in a lettable standard. Whilst it is not currently a legal requirement to have an electrical safety certificate for your property, we do recommend obtaining an EICR – an Electrical Installation Condition Report so you can be sure you are compliant with current standards and requirements. For more information on this and how to obtain one for your property please look at our landlord’s legal requirements page.
12 – What happens to my tenant’s deposit?
Landlords and letting agents are legally required to register all tenants’ deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Belvoir Leicester recommends TDS but we also work with some landlords who chose to use DPS. Please see our information page for further information on how we keep yours and your tenant's money safe.
13 – How do I get my rental income?
If you choose a Managed service with us, we will instruct the tenant to pay the rent via standing order to ourselves. We will then transfer the money to your chosen account, minus our commission and any outgoings or fees (such as maintenance works). You will also receive a statement every month.
If you choose a Let Only service with us we will provide your new tenants with your chosen account details and instuct them to set up a standing order into your account.
14 – Do I have to pay tax on my rental income?
All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income; this differs based on whether you live in the UK or are overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website.
15 – Am I responsible for the council tax and other utilities or will my tenant be liable to pay this?
As with other bills and utilities, unless previously agreed (some landlords choose to include some bills in the rent), the council tax would be paid by the tenant. At Belvoir Leicester we work with a company called Hallmark who notify the suppliers of a change of tenancy, but it is ultimately up to your tenants to ensure they are paying the correct bills. If a property is empty, these bills will revert back to the landlord to be paid. Leicester City Council do sometimes offer one month per year, free for landlords, if their property is standing empty.
16 – How will I know if my tenants are keeping my property to a good standard?
If you chose a managed service with Belvoir Leicester, we will arrange and carry out regular inspections of your property at least twice a year. We will then compile and send on to you a detailed report of any issues raised by your tenants, or anything we notice in regards to the property and how it is being kept. This way you can rest assured if there are any problems with the property itself or how the tenants are keeping it, we will be on top of it, and you will always be kept in the know!
17 – What happens if a tenant damages my property?
During tenancy if a tenant damages something, we will request they have this repaired. This must be done to the same standard the item was in prior to the damage. If something is found to have been damaged after a tenant has vacated, the repairs for this can be claimed from the tenants’ deposit. In regards to minor damage (such as scuffed paintwork for example) we must allow for fair wear and tear of a property, and please be aware, that décor and items in rental properties do tend to deteriorate faster than in residential properties.
18 – Do I need to change my buildings and contents insurance?
In many cases, standard home insurance will not cover you for some instances that may arise during a rental period. We therefore recommend our landlord’s take out specialised landlord insurance in order to cover yourself and your property. Endsleigh insurance can again help to advise you on the best cover available; both for the building, and any other items you may have provided (furniture/appliances). Please note tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents and belongings left in the property.
19 – Who organises repairs or maintenance work?
If you are on our managed service we take full responsibility of liaising with your tenant and organising any required repairs to your property or items you have provided (e.g. appliances). We have local contractors on call, who we work with regularly, from all required trades. Please be assured that we will consult with yourself for permission before carrying out repairs, unless further damage could occur from not taking rapid action.
20 – What happens if my tenant stops paying the rent?
We recommend all of our landlord’s take out insurance, in case of non-payment of rent – our recommended choice is Endsleigh Rent and Legal insurance. Please click here to visit their site and find out more.
Sometimes properties and tenants do fall into rental arrears, this needs to be managed swiftly and correctly to ensure the best possible outcome. At Belvoir Leicester we have a dedicated accounts team on hand to manage these issues should they arise for you, and to provide help and advice on the best course of action, every step of the way.