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Q & A`S
Frequently asked questions and answers...
Do I need to tell my mortgage company that I intend to rent out my house?
Yes you should obtain authorization from your mortgage provider before letting it and pay special attention to any restrictions that may be placed.
What is TDP (Tenancy Deposit Protection)?
Any deposit taken since 6th April 2007in connection with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be protected by law under one of three schemes (one custodial and two insurance based).
What are the landlord’s responsibilities in regards to repairs and maintenance?
In general terms the landlord is legally required to repair and maintain the structure and exterior of the property including drains and gutters etc. To keep in working order the installations for the supply of gas, electricity and water, and for the installations for the provisions of space and water heating, as well as legal responsibilities relating to the safety of such items as gas, electricity, furnishings etc.
I will be residing oversees, is there implications regarding tax?
You must complete an NRL1 form (non resident landlord) and send it to the Inland Revenue who will provide authorisation to the letting agent that they can pay the full monthly rent to you without deducting tax at the standard rate.
What happens if my tenant won't move out?
Providing the tenancy has been lawfully terminated (i.e. the correct notice served) you can apply to the courts for a possession order.
Can I offset the cost of repairs and redecoration against my tax liability?
Repairs and maintenance from the time the property is let can be offset against tax liability on rental income; but not costs incurred prior to letting. You could however add the cost of refurbishment work to the capital expenditure which will affect the amount of capital gains tax you would pay if and when you were to sell the property.
My tenant has been sent to prison; can I end the tenancy and change the locks?
I'm afraid not, if the tenant is imprisoned during a fixed term term tenancy you cannot terminate it nor can you change the locks. We would advise you contact the tenant in prison quoting his prison number and ask him to surrender the tenancy in writing and appoint a person to remove his belongings.
Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished?
If the property is furnished you will be responsible for the repair and replacement which means costs are generally higher.
Council tax and water rates are payable for periods between tenancies if the property is furnished.
In areas such as central London and in areas with a high student population still retain a high demand for furnished property and hear you are likely to be able to charge a premium.
Can the agent’s fees be offset against tax on rental income?
Can I take my tenants possessions if he's in arrears?
The short answer is no, if the tenant is in rent arrears then legal action should be taken against him; and there are clear procedures for this.
If the tenant has abandoned the property leaving behind possessions of value then Touts Act 1977 would apply under sections 12 and 13 stating that if goods have not been clearly discarded then they must be stored and every effort made to contact the tenant warning that they will be disposed after 3 months.
How do I evict my tenant?
A tenant’s right of tenure is protected under the 1977 Protection from Eviction Act and The Housing Act 1988; which introduced the Assured Shorthold Tenancy. There are 17 grounds for possession, 8 mandatory and 9 discretionary and notices have to be served stating the relevant ground before legal action can proceed; a tenant cannot be evicted without a possession order having been granted in court.