Yes. Your mortgage lender needs to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may be able to obtain a buy to let mortgage.
At Staffordshire Knot Estate Agents, we’re experts in the lettings market, so we can tell you how other rental properties are doing in the area, and what kind of yield you can hope to expect. Book a rental valuation with us today
This really depends on how much support you need. At Staffordshire Knot Estate Agents we offer three main service levels: Tenant Find, Rent Collect and Fully Managed. Each involves a different degree of service from us and the fees we charge reflect this. See our transparent fees for more information.
Choosing a fully managed service allows you to completely relax. You never have to worry about the let. It creates a professional distance between you and the tenancy, and means you can avoid having to deal with all the bad bits like rent arrears and deposit disputes.
Landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants’ deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. At Staffordshire Knot Estate Agents, we register deposits with the Deposit Protection Service. The scheme is there to protect the tenant’s money and help to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy.
An inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of your property taken before the tenant moves in. It is important that if there is a dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy, you have proof of the original condition of the property and its contents.
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it and, from 1st April 2018, the property must have a minimum rating of E on its EPC. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches this requirement with a penalty of up to £4,000.
A Gas Safety Record (GSR) is in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer. This needs to be checked every 12 months.
You are required to ensure that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure you are compliant which we can support with arranging.
You must ensure that all furnishings comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position. This is to reduce the risk of fire within the property.
If you choose a Rent Collect or Fully Managed service, we will organise for the tenant to pay the rent via standing order or direct debit. We will then transfer the money to your account minus our commission and any outgoings or fees (such as agreed maintenance work fees). You will receive a statement every month.
All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website.
You need to give the tenant appropriate notice before you enter the property and it’s not unreasonable to give as much notice as possible. That said, you have to give at least 24 hours’ notice and be prepared to visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and you need immediate access.
The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include this in the rent) but this needs to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the property is standing empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay.
Usually the tenant, though this should be stated in the tenancy agreement. However, if the landlord furnishes the property with a TV, they would be expected to pay the licence.
The landlord or the letting agent gives the tenant notice that they will be visiting the property to check it is being looked after, and to check for any potential maintenance issues.
Either the tenant pays to fix the damage, or the cost for fixing the damage is removed from the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the tenancy. However, fair wear and tear should be allowed for.
It is sensible to insure yourself against non payment of rent to eliminate your financial exposure. Our rent insurance protection pays 100% of your rent for up to 12 months if your tenant is unable to pay for any reason.
Terms and conditions apply. This information is a summary only.
If your tenant refuses to leave the property then legal action will be necessary. Our rent protection insurance covers legal fees up to £15,000 including any legal costs arising from regaining possession of your property from a tenant (providing there are rent arrears or the tenant has failed to vacate the premises at the end of a tenancy agreement).
The Right to Rent scheme, which helps to make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here, was rolled out across England in February 2016. If we don’t currently handle tenant checks for you, we’d be very happy to discuss how we can help you with this. Use our Right to Rent Guide for further information.
There are a few easy and cheap ways to improve your property’s EPC rating. Ensuring all your lightbulbs are energy savers is a simple change. Check your loft insulation is at least 270mm too, and if you have cavity walls ensure these are filled with insulation.
More expensive ways to improve your property’s EPC rating include replacing an old, inefficient boiler; adding modern controls like room thermostats; or adding renewable technologies like solar panels to the property.
For a periodic tenancy (rolling on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) you can’t normally increase the rent more than once a year, unless you seek the tenant’s agreement. For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period of time) you can only increase the rent if your tenant agrees. Find out more about rent increases.
We strongly recommend that you take the option of a professional inventory. It helps you protect your property and forms part of the contract between you and your tenant. It will detail the condition of the property when a tenant moves in and at the end of their tenancy. Vital to ensure there is no deposit disputes at the end of tenancies.