Landlord FAQs

The following are our Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to be listed: -

Do I have to tell my mortgage lender before I rent my property?

Yes. You must get permission from your mortgage lender and they may impose particular conditions. If you are buying a property with the aim of letting it, you may be able to opt for a buy to let mortgage.

Why should I use a managing agent to let my property?

Residential property letting is governed by a myriad of regulations and legislations. As a landlord with RentLocally you can opt for the service that suits your circumstances: Fully Managed or Let Only. Choosing a fully managed service means that we will do the hard work so that you don’t have to, allowing you to sit back and make the most of your investment. You never have to worry about the let and you can avoid having to deal with the potential hassle of repairs, rent arrears and deposit disputes.

What is an inventory and why do I need one?

An inventory details the contents of your property and its condition prior to the tenancy. If there is any dispute between you and the tenant over damage at the end of the tenancy, the inventory provides proof of the original condition of the property and its contents.

Why do you make a separate charge for the lease and inventory?

We give you a breakdown of costs rather than charging a single lump sum. This is part of our commitment to a transparent fee structure and allows you to select aspects of our service rather than being obliged to pay for elements you do not require.

How much will letting my property cost me?

It depends on the level of service you require. RentLocally offers landlords the option of Fully Managed or Let Only and the different services are reflected in the fees. When you arrange for a free property valuation with RentLocally, our local property agent will provide you with detailed and transparent information about our fee structure.

How much rent can I charge?

Arrange a fast and free no obligation property rental valuation with RentLocally and we will assess the suitability of your property for rental and give guidance on achieving the best possible return on your investment.

Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?

All landlords have to declare earnings on profits made from leasing property, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. We recommend seeking advice from HMRC.

What is the lettings market like at the moment?

The market is currently particularly buoyant because it is difficult for many people to obtain a mortgage. Peak time of the year for letting is between April to October, as this is when most people look to move house.

How long will it take to let my property?

With the rent pitched at the correct level and provided the property is in good decorative order your property should be let within 2 to 3 weeks. With an average turnaround of 23 days, RentLocally lets property faster – about 33% faster than the 39 day market average.

Do I need to make any improvements to my property before I let it?

We always recommend renting out a property in a good condition, including clean and unmarked flooring and paintwork. Properties with modern kitchens and bathrooms are also quicker to rent. Our local agents can advise you on any upgrading necessary and if you need any work done we can provide estimates from our local contractors, who are fully vetted to ensure they meet RentLocally’s high standards.

Why do I need an EPC?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property, which provides an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). EPCs are valid for 10 years and all landlords are required by law to possess EPCs for rental properties.

Should I leave the property unfurnished?

This depends on the area and the size of the property. Most 3+ bedroom properties are best left unfurnished, as families tend to have their own furniture. Most tenants looking for 1 or 2 bedroom flats would expect them to be furnished. The more flexible you can be with furnishings the easier it will be to secure a tenant. However, the more furniture you supply, the more you need to repair and replace if a tenant damages it. As a result, many landlords prefer to let their properties unfurnished.

What standards should my furniture meet?

You must ensure that all furnishings you supply comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. Our agents can provide you with information and advice about these regulations. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position in order to reduce the fire risk in a property.

Who pays the council tax – the landlord or the tenant?

The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include is in the rent). This must be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the property is empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay the council tax.

Who pays the TV licence – the landlord or the tenant?

It generally depends who provides the television. If the tenant provides the TV (which is usual), the tenant pays the licence. This must be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. However, if the landlord provides a TV for the property, the landlord is expected to pay the licence.

What are the regulations regarding gas appliances?

By law, landlords must be in possession of a Gas Safety Record to ensure that that all gas appliances, pipes and flues in the property are in safe working order. This must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer and needs to be checked every 12 months.

What are the regulations regarding electrical appliances?

By law, landlords must ensure that all electrical devices in the property are safe for use. RentLocally advises Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) to ensure compliance and can offer this service to landlords if required.

What happens if the rent is late?

The tenant will be contacted immediately and “panic button” activated on the Creditflow website, which will start the debt collection process. If the tenant has been made redundant we recommend they contact the local council to see if they are entitled to benefits. It is important to get the tenants onto a payment plan and also serve notice on a tenant so if they do not stick to the payment plan or clear the arrears quickly, the landlord is not at risk of them defaulting again. If the landlord has taken out rent guarantee insurance they will be able to claim on this.

How and when does RentLocally pay me my rental income?What happens if a tenant refuses to pay?

A notice to leave will be issued to the tenant to leave the property and outstanding rent or damages can be sought through small claims court proceedings if the tenant will not commit to a payment plan. Specific landlord insurance can insure against non payment of rent.

Is the property inspected during the tenancy?

Yes. The landlord or letting agent can give the tenant notice that they will be visiting the property to check it is being looked after and to see if there are any potential maintenance issues.

What if the tenant damages the property?

Either the tenant pays to fix the damage, or the cost for fixing the damage is taken from the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the tenancy. However, it should be noted that fair wear and tear should be allowed for.

Where is the tenant’s deposit kept during the tenancy?

Landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants’ deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme, designed to protect the tenant’s money and help resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

My circumstances have changed and now I need to sell the property. What do I do?

If you decide to sell your property while it is tenanted, RentLocally notifies your tenant and, when a buyer is found, we give your tenants 3 months notice and offer them help to relocate.