Frequently Asked Questions

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Put simply, yes! You will need to get permission from your mortgage lender before you can let out your property. In some cases, they may impose special conditions and if you decide to work with a letting agent, they will need to be made aware of them. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you can obtain a buy-to-let mortgage.

The rental value of your property will vary depending on the property’s size, condition, and location (e.g., how desirable the surrounding area is as well as any local amenities etc.). An estate agent will conduct a valuation on your property using their knowledge of how other properties within the local area are doing and how much rent you can expect based on their experience in the current market. Book a free rental valuation with Abbey Property to ensure your property is valued accurately and avoid the risk of overvaluing your property and increased void periods.

The cost of letting out your property will vary depending on the level of support you require. Most letting agents offer three main services from let only, to rent collection and then a full-management service. Each option involves a different level of service and a letting agent’s fee will be indicative of the services they are providing. It is important that you fully understand what an agent is charging and what is included in each service when deciding on the best solution to suit your needs, as well as your budget. Click here to see exactly what Abbey Property charge for our landlord services.

When a tenant moves out and the property isn’t returned in the same condition, you need evidence to show if damage has genuinely occurred during their stay. The best evidence you can hold is an Inventory Check-In Report. An inventory should be signed by both a landlord and a tenant as proof that both parties were aware and satisfied with the condition a property was in at the start of a tenancy. For this reason, it is equally important that an Inventory Check-Out Report is conducted at the end of a tenancy, so that the two reports can be compared to ensure the property has been maintained to the same standard. There are many ways landlords and letting agents choose to document the condition of a property such as (but not limited to) a videographic inventory, photographic inventory, typed inventory, handwritten inventory and some even opting for a report-based style. Read our article Inventory Check-in-Report for an example of a video style inventory report and more information regarding the importance of conducting an inventory.

Above all else, using a letting agent saves you the hassle of having to deal with the downsides of being a landlord, such as rent arrears and compliance concerns. If choosing a fully managed service, it allows you to relax and keep a professional distance between yourself and the tenancy. Read our article What Is the Worth In Using A Letting Agent for more details on why using a letting agent may be beneficial to you.

Yes, to comply with legislation an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) must be carried out before you can let your property. A qualified electrician will carry out this report, to ensure the electrical installations in the property are safe and fit to be used. This certificate must be renewed every 5 years, as stated by the expiry date shown on the certificate.

A Gas Safety Certificate is only applicable if you have a mains gas feed into the property. Some properties, such as blocks of flats rely on electric heating and water and don’t have a gas feed. If applicable, it is an annual check that should always be kept up to date and must be conducted by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. An EPG 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 this certificate should be maintained. A property must have a minimum rating of E on its EPC otherwise you can’t legally rent it out and could face fines of between £500-£5,000.

Landlords are given a ‘property allowance’ for the first £1,000 of their rental income making it tax free up to this amount. If your income from rental property is between £1,000 and £2,500 a year you will need to contact HMRC and you must report it on a self-assessment tax return if it’s £2,500-£9,999 after allowable expenses or £10,000 or more before allowable expenses.

Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/renting-out-a-property/paying-tax

When you opt for a rent collection or fully managed service, a letting agent will arrange for a tenant to set up a standing order or direct debit to be paid to them. Once the agent has deducted their commission (and any outstanding fees that may be applicable to a fully managed service), they will transfer the money into your account.

As of 1st April 2019, being a member of Client Money Protection Scheme (CMP) is a legal requirement for all agents. CMP reimburses landlords and tenants should a letting agent misappropriate their rent. Abbey Property are also registered with the Property Redress Scheme (PRS).

A tenant will need to be provided with appropriate notice before you enter the property. Have a read of our article My Tenant Won’t Let Me Access My Property!? for much more detail on this.

It is the tenant’s responsibility to pay council tax unless a landlord decides to include council tax in the rent – this will need to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. During any void periods, the landlord will be responsible for paying the council tax.

It is generally the tenant’s responsibility to pay for a TV Licence and this will need to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. However, if a landlord provides a property furnished with a TV, then they would be required to pay the TV Licence.

With a periodic (or rolling) tenancy agreement, you are usually limited to one rent increase a year and will need the tenant’s agreement for anything further. For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a specified period) you’ll need the tenant’s permission before you can increase the rent and if they don’t agree, you cannot make any changes until the fixed-term ends. We discuss this in detail in our article I’m Charging Too Little For Rent, Can I Increase it?

Whilst properly vetting a tenant can significantly reduce the risk of rent arrears, changes in circumstances means that there is always potential for tenants to fall behind on rent. Rental Guarantee Insurance should be a consideration for all landlords as it could help save money, stress and time. Read our article Everything You Need To Know About Taking Our Rental Guarantee Insurance Policy to learn more. Also take a look at our article What Are My Options When My Tenant Is In Rent Arrears? for more details on the steps to take if your tenant falls into rent arrears.

A tenant will be required to pay for any damages that exceed fair wear and tear and any charges should be reasonable and made on a like-for-like basis. If for any reason a tenant does not pay for damages during their tenancy, then they should be deducted from the tenancy deposit at the end of the tenancy. For more information on this please refer to our article I want to make deductions from my tenants deposit!

Wear and tear is day to day wear that happens as the property is lived in. Bear in mind that wear and tear is a regular occurrence for landlords to have to deal with and shouldn’t be classed as damage to the property.

A tenancy deposit must be entered into a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDP) either by a letting agent or a landlord within 30 days of receiving it. At Abbey Property we use the Deposit Protection Service and we will contact them at the end of a tenancy to either release the deposit, or if applicable to state the amount we wish to claim for and why – if a tenant accepts our deductions, then the money can be released. Read our article I want to make deductions from my tenants deposit! for information on what happens if there is a dispute over a tenancy deposit.

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