We answer some of your most asked questions about letting a property, including your legal requirements as a landlord and how to calculate rental income.
How do I prepare my property for letting?
Your property (including any associated garden or outside space) should be clean, clear and compliant. This means it must meet necessary legal requirements, be thoroughly deep cleaned, and only have essential items of furniture remaining.
How do I deep clean my property?
We recommend that you have your property professionally cleaned before the start of the let. This should include the carpet, curtains and oven. That way, you can expect the property to be returned to you in the same condition, making allowances for reasonable wear and tear.
Why should I only include essential furniture in a rental property?
There is currently more demand for unfurnished properties and we generally find that a property does not command a higher rental when furnished. Any furniture that is left in the property must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988, amended 1989 and 1993. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position, to reduce the risk of fire.
How do I ensure my rental property is compliant?
All gas appliances must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994, as amended 1996. This means they must be serviced and checked annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and you will need to have a Gas Safety Record (GSR) in place to ensure that all appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order.
All electrical equipment must comply with the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and General Product Safety Regulations 1994. An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is required for all properties in England.
Smoke detectors must be installed in rental properties. We also recommend that maintenance contracts are in place for all appropriate items. All relevant instruction manuals should be left at the property for the tenant’s use.
Do I need an EPC for rental properties?
An Energy Performance Certificate is a report that details the energy efficiency of a property. All landlords are legally required to purchase an EPC and their property must have a minimum rating of E. Rating is from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
Do I need to tell my mortgage lender I plan to let my property?
Yes, your mortgage lender will need to give you permission to let your property. They may also impose special conditions. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may be able to apply for a buy-to-let mortgage.
How do I know how much rent to charge?
We can carry out a lettings valuation to determine how much rent you’ll be able to charge.
Why is having an inventory important?
An inventory is a detailed, descriptive list of all rooms and their contents, their condition and any instances of wear or damage, supported by photographs if necessary. It’s important to have this for the protection of both parties, in case there is a dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy.
Your inventory will act as proof of the original condition of the property and its contents. We will instruct an independent professional inventory clerk from the AIIC to prepare your inventory, which we will ask tenant(s) to check and sign at the start of their tenancy.
How do I market my property?
There are many ways to successfully market your property, which we can discuss with you. We will market your property through the leading property portals – Rightmove, Digital Property Group, Prime Location and Zoopla – and provide full property descriptions, colour photographs, colour floorplans and a property brochure.
Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?
Yes, all landlords are liable to pay tax on any rental income. The profit that you make on letting your property is subject to UK Income Tax. You can offset your costs – including your mortgage, any maintenance or repair bills, insurance premiums and agency fees – against this profit. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website.
Who’s responsible for the maintenance of rental properties?
As the landlord, you are responsible for the maintenance and servicing of your property and its contents. This will include aspects of your property such as the building’s structure, the roof, the boiler and the central heating system. It may also include the washing machine, tumble dryer, oven and refrigerator.
What is the tenant responsible for?
The tenant is responsible for all bills, including Council Tax, water and waste, electricity, gas, oil, fuel and phone/broadband.
Do I need to amend my insurance policy?
You will need to advise your buildings and contents insurer of your intention to let your property. This may result in your premium being increased or your terms of cover being amended.
How do I terminate a tenancy?
You cannot normally terminate a tenancy within the first six months unless there has been a serious breach of the Tenancy Agreement. Landlords normally need to give two months’ notice, while only one month is required on the tenant’s side.