Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to advertise my property to rent?
We recommend press advertising and can supply encouraging advertising rates. To obtain the best advertising exposure, we also promote your property on our own website along with other leading sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. We also ensure local exposure of your property with brochures in our prominently located offices.
Do I need permission before I rent my home?
If the property is subject to a mortgage, consent is normally required from the lender. If you are not the freehold owner of the property permission is usually required from the freeholder.
You should deal with this before you instruct Larards Lets to let your property and let us have details of any conditions that affect the tenancy.
Do I need to pay UK Income Tax?
This depends upon your circumstances, but income from property in the UK must be declared to HM Revenue and Customs. If the Landlord is resident overseas, Larards Lets may be taxed but we can advise you on how you can receive rent without us having to pay tax on your behalf.
Landlords may claim personal allowances against income from property and husbands and wives may decide to be taxed separately. Expenditure incurred in connection with letting can usually be offset against income, and a wear and tear allowance may be granted in the case of furnished properties. We recommend that Landlords take independent financial advice in connection with their residential investment and tax affairs and will be pleased to put you in touch with a professional adviser.
How long should I let for?
This will depend upon your personal circumstances. There are various types of tenancy, but most lettings are for at least six months.
Will I be able to get my property back?
Yes, subject to the terms of the tenancy and assuming that the correct type of tenancy is entered into from the outset. There are strict notice periods to adhere to; usually at least two months for Landlords and agreements cannot be terminated until the fixed term has expired.
Do I need to furnish my property?
A property can be made more or less attractive by replacing or adding furniture. Nevertheless, you must ensure that any soft furnishings you supply comply with current Fire Safety Regulations.
The Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988 as amended, require that all furniture in rented property must meet the standard. Of particular concern is foam filled or upholstered furniture manufactured between 1950 and 1988.
Furniture manufactured before 1950 is exempt and may remain in the property but any other soft furnishings left on the premises should be appropriately labelled. To supply furniture which does not comply is an offence which carries a punishment of imprisonment, a substantial fine, or both and Larards Lets expect all soft furnishings to be appropriately labelled.
If you are supplying appliances as part of your letting, please also supply the operating instructions. (Most operating instructions are also available on manufacturers' websites)
Do I need to insure the building and contents?
Landlords are normally responsible for insuring the property and Larards Lets recommend Landlords to also insure their contents. Check with your insurers to confirm you know what is not covered when the property is let - or stood empty.
Make sure that your insurance covers you for loss of rent in the event of the property being rendered uninhabitable. If you have difficulty with your property or contents insurance, we can put you in touch with insurers who will arrange a policy specifically designed for rented properties.
Who is responsible for repairs?
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 Section 11, as amended by Section 116 of the Housing Act 1988, requires the Landlord to keep in repair the structure and exterior of the property, together with installations for supply of water, gas, electricity and sanitation and to keep in proper working order installations for space and water heating.
Do I require an Energy Performance Certificate?
Since 1 October 2008, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - produced by an accredited assessor - is required whenever a building is let to a new tenant.
Landlords must provide an EPC free of charge to prospective tenants and must provide a copy of the EPC to the person who takes up the tenancy. We shall be pleased to obtain the EPC for you as required.
EPC's are valid for ten years and can be reused as many times as required within that period. Each EPC shows the energy rating and the environmental impact rating of the dwelling. This rating is accompanied by recommendations about how to improve the dwelling's energy efficiency.
Currently there is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended energy efficiency measures stated in the recommendation report.
What other safety issues are there?
Landlords have a duty to ensure that their premises, fixtures, fittings and appliances are safe. Larards Lets recommend that appliances which burn fossil fuels (gas, coal or oil) should be regularly serviced.
The Gas Safety (Installation) and Use Regulations 1994 (as amended) require Landlords to ensure all gas appliances and installation pipe work are maintained in safe condition and are inspected annually by an approved contractor. There are also requirements to keep records and issue tenants with certificates. All tenants must receive the gas safety inspection certificate before the start of a tenancy, in addition to any servicing and inspection arrangements for appliances and installations.
It is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances provided by the Landlord are safe when the tenancy begins and are in good repair and proper working order throughout the tenancy. At the start of the tenancy and throughout both must be free of risk of injury to tenants and residents. The Local Authority can take action to enforce electrical safety in residential accommodation under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).
As mentioned already, Landlords must ensure all furniture in their property meets the standard set by the Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 1988 as amended.