Fitzrovia, Soho, Covent Garden, Bloomsbury, Marylebone
Once you’ve decided which type of tenant you want to attract, you should consider tailoring the property in a way that will appeal to them. However, it is important to remember to keep your property flexible and decoration neutral to prevent alienating other types of individuals who may be thinking of renting in your area.
There are also many considerations and questions that you need to ask yourself such as:
What rent should I charge?
You should charge a full market rent. LDG will value your property free of charge and will estimate your potential rent which will maximize your profits.
Rents are estimated depending on many factors such as size, location and condition.
What type of tenancy Agreement should I use?
There are many different types of agreements such as AST (Assure Short Hold tenancy) and Common law agreements being the most common. LDG will be able to advise you in the type of agreement needed depending on the tenant and the main terms of the letting process such as the monthly rent and the length of the term.
What happens when the agreement comes to an end?
If either the landlord or the tenant wishes to renew the agreement, LDG will advise both parties in relation to the new terms for a new term.
If your tenant wishes to vacate at the end of the term we will re-market the property in the last two months and secure you a new tenant.
If your tenant decides to stay against your will your will have to apply for a Court Order for possession (see below).
How do I get my tenant to leave?
You must give the tenant written notice that you intend to seek a possession order in the court or, in the case of an assured shorthold tenancy, where you are relying on the fact that the term of the shorthold has come to an end and simply give notice that you require possession.
To evict a tenant before the expiry of a fixed term you should refer to the grounds to gain possession in the 1988 Housing Act.
Can I rent a property subject to a mortgage?
Most mortgage deeds prevent you from letting without your lender’s consent. Ask your lender before taking on a tenant.
What if I am leaseholder?
You should check the terms of your lease, and if necessary ask your freeholder’s permission to sublet.
How can I evict a “bad tenant”?
The law protects you against bad tenants. Your tenant must pay his rent promptly, take care of your property and avoid causing a nuisance to his neighbours or using the property for illegal or immoral purposes. He must obey all the rules of the tenancy agreement.
If you are letting on a fixed term contract, you will only be able to use these ‘bad tenant’ grounds for possession during the fixed term if the agreement states that you can.
Will I have to pay tax on my letting income?
All rental income is taxable but it all depends on your personal financial circumstances. Please check with your Accountant or HMRC.
In the case that you are residing outside the UK for more than 6 months, it is paramount that you register with the Inland Revenue for the “Non-Resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme”
What are my legal responsibilities?
The law requires landlords to maintain their property and undertake any major repairs that are required. For a better understanding of these responsibilities you should refer to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11.
In addition, there are special rules that apply:
- Energy assessments – Landlords in England and Wales who are letting or re-letting their property for the first time are now required to present an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to tenants.
- Gas – Landlords need to ensure that every gas appliance and all gas pipework meets the required safety standards. With effect from the 1st of April 2009 Capita Gas Registration and Ancillary services will be responsible for the registration of gas engineers. Landlords are required to present a gas safety record of the property being let.
- Fire – It is an offence to let a property with any furniture or furnishings that do not comply with safety regulations.
- Smoke detectors – Properties built after June 1992 must have mains operated smoke detectors fitted on each floor.
- Electricity – Landlords need to obtain safety certificates for all electrical equipment within their rental property to prove it is safe and will not cause danger.
What references and checks need to be done on my prospective tenants?
It is crucial that prospective tenants are put through a rigorous referencing process in order to filter out anyone who intends to use the property in an illegal fashion or are unable to afford the rent. With increasing exposure to habitual fraudsters, identity theft and other potential issues, LDG will carry out thorough tenant background checks, tenant screening and tenant verification which will decrease significantly the chance of having an unsuitable tenant residing in your property. With these checks implemented, LDG will always aim to have a successful let.
LDG works closely with the independent referencing companies who can also offer you rent protection, guarantees, insurance and other services. For more information regarding these services, then please do not hesitate to ask us.
What happens with the tenant’s deposit?
Landlords must protect their tenants’ deposits using a TDP scheme if they have let the property on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which started after 6 April 2007.
Landlords must use one of the three approved TDP schemes to protect tenants’ deposits where these conditions apply.
LDG currently uses the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and it is free of charge to all our landlords.
If you don’t protect your tenants’ deposits when required to, your tenants can take you to court and you may have to repay them their deposit plus three times the amount of their deposit. You will also be unable to seek possession of your property in certain circumstances.
The schemes encourage landlords and tenants to draw up clear tenancy agreements and provide a free service to resolve disputes
Do you have any QUESTIONS REGARDING OUR TERMS OF BUSINESS?
If you require more information, regarding our terms of business please refer to our terms of Business Guide.