Main and Main offers a comprehensive Letting and Management service run by a team of experienced and friendly staff. As one of the leading Letting Agents in the area, with over 45 years experience, this progressive company has a strong interest in quality residential property of all types. We are here to give advice and information about the range of regulations governing Lettings together with general advice for both Landlords and Tenants.
Once you have decided that you would like to rent out your property there are many issues that are required to be handled in order to ensure that your Letting is authorised and safe and that it meets all of the legal requirements in accordance with current legislation governing Landlords in the U.K today.
Here are some of the important issues that will require to be dealt with prior to Letting.
From the 1st October 2015 the regulation is changing with regards to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in rented properties.
The regulations require that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of the property on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation; A carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room of the property which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance; and that each alarm is tested at the start of a new tenancy.
“The regulations do not require landlords to test the alarms during the tenancy and tenants are advised to test the alarms on a regular basis whilst in occupation”
Written Building Society/Bank authorisation is required prior to the beginning of a Tenancy to a Tenant. Indeed, most Banks and Building Societies make it a condition of the mortgage or loan that the property cannot be let out without firstly attaining written permission. .Some Building Societies/Banks will not allow properties to be Tenanted at all especially if there are, or have been arrears on the mortgage repayments for instance. Sometimes if the mortgage on the property is a ‘special deal’ the Building Society or Bank may wish to withdraw you from that ‘special deal’ and place you on their Variable rate mortgage, in which case you will need to consider the extra cost of mortgage payments and any ‘redemption’ penalties that may become payable under these circumstances.
Some Insurers will refuse to continue your insurance cover if the property is to be let out. If you fail to ask for their written permission and you need to call upon your policy, on finding that the property is let the Insurers may declare your policy void and refuse to make any payouts to you for the prevailing problems. Main & Main can assist in organising alternative insurance if your insurers wish to cancel your policy.
If you pay an annual Ground rent (your property is Leasehold) you will need to receive written instruction from the Free Holder to let your property out, this is very rarely a problem, but nevertheless the permission must be sought.
Is your property a Flat/Apartment Managed by Management Company/Residents Association etc?
Do ensure that there are no restrictive covenants within the lease on the property disallowing flats within the development to be let out. Written permission should be sought from the Management Company confirming that Letting is allowed.
If so you will require a FICO registration Number in order that the rental income can be paid over to you on a monthly basis Gross of Income Tax. Only the Managing Agent commissioned to receive the rent for you while you are away can acquire this number from The Inland Revenue for you, if you change Managing Agents at any point your Fico Number will also have to be changed. Professional advice from an Accountant must be sought if you have a complicated tax liability.
When Letting a property out a Landlord has a Legal obligation to ensure that the property is safe, and a moral obligation to ensure that the Property is let out in a clean, well maintained order.
All gas appliances have to carry a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate provided by a registered gas safety engineer, this certificate is required by law to be updated on an annual basis and failure to do this is a criminal offence and will result in prosecution.
Any upholstered furniture to be left in the property during the Term of a Let must comply with the current regulations. All upholstered furniture must carry the correct labels attached to the furniture. Where there are no labels attached a receipt for the item of furniture confirming the date of the purchase would be sufficient evidence to prove the standard of the internal materials that have been used, it is an offence for non-compliant furniture to be sold in the UK. Items of furniture included in this regulation are: Sofas/settees/ armchairs, dining room furniture, conservatory furniture, cushions, pillows, high chairs, mattresses, headboards, stools, beanbags, (basically anything that has a ‘stuffing’ inside it).
In general the property has to be provided in a safe, clean condition, carpets, curtains and light fittings are mandatory.
It is recommended that a gardening contract is available for the duration of the Tenancy the cost of this can be reflected in the rental that is being requested for the property
The amount of rental income between furnished or unfurnished property is generally minimal, this can however be guided by the demand and the advice of your Estate Agent. Main and Main would continually assess the response from any prospective Tenants and advise you accordingly, however always remember that any furniture placed into the property for the purposes of letting MUST comply with the Fire Regulations of 1988 (as amended) Any Electrical items also will require safety checking, thus adding cost onto the Letting of the property. Main and Main would provide an example inventory if required to guide as to the content of the property. Items of value, either monetary or sentimental MUST not be included.
It is general that carpets, curtains and light fittings are always included in a let whether termed as furnished or unfurnished.
Main and Main would utilise an Assured Short hold Tenancy Agreement which is the default Tenancy Agreement in the UK, this would have a minimum six month Term.
Main and Main will offer your property to the market place and will utilise an independent Company to carry out the referencing on the prospective Tenants. The referencing will be undertaken on all tenants over the age of 18, this includes employment referencing and full credit check.
PETS ARE ALLOWED INTO HOUSES BEING LET BY MAIN AND MAIN AT THE LANDLORDS DISCRETION
Most Landlords will prefer to let an Estate Agents/Managing Agent take care of the property while it is tenanted. This will remove the ‘hassles’ out of being a Landlord.
Main and Main can offer a Full Management Service or a Letting Only Service:
This includes the marketing of the property with the use of a ‘To let’ board where applicable, the inclusion of the property in a Residential Lettings list offered throughout the Branches of Main & Main, local advertising where applicable and the listing of the property on the Main & Main internet site. The referencing, drawing up a Tenancy Agreement, preparing an Inventory and schedule of condition where required (fee charged), overseeing the signing of the Tenancy Agreement. The collection of the months rent in advance and the deposit on the day of the signing.
Monthly rent collection and the issuing of a monthly statement of account, mid term and final inspections reporting to the Landlord accordingly. Advising of change of occupancy and meter readings to utility companies at the beginning and end of the Tenancy. The day to day dealing of minor repairs, the overseeing of the end of the Tenancy and the returning of the deposits (if applicable).
This will include the marketing of the property as per full managed properties, the referencing procedure and the signing of the Tenancy Agreement. The first months rent will be collected along with the deposit. The Landlord will assume the role of collecting of the monthly rent, the mid term inspections, the final inspection and overseeing any required repairs on the property.
Letting Only Fee's
On the market appraisal the valuer will advise on the Agency fees for letting your property as well as advising you regarding the fire regulations, gas regulations and electrical regulations, along with several other matters already mentioned.
The role of the Landlord is a very responsible one and not to be entered into lightly, the financial gain, especially while Bank Interest rates are so low, are appealing while the pitfalls are not so obvious but can be very costly. It is therefore very important that the Landlord seriously considers utilising the expertise and experience of the Main and Main Residential Lettings Team who have vast experience and can confidently and successfully guide you down this sometimes hazardous path working solidly as a team along with the Landlord.
All deposits taken from the incoming tenants are registered with My Deposits with which Main and Main are members they will register the name/s of the landlord and tenants until such time as the tenants vacates the property. There is a £20.00 plus VAT (£24.00 inclusive VAT) fee for tenancy registration. As additional security for landlords/tenants Main and Main are members of the client money protection scheme.
For more information please contact the Lettings team on: