Why should I use a managing agent? There are many advantages to you as a landlord for using a managing agent to look after your property. Apart from peace of mind that your investment is in safe hands and that you do not have to keep up to date with the changing legislation or become involved with other issues such as out-of-hours emergency maintenance work.
How do I receive my rental income from my letting agent? If you choose our Fully Managed Service or Rent Collection Service the tenant is to pay the rent direct to us on the due date. We will then transfer the money to your nominated bank account minus our commission and any deductions for maintenance work etc. You will also receive a statement every month by email together with copies of invoices paid.
What happens if the tenant doesn’t pay the rent? Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the rent is paid on time sometimes this does not happen and if the tenant does fall into arrears, we will advise you on the appropriate course of action. Alternatively our BM RENT GUARANTEE offers you peace of mind that you will receive payment even if the rent has not been paid on time.
I want to let my property. Do I need to tell my mortgage lender? Yes. Your mortgage lender needs to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions.
How do I know what rent to charge? We will complete a full and free valuation of your property taking into account local rental market conditions. We then combine this with our extensive experience to give you an estimate of the potential monthly rental value.
How much will it cost me to let my property? Most landlords choose Fully Managed, Let Only or Rent Collection Service (a half way alternative) either with or without our BM RENT GUARANTEE. A fees guide is available on our website or contact us to discuss your specific requirements.
How much is the tenant’s damage deposit? Usually the equivalent to 5 weeks rent. It is held during the tenancy against the satisfactory performance by the tenant of their obligations under the tenancy agreement. All landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants’ deposits with an approved tenancy deposit scheme and Bowes Mitchell registers deposits with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Why should I have an inventory? An inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of your property taken before the tenant moves in and should be updated before the beginning on each new tenancy. The inventory is an important document because if there is a dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy, you have proof of the original condition of the property and its contents. Ask to see a sample of our Inventory to understand the detail contained therein which is designed to protect you the landlord. How does it compare with others?
What if the tenant damages the property? Either the tenant pays to fix the damage or repair costs are recovered from the tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy taking into account any fair wear and tear whilst in occupation. A quarterly inspection service is part of our Fully Managed Service noting any changes, informing the landlord and instructing the tenant to make good if required.
Who organises repairs and maintenance work? With our Fully Managed Service, we will liaise with the tenant, coordinating any necessary works.
Do I need to fit smoke alarms? Private sector landlords are required from 1 October 2015 to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (eg a coal fire, wood burning stove).
Do I need a gas safety certificate (CP12)? Yes, if your rented property has any gas appliances. This is an annual gas safety check on every gas appliance and flue by a registered Gas Safe engineer. We usually arrange this for on behalf of our landlords to ensure compliance.
Do I need to an electrical safety certificate? From 1 July 2020, all new private tenancies in England will need to ensure that electrical installations are inspected and tested by a qualified person prior to the start of a new tenancy.
The landlord will then be required to ensure that the installation is inspected and tested at least every five years and more regularly if the most recent safety report requires it.
For existing tenancies, an electrical safety test will need to be carried out by 1 April 2021, with regular tests in accordance with the new regulations.
Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)? It is a legal requirement for all rental properties in the UK to have an EPC. An EPC is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property and measures the energy efficiency of a property which must reach a minimum 'E' rating. The certificate itself is valid for 10 years and can be used for multiple tenancies within that time.
What are the rules about rights of access to the property? A landlord, or someone authorised to act on his behalf has a right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs, or maintenance at reasonable times of the day but the tenant must be given at least 24 hours prior notice in writing (except in an emergency) of such a visit.
As a landlord do I need to pay tax on rental income? All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website or consult with a qualified accountant.
Who will pay the council tax? The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include this in the rent) but this needs to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the roperty becomes vacant then the responsibility falls back to the Landlord.
How is a tenancy terminated? The law around ending a tenancy is relatively straightforward as long as the right timescales and procedures are followed, along with the use of the correct format of notice.
What happens if either party wants to end a tenancy early? There are only limited ways in which this can happen; the landlord cannot make the tenants move out, nor can the tenants lawfully walk away from their obligations to fulfil the contract. It is possible to request a formal “surrender” of the tenancy but it’s up to both parties to agree the terms which might include some financial compensation for inconvenience, or costs incurred.
What about renewing a tenancy? This is common and Bowes Mitchell will normally negotiate between both parties and prepare the necessary documentation for the tenancy extension.
Do I need to inform the utility suppliers when a new tenant moves in? For Fully Managed properties we will inform the suppliers for gas, water and electric that the new tenant has moved in and has responsibility for them. That is unless the utilities are included in the rent. We will also inform the local Council Tax department.