Frequently asked questions and answers about letting property.
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.
If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you can obtain a buy to let mortgage. Our partner Embrace Financial Services can provide you with access to expert mortgage and protection advice tailored to your needs.
How do I know what rent to charge?
Ask a letting agent to provide a rental valuation. We are experts in the market, so we can tell you how other rental properties are faring in the area, and what kind of yield you can expect to achieve. Book your free rental valuation with us today.
How much will it cost me to let my property?
This really depends on how much support you need. We offer three main service levels: Tenant Find, Rent Collect and Fully Managed. Each involves a different degree of service and the fees we charge reflect this. It's important to make sure you know exactly what you'll receive for your money when comparing agents.
Why should I use a managing agent?
Choosing a fully managed service allows you to completely relax. You never have to worry about the let. It creates a professional distance between you and the tenancy, and means you can avoid having to deal with all the bad bits like rent arrears and deposit disputes.
Landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants' deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme within the first 30 days of a tenancy starting.
We register deposits with My Deposits, which is a government-backed scheme which ensures your tenant will get the deposit back if they meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, pay the rent and bills and do not damage the property.
The deposit is either held by the landlord, the agent or the deposit scheme itself.
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. It is important that 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.
Why do I need an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it. Since 2018, landlords must ensure that their rental properties reach an EPC rating of E or above. Please contact us in branch for further advice.
What are my obligations surrounding gas?
You must have a Gas Safety Record (GSR) in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer. This needs to be checked every 12 months.
Do I need to get my electrical appliances tested?
Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) is not an official legal requirement for landlords in England and Wales. However, it is considered best practice. The government state that landlords must make sure “the electrical system is safe” and “all appliances they supply are safe”.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is required to meet the legislation in England. We recommend you instruct a qualified electrician or get in touch with our Property Management team who can help arrange this for you.
How do I check my furniture is compliant?
To reduce the risk of fire within the property you must ensure that all furnishings comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position.
How do I receive my rental income from my letting agent?
If you choose a Rent Collect or Fully Managed service, we will organise for the tenant to pay the rent via standing order. We will then transfer the money to your account minus our commission and any outgoings or fees (such as maintenance work). You will receive a statement every month.
Will my agent keep my money safe?
If you have chosen a regulated agent like Davis Tate, then your money will be protected through the Protection Bonding Scheme. Not all agents are regulated, but Davis Tate choose to be. We are members of ARLA and TPO.
What is TPO?
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is an independent body to which landlords can refer any complaint should the agent fail to address it to their satisfaction. We are founder TPO members.
What is ARLA?
The Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) is the leading professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK. ARLA is dedicated to protecting consumers by improving standards and professionalism within the lettings industry.
Letting agents are not required by law to be regulated but we choose to be members of a regulatory body to demonstrate our professionalism and to hold ourselves to the high standards required of ARLA members.
What if I want to get my tenant out?
If you wish to end a tenancy and the tenant does not want to leave the property then you will need to follow the appropriate legal process.
Speak to a member of our Property Management team who will be able to advise on current legislation and next steps.
Rent protection insurance can cover legal fees including any legal costs arising from regaining possession of your property from a tenant (providing they are in rental arrears). Our partner First2Protect can help you find a suitable policy for your needs.
What if the tenant doesn't pay?
It is sensible to insure yourself against non payment of rent. Our partner First2Protect can help arrange rent protection insurance to pay 100% of your rent for up to six months if your tenant is unable to pay for any reason.
What if the tenant damages the property?
Either the tenant pays to fix the damage, or the cost for fixing the damage is proposed to be deducted from the tenant's security deposit at the end of the tenancy. However, fair wear and tear should be allowed for.
What is a routine visit?
A routine visit is when the landlord or letting agent visit the property to check it is being looked after, and to check for any potential maintenance issues. You are required to give the tenant a minimum of 24hrs notice of the visit.
Who will pay for the TV licence - the landlord or the tenant?
The TV licence is usually the responsibility of the tenant, and this should be stated in the tenancy agreement. However, if the landlord furnishes the property with a TV, they would be expected to pay the licence.
Who will pay the council tax - the landlord or the tenant?
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 property is standing empty, it is the landlord's responsibility to pay.
Can I enter my property during the tenancy?
You need to give the tenant appropriate written notice before you enter the property.
Does a landlord 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.