We outline on this page a basic, quick guide and overview for Landlords, to explain what is typically involved with letting property. If you need any further information or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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A full photographic inventory is required for each tenancy. The purpose of an inventory is to easily identify damages which can be reclaimed from the deposit / bond. This can only be done if descriptions and conditioning remarks are sufficiently detailed at the commencement of the tenancy and then again at the end of the term.
Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenant is required to return the property and contents at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as they were at the commencement, fair wear and tear accepted. It is almost impossible to ascertain whether damage was caused during a tenancy without a proper inventory signed by all relevant parties.
If instructed we will arrange a professional inventory and check in on your behalf, the cost of which is borne by the landlord.
If the landlord has a mortgage, it is normal for mortgagees to require notification of any proposed lettings and the landlord should seek their initial consent. In the case of leasehold premises the consent of the Head Lessee of Freeholder will be required. The landlord should also advise his insurance company of the proposal to let the property as this could either invalidate the insurance altogether or increase the premiums. You should obtain written documentation of these consents prior to letting.
The tenant will be responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, water, broadband, council tax and television licence. (Unless otherwise agreed and stated on the tenancy agreement).
As the landlord you are still responsible for the payment of service charges and ground rent in leasehold properties and buildings insurance on freehold properties.
Under the Taxation of income from Land (non-residents) Regulations 1995, the rent receiving agent (or where there is no agent, the tenant) will be required to deduct an amount equivalent to Basic Rate Tax from the rent (after taking deductible expenses paid by the agent into account) and pay the balance to the Inland Revenue each quarter.
However, the overseas landlord can apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from this requirement. Provided the landlords tax history is good and tax affairs are up to date, the overseas landlord will be issued with a certificate that will be sent to his rent receiving agent. This will authorise the agent to pay the rent without tax deducted.
An NRL1 form can be obtained from www.gov.uk which you must complete and send to the Inland Revenue. Neither your rent receiving agent nor your tax advisor can file this application for you - it must be done by you.
Failure to return this form in time may result in the exemption certificate not being issued before the payments become due. We would have no alternative but to make the required tax deduction before paying the rents to you.
Our company are not tax advisers so if you are unsure as to how the above will affect you, you would be advised to speak to an accountant or professional tax advisor.
Any Non-resident Landlord Tax payments deducted by us, in the first quarter can be refunded, if the exemption certificate is in our possession before the first quarter has ended. Any deductions after the first quarter can only be reclaimed after the first year has ended. Any refunds due after the first quarter are made by the Inland Revenue.
Most tenancies are classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST), under the Housing Act 1998 (as amended 1996) landlords have more rights to possession than with tenancies commencing prior to the Acts and procedures for possession are now quicker and simpler (provided the process is carried out correctly).
Most tenancies are drawn up for a period of six months, this gives both parties time to build a working relationship. You can have a longer term and have a break clause included. A break clause allows either party to terminate the agreement with two months’ notice. After an initial period of four months the notice may be served from either party.
Our staff have been trained and receive ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and clauses, possession and have vast practical experience. They will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal matters.
The relationship between Landlord and Tenant can sometimes require an intermediary and the need for a professional agent is paramount in closing any divide to allow for a smooth and enjoyable property experience. Whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you are best advised to conclude your property transaction via a reputable agent.
Tenancy law is now more regulated than ever before with balanced rights for all parties.