Information for Landlords
We at Kivells would be delighted to assist you with the letting of your property. Elimination of potential risk is important and Kivells range of services to Landlords will assist you in this process. On the following pages we outline some of the principal matters to be considered for which our experienced and qualified Lettings team would be delighted to provide a “no obligation” Rental Appraisal and Assessment of Rent.
Important Information Prior to Letting
Do I Need a Tenancy Agreement?
A Tenancy Agreement will be required between Landlord and Tenant, which sets out both parties contractual responsibilities. Kivells will prepare the relevant tenancy agreement - most likely an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (otherwise known as an AST) - under the provisions of the 1988 Housing Act (as amended). These tenancies are for a minimum of six months but the term is flexible and can be for a longer fixed period, if required. Vacant possession is obtained by the service of a minimum of two months Landlord’s Notice. There are special procedures available if a Tenant fails to vacate the property.
Can I Include Land?
You can include up to 2 acres (excluding gardens, driveways etc) of land within an AST. Any further land would need to be under a separate agreement, most likely a Licence or Farm Business Tenancy.
What if I have a Mortgage?
You should advise your lender that you are letting the property, otherwise you may invalidate the terms of your mortgage agreement. You should also advise your Insurer that you are letting the property, as this will affect your policy for the building and contents.
What if I Jointly Own the Property?
If you jointly own the property, all of the owners should be named on the AST and other agreements.
What are the Income Tax Implications?
Any income received from letting a property is liable to Income Tax. There are certain allowances made to reduce taxable income and we recommend you consult with your accountant or tax specialist for further advice.
I Currently Live Overseas
If you are a non-resident Landlord (currently defined as being Landlords who live abroad for a period of more than six months per annum), then there are special rules to consider. We recommend you take advice from your accountant or tax specialist relating to this matter. Managing Agents have a responsibility to consider this and deduct tax as required by HMRC.
My Property is Leasehold
It is possible to let a leasehold property, although reference must be made to the Head Lease to ensure that the terms allow subletting and the Tenant is made aware of any restriction or covenants contained within the Head Lease. It is recommended that the Landlord within the Head Lease is also notified.
Who are RICS and ARLA?
Kivells are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Association of Residential Lettings (ARLA) who are recognised bodies for trustworthy professionalism. These bodies provide a code of conduct and practice for dealing with clients’ money, Professional Indemnity Insurance, complaints and disciplinary procedures.
How is a Deposit Dealt With?
Tenants will be required to pay a deposit. Deposits are as per tenant’s charges and are administered in accordance with a Government approved scheme and, for the avoidance of doubt, no interest is paid on deposits held. You, as a Landlord, will have the option of holding deposits in your own approved scheme, if so desired (if you do not have an inventory you will need to consider whether a deposit is required.)
What about the Gardens?
Whilst your Tenant will be expected to keep the gardens tidy, it is not expected that they would undertake major works, perhaps including trimming trees, shrubs and hedges and Landlords would need to make their own arrangements.
What about Pets?
Pets are specifically not allowed, unless otherwise stated. A deposit of a minimum of £200 will be requested from the Tenant, if an agreement has been made to accept pets.
Should Mail be Redirected?
Landlords, or previous Tenants, must ensure that Royal Mail is requested to redirect the post and Kivells will not assume responsibility for forwarding post.
What about Keys?
At least two sets of keys should be made available to Kivells for onward transmission to the Tenant and if you opt for Kivells to fully manage the property, we would retain one set of keys in our office.
What about Telephone and Internet?
You will need to advise your telephone and broadband provider of any change in user, as they will only accept direct instructions from the Landlord.
How do I Deal with Utility Companies?
Within our Full Management service, we will notify utility companies and local authorities of change of occupation and provide meter readings as necessary, otherwise you will need to contact them yourself.
Do I Need an EPC?
It is a requirement that you provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the property to be let. Kivells can provide an EPC, if requested by the Landlord.
Preparation is Key to Letting your Property
To enable you to achieve the maximum rental value, it is recommended that your property is presented in a good condition. The Tenant will be expected to leave the property in no worse a condition than entry, as most likely recorded within an Inventory (with the exception of any fair wear and tear) and therefore it is in your interest to present the property in good condition from the outset. It is recommended that:-
- Carpets, blinds and curtains are cleaned
- The property is cleaned throughout and, where necessary, painted
- Appliances are serviced and in good working order
- Any unnecessary clutter is removed
- Central heating systems, Agas, Rayburns etc are serviced and in working order
- Chimneys swept and septic tank emptied
- Gardens and outside sheds and buildings tidied
Regulations for Landlords
As a Landlord, you will be responsible for repairs and maintenance relating to the structure of the property. In addition, there are a number of statutory and advisory regulations detailed below and will be explained to you by our experienced Lettings team. Legislation is constantly evolving and currently the following should be considered:-
What do I have to do?
Fire and Furnishings (Fire and Safety Amendment Regulations)
It is required that soft furnishings, upholstery or upholstered furnishings conform and comply with certain tests.
Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (as amended)
Landlords are required to have all gas appliances checked and certified annually by a qualified and registered engineer.
Landlords are required to undertake a single assessment to ensure the risk of exposure to Tenants is controlled.
Carbon Monoxide from Oil Fired and Solid Fuel Appliances (The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations 2015)
A Carbon Monoxide alarm must be fitted to your property, as Carbon Monoxide is produced by oil and solid boilers, cookers and open fires and all of these should be checked prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Annual servicing of these appliances is also recommended.
Smoke alarms must be fitted to all rental properties and checked regularly.
Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
Landlords are required to ensure that any electrical equipment is safe and satisfies certain requirements. A full Electrical Safety Certificate is required.
These notes are for Landlords information only. Legislation is constantly evolving. Please contact your nearest Kivells office for an up to date Rental Appraisal and advice on Landlords responsibilities.