Posts tagged ‘Landlord’
If you’re thinking of renting out your home, what are the things that you need to do before you put your property on the market?
- Make it safe. This means checking things such as the gas and electrics. If they are not safe, you’re not safe as you may be liable to prosecution. A letting agent can help by booking an engineer and will provide you with the relevant certificates if the appliances pass testing – such as a gas safety certificate.
- Make sure it is clean. Your definition of clean will be different to someone else’s. And clean in the property world means no trace of a human. This is important because if you hand it over to a new tenant in this condition, then you can insist it is returned to the same state.
- Present it to suit your market. For example, if you have a smarter property set in an area of professionals, then you are not going to attract the tenants if it looks like a student pad. Instead, you may end up alienating them instead. Further advice on how to present the outside of your property can be found on the Zoopla blog.
- Speak to your lender. You will need consent to let your property if you have previously lived in it otherwise you could be breaking the terms of your mortgage agreement. You will already be covered if you have brought the property specifically as an investment with a buy-to-let mortgage.
- Make sure you have leaseholder consent. Your leaseholder may not allow you to rent out your property or they may charge you to obtain a licence.
- Notify your insurers. It is unlikely that they will continue to insure the property if you move out and a tenant moves in. You will probably need insurance specifically for landlords.
- Tenancy agreement. The most common is a shorthold tenancy agreement, but an alternative agreement may be required depending on the circumstances, such if you are doing a corporate let. These will be provided by your letting agent, who will ensure it up to date and relevant to your situation.
- A letting agent will also help to arrange your inventory. This needs to be as detailed as possible, possibly extending to more than a dozen pages. It needs to outline the decoration, style and cleanliness of the property. You may not think this is needed, particularly if you’re renting the property as unfurnished. But ask yourself how you’d feel if the tenant painted the property without asking you in a colour that left you having nightmares or removed the radiators without asking you. An independent inventory by a letting agent is your best evidence against this happening.
- Deposit. Your letting agent will let you know which deposit scheme you are using as there are quite a few to choose from. You will need to issue the certificate for that scheme to your tenants. Also give them the terms and conditions leaflet. You need to let them know where it is registered.
- Use a lettings agent to manage the on-going tenancy as well as for finding the tenant. They will know what laws you need to abide by, helping to ensure you have a hassle free let.
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
They steal your milk, eat your chocolate stash and leave their stuff all over the living room floor. Now, it turns out, your flatmate might be doing more damage than you thought.
Young people, particularly those in shared rented homes, are more than twice as likely as the rest of us to fall victim to identity fraud, according to some disturbing research that crossed FindaProperty’s desk recently.
And a quarter of identity fraud victims suspect it’s their flatmates or lodgers who are responsible for stealing their personal details.
The survey of more than 5,000 victims of identity fraud was conducted by Experian’s ProtectMyID, which offers insurance and support against ID fraud.
“Flat sharing and rental is fast becoming the best option for millions of Brits unable to provide the necessary deposits to make their first step up the property ladder,” says ProtectMyID’s Peter Turner. “In the majority of cases this is a great option to meet new people and experience living away from home for the first time.”
But as one of the fastest growing groups targeted by both professional and amateur fraudsters, flat sharers who live in rented accommodation need to be more vigilant to the dangers and effects of ID theft.
“By sharing your home, flatmate fraudsters have all the access they need to a vast amounts of your personal information in the way of post, personal documents and photos,” Turner warns.
He says there are a number of simple ways flatmates can rent a room without opening themselves up to ID fraud.
- Don’t publicise where your personal banking statements are kept in your room
- Make sure unused credit cards and cheque books are well hidden or locked away
- Keep PINS and passwords private – memorise security information rather than writing it down
- Don’t leave unopened mail lying around the house
- Delete your cookies and history when using a communal or personal computer
As of today, Energy Performance Certificates become mandatory for all new tenancies, and landlords will face charges of up to £200 per property if they don’t provide them.
The certificates, which will be valid for a period of ten years, must be issued by an accredited energy assessor, and provided free of charge to tenants.
EPCs rate a property’s energy efficiency using an A-G system of grading, with an ‘A’ rating being an all-singing, all-dancing top score and a ‘G’ being the equivalent of a ‘see me after class’ scrawled in red ink.
The certificates were introduced last year for homebuyers, and so far, the average rating has been a ‘could do better’ ‘D’.
While recommendations to improve a property’s efficiency rating are given as part of the EPC, landlords are under no obligation to carry out any improvements.
However, if tenants are faced with a choice of properties with different ratings, it seems likely that they’d opt for the more energy efficient one, as their fuel bills would be lower.
We’d be interested to know what you think about EPCs:
How would you feel about renting a flat from Google or Apple?
That may be on the cards if the property industry succeeds in convincing the Government to back the introduction of build-to-let schemes in the UK.
Build-to-let encourages big business to buy whole blocks and rent them out as branded accommodation.
So instead of paying your rent to Bob the part-time buy-to-let landlord, you’ll hand over your hard-earned coin to “Google or Virgin style brands”.
The advocates – including what one commentator has called “an unlikely and unholy alliance” of Shelter and The British Property Federation – argue that tenants will be the real winners (there’s a discussion of the subject here: Today Programme – Feb 08).
The quality of the property, they say, will be more predictable; you won’t get slung out onto the street if your landlord can’t pay the mortgage; leases will be longer than six months; and your leaky tap will get fixed pronto … though it might also mean this…
|From: Google Tenant Alerts
Sent: 30 May 2010 12:59
To: Michael OFlynn
Subject: Google Tenant Alert – Michael O’Flynn
Google Tenant Alert for: Michael O’Flynn
Yo, dude, your rent is like WAY overdue… don’t make us do something evil!
I can see the sense in that – pretty much everyone who’s searched for a good rental property has a horror story about some sweaty bloke in a string vest showing them round a rancid basement with chanterelles sprouting from the lino.
But on the other side of the coin, I’m not so sure I’d want to live in a branded block populated exclusively by tenants.
I currently rent a period conversion in an area with an interesting mix of people – some renting, some owner-occupiers – and my landlord is a decent bloke who sorts out problems quickly and leaves me pretty much to get on with it.
True, the sash windows rattle, the boiler, for some mad reason, is in the wardrobe, and the washing machine sounds like a 747.
But would I swap it for a flat in a branded building? I don’t think so (there are enough Apple zealots here at FAP Towers … not sure I could handle a building full of them!)
The Government isn’t convinced either, but they’re currently considering it as part of a major review of the Private Rental Sector (due in October).
It will be interesting to see what they come up with … but in the meantime:
Landlords and tenants: what do you think about build-to-let, and how could the rental sector be improved? (Comment link below).