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How do I become a landlord?

In order to become a landlord you must first have an available property that is right for letting. If you have a property that will be vacant for a period of time, why not turn it to your advantage. Whether you are going abroad, being relocated for work, or have inherited a property, there are many advantages to letting your property – the most obvious being financial gain.

The property can be let as either furnished or unfurnished. Each has its own merits and different tenancies require different levels of furnishings. Tenant Link will take the time to view and appraise your property and advice on its suitability for rental as well as providing an accurate rental evaluation. Various factors contribute to the amount of rent that can be demanded and this is where  a member of the Tenant Link team would be happy to discuss them at length. By allowing Tenant Link to deal with the complex issues associated with letting your property, you can rest assured that your property is in the safest of hands.

Are there Important considerations and Legal Requirements?
As a landlord you have many legal responsibilities and things to consider before looking for a tenant. Here at Tenant Link we will keep you updated on the constantly updated changes in the law and are always on hand to offer the benefit of our experience. 

Do I need consent?
If the property has a mortgage it is necessary to inform the mortgage company of the intention to rent. Similarly if the property is leased, permission is required from the head lessor. Some types of letting require planning permission such as properties that fall under the House In Multiple Occupation (HMO) bracket.

Are there Tax Implications?

The rent you receive from your property will be classed as income, and may therefore be subject to tax. It is the duty of the landlord to inform the Inland Revenue of any residential letting income. Tenant Link will be only too willing to provide advice on taxation matters. Many of the expenses associated with letting are 100% tax deductible, including management fees, maintenance and insurance for the property. For full comprehensive advice you should seek the services of an accountant as in some circumstances the landlord may be able to claim tax exemption.

Income tax for Non-Resident landlords: A Non-Resident Landlord is a person who has a UK rental income when currently living out of the UK for more than six months. Under six months they are a UK resident. If a property is jointly owned, each party is liable to pay tax. Both the income and expenditure will be split equally between the individuals. Non-Residential Landlords include HM Armed Forces and other Crown Servants who are outside the UK for over six months. Tenant Link MUST deduct 20% from the rental income on behalf of the landlord. If the property is not managed by an Agent, The tenants are liable to deduct 20% and pay the Inland Revenue from the rent. Non-Resident Landlords can apply to the Inland Revenue for approval that will permit THE AGENT, not to deduct tax at source by completing an NRL1 form. This is not always authorised and does not always mean the rent is exempt from UK tax.

What do I need to have as a Landlord?

New legislation over the years has resulted in landlords being required to have certain safety checks and documents completed to be able to let their properties prior to marketing and the start of a tenancy. It is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate, Electrical Safety Certificate (EICR), Gas Safety Certificate and HMO Certificates (where required)  on all rental properties. Tenant Link have our own team of trained engineers that carry out the Certificates at competitive prices.

What are the Gas and Electrical Safety Regulations?

As a landlord you owe a duty of care to all tenants therefore it is essential that the applicable laws regarding gas, electricity and smoke detectors are adhered to.

Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994: These regulations were introduced under the jurisdiction of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and are designed to provide standards for the installation and maintenance of gas appliances, meters, pipe work etc. Landlords should be aware of the general provisions and conditions for ongoing maintenance. The Landlord has a legal obligation to maintain any appliance that uses or requires gas. For tenanted premises, all gas appliances and associated pipe work is maintained in a safe condition and checked for safety at least every twelve months by a suitable engineer (Gas Safe). If the property is not regularly checked and a Gas Safety Certificate is not produced, the Landlord can be held responsible for not doing his duty of care to get the Certificate produced and this could lead to a large fine or even imprisonment. The Certificate must be given to the tenant yearly, and before the Tenant moves into the property. No open flues (Non room-sealed appliances) to be installed in any bedroom, sleeping area or shower room.

A Carbon monoxide alarm must be installed in any room that has a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cooker) inside the property where a gas supply is present. It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that it is working at all times.

Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994: All the electrical supply and electric equipment supplied in a property must be safe, not to cause damage and comply with standards and the requirements of the regulations. This is a mandatory requirement and must be completed prior to  new tenants taking occupancy of the property.

An EICR report must be carried out by a qualified Electrician every 5 years unless the certificate states otherwise.

It is the landlord’s obligation to ensure all electrical equipment is safe within the property and its grounds.

All properties are required to have a smoke alarm fitted on all floors with carbon monoxide detectors where gas is present.

What about furniture?

In our experience a certain quality of furnishings attract a certain quality of tenant, therefore it is sometimes more beneficial to let the property as unfurnished rather than replace all furniture, which can be costly. Unfurnished property should still contain the basics such as carpets, curtains, a fridge, a cooker and where possible a washing machine. Such items can be rented thus reducing initial expenses and removing the burden and cost should repairs be needed. If you wish to let the property as furnished all items of sentimental significance should be removed before any tenancy begins.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulation 1988 (Amended 1993). This regulation came into force for new tenancies and re-lets of properties from 31 December 1996. All furnished properties should only contain soft furnishing manufactured before 1950 and after 1988, or sold after 1990. It is a criminal offence to supply furniture that does not keep within these time frames even if given to the tenants free from the landlord. This regulation covers furnishings including: mattresses, cushions, patio furniture, bed bases, chairs, armchairs, padded headboards etc.

What about Buildings and Landlords Insurance?

Buildings insurance: It is a statutory obligation that the landlord provides sufficient buildings insurance before letting a property. Through years of dealings with numerous insurance companies, we will be able to provide independent advice on which insurance would be best suited to your needs and can also arrange for a quotation.

Contents insurance: We stress to all tenants the importance of contents insurance as this not only safeguards their personal belongings and the landlord’s furnishings but also gives a degree of assurance that their deposit will be returned.

What is an EPC?
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) were made a legal requirement from 1st October 2008. It gives the building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from ‘A’ to ‘G’, Where ‘A’ is the most efficient and with the average to date being D. Part of the EPC is a report which will list the potential rating that your property could achieve. An EPC must be available to prospective tenants and is valid for 10 years.

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