Frequently asked questions
Find the answers here to the most frequently asked questions.
1. How will I know that I have a good tenant?
We know that success in a good tenancy lies in finding the very best quality tenant. As such we put all applicants through a rigorous application process. This ensures that all previous history is brought to light and that we have a strong knowledge on the applicant’s past. Once we have verified an applicant we pass on all details to you in order that you have the final say on whether an applicant is accepted or not.
2. Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)?
Yes it is a legal requirement to have an Energy Performance Certificate in place when letting a property. If you do not already have an EPC we can help arrange this on your behalf. Call today to find out more.
3.How are maintenance issues resolved?
As a customer of Slater & Brandley you will be assigned a personal Property Manager. It is the Property Manager’s responsibility to keep a close eye on all reports of maintenance and repairs. Your Property Manager will ensure that these are acted on swiftly and under the best terms using only qualified and approved contractors. If you have your own contractors and wish to use these we are happy to agree this also.
4.How much deposit should I charge?
This will depend on the type of property being let. For most properties we suggest a deposit that is equal to one month’s rent. However, you are free to specify the level of deposit required up to reasonable limits.
5.How do Deposit Protection Schemes work?
For all Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements it is a legal requirement to register a tenant deposit. We work with a Government approved tenancy deposit scheme. The scheme operates as an Insurance-Backed plan with the deposit monies held in a client account.
6.What insurances do I need to provide?
As a landlord is it important to always have sufficient insurance in place. You want to protect what is possibly your biggest ever investment. This means buildings insurance is a must. At the same time we also recommend having a contents insurance policy in place regardless of whether you are letting your property furnished or not. A good quality contents policy will provide a level of liability cover in the event of an accident occurring in the property for which the tenant can make a claim against you.
7.Who pays the utility bills?
This will depend to a great extent on the type of property you are letting. For all professional lets it is usual practice for the tenant to pay all utility bills and Council Tax. If you are considering letting a property on the basis of a house share then you will more than likely charge a rental cost that includes the cost of all utility bills with the landlord settling all bills. However, there is nothing stopping you from charging a lower rental cost on a house share and asking tenants to settle bills direct with suppliers.
8.Do I have to provide furniture?
This will depend to a great extent on the type of property you are letting. For all professional lets we recommend that you keep any furniture to a minimum as tenants are likely to either have their own or wish to buy new. If you do provide furniture you will need to ensure that all soft furnishings comply with fire safety regulations.
If you are considering letting on a house share basis your tenants are more than likely going to expect a basic level of furniture including a bed and mattress, wardrobe, drawers and a desk and chair.
9.What is an Inventory and who produces this?
An inventory is a vital document that sets out both the condition of the property and it’s contents. It is a record that is referred to during periodic inspections of the property to cross reference items and for the final check out on the day your tenant moves out. All of our inventories are typewritten and also carry photographs clearly illustrating the condition at the time of check in. Any discrepancy that is discovered later on can easily be verified with the ability to withhold monies from the initial deposit save for fair wear and tear.
10.Do I have to provide white goods?
There is no legal requirement to provide white goods such as washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers. Should you wish to provide any white goods the legal obligation falls on the part of the landlord to maintain or replace these unless it is written specifically into the tenancy agreement otherwise.
11.Do I need Gas and Electrical Safety certificates?
It is a legal requirement to have a Gas Safety certificate in place with all gas appliances needing to be checked on an annual basis. Importantly checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer in order to comply with Government legislation. At present there is no legal requirement to have an Electrical Safety certificate in place however, it is considered good practice to ensure that all electrical appliances are inspected.
12.How do I know what rent to charge?
Rents are always determined by the local market. We are very adept at arriving at what we feel is a fair rental valuation for any given property. Rents are driven to a large extent by location, size of property including bedroom numbers and proximity to local amenities such as schools and leisure facilities. To arrange a FREE rental valuation please call our office on 0115 981 9651.
13.Will I have to pay tax on my rental income?
All rental income is treated as taxable income. However, please remember that you are allowed to make a number of deductions from rental income including maintenance and repairs, advertising costs, accounting and letting agent fees.