Landlord FAQs

Landlord FAQs

Are There Any Obligations As A Landlord If The Tenant Is Disabled?

As a Landlord, you must abide by the Equalities Act 2010, which covers various discriminations, including disability.

You should allow the tenant to make minor necessary adjustments to the property. If you agree to the tenant carrying our works on your property to accommodate special needs, you are within your rights to request that the tenant returns the property in the same condition it was in at the start of tenancy at his or her own expense.

You may choose to not accept a tenant who is not in employment as they will not pass referencing, but you cannot refuse to accept a tenant due to receiving Disability Benefit (so long as the tenant meets all the other requirements). Otherwise, this would be classed as discrimination because of the tenant’s disability, i.e. he is unable to work due to the disability.

As A Landlord, Will I Be Liable For More Stamp Duty When I Purchase A Property?

You are liable for the 3% stamp duty surcharge unless you are selling and replacing your main residence.

Can I Appoint A Managing Agent If I Already Have My Own Tenants?

Whether you already have an ongoing tenancy, have found tenants or have instructed another agent to do so, we can take on the management of your property. We often assist landlords with the transition of moving from their current management company to our service.

Do I Need Insurance?

As a landlord, you should insure the property and the contents included within the tenancy agreement. You are not responsible for your tenants’ possessions and they are advised to take out their own insurance. Make sure your insurance covers you as a landlord, and carries Public Liability Insurance.

Do I Need To Be Present For Viewings?

We would normally suggest that the owner is not present at the time of viewings. Tenants will often feel more comfortable if they are able to view the property alone. If your letting agent is accompanying all viewings and they have access to your property, then you do not need to attend.

Does Dealing With Utility Companies, Liaising With Personal Contractors, Freeholder, Building Managers And Insurers Incur Extra Charges?

These are all included within the standard management fee. However, you must authorise the provider to liaise with us on your behalf and we will assist where possible.

How Do I Know If A Tenant Is Suitable For My Property?

Letting a property can be a good investment but there are a several things you need to consider. Our lettings team will find the tenants, advise you on the best rent for the area and manage the tenancy agreement paperwork.

Our letting agents will keep you up-to-date with potential tenants who are interested in your property, arrange viewings on your behalf and pass on their feedback and thoughts of the property. David Astburys will also advertise your property on websites and in our office making sure it receives the best exposure possible.

How Much Will It Cost Me To Let My Property?

The specific costs involved in letting your property would be set out in our terms and conditions of business. Before letting, you will need to budget for:

Letting fee – a letting fee will be due when a tenant introduced by us enters into a tenancy agreement with you. This will usually be a percentage of the rent plus VAT, paid in advance for the period of the fixed term agreement. The letting fee will be due if you and your tenant decide to renew, extend or continue the tenancy after the initial fixed term has ended.

Management fee – if you choose to use our property management service, then the fee will be charged on a monthly basis as a percentage of the rent plus VAT. This will be taken from rent received from your tenant.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – you will need to provide us with an EPC before we can market your property and we can help you arrange this. We are required to give a copy of an EPC to anyone wanting to view the property and to any tenants when they move in.

Inventory and check in report – we strongly advise you to have an inventory and schedule of condition drawn up by a professional, impartial inventory clerk before the start of a tenancy. The tenant should also be checked into and out of the property using this inventory, again by a professional clerk. This will be your evidence if you need to make a claim against the tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy. We can help arrange this for you.

Tenancy Agreement – we can offer you a comprehensive standard tenancy agreement which can, where possible, be amended to suit your requirements.

Tenancy deposit protection – if the tenancy is to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), then you are legally required to protect any monetary deposit with an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), run by The Dispute Service Ltd, and can do this on your behalf for a small administration fee.

I Have A Property To Let, Do I Need Permission?

If you are thinking of letting your property, then you need to make sure you have all the necessary consents first. You need the permission of your lender (if you have a mortgage or loan), your freeholder (if the property is leasehold) and your insurer (as you may need a lettings specific policy).

A mortgage lender or freeholder might impose conditions before giving you permission to let your property. Not complying with these conditions could lead to repossession of the property. You should also check with the local authority if your tenancy will make the property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or if you need any planning permission.

What Are My Obligations As A Landlord?

Your main legal obligations are to:

Look after the property – to keep the exterior of the property in good condition, making sure you maintain the roof, drains, and gutters.

Make sure services are available – it is a landlord’s obligation to make sure that the property is supplied with services like gas, electricity, water, sanitation and heating.

Leave your tenants in peace – a ‘covenant of quiet enjoyment’ is part of most tenancy agreements. It means a landlord must not interfere with the tenants. For example, you cannot enter the rented property without their consent, except in an emergency or do anything that affects the tenant’s rights, e.g. cut off services to force a tenant to leave.

What Are The Safety Regulations For A Property To Let?

There are a number of safety regulations that govern the letting of residential property to which landlords must comply. The penalties for failing to do so are severe and could result in heavy fines and/or imprisonment. As your letting agent, we can advise you of your obligations, the implications of the safety regulations and to assist you in ensuring you are fully compliant. To find out more information on what is required of you as a landlord, see our guide on the (rights and responsibilities of Landlords).

What Is A Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?

Any deposit paid by your tenant for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must be protected by a recognised tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the tenant making payment. Certain documents must also be served within that time. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) run by The Dispute Service Ltd and we can protect the deposit on your behalf for a small administration fee.

What Is An EPC?

Any property advertised for letting must have an EPC; energy performance certificate. An EPC demonstrates the energy rating and efficiency of a property. It gives landlords and tenants information on how energy efficient the property is and gives a standard energy and carbon emissions rating from A to G, with A being the most efficient.

Who Looks After My Property And Manages My Tenancy?

Once the tenancy begins, David Astburys will hand the tenancy over to your dedicated property manager. Both landlord and tenant will be advised of the property manager’s details prior to the tenancy starting so you are aware who to contact. Your property manager will deal with all reported maintenance, problems and safety issues throughout the tenancy. If your property manager is away or out of the office, they are fully supported by a proactive team who can assist whenever needed.

Let Your Property with David Astburys

Although letting your property can be a tempting investment opportunity, it is important to prepare, consider all factors and understand….