Landlord Guide

We outline on this page a basic, quick guide and overview for Landlords, to explain what is typically involved with letting property. If you need any further information or advice, please don't hesitate to contact us.

  1. Request a free valuation
  2. Legal Compliance
  3. Energy Performance Certificate
  4. Inventories
  5. Rent Protection Insurance
  6. Zero Deposit Option
  7. Landlord Insurance
  8. Consent to Let
  9. Utilities
  10. Tax
  11. Tenancy Agreements

Request a free valuation

If you'd like us to conduct a valuation or review of your property, please click here to request a free valuation.

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Legal Compliance

Our staff have been trained and receive ongoing training on the various legal aspects of letting including safety regulations, tenancy agreements and eviction, and have vast practical experience. They will be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding more detailed legal matters, particularly concerning the minimum EPC rating for a property, amount of deposit to charge and how to register it plus issuing the correct paperwork at the start of a tenancy to avoid any delays with securing possession at the end.

Tenancy law is now far better regulated than ever before with balanced rights for all parties. For example;

  • Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015
  • Housing Act 2004
  • Fitness for Human Habitation Act 2019
  • Tenant Fees Act 2019

The relationship between Landlord and Tenant can sometimes have its "ups" and "downs" and the need for a professional agent is paramount in closing any divide to allow for a smooth and enjoyable property experience for all parties concerned. Whether you are a Landlord or Tenant you are best advised to conclude your property transaction via a reputable agent.

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Energy Performance Certificate

All properties advertised for sale or let must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). However, the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015 established a minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property in England and Wales. This means that, from April 2018, landlords of privately rented domestic and non-domestic property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an EPC rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants.

These requirements will apply to ALL private rented properties in England and Wales, even where there has been no change in tenancy arrangements from 1 April 2020 for domestic properties.

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Inventories

We strongly advise our Landlords to carry out a full inventory for each separate tenancy.

The purpose of checking an inventory is to establish damages which can only be done if descriptions and conditioning remarks are sufficiently detailed at the commencement of the tenancy and then at the end of the term.

Under the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenant is required to return the property and contents at the end of the tenancy in the same condition as they were at the commencement, fair wear and tear is accepted. It is almost impossible to ascertain whether damage was caused during a tenancy without a proper inventory signed by all relevant parties.

If instructed we will arrange a professional inventory and check in on your behalf, the cost of which is borne by the landlord.

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Rent Protection Insurance

Whilst the tenant referencing process helps to secure the most reliable tenants, it’s always good to have a back up plan and a Rent Protection Insurance policy can prove invaluable if the tenancy does not go to plan.

A policy with no excess will pay out for all rent due from the day the tenant falls into arrears, and will cover all rent due until possession is obtained. All legal costs will be covered in terms of issuing a Section 8 or Section 21 notice plus any possession orders required and bailiff charges. You can even have 75% of the rent covered for 2 months during a void period until more reliable tenants can be found.

Goodlord provides Turners Property’s Landlords with a comprehensive policy costing £199 including VAT. Our lettings managers can explain the policy in more detail or answer any questions you may have.

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Zero Deposit Option

A relatively new product to the market for tenants is a zero deposit or nil deposit option. Instead of paying up to 5 weeks rent as a security deposit, tenants can pay a one off charge of around 30% of a months rent. This covers them for up to 2 months worth of rent as a security deposit should it be needed at the end of the tenancy. If there is a claim to be made at the end of the tenancy, the provider pays the landlord immediately, then pursues the tenant directly or manages a dispute through mydeposits.com.

The benefits to a landlord are that you have 2 months rent as a security deposit as opposed to the maximum 5 weeks chargeable from 1st June 2019, plus tenants must have Tenant Liability Insurance covering them for any damage to the property.

The benefits to a tenant are that they don’t have to save up for the first month rent in advance plus 5 weeks security deposit.

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Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance provides cover for your property - both the building itself and any furnishings you’ve provided. It can also protect your rental income and cover your liabilities if your tenants are injured on your property and you are deemed to be at fault.

Landlord insurance is a specialist policy that provides more cover than normal home insurance. Indeed, standard home insurance might be invalidated if your property is let to tenants.

Additionally, if you're taking out a buy-to-let mortgage your lender might require you to have landlord insurance in order to qualify for the loan.

What does Landlord Insurance cover? In addition to cover for general risks such as fire and storm damage to the building, landlord insurance policies offer cover for:

    • Accidental damage – if your tenants damage your property unintentionally
    • Malicious damage – if your tenants intentionally damage your property
    • Employer's liability – if you employ people in your property who then become injured as a result of your negligence
    • Property owner's liability – if you are deemed liable for damage or injury suffered by third parties arising from your ownership of the property
    • Unoccupied property cover – if you have no tenants for a period of time and therefore aren't getting rental income
    • Loss of rent – if your tenants are unable to pay their rent.

Click here for more information and for a quote for Landlord Insurance cover.

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Consent to Let

If the landlord has a mortgage, it is normal for mortgagees to require notification of any proposed lettings and the landlord should seek their initial consent. In the case of leasehold premises the consent of the Head Lessee of Freeholder will be required. The landlord should also advise his insurance company of the proposal to let the property as this could either invalidate the insurance altogether or increase the premiums. You should obtain written documentation of these consents prior to letting.

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Utilities

The tenant will be responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, water, telephone, council tax and television licence. (Unless otherwise agreed and stated.)

As the landlord you are still responsible for the payment of service charges and ground rent in leasehold properties and buildings insurance on Freehold properties.

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Tax

Under the Taxation of income from Land (non residents) Regulations 1995, the rent receiving agent (or where there is no agent, the tenant) will be required to deduct an amount equivalent to Basic Rate Tax from the rent (after taking deductible expenses paid by the agent into account) and pay the balance to the Inland Revenue each quarter.

However, the overseas landlord can apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from this requirement. Provided the landlords tax history is good and tax affairs are up to date, the overseas landlord will be issued with a certificate that will be sent to his rent receiving agent. This will authorise the agent to pay the rent to you with no tax deducted.

We can provide you with an NRL1 form which you must complete and send to the Inland Revenue. Neither your rent receiving agent nor your tax advisor can file this application for you - it must be done by you.

Failure to return this form in time may result in the exemption certificate not being issued before the payments become due. We would have no alternative but to make the required tax deduction before paying the rents to you.

Our company are not tax advisers so if you are unsure as to how the above will affect you, you would be advised to speak to an accountant or professional tax advisor.

Any Non resident Landlord Tax payments deducted by us, in the first quarter can be refunded, if the exemption certificate is in our possession before the first quarter has ended. Any deductions after the first quarter can only be reclaimed after the first year has ended. Any refunds due after the first quarter are made by the Inland Revenue.

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Tenancy Agreements

Most tenancies are classed as Assured Shorthold Tenancies. Under the Housing Act 2004 landlords have more rights to possession than with tenancies commencing prior to the Act and procedures for possession are now quicker and simpler (provided the process is carried out correctly).

There is no minimum period for an Assured Shorthold tenancy; however we recommend that the tenancy is for not less than six months.

Most tenancies are drawn up for a period of twelve months, some have break clauses. A break clause allows either party to terminate the agreement with two months notice after an initial period of four months the notice may be served. We will be happy to discuss the pros and cons of different time periods with you.

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