We have compiled a list of common questions and answers asked by Landlords. Should you have further questions please don't hesitate to ask.
Do I have to use an agent?
There is no legal requirement to use an agent when letting out your property, however there are many reasons why using a letting agent is preferable to going it alone in the rental market. For starters, it helps you to create professional distance between yourself and your tenant.
Letting agents have access to a huge pool of potential tenants and are well versed when it comes to marketing a property. It should therefore be much easier to find the right tenant to live in your rental home with the help of an agent.
It also takes the stress out of letting a property as the managing agent will chase rents, assist with deposit disputes, manage any maintenance issues, carry out regular property visits and complete the time-consuming and legally required paperwork.
Providing you choose an agent that is registered with ARLA or a similar industry regulatory body, they will ensure your property is let in accordance with all the latest legislation and guidelines.
Who will conduct viewings and do I need to be present?
At Brown & Cockerill, our experienced team will be on hand to show people around your property and answer any questions they may have. There is no need for you to be present at viewings. So long as you have given us a set of keys, we will complete viewings at times to suit any current tenants, and provide you with feedback afterwards.
How do Brown & Cockerill Lettings ensure I get good tenants?
At Brown & Cockerill Estate Agents we take every step to ensure you get the right tenants for your property. Any potential tenant that wants to apply for a property must undergo a referencing procedure. This will include a credit and affordability check, employment references sought and previous landlord references/rental history looked at.
How much rent can I charge?
Our lettings experts will conduct a full evaluation of your property, its decorative condition and how it compares to other properties as well as considering local market conditions before advising you on its monthly rental value. We will advise on how to maximise your rent so that you are able to make the most of your property, as we know your most valuable asset needs to work for you. To ascertain how much rent you are likely to achieve, we can undertake a market appraisal and inspection of the property. Please contact us for more details or to book an appraisal appointment with one of our ARLA registered valuation team.
Are there any extra marketing costs?
With Brown & Cockerill, the fee you pay to let your property will include all marketing costs, so you can expect the advert to appear on 'Rightmove', 'Onthemarket' and other property portals without having to pay anything additional towards it.
How can I improve my chance of letting my property?
There are plenty of things you can do to improve the likelihood of your rental property being snapped up by a tenant. Of course, the asking price will be a key factor, but it can also pay to focus on improving the property’s interior, kerb appeal and if applicable it’s garden. Just ask one of our team who will be delighted to advise you on how to enhance your property’s appeal.
Do I need permission from my mortgage lender?
Yes, if you have a mortgage then you need to notify your lender of your intention to rent the property.
Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?
You can let your property either furnished or unfurnished. There is a higher demand from tenants for properties that are unfurnished and furnished properties also have to meet other legal requirements that an unfurnished property may not.
For example, all furniture supplied by a landlord within a property to let must comply with The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. For more information or advice on the requirements for letting furnished or unfurnished properties then please call and speak to a member of our lettings team.
What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
It is a legal requirement for all landlords to place tenant deposits in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. If you opt to let your property through Brown & Cockerill, we will ensure your tenants’ deposits are lodged in the correct manner within the required timeframes.
When will I receive my rent?
We pay all our landlords directly via BACS on the working day that their tenants pay the rent, so you will receive the funds shortly after. The date the rent is paid by the tenant will usually be on the date the tenancy began, but does not have to be.
Can I trust my tenants to take good care of my property?
It is impossible to guarantee that your tenants will look after your home in the way you would hope, but at Brown & Cockerill we pride ourselves on choosing quality tenants for our landlord’s properties. Indeed, we place tremendous focus on analysing the prospective tenants for each of the properties we are letting, which we believe helps our landlords to enjoy a low number of dispute cases. As part of our Fully Managed Service, a senior member of our team will carry out regular visits to check on the condition of the property and report back with their findings.
What happens if my tenant fails to pay their rent?
If you have instructed Brown & Cockerill on either a full management or rent collection service, we will chase all late and unpaid rents on your behalf and we are proud of the low rate of arrears experienced by our landlords. However, many landlords opt to seek further protection by insuring themselves against the threat of a tenant failing to pay their rent. We would be happy to advise on this and can provide free a quotation upon request.
Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?
You will have to pay tax on any profit made from your rented property. You can deduct your day-to-day running expenses (including any agents’ fees) before preparing your tax return, so it is important to store your financial records securely. It is recommended that you use a qualified accountant to assist with your tax returns, particularly if you have more than one property.
What happens if my property requires repair or maintenance?
If your property requires repair or maintenance then we will contact you to discuss this. We have a wide range of available contractors that we use that can deal with every aspect of property maintenance. We can instruct a contractor or obtain quotes on your behalf. If you have a preferred contractor then we can liaise with them on your behalf so you don’t have to. Landlords are required to carry out certain maintenance and repairs by law and we are happy to advise you on what these may be.
What are my obligations as a landlord?
As a residential landlord you have certain obligations as set out by law. There are several pieces of legislation that will be relevant to letting your property including:
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 - You have an obligation to provide and repair any provisions for heating, hygiene and supply of water etc.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 - All furniture and furnishings must comply with current fire safety regulations.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1988 - All gas plumbing and appliances must be checked annually to ensure they are safe for use.
These are just a few of the pieces of legislation that may affect you as a Landlord, please call us for further information and advice.
How can I improve my chances of letting my property?
To have the best chance of letting your property it is important to listen to your agent’s advice. Price is key and we have a detailed knowledge of the market and area and can advise you on what price you should expect to achieve. Making sure your property is well presented will also improve your chances of finding a good tenant quickly. Make sure your property is in good decorative order, in a good state of repair and is clean and tidy for the best chance in finding a suitable tenant quickly. Remember, the residential letting market is very competitive and your property will be up against several others so make sure yours stands out above the rest!
Who pays for the utilities?
Unless it has been otherwise negotiated the tenant will be responsible for paying all utilities including electric, water, council tax and gas or oil where applicable.
What is an Inventory and Schedule of Condition Report and why should I have one?
An inventory and schedule of condition report is a document that details the condition of the property along with any fixtures and furnishings that may be present. These are imperative in ensuring that deposit claims at the end of the tenancy are successful, you are unlikely to succeed in re-claiming monies from your tenant’s deposit for damages or dilapidations without a professional inventory. Our Inventory schedules are prepared by an impartial independent provider.
How do I receive my rental income?
You will receive your rental income on a monthly basis via a BACS payment direct into your bank account less our fees.
Contact us on 01788 551111 or complete our contact form.