Whether you are thinking about making your first “buy to let” investment, or you are an experienced portfolio landlord, there is lot that you need to consider when you rent out property. In fact, it can all seem a little overwhelming. But don’t panic, we are here to help. Here are the answers to questions that we are most frequently asked by landlords.
1. What range of services do you offer?
We offer a range of standard services including finding a tenant, rent collection and full property management. We also offer a range of bespoke services for landlords. We tailor our services and fees to meet your exact needs. Please contact us for more information or see here https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/images/landlord-guide.pdf
2. Are you a member of a professional body?
We are a member of ARLA Propertymark, which is the UK’s foremost professional and regulatory body for letting agents. We are also a member of the Property Ombudsman redress scheme, Client Money Protection scheme and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
3. How much does your property management service cost?
Our property management rates are competitive. Please see our website for a full description of our fees.
4. Can you help me understand what I need to do to rent out my property successfully?
Please see our checklist of the legal requirements for renting a property and our blog on landlord best practices. Better still, pop in and see us, and we will help you to get your property ready for rent. You can also read our blog on getting yourself and your property ready for the private rented sector https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/46-get-yourself-and-your-property-ready-for-letting
5. How do I know how much rent to charge?
The team at Aspire have years of industry and local market knowledge. Based on the location, size and condition of your property we can advise you of how much we think we can rent your property for.
6. Do I have to use a letting agent?
You certainly don’t have to. However, as we have explained on our website, there is a lot that you need to consider as a landlord, even if you have years of experience. By selecting a well-qualified agent, you should be provided with access to best practice management disciplines, kept abreast of changes to relevant legislation and be removed from the day to day detail and “hassle” of managing your property.
7. Should I let my property furnished?
This is really your choice. In some instances, you might receive slightly more rent, but there is the potential for damage to your items, additional insurance requirements, fire and safety considerations’ etc. We can work with you to provide the best advice given the specific circumstances.
8. What about EPC’s, Gas certificates, Smoke alarms etc?
There are a number of legal requirements that you need to adhere to when renting out your property. If you do not meet these requirements you might find it difficult to recover possession of your property or even be open to civil or criminal liability. Please see our guidance on the legal requirements for renting property and talk to our team for further details.
For further information on EPC's please see here https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/40-epc-s-what-are-the-requirements
For further information on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms please see here https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/36-smoke-and-carbon-monoxise-alarms-in-renter-property
9. What if my tenant damages the property or refuses to pay the rent?
We will give you advice at the start of each tenancy about what you can do to safeguard your property and ensure you receive the rent. This advice includes where appropriate, having a guarantor for the rent, taking out insurance against loss of rent, requiring the tenant to have appropriate insurance, making sure that we hold a sufficient deposit from your tenant etc.
10. What if my tenant refuses to leave the property?
There are times when you might want your tenant to leave the property, but they are unwilling to. This does not happen very often. However, if this situation does arise, it is very important that you follow the correct legal procedure otherwise you risk not being able to repossess your property or being liable to civil or criminal action. We can advise of how to deal with this situation and we have access to experienced solicitors who are able to help.
11. Do I need a tenancy agreement?
Absolutely. Not only do you need one, you need a good one! The tenancy agreement sets out the rights and obligations of you, as the landlord, and your tenant.
12. Do I need to inform my mortgage lender?
Yes, you should inform your mortgage lender that you intend to rent the property.
13. I own a flat, do I need to inform the freeholder?
Whether you need approval from a freeholder to let out a leasehold property will be determined by the lease. You should ensure you understand your lease and take legal advice where appropriate.
14. Do I need a property inventory?
We strongly advise you to have an inventory and condition report (including photographs) of the property at the start of each tenancy. If there is a dispute about damage to the property then the condition report will be absolutely critical.
15. Who is responsible for utility bills and council tax etc?
Under normal circumstance the tenant will be responsible for utility bills, TV licence, council tax etc during their period of tenancy. The landlord will be liable for these costs during any period that the property is left vacant.
16. How do you ensure that you find me a good tenant?
We will meet all potential tenants and assess their suitability for renting your property. We will also perform background checks on their financial position, working status, right to rent etc. Where we have any concerns, we will discuss them with you so that you are able to make an informed decision about whether you want to proceed.
17. How long will it take to rent my property?
We normally find suitable tenants within 2 weeks of marketing your property. However it is highly contingent on market conditions, the availability of competitive property, how much rent you want, the condition of your property etc.
18. Should I accept pets?
You do not have to accept pets and in some instances, where you have a leasehold property, you might not be allowed to under your long lease. While accepting pets might enable you to charge a higher rent, it also increases the possibility of damage to the property. Again, we can discuss the pros and cons with you based on the specific circumstances of your property.
19. Do you charge the tenant a fee for renting my property?
New legislation is being introduced that means that neither a landlord nor their agent can charge the tenant a fee for applying to rent. Aspire Residential operates in accordance with this legislation. For information on the new legislation see here https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/35-tenant-fee-bill
20. What happens if I am unhappy with your service?
We always welcome constructive feedback about our performance. If you are unhappy with our service we would encourage you to talk to us about it. If you want to pursue a formal complaint, then we have a published complaints management process including access to the Property Ombudsman redress scheme.
For information on the legal requirements for renting property in the private rented sector, see our blog at https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/33-landlord-legal-requirements
For best practice in renting residential property, please see our blog at https://www.aspireresidential.co.uk/news/landlords/31-letting-residential-property-best-practices