Why do I need a letting agent?
They can save you a great deal of time, money and stress.
Finding the right Tenant for your property could take a long time if you wait for responses from private adverts or rely on word of mouth locally and these methods tend to attract the worst sort of Tenants who are trying to bypass referencing checks.
We have access to an enormous pool of quality Tenants via huge internet exposure.
Because we vet Tenants so thoroughly, we have fewer problems with rent arrears and other such issues which makes our Letting Fee money well spent. We can also guide you through the maze of regulations which changes constantly to help keep you safe from prosecution.
What services do you offer?
We provide a "Letting Service" or a "Letting and Management Service" The Letting Service is geared towards experienced Landlords who's day-to-day business is the management of their portfolio.
The majority of our clients choose the Fully Managed option as this provides a complete service from start to finish, offering you peace of mind and the satisfaction that your property is in capable hands, as well as being completely Tax deductable.
Can I manage my property myself?
You certainly can however many Landlords under-estimate the amount of time and skill that is required to manage a property and Tenant well.
For just 10% of your monthly rental, we can handle virtually every aspect and provide a useful buffer between you and your Tenant. You still make all the decisions but we do all the work for you.
How is the rent paid?
Typically a standing order is set up from the Tenant's bank account and the rent will be paid in advance. Once the monies have into our client account, the rent is paid by BACS directly into the account of your choice. A detailed quarterly statement is part of our service.
What sort of agreement is used?
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a fixed period of at least 6 months, or 12 months for Students.
What happens if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
As part of our service we endeavour to ensure that the rent is paid on time. Having carefully selected the tenant in the first place, there's unlikely to be a problem.
However people's circumstances do sometimes change during a tenancy and if the rent is not paid, we'll advise you on the appropriate course of action. You can insure yourself against loss of rent and legal expenses.
What about a deposit?
We ask tenants for a cash deposit equal to a month's rent, or we can set the Tenant up on a Zero Deposit Scheme
A cash deposit is Secured in a Tenant Deposit Scheme chosen and managed by the Landlord, and returned when the tenant has given vacant possession of the property and left it in a satisfactory condition, allowing for wear and tear, and complied with his or her responsibilities under the Tenancy Agreement.
What happens when my property is empty?
You must advise your insurance company in accordance with their requirements regarding empty property. Please check your insurance policy for the relevant details.
We only charge you commission on rents that we collect so when a property is empty, we're losing money too so rest assured we'll be doing everything we can to let your property.
What are my outgoings?
These will usually include:
What about tax?
You will be liable to pay tax on any profit generated from letting your property- the amount of tax you pay will depend on your circumstances.
If you are overseas for more than six months in any tax year, you will be regarded as a non-resident Landlord. The current legislation requires us to deduct and pay over to the Revenue tax at the basic rate unless we are in receipt of an exemption letter from the Inland Revenue. Once we are notified by the Revenue that you are exempt, we will no longer need to deduct tax.
Do I need to tell my insurance company?
Yes, otherwise you may find your insurance is invalid. Your insurer may wish to increase the premiums or be unable to accommodate your wishes. Should you need it, we are able to offer alternative Buildings and Contents insurance cover.
What do I do if my property is leasehold?
The managing agents or freeholders must be advised as a change in the type of occupancy may affect the buildings insurance. You should obtain the freeholders or managing agents consent prior to letting and advise us of any restrictions within the head lease which your tenant should be aware of.
Who looks after the garden?
The maintenance and upkeep of the garden is usually the responsibility of the Tenant. However, should you have a particularly large garden or any precious plants then it may be advisable to arrange for a gardener- the cost of which should be incorporated in the rental value. It is advisable to provide the materials for maintaining your garden even if the property is unfurnished.
Do I have to provide furniture?
Not always, however it sometimes helps to give tenants the option. Interestingly enough, in most cases we have found that there is very little difference in rental values between furnished and unfurnished lettings. Let Leeds will advise you on the most appropriate option for your property. An unfurnished property would require carpets, curtains and usually white goods. The requirements for a furnished property can vary depending upon the style and location of your property.
Are smoke alarms required?
Smoke alarms have to be installed in any new building or conversion. We would strongly recommend that you install at least one alarm per floor of your property.
What am I responsible for repairing?
As a Landlord you have a legal obligation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to maintain the structure of the building, the sanitation and the supply of services. In addition, should an item in the property require replacing or repairing through fair wear and tear then you would be expected within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement to deal with this.
Do I need to tell my mortgage company that I'm letting my property?
Yes, you'll normally find that there is a clause in your mortgage agreement which makes this a requirement but it is rare nowadays for your Lender to object to your request.
What about all the various safety regulations that I hear about?
We will keep you advised of any current or future legislation that affects your property and guide you through it.