Landlords - Frequently Asked Questions
How much is my property worth?
The Lettings market is extremely transient and therefore prices are frequently changeable. It is vital that you get an up to date professional valuation (as you would if you were selling the property). A valuation appointment should take no more than 40-60 mins.
When should I start marketing?
We can, and frequently do advertise properties which are available for immediate occupation, but as a rule of thumb, 6-8 weeks prior to the property being available is a good timeframe to get the ball rolling.
Should I offer the property furnished or unfurnished?
Every marketplace and property type will have its own trends, but typically there is little or no difference in the asking rent whether the property is furnished or not, and often little difference in the likely timeframe for securing a tenant. As such you can simply do what suits you best, but always seek the advice of your local agent first.
What do I have to do to get the property ready?
You will need an Energy Performance Certificate in order to market the property and prior to tenants moving in will need to ensure you have smoke detectors on either floor, a gas/elec safety cert (where applicable) and fire safety regulation labels on all soft furnishings (if the property is to be offered furnished), and a consent to let form from your mortgage provider (if applicable) prior to tenant moving in. Professional inventory prior to a tenant taking occupation of the property.
Do I need to be insured?
You must have Buildings Insurance cover. Talk to your insurance company or your Letting Agent about a Landlords package.
What is the likely length of the tenancy?
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement can be anything from 6 months to 3 years. The most common type of contract is a 12 month term with a reciprocal break clause on or after 6 months of continuous tenure.
Under the terms of your tenancy agreement you will be required to give 2 months’ notice on your rent due date.
What reference checks are undertaken?
At Castles we instruct an external and independent referencing agency to carry out a credit search, an employment reference, a current/previous Landlord reference. Personal references can also be requested. A final report will be given to the Landlord for approval before he/she signs the tenancy agreement.
How much deposit is held?
We take one month's rent +£100 deposit as standard for each tenancy. All tenancy deposits are held with The Deposit Protection Service and www.depositprotection.com
How/when will my tenants pay?
Rent is due on the anniversary of the start of the tenancy and it’s the tenants responsibility to ensure it is received by this date. We require payment to be made by standing order.
What happens if my tenant stops paying?
You (or your letting agent) should write to tenants every 7 days requesting the rental payment up until the point at which they are 2 months in arrears and you are in a position to serve notice on the grounds of non-payment of rent. We recommend, for peace of mind, that all landlords consider rent protection insurance.
What happens if my tenant is causing damage or nuisance?
These are both terms of their agreement and your recourse would be to serve notice and end the tenancy.
Who pays council tax?
Tenants are responsible for paying the council tax and any/all utility bills (unless otherwise advised). Landlords must continue to pay any ground rent/maintenance charges.
How quickly can I expect my tenant to move in?
In our experience most tenancies commence within 7 to 10 days of the tenant agreeing to let a property, however the timescale can be affected by the speed of which the landlord and tenant react and such things as referencing, notices and setting up of a standing order.
If you require any further information or would like to arrange a free no obligation rental appraisal of your property please call us on 01793 611677.