When agreeing a rental figure, your agent should have provided you with a selection of comparable properties that they have recently let in the area and the prices they have achieved; this should guide you to make an informed decision on the right price to market your property. Unfortunately there are some agents, who may advise you of a higher unrealistic figure, in order to secure your property from you. It is advisable to not make the mistake of going with the agent that gives you the highest figure, as your property could sit on the market for a longer period, which will lose you money in the long run.
How long should I wait before marketing?
Generally tenants start looking about 4-8 weeks before moving; therefore it is recommended that the property be marketed at least 10 weeks before your property is available to move into.
To maximise amount of people that see your property, your letting agent should have prepared a bespoke marketing campaign, which will usually include local property magazines and newspapers, online coverage with a range of websites, as well as property details with colour photos and a detailed floor plan.
Your agent should accompany prospective tenants on all viewings. This allows the agent and the prospective tenant the time to discuss the pros and cons of the property and the agent to get honest feedback which would not necessarily happen if you were to be present.
If you have chosen the correct agent, and are in the fortunate position of numerous offers to choose from, there are number of considerations to take into account when choosing the tenant whom to proceed with:
The monthly rent they have offered
How many tenants will there be
The length of the contract they are looking for
Does their offer come with any conditions? i.e. have they asked for any additional furniture, or for any items to be removed, redecoration, do they have a pet?
It is the role of the letting agent, to notify you of all offers, however unrealistic they may be and to then negotiate the best possible deal with the best possible tenant.
It’s vital for you to have in mind and discussed with your letting agent, what type of tenant you are hoping to find, i.e. professional couple, sharers, families or students.
Once you have accepted an offer, both you and the future tenant should receive written confirmation outlining the following:
The rental amount
The amount of deposit
The length and type of tenancy along with details of any break clauses.
The proposed move in date
Any conditions of the offer i.e. remove dining table or kitchen to be repainted etc.
The types of contracts most commonly used are as follows:
Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Most of these are for 12 months, with a six-month break clause
Common law tenancy
At this stage the tenants will be required to complete referencing forms. Specialised referencing companies generally carry out referencing. .
These references are comprehensive and include the checking of the following:
Employment - who is their employer, what is their annual salary, length of employment, length of employment contract where necessary.
A credit check, to ensure they have no adverse credit history
References from their current / previous landlord, (if applicable) which will check how their previous tenancy was conducted.
Are they located at the previous addresses they have given?
Once the referencing is complete a report will be produced which will state whether the tenant(s) are acceptable for the tenancy.
Your agent can provide you with a copy of the references.
Most referencing companies now offer additional services such as Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses cover. For peace of mind it’s worth enquiring with your agent regarding these services.
Once you have seen and approved the references, the contract will be drawn up with a move in date agreed by both you and the tenants. Contracts will not be produced to the tenants for signing, unless all applicable move-in monies payable by them have been received.
Under the terms of the Right to rent legislation as part of the Immigration Act 2014, landlords should check identity documents for all new tenants and take copies. The scheme has been designed to make it straightforward for people to give evidence of their right to rent and a range of commonly available documents can be used. Your agent will take copies of passports, identification cards and any UK Visas where applicable.
It is on the day of move in, which the inventory company will attend and carry out the Check in / inventory. This is generally sent to the agent by email in a PDF format and will be forwarded on to both yourself and your new tenants. It is important that these reports are carried out for both your peace of mind, and that of your tenants. It is strongly recommended that these reports always be carried out by an independent third party company.
The standard deposit is usually the equivalent of six weeks rent. The deposit is normally held by the agent and registered with one of the 3 government approved schemes which are as follows:
My Deposits - www.mydeposits.co.uk
Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd - www.thedisputeservice.co.uk
The Deposit Protection Service - www.depositprotection.com
Since April 2007 any deposit taken from a tenant on an Assured Short hold Tenancy (AST) in England and Wales, must be protected in a government-authorised deposit protection scheme within 30 days of receiving the deposit.
Should at the end of the original tenancy, your tenants renew into a further Assured Shorthold Tenancy at your property; their deposit is legally required to be re-protected. If their contract was to continue onto a periodic agreement, then the deposit does not need to be re-protected.
Whichever scheme your agent is a member of, they will at the end of the tenancy deal with any disputes that arise out of any proposed deductions.
The Non-resident Landlord Scheme
If you have rental property in the UK but your usual home is outside the UK, your tenants or the letting agents you use will need to operate the Non-resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme. They need to deduct basic rate tax from rental income before they pass it onto you. You can set this tax off against your own tax bill at the end of the year.
Who are non-resident landlords?
Non-resident landlords are persons (this term includes individuals, companies and trustees) who have:
UK rental income
A ‘usual place of abode’ outside the UK
Conditions for applying to HMRC for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted
Non-resident landlords can apply to receive their rent with no tax deducted on the basis that either:
Their UK tax affairs are up to date
They have not had any UK tax obligations before they applied
They do not expect to be liable to UK Income Tax for the year in which they apply
They are not liable to pay UK tax because they are sovereign immunes (these are generally foreign Heads of State, Governments or Government departments)
For more information regarding this please see the link below: