The Property Ombudsman Lettings

Questions and answers

Residents in the UK are liable for tax at the standard rate under the Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 79 but there are a number of worthwhile allowances. These can be such things as insurance premiums, maintenance during the tenancy and managing agent’s fees. Mortgage interest is no longer allowable. For full advice you should speak to a qualified accountant.

The needs of the overseas landlord are best met by obtaining an exemption certificate from the Inland Revenue. If we do not receive this certificate we must make quarterly payments to the Inland Revenue. These payments are 20% of the rent collected less expenses we have paid. To cover these payments we will hold 20% of your rent, reconciling the balance to you each quarter. At the end of the year we will send to you, or your accountant, or both, a certificate showing the tax already paid to help in the completion of your tax returns.

If your property is mortgaged the lender should be informed. You may also need to inform the landlord if your property is leasehold. You should advise Contents and Buildings Insurers. In case of difficulty we can arrange insurance specifically designed for landlords and including landlord’s liability insurance. In some cases you may need written consent, and there may be a small charge to pay, but there is not usually any difficulty.

Both of these questions have satisfactory answers in the terms of the Housing Act 1988 and the landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Your agreement with the tenant will normally be a form of Assured Tenancy. This ‘assures’ the tenant of the right to occupy for a specified time and ‘assures; the landlord that the tenant is obliged to leave at the end of the term if given notice to do so. You must give at least two months’ notice and the tenant must give you at least one months notice.

Property let furnished should have all the basic essentials for living including things like beds, wardrobes, sofas & white goods. Dishwashers and microwaves are optional although with increasing competition for quality tenants we would recommend supplying these. It is worth remembering however, that whilst a wider range of fitments can make a more attractive let, the repair or replacement of these is your responsibility and obligatory during the tenancy. Telephone points with Broadband connection are most helpful.

DO NOT leave valuable, much loved family heirlooms or special ornaments. Beds should be clean and mattresses preferably covered with a fitted mattress protector. Linen is provided by the tenant. It is very much in your interest to be flexible. A prospective tenant with their own bed may be put off if they have to find a place to store yours! At the same time if a tenant wants something that is not provided it is worth considering providing it. Unfurnished properties will usually need at least carpets, curtains and white goods.

There is no longer any legal advantage to the landlord in letting furnished. An unfurnished property can be just as easy to let as a furnished property, however we would again advise landlords to be flexible. If you have somewhere to take your furniture it makes sense to save on wear and tear. On the other hand, if you were to have to pay to store your furniture you may as well leave it in the property. We can market your property as part furnished, furnished or unfurnished and as soon as we have an interested applicant we can negotiate the level of furnishings required, however bear in mind that a ready furnished property usually has a better first impression when viewing.

You are responsible for insuring everything that is yours. Buildings insurance must be maintained and a copy of the certificate should be held in our office. You should insure whatever you leave in the way of contents (this should include carpets, curtains, cooker etc) and it is advisable to include Accidental Damage cover. Our Buildings and contents policies include landlord’s liability cover. You may also insure against loss of rent and the legal costs involved in repossession. Should your present insurer be unwilling to provide cover for you we can arrange it using policies specifically designed for landlords (please ask for details). Tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions.

Probably, although some adjustments may need to be made. Fire regulations require that furnishings should be fire resistant (compliant to the 1988 Fire Regulations). You will require a gas certificate from a Gas Safe engineer renewable every year and evidence that your fixed electrics are maintained to a safe standard. An Electrical Inspection Condition Report (EICR) from a qualified electrician will suffice and is renewable every five years. In certain circumstances, such as larger houses let to sharers, you may require a licence to let your property.

If the property is unoccupied prior to a let, whilst we will be making visits with prospective tenants, we cannot accept any responsibility unless we are instructed as 'Caretakers' a service we can provide under a separate contract. If at the end of the tenancy the property is not to be re-let we can offer our Caretaking service. Please ask for more details.

Certainly! This is well within your rights but needs careful and sympathetic consideration. Under the terms of the housing act we cannot be seen to be unfair by refusing requests without good reason and it’s good to remember limitations of any kind will reduce the range of interested tenants.

Certainly again! Montrose act on your behalf and we can arrange this no more than every 12 months. We will always re-let the property at the highest achievable rent and keep you informed of changing market rents.

This can depend on the type of property you have. If it is a flat within a block, the gardening should be part of your service contract with the management company. If it is a house and the garden is large or contains plants that require extraordinary maintenance, it would be a good idea to employ a gardener. If the garden is smaller and requires only basic maintenance, you may want to provide equipment i.e. a small lawnmower so the tenant can at least keep the grass down. Little usually happens that cannot be changed to your preference at the end.

Provided tenants feel they are getting a fair deal and the property is properly managed, there are no problems. Our service is designed to stand between you and any day to day problems that may arise.

We pursue the debt and usually succeed. If we cannot obtain payment you may need to take court action and instruct a solicitor. Your legal protection insurance can cover non payment of rent and provide the legal cover. Your rent and legal cover is protected within our management plus service.

Yes we do. We are bound by the rules of The Property Ombudsman and The National Approved Lettings Scheme. We also have client money protection insurance and are members of the UK Association of Letting Agents, the Residential Landlords Association and are registered Safe Agent.

Yes! At the start of the tenancy, we collect a returnable deposit and agree an inventory of contents and condition. At the end of the tenancy the cost of rectifying any damage is deducted from the deposit (subject to deposit laws).


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