Here are some important things to consider when you are considering letting your property.
The Housing Act 1988 specifies different types of tenancy. Whilst there are several different types, it is almost certain that the tenancy of your property will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
At the outset of each tenancy we will collect a deposit from the tenant. The amount of the deposit is usually equivalent to a month and a half rent. Since April 2007, in line with The Housing Act 2004, all deposits collected under an Assured Shorthold tenancy (or any renewal thereof) must be protected in one of the Government’s authorised custodial tenancy deposit schemes.
It is essential to have an inventory/schedule of condition prior to each tenancy. We can arrange this using local independent inventory companies who we work with on a regular basis. At the end of a tenancy the property is inspected against the inventory and any deterioration to its condition is noted. The tenant is responsible for the cost of rectifying any damage, over and above what is considered to be fair wear and tear caused by them at the property.
We will obtain a deposit from the tenant. This security deposit is held by an approved protection scheme throughout the tenancy. Once damages, if any, have been agreed and copies of all receipted final invoices have been checked, the balance of the deposit will be returned to the tenant.
Our management service does not include the supervision of the property when it is vacant, although this can be carried out for a small fee. In the normal course of showing it to prospective tenants, periodic visits may be made to the property by our lettings team.
You will be informed of any rent arrears or breaches of covenant brought to our attention. Should it prove necessary to employ the services of solicitors you will be responsible for instructing them, and for all fees involved (although we can provide you with recommendations for contacts). We can recommend a local solicitor or alternatively we can provide a quote for rent guarantee and legal cover for peace of mind.
Landlords who remain resident in the UK are required to declare rental income annually together with all other income, as it is assessable after allowance expenses for income tax.
Where the landlord of the property is resident abroad for six months or more and has not been approved under the Non-Resident Landlords Scheme, the Commissioners for Inland Revenue, will under UK income tax law, hold the managing agent (or the tenant where there is no managing agent appointed) personally liable for the payment of tax on income from rent collected on the landlord’s behalf.
In addition to the rent, tenants are responsible for paying water charges, council tax, gas and electricity bills. We will put these into the tenant’s name from the commencement of the tenancy.
Many landlords choose to make a property folder. This should include copies of manuals and guides. It is also advisable to leave a local guide and any other information that your tenants may find useful such as details on parking, refuse collections, etc.
All our fees, and any other charges made by Watsons, will be subject to Value Added Tax at the prevailing rate.
For more information please contact our Lettings Team on 01603 751555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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