A Guide for Landlords to the Letting Process
Below is a check list of arrangements that need to be made before letting your property:
Consents to Let
If your property is subject to a mortgage, your mortgage provider must consent to the rental. If you have a corporate tenant, this will need to be in writing. In addition, if your property is leasehold you will need permission from the freeholder. This can usually be obtained from the managing agent of the building.
You will need to protect your property with Building Insurance. Content insurance is the responsibility of the tenant.
You will need to provide each tenant with a set of keys together with a set of keys for Birkmyre Property Consultants if your property is to be managed by us.
Make a copy of any manuals or guides relating to any appliances at the property including central heating boiler, cooker, refrigerator etc. , and leave a copy for the tenants.
Prior to occupation, all properties should be professionally cleaned. When the property is returned, the tenant is expected to do the same and it is advisable to leave a receipt for the pre-occupation clean. Any outside space should also be left in seasonal good order.
Where applicable, any chimneys should be swept and oil fired boilers should be serviced and tanks filled (with instructions on how to check on fuel levels and how to order more). If the property requires LPG bottles then these should be left full as well. Please also ensure that every light bulb is working.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to change the bills over to their own name, but it is advisable that you speak to your suppliers confirming the new tenant will take over the bills.
Inventory, Check-In and Check-Out
We will arrange for an independent inventory company to create a professional inventory for your property. This is a schedule of condition as well as a list of contents of the property including fixtures, fittings and meter readings. If we manage your property, we will also arrange a check-out on the last day of the tenancy to record the property condition in its final state. Please note that professional inventory documents are a necessity in the event of any possible future claims against the tenant’s deposit, particularly if you need to rely on adjudication.
You are under a legal obligation to establish that your tenant has the right to rent in the UK before granting a tenancy and this can be checked out as part of the referencing process which we will arrange on all tenants before a tenancy is granted.
Safety Documentation Recommendations
- If your property has a gas supply, you will need to provide a valid annual Landlord’s Gas Safety Record.
- To ensure electrical safety, we recommend that a portable appliance test (PAT) is completed annually.
- A fixed wiring test should be carried out at the start of a tenancy and at 5 yearly intervals thereafter.
- You must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property to be let unless it is Listed. An EPC lasts for 10 years.
- All relevant furniture/ furnishings must comply with fire regulations.
- Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor and tested on the day the tenancy starts.
- Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in rooms containing gas appliances, solid fuel stoves/ fires and through which a flue runs.
We do require the legal owner of the property to have signed all the documentation, such as our Terms of Business before the tenant moves in. We will also need to have proof of ID such as a passport or driving licence and a utility bill. All paperwork can be received either as a computer scan or in person. We also have an online signing service available for clients to use.
A Guide to Landlord’s Costs
- Lettings management fees payable to Birkmyre Property Consultants
- Renewal of Tenancy Agreement payable to Birkmyre Property Consultants
- Service charges and ground rent where applicable
- Maintenance and repairs of property
- Building and contents insurance
- Annual gas and electrical checks
- Energy Performance Certificates
- Deposit Registration
- Inventory/Schedule of Condition
- Tax – The excess of rental income over allowable expenses is subject to UK income tax. We recommend that you seek advice from an accountant with regard to income tax and capital gains tax. You should retain all invoices for sundry expenses such as ground rents and repairs, and ensure that the nature of the work is clearly stipulated. Along with your mortgage interest, you may be able to offset these expenses against your rental income to reduce your tax bill.
- Tax Services for Overseas Landlords – Income from letting UK property is subject to UK income tax. If you live abroad your accountant should retain tax on rents received unless you have been approved by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to receive rent without tax deducted. In order to receive your rent gross, you must complete the relevant paperwork and submit it to the HMRC before the start of the tenancy.