Landlord & Letting FAQs

Answers to your rental property and lettings questions

General

Are you a member of any professional organisations?

Yes, we belong to the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

What are your fees?

Our standard fee for residential properties is 14.4% inc vat (12% + vat) for fully managed and £450 inc vat (£375 + vat) for tenant find only. The management fee is deducted monthly from the rent we collect. The tenant find fee is payable in a lump sum once we receive the first month’s rent.  Student fully managed service is 13.2% inc vat of the rent and £610 inc vat as a finders service.  Please contact this office if you wish to discuss any queries with fees.

Do I need permission from my mortgage company?

You should always inform your mortgage company if you are planning to let your property.

What about insurance?

You are responsible for buildings insurance as well as appropriate contents insurance. Tenants arrange their own contents insurance.

I will be living abroad - is that a problem?

No, we can still manage your property even when you are abroad. However, there are tax implications that you should check with Inland Revenue.

What is an EPC and how do I get one?

An Energy Performance Certificate is a certified assessment of a property’s energy efficiency. Once issued, it is valid for 10 years. EPCs are undertaken by qualified Energy Performance Assessors - Leamans can recommend an independent assessor. You are liable for the assessor’s fee.

What safety checks do I need?

Gas boilers and any other gas appliances need an annual Landlord Gas Safety Check.  White goods (not integral appliances) need an annual Portable Appliance Test (PAT).  Landlords and agents need to know that electrics are safe so Leamans insist on a Periodic Report to be undertaken every five years by a qualified electrician. We will arrange all the necessary safety checks and arrange the annual re-inspections on our managed properties.

Do I need to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors?

We advise that all properties are fitted with at least one smoke detector and a heat detector.  Carbon monoxide detectors are optional but highly recommended.

What should I leave in the property?

The majority of lets are unfurnished. However, this would still include white goods, window dressings, light shades and floor coverings.

 

Finding a Tenant

Where do you advertise, and does that cost me extra?

We advertise on our own website, in our stylish window display, on ‘To Let’ boards and on national property website Zoopla. This is all included in our set up fee.

Do I have to be there for all the viewings?

No, Leamans staff will accompany tenants to all viewings.

Can I use you to find tenants and manage it myself?

Yes, we offer a Tenant Find service – this will handle the lettings process from initial advertising up until the keys are handed over.

Do you reference the applicants?

Leamans’ referencing team interviews all prospective tenants and carries out a thorough referencing check, including a credit check and collecting employer and landlord references.

What kind of tenancy agreement is it?

A six-month Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This automatically becomes a Periodic Tenancy after the initial period.

I don’t want anyone living there with pets or children - is that ok?

We can stipulate this when assessing applicants and there will be a relevant clause in the tenancy agreement stating that no pets or children are to reside at the property.

What about utilities and council tax?

The tenant is responsible for all utilities and council tax.

 

During the Tenancy

I don’t want to be contacted by the tenants, I want to leave it all to you -is that possible?

We want to take as much stress out of lettings as we can. If you decide to use our Full Management Service, the tenants will always contact us with any issues they may have and we shall deal with any problems. If a major or potentially costly problem arises, we will always contact you first.

How often do you visit my property?

We undertake an initial visit four to six weeks after a move in, and then every three to four months.

How do I get my rent?

Rent is collected monthly in advance. We will pay your rent into your specified account by BACS and you will receive a monthly statement of account.

What if my tenants don’t pay the rent on time?

We check that rent is being paid on time and will advise on necessary action, including court action, if it is not. We will also prepare documentation to support such action.

What happens to the deposit, where is it kept?

The deposit is held in a designated Leamans Client Deposit Account with Lloyds Bank. Our deposits are registered with The Dispute Service.

Which contractors do you use?

We have numerous contractors on our books, all of which are independent from Leamans.  We take no commission on contractors’ invoices.

I have my preferred contractors that I would like to use, can that be arranged?

Yes, we will use your preferred contractors unless we are unable to contact them in the event of an emergency.

Ending the Tenancy

What happens if I want my property back?

During the initial six-month assured period, you can serve tenants two months’ notice at the end of month four, thus ending the tenancy at the end of month six.

Thereafter, two months’ notice must be served, with the tenancy always ending on a rental due date.

What happens at the end of the tenancy?

We carry out a ‘check out’ inspection the next working day after the tenant leaves. A claim will be made against the deposit if there is damage or if excessive cleaning is required.

What if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy?

If there is a dispute we will do our best to resolve the issue by liaising with you and the tenant. If an agreement cannot be reached it will be referred to arbitration via the deposit scheme. There may be a charge for the additional work that this creates.