Being a landlord comes with many responsibilities, including legal obligations. At Romain Coleman, our landlord solicitors offer legal advice by answering six of the most common questions a landlord may have.
Whether you are a landlord who’s been renting your property out for years or you’ve just purchased your first buy to let, it’s normal to have questions. Romain Coleman has a wealth of experience in supporting landlords to make the most out of their rental property. In this post, our specialist landlord solicitors answer some of the most common questions asked by landlords.
Here are the 6 most common questions that landlords ask us:
1. What can I do if my tenant fails to pay their rent?
If a tenant fails to pay their rent, it is possible to take action against them depending on the type of tenancy agreement you have with them. Under the Housing Act 1988, you have the right to evict the tenant, provided that you follow the correct eviction process – this is very important. Our experienced landlord solicitors can support you at every step to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes that could cause further loss. If the matter needs to be taken to court, we can provide you with legal advice and services to reach the outcome you desire.
2. What do I do with the deposit from the tenant?
Landlords must put deposits from tenants into a TDP, a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving them. There are three different schemes – the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits, and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
You can find details on these schemes on the Gov.UK website.
3. What costs will I incur when renting out my property?
There are various costs associated with being a landlord and they depend on each individual circumstance. Mandatory costs include attaining an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate), Gas Safety Certificate, Income Tax and smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. There may also be maintenance costs throughout the tenancies, such as replacing electrical goods like fridges and annual boiler checks.
If you’re letting out your property through a letting agent, you may also incur management fees, which would go towards marketing the property and sorting potential tenants. The fees vary from agency to agency, so we advise that you look into different agencies and the services they offer.
Of course, landlords can also self-manage their properties – this would mean you are taking on more responsibility but also less money to splash out.
4. Does my lender need to know?
Yes, you’ll need to tell your mortgage company that you are letting out a property, unless you purchased the property with a buy to let mortgage. Be prepared as they may increase your interest rate or charge you an admin fee. It is classed as fraud if you withhold this information from your mortgage company.
5. How much rent should I charge?
When deciding how much rent to charge, it is important to research rental properties that are of a similar spec, size and target market to yours. You could also get a valuation from a letting agent as well as an understanding of the market you are aiming for. Proximity to amenities such as tube stations will also boost the price.
6. What other responsibilities do I have as a landlord?
There are some other things to consider. You need an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and a Gas Safety record to show all the gas equipment has been checked and certified. You also need to test all the electrical equipment; this is called PAT Testing. If you are supplying furniture and beds, they must comply with the furniture and furnishing legislations to reduce the risk of fire in the property. You may also choose to provide a cleaning service for your tenants. In this case, it is important that you find a cleaner or agency that you trust and agree on what areas of the property will be cleaned with the tenants.
We’ve answered the most common questions we receive from landlords. If you require further details specific to your situation, get in touch with us. Our residential property landlord solicitors can provide you with specialist landlord legal advice and support, to ensure you are making the most out of renting out your property.
Call us now on 0208 520 4555 or fill out our Online Form.
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This post is not legal advice and should not replace professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. It is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.