- Should the property be Furnished or Unfurnished?
Flexibility is the key; we find that our long term Tenant enquiries tend to look for unfurnished properties, especially if they are moving from countries such as Germany, France, Italy and America where unfurnished lettings are most common. If storage is lacking in the property you may be asked to provide additional wardrobes or a storage solution. We find that there is no real difference in the rent you are likely to achieve if you choose to let the property unfurnished. Unfurnished letting is the simpler option for most Landlords as you do not have the expense of furnishing or replacing furniture due to Tenant wear and tear.
- What is an EPC?
From 1st October 2008, all rental properties are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC is a report that details the energy efficiency and environmental impact of your property. The EPC is valid for ten years and a copy must be available free to all prospective tenants.
Part Three of the Regulations outline that all private sector Landlords must not grant a new tenancy of a property (including an extension or renewal) they let after 1 April 2018 and must not continue to let the property (on an existing tenancy) after 1 April 2020, where the EPC is below the minimum level of energy efficiency for private rented properties of band E. NB: Since October 2015, where a Landlord has not provided an assured shorthold Tenant with an EPC, they will not be able to evict them using a Section 21 Notice.
- Do I need an Inventory?
Yes, prior to the start of the tenancy after the pre tenancy professional cleaning, we would always recommend that you employ the services of an independent inventory clerk to produce the inventory report. The report will detail the fixtures, fitting and furnishings together with a schedule of conditions and the meter readings at the commencement of the tenancy. The inventory report can then be used for the inventory check out at the end of the tenancy.
- Do I have to protect the Tenant’s Deposit?
This will depend on the type of tenancy; the Letting Agent will advise you in writing when the terms of the letting are agreed, this will also be stated in the tenancy agreement. If the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) the most common form of tenancy in the England and Wales. Then Tenants deposit will be subject to the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDPS). This is a government approved scheme that requires by law that the Tenants deposit to be protected by one of the two insurance based schemes or the custodial scheme. The Landlord can hold the deposit or pass it on to the custodial scheme, as long as it is registered with the TDPS. If the Letting Agent as Stakeholder is asked to hold the tenancy deposit in their Client’s bank account it will be registered with the TDS. In addition Paul Lee & Company has Client Money Protection (CMP). This is an insurance scheme that covers any money handled by the Letting Agent. Our CMP is provided by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA Propertymark), the UK's government recognised professional body for Letting Agents.
- Do I have to have the property professionally cleaned?
Yes, for a happy Tenant and peace of mind we would always advise that you have the property professionally cleaned. It is essential that all outstanding works are completed before the inventory clerk's inspection and prior to the commencement of a tenancy.
- Who are the Tenants?
Many of our Tenants come by word of mouth recommendations from satisfied Tenants and Landlords who feel that we cared and provided the best possible service. Our property listings attract Tenants from professions including Legal, Financial, Media, Broadcasting, and Academics, both on corporate and a private basis. We also have established excellent working relationships with many varied international companies, foreign embassies, and relocation agents.
- Does the Property need to be managed?
Ask yourself this, do I have the time to deal with the Tenants complaining of a leaking washing machine or the boiler breaking down? If you have answered No, then yes you will need the property to be managed. We offer a professional management service that is designed to take care of the property and any Tenant reported problems. We have access to reliable tradesmen so that we can arrange repairs and estimates at short notice if necessary.
- What is a Landlords gas safety check?
The Gas Safety Certificate is a legally required annual report provided to the Tenant by the Landlord, to ensure that any gas appliance (boiler, gas hob/oven, gas fire) is operating safely in the property. The inspection and report is only available from a Gas Safe Registered gas engineer.
- Do I need consent to let out my property?
This will depend if you are the freeholder or leaseholder. If you own the freehold with no mortgage then no permissions or consents would be required. If you have a leasehold property, then you must check your lease or contact the freeholder and/or their appointed Managing Agent, to enquire if you require their written permission for sub-letting the property. If you have a mortgage on the property, you should contact the lender as their written consent may also be a requirement of the terms of the mortgage.
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