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Landlords Information

How long will it be before my property is rented? Compass main aim is to attract the right tenant and will ensure the property is marketed before it becomes vacant therefore avoiding any long periods where the landlord is without rent. Income Tax When the landlord is resident in the UK, it is entirely his or hers responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. However, where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under new rules effective from 6th April 1996, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as landlord’s agents are obliged to retain  and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received, less certain expenses. Further information can be obtained from the Inland Revenue website. Consent from Lender to Freeholder If the property to be let is subject to a mortgage or other loan, it is usually necessary for the landlord to obtain permission from the lender. The landlord must continue to make arrangements for loan repayments as we cannot accept responsibility. If the property is leasehold, you may need to obtain permission from the Freeholder or managing agent before the property is let. Important Safety Regulations The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the Landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as agents. Therefore to protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the owner’s expense. Gas Appliances & Equipment Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and the Gas Safe Register which came into force 1st April 2009 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by  a competent engineer (e.g. Gas Safe Registered). Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out. Electrical Appliances & Equipment There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these effect landlords and their agents in that they are ‘supplying in the course of business’. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the  Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulations - ‘Part P’, and British Standards BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the  case of gas appliances), it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of  neglecting your ‘duty of care’, is to arrange such an inspection and certificate. Furniture & Furnishings The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specific items supplied in the course of letting property  must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery  furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, and non-original covers  for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillow cases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. EPC Certificates From 1st October 2008 the EU Energy Performance of Building Directive (EPBD) mandates that a Landlord must provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for new tenants. If you are renting out your property (buy to let), you will need to provide a certificate to any perspective tenant. The EPC once obtained, is valid for 10 years, thus if a Valid Energy Performance Certificate still exists when changing tenants a new certificate is not required. Compass can arrange for an EPC to be carried out on your behalf, please ask for further details. Tenancy Deposit Scheme As from the 6th April 2007 the government implemented the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, part of the new legislation governing residential lettings from the Housing Act 2004. It is now mandatory for the deposit or bond for a property to be paid to a third party who will resolve any disputes if there are any regarding the return of this money at the end of the tenancy. This is seen as a fair way of ensuring that a tenant or whoever pays a deposit is entitled to get all or part of it back and the end of the tenancy. Where tenancies are created on or after the 6th April 2007 there will be a legal obligation on the landlord to pay the deposit or ‘bond’ obtained for the property to a Government accredited Scheme Administrator who will hold it securely throughout the duration of the tenancy. The Landlord must advise the tenant within 14 days which accredited scheme the deposit is lodged with. Insurance You should ensure that you are suitable covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. Money Laundering Under the Money Laundering Regulations 2003, both landlords and tenants are required to provide identity and proof of residency. Preparing The Property For Letting We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth running agency. As Property Managers the relationship part is our job, but it is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenant applicants too. At Compass we firmly believe quality properties attract quality tenants. General Condition Electrical, gas, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord’s expense unless misuse can be established. Appliances Similarly, appliances such as washing machines, fridge/freezers, cookers, dishwashers etc., should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord’s expense unless misuse can be established. Decorations Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferable, plain, light and neutral. Furnishing There is no monetary difference between letting a furnished or unfurnished property. However we recommend that you leave only a minimum furnishings and these should be of reasonable quality. If you are leaving your property unfurnished then we recommend that the property contains carpets, curtains and a cooker. Personal Item, Ornament etc. Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. Should be removed from the premises especially those of real sentimental value. All cupboard and shelf space should be left empty for the tenant’s own use. Gardens Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard. Cleaning At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant’s responsibility to leave the property in similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense. Mail Forwarding We recommend that you make use of the Post Office redirection service. Applications forms are available at their counters or visit, and the cost is minimal. It is not the tenant’s responsibility to forward mail. Information For The Tenant If is helpful if you leave information for the tenant on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc. Keys You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we are managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
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