We have compiled a list of common questions and answers asked by landlords. Should you have further questions please don't hesitate to get in contact with your local branch.
- Why should I use a letting agent?
- Who will conduct viewings and do I need to be present?
- How will the value of my property be assessed?
- What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
- What does the No Deposit Option mean for landlords?
- Are there any extra marketing costs?
- How can I improve my chance of letting my property?
- Do I have to tell my mortgage lender?
- Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?
- When will I receive my rent?
- Can I trust my tenants to take good care of my property?
- Who organises repairs and maintenance work?
- What happens if my tenant fails to pay their rent?
- Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?
- What expenses can be deducted from my taxable income?
Why should I use a letting agent?
There are many reasons why using a letting agent is preferable to going it alone in the rental market. For starters, it helps you to create professional distance between yourself and your tenant.
Letting agents have access to a huge pool of potential tenants and are well versed when it comes to marketing a property. It should therefore be much easier to find the right tenant to live in your rental home with the help of an agent.
It also takes the stress out of letting a property as the managing agent will chase rents, assist with deposit disputes, manage any maintenance issues, carry out regular property visits and complete the time-consuming and legally required paperwork.
Providing you choose an agent that is registered with ARLA or a similar industry regulatory body, they will ensure your property is let in accordance with all the latest legislation and guidelines.
Who will conduct viewings and do I need to be present?
At Leaders, our experienced home guides or consultants will be on hand to show people around your property and answer any questions they may have.
There is no need for you to be present at viewings. As long as you have given us a set of keys, we will complete viewings at times to suit any current tenants, and provide you with feedback afterwards.
How will the value of my property be assessed
Our lettings experts will conduct a full evaluation of your property, its decorative condition and how it compares to other properties as well as considering local market conditions before advising you on its monthly rental value. We will advise on how to maximise your rent so that you are able to make the most of your property, as we know your most valuable asset needs to work for you.
What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?
It is a legal requirement for all landlords to place tenant deposits in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. If you opt to let your property through Leaders, we will ensure your tenants’ deposits are lodged in the correct manner within the required timeframes.
What does the No Deposit Option mean for landlords?
By making a property available to NDO tenants, landlords stand to benefit in several ways. Firstly, every rental property marketed under the scheme will be indemnified by Leaders for the equivalent of eight weeks’ rent – that’s 33 per cent more protection than a standard deposit! What’s more, Leaders will handle any discussions with tenants about potential damages. It is also worth noting that with tenants motivated to improve their Experian credit history, many are more likely to pay their rent in full and on time to ensure no black mark is left against their name. Properties marketed under NDO are also likely to attract greater tenant interest, potentially leading to quicker lets.
Landlords should be aware that the process of letting a property remains exactly the same under NDO; it simply comes with the added perks of having an extra 33 per cent protection in the form of Leaders-backed cover and all negotiations with tenants handled by our staff. The tenant is still liable for any damages that are experienced during their tenancy or any cleaning costs incurred upon check-out. Leaders will continue to carry out the inventory and check-out process and liaise with the tenant to resolve any dilapidation issues. Landlords can let with NDO in complete confidence that their interests are protected at all times.
Are there any extra marketing costs?
With Leaders, the fee you pay to let your property will include all marketing costs, so you can expect the advert to appear on Rightmove, Zoopla and other portals without having to pay anything additional towards it.
How can I improve my chance of letting my property?
There are plenty of things you can do to improve the likelihood of your rental property being snapped up by a tenant. Of course, the asking price will be a key factor, but it can also pay to focus on improving the property’s interior, kerb appeal and if applicable it’s garden. Visit your nearest Leaders branch where one of our team will be delighted to advise you on how to enhance your property’s appeal.
Do I have to tell my mortgage lender?
Yes. If your property currently has a homeowner mortgage outstanding on it, you must inform your lender that you wish to let it out.
Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?
It depends entirely on what and where your property is as to whether you should let it furnished or unfurnished as the market will determine what is preferred. It is worth speaking to your local Leaders branch about demand levels for each type of tenancy in your area and working out which option makes sense in your case.
When will I receive my rent?
We pay all our landlords directly via BACS on the working day that their tenants pay the rent, so you will receive the funds shortly after. The date the rent is paid by the tenant will usually be on the date the tenancy began, but does not have to be.
Can I trust my tenants to take good care of my property?
It is impossible to guarantee that your tenants will look after your home in the way you would hope, but at Leaders we pride ourselves on choosing quality tenants for our landlord’s properties. Indeed, we place tremendous focus on analysing the prospective tenants for each of the properties we are letting, which we believe helps our landlords to enjoy a low number of dispute cases.
As part of our Fully Managed Service, an expert from the local branch will carry out regular visits to check on the condition of the property and report back with their findings.
Who organises repairs and maintenance work?
If we are instructed to manage your property, we will take full responsibility for its upkeep all the while we are acting as your managing agent. We have an extensive database of trusted tradesmen, suppliers and contractors who can be called into action when your property needs to be repaired or vital maintenance work is required.
What happens if my tenant fails to pay their rent?
If you have instructed Leaders on either a full management or rent collection service, we will chase all late and unpaid rents on your behalf and we are proud of the low rate of arrears experienced by our landlords.
However, many landlords opt to seek further protection by insuring themselves against the threat of a tenant failing to pay their rent. For this purpose we offer our Premier Service and Rent Guarantee which protects landlords against the threat of unpaid rent and legal fees. We will cover the legal expenses associated with obtaining possession of your property up to £10,000 in any one claim.
Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?
You will have to pay tax on any profit made from your rented property. You can deduct your day-to-day running expenses (including any agents’ fees) before preparing your tax return, so it is important to store your financial records securely.
It is recommended that you use a qualified accountant to assist with your tax returns, particularly if you have more than one property.
What expenses can be deducted from my taxable income?
All profit from income generated through letting is taxable, but there are several deductions that can be made to reduce your tax burden.
Among the costs that are tax deductible are those incurred when repainting, replacing damaged furniture, purchasing building and contents insurance, cleaning and gardening, replacing water pipes and depreciation of a furnished property, which can be around ten per cent of the gross rental income. Again it is recommended that you use a qualified account to assist with this.