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Landlord FAQs

Pre-Marketing

How much will it cost me to let my property?

As a Landlord you could have the following expenses:

  • Finding a tenant.
  • Complying with legislation such as having a valid energy performance certificate (EPC), gas safety certificate, electrical installation condition report etc carried out.
  • Having an inventory and schedule of condition report carried out.
  • Service charge for leasehold properties.
  • Some landlords can take a management package which is a percentage of the rent received. This fee will cover rent collection and inspections etc.

Please see our terms of business for full costs and fees.

Are there any additional marketing costs?

Some estate agents charge extra for additional advertising and marketing but most agents will include all marketing they carry out in their commission fee, so it’s always worth checking before you instruct an estate agent.

How long does it take to find a tenant?

On average it takes a few weeks to find a tenant. The speed at which a tenant is found is dependent on the type of property, location and the amount of rent asked. Over the years the market has remained strong and the number of prospective tenants is increasing. As important as speed is the type of tenant and their situation is also important. Landlords should be choosing the right tenant not necessarily the first tenant.

What can I do to attract the best tenants?

It is not essential to redecorate your property before placing it on the market, however, if an area is in need of a lick of paint, this will appeal to potential tenants. A good and clean property will always attract the good tenants!

During Tenancy

How long does it take to receive my rent once paid by the tenant?

As per our terms and conditions, we must, as an agent, pay your rent within 5 working days of cleared funds, however we will transfer your rent into your account the same day the rent is due whenever possible.

What happens if my tenant stops paying their rent?

The agent will contact the tenant seeking the reason for the non-payment and stress the importance of clearing the arrears and paying the rent in the future. It may be possible to implement an instalment plan to collect the arrears. Subject to referencing, you can purchase Rent Guarantee Insurance which will cover your arrears and the eviction of your tenant.

I am worried my property is going to get damaged, what happens in this situation?

The tenant is obligated by the tenancy agreement to compensate you for damages to your property that are caused by their negligence or misuse. To help protect you, a property inspection is vital to show you the general upkeep of your property. A comprehensive inventory combined with a protected security deposit will help to reimburse for damage up to the cost of the deposit. For damage above this figure your Rent Guarantee Insurance may cover your claim depending on the policy. You will still have the right to pursue the tenant for damages.

What if I want to move back into my property or sell it?

The tenant can be served a legal notice (Section 21) which gives them 2 months’ notice to vacate the property without any reason to end the fixed date tenancy. Should the tenant fail to vacate by the date specified in the Section 21 notice, you will then be able to proceed to the court for an eviction notice.

Landlords

What organisations are letting agents associated with?

Before choosing an agent, confirm if they are members of our professional body Propertymark ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). All Propertymark ARLA agent’s client accounts are insured, and the members adhere to a strict code of practice with a complaint’s procedure.

What services do you offer?

At Fisks we offer either a Let Only service, Rent Collection or a Letting and Management service.

  • Let Only
    This service provides the more experienced landlord with the ability for us to find, credit check and reference a tenant as well as prepare the tenancy agreement and associated paperwork. The landlord is responsible for logging the security deposit and conducts their own management of the property thereafter.
  • Rent Collection
    This service provides everything the Let Only service does, but additionally we will collect the monthly rent and disburse this to the landlord each month and chase any arrears.
  • Letting and Management
    This service covers all aspects of management including inventories, periodic inspections, deposit registration and general day to day services that go towards managing a property on behalf of a landlord. Please see our management services.

Who will conduct viewings on my property?

We will accompany all prospective tenant viewings and if the current tenant is still in situ, we can liaise with them to enable the viewing to take place. This process can help reduce a void period on your property.

How much is the deposit and who keeps it?

All deposits must be logged with one of the 3 deposit protection schemes and must not exceed the equivalent of 5 weeks of the monthly rent. The deposit must be registered within 30 days of either the start of the tenancy or the date the deposit is received from the tenant (whichever is earlier) and any disputes are handled by the deposit schemes adjudicators. For Fisks managed properties, the deposit will be logged with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).

Do I need an inventory?

To help a claim against the tenant’s security deposit, an inventory needs to be agreed on every new move in. This must show the condition of the property so that an adjudicator can make a ruling in case of a dispute.

Who is responsible for insuring what?

A landlord is responsible for insuring the property. A tenant is responsible for insuring their own contents. You are under a duty to mitigate your own losses and any failure on your part to have adequate insurances is your responsibility and not your tenants. We would advise checking the scope of cover provided, especially in relation to a leak and flood damage in apartment blocks as it is not unusual for damage to your property (including walls, ceilings, floors and kitchen units) from leaks and floods not to be covered by buildings insurance, but your own contents insurance.
Ensure your policy includes public liability cover. Leaks from one apartment to another are rarely covered by buildings insurance.

Who is responsible for repairing and maintaining goods within a property?

As a landlord you have a legal obligation to maintain the structure of the building, the sanitation and the supply of services. In addition, should any item left in the property require replacing or repairing through fair wear and tear, then a landlord, under the terms of the tenancy agreement, would be expected to deal with this. Certain items can be ‘gifted’ to the tenant and therefore are not the landlord’s responsibility as they are not in the tenancy agreement. This must be discussed with your agent before the tenancy commences.

Do I have to pay tax?

As a landlord you will be liable to pay tax on any income generated from letting your property less any proper expenses. The amount of tax that you pay will depends on your own circumstances. If you are overseas for more than 6 months in a tax year you will be regarded as a non-resident landlord and current legislation requires us to deduct and pay tax to HMRC at the basic rate, unless we are in receipt of an exemption letter from HMRC. Once we are notified by HMRC that you are exempt we will no longer need to deduct tax. Where there are joint landlords, including married couples, an exemption letter is required for each landlord. If you have any questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Lettings Valuation

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