Looking to let out your property in St Albans? Below we answer some of the most commonly asked question by landlords. If you need any further information, please contact our expert lettings team today who’ll be happy to help.
If you’re renting out your property, a letting agent can come in really useful. We’ll market it extensively to attract as many prospective tenants as possible, and we’ll also carry out viewings on your behalf. We vet all tenants carefully, and can handle all other aspects of the tenancy as part of our property management service, if required.
We offer a comprehensive property management service, which covers everything from maintenance and repairs, to dealing with tenant queries and collecting rent. Our clients agree that it’s a worthwhile investment, as it makes the tenancy process far simpler, and much less stressful.
You’ll need to let your mortgage lender know straight away if you intend to rent out your property. They may require you to swap to a buy-to-let mortgage, or may add special conditions upon the terms of your existing loan.
It’s a good idea to obtain a rental valuation before you start searching for tenants. This gives you a realistic idea of what rental rate you should charge, based on the condition of the property, its size, the facilities, and the current market. We offer a free, no-obligation valuation service – get in touch with our team for more details.
It’s not a legal requirement to produce an inventory. However, this document can come in extremely useful, especially in the event of a dispute arising at the end of the tenancy. An inventory provides details about the condition of the property (and its contents) before the tenant moves in, and can be used as proof if anything is damaged thereafter.
As a landlord, you’ll be required to take on certain responsibilities. These include: Ensuring the property is safe and hazard-free, making sure gas and electrical equipment are properly installed and regularly checked, and ensuring the property is habitable. You can find out more about your responsibilities on the GOV.UK website.
Basic house insurance is unlikely to provide adequate cover, so it’s worthwhile getting specialist landlord insurance instead. This means your property and contents are protected – though it’s important your tenant understands that their belongings won’t be covered under this insurance plan.
As a landlord, it’s your right to carry out routine visits (to check the property’s condition etc.). In order to do so, you’ll need to provide your tenants with written notice, at least 24 hours beforehand.
It’s a legal requirement to provide your tenants with an EPC. This contains details of the property’s energy efficiency, and will give the building a rating from A to G. Properties must have a rating of E or above.
The tenant is responsible for most of the bills (council tax, utilities etc.) unless expressly stated otherwise in the contract. However, if you provide a television as part of the tenancy, it’s usually your responsibility to pay the licence fee.
In most cases, tenants accept responsibility and cover the costs involved with making repairs. If they don’t, you’re legally permitted to deduct the appropriate amount from their deposit.
It’s unusual for a tenant to fail to pay the rent, particularly with us as your letting agents, as we vet them carefully beforehand. However, on the off-chance that it does happen, the first thing to do is contact the tenant and see if the issue can be resolved. You may also want to take out a protection insurance plan, which will cover the rental payments for a specified period of time, guaranteeing that you’re not left out of pocket.
If it’s a rolling contract, all you’ll need to do is provide your tenant with notice that you’re ending the tenancy. If it’s a fixed-term contract, but you’ve got good reason to ask them to leave, you’re legally permitted to do so.
It’s worthwhile working with an intermediary service, to see if the issue can be resolved. Legal action may be required if you decide to evict the tenant, but thankfully, this scenario is incredibly rare. Our property management services ensure that you don’t have to go through the stress of dealing with this situation – we’ll handle it all on your behalf.