Here we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about working with us, letting a property or renting as a tenant.
Who is responsible for what?
As a rule of thumb the landlord is responsible for exterior and interior maintenance. The tenant has a responsibility to show duty of care to the property and contents. The tenant will be responsible for the council tax, gas, water, electric and telephone accounts. The landlord will remain responsible for buildings insurance and any other outgoings.
Do I need insurance?
Insurers must be notified of the letting of your property so that the policy on the structure and contents may be endorsed. Insurance will be invalid if insurers are not correctly informed. Beresford Ward also advises that insurance specific to contents cover is arranged to protect against possible damage by tenants as we cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to the contents while the property is let.
Who is responsible for paying tax?
It is necessary to prepare accounts each year on all properties let, whether they are furnished or unfurnished. Your accounts should be presented to the Inland Revenue indicating what taxation liability might arise. Tax liability is assessed on the tax year running from 6th to 5th April.
You are able to claim many allowances when letting your property that can be deducted from your profit. Such allowances include letting agent fees, solicitor fees, accountant fees, maintenance and repair work carried out during the letting or wear and tear allowance, lease hold, ground rent and service agreements on central heating and other appliances. Mortgage interest can also be offset. You should contact your tax accountant for accurate information.
The responsibility of payment of tax depends on whether the landlord lives in the UK or abroad. If the landlord lives in the UK then the Inland Revenue will assess them for the appropriate tax. If the landlord is abroad then the letting agent will be assessed for tax and we will be responsible for paying it on their behalf on a quarterly basis direct to the Inland Revenue at the current rate of tax of the net rental income.
Since the introduction of self-assessment it is now possible for landlords to apply for an exemption certificate by completing a “Non Resident Landlord Form” allowing the agent to continue paying the rental income without deduction of tax.
How do I receive rental?
Rents are usually paid on a calendar monthly basis in advance. An account is then raised within a seven-day period and commission deducted along with any relevant charges applicable. Payments are then sent to your bank account and an itemised statement to your address.
Should I tell my mortgage company?
Yes. If you have a residential mortgage you must seek permission (consent to let) from your lender and fees may apply. For full details contact your mortgage lender.
It is usual for the following parameters to apply:
- In some cases a higher rate of interest may be charged
- In some cases your mortgage company will levy an administration charge
- References and tenancies may have to be seen by the mortgage company before granting permission
- The mortgagors may insist on the correct documentation to ensure reoccupation. They may also insist on the management being conducted by a recognised body such as a member of the National Association of Estate Agents (N.A.E.A) and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
- It is usual for a length of time to be set that the property can be let for.
- Permission will usually be given only if the mortgage account has been managed to the lenders satisfaction
What are the fire regulations?
Please contact a Senior member of our team for more information regarding legal fire regulations.
What are the electrical and gas regulations?
Please contact a Senior member of our team for more information regarding legal electrical and fire regulations.