Should the property be Furnished or Unfurnished?
Generally smaller properties such as flats & studio let faster in a furnished condition. You must be aware that any furniture must comply with legal requirements and will need to be maintained or replaced as necessary. However if you are considering letting a property as “unfurnished”, tenants do expect a cooker, fridge/freezer, carpets curtains & light fittings.
The property should be ready for immediate occupation, so is advisable to address any outstanding repairs and make sure the property is in a safe condition, remove any clutter and apply a fresh coat of paint.
It is essential that Electrical, Gas, Plumbing and waste, Central Heating and Hot Water Systems comply with regulations and are in good repair.
Ask a qualified Electrician to test all the electrics and any portable appliance (Portable Appliance Testing) at the property, depending on the condition of the electrics the Electrician will either issue you with a 5 or 10 year certificate.
Gas Safety Certificates
If you have gas, a certificate needs to be obtained from a ‘Gas Safe Registered’ engineer and need to be renewed every 12 months. If possible it would be best to purchase a carbon monoxide detector(s).
If the property is on private drainage (Septic Tank / Cesspit) please ensure that the system has been emptied before a Tenancy Commences and all relevant records and receipts have been kept.
If your property has either a working open fire or wood — burning stove, make sure that it is safe for Rental Purposes and has been swept, again keeping all receipts and records as proof.
It is advisable to purchase a small fire extinguisher, fire blanket and a smoke detector for the kitchen and that hallways, stairs and landings also have a smoke detector fitted. Any furniture should be flame retardant.
If you are leaving any appliances (e.g. Washing Machine, Cooker etc.) or Central Heating System it is important to leave the Instruction Manuals at the property, if they are not available leave clear instructions (preferably typed) are required.
It is important to get the Building Insured as a rental property, also it is advisable to insure the contents of the property for example (carpets, curtains, kitchen units).
Contact your Mortgage Lender to obtain consent, as your payments may change.
If you are going to rent your property out and are living overseas it is important that you complete a ‘Non UK Resident Landlords Certificate’ for a Tax Exemption Certificate. This form can be filled out on the HMRC website. You must provide us with a FICO number or we will have to deduct Tax from your rental income.
Who is responsible for the utilities and council tax?
These are the tenants responsibility.
I am a Leaseholder. Will the tenant pay the Service Charge?
No the Landlord must pay.
What about Tax?
You should speak with to an accountant about any tax implications as this depends on your personal circumstances. We are obliged to send the Inland Revenue details of your rental income annually.