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 us.
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 Open House, 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 Open House, we will ensure your tenants’ deposits are lodged in the correct manner within the required timeframes.
Are there any extra marketing costs?
With Open House, 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. Contact us, we 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 us 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 Open House 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 our 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 Open House 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.