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Landlords‘ FAQs

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Landlord FAQs

How long will it take to let my property?

Whilst we understand that getting your property let quickly is essential to your income flow, we always emphasise the importance of finding the right tenant.  We aim to find you a tenant within two weeks, but in some cases securing you the right tenant and carrying out all the necessary legal and affordability checks may take a bit longer.

Do you choose the tenant for me?

When someone enquires about your property, our vetting process begins.  Our ‘Passport to view’ allows us to ensure that we will only book a viewing for a tenant we have pre-qualified.  This protects you and your property.  After viewing your property, we will contact you as soon as we have a viable application.  Although we will guide you on every application received, you decide which applicant you would like to be your actual tenant.  For more see ‘Getting your property rented – How does it all work?‘

What certificates are needed to let my property?

Your property will need to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), an Electrical Safety Certificate (EICR), and, where there is gas at the property, a Landlord Gas Safety Certificate (LGSC).  As a landlord you have a legal responsibility to ensure your property is safe.  We can arrange all of these certifications for you in a timely manner.  Legally, a landlord must also supply information about the property (for example, for an apartment, details of the management company and any restrictions) and installations at the property (for example, boiler and appliance manuals)

Why do I need to have certificates in place prior to you marketing my property?

Having all the certificates are in place ensures that we can sign up your tenant and get your property investment working for you.  Legally a tenancy cannot be created if certificates are outstanding. Bringing your property to the market with certifications already in place ensures that any potential remedial works have already been identified and addressed.  Unfortunately, a delay in creating the tenancy due to contractor availability could very well mean the loss of an excellent potential tenant for your property.   

What documents will I need to put my property on the market?

In addition to all the necessary certifications for the property itself, you will need to provide documents to verify your ID and proof of ownership of the property. For more details on what documents are acceptable, contact us. We will also ask you to sign our Agency Agreement prior to commencing work for your property. For a no obligation chat with one of our dedicated lettings valuers click here

Do I need to tell my mortgage lender that I am going to let my property?

Yes.  It’s important that you contact your lender as soon as you are thinking of becoming a landlord.

Do I need special insurance for my rental property?

Yes.  You must have a landlord policy in place which will cover both the building and the contents such as the carpets, fitted kitchen etc.  However, we can help you with setting up the landlord policy best suited to your property.  Incidentally, you do not need cover for your tenant’s personal possessions.  That is something we will guide your tenant on. 

How do I maximise the rental income from my property?

We understand that you want to achieve the maximum rent possible for your property and keep your expenses in check.  Our dedicated valuers have up-to-date knowledge of the local lettings market and will guide you on what is the maximum realistic, achievable rent.  Whilst location, location, location will strongly influence the level of rent, to maximise the chances of your property letting quickly, it’s important to present your property in a ‘move-in’ condition with all legal certifications already in place.  Viewers need to be able to visualise themselves making your property their home.  For a no obligation chat with one of our dedicated lettings valuers click here.

What does ‘move-in‘ condition mean?

Exactly as it says!  The property must have décor which is fresh, modern fixtures and fittings, and be sparkling clean.   Anything else sends the wrong message and a good tenant simply won’t apply for a property that looks like the landlord doesn’t care.  We will showcase your property on various portals using quality photographs, floor plans and virtual tours to generate viewing interest, but first impressions at the property are paramount in a viewer’s decision to make your property their home.

Presumably the tenant pays the bills for the property?

Your tenant is responsible for all the utility bills, the council tax, TV licence and internet access throughout the duration of the tenancy.  You assume responsibility for these between tenancies. Service charges on flats and apartments are always a landlord responsibility. 

What happens if my tenant doesn‘t pay their rent?

Whilst your tenant will be thoroughly vetted before the tenancy starts, a tenant’s personal circumstances can change during the tenancy meaning that they may struggle to pay all of their rent.  Although our dedicated Accounts Team will diligently pursue your tenant to secure the rent, we recommend that our landlords consider putting appropriate protection in place.  To give you peace of mind, we can offer a comprehensive rent guarantee and legal expenses cover.

How will you pay me my rent?

After your tenant moves in, they are required to pay their rent on the same day each month.  For our landlords opting for our Fully Managed or Rent Collect services, we process the rent as soon as it is received from your tenant.  You will receive your rental income from us via bank transfer, after deduction of our charges and any contractor invoices. 

Can tenants carry out alterations or re-decorate my property?

You are protected by our tenancy agreement which states that tenants cannot decorate or make alterations without permission.  However, tenants can make requests which we will discuss with you and, if you agree, we will ensure that the work they are looking to carry out is properly documented.

Will you inspect my property?

We pride ourselves in being the agent who really does carry out regular inspections.  For landlords opting for our fully managed service, we do a minimum of two inspections a year, occasionally more should we feel this is necessary at any point.  We use dedicated software for our inspection process ensuring that you can receive our emailed written and photographic report straightaway.

What happens when a repair is needed?

All properties need repairs from time to time and getting things fixed is a landlord’s responsibility.  However, where we manage your property for you, we will handle everything.  Your tenant reports their repair to us via our 24/7 online repair reporting facility ‘Report a repair’.  Not only does this allow your tenant to report their issues at a time to suit them, it also gives helpful information to guide your tenant on some basic checks they can make themselves first.  Why not check it out? ‘Report a repair’

Do I need to budget for repairs?

We strongly recommend that you have a contingency for unexpected repairs, especially larger expenses such as a boiler breakdown.  Why not consider the Paul Carr Landlord 24 Hour Emergency Boiler Care policy?  You can have peace of mind for a little as £16 per month ‘Paul Carr Landlord 24 Hour Emergency Boiler Care’

Is the upkeep of the garden my responsibility or does my tenant have to look after it?

Your tenant is required to maintain the garden including cutting the grass, weeding, light pruning and keeping hedges trimmed.  However, as a landlord, it is your responsibility to maintain trees, carry out heavier and higher pruning, and look after fences.  In certain circumstances (for example, if your property has a particularly large, mature garden), you may prefer to include the services of a gardener for all the garden maintenance, but this would be at your cost. 

Do you have contractors, or can I use my own?

Our Property Management team work with a variety of tried and tested, value-for-money contractors covering various trades.  Instructing one of our contractors ensures that we have influence over both the timescale and the standard of the job.  However, we can liaise with your contractor, if preferred.

What happens if my tenant damages my property?

Most tenants look after a property as if it were their own.  It’s their home after all.   Occasionally damage occurs though, often accidentally.  To protect your interests, we take a suitable security deposit for every tenancy and protect this under the government scheme The Tenancy Deposit Scheme www.tenancydepositscheme.com.  We also undertake a detailed written and photographic inventory of your property.  The tenant’s deposit is retained until the end of the tenancy and is not released until a thorough check-out inspection has been carried out by reference to the inventory.  This ensures that any deposit negotiations are based on irrefutable facts.

How long will my tenant stay and what happens if I need my property back?

Every tenancy is set up for an initial fixed term.  Often this is for an initial 12 months.  With our fully managed service, we contact both you and your tenant well in advance of the expiry of the fixed term to find out whether you both want the let to continue.  Opting for a new fixed term gives you the security of a guaranteed level of income and the knowledge of a tenant who has demonstrated that they are a good tenant with an established payment record.  However, should you decide that you wish to sell, or possibly move back into the property yourself, we are experienced in preparing and serving legal notice with all accompanying prescribed documents.  Our Renewals Team will guide you.

Why should I opt for a fully managed service?

We appreciate that landlords are often very competent individuals who could make a decent attempt at a variety of different things in life.  However, a notion that being a landlord is ‘simples’ and nothing more than handing over a set of keys and getting a credit in your bank account every month is misguided.   In the last 10 years alone there have been around 20 new pieces of legislation for landlords to comply with.  How would you know you’re doing things right? We constantly keep legislative changes under review and guide our landlords on how to stay compliant.  Whilst our detailed Tenancy Agreement is carefully drafted to protect you, by acting as your agent in all the multifarious issues which can arise, we also form an important and valuable buffer between you and your tenant.  The landlord/tenant relationship can get emotive at times, often due to misunderstandings about where the boundaries of rights and responsibilities lie.  By opting for a fully managed service, you avoid time-consuming, difficult situations, awkward conversations, and the stress of having to be contactable 24/7. 

Are you an ARLA Agent?

Yes.  ARLA is the Association of Residential Lettings Agents.  By choosing to place your business with us you can be assured of a professional agent and a quality service.  Additionally, all letting agents are required to be a member of a Redress Scheme and to have Client Money Protection.  We belong to The Property Ombudsman Ltd and Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme.  

How much will it cost me to use you as my agent?

All letting agents are legally required to disclose their fees and this information must be readily available.  We offer three tiers of service and the details of what is included within each tier is outlined in our ‘Scale of Charges to Landlords’.  However, the best idea is for us to talk together. This gives us the opportunity to better understand what you are looking for from your agent and explore with you the service option best suited to your needs.  We’d be delighted to help you understand what it may cost you if you don’t use us as your agent.  For a no obligation chat with one of our dedicated lettings valuers.

0121 726 9421
landlord@paulcarrlettings.co.uk

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