Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I use a letting agent?
We believe there is real added value to be gained from using an experienced quality agent such as Urban Link Lettings. Our extensive experience of the lettings business and knowledge of the local rental market enables us to give you the very best advice and support, ensuring you achieve the maximum return from your investment and at the same time maintaining the condition of your property.
I want to let out my property; do I need to tell the mortgage lender?
Almost certainly yes! Your lender needs to give you formal ‘Consent to Let’ before you can let out your property and your decision to let may mean that you are put onto a higher Buy-to-Let interest rate. Failing to notify your lender that you are letting out your property will put you in breach of your mortgage agreement.
What is an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a guide that would-be buyers or tenants get when they look at a property. It shows how efficiently a home uses energy, the cost of running a home and recommendations of how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
How do I improve the chances of letting out my property?
The starting point is deciding what tenants you want to attract. Decide whether students, young professionals or families with children are your preferred tenants will help you decide how to prepare your property to let. Plan the layout, decoration and internal features to appeal to your chosen audience.
How do I know how much rent to charge?
It's completely understandable that you want to maximise the return on your investment by charging the highest possible rent. At Urban Link we provide an accurate appraisal of the rental potential for your property, taking into account location, local amenities and the tenants you are looking to attract.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
Deciding whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished is an important factor when determining rental values. If you are likely to attract families or long term tenants they are likely to have their own furniture, whilst students will probably seek furnished accommodation. Always buy good quality, durable furniture that meets fire safety regulations and doesn't break the bank. Sites such as freecyle.org and gumtree.com can be invaluable.
How do I know I am getting a good tenant?
Not all tenants are created equal. Certain tenants will make your life as a landlord a breeze while others will make your life a living nightmare. Taking the time to choose the right tenant for your property can help protect your investment. At Urban Link we provide a full tenant evaluation service and fully reference your tenants to give you peace of mind.
Length of tenancy?
For private rentals, the most common type of tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). These tenancies usually begin as fixed term tenancies where the duration is defined from the outset, typically anywhere from 6 months to three years.
Who has to pay the council tax on the property?
Usually the landlord has to pay the council tax if nobody lives in the property. However, the tenant will have to pay if they have a fixed-term tenancy or lease for six months or more and the tenancy or lease has not yet ended..
Who is responsible for the TV licence, the tenant or the landlord?
If you let your property and you provide a TV for tenants to use, it's your responsibility to make sure that the address has a valid TV Licence. Where the tenant has signed a joint tenancy agreement only one TV licence is required for the entire rental property. If each of the tenants has a separate tenancy agreement, as would be the case for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) the landlord would be required to purchase a separate licence for each tenant.
What is an inventory?
As every deposit taken by a landlord must be registered with an approved scheme, it's important to protect the tenants right to dispute any deductions, and for a landlord to protect their asset by creating proof of the initial and end condition of the property.
What if there is damage?
If your tenant damages any of the contents of your property, you can deduct an amount from the deposit or even take legal action. Your tenant should report to you or your agent any damage to furniture or fittings immediately. You will then both need to agree any replacement or repair and how payment will be made. If your tenant fails to tell you about the damage and replaces or repairs an item without your agreement, then you will be able to identify this when you come to check the inventory.
What happens about insurance when I let out a property?
Building’s insurance is almost always the landlord’s responsibility, as the building belongs to them, and landlords may also want to take out contents insurance – for example if they let a furnished property. If tenants wish to protect their own personal belongings and valuables against threats such as damage and theft, then they will have to take out their own separate protection.
How do I receive my rental income?
Urban Link operates daily rent processing - which means that landlord usually gets paid the next working day. This efficient rent processing improves landlord cashflow with rentals typically being paid within 24 to 48 hours. This differentiates us from other agents who may process rents on a weekly basis.
Do I have to pay income tax on rental income?
You must normally pay income tax on any profit from renting out property you own. Put simply, your profit is the sum left once you've added together your rental income and deducted any allowable expenses or allowances.
If I as the Landlord am living abroad is their any additional things I need to take into account?
If you are moving abroad, or you are already a non-UK resident, there are a number of factors you need to take into consideration when letting your property. Deciding who is going to manage the property is a key consideration - especially when you won't be around to oversee the process. You will have tax obligations dependent upon your residential staus. The income you draw from a rental agreement may need to be converted into a different currency and exchange rate fluctuations could significantly affect the value of the income you receive.