Q. Do I have to let my mortgage lender know my intention to let the property?
Yes. Your mortgage lender needs to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions i.e (a slight increase in interest rate and the use of an accredited agent using short assured tenancy). If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may be able to obtain a buy to let mortgage.
Q. When do I have to register as a landlord?
You must register as a landlord with your local authority prior to your property being advertised. Current legislation states you must be a fit and proper person and your landlord registration number must be included in all adverts.
Q. Why should I use a letting agent and how can I choose the right one?
Using an accredited agent i.e. LAS, SAL or ARLA should give you peace of mind they are professional in the business and have achieved the training required to expertise within the letting industry. Being accredited is also recognised by your mortgage lenders.When choosing the correct agent you must look for value, professionalism and a dedicated team.
Q. How do I know what my rental value should be?
Give our expert team a call at A&S Properties and we shall be delighted to come visit and advise what your rental value would be but also give you free advice on what is expected within your property to comply with legislation.
Q. How do I receive my rent?
At A&S Properties we guarantee same day rent transfer to the Landlord via BACS transfer, along with an emailed statement. Majority of rents are collected on the 1st of each calendar month, however 70% of rents are paid before the 1st of each month and Landlords are paid before due date.
Q. Who is responsible for paying the utility bills and council tax etc.?
Once the tenant has signed the tenancy agreement, they shall then be held responsible for all utilities and council tax bills. The inventory provider shall record meter readings via photograph stamped with date and time. Our team will contact local authorities and provide them with details of the new tenants moving in the property.
Q. What happens if something breaks down or a repair is required?
We work along with a network of local tradesman who can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Quotes would be obtained and bypassed via the Landlord before any repairs being carried out, unless it is an emergency situation.
Q. What if the tenant breaks or damages the property?
Either the tenant pays to fix the damage, or the cost for fixing the damage is removed from the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Q. How often is the property inspected?
After the tenancy is signed, the first inspection will be carried out within a month and thereafter quarterly.
Q. Can I enter my property during the tenancy?
Entry to the property can only be done after issuing the appropriate notice to the tenant.
Q. What if the tenant doesn't pay the rent?
A&S Properties acting as your agent, shall pursue the tenant within 48 hours of rent arrears via telephone and e-mail. Thereafter, rent arrear notices shall be issued on day 4 and door visits shall begin if tenant has not been in contact. After 28 days, we would recommend the arrears to be handed over to a legal team. At A&S Properties, we recommend the Landlord to take out rent guarantee insurance from as little as £10 per month which would cover all rent arrears and legal expenses.
Q. What if I want to remove my tenant?
You would contact our office and ask our team to issue the current tenants with a 2 months’ notice to quit. If the tenant refuses to vacate the property, legal action will be required.
Q. What is required for compliance health and safety within my property?
The following compliance must be carried out and provided to the tenant prior to a tenancy being signed. The information must be included within the TIP (Tenant information pack) in accordance with Scottish Legislation… at A&S Properties we can have the following compliance works carried out removing all the hassle away from you the Landlord. We can negotiate you special discounted rates from our network of local accredited tradesmen with no extra charges…
EPC: An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it and values must be shown within all advertising.
Gas Safe Certificate: A Gas Safety Record (GSR) is in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. A qualified Gas Safe Register engineer must carry it out and issue a certificate. This needs to be checked every 12 months and a working Co2 detector must be in place and changed every 5 years.
EICR: An Electrical Installation Condition Report is in place to make sure all electrical wiring, fuse boards; sockets and switches are in safe working order. A qualified Select Electrician must carry it out and issue a certificate. This must be carried out every 5 Years.
P.A.T: You have a duty to you tenant(s) ensuring that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT certificate) so you can be sure you are compliant should be carried out annually.
Legionella Testing: Recent changes to the HSE guidance have highlighted to many individuals the fact they need to perform risk assessments for legionella control in properties that they lease. These include duty holders towards your tenants within your property, landlords, and individuals affected by changes in legislation relating to the control of Legionella. The period of checks can vary after initial inspection from annually to every two years depending on risk.
Fire Safety& Furniture: The Scottish Government has produced revised statutory guidance on the requirements for smoke alarms. A copy of the revised statutory guidance is available on the PRHP website by visiting www.prhpscotland.gov.uk.
However, the main points relative to smoke detectors are as follows.
The revised Domestic Technical Handbook guidance states there should be at least:
- One functioning smoke alarm in the room frequently used by the occupants for general daytime living purposes,
- One functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space, such as hallways and landings
- One heat alarm in every kitchen
- All alarms should be interlinked
Any upholstered furnishings provided by you the landlord should be fire resistant.
Upholstered furniture includes:
- Sofas, Sofa Beds, Futons and Armchairs
- Beds, headboards and mattresses
- Loose and stretch covers for furniture including cushions and seat pads
- Curtain and Blinds
Inventory Condition Reports:
An inventory is a list of everything in the property that you are renting to your tenant (for example, furniture, carpets and curtains, kitchenware) and its condition also health and safety e.g. Smoke alarms and detectors.
An inventory can help avoid a dispute because it proves what state the property was in when your tenant moved there .In particular, it can help if a dispute is lodged with a tenancy deposit scheme or PHRP (Private Housing Rental Panel).
It is in your best interest to provide an independent inventory because if anything is broken or damaged while you tenants are living there; the inventory shows it was not broken before your tenant moved in the property. On the other hand, if anything in the property is already damaged, the inventory proves you have made them aware.
Q. Does a Landlord need to pay tax on rental income?
All Landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue's website
Q. Do we screen Tenants
Tenants are all fully credit and reference checked.
Q. I'm looking for a place to rent, what should I do?
Before choosing a property to rent, take into account of your budget and your income every month. Remember when signing up for a property, you will have to pay a deposit upfront.
Q. I've seen a place I like, what should I do next?
Make sure you have viewed the property before going ahead with anything. Once you are 100% sure the property is for you then your agent will ask you to sign a set of Terms and Conditions / Tenancy Application &Declaration which will state the services they will provide you and the fee’s you will be required to pay. The agent will then begin the referencing process to ensure you are in a fit position to rent out the property.
Q. What is involved in an application?
An application is where the tenant will sit with the agent and agree to a set of terms and conditions involved in renting the property. You shall have to fill in an application form where you will need to provide the agent with photographic identification (passport/driving licence), copies of last 3 months bank statements.
Q. Why do I need to be referenced?
Every tenant has to go through the process of referencing before being allowed to take the property as the Landlord needs to be assured that the tenant will have no difficulties in paying the rent and will take good care of the property. In some circumstances, the referencing process may not approve of the tenant due to either a lack of rent history or in some cases students who do not have a regular income. However, there are other possibilities such as seeking out a guarantor or paying the rent upfront for the full term.
Q. Would I require a guarantor?
If you are not approved by the referencing, you may need to seek out a guarantor. A guarantor is usually a parent or guardian (home owner) who accepts to take full responsibility on behalf of the tenant of any rent arrears or any damage caused to the property which will be more costly than the deposit.
Q. Why do I have to pay a deposit?
The landlord trusts the tenant to keep the property in good condition. However, if the tenant causes any damage to the property (over and above of wear and tear) the deposit is there to protect the Landlord so that he/she can have the damages repaired at the end of the tenancy. The deposit is also in place to cover the Landlord for any rent arrears.
Q. What is involved in a routine visit?
The first inspection will be carried out within the first month of moving in and thereafter every quarterly. These inspections are carried out to ensure the property is being kept in good condition and to view any maintenance issues.
Q. Who is responsible for repairs?
The Landlord is responsible for maintaining the property in a good state of repair. However, any damage caused by the tenant, only the tenant will be held responsible for repairing this damage. Any repairs should be reported immediately to the agent or Landlord.
Q. Can I decorate or make changes to the property?
In normal circumstances, the tenant is only allowed to make changes to the property after seeking permission from the Landlord. We recommend that the seeking of permission from the Landlord is done in writing.
Q. When can my landlord enter the property?
The landlord has to give the current tenants suitable notice before entering the property, unless it’s an emergency situation.
Q. What if I want to end my tenancy?
If you are tied into a fixed contract then you will be liable for the rent until the fixed term is finished. If you are not in a fixed contract then you are able to give your agent a 2 Months’ notice to quit preferably in writing and thereafter the 2 months you may vacate the property.
Q. What if I can't pay my rent?
It will always be the tenant’s responsibility to pay the rent however if circumstances change and for example you become unemployed you should seek advice from your Landlord or Agent, who may be able to reschedule your payments. You can also get insurance against sickness and unemployment to keep yourself protected. Don’t forget, the last thing you should do is let rent arrears pile up!