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Useful Information for Landlords

Tenant Deposits and Inventories

As part of both our Letting and Full Management services, we will take care of the tenant's deposit and the inventory of the property before they move in.

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), which constitutes Part 6, Chapter 4 of the Housing Act 2004 determines how a tenant's deposit is held and handled by all landlords and letting agents when creating an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

Whoever receives the deposit from a tenant has the legal responsibility to ensure the money enters into a TDS. This means that in the event of an unresolved dispute or stalemate over the allocation of the deposit, it can be referred to the scheme for a prompt, independent, third party adjudication, providing a resolution which is fair to both landlord and tenant. midcornwall will ensure that your tenancy agreement is in full compliance with these regulations. Failure to comply with the regulations can incur extremely hefty fines so it is essential that they are taken seriously.

A Professionally Drafted Inventory is an essential part of any tenancy. It is, in effect, a written 'benchmark' against which the condition and contents of the property can be measured at the start and end of the tenancy. It should be drawn up by a trained inventory clerk and without it, in the case of a dispute over the deposit, it is almost impossible to claim any damages or dilapidations at the end of the tenancy.

The inventory comprises two parts:

  • The inventory, and schedule of condition - this is a written report detailing the specific condition of the fixtures, fittings and of the property generally at the very start of the tenancy.
  • The check-out report - this is the report drawn up at the very end of the tenancy detailing the condition and contents against the original inventory and schedule of condition to assess any damage or dilapidations (aside from fair wear and tear) that may have taken place during the tenancy.

Neither landlord nor tenant is actually required to be present for the check-in or the check-out. It is common practice for the tenant to contribute towards the cost of the Professionally Drafted Inventory.

As part of the Full Management Service, we will visit the property periodically to inspect the property and provide the landlord with a written report

The landlord can choose to opt out and not provide an inventory created by us, however we do not advise this as we class it as an essential document. In this instance we will need you to sign within our Terms of Business Contract that you do not require this service.

Tenant Referencing

We do not let one of our properties to anyone! For a tenant to take on one of our properties they must undergo a comprehensive reference report.

This includes:

  • Credit checks
  • Income to Rent Verification
  • Employer reference
  • County Court Judgement (CCJ) checks
  • Electoral Roll
  • Landlords check - if applicable

Rent4Sure is the insurance company we use to carry out this report.

As part of our Full Management Service to landlords, we also offer FREE for the initial 6 months Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Insurance, (subject to terms and conditions). Further information on this can be provided upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions

If the tenant stops paying rent or will not leave the property, what happens?

While we endeavor to ensure that the tenants are financially secure, unfortunately on the very rare occasion a tenant falls into arrears with their rent payment. We monitor the payment of rent vigilantly so that if there is a problem it can be addressed quickly. A letter or a telephone call will often resolve the issue, but if there is no likely outcome of payment being made, then contacting a solicitor is the next step. Please note that should it be necessary to take legal action, the cost of doing so is borne by the landlord. This using of a solicitor can be a costly affair so we currently recommend 'Rent Guarantee and Legal Expenses Insurance' by Rent4Sure.

How long does it take to find a tenant?

Finding a tenant can vary in time due to a variety of factors, including what time of year the property is being advertised, the area the property is in, and the level of rent. We aim to find you an appropriate tenant in the shortest possible time we can, usually between one and three weeks. On the odd occasion, we have found tenants on the same day as our market appraisal of the property! If you are currently living in the property you wish to rent, it is a good idea for us to start the marketing of your property 4-6 weeks before you move out. This will help us to maximise your income.

What other expenses will I have to incur in letting my property?

There are a few other expenses apart from our managing agent's fees that you will have to incur in letting your property. These are:

  • Landlords Insurance.
  • Mortgage payments, if you have any.
  • The Gas Safety Certificate
  • Repairs to the property and contents unless caused by the tenants.
  • You will be liable to pay tax to the Inland Revenue on any profit generated from letting your property. This amount will depend upon your circumstances.
  • When the property is empty, on some occasions, (especially when the property is let furnished), utilities and services may be payable.

Do I have to provide furniture and furnishings?

No. In most cases there is no difference in the rental value that can be attained between furnished and unfurnished lets. Unfurnished is more sought after and therefore is advisable by us, but if you want to let your property furnished, we will have to ensure that the furniture complies with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (As Amended). If they do not comply with these laws, they must be removed before the tenancy begins. We do not advise giving or selling these items to the tenants.

Are smoke alarms required?

Although there are no laws that states that rented properties have to be installed with smoke detectors, we strongly recommend that there is at least one per property.

What am I responsible for repairing?

As a landlord you have a legal obligation to address any problem concerning the structure of the building and the sanitation and supply of services. In addition, if an item you have supplied in the property requires replacing or repairing through fair wear and tear, then you would be expected to deal with this.

Who looks after the garden?

The responsibility of the upkeep of the garden is usually down to the tenant. Unfortunately this can sometimes be a problem area when letting a property. If you have a particularly large garden, or any precious plants then you may want to consider arranging a gardener to maintain it. In some circumstances the cost of this can be incorporated into the rental value. We also advise that you provide a basic amount of materials for maintaining your garden.

For further advice please contact us.