Know Your Responsibilities.
Letting a house can be a great way to provide extra income or be an investment for the future. There are many important aspects that need to be carefully considered and planned to make sure your plans run as smoothly as possible.
Firstly it’s best practice to find a reputable letting agent, such as Fearnalls, to manage your let. An established agent will give you the best advice, however it’s important to be aware of the following information.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
Under the Housing Act 1988 residential properties are automatically let with an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. This guarantees the right to claim the property back after 6 months if the tenant defaults on their rent for 8 or more weeks.
A tenancy agreement should always be agreed and signed up front, before occupancy commences. Informal or verbal agreements are open to interpretation and often cause headaches further down the line.
The Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 ensures that landlords must maintain the building (exterior and structure). This includes windows, roof, walls, electrical and gas safety and heating. Tenants are generally expected to undertake minor jobs such as general housekeeping and gardening.
Deposit Protection Scheme.
Respected agents such as Fearnalls adhere to the Deposit Protection Scheme that ensures a tenant’s deposit is safeguarded and in the case of issues arising at the end of a tenancy there are processes in place to resolve. Within thirty days of receiving a deposit, it must be placed into an authorised deposit protection scheme, and notice provided to the tenant about the scheme and their rights.
Recording an inventory of all contents that will remain in the home during the tenancy is very important. The inventory should be checked, agreed and signed for by both parties before the tenancy commences.