FAQs

All your frequently asked questions about moving house and renting out a property answered

Landlords Guide

Find out more about renting out your property including deciding how much rent to charge, finding suitable tenants, along with knowing your legal rights and obligations. In addition for detailed information about our services and associated fees click HERE.

I want to let my property. Do I need to tell my mortgage lender?

Yes. Unless the mortgage is a specific buy to let mortgage, you will normally have in the small print that you have to advise them.

How do I know what rent to charge?

Book a valuation with a local and trusted letting agent such as JOHN GERMAN, they will be able to give you advice on how much rent to charge based on comparable evidence of other rental properties and demand in the area.

How much will it cost me to let my property with a letting agent?

This very much depends on the size of the property and the service you require from an agent e.g fully managed or tenant find.

Why should I use a letting agent?

A good letting agent will have the expertise and resources to market your property, find reliable tenants and deal with the contracts, referencing and deposits. JOHN GERMAN provide a fully managed service too, taking care of the day to day running of a rental property. This is a great option if you prefer to be a hands-off landlord. We will also help you stay compliant, reducing the risk of you falling foul of the law – and incurring severe penalties and fines.

What happens to my tenant's deposit?

You can either register the tenant’s deposit yourself or as part of our service options, use JOHN GERMAN to register it for you. This will guarantee the deposits are certified and registered in the correct time-frame. The deposits will be held in a separate bonded clients’ account which is insured by ARLA Propertymark.

Why should I have an inventory?

An inventory states the condition of your property before the tenants move in. This is then used to check over the condition of the property when a tenant moves out and identifies any damage that has been caused during their tenancy. By having an inventory, you are more likely to be able to cover damage caused by taking the cost out of your tenant’s deposit. If you don’t have an inventory, you don’t have a claim on the deposit. The inventory needs to be compliant with Tenancy Deposit Scheme regulations to give you the best chance in case of a dispute.

Why do I need an EPC?

All rental properties are by law required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) with a minimum energy rating of E.

What are my obligations surrounding gas?

You must have a valid landlord gas certificate and gas inspection of your rental property every 12 months.

Do I need to get my electrical appliances tested?

We would recommend that you have the Portable Appliances Tested (PAT) along with an Electrical Inspection Condition Report. The PAT is considered to last for two years and the EICR for five.

How do I check my furniture is compliant?

Fire safety labels must be on all upholstered items such as settees, dining chairs and mattresses.

How do I receive my rental income from my agent?

JOHN GERMAN pay by BACS as soon as we receive cleared funds. You will be sent a statement to show what has been paid and the deductions are taken.

Will my agent keep my money safe?

From April 2019, all agents will need to be part of a Client Money Protection Scheme. We are already members of such a scheme, RICS, and are regulated by ARLA Propertymark, so you can be confident your money will be kept safe with JOHN GERMAN.

Do I need to pay tax on rental income?

Yes, you will need to pay tax on any profit you receive from the rental income and self-assess on a yearly basis to the HMRC.

Can I enter my property during the tenancy?

You can only enter your property during the tenancy with a minimum of 48 hours’ notice and the tenant’s consent.

Who will pay the council tax - the landlord or the tenant?

The tenant will pay the council tax as they are the occupier.

Who will pay for the TV licence - the landlord or the tenant?

The tenant will pay for the TV licence as they are the occupier.

What is a routine visit?

JOHN GERMAN recommend you carry out a routine visit (every 3 to 4 months) to check the tenant is looking after the property and there are no outstanding repairs or maintenance issues.

What if the tenant damages the property?

Seek guidance from your agent as they will help put the damage right either during the tenancy or at the end.

Can I protect myself against a tenant not paying their rent?

Yes, you can protect yourself against a tenant not paying their rent by taking out rent and legal protection insurance, which covers you for any outstanding rent payments and all the legal costs in pursuing your tenant in the event of non-payment. JOHN GERMAN can help by offering Rent Guarantee – ask for more details.

What if I want to remove my tenant?

To remove a tenant from your property, a solicitor or your agent will need to serve a Section 21 notice to terminate the tenancy.

What is ARLA Propertymark?

ARLA Propertymark is the Association of Residential Letting Agents, a professional body which protects and guides consumers, helping tenants and landlords to find and manage their homes. ARLA Propertymark works to raise professional standards among letting agents, promoting education and qualifications within the sector. JOHN GERMAN are ARLA Propertymark Protected, meeting higher standards than the law demands.

What is TPO?

The Property Ombudsman – an association to report a complaint to if you feel that you have been let down by your letting agent.

What is Right to Rent?

By law, landlords must ensure that their tenants have the right to rent in the UK. Right to Rent checks must be done at the referencing stage. Although all UK and EU citizens have the right to rent, you will still need to see their passport. All other foreign tenants will also need to supply sight of their Visas too. The Visa will need to be extended or renewed and proof shown so that the tenant still has their Right to Rent.

How can I improve my EPC rating?

EPC energy ratings are rated from A to G – A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient. It is now unacceptable for landlords to rent out a property that has an energy rating of F or below. There are many things you can do to improve an EPC rating, take a look at the guidance notes on your EPC for specific suggestions on how to make improvements.

What is Client Money Protection?

All agents will need to be part of a Client Money Protection Scheme which ensures any rental or deposit received from clients or tenants.

Can my tenant refuse an increase in rent?

If the correct notice is served on the tenant, then technically they cannot refuse to pay the increased rent. However, we always try to negotiate so that all parties are happy.