Landlord & Tenant FAQ's

Landlords

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

Yes. Your mortgage lender needs to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, you may be able to obtain a buy to let mortgage.

How do I know what rent to charge?

Ask elevation to value your home, we’re experts in the market, so we can tell you how other rental properties are doing in the area, and what kind of yield you can hope to expect.

 

How much will it cost me to let my property?

This really depends on how much support you need. At elevation we offer three main service levels: Tenant Find and Set-up, Letting and Account Management and Fully Managed. Each involves a different degree of service from elevation and the fees we charge reflects this, we will explain exactly what fees are involved and what you can expect from us after the valuation.

 

Why should I use a managing agent?

Choosing a fully managed service allows you to completely relax. You never have to worry about the let. It creates a professional distance between you and the tenancy, and means you can avoid having to deal with all the bad bits like rent arrears and deposit disputes.

 

What happens to my tenant's deposit?

Landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants’ deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. At elevation, we register deposits with a scheme such as DPS. The deposit is then either held by the landlord, the agent or the deposit scheme itself. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is there to protect the tenant’s money and help to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

 

Why do I need an 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, since 1st April 2018, the property must have a minimum rating of E on its EPC. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches this requirement with a penalty of up to £4,000.

 

What are my obligations surrounding gas?

A Gas Safety Record (GSR) is in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer. This needs to be checked every 12 months.

 

Do I need to get my electrical appliances tested?

You are required to ensure that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure you are compliant.

 

How do I check my furniture is compliant?

You must ensure that all furnishings comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position. This is to reduce the risk of fire within the property.

 

How do I receive my rental income from my letting agent?

If you choose a Rent Collect or Fully Managed service, we will organise for the tenant to pay the rent via standing order or direct debit. We will then transfer the money to your account minus our commission and any outgoings or fees (such as maintenance work fees). You will receive a statement every month.

 

Will my agent keep my money safe?

If you have chosen a regulated agent like elevation, then your money will be protected through the Tenancy Protection Scheme. Not all agents are regulated, but elevation choose to be. We are members of the TPO.

 

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.

 

Can I enter my property during the tenancy?

You need to give the tenant appropriate notice before you enter the property.

 

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

The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include this in the rent) but this needs to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the property is standing empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay.

 

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

Usually the tenant, though this should be stated in the tenancy agreement. However, if the landlord furnishes the property with a TV, they would be expected to pay the licence.

 

What is a routine visit?

The landlord or the letting agent gives the tenant notice that they will be visiting the property to check it is being looked after, and to check for any potential maintenance issues.

 

What if the tenant 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. However, fair wear and tear should be allowed for.

 

What if the tenant doesn't pay?

It is sensible to insure yourself against non-payment of rent. Elevation offer a rent protection insurance which pays 100% of your rent for up to 12 months if your tenant is unable to pay for any reason.

Terms and conditions apply. This information is a summary only. You will receive a full policy document upon application. This policy will set out the terms, conditions and limitations of this product.

 

What if I want to remove my tenant?

If your tenant refuses to leave the property then legal action will be necessary. Elevations rent protection insurance covers legal fees up to £XX,000 including any legal costs arising from regaining possession of your property from a tenant (providing there are rent arrears or the tenant has failed to vacate the premises at the end of a tenancy agreement).

 

What is TPO?

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) is an independent body to which landlords can refer any complaint should the agent fail to address it to their satisfaction. We are founder TPO members.

 

What is Right to Rent?

The Right to Rent scheme, which helps to make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here, was rolled out across England in February 2016. At Elevation we’ve been doing this as part of our referencing process for many years, but if a landlord carries out their own checks they will now need to get an acceptable proof of residency or risk a fine. If we don’t currently handle tenant checks for you, we’d be very happy to discuss how we can help you with this.

 

How can I improve my EPC rating?

There are a few easy and cheap ways to improve your property’s EPC rating. Ensuring all your lightbulbs are energy savers is a simple change. Check your loft insulation is at least 270mm too, and if you have cavity walls ensure these are filled with insulation.

More expensive ways to improve your property’s EPC rating include replacing an old, inefficient boiler; adding modern controls like room thermostats; or adding renewable technologies like solar panels to the property.

 

What is Deposit Protection Service?

The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) provides compensation for landlords, tenants and other clients when agents misuse or misappropriate their rent, deposit or any other client funds. Elevation has DPS cover.

 

Can my tenant refuse an increase in rent?

For a periodic tenancy (rolling on a week-by-week or month-by-month basis) you can’t normally increase the rent more than once a year, unless you seek the tenant’s agreement. For a fixed-term tenancy (running for a set period of time) you can only increase the rent if your tenant agrees. 

 

Why do I need an inventory?

We strongly recommend that you take the option of a professional inventory. It helps you protect your property and forms part of the contract between you and your tenant. It will detail the condition of the property when a tenant moves in and at the end of their tenancy. Vital to ensure there is no deposit disputes at the end of tenancies.

 

Tenants

I’m a tenant and I have a maintenance problem?

Welcome to our repair reporting system. We have created a system to help you with trouble shooting your maintenance issues. Once you have looked your issue up and tryed the help and advice given and still have no ressolution, only then should you complete and send a maintenance report.

Report a maintenance problem

Which documents are required for referencing?

These documents will allow us to complete our pre-tenancy process by collecting references from your current landlord and employer and completing a credit check and any visa checks if relevant.

You may be asked to provide a guarantor. The same reference checks are then carried out for your guarantor as were done for you.

Before any referencing begins you will be asked to complete a form. As part of the referencing process we will request certain details from you, including:

  • Details of your current and previous address
  • Proof of current address
  • Details of your employment
  • Confirmation of your income
  • Identification of who you are
  • Details of your right to live and work in the UK
  • We may also ask for bank statements and payslips
  • Contact details for your landlord
  • Copy of your current tenancy agreement

Why is an inventory prepared?

Before you move in Elevation (or the Landlord) will have had an inventory prepared. This document, describes the condition of the property and anything left behind by the landlord. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised.

 

What is a Tenancy Deposit?

A tenancy deposit is used to cover the cost of damage that might incur during the tenancy. The detailed inventory produced at the beginning of the tenancy is used in conjunction with subsequent inspection reports and will be used to assess whether deductions from the deposit are necessary.  Deductions are used to cover the cost of professional cleaning, damage above fair wear and tear, non-payment of rent and any outstanding expenses as detailed in your tenancy agreement.

 

What happens to the deposit once it’s been paid?

It is a legal requirement that the tenancy deposit is registered with a Government approved deposit scheme after it has been paid.

 

What’s in the tenancy agreement?

Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding document that sets out your rights and obligations during the tenancy. It will be signed by you and your landlord, or the landlord’s representative.

 

Who is responsible for notifying the utility companies that I’m moving in?

Although Elevation initially notify the utility companies if we manage the property, it is your responsibility to ensure that your account is set up and your bills paid. It is a good idea to also take meter readings both when you move in and when you move out.

 

Who pays the council tax on the property?

You are normally responsible for paying the council tax during the tenancy (as long as this is stated in the Tenancy Agreement).

 

Who pays for the TV licence?

If the landlord provides a television then they are expected to pay for the TV licence. The responsibility on who has to pay for the licence is usually stated in the Tenancy Agreement. Otherwise the responsibility sits with you.

 

Do I need my own insurance?

Your landlord is responsible for ensuring the building and their possessions but you may want to take out your own content’s insurance.

 

A free guide to letting your property

Our service options

We have 3 service options to suit your needs