Before renting out your property, you must make sure that you’re up to date with the latest laws and legislation. You must also ensure you know how you’re going to manage your property, and you’re ready to declare your rental income. Check out our three handy tips to help you get to grips with being a landlord, making sure you’re prepared to successfully let your property.
Complying with the law
Gas Safety Certificate
Under the Gas Safety Regulations, it’s your responsibility to have a gas safety certificate every twelve months, testing every gas appliance to ensure they are safe for use. Once a qualified engineer has successfully completed your annual gas safety check, you have to provide your tenants with the certificate within 28 days of completion.
Failure to produce a valid gas safety certificate is a criminal offence and could lead to heavy fines or imprisonment.
Don’t have a valid gas safety certificate?
ClickTenant.com have a partnership with British Gas, who will send a qualified engineer to your rental property and carry out your gas safety inspection. Book your gas safety inspection here.
Energy Performance Certificate
All landlords must have a valid EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) when renting out a property. The certificate shows how energy efficient a property is based on bands from A-G – where the most efficient properties, in band A, have the lowest fuel bills.
If you do not have a valid EPC, you will not be allowed to rent out your property in the UK. It’s worth checking the EPC register to see if you’ve got a valid certificate before advertising your property.
Don’t have a valid EPC?
ClickTenant.com can organise for a Domestic Energy Assessor to undertake an Energy Performance Certificate at your rental property. Book your EPC here.
If you’re offering a fully furnished property with electrical appliances, it’s strongly advised you ensure that they are inspected and tested by a qualified electrician every five years.
Is it required?
Whilst PAT inspections are not a legal requirement for most landlords, if your property is classed as an HMO (House of Multiple Occupancy), you are legally bound to carry out these tests on all electrical appliances supplied.
Choosing an agent
An effective and professional letting agent can be an invaluable asset. This will be particularly helpful for new landlords in the private rental sector. They can deal with everything from finding tenants, organising reference checks, creating an inventory, dealing with deposits, complying with legislation, and handling maintenance issues.
What level of service do you want from your agent?
If managing your rental property proves to be too time consuming and inconvenient, using the professional services from a letting agent could be the best option for you. Here at ClickTenant.com, we offer a range of packages which can be tailored to your requirements:
Bronze Package – Free
There are never any upfront listing fees to advertise on ClickTenant.com. With the most basic package offered you’ll get your first let for free, and will only pay a success fee after tenants are found following that. We’ll promote your property on Rightmove and Zoopla to maximise the exposure of your advert.
We’ll carry out a credit check on your prospective tenant or guarantor if one is required. This gives you a peace of mind and ensures your tenant can afford the rent each month.
Silver Package - £199 per property
Our Silver Package takes control of all the paperwork. You’ll receive all the benefits from our Bronze package, plus we will organise all of the legal agreements with your tenant(s) and any guarantor(s), and collect and lodge the deposit in a government backed scheme.
Gold Package - £549 per property
The Gold Package is all about promoting your property effectively. It has all the benefits of the Bronze and Silver Packages, and we’ll also organise for a full portfolio of photographs to be taken, we’ll create a floor plan, and organise for a Gas Safety certificate and EPC if required.
Property Management - £79 per property, per month
For £79 per property per month, we’ll take all the day to day management burden away from you. You can then reap the benefits of being a landlord, without any of the hassle. This includes 24/7 maintenance cover through British Gas covering your gas, electricity, plumbing and drains. We’ll deal with rent collection and chasing of late rent, key management, and both you and your tenants will have access to our dedicated customer service team to deal with all property enquiries throughout the tenancy.
Declare your income
You must tell HMRC when you start letting a property, and report your rental income on your self-assessment tax return.
Once you have tenants and the rental is established, you will be liable to pay income tax on the rent you receive. However, landlords can offset many of their costs through taxable allowances which can significantly reduce their tax bill.
We recommend reading the Government’s renting out your property for more information.