Landlord FAQs

How can I maximize my rent?

Present your property well. Have a neutral colour-scheme. It may be a cliché, but it's true: tenants love magnolia, eggshell, vanilla and all the other million shades of white-beige that exist. Controversial shades are more likely to scare off potential tenants if they're trying to narrow down a selection of properties they're interested in.

Take active steps to make your property as safe as possible. Keep records of any checks you have.

Carry out preventative maintenance. Deal with any issues before they become emergencies: this will prove cheaper for you in the long run as emergency repairs will often cost more. Create a rolling maintenance programme – decide when to do certain maintenance eg painting your external property every five years. Keep your property watertight by periodically checking for roof and render repairs. 

On average, tenants tend to stay in a property for around two years, so they are not looking for temporary accommodation as they may have been in the past, but for a home they can call their own.

As such, one of the cheapest ways to raise rental income is for landlords to make sure their properties are well maintained, easy to heat, have no damp or condensation issues, and are given a good clean and a lick of paint.

Should I rent furnished or un-furnished?

This depends… providing furnishings in a student property will increase the potential rent you can get, however you will be responsible for the upkeep/ repairs/ replacements of any furnishings you provide, which will be an expense you will need to factor in later down the line. Non student tenants tend to have their own furniture which they prefer to use.

How long will it take to find suitable tenants?

Finding the right tenant can take a matter of days to a couple of weeks.

How much will it cost to have my property managed?

We have different management options available:

  • Full management
  • Rent collection only
  • Tenant find only
View our fees. If you want a tailor made service contact us to discuss. We will match any legitimate, competitors offer to manage your property. 

How does Home Leasing check reliability of tenants?

We carry out robust referencing on potential applicants including a Guarantors bank  and/or credit check, employment reference and previous landlord/agent references covering a period of at least 2 years, where applicable. 

If a tenant wishes to pay their rent on a monthly basis then they will be required to provide us with a UK Guarantor who will also be bank and / or credit referenced to ensure they can meet the commitment of the rent. Without a Guarantor a tenant will need to provide six or twelve months rent in advance.

How and when do I receive my rental income?

Once funds are cleared in our bank account, we will pay the funds directly to your account via BACS, and a statement is either posted or e-mailed to you.

What accreditations does Home Leasing have?

What accreditations does Home Leasing have?

ARLA

We are a member of ARLA (the Association of Residential Letting Agents).  

This sets us apart from the vast majority of Brighton and Hove letting agents who are not regulated by ARLA.  ARLA membership guarantees that Home Leasing:

  • Have client money protection schemes in place to protect all tenant and landlord funds
  • Have an annual independent audit
  • Have professional indemnity insurance in place
  • Sign up to an independent redress scheme
  • Abide to a strict code of practice

Client Money Protection / Insurance based

Home Leasing is enrolled in the Client Money Protection scheme provided by ARLA. The Client Money Protection scheme is a compensation scheme run by the National Federation of Property Professionals which provides compensation to landlords, tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds.

TPO

The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme provides consumers and property agents with an alternative dispute resolution service and provides consumers with a free, impartial and independent alternative dispute resolution service.

Data Protection

Home Leasing adheres to the 1998 Data Protection Act principles to keep someone's data accurate, safe, secure and lawful.

What insurance do I need?

Landlords must insure the buildings and any contents they provide. Tenants are responsible for their own belongings. If the property is let to students or a group of individuals the insurer must be informed, failure to do so could invalidate the insurance. Public liability insurance is usually included in landlord insurance policies. Legal fees cover and rent protection policies are also available.

Do I need a full inventory?

We would strongly advise a full inventory is carried out before the commencement of each new tenancy to document the condition of the property prior to the tenant residing there. This is to safeguard against any damages caused during their tenancy so we have written/picture evidence to claim against their security deposit at the end of their tenancy if necessary.

How long is the tenancy for?

We initially provide a 6 month tenancy using a Standard AST contract, with a possibility of a 12 month renewal agreement. Student tenancies are for 11 or 12 months, keeping in line with the academic year.

As the end of the tenancy approaches, we start our renewals procedure to allow plenty of time for you and the tenants to decide whether you will be renewing the tenancy. Either we will begin remarketing the property for new tenants, or perhaps make plans for you to move back in.

Whatever the situation, the procedures that we have in place always facilitate a smooth and uncostly solution.

Who pays the utility bills?

The tenant will be responsible for all bills at the property during their tenancy. However due to recent BHCC changes the landlord will be required to pay council tax for any void periods at the property in-between tenancies. 

What happens when the tenants leave?

A tenant is required to give 1 month notice (on or before the next rent due date) in writing, notifying us that they are vacating the property. The property will, on your instruction, be re-advertised once a valid notice has been received from the tenant. 

We will carry out an inspection of the property after the tenant vacates and use the Inventory produced at the start of their tenancy to ensure the property has been returned in the same condition as it was given to the tenant, allowing for fair wear & tear. We can then negotiate any potential deductions for cleaning/ damages caused during their tenancy and facilitate the return of the tenant’s security deposit. 

What happens when the tenants fail to pay rent?

Home Leasing will manage rent collection if you have our full management service.

We will initially chase the tenant at fault. If we are unable to make contact we will then approach their guarantor for payment. If we are still unable to resolve the arrears we will write to all tenants and their guarantors to make them aware of the arrears and to settle the payment between them (joint and several liability)

In the last resort, Home Leasing will manage any legal action that may be necessary. However the solicitor’s fees will be the landlord’s responsibility.

How much is the tenants deposit and what happens to it?

Tenants are required to pay the equivalent of 6 weeks rent (with a UK Guarantor) or 2 months rent (in the absence of a Guarantor), which is registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

All deposits are registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Should I allow pets in my property?

We will only allow pets in the property with your approval. If your property is pet friendly we will ask for a higher deposit, and a commitment from the tenants to fumigate the property at the end of the tenancy.

There is an increasing demand for pet friendly properties.

What happens if there is a deposit refund dispute?

All tenant deposits are registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If a dispute should arise at the end of the tenancy the tenant can contact the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, who will make a final decision. Their decision is based on the evidence supplied by both parties.

For more information on letting your property please call us on 01273 323344

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