Landlord FAQs

How do I best present my property to potential tenants?

Now that you've made the decision to rent your property, even if it was previously your home, it is now time to view it as a business.  Remove any items that are personal or have sentimental value to you.  Then, keep it simple!  Stick to neutral colours, with emulsioned walls and plain hard wearing carpets.  This allows the property to look clean and fresh, and is easily touched up in between tenancies as required.

Remember, if your property is furnished all soft furnishings must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1989/1993.

Any property should be clean and tidy to be placed on the open market to let – if you'd be happy to move in, then someone else will be too.

How do you find me a tenant?

We have a large database of people actively looking for property to rent.  We advertise on both Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as on our own website and across our branch network.  Also adverts in local press, To Let boards and word of mouth, ensure we find you the best possible tenant.

How do you make sure my tenant will be suitable?

All prospective tenants are referenced comprehensively.  Their work, financial and previous landlord history are all checked, and if required a Guarantor is obtained.  That Guarantor would then themselves also be referenced and have stringent criteria to meet to enable them to stand for the tenants.

Do I need to do anything to rent my property out?

You will need to have permission in writing from your mortgage lender, leaseholder, block management company etc (if any) prior to renting.  Valid Landlord's Buildings and Contents Insurance is a must.

Legal Certification Required

Energy Performance Certificates and Landlord's Gas Safety Certificates (for properties with gas) are also required by law, so we would require copies of those too.  If you don't have them already, we can arrange for them to be done on your behalf should you wish.  The Energy Performance Certificate is required before the property can be marketed on your behalf, whilst the Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate (also called a CP12), is required before the tenant moves into the property.

How much rent will I get?

When our Valuer attends your property, they will discuss with you the market value, our service levels in more detail and answer any queries you may have.  They will also be able to offer advice as to what may help your property to become more marketable.  The Valuer will run through all applicable fees, and what those fees include and exclude so that you are able to make a fully informed decision.

I have a large property – can I rent to sharers rather than a family?

Yes you can, however, if there are 3 or more people sharing a property, making 2 or more “households”, then an electrical test certificate will be required.  If you let to 5 persons or more and the property is 3 or more storeys high, then an HMO licence will be required.

I live abroad, what about Tax implications?

Pattinson will automatically deduct tax on all rent collected on your property and pay it to the Inland Revenue on your behalf, unless we receive a specific exemption to do so from the Inland Revenue.  You will need to complete an NRL1 (Non Resident Landlord) form to enable this to happen.

Do I need to provide an Inventory?

Yes!  This is a record of the contents and condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.  This is included as part of our fully managed service, or can be provided for an additional fee for Tenancy Only properties.

The tenants are provided with a copy of the inventory at move in, and your Property Coordinator will arrange to check the inventory with them, make any amendments as required and then this is signed by both the tenant and the Pattinson representative.

At the end of the tenancy, this process is then repeated, so that any damages or dilapidations exceeding fair wear and tear can be noted and negotiated for deductions from the Damage Deposit.

What is a damage deposit?

A damage deposit, also sometimes called a bond, is an amount paid by the tenant and held as security for the property being returned in the same condition as it was initially rented (save for fair wear and tear).

Where is the damage deposit?

If you rent your property out on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007, the tenant's damage deposit must be registered in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.

We register the damage deposit with The Dispute Service and hold it in a secure client account for all managed properties.  For all Tenancy Only properties, the landlord must register the damage deposit themselves with a relevant scheme.  If there is a dispute at end of tenancy, the relevant Tenancy Deposit Scheme will adjudicate the claim based on the facts provided, such as the Inventory at start and end of tenancy and any additional information and photographs provided.  Their judgement is then binding and the damage deposit will be returned/not returned/split as applicable.

What about utility bills?

Usually, (unless you are renting out a room with all bills included), then bills such as Council Tax, Gas, Electric, TV Licence, Water and Telephone/Satellite are the tenants responsibility.  On our fully managed service, we inform the suppliers of water, gas, electric and council tax of the new occupiers along with the meter readings to ensure these are transferred in a timely fashion.

What if the tenant stops paying the rent?

As part of our fully managed service, we offer for just 3% of the rent a Rent Guarantee Service.  This means the rent will be covered by an insurance policy should the tenant default.  We will also serve relevant Notices to enforce the applicable legislation to gain possession if required.  (Terms and conditions apply to the Rent Guarantee Scheme – please ask for further details).

What if I want the tenants to leave?

All landlord's must service two months notice on a rent date to regain possession as per the terms of the Tenancy Agreement.  This must expire no sooner than the end of the intial term.  For managed properties we will do this on your behalf if required.

What if I want the tenants to stay on longer than the initial tenancy?

Fully managed properties are automatically contacted in the fifth month of their tenancy to see what their intentions are.  If they wish to renew or extend, we will then contact you to discuss options.  There is no charge for this service.

What if the tenants want to leave?

The tenants may give 30 days notice to vacate, in writing, as long as the vacation date is not before the end of the initial term of the tenancy as per the dates on the Tenancy Agreement.

How do I re let if they leave?

Once we have received notice from the tenants, we will discuss relet options with you, including marketing, suggestions for improvements/rent changes etc.  We will then remarket the property during the tenants notice period in the hope of finding a tenant as soon as possible to keep the void period of your property to the absolute minimum.

How do I know my property is being looked after by the tenant?

As part of our fully managed service, we conduct quarterly inspections, these are then sent on to you by email so that you have a clear record of how the property is being maintained.

What if there are maintenance issues during the tenancy?

On our fully managed service, all tenants will report any issues direct to our Maintenance Team, who will then liaise between you, the tenant and any contractors required to organise any works required through to completion.  If you wish, we will use your own preferred contractors for any works. We also operate a 24 hour emergency line for the tenants.  On a Tenancy Only basis, we have no direct contact with the tenant after move in.

Is the garden the tenant's responsibility?

Yes usually, unless stated otherwise, but safe and appropriate tools must be supplied by the landlord to facilitate this.