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Why should I use a letting agent?
We believe there is real added value to be gained from using an experienced quality agent such as Aztec Lettings. Our extensive experience of the lettings business and knowledge of the local rental market enables us to give you the very best advice and support, ensuring you achieve the maximum return on your investment and at the same time maintaining the condition of your property.
How do I improve the chances of letting out my property?
Properties should be; clean and in decent decorative order, preferably in light neutral tones. Good floor coverings are a must. Vacant properties without curtains, light fittings, adequate power points and smoke alarms indicate an uncaring landlord. Aztec Lettings use their distinctive branding, combined with a variety of marketing tools to attract quality tenants to your property, fast.
How do I know how much rent to charge?
With the abundance of information and various tools available at our fingertips we can advise on the maximum rent achievable, and also compile a report detailing rent fluctuations of similar properties within the same postcode of yours. We can recommend the type of tenant that would be most suitable for the property and agree with you the terms on which the property will be marketed, including any restrictions. Unless agreed otherwise the rent will not include Council Tax, Water bills, Gas and electricity costs, the Tenants will pay for these directly to the suppliers.
Furnished vs Unfurnished?
Demand is generally evenly split between furnished and unfurnished properties though most lettings to a corporate tenant will be on a furnished basis. Needless to say, the better the furnishings, the higher the rent. There is just as much demand for unfurnished properties, but recommend the following is still included: (1) All kitchen 'white goods', ie cooker, fridge/freezer, washing machine, (a washer-dryer is recommended to avoid condensation), and in larger more expensive properties a dishwasher is always a plus. (2) Carpets, curtains and/or blinds and light fittings. (3) Unless a gardening service is provided, it is a good idea to provide garden tools, lawn mower etc. (4) Bathrooms should always include a shower, ideally, have tiled floors and adequate ventilation. (5) Instruction manuals for all appliances, including boilers and timer controls.
How do I know I am getting a good tenant?
We conduct identity and residency checks on all applicants. We also obtain a credit reference and take up employer and current landlord references. For applicants who have a clean credit history but who are financially weak for the rental commitment, we either ask for a guarantor or obtain the full settlement of rent in advance for the tenancy term.
Length of tenancy?
The majority of tenancies are on an assured short hold for a period of 6 months. Shorter tenancies can be created. After the initial 6 months has expired, the tenants can renew the Tenancy for a further fixed period of 6 months, 12 months, 2 years or 3 years or stay on by rolling on a monthly contract, under the same conditions as the original agreement which we would discuss with yourselves. Should they wish to vacate, they would give 1 month's prior notice in writing. The Tenancy can only be terminated if the fixed term has come to an end, if a break clause is exercised or if the Tenancy is rolling on a monthly contract.
Who has to pay the council tax on the property?
The tenant is responsible for the payment of council tax during the period of the tenancy (as long as this is stated in the Tenancy Agreement). However, when the property is vacant the landlord or homeowner is responsible for paying the council tax.
Who is responsible for the TV license, the tenant or the landlord?
It is both the landlord and tenant's responsibility to ensure that the address has a valid TV license. However, the responsibility on who has to pay for the license is usually stated in the Tenancy Agreement. However if the landlord provides a television with the property then they would be expected to pay for the TV license, particularly in any communal areas.
What is an inventory?
An Inventory is an essential part of renting your property; it is a descriptive list of fixtures, fittings and condition report of the entire property. It is drawn up before the tenants move into your property, computerised and combined with pictures. It is then signed off by the tenants when they move into the property and then the same Inventory is used to check the property once the tenants have vacated. This enables Aztec to check that the property is returned with all the original fixtures & fittings that were provided and that the property is returned in the same condition it was taken in. Preparation of inventories can be arranged by Aztec.
What if there is damage?
We make sure the tenant pays an upfront deposit, equivalent to one month's rent. During a fully managed tenancy, this deposit is held in a secure client account by Aztec Lettings. The deposit is also registered with a Tenancy Deposit Protection scheme. When your tenants are due to leave, we carry out a full assessment to look for any redecoration or repairs, which go beyond reasonable wear and tear. After consultation with you, we'll agree on an amount with the tenant to be withheld, based on professional estimates, then we release the rest of the deposit to the tenant. Finally, we'll arrange for any work to be carried out before the next tenant moves in.
What happens about insurance when I let out a property?
It is a good idea for the landlord to have insurance on the property and for any contents, such as furniture and white goods they have provided in the property. Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents left in the property.
How do I receive my rental income?
We arrange for the tenant to sign a standing order or direct debit mandate for rent and account to you for all rent received, fewer outgoings, fees and commission accompanied by a statement, normally within 7 days of rent being cleared into our account.
Do I have to pay income tax on rental income?
The Inland Revenue state that income from property is subject to taxation at standard rates, and your expenses in letting the property are generally tax-deductible (these often can include mortgage interest payments, but will exclude capital expenditure, such as furniture/appliances etc.). You will need to tell the Tax Authorities that you are renting out your property. We can offer general guidance, however, we strongly advise you instruct an accountant if you are uncertain in any way.
If I as the Landlord am living abroad is there any additional things I need to take into account?
Yes, If you are living outside of UK, we must deduct tax at source from your rental income and pay these monies to the Inland Revenue on your behalf. You can contact Inland Revenue and request an approval number, this can be done by completing the NRL1 form which can be found on the Inland Revenues Website, once you have received the approval number we can transfer the rent to you without deducting the source.
Aztec carry out all transactions online which include the flexibility to do day to day transfers as and when rents are paid. Payments will be followed up with detailed rent statements, which can be emailed or posted, whichever suits your preference.
You should make provision for any mail to be sent to you as we will not be responsible for redirection. We recommend that you use the Post Office redirection service.
Should you require annual statements for accounting purposes, this can be prepared upon request at no additional charge.