Harborne Landlord guide
If you are considering becoming a landlord at any time in the near future then it’s most probably a wise idea. With stocks and shares fluctuating and a stock market that has left many investors with grey hair, the smart money is being invested in property.
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The population in the UK is still rising rapidly and we aren’t building anywhere near enough houses. As such, house rises are expected to continue to rise for the foreseeable future.
As demand for rented properties increases, so will rents and that makes for a great and safe investment.
With greater numbers now contacting Hunters Harborne with a view to becoming landlords, we’ve put together this important guide to help you navigate your way through the process of renting your property.
The tenancy agreement
Most of us will have had experience at completing a tenancy agreement at one time or another. This document lists the conditions of the property and must be signed by both parties. While this agreement does come in various incarnations, the most common one is the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST).
The agreement will set out the rights of both parties and will list all relevant facts such as names, length of tenancy and date of commencement. It will also state the landlord’s right to repossess the property at the end of the period.
Another important factor is that while the name of the tenancy suggests a limited period, it can be used for prolonged periods. If, however, you decide to let a property for over 3 years, in addition to the document, you will need to have paperwork completed by a solicitor.
While there is no minimum period, the tenant does have the right to stay in the property for a minimum of six months, as long as they adhere to the agreement. If you require the tenant to vacate the property at any point after six months you are required to give a minimum of two months’ notice.
The tenancy agreement
The most important information that the AST will contain includes the following:
- Landlord’s full name
- Tenant’s full name
- Address of property
- The date when the tenancy will commence
- The duration of the tenancy
- The amount of rent payable, including details of how and when it should be paid
- What other payments are expected of the tenant, including utilities bills and Council Tax
The landlord inventory lists every item in the property. When a new tenant moves in, it is essential that this document is completed thoroughly and that both parties agree on the condition of each item on the list, before signing.
At the end of the lease, it is the responsibility of the tenant to ensure that everything is in the same condition as when originally signed (with obvious exceptions for wear and tear). Both parties should retain a copy of the document in the unlikely event that there are any issues at the end of the tenancy.
The purpose of a deposit is to protect the landlord. After all, as the owner of the property, it is essential that you are paid all moneys owed and that the property is left in a reasonable condition. If the tenant should leave while owing rent or having done any damage to the property, the deposit will serve as a safeguard. As soon as the deposit is taken you must provide a receipt.
If at the end of the agreement the tenant has fulfilled their obligations, it is your responsibility to return it within 28 days after the tenancy agreement finishes.
Should the tenant forfeit any of their deposit you should inform the tenant as soon as possible, stating exactly why you have chosen to withhold part of the deposit. You should include evidence such as quotes for work that needs to be completed or receipts for work that has already been carried out.
If you are happy that the tenant has fulfilled their obligations, it is important that you return the deposit as quickly as possible, preferably within 28 days.
Get in touch with our Harborne office today to find out how we could help you maximise your rental income.