How much will it cost me to let my property?
The costs involved in letting your property consist of:
Energy Performance Certificate
An EPC, which you will need to make available to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity. EFS Lettings can arrange for an EPC to be prepared on your behalf.
Inventory and Check in Report
An inventory and check-in report, which should be organised before a tenant moves in. We recommend a professional inventory company to protect landlord's interest. Costs vary depending on the size of the property and furnishing. EFS Lettings can arrange for these services to be prepared on your behalf.
Letting Agent's Fee
Your letting agent's commission fee, which is usually payable when a tenant is introduced and enters into an agreement to let the property. This is usually charged as a percentage of the agreed rental price at the prevailing rate, however EFS Saferentals charge a fixed fee to make things very simple for you. Please see our fee structure in our terms and conditions for the desired service.
What are my duties as a landlord in relation to gas safety?
You have duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 to arrange maintenance by a Gas Safe Registered engineer  for all pipework, appliances and flues, which you own and have provided for your tenants use. You must also arrange for an annual gas safety check to be carried out every 12 months by a Gas Safe Registered engineer. You must keep a record of the safety check for 2 years and issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
What is an EPC and how long will it be valid?
An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G and is valid for 10 years. It is a legal requirement for landlords to have a valid EPC before their property is let. EFS Lettings can arrange for an EPC to be prepared on your behalf.
Must we fit smoke detectors to rented property?
You may have read about some recently introduced regulations requiring smoke detectors to be fitted to residential property but these regulations only apply to new homes (under building regulations) and caravans. Certain categories of HMO (House in Multiple Occupations) are also required to have a smoke and fire detection system fitted. We as your agent would recommend as a precautionary measure to fit smoke detectors to your property. At present, there is no obligation for landlords to fit smoke detectors.
What about the legal aspects?
Our accredited team fully understand the implications of all relevant legislation and our expertise in managing the practicalities of the rental business places us in the best possible position to guide you through the process and arrangements.
Will my rent cover my mortgage payments?
We will always provide realistic rental valuations based on current market conditions. We will also ensure rent reviews are undertaken at appropriate intervals to protect your interests. However, it is important to recognise that factors contributing to rental values and mortgage or loan conditions (e.g. interest rates) are quite varied and therefore it is not possible to guarantee that any rent received would cover any loan payments obligations. Whilst using the facilities of an experienced agent such as ours will help in reducing tenancy voids, there may be times when your property is unoccupied with associated income gaps.
Will my tenants take care of my property?
We place great emphasis on finding quality tenants and matching them to your requirements. As result of our extensive credit checking and referencing process, together with our ability to assess potential tenants through our meetings with them, we are able to provide you with the greatest levels of confidence in those tenancies we secure.
Of course our attention to detail does not end when the tenancy starts, our ongoing liaison with tenants and our property inspection regime ensures we are able to address any issues before they become a concern.
Whilst you will have your own specific conditions relating to the type of tenants you would wish for, we also have some basic standards that we will not compromise on to ensure that tenant selection is made with confidence in their ability to meet their financial and other tenancy obligations.
What about the Tax implications?
Whilst tax implications alone should not be considered a barrier to property rental, there are considerations which you, the landlord, should take into account when you rent a property. Income from your property rental is taxable and should be declared on your annual tax return. There may also be implications for you also in relation to Capital Gains liabilities from your property portfolio.
There are, of course, genuine running costs in maintaining a rental property and there are a range of allowances given to assist with these.
Personal tax affairs are a specialised area and will differ for each individual, our advice therefore is to always seek professional advice from your financial adviser or by consulting your local HMRC office. As a customer of Kirby Property Ltd, we can assist you further by providing annual statements giving the details you need for the completion of annual tax returns in respect of your management property. If you would like more information on this element of our service please contact us.
Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished?
This depends entirely on your particular circumstances and the type and location of your property. It's best to contact us for advice on current market demand, we can then advise on the best option for your particular circumstances.
It should however be recognised that furnishing a property does not automatically translate into significantly higher rental values and any furniture included in the tenancy should comply with legal implications and will need to be maintained or replaced as necessary.
You can find further information on the basic fixtures/furnishings to consider in the "Property Services" menu section on the left of this page.
Who pays for Council Tax and Utilities on rental property?
It is usual for shorthold tenancies to operate on a 'Utilities excluded' basis, in effect this means that your tenants will be responsible for Council Tax and Utility bills during the period of their tenancy. There are exceptions to this and occasionally tenancy agreements will be made at an inclusive rent. We can give advice on this as necessary.
You should expect to take responsibility for such costs during periods that the property is empty or between tenancies, although of course, our role is to help you keep these periods to a minimum.
What about the new Deposit Protection Regulations?
As a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme; Kirby Property Ltd is fully compliant with the Deposit Regulations introduced by the Government in April 2007. Our customers will be fully covered under our Full Property Management or Tenant Introduction Plus services as we will hold deposits in specific client accounts.
For those Landlords choosing to manage deposits themselves, there are some important implications and consequences that can result from non-compliance.
In order to comply, you will need to make clear to your tenant within which approved scheme their deposit is to be held. You are required to register the deposit within that scheme within 14 days and provide confirmation to the tenant that you have done so. If you fail to do so the Tenant can take legal action against you in the County Court. The Court may make an order stating that you must pay the deposit back to the Tenant or lodge it within the custodial scheme which is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme. In addition a further order will be made requiring you to pay compensation to the Tenant of an amount equal to three times the Deposit. You will be unable to serve a Section 21 notice on your Tenant until you comply with the above order conditions and the Court will not grant you a possession order for the property.