Setting Up The Tenancy

Referencing: We will discuss your particular requirements in detail in order to find the most suitable tenant for you. When a tenant has been found we carry out strict referencing procedures using a specialist independent referencing company – Rent4sure. They will run through legal checks on the prospective tenants, making sure the property is within their budget, their employment is verified, checks on their previous addresses, credit and financial circumstances are secure. We will inform you fully of their situation.

Right to Rent:From 1 February 2016, all private landlords (and their agents) in England must check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property (Immigration Act 2014). If the Right to Rent check is acceptable an agent can proceed with the normal full referencing procedure, but should a Right to Rent check fail, by law we will be unable to allow a tenancy to commence. We cannot agree a let until the applicant(s) have provided the agent with the correct documents. If a Tenant has a time-limited right to remain, Landlords and Letting Agents will need to conduct follow up checks; normally 12 months from the initial check or at the expiry of the individual’s right to be in the UK (whichever is the later).

Right to Rent was introduced in the Immigration Act 2014 as part of the government’s reforms to build a fairer and more effective immigration system.

Holding Deposits: The Tenants Fee Ban which was implemented on 1st June 2019 caps the amount that can be taken as a holding deposit to the equivalent of one weeks rent. We require Tenants or the Relevant Person to pay this at the point at which we submit the reference application to Rent4sure. The Deadline for Agreement is the period in which a Holding Deposit can be held for – this is 15 calendar days. The Deadline for Agreement can be extended for as long as is necessary, provided both parties agree in writing. The process starts on the day the Holding Deposit is taken and finishes on the day the contract is entered into (signed by both parties and dated).

A Holding Deposit can be retained in four circumstances:

Tenancy Agreements:

Gilyard Scarth Lettings use a Tenancy Agreement that has been drawn up by ARLA Propertymark which has been carefully designed to protect the Landlord’s rights to possession, to help control the Tenant’s activities and remain compliant with the Housing Act 1988 (as amended). Tenancy Agreements are normally for an initial term of either six or twelve months, but shorter or longer-term tenancies can be negotiated dependent on the Landlord’s or Tenant’s circumstances.

Once the referencing process has been successfully completed, we will draw up the Tenancy Agreement and send it to both parties for signature and dating.

 

Deposits:On the 6 April 2007 new legislation was introduced, so that all deposits taken by Landlords for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. In order to avoid disputes going to court, each scheme will be supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR), whose aim is to make disputes faster and cheaper to resolve. There are two types of deposit protection schemes; a custodial scheme and an insurance-based scheme. Gilyard Scarth Lettings belong to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is run by The Dispute Service and is an Insurance based scheme. This means that the deposit can be held by the Agent but they are protected by insurance. The process being: –

The Tenants Fee Ban which came into effect on 1st June 2019 caps the deposit at the equivalent of 5 weeks rent for annual rents less than £50k and at six weeks rent for annual rents over £50k.

Inventory/Schedule of Condition:We strongly recommend that an Inventory/Schedule of condition is drawn up prior to the commencement of each new tenancy. These documents are supplemented with photographic evidence and are a necessary piece of evidence when dealing with the tenant’s deposit and assuring that the interests of both Landlords and Tenants are protected.

Utility Bills:During a tenancy, the Tenant will normally be responsible for all services used, eg gas, electricity, oil, mains water and sewerage, telephone and council tax unless you specifically agree something different. During any period when the property is vacant, before, after or between tenancies, the liability for the utilities and responsibility for the property remains that of the Landlord. We will inform the electricity, gas, water and council tax providers when a Tenant moves into and vacates a property. With regards to the telephone, BT will not take instructions from Letting Agents and it is therefore the responsibility of the Landlord and the Tenant to transfer the account at the start and end of the tenancy.

Landlord’s Obligations: A Landlord, in very general terms, has a legal responsibility to repair the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, gutters and external pipes; to keep in working order the installations for the supply of gas, electricity and water; and, for the installations for the provision of space and water heating. The Landlord also has other legal responsibilities relating to the safety of such items as gas, electricity and furnishings as well as the general standard or fitness of the property for habitation.

Tenant’s Obligations: A Tenant has an implied covenant to act in a “tenant-like manner”. Broadly, this means to report disrepair promptly; to take reasonable steps to ensure that neither the Tenant nor guests damage the property, its fixtures and fittings; to do the minor day to day things any home-occupier would normally do e.g. replace light bulbs, fit a new battery in a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, tighten an odd screw which has come loose on a door handle etc.; to keep the property reasonably warm and aired to help prevent condensation or freezing of pipes; to leave the property secure when absent from it; to keep the garden and other areas reasonably tidy and free from rubbish.

Taxation:Landlords have an obligation to declare their rental income to the HMRC and complete a tax return. The landlord’s property income is assessable on rents and similar income (eg ground rents) receivable from letting land and property in the tax year ie from April 6th to the following April 5th. (In practice the revenue will accept the return on a 1st April to 31st March basis as long as it is consistent).

Before calculating the tax on the rental income, the Landlord is allowed to deduct expenses paying tax on the net income figure. These are: –

You should keep receipts for everything. If you are a joint owner of a home, then your proportion of the rental income is the same as your ownership proportion.

Non-Resident Landlords:A Non-Resident is defined by the HMRC as: