Q: Why should I choose Spericle to let my property?
A: Having a property to let and finding someone who wishes to rent it may appear simple, but unfortunately the matter does not end there. Spericle has experience in marketing property, selecting the right tenant, taking up essential references, advising on the standard of the property, advising on all safety aspects and drawing up tenancy agreements under the Housing Act 1988. We also ensure receipt of cleared funds and stamping of legal documents.
Q: Should I tell my mortgage provider that I am letting my property?
A: It is imperative that you inform your mortgage provider. There are generally restrictions with regard to letting your property and letting is most probably prohibited without permission. It is rare for lenders to refuse permission and generally they will initially give permission for a limited period of say three years. If you let without permission, the lender may have the right to repossess the property and evict the tenants thereby leaving yourself open to an action by the tenant for lack of peaceable enjoyment of the property.
Q: Will my Bank/Building Society increase my mortgage rate if I let out my property?
A: This may be the case, but Banks/Building Societies generally look more favourably on let property. If your Bank/Building Society significantly increases your mortgage, you should be able to change your mortgage provider to receive a better rate.
Q: Should I let my property furnished or part furnished?
A: The majority of rental property is now part furnished i.e. offered with carpets, curtains and white goods in the kitchen. The rentals achieved for part furnished property are also equal to those for fully furnished rentals. The demand is there.
Q: Do I need my property managed in my absence?
A: Letting your property is one thing, but management is entirely different. This involves collecting rent on a regular basis and ensuring that it continues to be paid for the duration of the tenancy; visiting the property regularly to ensure that the tenants are taking care and checking for any general maintenance which might be required; arranging maintenance matters, surveillance of contractors and settlement of accounts; renewals of tenancies.
Q: I have been told that there are various safety regulations, what are they?
A: All upholstered furniture supplied in let property must comply with the Furniture and Furnishings Regulations. In simple terms, if your furniture is pre 1988 and post 1950, it probably will not comply and must be removed or replaced. The Gas Safety Regulations state that ALL gas appliances must be checked for safety at least once every twelve months; a record of that check must be made, it must contain certain information and it must be handed to the tenant. It would be good practice to install carbon monoxide detectors in let property.
The Electrical Regulations are less precise but basically, all electrical goods supplied in a let property must be safe and not cause danger. This means, by definition, that the electrical goods must be checked at some time by a competent person. Other regulations also cover plugs and fuses which must be up to date and correct. Properties built since 1992 must be fitted with mains interlinking smoke detectors on each floor. It is also good practice to ensure that all let properties are fitted with smoke and CO2 alarms.
Q: What insurance cover do I need?
A: The landlord insures the building and the landlord's contents. It is always advisable to have the most extended cover possible i.e. accidental damage cover and cover for theft by tenant which is now available through specialist policies. Landlords must also have insurance to ensure that they have public liability cover on both buildings and contents. The tenant must insure his own possessions.
Q: Am I responsible for maintaining my property?
A: Generally yes. The structure, services and heating are the landlord's responsibility under statute, but normally landlords maintain the property and contents i.e. white goods, unless it can be shown that the tenant has caused damage. Tenants must be allowed "fair wear and tear", but they must also look after the property as they would their own home. Spericle has a 24 hour helpline and has a team of professional tradesmen able to maintain your property if required.
Q: Are services generally included in the rent?
A: No. Tenants are generally responsible for electricity, gas, oil, telephone, water, sewerage and council tax. Spericle can deal with the closing of all accounts in the client's name and the opening of these accounts in the tenant's name.
Q: What fees should I expect to pay?
A: Spericle offers a completely flexible and bespoke range of letting services and options, from offering expertise to support you to manage your property yourself, to a fully inclusive management package for a convenient and stressless way to manage your property portfolio – landlord services and fees
Q: What happens it my tenant does not pay the rent?
A: Spericle's landlords are advised to take out a Legal and Rent Protection insurance. This means that should there ever be a breach of the Tenancy Agreement, legal action can be taken without delay. If the rent is not paid the policy will cover and pay out rent to the client for up to twelve months. Spericle is able to arrange this insurance for you at very competitive rates.
Q: What if the tenant damages my property?
A: One of our staff will check your property on a regular basis. If any damage is noted at these visits, the tenant will be instructed to put the property into good order. Spericle also holds a deposit against damage and this can be used for genuine repairs which are the tenant's responsibility. Should the deposit not cover the damage, Legal Protection insurance, if taken out, would pay for legal action to be taken.
Q: What happens if my tenant does not vacate my property?