Landlords FAQs

Frequently asked questions and answers about letting your property

I want to let my property. Do I need to tell my mortgage lender?

Yes. Your mortgage lender needs to give you permission before you can let your property, and they may impose special conditions. If you are buying a property with the intention of letting it out, any mortgage should be a buy to let mortgage and further consent from the lender would not be required.

If you are looking for a buy to let mortgage or need more help reviewing your finances, our partner Embrace Financial Services can help.

How do I know what rent to charge?

Ask a letting agent to value your home. At Thomas Morris, we’re experts in the market, so we can tell you how other rental properties are faring in the area, and what kind of rent you can hope to expect based on recent market evidence.

Book a rental valuation

How much will it cost me to let my property?

This really depends on how much support you need. At Thomas Morris we offer three main service levels: Tenant Find, Fully Managed and Managed Plus. Each involves a different degree of service from Thomas Morris and the fees we charge reflect this. Be sure you understand an agent’s fees and exactly what you receive for your money when you ask them to conduct a lettings valuation.

Why should I use a managing agent?

Choosing a fully managed service allows you to completely relax. You never have to worry about the let. It creates a professional distance between you and the tenancy, and means you can avoid having to deal with all the bad bits like rent arrears, deposit disputes and changes in legislation.

What happens to my tenant's deposit?

Landlords and letting agents are required to register tenants’ deposits with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit is then either held by the landlord, the agent or the deposit scheme itself. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is there to protect the tenant’s money and help to resolve any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Why should I have an inventory?

An inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of your property taken before the tenant moves in. It is important that if there is a dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy, you have detailed evidence of the original condition of the property and its contents.

Why do I need an EPC?

An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years. All landlords are required to provide a valid EPC for a property before they let it. A property cannot be let if the energy rating is F or below or if the EPC is out of date.

What are my obligations surrounding gas?

For all rented properties with a gas supply, a Gas Safety Record (GSR) must be in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are in safe working order. It must be carried out by a qualified Gas Safe Register engineer. This needs to be renewed every 12 months.

Do I need to get my electrical appliances tested?

You are required to ensure that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) so you can be sure you are compliant.

How do I check my furniture is compliant?

You must ensure that all furnishings comply with furniture and furnishing regulations. All compliant furniture must display standard labels in a prominent position. This is to reduce the risk of fire within the property.

How do I receive my rental income from my letting agent?

If you choose a Fully Managed or Managed Plus service, we will organise for the tenant to pay the rent via standing order or direct debit. We will then transfer the money to your account minus our commission and any outgoings or fees (such as maintenance work fees). You will receive a statement every month.

Will my agent keep my money safe?

If you have chosen a regulated agent your money will be safe. If you use Thomas Morris then your money will be protected through Safe Agent and their protection bonding scheme. Not all agents are regulated, but Thomas Morris choose to be. We are also members of NALS (National Approved Lettings Scheme) and TPO (The Property Ombudsman).

Does a landlord need to pay tax on rental income?

All landlords could be liable to pay tax on their rental income, whether they live in the UK or are based overseas. Further information can be found on the Inland Revenue’s website: www.hmrc.gov.uk/index.html

Can I enter my property during the tenancy?

You need to give the tenant appropriate notice before you enter the property.

Who will pay the council tax - the landlord or the tenant?

The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include this in the rent) but this needs to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the property is standing empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay.

Who will pay for the TV licence - the landlord or the tenant?

Usually the tenant, though this should be stated in the tenancy agreement.

What is a routine visit?

The landlord or the letting agent gives the tenant notice that they will be visiting the property to check it is being looked after, and to check for any potential maintenance issues. Following an inspection we provide a full report to the landlord.

What if the tenant damages the property?

Either the tenant pays to fix the damage, or the cost for fixing the damage is removed from the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the tenancy with the agreement of both parties. If agreement cannot be reached between the landlord and tenant to rectify the damage then the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will independently examine the case and make the final decision.

Fair wear and tear should be allowed for.

What if the tenant doesn't pay?

It is sensible to insure yourself against non payment of rent. Thomas Morris' Managed Plus service includes a rent guarantee insurance that can protect you if your tenant stops paying their rent.

What if I want to get my tenant out?

If your tenant refuses to leave the property then legal action will be necessary. Rent guarantee insurance can cover legal fees including any legal costs arising from regaining possession of you're property from a tenant (providing they are in rental arrears).