Landlords FAQs

Are there any obligations as a landlord if the tenant is disabled?

Landlords have to abide by the Equalities Act 2010, which covers various discriminations, including disability

As a landlord you should agree to the tenant making minor adjustments to the property where necessary. For example, visual door alarm instead of a bell, handrails and special arrangements for rubbish storage etc. If you agree to the tenant carrying our works on your property to accommodate any special needs, it would be perfectly within your right to request the tenant to return the property in the same condition as it was at the start of tenancy at his or her own expense.

You cannot refuse to accept a tenant due to receiving Disability Benefit (so long as the tenant meets all the other requirements). Otherwise this would be discrimination because of the tenant’s disability, i.e. he is unable to work due to the disability.

As a landlord, will I be liable for more stamp duty when I purchase a property?

Unless you are selling and replacing your main residence, the purchase of a property in addition to your main residence is likely to be liable for the 3% stamp duty surcharge.

Can I appoint a managing agent if I already have my own tenants?

We can take on the management of your property if you already have an on-going tenancy, whether you have found the tenants or instructed another agent to do so. We often assist landlords with the transition of moving from their current management company to our service.

Can I use my preferred contractors for required works?

We ensure our panel of contractors are appropriately qualified and insured to carry out the works they are instructed to do. However, if you have a preferred contractor, as long as they are suitably qualified and insured we are happy to add them to your client file.

Can Addison Townsend manage my property if I am based overseas?

Yes. Many of our clients are overseas landlords.

Can Addison Townsend manage my property if it is vacant?

Yes. Whilst the standard management service ceases once the tenancy has expired you can instruct us to visit the property in order to meet your building insurance requirements or to fully manage the property, look after utilities and instruct day to day repairs when required.

Do I need insurance?

Yes you will need to insure the property and we strongly advise the contents that are included within the tenancy agreement. Your tenants are only responsible for insuring their own possessions. Make sure your insurance covers you as a landlord, and carries Public Liability Insurance. Standard household or contents cover will not usually do this.

Do I need to be present for viewings?

It is worth noting that tenants often feel more at home when the owner is not present on viewings. If your letting agent is accompanying all viewings and they have access to your property, then you do not need to attend. If you want to meet the tenants once an offer has been made then we would arrange a second viewing for this to take place.

Does dealing with utility companies, liaising with personal contractors, freeholder, building managers and insurers incur extra charges?

All of the above is included within the standard management fee. All you have to do is authorise the provider to liaise with us on your behalf and we will assist where possible.

How do I know if a tenant is suitable for my property?

Letting a property can be a good investment but there are a few things to look out for. Our letting agents will find the tenants, advise you on the best rent for the area and manage the tenancy agreement paperwork.

Our letting agents will keep you informed of any prospective tenants who are interested in your property, arrange viewings on your behalf and give you feedback on what they think of the property. We also advertise your property on websites, in branches and in press, making sure it receives the best exposure possible.

We will organise the referencing of your tenant through an independent referencing company who will provide you with a report on the tenant’s suitability, but the final decision is of course yours.

How much will it cost me to let my property?

The specific costs involved in letting your property would be set out in our terms and conditions of business. Before letting, you will need to budget for:

  • Letting fee - a letting fee will be due when a tenant introduced by us enters into a tenancy agreement with you. This will usually be a percentage of the rent plus VAT, paid in advance for the period of the fixed term agreement. The letting fee will be due if you and your tenant decide to renew, extend or continue the tenancy after the initial fixed term has ended.
  • Management fee - if you choose to use our property management service, then the fee will be charged as a percentage of the rent plus VAT and will be collected in line with the rental payments (eg. monthly, quarterly, six-monthly). This will be taken from rent received from your tenant.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) - you will need to provide us with an EPC before we can market your property and we can help you arrange this. We are required to give a copy of an EPC to anyone wanting to view the property and to any tenants when they move in.
  • Inventory and check in report - we strongly advise you to have an inventory and schedule of condition drawn up by a professional, impartial inventory clerk before the start of a tenancy. The tenant should also be checked into and out of the property using this inventory, again by a professional clerk. This will be your evidence if you need to make a claim against the tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy. We can help arrange this for you.
  • Tenancy Agreement - we can offer you a comprehensive standard tenancy agreement which can, where possible, be amended to suit your requirements
  • Tenancy deposit protection - if the tenancy is to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) then you are legally required to protect any monetary deposit with an approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. We are members of the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), and can do this on your behalf for a small administration fee

View Addison Townsend for full information on landlord fees.

How will I know my tenants are looking after my property?

Our management service includes a visit to the property twice a year, should you require further inspections, and we can arrange this for an additional charge. Following the visit we will send you a comprehensive report on our findings which includes colour photographs and recommendations. If your property is a licensed HMO then these visits will need to be quarterly and will incur an additional charge.

I have a property to let, do I need permission?

If you are thinking of letting your property, then you need to make sure you have all the necessary consents first. You need the permission of your lender (if you have a mortgage or loan), your freeholder (if the property is leasehold) and your insurer (as you may need a lettings specific policy).

A mortgage lender or freeholder might impose conditions before giving you permission to let your property. Not complying with these conditions could lead to repossession of the property.

You should also check with the local authority if your tenancy will make the property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or if you need any planning permission.

What are my obligations as a landlord?

Your main legal obligations are to:

Look after the property - to keep the exterior of the property in good condition, making sure you maintain the roof, drains and gutters.
  • Look after the property - to keep the exterior of the property in good condition, making sure you maintain the roof, drains and gutters.
  • Make sure services are available - it is a landlord’s obligation to make sure that the property is supplied with services like gas, electricity, water, sanitation and heating.

Leave your tenants in peace - a 'covenant of quiet enjoyment' is part of most tenancy agreements. It means a landlord must not interfere with the tenants. For example, you cannot:

Enter the rented property without their consent, except in an emergency

Do anything that affects the tenant’s rights, e.g. cut off services to force a tenant to leav

What are the safety regulations for a property to let?

There are a number of safety regulations that govern the letting of residential property to which landlords must comply. The penalties for failing to do so are severe and could result in heavy fines and/or imprisonment. As your letting agent, we can advise you of your obligations, the implications of the safety regulations and to assist you in ensuring you are fully compliant.

What do I do if I have an emergency at the property when the property management office is closed?

All tenants living in properties managed by Addison Townsend have access to out of hours’ contractors in the case of an emergency.

What is a tenancy deposit protection scheme?

Any monetary deposit paid by your tenant for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must be protected by a recognised tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the tenant making payment. Certain documents must also be served within that time. We are members of the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and we can protect the deposit on your behalf for an administration fee. If we are instructed on a managed basis this is included in our service.

What is an EPC?

Any property advertised for letting must have an EPC or energy performance certificate.

An EPC demonstrates the energy rating and efficiency of a property. It gives landlords and tenants information on how energy efficient the property is and gives a standard energy and carbon emissions rating from A to G, with A being the most efficient.

From April 2018 the energy efficiency rating of the property must be between A - E for any new let or renewal. From April 2020 all privately rented properties must comply with this standard.

Who looks after my property and manages my tenancy?

If you instruct our management service then once the tenancy begins, your local Addison Townsend branch will hand the tenancy over to your dedicated property manager. Both landlord and tenant will be advised of the property manager’s details prior to the tenancy starting so you are aware who to contact. Your property manager will deal with all reported maintenance, problems and safety issues throughout the tenancy. If your property manager is away or out of the office, they are fully supported by a proactive team who can assist whenever needed.