Search

Rightmove
Cambridge residential lettings and property management

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement ?

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is a type of Letting contract. It is a legally binding document under the Housing Act 1988 that, as your Agent, we would draw up between you - the Landlord, and the Tenant. The Agreement clearly sets out the terms of the Letting (e.g. the amount of rent, your rights and responsibilities etc.) for both parties to agree. The tenancy must be for a minimum period of six months and a Notice of Shorthold Tenancy has to be served on the Tenant before the Agreement is signed and the Tenancy entered into. The Agreement is your primary safeguard in the event of problems or of a dispute with your tenant. The Agreement allows you to easily recover possession of your property at the end of the tenancy.

If my property is mortgaged do I need to inform the company ?

Yes. You will need to inform your mortgage company that you intend to let your property and gain their written consent for you to do so.

Is it necessary for me to meet the tenant?

No. As your Agent, we will, in accordance with your instructions, take care of all matters relating to the selection of a suitable Tenant. However, if for any reason you wish to meet a prospective Tenant we can arrange it.

Who is responsible for paying for Council Tax and other utilities?

The Tenant is responsible for the payment of Council Tax for the Tenancy period. Also, it is usual in most cases for the Tenant to be responsible for the payment of utilities such as gas, electricity, telephone, television licence, water and sewerage etc. As your Agent, we can set this out clearly in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and subsequently, in accordance with your instructions, take any meter readings and inform the relevant companies.

What about contents insurance?

We recommend that you inform your Insurance Company that you intend to let your property. They will be able to advise you as to whether your current policy will be sufficient to cover the increased liability.
Also, ask us about specialist policies. Many insurance companies that we deal with now offer policies specifically for Landlords - anything from Landlords Contents Insurance to Legal Protection for non-payment of rent due.

What about tax?

Income Tax is payable on profits made from rent received. However, you can offset many costs such as Agent’s fees, maintenance etc. We recommend that you consult your tax advisor in order to maximise your income.
Also, as from 6th April, 1996, if you are a Landlord who resides abroad we, as the Agent responsible for collecting rent on your behalf, are obliged to reserve sufficient funds (usually 25%) to cover your tax bill unless you are in possession of an exemption certificate issued to you by the Inland Revenue. Again, we highly recommend that you appoint an accountant or tax advisor in order to maximise your income.

Is it better for me to let my property furnished?

Not necessarily. There are many matters to consider before deciding whether to let your property furnished or unfurnished. Here are some general tips and considerations:
  1. You may receive more rentals per month on your property if it is let furnished but you do then have more capital deployed and therefore run the risk of higher repair or replacement costs.
  2. Some smaller properties (such as studio flats) prove to be more lettable when furnished.
  3. It is not essential to have a washing machine, tumble dryer or freezer in a furnished property though any of these items usually make the property more lettable.
  4. As a general rule, in furnished properties leave only easily replaceable items.
  5. We do not recommend that you leave any personal or non-essential items such as bed linen, towels, ornaments, paintings, television, video or audio equipment in your property.
  6. You may wish to let your property unfurnished but still need to store some of your belongings there. Where possible, we recommend that you store items in a lockable attic. However, if you do need to store some of your belongings in one of the rooms (thus reducing the number of rooms available to the Tenant) you are likely to receive less rental but this is usually offset by the cost of paying for storage elsewhere.
  7. Even properties that are let unfurnished are expected to have carpets, curtains, refrigerator, cooker, light fittings and heating. In furnished properties we would suggest the following Inventory:
    GENERAL
    Carpets
    Curtains
    Lamp Shades
    Heating
    Smoke Detectors
    Telephone Facility
    Vacuum Cleaner
    Mop Bucket
    Iron and Board
    Dustpan and Brush
    Waste Bins
    KITCHEN
    Cooker
    Refrigerator
    Crockery
    Cutlery
    Kitchen Utensils
    Cooking Pans
    Kettle / Teapot

    LOUNGE
    3 Piece Suite
    Occasional Table
    Lamp
    DINING AREA
    Dining Table
    Dining Chairs
    Cupboard

    BATHROOM
    Lavatory Brush
    Hand Basin
    Towel Rail
    Bath or
    Shower & Curtain
    Mirror
    BEDROOM
    Bed
    Mattress & Cover
    Wardrobe
    Chest of Drawers

    GARDEN
    Dustbin
    Clothes Line
    Sweeping Brush
    Lawn Mower
    Basic Garden Tools
     

How is the balance of the monthly rent paid to me?

We collect the rent on your property each calendar month. Our fee is deducted and the full balance transferred to your bank account via the BACS system on the 25th of each month. Alternatively, we can send you the balance by cheque each month.

What about maintenance?

At PREMIER LETTINGS our maintenance team can handle almost anything - from changing a tap washer to replacing the slates on your roof ! In addition, we have a team of trusted sub-contractors for those jobs requiring highly specialised skills or equipment. Of course, if you would prefer us to use your own trades people (or in cases where a particular authority has to carry out repairs, checks or maintenance) we can co-ordinate that, too.

What about ‘hidden charges’ from Agents?

We suggest that you take the time to thoroughly read all details given to you by Letting Agencies. If you are not sure about charges - ask.

<< Back to Landlords