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View Full Version : Inherited house- letting for first time- any pointers/help?



SarahJane
21-04-2008, 15:56 PM
Hi everyone.
I recently inherited a small terraced property, that I'd like to rent out. Problem is, I know nothing about Tenancy requirements, tenant vetting and the Deposit scheme. Don't get me wrong, I've Googled just about every relevant thing I can to improve my knowledge, but I have a few questions that would be very grateful if someone would be kind enough to answer.
1. I assume that I should have the prospective tenants vetted properly
2. How much deposit should I take (equivalent to one month rent, some tell me. I think that it should be more?)
3. Do I have to use the Deposit scheme? After reading the threads on this forum, it frightens the pants off me. I see that there are a number of alternative insurance products. Does anyone have any experience of them.
Thanks very much for your help.
Sincerely.
SarahJane.

jta
21-04-2008, 16:29 PM
Hi SarahJane
If you are absolutely new to the game you might consider using a decent letting agent so you can be sure everything that should be done is done.
Depending on your location there are plenty of members on here to point you in the right direction. Whatever happens make sure you protect the deposit within 14 days AND notify the tenants that it's been done.

susanne
21-04-2008, 16:48 PM
i would use an agent for 6 months, then spend that time reading this forum and www.singingpig.co.uk (huge book list on there also) and get to know the business. it is full of traps for the ill-informed.

johnboy
21-04-2008, 21:08 PM
If you want to take all the worry away just go to a agent under full management but look into the T&C's so you can do it yourselve at a later date if you want to without being tied in. A ARLA agent will mean they have had certain training and give certain protection but no guarantees.

You could go for the the tenant finding service only from an agent but make sure it is a one off fee without renewal charges everytime a new contract is issued. Ask to see all ref's before contract is signed and get at least copies of all paperwork and AST. Also make sure you have a guarantor for the tenant as back up.

Regarding the deposit you could

1 Dont take one (not a good idea)

2 Ask the agent to protect it and hold it in their client A/C for you (they will receive interest on it)

3 Use the custodian goverment scheme (free but you have to send the deposit off to them)

What ever route you go MAKE SURE YOU GET A GOOD INVENTORY DONE and signed on each page by the tenant.

SarahJane
22-04-2008, 10:05 AM
Wow. Thank you all for your replies, and help.

I'd hoped to avoid the cost of an agent, but maybe that won't be possible.....

If I take a deposit, must it go to the Deposit Scheme? I have a friend who also owns a small terraced property, and she's determined not to go down this route. Her father is a Landlord and apparently he has some problems with recovering cost, rent etc, and the scheme doesn't seem to have made things any easier. He has suggested that I forget deposits.

Doesn't anyone offer an alternative to deposits....? I've found a number of schemes with a Google search, and there are some adverts on this web site. Also, one of the Forum threads mentions Maras. are they any good? There's a number of adverts for Tenant Guarantee on this site. Has anyone used them?

I'm beginning to think that I should sell the house, or is being a LL always like this? If I'm going to stick with this, I need to get the property let asap.

Thanks for any advice.

SarahJane.

jta
22-04-2008, 10:17 AM
Definitely use one of the deposit schemes, just have a look through this forum to see the tangles people get into when they do not, especially as the guvmint has set up what is virtually a reward scheme for tenants if you neglect to do it.
Your tenants may be very nice people but anyone can be tempted by money for nothing.

SarahJane
22-04-2008, 10:29 AM
Definitely use one of the deposit schemes, just have a look through this forum to see the tangles people get into when they do not, especially as the guvmint has set up what is virtually a reward scheme for tenants if you neglect to do it.
Your tenants may be very nice people but anyone can be tempted by money for nothing.

Yes, thanks JTA. I keep reading the threads, and the more I do the more I'm worrying.

jta
22-04-2008, 10:37 AM
Don't worry PANIC

just joking

jeffrey
22-04-2008, 12:35 PM
Doesn't anyone offer an alternative to deposits?

See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=9002.

housed
22-04-2008, 12:44 PM
It's not all that bad, remember that these forums are often used when something has gone wrong, many landlords never have a problem. Doing some research as you appear to be doing can help limit any damages that may result from something going wrong.

SarahJane
22-04-2008, 13:19 PM
See http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=9002.

Hello Jeffrey.

Thank you for replying to my questions. I see your name on quite a number of threads, so I guess you know a considerable amount abt Landlord/Tenant situations.

I can see, from the thread that you detail, that Maras offer insurance to Landlords. I've checked their web site, but all I can find is cover for loss of rent. What about cover for damage? Do I need to cover this elsewhere?, or do most Landlords not bother.

Maybe I'll just end up taking a deposit, despite having been advised against doing so. Seems like it might just be the easiest thing right now.

SJ

susanne
22-04-2008, 13:46 PM
i use the DPS and find it very simple to use, and free, and i have got a deposit bback from an absconding tenant without tooo much paperwork to complete.

SarahJane
25-04-2008, 10:30 AM
Hello Susanne.

Thanks for your advice.

Sorry that I've taken some time to respond, I've been doing some more homework.

I'm still loath to just take a deposit after hearing horror stories about 'clued up' tenants, and the Deposit scheme. I've also just read the thread about 'Tenant Deposit Scheme - 12 months on' at http://www.landlordzone.co.uk:80/blog/news/tenancy-deposit-schemes-12-months-on, and I can't say that it calms any fears.

I see a number of adverts for Tenant Guarantee on this web site, and I read a write up about it in this web site's news letter. Has anyone used their services? There are some testimonials on their web site, so I think I'll request some references from them, but it would be nice to know if anyone has any more information.

Thanks, as always.

SarahJane.

bagpuss
28-04-2008, 23:34 PM
Hello Susanne.

Thanks for your advice.

Sorry that I've taken some time to respond, I've been doing some more homework.

I'm still loath to just take a deposit after hearing horror stories about 'clued up' tenants, and the Deposit scheme. I've also just read the thread about 'Tenant Deposit Scheme - 12 months on' at http://www.landlordzone.co.uk:80/blog/news/tenancy-deposit-schemes-12-months-on, and I can't say that it calms any fears.

Thanks, as always.

SarahJane.

The 'horror' stories you are reading about the deposit schemes concern LL's who have taken a deposit and then NOT placed it with an authorised scheme and given the tenant the prescribed info - it's really simple to set up and the tenant info can be downloaded. They are the ones who are having to pay up 3x the deposit. If you follow the rules there's really nothing to fear; I've found it easy to follow.

Having said that, there is a lot to learn about being a LL. I'd use an agent if I were you and then learn as much as you can, then do it yourself when you are more confident. Good luck anyway.