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View Full Version : Landlord to be- some starter questions!!



hillbilly
13-07-2005, 17:02 PM
Hello, everyone. I am hoping to rent my house out privately next year sometime and have just found the site! have spent ages on it already but perhaps someone can answer me one or two questions??
I am planning to rent out myself not through a agency. All I know so far is that i have to have a gas and electric check and create an AST. I intend to rent an unfurnished property (house) but assume carpets and curtians are not classed as unfurnished? If I supply new white goods (cooker, washing machine and fridge) will it be acceptable to ask if they break down and are not covered by the 1 year guarantee to get tenant to repair? or is this not done? I am thinking here that if someone washes something with say a screwdriver in the pocket and ruins the drum would i have to pay for their negligence? I dont know what is usually done. Also would i have to get someone in to fix everything- say for example the toilet seat came off - or are tenenats expected to put right very small items like handles coming unscrewed or something?

Sorry for ther long post but hopefully once i have navigated i will find answers to other questions.

RichieP
13-07-2005, 18:48 PM
As someone also just starting, here's my view, for what it's worth.

You are correct about the gas, electric and AST.

You are asking far too much of prospective tenants if you expect them to provide carpets and curtains.

If you provide white goods, it is part-furnished.

You are responsible for repairs if they break down. Proving negligence will be difficult, but if you know for definite, the tenants pay the cost of repair.

All repairs are your responsibility (although you could reasonably expect someone to change their own lightbulbs), no matter how minor. However, you may be lucky enough to get someone handy enough to do minor things themselves, but you are opening up a can of worms as they may cause more damage if they are incompetent.

It will help you, if you are a long way from the property, to find a local handyman to carry out minor repairs.

MrShed
13-07-2005, 23:03 PM
OK....my opinions for what it is worth.

- MUST include carpets and curtains IMO. Get hard wearing, not cheap carpets in colours that wont show marks(I've heard grey black and peach recommended) and they will last for years.

- If you include white goods, you are responsible for them, regardless of what you say to tenant.

- Correct about gas and AST, but as far as I know you do not HAVE to get an electrical check done, could be wrong. Regardless, certainly a responsible landlord would have one done anyway.

- If damage is tenants fault, it is their responsibility. However, as said it is difficult to prove this in certain situations, and you need to be absolutely sure otherwise you may leave yourself open to litigation.

- Yes, as said, all repairs are your responsibility, no matter how minor. However, in reality, most tenants will probably sort out very minor issues themselves. However, this is luck of the draw, and depends which tenants you get.

- Getting friendly with a local handyman is not a bad idea regardless of whther you will be close or not(although almost neccessary if you arent) as you will almost undoubtedly have to call him out 2 or 3 times a year to the property.

hillbilly
14-07-2005, 06:53 AM
Thanks for the info! I was going to include carpets and curtains but wasnt sure if this was classed as unfurnished -guess it is though! With regards to white goods thought I would ask as I had approached an agent about what happens if they go wrong and they said that if you wanted to a clause could be put in to the effect that if its beyond the scope of 12 month supplier guarantee then tenants would be responsible.

hillbilly
14-07-2005, 06:57 AM
Just to give me an idea here please. How many times per week/month do landlords undertake repairs? and what type of things do you do? I need to get an idea of the cost involved of renting or leaving the house empty and renting it out and paying agents fees and the hated tax man. I know that a lot depends on the tenants.

dazalock
14-07-2005, 07:24 AM
"agent about what happens if they go wrong and they said that if you wanted to a clause could be put in to the effect that if its beyond the scope of 12 month supplier guarantee then tenants would be responsible."

I think you would find that hard to uphold in court as it could be seen as a unfair term in the contract. You are responsible for anything you leave in the property, plain and simple, if the tenant damages them, thats what a deposit is for.

"Just to give me an idea here please. How many times per week/month do landlords undertake repairs?"

Probably about once every six months, recently a visit for a broken window handle and a visit for a blown fuse.

No one can forsee what problems you will get, THE most important thing is to get the right tenants so spend time on references and checks because without doubt the biggest financial loss and most stessful situatin will be non paying tenants, not a few minor repairs.

Good luck

hillbilly
14-07-2005, 07:41 AM
Quote- How many times per week/month do landlords undertake repairs?"

Probably about once every six months, recently a visit for a broken window handle and a visit for a blown fuse.[/QUOTE]

Thats better than i thought. I thought it would be once a week or something!

PaulF
14-07-2005, 08:28 AM
Hillbilly. You are entering into such an unknown area that you are asking for trouble with only a limited knowledge of what to do.

Firstly there is no definition of furnished and unfurnished that has any effect on any lawful provisions, and providing white goods does not make it even part-furnished as someone has said. Carpets and possibly curtains are essentials to provide but tenants often want to change curtains to suit their tastes.

There is no lawful requirement to have the electrics checked out but is advisable for properties built before 1992. If the property has been built within the last 5/10 years you are probably wasting money on having is checked as it will be unnecessary. Similarly any white goods less than 3 years old is also a waste of money having a PAT done on each.

Go to a NAEA/ARLA agent for the intitial term at least with a terms of business with them for say a maximum of 6 months and then see how confident you feel about going it alone. They are not allowed to "hold" you to making charges beyond the term of your contract with them even if it states otherwise.

MrShed
14-07-2005, 08:44 AM
If you are going to go with an agent, as paul suggests, dont go with whoever told you about the white goods thing! Doesnt seem like he knows his property law....im 90% sure that that clause would be unfair, and wouldnt hold in court.

I would imagine that, regarding number of times for callouts, it also depends on the demographic of the tenants. I would expect student lets to have the highest call out rate, followed by HB tenants, young professionals, and least would be older couples/families. Although this is obviously nothing but an average guesstimate.

dazalock
14-07-2005, 09:13 AM
Firstly there is no definition of furnished and unfurnished that has any effect on any lawful provisions, and providing white goods does not make it even part-furnished as someone has said.


True, but it does have an impact on possible financial considerations.

With Furnished property you will be able to claim 10% wear and tear on your tax return. But if it falls void, the council may treat furnished with a 90% council tax bill whereas unfurnished maybe 0% Council Tax for 6 months, check with your Council Office.

PaulF
14-07-2005, 21:56 PM
Dazalock. Don't give advice that is incomplete. The 10% allowance against gross rent can be claimed, but the alternative is to claim for items of furniture or white goods that need to be replaced as and when necessary. You can't claim both the 10% and the replacement costs of carpets/curtains/white goods etc. as well. You have to elect which one you want to operate and you can't switch between the two!

Also it's fairly easy to remove enough furniture to render it unfunished - take away the bed, setee and armchairs and you're virtually there! If you draw the curtains they can't check anyway. After 6 months many LA's are imposing a charge of 100% of the rates instead of 50% in the past. It only appears to be second homes that attract the 90% levy.

hillbilly
15-07-2005, 06:55 AM
[QUOTE=Paul_f]Hillbilly. You are entering into such an unknwon area that you are asking for trouble with only a limited knowledge of what to do.


I agree that i have very little knowledge but I will not be a landlord for some while yet which is why I am trying to find out as much as i can before I start .Hopefully by the time i am ready to do it I will know a bit more about it!

MrShed
15-07-2005, 08:15 AM
I think what paul is saying is the best way for you to learn about it is by having an agent for 6 months/a year, then kinda watch what they do. You will be paying the fee, but count this as paying for learning :P

dazalock
15-07-2005, 10:03 AM
Dazalock. Don't give advice that is incomplete. .

Now now Paul dont fall off your chair simply because someone else dare post reply's on YOUR fourm ((noun (pl. forums) a meeting or medium for an exchange of views.)

I was simply throwing some considerations into the pot, and as you constatly berate posters, the poster could then look into the issue further by seaching the forum.

What a boring but detailed forum this would be if YOU were the only one here, dont you think?, but as you state as a footer in each of your posts "The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer".

:D :D :D ;)

MrWoof
15-07-2005, 18:18 PM
Hillbilly, Buy a copy of "Renting out your property for dummies". Read it, it will give you a good guide to both the good and bad side of the business. At the very least, it will tell you what questions to ask. Good luck but seriously consider using an agent at least for the first few months.