FAQ – Landlords

Your property should be checked periodically during a tenancy.  From our experience monitoring a tenancy through inspections maintains a higher standard of care.

Depending on which service you choose to take with us, we inspect our properties initially after 3 months and then every 6 months after.  Our tenancy agreement makes reference to the fact that we have the right to visit the property, provided reasonable notice has been given.

We have an exciting new app called Inventory Rocket which has been designed and created by us which we use to complete inventories, inspections and checkouts.

The app Inventory Rocket means we can supply you and your Tenant(s) with thorough and comprehensive reports and has proven to be vital in assisting with the adjudication process of any deposit disputes.

After an inspection visit you will receive a written report along with photographs and a notes section which gives you overall information on the condition of the property so you remain informed.

If you ever wish to visit the property during the tenancy, then we can arrange this for you, but again the Tenant is entitled to prior notice.

 
Since 1st October 2008, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) has been required by law whenever a building in the rented sectors is let to a new tenant.  If the landlord has failed to provide an EPC to a tenant, or fails to show an EPC to an enforcement officer when asked, Trading Standards can issue a notice with a penalty charge of £200 per dwelling.  In addition to paying the penalty notice, the landlord will still have to provide an EPC to the person who has become the tenant.

As an agent, we have the task of ensuring that these requirements are met before the property can be advertised.

  • Landlords must provide an EPC free of charge to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity and must provide a copy of the EPC to the person who takes up the tenancy.

  • The purpose of the EPC is to show prospective Tenants the energy performance of the dwelling they are considering renting.

  • EPCs are valid for 10 years and can be reused as many times as required within that period.  It is not necessary to commission a new EPC each time there is a change of tenant.


An EPC shows two things, the energy efficiency rating (relating to running costs) and the environmental impact rating (relating to the carbon dioxide emissions) of a dwelling.  Each rating is shown on a A-G rating scale (similar to those used for fridges and other electrical appliances).

The rating is accompanied by a recommendation report that shows how to improve the dwelling's energy efficiency.  These two elements together form the EPC and the complete document must be provided to the new Tenant.  There is no statutory requirement to carry out any of the recommended energy efficiency measures stated in the recommendation report.

 
Utility bills

As your agent we will advise all local councils along with gas, electricity and water companies when a Tenant(s) moves in or out of a property, providing them with up to date readings and forwarding address details of the Tenant(s).

During 'void' periods all utility services are transferred back into your name, even if this will only be for a relatively short period of time.

Council tax

Council tax is a property based tax.  We will inform the local council of each and every change of occupancy.  There is a clear obligation on a property occupier to register for council tax and a specific clause in the tenancy agreement, to which we draw their attention, also clearly highlights the tenant's obligation to register and pay for council tax.  If and when a property is unoccupied and unfurnished the property may be exempt from council tax for a period of time.  You should check the latest terms and conditions with your local council.

 
The information below details the procedures undertaken when a Tenant(s) fall into rent arrears.

 1.  7 Day rent arrears letter

If the Tenant(s) have not paid their rent on time and they are between 1 and 7 days late making a payment, the first of three letters will be sent.  A letter will also be sent to the Guarantor (if appropriate) with  the copy of the letter we have sent to the Tenant(s).  The Landlord will also receive notification that the rent payment has not received.

2. 14 Day rent arrears letter

If the Tenant(s) have still not paid the outstanding rent arrears by the next 7 days another letter will be sent.  A letter will also be sent to the Guarantor (if appropriate) with the copy of the letter we sent to the Tenant(s).

3.  21 Day rent arrears letter and the Section 21 Notice Requiring Possession (served by hand)

If the Tenant(s) have still not paid the rent arrears or entered into an agreed repayment plan, the 21 day letter will be sent.  The Section 21 Notice Requiring Possession will also be served at this point by hand.  A copy of the Section 21 Notice and the letter sent to the Tenant(s) will be sent to the Guarantor (if appropriate) at a charge of £50 +VAT.  If a payment is not made in full or an agreed repayment schedule has not been entered into then the following action will be required.

Rent guarantee insurance

If you can't afford to be without your rental income during times when the property is let, we would advise that you take a level of rent guarantee cover.

Policies are available from insurance companies to guarantee your rent if your tenant's payment defaults.  There are various levels of cover available from different insurance providers so we would advise making some calls to see what can be offered to you.

'HomeLet' who we use for our referencing procedures do offer a comprehensive range of Landlord's insurance policies.  To find out more from them you can contact them on 0330 333 7039 quoting ref. 1504031 or by visiting https://homelet.co.uk/landlords

 
Managed properties who have our 3, 4 or 5 star service.

You will receive a monthly rent / invoice statement by email from Advanced Lettings Ltd on the last day of every month.  If you do not have an email address the statement will be posted direct to you.

Your statement will include details of the rent payments made by your Tenant and any deductions that have been made either by Advanced Lettings Ltd for our management fees or if you have instructed us to carry out maintenance or any safety checks.  All invoices raised against your statement will be sent to you by email / post with your monthly statement.  These invoices must be kept for your records and your annual tax return.

Your statement will provide details of the total amount due to be paid to you.  This payment will be sent to you by bank transfer within 3 - 5 days of the end of the month, to your nominated bank account.

Non-managed properties

1 star service

You will be notified when the Tenant(s) have passed their referencing.  You will be sent an invoice for payment of our finders fee.  When the funds have been received we will forward you the necessary documents so you can make contact with your new Tenant(s).

2 star service

You will receive a property file after the Tenant has singed the tenancy agreement and taken possession of your property.  Included in your property file will be a rent / invoice statement which will details the payments received by your Tenant, any deductions made either by Advanced Lettings Ltd for our tenant introduction finders fee or any safety checks that have been carried out on your behalf.

Your statement will provide details of the total amount due to be paid to you.  This payment will be sent to your nominated bank account by bank transfer within 5 days of the tenancy start date.

Rental amounts vary property to property and can be dependent on everything from size and location to the quality of décor.


Whether you are looking to buy a property to let or you have a property that is ready to let then we will be happy to give you some estimates on rental price.  We use our own knowledge of the local rental market and use price guide reports from Rightmove covering the areas surrounding your property.


If you would like a price guide for your property then please fill in our contact form.

Yes, you must obtain permission from your mortgage company that you can let your property and we like to see a copy of this in writing when we take on your property to let.  Your mortgage company may put special conditions on your property which we may need to be aware of for letting purposes.  Some mortgage companies like to see a copy of our tenancy agreement, if this is the case for you then we will be happy to provide one to them.

Make a call to our office on 01303 850030 or drop in and see us in our office in Sandgate Road, Folkestone.


We will be happy to discuss our processes and talk about the services we can offer you.

Using an agent can provide you with essential skills in letting your property(s) and can be an economical way of ensuring that a tenancy runs smoothly, whilst protecting your investment.


At Advanced Lettings we believe that we offer a professional service dedicated solely to lettings to our Landlords, helping you to choose which of our services will meet your needs.

It is always nice to hear that what we are doing has made a difference to someone.  We have an employee reward scheme in place, so whether you would like to praise Advanced Lettings as a whole or a named individual then we would love to hear from you.  We would appreciate it if you could either call Nina on 01303 850030 or email her on nina@advancedlettings.com
We really believe that we offer a great service to both our Landlords and Tenants, so we hope that this question isn't clicked on very often.  However, if you are unhappy then please see below our detailed Customer Complaints Handling Procedure:

We are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and aim to provide the very best standards of service at all times. We also belong to the redress scheme with The Property Ombudsman and we adhere to their Code of Practice. If you believe that we have not given you satisfactory service please follow this complaints procedure in the first instance:

  1. Please contact our Senior Manager Mrs Nina Simpson on the telephone number below or by email nina@advancedlettings.com and every attempt will be made to resolve your concerns to your satisfaction.

  2. If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, please write to Mr Kenneth Simpson at the below address marked Private and Confidential for his attention.

  3. Your letter will be acknowledged within 3 working days. An investigation will then take place and a formal written outcome will be issued to you within 15 working days of the acknowledgement.

  4. If you are not satisfied then you must write to us and explain the reason why. We will then provide a written statement expressing our final viewpoint following a second review of your complaint.

  5. If you are still unsatisfied you may now report the matter to The Property Ombudsman (please remember you must do so within 12 months of our final viewpoint letter). Their address details are as follows:-


Milford House

43-55 Milford Street

Salisbury

Wiltshire

SP1 2BP

For further information you may wish to visit the Property Ombudsman website  www.tpos.co.uk .

 
The following information has been produced to ensure that you are aware of the difference between an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.  Along with this, the information highlights how important the prescribed information document, relating to the tenants deposit is.  This is especially important if you're a landlord who has registered the tenants deposit yourself.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy

Your tenant(s) would have already signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement when they first moved into the property.  Normally this would be for a duration of 6 months (unless it was agreed for longer by both parties).

About 2.5/3 months before the end of the fixed term tenancy, a member of staff will contac you to see if you're happy to renew the tenancy for a further fixed term.  We will also discuss the option of a possible rent increase, in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI).  You then have three options available to you.

Option 1

You wish to renew the tenancy.  We will then contact your tenant)s) about a month later to ask if they're happy to renew for a further ter,.  If you want to renew the tenancy and increase the rent, we will speak to the tenants and let you know what they say.  If the tenants are happy to renew, we will draw up the tenancy agreements and the prescribed information documents  (we can ONLY draw up the prescribed information document if Advanced Lettings have registered the deposit).  Please do note that if you have registered the deposit yourself, you MUST ensure that you issue the tenants with a new prescribed information document.

Option 2

You wish for your tenant(s) to enter into a Statutory Periodic Tenant (explained further down).  We will contact your tenant(s) to let them know they will enter into a periodic tenancy and issue them with a prescribed information document (we can ONLY draw up the prescribed information document if Advanced Lettings have registered the deposit).  Please do note that if you have registered the deposit yourself, you MUST ensure that you issue the tenants with a new prescribed information document.

Option 3

You wish to serve your tenant(s) two contractual months notice to vacate.  This will usually be done via a Section 21 Notice requiring possession.  (This third option is the reason a member of staff contacts you 'early', because the notice must be served in line with the contract dates of the tenancy).  If Advanced Lettings have registered the deposit, we will supply your tenant(s) with a copy of the prescribed information document.  However, if you have registered the deposit yourself, you will need to supply us with a copy of the prescribed information document given to tenants so that we can give them a copy when we're serving them the Section 21 Notice.

We aim to keep you up to date with the entire process, and will let you know the outcome.  We will deduct the relevant fees from your rent.  You will receive a copy of the tenancy agreement / Section 13 Notice / Section 21 Notice along with a  copy of the invoice in the post if you're a UK landlord; or via email if you're a non-resident landlord.

Statutory Periodic Tenancy

Should an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement expire, and neither party has given notice or a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement has not been entered into.  The tenancy will automatically continue on what is called a Statutory Periodic Tenancy.  The period is determined with reference to the frequency with which rent is due.  In most cases this will be a month-to-month rolling tenancy.

A Statutory Periodic Tenancy allows both parties to have peace of mind that although a new tenancy was not signed, the same rights for both parties are still legal and binding.  The only difference being is that you can give the tenant(s) two contractual months notice toe vacate at any time; and the tenant(s) can give you one contractual months notice to vacate at any time.

Whilst the flexibility of a Statutory Periodic Tenancy can be beneficial if a fixed 6/12 month tenancy is not practical for either party, this does also mean that either party can give notice at any time and therefore does not promote complete security as would an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

Please note that if Advanced Lettings have registered the tenants deposit, we will supply the tenants with a new prescribed information document.  However, if you have registered the deposit yourself then you MUST ensure that you supply the tenants with a new prescribed information document.

 
If you are an overseas landlord you can apply for approval under the Non-Resident Scheme and on receipt of this certificate we will not deduct any tax from your rental income.  To apply for approval please go to www.hmrc.gov.uk and search for non-resident scheme, the application forms can then be completed on line.  Please be aware that HMRC may take a few weeks to process your application, therefore we would recommend that you complete your application as soon as possible to avoid any tax being deducted while we are waiting for the approval from HMRC.
Yes you can, but you must give the tenants sufficient notice of any visit.  They are legally allowed a minimum of 24 hours notice.  If you wish to visit your property or require somebody else to visit e.g. mortgage providers at any time then please contact us so we can negotiate the necessary arrangements for you.

We always recommend that Landlords have the right buildings and contents insurance in place for their tenanted properties.  If your tenant(s) should ever request a copy of your insurance then you will need to provide it to them.


You must check that your insurer is aware that the property is let.  It is also worth considering whether your existing policy can provide cover for risks that are industry specific, as a private house of contents policy may not extend to them.  Some examples could include:




  • Loss of rent following an insured event

  • Property owner’s liability

  • Accidental / malicious damage by the tenant

  • Un occupancy cover

  • Alternative accommodation cover

  • Unauthorised property modification


'HomeLet' who we use for our referencing procedures do offer a comprehensive range of Landlord’s insurance policies.  To find out more from them you can contact them on 0330 333 7039 quoting ref.1504031 or by visiting https://homelet.co.uk/landlords/

An inventory is a complete record of a properties furnishings and contents, together with details on the condition that a property is let in, from scuffs and scrapes to whether something is really clean or covered in dust.


As part of our services we can arrange for this for you, using our brand new inventory app  Furnishings can be very expensive to replace and unless the condition of these together with the decoration and contents is properly documented, you will be unable to claim any recompense from the tenants deposit for any damage at the end of the tenancy.


With deposit registration being a legal requirement for landlords, the importance of a well documented inventory and report is required to protect this for both Landlord and Tenant.  Our inventories include a full written report and photographs all of which can be used in any adjudication process with deposit registration companies.


Tenants are given a copy of the inventory on their moving in day.  They are given 7 days to make any amendments that they feel are necessary and return it to the office.  The amended inventory is signed and copied and this inventory will be the one that is used if and when a tenant leaves the property.

All our properties to let are advertised on our own website, through the property portal Rightmove and use of our property lists which are available at all times.


When we receive interest from potential Tenant’s we ensure that they meet the criteria of our Landlord’s through a series of questions and move on to booking them a viewing.


Following a successful viewing, we will supply the potential tenants with application forms for completion.  On receipt of application forms we will contact you as the Landlord to discuss the content for approval.  It is at this point that we will complete the referencing for your new tenants.  If everything is provided correctly then this should only take 3 – 5 working days to complete.


When referencing completes successfully we will liaise between yourself and the tenant(s) to agree a moving in date and arrange an inventory date with you.


Every step of the process is communicated to both you and the new tenant(s) and we will update you as when required.

At Advanced Lettings we have a portfolio that includes both furnished and unfurnished properties.


In our experience, unfurnished properties are far more popular than furnished, especially in larger family homes.  As well as the legal requirements detailed below regarding any furniture in a property we would always recommend that you consider the greater responsibility for ongoing repairs or possible replacement.


Furniture and furnishings fire safety


The Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amended) Regulations 1998 require that all upholstered furniture and furnishings in rented properties must comply.


If any property is found not to comply then you as a landlord face fines, imprisonment or both.


To put a property on the rental market you MUST comply with these regulations immediately, and any furniture not complying MUST be removed BEFORE the tenancy commences.


If any items in a property subject to an existing rental are replaced, either during a tenancy or a void period, then those replacement items must continue to satisfy the requirements of these important regulations.


Generally, most furniture purchased from reputable suppliers after March 1990 should comply with the regulations and will be labelled accordingly.


Products Covered by the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations:




  • Furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children’s furniture

  • Beds, headboards, mattresses

  • Sofa-bed, futons and other convertibles

  • Nursery furniture

  • Garden furniture which is suitable for use in a dwelling

  • Pillows, cushions and seat-pads

  • Loose and stretch covers for furniture


Products NOT Covered by the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations:




  • Curtains, carpets, sleeping bags

  • Bedclothes (including duvets)

  • Loose covers for mattresses and pillowcases

  • Furniture made before 1950