New to Landlording? Confused about all the terminology and worried you're missing something? Read on...
Being a landlord can feel like a big responsibility and making sure you're following the letter of both the law and HMRC can feel a bit daunting...especially if you're not familiar with all the terminology. Here at Protect Your Bricks, we've put together a glossary explaining some of the terms you may hear when you venture into the world of lettings, which we hope will help you navigate your way through property ownership with confidence.
ARLA Propertymark – The Association of Residential Letting Agents
Launched in February 2017, this is the UK's recognised professional body for lettings agents.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement (AST)
This is name of the agreement usually set up between a landlord and their tenant(s) in residential lettings.
This is the type of mortgage you need to finance a property you are planning on letting. The rates will be different to that of a property that's lived in by the borrower. If you do not have a buy-to-let mortgage in place, you will need to contact your mortgage provider to let them know you would like to rent out the property.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
This is needed if you are looking to sell or rent your property and provides information to prospective residents about the energy efficiency of the property. This is provided on a sliding scale from A-G, with A being considered very energy efficient and G the opposite. As a landlord, it is your responsibility to provide your tenants with a certificate and they will need to be completed by a qualified energy assessor and will last you ten years, unless you make major renovations to your property.
Furnished / part-furnished
A description of your property that is dependent on the amount of furniture in your property at the time of rental. Part-furnished usually means white goods are provided within the property.
Gas Safety Check
If your rental property has gas appliances, then you are responsible for maintaining these appliances as well as ensuring that an annual gas safety check is carried out by a gas engineer. You will also need to provide your tenant with a record of this annual check, called a Gas Safety Record.
A list of items within your property, provided at the beginning and end of each tenancy and records the condition of all items.
You can pay an agency to manage your rental property on a day-to-day basis for a percentage of the rental costs. They can take care of the deposits, reference checks and property management. You can also manage the property yourself but if you have properties in Wales, you will have to do the RentSmart training (even if you live outside of Wales). There are regional licensing schemes in Scotland and City of London.
Referencing checks allow you to conduct a credit check on any potential tenants to reassure you that they will be able to afford the rental costs each month. You can also conduct reference checks with employers and previous landlords if you needed extra reassurance.
Right to Rent
It is now compulsory in England for all landlords to ensure that any tenants living in their property can legally rent in the UK. If you do not conduct these checks, you could be fined up to £3000. Right to Rent has not yet been rolled out across Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS or TDP)
All landlords have to hold their tenant's deposit in a government backed tenancy deposit scheme. This ensures that all tenants will get their deposit back at the end of the tenancy as long as they paid their rent and bills on time and have left the property in a good state.