LANDLORD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

LANDLORD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the costs incurred should I wish to market my property?

At Keylet, if you wish to instruct us to market your property, we will do so free of charge. We will list your property on our online portals including Rightmove, On The Market and our Website, as well as our social media channels, so your property gets seen by thousands. It is only once we have succeeded to find you tenants for the property, that our standard charges are applied.

What are the costs incurred should I wish to let my property?

At Keylet, we offer a variety of services to suit your needs, this can vary from a fully managed service to let only service and anything in between! Whether you need us to help with rent collection or to provide mid-term inspections, we can create a service specifically to you. With this in mind, our pricing packages will vary.

Which type of service should I go for?

Choosing what service best suits you can be a tricky decision, there are many factors you need to take into consideration here. Such as, do you live locally? How much spare time do you have? Do you have reliable contractors? Do you know all the legislation? Are you qualified under the Rent Smart Wales scheme? If you have answered no to any of these questions you may find a managed service more beneficial.

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How does the viewings process work?

Once tenants begin to register their interest in your property, we will make the arrangements with them directly to conduct the viewing. A member of our team will accompany prospective tenants to view the property and they will only occur during our working hours. We take keys for access and notify any current tenants 24 hours prior to us viewing the property. Should you wish to be present for any viewings, we are more than happy to accommodate this.

 

What is an EPC and do I need one?

An EPC is an Energy Performance Certificate, which is a list of statistics about the energy efficiency of the property. They also have recommendations on where you could make improvements. EPCs carry ratings on energy use and carbon dioxide emissions. An EPC is valid for 10 year and is a legal requirement to have before the property goes on the market. Keylet will be able to organise a certificate for your property if you haven’t got one already.

How does the referencing process work?

All of our tenants must be referenced and we employ an external referencing agency to ensure the checks are verified. These includes employment, previous landlord and credit checks. This process can take up to seven working days, if for any reason the references are not acceptable we will discuss various options with you. A financial guarantor is required with all of our student tenants, this can help secure rent at your property.

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When will I receive my monthly rent?

If you are a Let Only landlord you will usually set up a payment plan between you and the tenant that suits you both best. For our managed landlords, our accounts team processes all landlord statements in order for rent to be received on the 15th of each month (with exceptions on weekends and bank holidays). Should for any reason the tenant fall into arrears, we will follow our procedure as outlined in the tenancy agreement and let you know as soon as possible.

What is an inventory and do I need one?

An inventory for your property is one of the most important documents you will require during the tenancy process. It is a document that lists the current condition of the fixtures and fittings of the property. Our fully trained staff ensure this document is up to date before your tenants move in, and this same document is used when the tenants vacate. This way we can determine whether the tenants have left the property in a good condition. We take numerous photos of your property which are date-stamped and are held on file should we need to refer back to them to determine whether there are any tenant damages.

What happens to the bond deposit?

A bond deposit is a sum of money held against the property as security for you in case of the property being returned in a unsatisfactory condition. Our bond deposit amounts vary between different lets. If you have an apartment to let to professionals via our Cardiff Bay branch we charge one month’s rent plus £150.00 and for student lets via our Cathays branch we charge one month’s rent plus £50 per person. We usually receive the bond on or before the day they move in to the property, we then register the bond with an accredited government third party scheme. For our managed properties we use The Dispute Service. This means that the bond is protected and cannot be used for the duration of the tenancy. The bond is to be used for any remedial maintenance, cleaning or arrears on the property and cannot be used to ‘better’ the property.

CLICK HERE FOR THE DISPUTE SERVICE WEBSITE

What is the purpose of the tenancy deposit scheme?

Government legislation means that any deposit paid by a tenant for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must be registered with a deposit protection scheme within 30 days of its payment. The money is security in case the tenant does not meet their obligations in connection with the tenancy. Once the deposit is paid we then provide the tenant with specific details of the deposit protection and a leaflet explaining how TDS works, this is called prescribed information. The schemes are there in place to guarantee that any deposit disputes will be dealt with efficiently, as there they act as a third party and will settle disputes as fairly as possible.

What checks do I need to complete at the property?

As the private rental sector grows, certain legislation and codes of practice are put in place to help maintain the standards of the property market. Therefore before a tenant moves into the property you will need to make sure that the following is complete: Electrical Safety Test, Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) test, gas safety check and legionnaire check. We have the suitable contractors in place to complete all of these checks in-house, if you are a managed landlord we also remind you of when these are due and complete them on your behalf to ensure your due diligence as a landlord.

What should I do if there is maintenance required on the property?

If your property is fully managed with Keylet, it is at your discretion how much involvement you would like with the maintenance. Some landlords know their properties better than anyone, and take a more on hands approach, whereas as other landlords prefer to transfer the responsibility over to contractors. Over the years we’ve built up strong relationships with contractors that cover all areas of property maintenance. We usually advise that we have a spending limit of £100 when instructing maintenance, (although you can set this at a figure of your choice), this way we can ensure the smaller jobs are completed with minimal disruption or delay. Should anything require replacing or cost over the set limit, then we will always contact you before approving the works. For the larger works, we will endeavour to provide you with at least two quotes, so you know you are getting a competitive price. For emergencies, we will always act in your best interests and should we be unable to reach you, work may be carried out depending on the extent of potential damage. Alternatively, you may have contractors of your own, and if you would like to introduce us, we can co-ordinate work direct with them.

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Do you complete mid-term inspections at the property?

Yes, if you are a managed landlord we will visit the property during a tenancy to ensure the property is being kept up to standard and is in a satisfactory condition. The length of the tenancy will determine when we visit the property (For example on a six month tenancy we will attend usually in the third month), however we can do these as little or as often at your request. The tenants are entitled to the right of quiet enjoyment and therefore we are respectful of the amount of times we visit a tenant, and will only attend when necessary. Following our mid-term inspection, you will be sent a detailed report with a break down room-by room of its current condition. We also draw your attention to any recommendations over the up and coming years that we think may be required in order to keep the property to a high standard, which therefore will justify steady rent increases.

What is a ‘HMO’ license?

The law requires that certain types of rented property are licensed in order to meet standards that ensure a house is safe for the occupants and that the landlord is competent, qualified and the most appropriate person to manage it. HMO licensing lays down fire safety requirements and applies standards relating to kitchen and bathroom facilities. It will set maximum occupancy limits and control ongoing management standards.  In addition Additional Licensing Schemes for Cathays and Plasnewydd also look to tackle wider community issues such as waste, anti-social behaviour, energy efficiency and property security. Landlords must have a licence for all HMO properties. As your managing agent we can assist with HMO licensing, as without a license you could face a heavy fine.

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Should I furnish my property?

We would say that around 95% of our portfolio are furnished or part furnished properties, the reason for this being that the demand is significantly higher. Especially with student lettings and company lets. Having said that, we do have a number of unfurnished properties on our books and similarly we do have tenants registering their details with us who are looking for unfurnished properties as they already have their own furniture etc. If you are buy to let landlord and looking to furnish your property than we can help with making sure you have the most suitable furniture for that property. Furnished properties can often produce a higher rental yield.

What’s the benefits of an unfurnished property?

Even though supply is low, this can sometimes be advantageous as your property will stand out to those looking specifically for unfurnished. An unfurnished property to let can also remove some of the maintenance costs, as tenants would be responsible for their own furniture. You may find that supplying white goods such as fridge freezer ad washing machine more essential when securing an unfurnished let. You may also find that the tenants that have their own furniture want to make more of a home in their rental property and therefore we often find lengthier tenancies secured at unfurnished properties which gives you the extra security of guaranteed rent over a longer period of time.

What should I do about insuring the property?

From the day you exchange on the property you will require buildings insurance, you may need to make your insurance provider aware that you are letting the property if you were living in there previously. There are a variety of insurance products available specifically to the buy to let market, and whilst you aren’t legally obliged to take out contents insurance, some consider it worthwhile, especially in a fully furnished property. We advise that all tenants take out insure to cover accidental damage, although having your own protection plan in place could come in useful.

What happens if there are any void periods?

Landlords often see void periods as an advantage, as it gives you an opportunity to visit the property and is also a chance to instruct any maintenance or refurbishment works required without disrupting a tenant. You will be liable for all utility bills during this time, however during void periods the usage is significantly lower. In regards to Council Tax, you would be exempt from paying if the property is unfurnished. During any void periods, we would recommend putting in some security measures, such as alarms, timed lighting and heating so ensure the property is well kept during this time.