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Lettings FAQs

How much will it cost me to let my property?

See the IMS fee sheets on the IMS Landlords page for all costs for letting out your property.

Is IMS an ARLA PropertyMark registered lettings agent?

Yes, IMS is an ARLA PropertyMark-registered lettings agent.

Are there any additional marketing costs?

The Set Up Fee covers all marketing costs.

Who will conduct viewings on my property and when will they occur?

IMS will accompany all viewings at a conveniently arranged time for you.

Do I need to be present for viewings?

As IMS accompany all viewings, we will have the access codes and keys for your property, so you don’t need to be present. It is also worth noting that many tenants often feel more relaxed when the owner is not present.

What is an EPC and how long will it be valid?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G and is valid for 10 years. It is a legal requirement for landlords to have a valid EPC before their property is let. IMS can arrange this for you.

How much is the tenant’s deposit and what happens to it?

Typically a deposit equates to five weeks’ rent and is payable upon the signing of the Tenancy Agreement. The deposit will then be registered with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme; IMS uses a custodial deposit scheme and pay the deposit across to them within the required 30 days of receipt.

What does the deposit scheme involve and how does it protect me?

The deposit is held by the tenancy deposit protection scheme for the duration of the tenancy and in the event that the tenant disputes any claim at the end of the tenancy, the deposit scheme adjudication service review evidence submitted, guaranteeing that any deposit disputes will be dealt with fairly and efficiently.

How long does it take to receive my rent once paid by the tenant?

IMS process rent payments daily excluding weekends and bank holidays so that you get paid as close to the rent date as possible. Please note that whilst we endeavour to pay you in a timely manner we cannot be held liable for any delays in banking, computer failure or other factors outside of our control such as delayed or non-payment of rent by the tenant.

Where the tenant falls into rent arrears our management fee remains payable and we strongly advise that you make provision for any void period or delay in receiving rent.

Do I have to wait to change letting agents until my property is vacant?

No, we can take over the management with an existing tenancy in place, we can deal with your current agent on your behalf to make it seamless for you and your tenants.  Your agent may charge you an exit fee, details will be in your contract but we can assist with this.

Can I have a say on who moves into my property?

We will discuss any applications with you, it is important to us that we find the right fit for you and the property. Please bear in mind though that this will need to be in line with advertising and discrimination legislation.

Can I say no to pets?

Yes, a Landlord can say no to pets, it is entirely at your discretion. We would encourage you to consider any requests though as a large number of tenants do have a pet of some kind, particularly a cat or dog.

Can I charge extra if a tenant has a pet?

Yes. Under the Tenant fees Act 2019, landlords can no longer hold a pet deposit or insist on carpet cleaning or flea spray treatment, but you can charge a higher rent in respect of a ‘pet premium’, there is no set amount it is at your discretion, we suggest £40pcm.  This extra rent is for the extra wear and tear and to cover your costs for the carpet cleaning and pet treatment at the end of the tenancy.  It doesn’t cover damage, this would be treated in the usual way from the tenant’s deposit.

Do I have to use your recommended contractors for any work at the property?

No. We are happy to use your choice of contractor, we would just require a copy of their public liability insurance.  The contractors we use on a regular basis are local businesses who we have built excellent working relationships with.  We regularly price check to make sure you they remain competitive and we don’t add an uplift to their invoices.  You receive the contractor’s invoice and pay them direct, we don’t process it through the rent.

Do I need an inventory?

A detailed inventory is needed as without it you will struggle to defend any claim from the tenants deposit when they move out. The deposit scheme adjudicators favour independent inventories over those compiled by landlords. A comprehensive inventory is provided as part of our set up fee.  We use an independent company who visit the property and send us a detailed report complete with photographs. 

Why do you ask for the property to be professionally cleaned and the gardening to have been done before checkin?

To ensure that the tenancy starts in the best possible way, not only to avoid complaints and unhappy tenants but also to ensure that this is the condition the property is returned to you when they vacate.

Is a Legionella Risk Assessment necessary?

Yes. There is often confusion over this, it doesn’t involve testing for legionella, but as landlord you are legally obliged to carry out a risk assessment, to implement any necessary measures and review regularly.  You don’t need to have a fancy report, you can do it yourself if you feel competent to do so. Alternatively, we do have a qualified assessor who we can instruct on your behalf if you would like us to arrange this.  The recommended timeframe is every 2 years unless circumstances dictate otherwise.  A written assessment is recommended in the event that you need to demonstrate in court that you have met your obligations.

What safety certificates do I need before a tenant moves in?

  • Landlord gas Safety report
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR)
  • Portable Appliance Test (PAT) report for any freestanding white goods
  • Any properties with wood burners will need the HETAS certificate

My property has a garage but I would like to keep that for storage, is that permitted?

There are no rules about this, so technically yes but we wouldn’t advise you do this, as tenants may shy away from renting your property as they will most likely want to use any garage and may be concerned over their right to quiet enjoyment if you were accessing it.

I live overseas, does this affect anything?

Overseas landlords need to apply to HMRC for Non Resident Landord Status (NRL).  It is an easy online process for anyone who has lived and paid tax in the UK, without a gateway code you can apply by post.

Once approved, HMRC will send both you and your agent a letter confirming a NRL Approval number.  This is linked to you as an individual together with the letting agent, joint landlords will need to apply separately. Each time you change letting agents you will need to apply for a new approval number. Having NRL approval allows us to pay the rent to you without deducting the tax payable to HMRC. 

If there is any delay in receiving approval we are required to deduct 20% and remit it to HMRC quarterly,  monthly and quarterly administrative charges are payable if this is required.

I would like the full management service but also want to be involved to some degree, how would that work?

We can work with you to find a service level that suits you best, we recognize that one size doesn’t fit all and can make it bespoke to you.

What are the benefits of using a Letting Agent?

  • Ensure your legal responsibilities are met – with fixed penalty notices of £30,000 for a range of housing offences, an Agent will help to make sure you are compliant and not at risk of prosecution.
  • Using an expert with good knowledge of the market conditions and demand is likely to achieve a higher rent for you.
  • Stringent vetting and referencing procedures, means you are more likely to attract reliable tenants.
  • You hand over the burden of being on call 24/7. Having a full management service will give you back your time and likely save on stress and anxiety.
  • Finding reliable tradespeople can be challenging, your agent will have a range of vetted contractors they use who offer fast response times and competitive prices.
  • Rent can be collected and chased on your behalf with annual rent reviews to make sure you are not missing out on opportunities to increase the rent where appropriate
  • Secure deposit protection scheme administration is taken care of for you
  • All the correct paperwork is given to the tenant at the correct time so you will not encounter issues if you need to serve notice.
  • Peace of mind; not only that everything is taken care of for you, but support and advice is on hand whenever you need it.
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