Landlord FAQs

Why should I use a letting agent?

There are many good reasons why using a letting agent is preferable to going it alone in the rental market. For starters, it helps you to create that professional distance between yourself and your tenant.

Letting agents have access to a wide range of potential tenants and are the experts when it comes to marketing a property. It can be much easier to find the right tenant to live in your property with the help of an agent.

It also reduces the stress factor in letting a property as, depending on your level of service, the managing agent will chase rents, assist with deposit disputes, manage any maintenance issues, carry out regular property visits and complete the time-consuming and legally required paperwork.

When you choose an agent that is registered with ARLA or a similar industry regulatory body, they will ensure your property is let in accordance with all the latest legislation and guidelines.

Who will conduct viewings and do I need to be present?

Our experienced lettings managers will be on hand to show people around your property and answer any questions they may have.

There is no need for you to be present at viewings. Provided you have given us a set of keys, we will complete viewings at times that are convenient to the current tenants then provide you with feedback afterwards.

How will the value of my property be assessed?

Our lettings experts will carry out a full evaluation of your property, its decorative condition and how it compares to other properties as well as considering local market conditions before advising you on its monthly rental value. We will advise on how to maximise your rent so that you are able to make the most of your property, as we know your most valuable asset needs to work for you.

What is the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme?

It is a legal requirement for all landlords to place tenant deposits in a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. When you let your property through Lines & James, we will ensure your tenants’ deposits are lodged in the correct manner within the required timeframes. See more information here or download the detailed leaflet below.

Do I need to tell my mortgage lender?

Yes. If your property currently has a homeowner mortgage outstanding on it, you must inform your lender that you wish to let it out.

Should I let my property furnished or unfurnished?

It really depends on what and where your property is as to whether you should let it furnished or unfurnished as the market will determine what is the preferred option. Before you make a decision It is worth speaking to us about demand levels for each type of tenancy in your area and working out which option is best for you.

When will I receive my rent?

We guarantee to pay all of our landlords directly via BACS on the working day that their tenants pay the rent, so depending your bank, you will receive the funds within 5 working days.

Can I trust the tenants to take good care of my property?

It is impossible to guarantee that your tenants will look after your home in the way that you would because everyone has different standards, but at Lines & James we pride ourselves on selecting quality tenants for our landlord’s properties. Convinced of the benefits, we focus a great deal of effort on analysing the prospective tenants for each property to let and find that our landlords enjoy a lower number of dispute cases.

Who organises repairs and maintenance work?

If we are instructed to manage your property, we will take full responsibility for its upkeep all the time that we are acting as your managing agent. We have an local team of trusted tradesmen, suppliers and contractors who can be called into action when your property needs to be repaired or vital maintenance work is required.

What happens if my tenant doesn't pay their rent?

Depending on your level of service agreement, we will chase all late and unpaid rents on your behalf and are happy to report a very low rate of arrears experienced by our landlords. For extra security you can take out a rent guarantee policy giving you peace of mind.

What is the tax situation on rental income?

All profit from income generated through letting is taxable, but there are certain deductions that can be made to reduce your tax liability.

We recommend that you refer to a qualified accountant to help you manage your tax affairs. For further information refer to the HMRC website

What are my responsibilities for safety in the property?

All residential landlords are required to ensure that all gas appliances and flues are safe. This rule aims to avoid the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.  All rental properties must have:

  • A valid Gas Safety Record.
  • Approved appliances and pipework – Gas Safe Register are responsible for the registration of gas engineers.
  • An annual Gas Safety check – tenants must be provided with an appropriate Gas Safety record & the landlord must keep Gas Safety records for a minimum of 2 years.

Furniture and Furnishings

  • All furniture provided in a rental property must meet safety standards.
  • All furniture must have a permanent label clearly showing that they are fire resistant.

Furniture manufactured from March 1989 should comply with these regulations and will generally have a label showing compliance.

Electrical Equipment Safety

All electrical equipment supplied in a rental property must be safe to use.

  • Unlike gas appliances there is no legal requirement to have an annual safety check, however it is advisable to get appliances checked by an electrician.
  • Each item should be labelled showing it has been tested and the date of test.
  • Operating and safety instructions for all electrical equipment should be given to tenants.

Smoke Detectors

Properties built after June 1992 must have mains operated smoke detectors fitted on each floor.

Although there is no legislation requiring smoke detectors to be fitted in ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered the common law “duty of care” meaning that the landlord could be held liable should a fire cause injury where no smoke detectors are fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that landlords fit one smoke alarm on each floor.