Frequently Asked Questions
A. A member of Prime Choice will always attend any viewings with potential tenants. We will always provide 24 hours notice of any potential viewings if the property is occupied.
With our opening hours and tenant database, we are always confident of finding the right tenants for the right properties.
A. This is a legally binding contract between the Landlord/s and the Tenant/s which outlines the legal and contractual obligations of both parties.
A. We offer an Assured Shorthold Tenancy with a minimum term of 6 months. The agreement can then either be renewed for another fixed term, or monthly thereafter.
For more information, contact the office.
A. Where there is more than one adult on the tenancy agreement 'joint and severally liable' means that all of the tenants on the contract are responsible for the rent and all liabilities, or any breach of the tenancy. For instance, if one of the tenants cannot pay their portion of the rent, then the other tenants will have to pay it, because they are all liable for the rent, or if one tenant wishes to end the tenancy, they ALL have to vacate, because they are all liable.
A. Yes, we are legally obliged to provide the tenant with the landlord's details within 21 days of a formal written request.
We are very diligent in all the references we request for any property application. Prime Choice will always request a landlords reference, work references and we complete a credit check (where applicable).
A. Simply contact Prime Choice and we will serve the notice (written confirmation will be required). We will be able to advise on timeframes as to when the tenant will be expected to vacate.
A. It is your responsibility to insure your building and the contents, fixtures and fittings. You must inform the insurance company that you are letting the property or failure to do so may invalidate your policy. Prime Choice are appointed representatives of LetRisks and we are able to organise your insurance needs, please speak to a member of the lettings team for a free quotation.
A. If the property is subject to a mortgage it is your responsibility to seek consent in writing from the mortgagee. It is wise to obtain permission in principle before marketing the property to avoid unnecessary delays when negotiating a tenancy.
If you are a leaseholder it is important that you obtain approval from your freeholder or the managing agent in order to sublet, so that you do not invalidate your lease.
It is also important to notify the tenant of any specific parts of your lease (ie. cannot hang washing on the balcony, cannot have a Sky dish, no commercial vehicles allowed) so that these clauses can be inserted into the tenancy agreement.
A. The landlord must provide an annual gas safety certificate which can only be issued by a gas safe registered engineer. Prime Choice can organise these if required.
A. As from 1st October 2008, all rental properties in England and Wales are required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) prior to marketing. This is a European directive to help reduce the Carbon Footprint of your rental property, so it is exceptionally important to the environment.
These reports & graphs enable tenants to see at a glance how your property is assessed against other properties, and advises how some simple remedies (such as the use of low energy lighting, loft insulation, cavity wall insulation) can have a huge impact on the environment and also on the tenant/s' energy bills. They are valid for 10 years (unless taken from a Sales Home Information Pack 'HIP', whereby they are only valid for 3 years).
A. ARLA and all the Tenancy Deposit Schemes consider an inventory an essential document which provides a written benchmark that should be remade at the beginning of each tenancy.
A. The inventory is essential in maintaining a property before, during and at the end of tenancies. If any disputes arise at the end of a tenancy, an inventory will support any works that a tenant will be responsible for.
A. It is the responsibility of your tenant to pay for all utilities and any relevant bills during their occupancy.
A. Prime Choice will notify the utility companies when the property is fully managed (only if we are notified of the relevant suppliers).
A. Prime Choice request 1 months rent + £100 for a tenants deposit. This can be higher depending on whether the property is furnished and if the tenant has pets. All our deposits for managed properties are registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (which, please note, is a legal requirement).
A. Deposit monies are held against the property to cover dilapidations or damage at the end of the tenancy. The deposit is held by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and cannot be touched until the end of the tenancy, so it is not possible for the tenant to use this money to pay the last month’s rent, as this would be a breach of the tenancy agreement. If the tenant still refuses to pay the rent, then the outstanding monies can be deducted from the deposit and any further charges invoiced.
A. If one or more Landlords reside outside of the UK for a period of 6 months per annum or more, the Inland Revenue will hold your Tenant or your Managing Agent, responsible for the payment of any tax liability which arises on rents paid to you, unless an Approval Certificate, addressed to the Tenant or the Agent, is provided by the Inland Revenue pursuant to The Finance Act 1995.
As agents, we have got an obligation to deduct the tax, if an approval certificate is not provided.
If you have any queries, we recommend you speak to an accountant to confirm any tax obligations.
A. The Landlord is responsible for all repairs to the property, except when a repair is necessary due to a tenants misuse. In this instance, the tenant will be responsible to rectfy.
There are two ways landlords make money through property letting - capital growth and rental income growth. Let's take a look at these in more detail.
When a property increases in value over time, it is known as 'capital growth'. Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, has been strong in recent times, but the value of property does go up as well as down, and of course the local conditions surrounding your property have a big effect.
Rental income is what the tenant pays you - hopefully this will grow over time too. In addition to the all important income, you will also need to budget for a number of necessary costs. It's worth highlighting what these costs are so you can budget for them. This is especially important as ultimately you are responsible for these costs whether the property is occupied or not.
Of course, your biggest cost is likely to be your mortgage.
Many buy-to-let mortgage lenders will only lend up to 80% of the property value, so you'll need to put in some money yourself - which of course has a cost too!
Once you have deducted all these costs from the rent, you end up with your net expected rental income.
If you divide this into the value of the property, including all the costs associated with buying it, you have the 'true' or 'net rental yield'.
Once you do the maths, you may find that the net rental yield figure is less than the cost of your mortgage, leaving you with a shortfall. However, if you have bought well, you should expect the rental income to creep up over time - plus you should see some capital growth too.
How do I work out my rental yield?
Any investment in property is a business decision and we would always advise working out the potential return on your investment.
To calculate the percentage gross rental yield on your investment
(total income per year ÷ the value of the property) x 100 = % gross yield
To calculate the percentage net yield
([total income – total costs] ÷ the value of the property) x 100 = % net yield
Please note, you will always need to consider your annual running cost for the property.
These can include:
Premiums for buildings insurance vary by area, type and size of property but allow for between 2 and 3% of the rent. For furnished property allow between another 1 and 4% of the rent depending on the level of furnishing.
Replacing fixtures and fittings
Allow for 10% of the rent each year to replace worn out fixtures, fittings and furnishings. Also, be prepared to re-decorate every few years.
Things break down and need to be maintained over time. You will need to allow a percentage of the rent to cover this. The type, age and condition of the property will obviously have an effect on repairs and maintenance of the property, so this should be taken in to consideration when choosing your property to purchase.
Ground rent and service charges
If the property is leasehold you'll have to pay these charges.
Our fees for the management of the property and tenant.
(*information sourced from Rightmove)
A. Quite simply, click on the below link and you can search for a valid EPC:
If you dont have one, please contact us.
A. Yes, we now accept card payments.
Any debit card transactions have a £1 fee and any credit card transactions have a 2% charge and American Express 2.5%.