Frequently Asked Questions
Most frequent questions and answers
How much will it cost me to let my property?
This really depends on how much support you need. At TOGroup we offer three main service levels: Tenant Find, Rent Collect and Fully Managed. Each involves a different degree of service from TOGroup and the fees we charge reflect this. Be sure you understand an agent’s fees and exactly what you receive for your money when you ask them to conduct a lettings valuation.
Why should I use a managing agent?
Choosing a fully managed service allows you to completely relax. You never have to worry about the let. It creates a professional distance between you and the tenancy, and means you can avoid having to deal with all the bad bits like rent arrears and deposit disputes.
Why should I have an inventory?
An inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of your property taken before the tenant moves in. It is important that if there is a dispute over damage at the end of the tenancy, you have proof of the original condition of the property and its contents.
Why do I need an EPC?
An Energy Performance Certificate, or EPC for short, is a report detailing the energy efficiency of a property. It gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
All landlords are required to purchase an EPC for a property before they let it and, from 1st April 2018, the property must have a minimum rating of E on its EPC. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches this requirement with a penalty of up to £4,000.
Why do I need an inventory?
We strongly recommend that you take the option of a professional inventory. It helps you protect your property and forms part of the contract between you and your tenant. It will detail the condition of the property when a tenant moves in and at the end of their tenancy. Vital to ensure there is no deposit disputes at the end of tenancies.
What is ARLA Propertymark?
The ARLA Propertymark is the leading professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK. ARLA Propertymark is dedicated to protecting consumers by improving standards and professionalism within the lettings industry. Remember, letting agents are not regulated by law. Your Move choose to be members of a regulatory body.
What is a routine visit?
The landlord or the letting agent gives the tenant notice that they will be visiting the property to check it is being looked after, and to check for any potential maintenance issues.
Who will pay the council tax - the landlord or the tenant?
The tenant is responsible for the council tax (unless you decide to include this in the rent) but this needs to be clearly stated in the tenancy agreement. If the property is standing empty, it is the landlord’s responsibility to pay.
Who organises repairs and maintenance work?
If you are on our fully managed or guaranteed rent service, we take full responsibility liaising with the tenant and coordinating any necessary works approved by the landlord. We have an extensive network of trusted local tradesmen and contractors who are regularly used to complete repairs or vital maintenance work when needed.
If I let out a property do I have to provide the tenant with any furniture?
No, it is your choice whether to let out your property unfurnished, part furnished or fully furnished. Any electrical appliances left should be PAT tested and any soft furnishings left must comply with furniture and fire regulations.
What is fair wear & tear?
At the end of the tenancy when considering any potential deductions from the tenant’s deposit caused by damage, the principle of fair wear and tear is used.
Do We Accept DSS and Housing Benefits?
Yes we do!*
*But it will depend on the landlord.
How do I end my tenancy?
You will be able to end your tenancy by giving notice to your landlord in writing. Should you wish to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed initial period a notice of one month (from a rent due date) will be required. If you stay on at the property after the initial fixed period and the tenancy is not renewed then it automatically becomes a ‘periodic tenancy’ which you can bring to an end by providing a notice of one month from a rent due date.
What is a Guarantor?
If you have a poor credit history or a low income, are a student, or are on benefits, you may be asked to provide a Guarantor. This is someone who will sign a Deed of Guarantee agreeing to the same terms and conditions as your tenancy. For example, if you do not pay the rent, the Guarantor will be required to pay this on your behalf. Your Guarantor will remain for the length of your tenancy.
What does a guarantor need to do?
A guarantor needs to go through the same referencing process as a tenant. The normal requirement is that they are employed and a UK resident, with sufficient earnings to cover the tenant’s rental commitment.
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
What references do I need to get?
For a long let you will be asked for a previous landlord, bank, employee and/or character references to demonstrate proof of income and suitability. You will also need to provide proof of ID, proof of address and proof of a ‘Right to Rent’ in England through a passport or combination of passport and valid visa.
Who is responsible for contacting the utility companies after I move in?
You as the tenant are responsible for setting up accounts with the utility companies directly when you move into your property and also when you leave, taking care to provide meter readings at the beginning and end of the tenancy.
Who do I report maintenance issues to?
Upon your move-in you will be provided with the contact details you will need to report any maintenance issues at the property while you live there. Your contact will generally either be your landlord directly or your agent should they be instructed to manage the tenancy on your landlord’s behalf.
Can I have a guest stay with me?
You may have non-paying guests at the property for a maximum of three weeks per year. You may not have paying guests, as this would result in a “sublet”, which is specifically forbidden in your Tenancy Agreement.
Can I use my Deposit money to pay my last months’ rent?
Your deposit money is by law to be held in an approved Government scheme and is ultimately to re-imburse the landlord for damage to the property, rent arrears and other tenant liabilities that are outstanding at the end of a tenanmcy. It cannot therefore be used as a “rent payment” during the tenancy without the specific permission of the landlord. Failing to pay the last month of your rent will result in your being in arrears and therefore we would not be able to provide any future landlord or Agent with a satisfactory reference.
Why do I need to be referenced?
The landlord needs to be sure that that their tenant won’t have any problems paying the rent on a monthly basis and will take good care of their property. A reference looks into current financial commitments, credit history, and previous tenancies to check everything is in order.
What does referencing involve?
Referencing is nothing to worry about. Tenants applying to rent need to give details of their employer and income, their previous address, and some bank account details. These will be checked to ensure they are able to commit to monthly rental payments.
Do I need to show ID?
As part of the referencing process we need to be sure a tenant is who they say they are, and that they have the right to rent in the UK. We will require a proof of residency (such as a utility or council tax bill from the last 3 months) and proof of ID (such as a passport or driving licence).