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Short Letting in London
Nowadays, short-term lets are widespread in London. This is a good way for a landlord to make some extra money or even to make a living.
In this article, we explain everything you need to know about short lets in London as a landlord.
If you do not sign a specific form of a tenancy agreement, then, by default, your relationship with a tenant will be regulated by an assured shorthold tenancy in accordance with English law. This kind of tenancy allows you to return your property after a 6-month period.
We strongly recommend you and your tenant sign a written agreement before the latter moves into your property. There is no place for verbal agreements in this situation since they may result in huge expenses and emotional stress in the long run. A written agreement, on the other hand, will protect your property and your nerves.
English law provides landlords with a proper protection using a deposit scheme. In particular, a landlord gets a deposit from a tenant with the purpose to cover expenses when something
happens to the property. In most cases, a deposit is usually returned to a tenant at the end of the tenancy. This procedure is backed by the government, so there is no need to worry about anything for both parties.
After getting a deposit, you have 30 days to provide it to a company that offers a deposit protection scheme. A landlord must also provide a tenant with all the necessary information that he or she will need to get a deposit back.
A landlord is responsible for repairs of breakages that happen not due to a tenant’s misconduct, including property’s structural issues and functionality of different home appliances as well as electric and gas ones.
In case of a long-term tenancy, you will have to hold safety checks at least once in 12 months. In particular, it is your duty to arrange those checks as well as to pay for them. A person that will be holding safety checks must be authorized by the Gas Safe Register.
• Energy Performance Certificate for a landlord’s property is required;
• Meet your tenants to avoid fraud. Take copies of their documents;
• According to English law, it is illegal to provide accommodation to a person that is not allowed to stay in the country. On your demand, tenants must provide documents certifying that they are legal residents of the country;
• Find out whether your potential tenant was evicted or even sued before for breach of a tenancy agreement. To check this, look through the public records for a tenant’s credit report;
• Check with local authorities if there are any taxes you need to pay. It depends on the amount of money you get from the tenancy;
• It would be smart to insure your property before the tenancy starts.
In order not to forget about all the important things, it is better to deal with a professional real estate agency such as Ready Property that will help you at all the stages of letting a property.
Another mandatory stage of short- or long-term lets in London is an inventory check. It is held before a tenant moves in. A landlord makes a list of all pieces of furniture as well as other contents of the property. It can be done by a letting agent on behalf of a landlord. For example, Ready Property clients that let their property for a short or long term in such areas of London as Highbury, Finsbury Park, Kensington, Soho, and others usually ask our agents to do it, which is rather convenient and time-saving.
Do not forget that an inventory check must be agreed with a tenant as well.
Tenant vs Lodger
If a landlord is living with the tenants, they are called lodgers with a status of a live-in landlord. If you let the whole property, the people living there are called tenants, and you are a live-out landlord. A contract with a lodger is called a license, while a contract with a tenant is called a tenancy agreement. As a rule, lodgers have fewer rights than tenants do, however, in the end, it all comes down to the written conditions the parties have agreed on.
In general, the letting process includes the following stages:
• Choosing a real estate agency
• Arranging a viewing
• Receiving an offer
• Accepting an offer
• Credit and reference checks
• Deposit payment
• Inventory check
• Tenancy agreement
If you have any more questions left about short- or long-term lettings, Ready Property can provide you with professional assistance in any area of the British capital – be it Central, West, or East London.