Your Absolute Property guide to being a landlord

Here’s some information you may find useful about being a landlord:


Permission to let

If you have a mortgage or bank loan on your property, you will need to have written permission to sub-let it. If your property is leasehold, you may need written permission from the leaseholder. This may incur costs. It’s also wise to phone your local council and ask if you need a License to Let.


Before you consider renting a property, do consider the costs associated with being a landlord; the most common being service charges, ground rent, management fees, maintenance and tax. HMRC must also be notified of your plans to rent out your property.  Additionally, rental income from your property has tax implications. If you live overseas for more than six months of every year, you must apply to HMRC to have UK rental income minus tax deductions. In this case, HMRC will give you “certificate NRL1”.

Safety regulations

Rental properties must adhere to stringent safety standards:

  • Every 12 months, you must renew your gas safety certificate. To get this, every gas appliance in the property needs to be maintained and checked by a Gas Safe-registered engineer
  • Smoke alarms must be present and in working order on every floor of your property, and carbon monoxide alarms need to be installed in every room where a solid gas fuel appliance is present. The alarms will need to be tested in front of the tenant on the first day of every tenancy
  • The furnishings in furnished properties must comply with fire and safety regulations and must be labelled with ignition resistance levels
  • You must have a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you let your property
  • You must have your property assessed for risk of exposure to Legionella

It is advisable to have the following:

  • PAT Test (Portable Appliance Test). This is an electrical appliance check for safety purposes.
  • Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • Copies of appliance and instruction manuals (these should be placed in a folder to be kept at the property)

What happens after we’ve found your tenant?

We will ask the tenant(s) for a reservation fee equivalent to two weeks’ rent, an administration fee and any reference charges.  Once the funds have been received we can check their references and complete the necessary paperwork.

The Immigration Act restricts illegal immigrants from renting properties. This means that all proposed tenants over the age of 18 must provide identification and prove their immigration status before a tenancy is granted. This is imperative; failure to do so can incur fines and even a prison sentence of up to five years.

What is a tenancy agreement?

Your tenancy agreement is between you and your tenant. It is legally binding.

Tenancy agreements typically cover the following:

  • property address
  • length of tenancy including start and finish dates
  • agreed deposit and where it is being held
  • agreed rent and when it is to be paid
  • rights and responsibilities of both parties

What is a security deposit?

To help cover damages, unpaid rent or other unmet conditions of the lease, all landlords require security deposits on top of the reservation fee. This is usually equivalent to six weeks’ rent, but may be more if your tenant has a pet.

If the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), the deposit will be placed in a Government-recommended deposit scheme, either by you or by us. To protect against loss or damage, the deposit is held securely until the end of the tenancy. If the tenancy is not an AST either you or Absolute Property can hold the deposit.

At the end of a tenancy, the amount of the deposit to be returned will be discussed between you and your tenant. If the tenancy is an AST and there is any dispute regarding the return of the deposit, matters will be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Department of the Deposit Protection Service. If the tenancy is not an AST you can negotiate it directly with the tenant; or if Absolute Property are managing the property we will negotiate the deposit on your behalf.

Looking after your property

We recommend that all properties are professionally cleaned at the end of each tenancy. Please ask if you would like to be introduced to a professional cleaning agency.

To minimise the chance of discord at the end of tenancies, we employ an independent inventory clerk on your behalf. Before each tenancy starts, the condition of all furniture, fixtures and fittings belonging to you will be noted, and meter readings will be taken.

Finally, you must settle all utility accounts before the start of a tenancy, at which point they will be put into the tenant’s name.