Tenant Questions

Can I hang pictures on the walls?
  • Yes if agreed with the landlord beforehand.
  • As per your contract the property must be returned in its original condition (asides from wear and tear) at the end of your tenancy therefore holes must be filled in.
Does the Landlord mind if I paint?
  • This is at your landlord’s discretion and simply needs to be agreed with them. As per your contract the property must be returned in its original condition (asides from wear and tear) at the end of your tenancy.
  • Most tenancy agreements contain a clause that states that, landlords cannot be unreasonable with not allowing changes.
Can I change the Utility Providers?
  • Yes, but be aware that this will require time and organisation on your part.
  • We recommend using ‘Tenant Shop’ to find a provider if you do wish to switch.
Where will my deposit be held?
  • All landlords are required to place their tenants’ deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme (TDP).
  • We recommend that our landlords store their TDP through James Anderson, however there are many schemes available and they may choose their own.
How quickly will the deposit be returned
  • The speed with which this process is completed, depends on the check-out report at the end of the tenancy.
  • Tenants are checked out by an independent party who send a report to the property manager.
  • If nothing is noted as deductible, your deposit should be returned within a matter of days.
  • If deductions are proposed in the check-out report, the process can take longer and even longer still if the deductions are disputed by the tenant. This is due to back and fourth communications between the tenant and the property manager/landlord while disputing these deductions.
  • Our advice is to look after the property and raise any maintenance problems if and when they occur. This way, you can return the property in the condition received it and there should be no problem in returning the deposit swiftly.
How do I serve notice to leave the property
  • Notify your property manager and they will contact the landlord.
  • Note, depending on the terms of your tenancy agreement, you may not be able to leave the agreement on your desired date.
Do I need to take out insurance?
  • No but we recommend tenants take out their own content and income insurance.
  • The landlord will have building insurance but this does not cover your possessions.
Can the Landlord change the locks before I move in?
  • The landlord has the right to change the locks at any stage, however– so long as the agreement has not been breached by the tenant – they are required to provide the tenant with a set of functioning keys.
  • Therefore within the tenancy dates, they cannot do so without informing you.
Am I responsible for mould / condensation?
  • In most cases yes. The tenant is required to keep a property clean and sufficiently ventilated during their tenancy.
  • Be careful when hanging washing indoors. Open windows and notify your property manager if any bathroom ventilation fans, or cooker hood fans are not functioning.
  • Where reported, this will be investigated and any problems resolved.
Could you provide us with a reference?
  • So long as we (the property management company) have collected rent from the tenant, yes we can provide references to new agents.
In a few months we have decided we might want to buy a dog. Is this possible?
  • If it is stated in contract that pets are not allowed, no.
  • This decision lies with the landlord but it can be discussed with them.
As a tenant, why does my landlord need to conduct frequent property inspections?
  • To protect their own investment. If they are reliant on rent from their rental property for income, the landlord needs to ensure that their investment is protected.

 


Landlord Questions

 

Do I need to take out insurance?
  • Landlords should definitely obtain building insurance – there are landlord specific packages.
  • In order to sell this a company needs to be SEA trained, therefore James Anderson cannot sell them but we can point you in the right direction.
  • Your property manager can also liaise with insurers if any claims are made (with the landlords permission) and they will arrange quotes or works if maintenance repairs are required.
Am I able to increase the rent during the Tenancy?
  • Not during the agreed term, however when the tenancy comes to renewal/extension there is an opportunity to discuss and negotiate rent changes with your tenant(s).
Do I need to inform my mortgage lender that I am renting out my property?
  • Yes.
Can I hold the deposit?
  • Yes you can. We recommend doing this via DPS through James Anderson but there are many schemes available.
  • If there are any disputes, having a property manager to mediate is really beneficial. The only stage we do not get involved with is discussions around what is owed on the deposit.
How do I end the Tenancy if I need the property back?
  • There are a couple of ways of going about this, dependent on the details of the tenancy agreement. The simplest way is to serve two months notice upon the tenant  – where the tenancy agreement allows you to do so.
  • If not, the end of the tenancy is the final date stated in the contract and you cannot take the property back before this date.
Am I allowed to inspect the property?
  • Yes, so long as suitable notice is served (at least 24 hours) and this is arranged with the tenants.
  • Part of James Anderson’s full service is quarterly inspections. We recommend that when possible, inspections are carried out by a non-biased, third party.
What happens when tenants don’t pay rent?
  • When a tenant is a full two months in arrears, a landlord is able to serve a section 8 notice that requires the tenant to surrender and vacate the property because of this breach of contract.
  • In this unlikely circumstance, your property manager would pursue the tenant at three days, seven days, fourteen and twenty-one days.
  • The benefit of our comprehensive service is the ‘rent guarantee’. With this, if a tenant stops paying rent or if the property is vacant, rent will still be covered and paid to the landlord.
What happens if a tenant buys a dog or cat without my knowledge?
  • If stated in the agreement that pets are not allowed, this is a breach of contract. The property manager would liaise with the tenant on the landlord’s behalf to resolve this.
Am I responsible for pest control?
  • The tenant is responsible for keeping the property clean and well maintained.
  • If the infestation is due to natural circumstances, and the property has been well maintained and kept clean, the landlord is responsible for taking care of the problem.
How can I keep up to date with what’s going on at my property?
  • Most correspondence will be carried out over the phone, in person or via email. We can be guided by client on their preferred means of contact.
  • As well as being kept up to date regularly by the property manager via these channels, we have the MyHome portal for things like invoices and statements.
What services can you offer for overseas landlords?
  • Paying utility/council tax whilst vacant bills, forwarding on post etc …HMRC reporting, responsibilities and client’s non-relevant exemption number, we can help with all of these!
How do you handle out of hours emergencies?
  • We have a dedicated out of hours team, available by phone from 6pm on weekdays until 8.45am and from 6pm on Fridays – 8.45am on Monday. You can contact them using a dedicated phone number. This service is to be used for emergencies only such as gas or electric failures and leaks
  • Our offices and your normal property manager will be contactable at all other times.
What is the difference between Full management and Comprehensive management?
  • The rental guarantee. This is provided with our comprehensive management service and means that if a tenant stops paying rent or if the property is vacant, rent will still be covered and paid to the landlord.
What are the property management hours? 
  • Your property manager is contactable 9-6pm Mon-Fri. For out of hours emergencies, contact our out of hours team.
Are the management fees tax deductible? 
  • Yes agency fees are tax deductible and you can claim these back.
Is there a management fee for the property whilst the property is vacant?
  • We offer a reduced ‘vacate manager service’ that includes quick and less regular inspections and reports back to the landlord. This is offered at a lower fee (£180 inc VAT pm).
How many properties do James Anderson currently manage in this area?
  • We currently have 250-300 on our books (Barnes ~112 East Sheen ~58 and Putney ~83 respectively).
How many contractors do you have on your books and what services do they cover?
  • We have a core set of five go-to contractors who we trust and have a long-term working relationship with (they have been with us for a number of years).
  • Some are more specific e.g. locksmiths, carpet fitters, flooring, sash windows.
  • Where works are required we always obtain three quotes or more.
  • If a landlord has a preferred contractor, we are happy to use them.
  • We review contractors according to quality and their quotes – our team meet with contractors quarterly for review meetings.
How are maintenance issues dealt with?
  • The tenant or landlord will report the issue to their property manager directly.
  • Your property manager will then decide on the best course of action, on behalf of the landlord.
  • Where significant works or cost are incurred and it is non-emergency, the property manager will liaise with the landlord prior to go ahead.
  • We do our best to alleviate issues over phone where possible e.g of flicking switches or changing settings and go and to inspect the issue ourself if necessary.
Will you notify me when my certificates are going to expire? GSC, EPC, etc….
  • Yes.
Do landlords need to use our trusted contractors or can they provide details of their own preferred for regular use?
  • If a landlord has a preferred contractor, we are happy to use them.
Are your property inspections and inventories conducted in-house or by an independent company?
  • These are currently conducted by an independent company.
  • The company we use can usually update the landlords previous inventory, if it was a professional one.
How often do you do inspections on the property?
  • These are offered as quarterly (with our full and comprehensive plans) but we are happy to go with what the landlord would prefer e.g. six months.
  • We are not able to carry out more than four per year – this breaches the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the residence.
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