Letting Your Property & Deposits
I am thinking of letting my property
If all or part of your property is empty you may decide to let your property but may be unsure what to do. It is essential that you are aware of your rights and obligations when becoming a landlord to avoid any problems arising at the beginning, during, or at the end of the tenancy. You will need to decide what type of property you want to let and how you want to let it. For example, you may intend to live in the premises yourself, you may own a second property or you may want to let your property whilst you are away.
Your property will need to be of a certain standard before letting and must comply with the following:
- You will need to ensure that the property is in good repair in accordance to the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). For more information visit the Repairs page.
- You will need household and/or building insurance. (tenants will normally have their own contents insurance to cover their personal belongings)
- Have a Gas Safety Certificate. For more information visit the Gas Safe Register website.
- Supply a Energy Performance Certificate to the tenant. For more information visit the GOV.UK website.
It is your choice whether you decide to provide furniture or not and will more than likely depend on the tenant. For example, if you are letting a property as one whole unit, it is likely that your prospective tenant will have furniture of their own. If you want to rent a bed-sit, many of your prospective tenants will probably be single people who have very little, if any, furniture of their own.
The type of property you let will influence the type of tenancy that will need to be issued and the type of notice that will need to be served either by yourself or your tenant. You should ensure that when the tenancy begins you and the tenant know how either of you may lawfully end the tenancy. You must ensure that you choose an appropriate tenancy, decide on the terms of the tenancy and set out the terms of the tenancy clearly.
Please be aware that before letting your property, you may have to obtain consent from other people such as your mortgage lender, your freeholder (if you want to let a leasehold flat), your landlord (if you are a tenant yourself) or the Councils Planning Department if you are intending to let shared premises (For further information on shared accommodation then visit the Houses in Multiple Occupation page.)
You can advertise your property in various ways. You could consider any of the following options:
- Local shop windows,
- Local libraries,
- Registering with local estate / letting agents,
- Registering with local University accommodation offices,
- With Worcester City Council (for further information about letting your property via Worcester City Council please visit the Local Lettings Agency page).
It is important to make your advert clear on matters such as the rent you are asking for, the terms on which you are offering the property, whether you are offering the property on an assured shorthold basis and what furniture, fixtures and fittings are to be included.
If you do wish to let your property you may wish to consider the Worcester City Council Rent Deposit Guarantee Scheme to source tenants and assist with relevant paperwork and a free HHSRS check. For further information about letting your property via Worcester City Council please visit the Local Lettings Agency page.
For further information on letting your property you may find the following websites & leaflets useful:
- GOV.UK - Private Renting Information - Website
- Landlord Zone - Website
- National Landlords Association - Website
- Reluctant Landlord Leaflet - Leaflet
- Landlord Handy Tips - Leaflet
- Landlord Guide - Leaflet
- Crisis Private Rented Sector - Website
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
If you take a cash deposit from a tenant you must deposit this into one of the government deposit protection schemes, there are four insurance-backed tenancy deposit protection schemes. The authorised administrators are: The Deposit Protection Service (which also offers a custodial service), My Deposits, The Tenancy Deposit Scheme and Capita Tenancy Deposit Protection. More information about tenancy deposit protection and the authorised scheme administrators is available on the GOV.UK website.
If you have issued an assured shorthold tenancy and you have not registered this cash deposit with one of the deposit protection schemes there are implications,please see the GOV.UK website for further advice on this or contact the Housing Advice Team for assistance:
Government Deposit Protection Schemes
- The Deposit Protection Service the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) launched in 2007 and has grown to become a trusted partner to many landlords and letting agents. They are proud to offer a ‘one-stop shop' for tenancy deposit protection by providing landlords and letting agents with a choice of custodial or insurance-based protection via their Custodial Scheme or their Insured Scheme.
- My Deposits my deposits is a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. It is designed to enable landlords and letting agents in England and Wales to take and hold a deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
- The Tenancy Deposit Scheme is a multi-award winning, government approved provider of tenancy deposit protection and alternative dispute resolution in England and Wales. They are an independent, not-for-profit company operated by The Dispute Service Ltd, the UK's longest established provider of tenancy deposit protection.
Rent Deposit Guarantee Bond via the Local Lettings Agency (RDGB) - is a Worcester City Council scheme where a tenant will be sourced and a deposit bond issued (instead of a cash deposit) this allows the landlord not to register their deposit with the above deposit protection schemes. For further information about letting your property via Worcester City Council please visit the Local Lettings Agency page.