newby bit of help needed

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    newby bit of help needed

    hi have inherited small 1 bed flat. advertised privately and have found hoefully a good tenant. couple questions. previously owner did'nt have to pay council tax is it up to me to inform council of change or the tenant. tenant to pay gas an electric and i presume i will have to get final bills then change over to her name. what about tv licence. leaving tv so will be in my name but presume tenant will pay for licence. any help gratefully received. many thanks

    #2
    You'll recieve more help if you give your post a relevant name rather than just identifying yourself as a newby needing help. There are so many different skills on the board that yu'll be lucky to pull any interested parties in. More people will read if it's something like - 'Letting for the first time, how do I go about it properly'.
    You'll appreciate, if you take time to read though some of the boards, the number of benefits and pitfalls that befall a landlord. Please, dear lord please, bring yourself up to spead on basic tenancy law/guidelines so you don't hobble yourself with a poor tenant and do the wrong thing. Owning a small flat like yours could be a goldmine with the right tenant, or a money pit if it goes wrong.
    In answer to your question, when you have occupancy of the flat (i.e. no tenant residing) you are liable for utilities, council tax etc. TV license is responsibility of the occupant at the time. Leaving an actual TV in the flat may also imply that it's your responsibility to look after the TV. What are you going to d if the tenant damages it, or it's faulty and causes damage.
    Sounds like a lot of responsibility but it's simple once you get the basic ideas. There are a good few books available which cover the basics. Just make sure you cover your back, have a watertight tenancy agreement and all the paperwork double checked before initiating any actions.
    If you do post more on the board, ask specific questions in the header to get a specific answer. Best of luck with it.
    I may be a housing professional but my views, thoughts, opinions, advice, criticisms or otherwise on this board are mine and are not representative of my company, colleagues, managers. I am here as an independent human being who simply wants to learn new stuff, share ideas and interact with like minded people.

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      #3
      All utilties, council tax and TV licence are usually the responsibility of the tenant. Rather than leave it to chance that the T remembers to register themselves, take meter readings for the relevant utilities and contact the suppliers with these, giving the new tenant's name for future charges, and advise council tax and TV Licensing similarly. If you leave it to the T, it can cause all sorts of confusion if they conveniently "forget" to do this and run up bills without paying.

      I take it as a newby you are aware that gas safety certificate is required?

      Are you letting furnished or unfurnished? If unfurnished, I wouldn't leave the TV, as T will feel you are responsible to replace it if it goes wrong.

      If you are asking basic questions like this, it suggests you may not have fully researched the letting requirements, so do your homework - read, learn and inwardly digest all the help and advice here and make sure you know what you are doing. When you say "hopefully" you have found a good tenant, do all the relevant checks and references you can to ensure you have found a good tenant.

      Without wishing to sound rude, I would also question your ability to draw up a proper, well presented and above all legal tenancy agreement on the standard of typing in your OP. Perhaps you may need to also seek some help with this from a professional person experienced with lettings.

      Comment


        #4
        thank you both for your help and advise which i will take on board. yes i have a gas safety certificate and feel confident that i have found a good tenant. the house is furnished and the tv not an expensive flat screen - can be replaced for about £50 which the tenant is happy with. really questions which you have answered were regarding who should inform utilities re. change of tenant. i shall get a tenancy agreement professionally drawn up. oh dear - regarding my typing skills - have been pa for many year - like the shoemaker always having the worst shoes - my typing goes to pot when not in the office!!!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jian View Post
          feel confident that i have found a good tenant.
          Can we ask on what your confidence is based?

          Comment


            #6
            Jian - which country are you in?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by jian View Post
              the house is furnished and the tv not an expensive flat screen - can be replaced for about £50 which the tenant is happy with.
              I agree with ghelliwell; don't provide a TV, however cheap, and certainly don't agree to repair/replace it. If you do, all you achieve is: 1) potential repair costs in addition to your statutory repairing obligations, 2) something else for the T to moan about, 3) another appliance which has to be tested for safety.

              Comment


                #8
                I'm in Scotland. I advertised on gumtree and had over 25 replies. I discounted some right away. as I preferred to let to someone in employment. The girl who is renting is presently living nearby with an elderly relative, she needs to be nearby but does not wish to live with her relative. This is a small town, I dont live here any more but my family still do and know her and her family so this part is true. She is in a good job - friend works beside her and can vouch for her. She brought her parents with her to view the flat. Her father has offered to be guarantor if necessary. Finally gut feeling - hope I've got it right.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by jian View Post
                  I'm in Scotland.
                  And I guess that you are aware of the wholly different tenancy legislation (inc. re guarantors) there?
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
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                  Comment


                    #10
                    Jian - I guess you aren't up to date on Scottish regs. If I was you I would appoint a letting agent to handle the whole thing for you. Yes you will pay a % of the rental income but given that you don't have a mortgage on it this is very little for piece of mind.

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