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Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords

What happens if tenants don't pay?

This is probably the most popular question we are asked as a Letting Agent. It’s great to be able to reassure people that with Cavendish Rentals’ free 12-month Let Alliance Rent Guarantee, this will never be a problem.

This guarantee is taken out at the start of a rental agreement by us (for you… free of cost) so if the worst happens and a tenant refuses to pay, Let Alliance will pay out from the first day of the rent arrears. The rent guarantee also covers all legal expenses incurred by Let Alliance in obtaining vacant possession of the property – an important consideration given the cost of legal fees.

How often do you inspect my properties?

We inspect a property 3 – 4 times a year and more if we have tenants exiting a property! Not all letting agents do this but we consider that carrying out regular inspections is an essential part of the landlord/tenant relationship. We appreciate that tenants just want to move into their new home and many are not concerned about the check in process, but we make them aware that time spent going through the inventory at the beginning of the tenancy is time well spent and can prevent problems at the end of the tenancy.

Who holds the deposit?

We are members of the Deposit Protection Service and all deposit monies are held by the DPS, who offer a free arbitration service should we not be able to successfully negotiate the end of the tenancy and use of the deposit.

Do you vet prospective tenants?

Tenant selection is one of the most critical steps in ensuring a successful let; get it wrong and you can be in for a long period of stress and worry and even financial loss.

Not only do we ensure that a prospective tenant is financially viable, legally entitled to rent and has no history of defaults or bad behaviour, we are also mindful of an owner’s preferences in our selection process. All potential tenants complete a detailed application form either on paper or online and must provide photo ID as well.

Should I get appliances tested before I rent out my property?

It is important to ensure that all electrical appliances and fittings within the property are safe and in good working order. Unlike gas regulations, there is no law that says you must have a landlord electrical safety certificate. But, should any electrical fittings or appliances within your rental property cause harm to a tenant you could be held liable.

Manage your property well and the risks to you as landlord or agent are minimal, but manage it badly and your risks are high.

We advise that you have Fixed Wiring and Portable Appliance Testing done on any electrical appliances. We can help organise this should you require any assistance.

Do I need a gas test?

Yes… by law, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it’s your responsibility to get a Gas Safety Certificate every twelve months. You must get this from a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, gas appliances and flues installed at your property.

We can help organise this should you require any assistance.

What's an EPC and do I need one?

An EPC – Energy Performance Certificate – is needed for all rental properties by law. EPCs look at the energy efficiency of a property, and advise how to improve it. Tenants need a copy when they move in.

Do I need to change my mortgage to a Buy to Let?

Not necessarily… more often than not your mortgage company may give you consent to rent. We’ll happily talk you through this process, should you need any further help!

Who pays the rates?

Typically, most properties are advertised with the rent being exclusive of outgoings. The tenant then pays the rates, council tax etc.

What about insurance?

It is the Landlord’s responsibility to insure the building. You will need to purchase a Landlord’s Insurance Policy which also covers third party damage.

Contents insurance may well be provided by the tenant but it does depend on whether the property is furnished or not.

How can we ensure that our property stays in good condition?

The simple answer is to instruct a good Lettings Agent!

It comes down to regular property inspections and tenant selection! We undertake a Pre-Check out inspection two or three weeks before a tenant leaves a property. That way we ensure that the tenant knows what’s expected of them and has the time to do it. The tenant is then able to get their deposit back quickly too!

What happens if my property is empty?

It’s about accurate pricing and presentation! Instructing a pro-active marketing team who have potential tenants lined up is a must.

At the present time, demand is exceeding supply so properties let quickly. Our job as Letting Agents is to find the right tenant for the property, to manage the process and streamline any changes in tenants. By ensuring that the pre check inspection is done three weeks before a tenant moves out, we are able to minimise the time a property is empty and on the market!