Lettings FAQs

Landlord FAQs

Being a landlord is a big responsibility and you should take the time to understand fully what’s expected of you. By fulfilling your role as landlord effectively and efficiently, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of keeping your tenants happy and as a result you’ll  reduce the likelihood of the property being empty for long periods at a time – what we call void periods. If you’re considering the buy-to-let sector as a longer term investment opportunity then your reputation as an honest, fair and reliable landlord is the single most important factor in building your business.

We’ve compiled this simple guide to highlight some of the frequently asked questions raised in connection with a proposed tenancy. Hopefully, you will find them useful but if you have a question not covered here please call us.

Do I need to register as a landlord?

Yes. All private landlords must apply for registration with their local authority prior to letting. For Fife based landlords this can be done online at www.landlordsregistration@fife.gov.uk or by calling 01592 – 583397. We are part of the Scottish Letting Agent Register and our Registered number is LARN1808001.

What is the aim of the landlord registration?

The aim of landlord registration is to ensure that all private landlords are deemed “fit and proper” to be letting residential property.

What is the cost of registration?

Cost can vary but are currently £75 per landlord and £17 per property.

What are a landlord's responsibilities?

You have a legal responsibility to repair and maintain the property in a wind and water tight condition and fit for human habitation. You require to ensure that there is satisfactory provision for detecting and warning of fire. You have to provide there is an energy performance certificate rating the property’s energy performance rating.

Gas Safety Regulations, Electrical Equipment Regulations and Furniture Safety Regulations all require to be complied with and compliance certificates obtained. We can assist with all of these.

I have a mortgage on my property. Do I need to do anything?

Yes. It is necessary to get your lender’s permission before letting. Any correspondence you have from your lender will quote a mortgage account number. You should contact them, quote this number and get their written permission.

Do landlords need special insurance?

Yes. Your current insurance policy will very likely not be suitable and claims could be rejected if you have not advised your insurer. You should speak to your insurer and advise them of your intentions. It’s worth noting that you can also insure against non-payment of rent and we will be happy to discuss this with you at greater length.

What makes a good rental property?

Properties that are clean and well-presented will always appeal to potential tenants. If you’re thinking of letting try to think like a potential tenant. If there is anything that would put you off, make sure you fix it before going to market. We recommend that your property is professionally cleaned, including carpets and we can arrange this for you.

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Do rental tenants pay council tax?
Yes. The tenant is solely responsible for paying their own council tax, although it may be included within your rental agreement. Please check the signed paperwork for more details.
Can my landlord increase my rent?
Rent usually cannot be increased unless you agree or the tenancy agreement allows it. If you are struggling to pay rent then you may be eligible for Housing Association benefits.
Can I change my rental property locks?
Legally, there is nothing from stopping you changing the property’s locks. However, many agreements will include in the signed agreement a clause preventing tenants from doing so.
Do I need my own insurance?
Tenants’ insurance is a form of cover designed to protect your contents in the event of flooding, fire damage or theft. It is not a legal requirement, but covers possessions such as: clothes, jewellery, appliances, electronics, furniture, crockery and antiques.

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