General Information

Mortgaged/Leasehold Property
If your property is subject to a mortgage or you currently have a personal residential mortgage you must inform your mortgage provider before entering a tenancy agreement. Where your property is leasehold, you must ensure that letting is permitted under the terms of the head lease and if your property is going to be fully managed you will need to provide details of the head lease.

Insurance
If you are letting your home we advise you contact your current insurance company for advice, as you may not be covered if they are unaware of you letting the property. If you require landlord insurance for buildings, contents or rent guarantees then please ask us.
Please note alongside your buildings insurance it is advisable to ensure that you have a small amount of contents insurance to cover carpets, fixtures and fittings etc. that are not covered by your building insurance. We recommend that a tenant has contents insurance for their own belongings.

Income Tax
As a UK Resident landlord you will be asked to declare any rental income when you complete the Inland Revenue Self-assessment; this is your responsibility as a landlord. If you are a non-resident landlord you are still liable for tax on any incomes earned in the UK and as managing agents we will be obliged to deduct the applicable tax from your monthly income and pay it directly to the Inland Revenue. It is essential to complete an NRL1 form*, as these deductions may be avoided and an exemption certificated may be granted.

If you are considering the Letting Service only package it essential to contact your local Inland Revenue office as your tenant may become liable.
*This form is available from Zest Property Service Ltd. (As part of our Full Management Service we can complete this on your behalf.)
It is important to note that you are subject to tax less certain expenses, these can include;
- Loan interest (subject to certain conditions)
- Insurance, ground rent and service charges.
- Costs of maintenance and repairs but not improvements.
- Agent/ Professional fees.
If your property is furnished the revenue will allow a 10 % tax allowance for annual wear and tear.
(You may also be able to claim for a part furnished property).

Deposit Protection Scheme
With effect from 6th April 2007, landlords must register any deposits received with a government approved scheme. There are two different ways a deposit can be recorded:

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme:
This is a scheme controlled by the government and requires registration of the deposit within 14 days of the commencement of the tenancy. You are required to send the full deposit to the DPS where it is held until the tenant vacates and any disputes are resolved. Zest Property Service is a registered member and will undertake the registration of the deposit on your behalf.

My Deposits:
This is an insurance-based scheme specifically designed to enable landlords and agents to hold deposits themselves. This will allow you to have the freedom to resolve matters with the tenant at the end of the tenancy without involving others. Zest Property Service is a registered member and is able to register deposits for you, We will hold the deposit in a segregated back account.
Please ask for further information or visit www.mydeposits.com

Rent
Tenants are required to pay their rent by a monthly standing order that we set up when they sign the tenancy agreement. Standing orders can take up to six days to establish. Once received it is possible for a standing order to be retracted for a period of up to three days, so we will always wait for this period to pass before transferring the amount to you, which we will do by BACs. This can take up to a further 10 days, so please make sure you allow 10 working days for the payment to reach your bank account.

Rent Arrears
As much as we try to prevent rent arrears occurring by taking full references and by the completion of a standing order, on very rare occasions a small number of tenants fall into arrears. We provide credit control as part of our full management and rent collection services, so if the rent is not received on the due date, we will endeavour to contact the tenant by telephone within 24 hours of the late payment. If we are unsuccessful we will continue to try and contact the tenants by a series of letters, telephone calls, emails, text messages and, if necessary, a visit to the property. We will inform you if the rent is going to be more than five days late and communicate to you any updates and courses of action as necessary.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition
It is essential that an inventory is completed before a tenant moves into a property. This is an extra cost, but without an accurate inventory it is impossible to prove any loss of fixtures or fittings, or damage to the property. It is simply not adequate to have a brief description of the contents and condition of your property if you wish to safeguard your property. We work with an independent inventory company that will produce a detailed schedule of condition along with digital photographs and/or video.
Please ask for further information as to how we can assist you with this.

Inspections
Within our full management package we will carry out periodic inspections and send a detailed report to you outlining any concerns. If you are considering a let only or rent collection package we are happy to assist in inspections.

Keys
You will need to provide a set of keys for every adult living at the property, plus a full set, including any padlocks, to Zest Property Services Ltd, to be held in a secure safe. We are able to arrange for this to be done for you.

Maintenance
We have a dedicated team of local tradesman who are able to do small jobs such as putting up curtain rails to large jobs such as installing new bathrooms and kitchens. We have a database of many trusted and recommended tradesmen, so we are able to get you the best price and quality.