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Landlords Guide

Renting your property?

When it comes to letting and managing property, our knowledge is second to none.

With 200 years of experience and as one of the longest established firms of property consultants in Yorkshire we are here to look after your interests, either as a first time investor or a more established landlord.Our procedures comply with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) bylaws and rules, thus providing you with the comfort that both your money and assets are safe. Our dedicated residential and property management lettings staff have an in-depth knowledge of the local markets and are able to assist you through all aspects of the letting and management of your property.
See our full Landlords Guide here.

Our Service Levels

For landlords, we offer a choice of service levels:

Most landlords choose one of our management services, which includes accounts management, periodic property inspections and tenant liaison - offering you the peace of mind that your property is in capable hands. Our terms of business provide further details of the services available. Our let only service is geared towards experienced landlords and those that are knowledgeable in all aspects of lettings and property management.

Permissions and Key Contacts

The first thing that you must do when deciding to rent your property is obtain the necessary consents from other parties. These could include:

Mortgage Company (if you require mortgage advice we can refer you to Mortgage Advice Bureau.)

Insurance company (if you require insurance we can refer you to Homelet.)

If your property is a leasehold property you may need to obtain permission to let from the freeholders or management company.  For joint ownership each owner must sign our terms of business and provide ID documentation.

Inland Revenue If you are a UK resident you will need to declare the income on a self[1]assessment tax return. If you are planning to live overseas or be out of the country for more than six months in any tax year you will need to apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from tax deduction at source. You can download the relevant information at

Utilities and general information

Tenant guide – It is useful to compile a folder or tenant guide with information such as the location of meters, instructions for appliances etc.

Redirection of your mail – Please make sure that you arrange this via the Post Office. Council Tax - Whilst your property is let the tenants will be liable for the Council Tax. Should your property be unoccupied between lets you will become liable to pay the Council Tax.

Utilities - We recommend that you take your own meter readings when you vacate and instruct the utility companies to forward your final accounts to your new address. You must contact the relevant companies to arrange disconnection of the telephone service or cable/satellite TV service. The tenant will be responsible for the utilities during their tenancy.

Keys – Three full sets of keys should be provided.

Inventory and schedule of condition - An inventory of household contents together with a description of the property condition is essential to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding at the termination of the tenancy. This document can only be prepared once you have moved out and we usually require the property to be vacant and fully prepared for the tenant at least five working days before the tenancy is due to start in order that the inventory can be prepared in time. When one tenant moves out and a new letting has been arranged it is necessary for an interval of at least five working days to ensure that the inventory can be updated and any minor repairs carried out.

Tenancy agreement - The tenancy agreement clarifies the responsibilities of both landlord and tenant and will need to be used should a dispute arise between both parties. It is essential that a tenancy agreement is properly prepared to comply with current legislation. We will sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy on your behalf.

Accounts and arrears for managed properties

Security deposit – We will collect a security deposit from the tenant (equivalent to five weeks’ rent) at the start of the tenancy and register the deposit with The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The deposit will be held by The Tenancy Deposit Service in their custodial scheme for the duration of the tenancy against any breach of the tenant’s obligations (e.g. non-payment of rent or damage to property or furnishings). Alternatively the tenant may wish to take out a Zero Deposit Policy which provides six weeks of cover. Any deductions to be made from the deposit upon termination of the tenancy must be agreed by both parties. If agreement cannot be made the case will need to be submitted to an Independent Case Examiner for adjudication within 10 days.

Rent – Once a tenancy has commenced the rent is normally payable on the same date each month and we will usually arrange a standing order for this purpose. We will receive the rent from the tenant and forward it to you after deducting any authorised expenses. You will receive a periodic statement from us detailing all payments received and any deductions made.

Arrears - The greatest care is taken to select reliable and responsible tenants including the undertaking of formal credit and reference checks. As a result there are very few instances of serious disputes occurring. Occasionally, however, tenants may find themselves in genuine difficulties and unable to pay their rent. Should you be dependent on rental income to pay a mortgage we would recommend that you maintain a reserve fund. Should a tenant be in rent arrears and/or in breach of their tenancy agreement Dacre, Son & Hartley can serve the necessary notice to terminate the tenancy if appropriate. However, this does not guarantee that the tenant will actually leave. If the tenant refuses to go you will need to take further action. Unless you have arranged legal insurance you will need to instruct a solicitor to commence possession proceedings through the courts and to recover outstanding sums.

Property management (for managed properties only).

Re-letting – If a tenant decides to vacate at the end of their fixed term tenancy or serves notice on a periodic tenancy we will start the process of re-letting.  This will involve an inspection of the property to review the rent and check the condition of the property, reporting any recommendations to you and starting to remarket the property.

Repairs – The landlord is responsible, by law, for repairs and maintenance of the property. As part of our fully managed services we maintain a list of reputable contractors who will deal with repairs on your behalf. If you have your own choice of tradesmen we may be able to instruct them provided they are easily contactable, reliable, and you are able to provide us with their relevant insurance documents. You would also need to pay their invoices directly. If any equipment is covered by a service contract or guarantee you should provide us with details prior to a tenancy commencing. As landlord you are also responsible for maintenance of ‘white goods’ (kitchen appliances) and all other fixtures, fittings and equipment provided for tenants use.

Tenants will be responsible for keeping the interior of the property clean and be expected to change light bulbs, replace batteries, as well as pay for any material repair of any item which has been damaged through their actions. Should any maintenance/repair need to be carried out we shall, in the interests of good property management, arrange for repairs, provided the anticipated cost does not exceed the amount stated in the Terms of Business. Should the cost exceed this and wherever practical or feasible we will obtain an estimate and seek permission prior to arranging repairs. In cases of emergency, should we need to instruct contractors without consent, we require the confidence of our clients to use our discretion in this respect.

Safety checks and certificates

When letting a property you are legally obliged as a landlord to ensure that your property is safe for any prospective tenant prior to their occupation. You will need to ensure that you have the following documents and/or carry out the relevant checks. We can help to arrange these if it helps:

Solid fuel

If a solid fuel source is available, such as a wood burner or open fire, chimneys and flues must be swept every 12 months and certified.

Soft furnishings

Any soft furnishings such as settees and mattresses left at a property must comply with the safety regulations and be marked with a label to show compliance.

Gas Safety Certificate

We will need a Gas Safety Certificate and this must be renewed annually.

Electric Safety Certificate

We will need an Electric Safety Certificate and this must be renewed every five years.

Portable Appliance Test (PAT)

Any electrical appliances will need to have an annual Portable Appliance Test (PAT).

Smoke detectors

All homes built after June 1992 must be fitted with mains operated smoke detectors which must be installed on each floor and interlinked. All new lets with effect from 1.10.15 must have a smoke detector on each storey of the premises or where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. The smoke detector should comply with BS 5446 Part I and be tested to ensure that it is in working order prior to the commencement of any tenancy.

Carbon monoxide

All properties must have a carbon monoxide detector in each room where a solid fuel heating source is installed, within 3 metres of the appliance. In addition, we require detectors to be installed within 3 metres of all gas appliances.


Legionella bacteria can multiply in hot or cold water systems and storage tanks in residential properties and then be spread, e.g. in spray from showers and taps. The generally high throughput and relatively low volume of water held in smaller water systems reduces the likelihood of the bacteria reaching dangerous concentrations, but you must still carry out a risk assessment to identify and assess potential sources of exposure and then introduce a course of action to prevent or control any risk you have identified. If you decide not to carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment, you will carry responsibility for the outcome in the case of any issue arising from non-compliance. The full briefing document can be found at hsg274part2.pdf

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