1. What services do you offer to residential landlords?
Our experienced St Albans letting agents are happy to provide landlords with a free property valuation. Depending on how much support you need, we offer three different lettings options: Find Tenant Only, Let and Collect or Full Management, all supported by our friendly, ARLA qualified team. We are always willing to create customised management solutions for landlords with larger rental portfolios.
2. How do you carry out reference checks for prospective tenants?
We carry out careful background checks on prospective tenants, using an independent credit referencing agency for credit assessments. Landlords are always welcome to review the findings, so they can satisfy themselves as to the suitability of the applicant.
3. What are the advantages of using a fully managed service?
When you use our property management services you can relax, knowing that your property is in the safest of hands. Our Full Management service helps you keep a professional distance from your tenants. To give you peace of mind we take care of everything, from rent management to safety regulations and from maintenance and repairs to deposit negotiations.
4. How do you protect the tenant’s deposit?
At the start of the tenancy, our St Albans & Hertfordshire letting agents will register landlord and tenant details and protect the deposit using the government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. When the tenancy ends, we will inspect the property and negotiate with the tenant if any deductions from the deposit are required.
5. Do you carry out the required Right To Rent checks?
Under UK law a residential tenancy agreement cannot be offered to an adult applicant unless that individual is eligible to rent. Tenants must be either citizens of Britain or Ireland, have been awarded settled status or have no time limit on their permission to stay. Applicants with a time-limited right to stay may also be permitted to rent. Right to Rent checks will either be carried out with a manual document check (in the presence of the holder) or by using identity verification technology to prove that the adults applying to occupy your property are allowed to rent in Britain.
6. Is an inventory necessary?
An inventory records the condition and contents of your property before the tenant moves in. Our inventories are designed to note this information in great detail, using photographs and written reporting. This information can be used as evidence if anything is found missing or damaged at the end of the tenancy.
7. Are landlords liable to pay tax on their rental income?
Whether you are based in the UK or living overseas, you will still be liable to pay tax on the income you receive from your rental property. You can find out more by visiting the government website.
8. Am I responsible for paying Council Tax and utility bills?
The tenant is responsible for paying Council Tax. They should also pay their own utility bills (including – but not limited to - gas, electricity, water rates, telephone and broadband) unless you include those expenses as part of the rental agreement.
9. How do you ensure that my rental property will be kept in good order?
We take our responsibilities as letting agents in St Albans very seriously. To ensure your rental property stays in great condition, we will arrange regular inspections to check that everything is in order and look out for any repair or maintenance issues.
10. What does it cost to let out my property?
The cost depends on the level of service you require – for example, Let and Collect (which covers tenant finding and rent collection) costs less than Full Management. You will find a full list of landlord fees on our website. We would recommend taking some time to decide whether you want to be a ‘hands-on’ landlord or would prefer us to handle the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities on your behalf.
11. How will Collinson Hall send my rental payments?
If you choose Let and Collect or Full Management, we will collect rental payments and pay them directly to your bank account, after deducting agreed fees or expenses. Our in-house accounting and financial team will supply monthly/quarterly statements of account. If your tenant should default on rental payments, we will use all reasonable means to recover late payments or arrears.
12. What are my legal obligations as a landlord?
Our Guide to Letting a Property has been written to help you understand your legal obligations.
A Gas Safety Certificate (GSC) must be in place to ensure that all gas appliances, pipes and flues are safe to use. The certificate should be issued by a qualified Gas Safe Registered engineer and the system must be checked annually.
You must carry out an Installation Survey or arrange for Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) to ensure all electrical devices provided are compliant.
Smoke alarms must be installed at every level of the property and rooms where solid fuel can be burned (or where flues pass through) must be fitted with Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors. This includes spaces with log and coal burning stoves and open, usable fireplaces (even if they are not usually lit), but gas cookers are not included. These now must be tested the day your tenant moves in.
Currently, a property must have an EPC rating of 'E', changing to 'C' for all new tenancies starting in 2025.
13. How does the Property Ombudsman help landlords?
Collinson Hall is committed to offering a professional service to its clients and customers. The Property Ombudsman is an independent organisation set up to deal with complaints, where lettings agents breach conduct and management rules.