Finders Keepers

Landlords - Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the more commonly asked questions. If you have a query that is not answered here, please email fksl@finderskeepers.co.uk or call 01865 260111.

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1. How long are your tenancies?
Tenancies run for an average of 12 months

2. How long will a property be empty between tenancies?
We allow 10 working days between tenancies. This allows time to thoroughly clean and prepare the property for the next tenancy.

3. Do I need to furnish my property?
All student accommodation does need to be well furnished. This can be done simply and effectively, and we can help you to achieve this through our furnishing division.

4. Who is liable to pay the council tax?
The tenant is responsible for the council tax. However, in this case they will be exempt for the period of time that they are full time students.

5. Can I retain the garage for my own storage?
We would not recommend doing so.

6. Can I move in to my property over the summer?
The challenge with this situation is that it stops existing tenants being able to renew their tenancy for the following year. Assuming they don't want to renew, it still makes it very difficult to properly prepare the property for the next tenancy.

7. Do I need to have an inventory?
Having an inventory for the start of the tenancy is absolutely essential. This is something we can help you with, just talk to our team.

8. How much security deposit will a tenant pay?
The security deposit is five weeks' rent (or six weeks for tenancies where the annual rent is £50,000 or higher).

9. What should I do with the deposit?
The deposit must be protected and there are three different schemes available. We use The Tenancy Dispute Service for our managed properties and for any deposits we hold on behalf of the landlord.

10. What are the planning regulations?
Planning regulations changed on 6 April 2010, so if you didn't have sharers in your property on that day, you will need to apply for a change of use from C3 to C4. Again, we can help with this if you chat to the team.

11. What is an HMO licence? Do I need one?
This stands for 'House in Multiple Occupation'. Any property in Oxford with more than 2 households made up of 3 occupiers or more is classified as an HMO. A household is defined as blood related relatives, so letting a property to three or more sharers requires a licence. We have a lot of experience with the licensing process and can advise as required.

12. How often does the property need to be inspected?
We inspect our managed properties twice a year. We also visit for viewing and repair purposes.

13. What are your landlord fees?
These can be found under our Management Services section. Alternatively, please call us to book an appointment to assess your property.

14. What are the average rents for student properties in Oxford?
Rents for shared property in Oxford ranges from £400 to £700 per person, per calendar month.

15. Where is the best place to buy a property to let out?
There are many variables, so this question is much better answered directly - please call to make an appointment.

16. Can you help to furnish my house?
Yes, our furnishing department, Decorum Interiors, has a tried and tested student furniture package.

17. Do I have to have an electrical safety certificate?
This is a legal requirement of having an HMO licence.

18. How often does the gas need to be checked?
The law states that any gas appliance needs to be checked annually by a registered gas engineer.