Frequently asked questions

Why should I choose Inn from the Cold?

Why should I choose Inn from the Cold rather than my local lettings agency?
  • Cost free letting
  • No hidden charges
  • Simple, hassle free and low admin
  • Peace of mind from well-screened tenants
  • Ongoing reassurance from working with reputable charity partners
  • Access to good tenants who are excluded from the system (such as people on council waiting lists but viewed as low priority)
  • Helping ordinary people in hard times to turn their lives around

Cost free letting

How much will it cost me to let my property?

There is NO COST. Our lettings service is absolutely FREE to you and your tenant.

What up front fees will I need to pay?

NONE.

There are no admin fees to pay to us.

What will the monthly cost be?

NOTHING.

We do not charge any percentage of your monthly rent.

What rent can I charge?

The standard market rent for your property.

Suitable properties for our clients will be relatively affordable homes, within Greater London.

How can you do this?

Inn from the Cold is run by two well-established charities: the Manna Society and the Robes Project.

Our sole purpose is finding and providing affordable accommodation to low-income tenants.

Hassle free

Will I need to advertise my property?

No. We generally have a steady stream of pre-screened tenants looking for homes.

Will using Inn from the Cold reduce my void periods?

Potentially, yes.

In the first instance we will work hard to support our tenants in completing or extending their tenancies with you.

And if you do need a new tenant, we are likely to have good candidates readily available.

Does my property need to be furnished?

Your property can be furnished or unfurnished.

If it is unfurnished, we will direct your new tenant to charities who may be able to help them with furniture.

Good tenants

What kind of people will my tenants be?

Ordinary people who have been going through hard times.

They will often be going through a temporary period of homelessness following a life change, such as the loss of a job.

Commonly, they are already on council waiting lists, but seen as low priority.

How will you screen my tenants?

Your tenant will have been assessed by our experienced advice workers as suitable for managing their tenancy.

Our assessment will have looked at your tenant’s past experience of renting privately, and their ability to manage money, pay rent and any history of anti-social behaviour.

Once in the property, the tenants will receive ongoing support from us to help them deal with any tenancy related issues that may arise at least for the first 6 months.

Where will you find my tenants?

Inn from the Cold’s tenants are referred to us by our parent charities, the Manna Society and the Robes Project, and also by local authorities.

They are mainly people with non-priority housing needs, who are advised by the council to seek alternative housing solutions.

Will they be people with substance-abuse or mental-health problems?

This is NOT the group of people we aim to rehome through Inn from the Cold.

The Manna Society and the Robes Project, our parent organisations, do work with people within this group, but Inn from the Cold is not involved with these clients.

Their accommodation needs are addressed by local authorities and health services.

Keeping you in control

Who will conduct viewings at my property?

Someone from Inn from the Cold will usually accompany our potential tenants to all viewings which ideally are arranged during working hours.

Do I need to be present for viewings?

Yes please.

Although tenants may feel more relaxed when the owner is not present, we do ask that you or your representative are present.

This is a good chance for you to meet your prospective tenants.

What safety checks will I need to have done?

It’s in your interests for your tenants to be safe.

If a rented property has gas, all landlords are legally required to have a gas safety check done every 12 months by a Gas Safe engineer.

You should also consider an electrical safety inspection.

Since October 2015 it’s also been a requirement for all rented properties to have a working smoke detector on each floor (and a carbon monoxide detector if the home has a wood or coal fire).

Any upholstered furnishings must have labels confirming that they meet fire safety standards.

Will I still need an EPC?

Yes.  An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is a legal requirement for landlords before their property is let.

It measures the energy efficiency of a property using a scale of A-G and is valid for 10 years.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has a list of qualified assessors here.

Your new tenants

Will you provide a tenancy agreement?

No.  We ask you to provide a good quality Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.

For example, free templates are available here (from the Department for Communities and Local Government) and here (from the National Landlords Association).

You should also give your tenants a copy of the government’s How to Rent guide.

Will I need to organise an inventory?

Yes.  Inn from the Cold asks that you provide an accurate inventory at the start of the tenancy, and agree it with the tenant.

This is very much in your interest, as it will help to highlight any damage that occurred after that point.

You may find the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks useful.

Do I need to worry about Right to Rent?

Yes.  This legal requirement was rolled out across England in February 2016, to help make sure that people renting property in the UK have a legal right to be here.

You will need to perform Right to Rent checks for any tenant you accept, or face the risk of a substantial fine.

Rent & deposits

Will I receive my rent direct from the tenant?

Many of Inn from the Cold’s clients are eligible for Housing Benefit.

We encourage them to arrange for you to receive their rent directly from the DWP (the Department for Work and Pensions) or the local authority. We support them in this process.

How long does it take to receive my rent once it is paid by my tenant?

If the rent is being paid by the tenant, we encourage payment by monthly standing order.

Will I receive a deposit?

In some cases we may be able to provide tenants with a loan to fund their deposit or rent in advance, others might have some funds of their own.

If we can’t secure a deposit, we will discuss alternative arrangements with you.

What does the new deposit scheme involve?

If any tenant does pay you a deposit, be aware that you are legally required to use a tenancy deposit protection scheme.

Paying the bills

Who will pay for the TV licence - me or my tenant?

Usually your tenant, unless you furnish your property with a TV.  Either way, this is something you should make clear in your tenancy agreement.

Who will pay the council tax - me or my tenant?

Your tenant is responsible for the council tax, unless you decide to include this in the rent.

Either way, your tenancy agreement should be clear about this.

Our help

What ongoing support will my tenant receive from Inn from the Cold?

It is our primary objective to make your rental successful for both you and your tenant.

We will work hard to support your tenants throughout their tenancy.

As well as responding quickly to any known problems, a member of our team, or your tenant’s personal mentor, will make regular visits to check that everything is going well and to identify any additional support needs.

We encourage you to also arrange with your tenant to make routine visits to check that all is well and to assess any potential maintenance issues.

Will I be able to contact Inn from the Cold with queries or concerns?

Yes. We will be pleased to hear from you during the tenancy if you have any concerns.

Does Inn from the Cold offer a fully-managed lettings service?

No. We provide you with tenants, and support them during their tenancy, but we do not offer a fully-managed service where we do things like organise repairs to your property.

Troubleshooting

What if my tenant doesn't pay?

We will do everything we can to support your tenant, and help them obtain all the help and support they are entitled to from benefits agencies, etc.  To be on the safe side, many landlords also take out a rent protection insurance policy.

What if my tenant damages the property?

Your tenancy agreement should make clear that your tenant will be responsible for the cost of fixing any damage beyond fair wear and tear.

What if I want to remove my tenant?

Most landlords want tenants to stay as long as possible, and that’s what we want, too. Our ethos is to do everything we can to help people stay in their homes.

But if for some reason you want to end the rental, your tenancy agreement should set out the steps needed to give your tenant notice to leave.

To cover yourself against any problems terminating a tenancy, you could consider taking out a rent-protection insurance policy, which covers legal fees.

How can I protect myself from property fraud?

Action Fraud has useful advice about simple steps to protect yourself from property fraud.

Feeling good about being a landlord

What are the ethical benefits of renting through Inn from the Cold?

This is a very win-win opportunity.

You are introduced to potentially great tenants, at the same time as saving money.

We pursue our charitable mission.

Your tenants are helped back onto their feet after a difficult time in their lives.

You will be helping ordinary people to re-establish their normal lives.