Property Management FAQ

  • Who are Topproperty Services
  • About Topproperty

    Topproperty Services are a full service student and residential managing agency. We manage a large portfolio of properties across Merseyside.

    We were started by Simon Topple and Gillian Saunders in 2006 and have built a team of skilled members of staff with a wide range of experience in managing student and family homes.

    We remain committed to the ever changing student market and continually invest in bringing fresh ideas and modern practices to our business. This helps us lead the way in the way we operate in a rapidly changing environment, and makes a difference to our tenants and landlord clients.

  • Where are you based?

    We are located in the Wavertree, on Smithdown Road Our office address is:

    Topproperty Services

    337 Smithdown Road



    L15 3JJ

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  • What are you opening hours?

    Topproperty Services are open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm. We also have an online chat facility that is open subject to availability and open during working hours.

    We believe in providing the BEST SERVICE POSSIBLE in managing property. The services we offer are tailored depending on which market your property is for. These services are outlined below.

  • What is your accreditation?

    All student properties are registered with Liverpool Student Homes, as well as Liverpool Councils CITYWIDE LANDLORD ACCREDITIATION SCHEME (CLASS).

    The LSH registration allows us to utilise advertising within the student body, and supporting LSH in this way is key to our continued success.

    Additionally, we are corporate members of the Residential Landlords Association, as well as belong to the TPOS – The Property Ombudsman Scheme. If you have reason to make a complaint we agree to be bound to the terms of TPOS.

    Additionally, the owners of Topproperty Services are active in promoting the best interests of Liverpool Landlords, including membership of the Landlords Advisory Panel for Liverpool City Council.

  • Student Property Management Services
  • New property/property aquisition

    When to buy is a key question, however we recommend purchasing a property with a fully renovated hand over date around January/February.

    It is important that you understand the impact of Article 4 in letting the property. We have more information on the 2018 introduction of Article 4 in the "Dales" area of Smithdown however this has been rolled out city wide, therefore you'll need to gain planning permission to convert a family residential home into a shared house. Our 2018 blog is here: here

    We can carry out viewings and let properties that are undergoing refurbishment – subject to a site health and safety inspection and approval from the responsible contractor on site – however the later you leave the refurbishment the more difficult a let gets.

    We therefore recommend that any properties purchased and refurbished are handed over in a “ready” state at the end of May at the absolute latest.

    The where is the harder question but the key areas for letting are city centre and surrounding areas.

    Please let us know if you are an investor looking to build or add to your portfolio – we can offer specialist advice and an agents AND landlords perspective on where to buy. We can assist with the buying process and help you make the best choice for you.

  • What is your student management service?

    Our student management service includes the following:

    • Initial rental appraisal and Fire Risk Assessment.

    • Registering deposits with the Deposit protection Service.

    • Deposit Negotiation.

    • Regular inspections to check on property condition and use.

    • Dealing with council tax exemptions.

    • Property registration with student accreditation bodies.

    • Rent Collection

    • Notifying utility companies of move ins and move outs

    • Deposit negotiation on checkout.

    • 24 Emergency Contact number provided

    • Management of maintenance issues.

    • Detailed check out of property to enable effective deposit negotiation.

    • Deposit protection to comply with Housing Act 2004

    • Deposit negotiation and administration of disbursements.

    • Assistance with completing HMO licensing.

    Details of our rates is available here.

  • Student Tenancy Information
  • When do student tenancies start?

    Student tenancies almost always start on the 1st August each year. They run for a contracted period of eleven months, so end on the 30th June each year. This gives you a clear month to carry out any light refurbishment works to the property and get the property ready for occupation for the next academic year lettings.

  • Do I get 11 months rent or 12?

    You can expect eleven months rent over a twelve month period - from the 1st August to the 30th June. The rent is full rent for this period.

    Some properties will attract full rent over July and August depending on if tenants move in before the 1st August, and some attract full rent (very high demand locations) from 1st July. If your property is a 12 month rental additional responsibility applies for ensuring the property is fully ready for occupation with minimal disruption on the 1st July.

  • Do you recommend including utility bills?

    Virtually all student properties in Liverpool include utility bills. We recommend that you include bills with your properties, e.g., Gas, Electricity and Water and Broadband. Some properties do let without bills - these are generally two bedroom units.

    We also require that all properties with inclusive bills operate on a "credit meter" basis rather than pay as you go. This avoids meters running out and for example having no power when we do viewings because the meter ran out while the tenants were out.

  • Should I include broadband?

    Including broadband with WIFI is now seen as a standard feature for shared houses.

    We recommend you install broadband to any student or professional room share let you rent out.

    We have partnered with Virgin and will refer any tenants to Virgin if the property is not including broadband, however we are happy to arrange a quote for broadband services on your behalf.

  • Is there a cap on the usage of utilty services?

    We are aware of the cost to landlords for providing utility services within a tenancy agreement. We set a usage rate on a per-property basis, typically starting at £120 for a three bed house and increasing depending on house size at £10 per room per month.

  • What happens if the tenants over-use the utility services?

    We can help you with managing their utility usage in the following ways:

    1. We take meter readings on a regular basis. There will be a reading when tenants move in, mid term readings on a quarterly basis, and exit meter readings when tenants move out. We provide these meter readings to you via email shortly after the inspections are carried out.

    2. If you notice an overspend, we will pass on your concerns to the tenants and ask them to ensure they do not use heating to excess and are heating the house correctly. We will help you monitor this until the end of the tenancy – if at the end they are still in an excess usage state we will assist you in claiming any overspend back against the tenants deposit.

    If the overspend is likely to exceed the deposit we can assist you in charging for the overspend. There will be a charge for collecting any overspend on your behalf at the mid-term point.

  • Do you require guarantors for your tenants?

    All student tenants require guarantors.

    In cases where this is not possible (often overseas tenants do not have anyone who can stand as guarantor) we will accept a higher deposit and a larger sum of rent up front, to minimise risk.

    This is subject to your agreement and is assessed on a case by case basis. Providing a larger deposit as an alternative to providing a guarantor (in cases where a guarantor could be available) would not be acceptable.

  • The legal stuff
  • Do I need a license for renting out a house?

    All HMOs of 5 or more tenants requires a HMO license. The 3 storey requirement was lifted in October 2018.

    From 1st April 2022 Liverpool City Council have implemented a partial city wide selective license scheme. Details are vailable here: here

    We can assist with the compliance and administration required for licensing, including the full application process. To advertise your property we will need confirmation (if tenanted) that you have applied for the license. We will apply for licensing on behalf of all owners for fully managed properties, unless we agree with you not to. We would require confirmation that you have applied for the license in that case.

  • What certificates do I require for renting out a house?

    We require the following for all properties under management:

    • Electrical Condition Report or Periodic Inspection Report

    • PAT test for all portable appliances (including fixed items with a plug and flex)

    • Landlords Gas Safety Certificate (CP12)

    • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

    For student properties we also undertake a Fire Risk Assessment at point of instruction. While not strictly a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2006 for joint tenancies with no communal areas (as the property is let as a whole) there is a general duty of care to ensure the property meets requirements. We undertake Fire Risk Assessments to ensure your property meets the legal requirements for letting, and will require any recommended works be completed prior to letting.

  • Do I require permission to rent my property out?

    If the property is leasehold you should obtain the consent of the freehold/head
    lessor prior to letting. If the property is subject to a mortgage you must obtain the consent of your lender prior to any letting.

    In instructing us you are confirming that consent to lease has been obtained
    and it is your responsibility to notify us of any particular requirements your mortgage company may have.

  • Do I require insurance?

    When considering offering your property to let it is important to remember
    that insurance cover should be maintained throughout the letting period
    including buildings and contents cover (where applicable).

    Where yourproperty and contents insurance are currently covered under an existing
    policy it is important to notify your insurers and advise us of any conditions
    which they are seeking to place on their consent inorder to maintain a
    satisfactory level of cover.

    Any insurance should also include an element of Public Liability cover.

  • Do I need to pay tax on my rental income?

    Yes. You will need to notify HMRC that you are earning money from rental properties and file a tax return reporting your income.

    If you are based overseas (eg, you do not live in the UK) you will have to have tax deducted at source (eg by us) or apply for an exemption under the HMRC Non Residents Landlords Scheme. Details are available online.

  • Privacy
  • Data Protection

    We are registered with the ICO, registration number Z1712743.

    As part of carrying out our duties, we need to process personal data. For the majority of these uses we need use the Legitimate Interest reason.

    Use of data for tenants includes:

    Application Stage
    We may pass your data to the following people using the legitimate interest basis. This is to allow us to assess your suitability for a tenancy.
    •  Credit Reference agencies
    •  Agencies conducting Right to Rent checks.
    •  Former landlords
    •  The landlord of this property
    •  Current employer
    •  Fraud prevention agencies

    At the application stage we require you to agree to our use of data for this legitimate interest.
    As part of your application we ask the lead tenant to provide contact details for your co-tenants if the lead tenant is part of a group. We will use this information to send texts with links to the house being applied for, and may use it to call others in the group.
    Retention period for data captured during tenancy signups will be for 12 months from point of application if the application is not successful. Your data will be used for your tenancy if your application is successful and will be kept for up to 10 years to allow up to comply with our legal requirements.

    Active Tenancies
    Once you are an active tenant we will use your data under the legitimate interest basis which you will have granted consent for at application stage. This consent will be used going forward for the duration of the tenancy.
    During your tenancy we will use your data to manage your tenancy. The data may be used in the following ways:
    •  Passing of data to third parties such as credit reference agencies, previous landlords, etc.
    •  Passing of data to contractors for arranging works.
    •  Passing of data to the local authority to enable you to be correctly charged for council tax (and for student tenancies, to have an exemption applies).
    •  Use of data for marketing for houses from us.
    •  Passing of data to third parties so they can contact you to set up a broadband account (for non-inclusive houses).
    •  Passing of data to relevant agencies to allow the continual approval for right to rent.
    Retention of data for tenancies will be up to 10 years. This is to allow us to respond to post tenancy queries and to allow us to fulfil our legal obligations.

    Please note that in tenancies with more than one tenant you will have a joint obligation to pay rent and an individual (or number of tenants) not paying rent may have an impact on other tenants in the property because of this joint and several obligation.  We may discuss rent arrears with all members of a tenancy as all members have a right to know of rent arrears and the potential impact on them.

    Use of data for landlord clients includes:

    •  Processing data to enable us to market and let your property.
    •  Disclosure to HMRC
    •  Processing data to enable us to effectively manage your property.
    •  Passing of data to third parties in the execution of our services, including local authorities, utility companies etc.

    Third party marketing

    We will NEVER share personal data with external companies for marketing services to you unrelated to your tenancy.

    Marketing from us

    We may market services to you via mail providers such as MailChimp. For tenants this will in most cases be to offer houses to re-let or for new houses coming to market when your tenancy ends. For landlords it may be to keep you updated about our services. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time however if you receive such marketing without an unsubscribe option you can contact us directly to be removed from our list. For these reasons we require your consent. In the majority of cases we will use the email contact provided when you registered online to view a property. If you were not asked for consent at that stage, or did not select to grant consent when asked, we will not use your information for marketing.

    If you have applied to be a guarantor we will use the legitimate interest basis to manage your data.
    which you will have granted consent for at application stage. This consent will be used going forward for the duration of the tenancy you are acting as a guarantor for and for as long as your obligation as guarantor remains.
    The data may be used in the following ways:
    •  Passing of data to credit reference agencies.
    •  Passing of data to third parties for debt collection if such need arises.
    We will never use this data to market to you.

    Storage of personal data:

    We retain data for as long as necessary to carry out our duties. Tenancy Agreements and guarantor deeds will normally be kept for up to six years after your tenancy ends. Information about you may be kept for up to 10 years. Ancillary documents will be deleted and destroyed when no longer required and will vary depending on document type and use.

    Coronavirus update
    We have started to collect data for viewings that come under Special Category Data. This is to safeguard our viewers and tenants for viewings and house visits. This is handled under the basis Group Public Interest. This is restricted to use to office staff when booking in visits and determining the risk of visits to properties. The retention policy for this information is secure deletion of records once the Coronovirus emergency ends as this information will no longer be needed.

  • Email Disclaimer

    Our disclaimer is hosted online to allow emails to be shorter, saving on paper if printed.

    Emails sent from Topproperty Services and the information they contain may be privileged and/or confidential. It is for the intended addressee(s) only. The unauthorised use, disclosure or copying emails, or any information they contain, is prohibited and could, in certain circumstances, be a criminal offence. If you are not the intended recipient please email or reply to the email immediately. Internet Communications are not secure and therefore Topproperty Services does not communicate formally by email and does not accept legal liability for the contents of this message.

    Topproperty Services, Topproperty Lettings and Topproperty Sales and Lettings are the trading names of Topproperty Lettings Limited registered in England and Wales - company number 05820819

  • Cookie policy

    Use of cookies.

    We use cookies to allow search functionality on our websites as well as allowing you to book in viewing appointments and to reserve houses. These are needed for the correct operation of the website.

    Cookies may also be used to allow us to better track visitors to identify traffic sources (where you found us) as well as website visitor numbers and locations.