Have you ever dealt with difficult tenants? Late payments? Stains on carpet? Calls late at night about a stopped toilet or boiler breakdown? Or are you a first time landlord not sure how to comply with the increasing regulations in the Private Rental Sector?
We can help. Call our local rate number today or fill our Landlords Form for a free, no-obligation assessment of your property.
Why Choose Us?
Letting a property can be very daunting, especially with the ever increasing regulation of the Private Rental Sector. With this in mind, our most important consideration is providing you with the best possible service and the right tenant for your property.
We never forget that your rental property is one of your most important assets and we can assure you that by instructing us to act as your Property Manager, your asset will be in professional and caring hands.
We are a small firm that has the support of a big and long established partner; so we are able to offer friendly and personal service, with attention to detail, whilst maintaining a high standard of competence and professionalism.
The fee for our Standard Management service is competitive and open to negotiation dependent on the number of properties to be managed. We charge a one-off Management Fee and low monthly commission with no hidden charges. We are particularly committed to investment landlords and savings can be made even on the smallest portfolio.
Our Full Management service is a no fee, all inclusive service.
Carefully Selected Tenants
All prospective tenants would be thoroughly referenced and credit checked. In some cases we will also require a guarantor.
We offer 2 types of management service:
Call our Local Rate Number 0330 660 0167 today to register
Preparing your Property:
We have found that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As property managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that tenants feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.
Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.
Personal items, ornaments etc:
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner’s risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenant’s own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants’ responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
Information for the Tenant:
It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
We lodge deposits collected from tenants with Deposit Protection Service (DPS) which offers a deposit custodial service. More information is given at the start of a tenancy.
Before we can let and manage your property, there are several matters which you as the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and that we as managing agent and you as landlord comply with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee’s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.
Bills and regular outgoings:
We recommend that landlords using our Standard Management Service arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However, by prior written agreement, we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received at our office and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.
Council tax and utility accounts:
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to incoming tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing closing gas and electricity accounts of previous tenant to be drawn up. We will handle all these matters for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. As part of our service, we will prepare an inventory and schedule of condition at no extra cost to you.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy?
Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £100,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant.
Health, Safety & other Legal Requirements:
The following requirements are our joint responsibilities; you as property owner (Landlord) and we as managing agent. To this end, we will ensure compliance and any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord if you are using our Standard Management Service.
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must be maintained in a safe condition at all times, records kept for at least 2 years, and a copy of the safety certificate given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are ‘supplying in the course of business’. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – ‘Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your ‘duty of care’, is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, and certain other items. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties (except HMOs), it is generally considered that the common law ‘duty of care’ means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).
Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?:
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules will apply.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS):
The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005:
The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people’s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and commonhold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs):
EPCs are required for all tenanted property in England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Landlords offering property for rent are required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. An EPCs is valid for 10 years. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request.
Overseas Landlords and Income tax:
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. As your managing agent, we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption.
Tenancy Deposit Protection:
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland must now be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents can choose any of the three government authorised schemes; made up of a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes.
We lodge deposits collected from tenants with Deposit Protection Service (DPS)which offers a deposit custodial service. More information is given at the start of a tenancy.
Call our Local Rate Number 0330 660 0167 today to register
What’s not to like!
The above is a brief summary of landlords and managing agents responsibilities and of the laws surrounding tenanted property. We hope that you find it useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the letting and management of your property.