Lettings & Management
A LANDLORD GUIDE TO
THE LETTING &
Deciding which Agent to instruct to let your property can for some Landlords be a very daunting thought.
As a homeowner or Investment Landlord who has taken care and pride in their property, you want to ensure that your Letting Agent will find Tenants that will continue to maintain the property to the highest possible standard as well as pay their rental on time and in full.
As a Letting Agent we have a careful selection process of all Tenants. As a Company we take a personal interest in providing you with the best possible service.
Our staff have an in-depth knowledge of both the Letting market, to achieve the best possible rent for your property and the technical know how to oversee and manage your property for a hassle free term of tenancy.
Furthermore, our Management plus service can provide you with extra peace of mind. The special rental warranty scheme assures you that whatever happens to your Tenant the rental will always be paid (subject to terms and conditions of an insurance policy). The rent guarantee is offered free of charge for the first six months.
Whatever your needs, whether you are unable to sell your existing home or are an investment Landlord, professionally involved within the property market, we are sure to have the answer for you. Our specialist rental valuers and management team are always at hand to provide you with advice at all times as well as securing you the correct Tenant for your property. We accompany prospective tenants on viewing unless otherwise instructed.
This information brochure will advise you fully on the letting of your property plus give you a complete explanation of the range of services we can provide for you.
Upon receipt of your written instructions of our Letting and Management Terms of Business, indicating which service you require, we will immediately prepare full details of your property for general marketing and circulation to our prospective Tenants.
We offer two options, either
(Introduction of Tenant Only)
1. Prepare particulars of the property and rental value
2. Market the property for Letting
3. Obtain full references on all prospective Tenants
4. Inform the Landlord of Safety regulations to adhere to
5. Prepare the Tenancy Agreement and relevant notices
6. Collect the first months rental in advance
7. Collect the security deposit/bond
8. Advise the Tenants of the procedures for registering with the appropriate domestic services and inform authorities direct
9. Prepare an Independent Inventory (optional)
10. Check the Tenants into the property (optional)
Our Charges: Two weeks of the rental income inventory of £50 if required
In addition to the Letting services offered above, we also:-
1. Arrange for any property maintenance and repairs as per your instructions (subject to Terms of Business)
2. Carry out regular property visits and report to the Landlord
3. Liasing between Landlord and Tenant
4. Supervise by regular inspections that the Tenant(s) comply with the Terms of the Tenancy Agreement
5. Review rental values and renewal of tenancies
6. Arrange for check-out of the Tenant at the end of the tenancy
Our Charges: 12% of the monthly rental income (negotiable)
We list below our current advertising to ensure maximum coverage in finding you a suitable tenant:-
1. Regularly in the Yellow Advertiser (free newspaper)
2. House to House leaflet drops
3. Window display
4. Yellow Pages
6. ‘To Let’ Boards
7. Our own interactive website with applicant match and email – Rightmove – Zoopla – Property Finder – email for Properties
8. Google Optimisation
Our personal Tenancy Agreements have been drafted to protect both yourself and your property against every eventuality. The tenancy term is for an initial period of six months (twelve if preferred) in which time the tenant has security of tenure unless he does not pay his rent, in which case proceedings can be instituted against him for possession of the property. After the initial six month period the agreement can still run, if required, in its original form - the tenant giving the Landlord one month’s notice to vacate and the Landlord giving the Tenant two month’s notice to vacate in accordance with the Housing Act, Alternatively a new Agreement may be drawn-up giving a further fixed term to be agreed between the parties.
It is advisable to let us know at the commencement of the tenancy term whether or not you require the property back after the first six months and we can then take the appropriate action and serve Notice requiring possession. If the notice is not served at the commencement of the tenancy then it must be served at least two month’s prior to the date you require the tenant to vacate the property.
All prospective Tenants are interviewed before being recommended. If accepted, full referencing will then take place via an independent referencing Agency or alternatively, a manual referencing system will be used where the following references will be obtained where possible:-
b) Personal reference
c) Bank reference
d) Previous Landlord (if applicable)
e) Guarantor (if applicable)
f) Right to Rent checks will be carried out by ourselves
Arrangements will be made to collect a deposit from the prospective Tenant at the start of the tenancy to cover for any dilapidation and damage plus for any breach of their tenancy Agreement obligations.
For Management services we will hold the deposit on behalf of all parties (we hold Client Money Protection Insurance) and this will also be protected by an insurance backed scheme. At the end of the tenancy both Landlord and Tenant will need to agree any deductions in writing in accordance with the Housing Act 2004.
The first months rental is collected in advance. It will be up to the Landlord to collect any future rents from the Tenant if we are providing a Letting only service.
If you choose the Management service the rent is paid to us and forwarded on to you within ten working days each time the rental is paid by the Tenant
Tenancy Agreements and Notices
A Tenancy Agreement will be prepared for all Tenants to sign before moving into the property (except where the Landlord provides their own)
The Agreement will include comprehensive terms of the Tenants to adhere to. Under the Housing Act 1988 (amended 1996) an Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be used, except in cases of a Company Let, then the relevant Company Agreement will be drafted as with an Assured tenancy.
An inventory should be prepared to ensure that all items of furniture, fixtures and fittings left at the property are recorded and their condition noted.
The Tenant’s deposit will be held against any damages or excess wear and tear shown against the inventory.
The inventory can be provided by the Landlord or by us.
LANDLORD’S CHECK LIST
The property should be in good decorative order and well maintained to ensure that the let is as maintenance free as possible. The tenant will be advised that the property is taken as seen and should be left in the same condition and certainly no worse condition as when the tenancy began. If the property is in a clean and tidy state a tenant can be found much quicker and therefore maximise your investment.
You should notify your Building Society or Bank if the property is mortgaged and that you are thinking of letting the property. It is usually one of the conditions of your mortgage that you apply for permission to sub-let the property.
It is also wise to check that if the property is a leasehold that you confirm with the freeholder that there are no restrictions or covenants which prevent you from letting the property and the Tenants must adhere to during the Tenancy period. If possible supply your Agent with a copy of the lease.
Non-UK Resident Landlord
If you are going to reside outside the UK we are bound under the Taxes Management Act 1970, Section 78 and 83 to assess you at the basic rate of income tax (variable) due from rents we collect on your behalf if you are not ‘self assessing’ your own tax.
We should receive a letter of confirmation from your Accountant and Tax Office confirming that they accept liability for payment of your tax. (please see your Accountant for self-assessment advice).
It is important to have several keys cut for the property, enough for each adult Tenant due to move into your property, plus a set for our Management Department (if applicable) for security and access if so required.
Should there be, at any time, any need to take legal action against the tenant for what so ever reason the Landlord will be responsible for this action plus any necessary costs incurred. For managed properties assistance will be given to the Landlord with regards to documentation and administration with reference to the tenancy. If you have a current Rent Guarantee this usually covers legal expenses.
Transfer of Services
If you have employed us as your Managing Agent the only service that we are not able to transfer for you is the telephone, as BT or cable will only deal with the subscriber and not with a third party. Please, therefore, arrange transfer on the day the Tenants take occupation if possible. Your assistance will also be welcome with any final meter readings or notification of services.
Smoke alarm should be fitted to the property in a suitable position in case of fire (legal requirement)
If we are not managing the property, you will need to arrange the following:-
Gas and Electricity
Inform them of the date of transfer to the new Tenants, plus their names, the meter reading and your forwarding address in order that they can send you a closing account.
Water Rates will become the Tenant’s responsibility in most cases, but please advise them of your new forwarding address. If your water charges are on meter the tenant is responsible and a meter reading and date of transfer needs to be supplied to the Authority together with your forwarding address.
Once again this is payable by the Tenant during the tenancy. Please advise the Local Authority the date of transfer to the new Tenant and of your forwarding address in order that they can send you a closing account.
It is best to arrange the transfer for the actual day that your Tenants will be moving in. If there is a break between subscribers, there can be a charge depending on the length of time that the service has been disconnected.
The Post Office offers a service to redirect your mail which we recommend you arrange prior to vacating the property for the term of your tenancy.
You should also inform your Bank, employers, friends and family who are likely to write to you and inform them of your new address.
Whether requiring a Letting only service or Management service, Landlords have the responsibility for the safety of both the Tenant and their own property during the tenancy.
The following regulations must be adhered to without fail by the Landlord and as Agents, we must ensure that they are carried out.
Fire and Furnishings (Safety) Regulations 1998 (1993)
All soft furnishings such as settees, sofa, beds, padded chairs, pillows, cushions and so on must comply with the Fire Resistance requirements contained within the regulations.
Items of furniture made prior to 1950 are termed as antiques and as such are excluded from the regulations.
Usually a label is attached to the item of furniture to confirm it is acceptable. We will at all times check your furniture and advise you accordingly to the best of our ability.
Gas Safety (Installations and Use) Regulations 1994 (1996)
All gas appliances and installations within the accommodation must also be checked, on an annual basis, by a qualified Engineer (CORGI or British Gas) for its safe use.
This includes such items as Gas Fires, Central Heating boilers, Gas cookers and other gas appliances. It also insists that flues and chimneys are clear of obstructions and in the correct place.
A certificate must be issued by the engineer and a copy presented to the Tenant at the start of any tenancy. The Agent will also require a copy of the Certificate.
Any items that fail to comply with the regulations must be repaired or removed immediately.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations require that all Electrical equipment left at the property be ‘safe and of no risk or injury to human or animal’.
They should be checked to ensure that flexes, fuses and electrical output are safe and correct. Items that must comply are all portable electrical items such as electric cooker, fridges, washing machines, kettles, toasters etc. Instruction booklets should be left at the property or with the Agent.
As agents we cannot guarantee which items are safe or not and will recommend that a qualified electrician checks these items (a charge will be made). This can be carried out by your own electrician. (leaflet available upon request)
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
From 1st October 2008 all rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales will be required to have an Engergy Peformance Certificate (EPC). There is a fine imposed on Landlords who do not have a certificate of £200. For more information please contact us
from 6th April 2007 a tenants deposit has to be held under a Government Scheme as follows:-
Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd. Details can be found on their website at www.mydeposits.co.uk
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Details can be found on their website at www.tds.gb.com
The Deposit Protection Service. Details can be found on their website at www.depositprotection.com
It is important that the deposit is protected as if not the Landlord is liable to pay to the tenant three times the value of the rent as compensation and will not be able to gain possession of the property under a Section 21 notice.
ALL FEES INCLUDE V.A.T.
WE BELONG TO AN APPROVED MONEY PROTECTION SCHEME MONITERED AND CONTROLLED BY N.A.L.S.
WE BELONG TO A REDRESS SCHEME MONITERED BY THE PROPERTY OMBUDSMAN
This is only a brief guide to the regulations. Further information and details are provided by asking a member of our Staff.
Terms & Conditions of Business
This brochure has been compiled as a guide to Landlords and does not form or is in any way a substitute to our Terms and Conditions of Business.
Once instructions have been received to let your property our terms and conditions of business will be provided, detailing further the services, charges and conditions for you to read and sign if you are in agreement
Accommodation Centre Trading as A.C. Estates
226 Abbs Cross Lane,
Hornchurch RM12 4NA
Tel: 01708 451155
Fax: 01708 459 359