1. TENANT SELECTION
We carry out thorough checks on all prospective tenants before recommending them to you. We are able to have verified, comprehensive information about the prospective tenant(s), including employment history, previous landlord, rent arrears and credit references. We also comply with the “Right to Rent” legislation and where applications are unsuccessful, we insist on appointing a guarantor.
This professional and thorough approach not only ensures we have the best possible opportunity to appoint the most suitable tenant, but we are much more likely to retain them!
2. TENANCY AGREEMENTS
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between us, the owner and the tenant(s) renting the property. It contains the conditions and responsibilities of each party. We regularly update our agreements to accommodate changes to legislation, thus preserving their legality.
We offer a six month AST, (Assured Short-hold Tenancy), contract to our private tenants, offering the option to either extend for a further six month assured period, or revert to a Periodic Tenancy at the end of the initial term.
3. CURRENT LEGISLATION.
a) The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 1996
Landlords must comply with these regulations by ensuring that an inspection is carried out by a Gas Safe registered gas fitter/contractor before the commencement of a tenancy. A satisfactory Landlords Gas Safety Record must be obtained or exist as a copy of this record must be given to the tenant before he/she occupies the property.
This certificate has to be renewed annually with a copy given to the tenant. The regulations apply to all pipe work, flues and Landlord owned appliances whether fixed or portable and all forms of gas supply (including Calor). Records are required to be kept for at least 2 years.
b) The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations cover all mains voltage household electrical goods and require that the supplier of such goods ensures they are safe, including flexes and plugs. The mains electric plugs, wires and circuits must also be safe. A safety check by a fully qualified electrician is recommended before the property is let and thereafter checked periodically.
c) The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988
These regulations apply to soft furnishings. Your property must meet the regulations and compliant furniture must have attached labels confirming compliance with these regulations. Should any furniture not comply then the furniture/furnishings must be removed or replaced prior to any letting.
More recent legislation has introduced the need for the production of an Energy Performance Certificate for properties being let for the first time (previous EPCS produced for selling can be used). We have our own in house Domestic Energy Assessor and can produce these Certificates quickly and at competitive rates.
d) Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
From 1 October 2008, if you’re letting a property the law requires you to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to prospective tenants. An EPC is a legal requirement for any new tenancies that begin on or after 1 October, detailing the energy performance of a property. It is carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to ensure it meets all legal requirements and is valid for 10 years.
4. CONSENT TO LETTING
If you have a mortgage on your property the lender will normally require details of the proposed Tenancy in order to consent to the letting. In the case of leasehold properties (for example if you own a flat) you will need the Landlord’s or management company’s consent.
Some lenders may impose conditions and want to see the form of contract we intend to use. Policies vary from lender to lender but, if you can show that the property will be professionally managed, permission will normally be granted.
You will be responsible for insuring the buildings and your own contents and your insurance company must be advised that the property is being let otherwise any pre-existing cover may not be valid. Some insurance companies may not agree to cover letting or may do so only at an increased premium, Some insurance companies may not agree to cover letting or may do so only at an increased premium. We are introducers to one of the regions leading Brokers offers an Agents only policy at competitive rates. Further details can be provided on request. The Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents.
6. SERVICES AND UTILITIES
Electricity, gas, water rates and Council Tax costs are usually the responsibility of the Tenant. We will forward the meter readings to the utility companies on the day the tenancy starts and ends. Telephone and Cable companies will not take occupancy amendments from Agents so you will have to contact them direct. If the property is empty between tenancies the responsibility for payment of these bills reverts back to the landlord.
If the property is leasehold you will remain contractually responsible for the ground rent and service charges levied by the freeholder or Management Company so we suggest you maintain payment of these charges.
7. INVENTORY AND SCHEDULE OF CONDITION
You should remove any items that have sentimental value as even the most careful tenants have accidents. We will prepare a written and photographic inventory of the items within the property capturing the condition of each individual room. The report will be counter-signed by the tenant when the property is handed over.
You should bear in mind that due to everyday wear and tear you cannot expect a property to be in the same condition at the end of a letting as it was before you let it, no matter how well the property is looked after. The more information and instructions you can give the tenants and us the better (manuals or instructions about equipment in the property are not only useful but are now a legal requirement).
We suggest you draw up a simple information guide to the house giving handy day to day facts such as the day the dustbins are emptied, names of the neighbours, details of any window cleaner you might use etc.
The new tenant pays a deposit equivalent to one month’s rent. Handling of deposits is now regulated. We are approved by My Deposits to hold tenants deposits whether we are managing the property or not. Deductions from the deposit can only be made with the tenant’s agreement but there is an arbitration procedure in cases where a dispute arises. Return of the deposit or reporting of a dispute is strictly controlled by timescales laid down in the regulations.
Rent is due in advance on the monthly anniversary date and is usually paid to us by standing order. Assuming funds have cleared, we will usually pay rents one month in arrears.
We have an arrears chasing procedure but the costs of any court action lie with the Landlord.
We will inspect your property periodically. We check that the property is being looked after to an acceptable standard, any remedial work will be reported to the owner. This inspection is not designed to be a survey, but standards are compared to those recorded at outset. We encourage tenants to let us know about any problems they find with the property.
11. REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
The Landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the structure, storm damage and failure of any appliances. Repairs reported to us are reported to the landlord in the first instance. You may wish to do the repairs yourself or through your own nominated contractor and, if you let us know, this can be arranged.
We have various tradesmen that we use, all of whom are suitably qualified and insured, and therefore we can arrange repairs quickly and efficiently. Any costs invoiced to us will be deducted from the next rental statement sent to you.
If the property is let on a long-term basis, you may ask us to arrange and supervise works which do not come within day to day repairs such as redecoration, new drains, installation of heating or double glazing, refitting of kitchen or bathroom. We will be happy to do this, subject to a fee that will be quoted at the time.
12. The Property Ombudsman (TPOS)
Please find below a link to the current TPOS Code of Practice,
13. Landlords T&C
Please click here for the latest T&C