For our landlords we offer two letting services; Full Property Management service, with us dealing with every aspect of your property investment to a simple but comprehensive and thorough Let Only Service. We carefully vet all our applicants to ensure we ONLY let to a tenant that is right for you.
Let Only Service
- Initial visit to assess your requirements and appraise your property.
- Advice of the legal and health & safety aspects of letting out your property
- Market the property and advertise on relevant portals including our own website
- Tenant fined in accordance with the landlords guidelines
- Full referencing and credit checks
- Drafting and completion of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
- Negotiate terms of tenancy
- Carry out accompanied viewings
- Set up standing order mandate
- Collection of the initial rental and deposit
- Register landlord and tenant details and protect the security deposit within DPS a Government-authorised scheme.
- Provide tenant with the Deposit Certificate and Prescribed information within 30 days of start of tenancy
- Advice all relevant utility providers of changes including council tax
- Arranging the check-in of the tenant
- Registering landlord and tenant details with Landlord Tap water register
- Advice tenants of their rights and obligations
- Erect “To Let” board outside the property in accordance with town and country planning act 1990
Full Property Management Service
To include Let Only Service plus;
- Dedicated Property Manager as your sole point of contact.
- Provide free advice and guidance on improvements, refurbishment and styling of your property.
- Arrange routine repairs and instruct approved contractors.
- Supervision of all major works ensuring work has been carried out in accordance with the specification of works.
- Undertake quarterly inspection visits and notify landlord of the outcome.
- Drafting an inventory and schedule of condition with full photographs.
- Collect and remit the monthly rent received deducting commissions and other works.
- Receive and arrange payment of contractor invoices.
- Pursue non-payment of rent and provide advice on rent arrears actions.
- Review rent in accordance with current prevailing market condition and advice landlord.
- Hold keys throughout the tenancy term.
- Advising on current landlord responsibilities and legislation.
- Organising electrical safety inspection (extra cost to landlord)
- Arrange Legionella risk assessments (Extra cost to landlord)
- Optional Rent and Legal cover (Extra cost to landlord)
- Arrange Annual Gas Safety Certificate Renewal (Extra cost to landlord)
- Organising Energy Performance Certificate (Extra cost to landlord)
- Arranging the final check-out of the tenant against the inventory
- Deposit return process and negotiating any dilapidations.
- 24 Hour Emergency Assistance
- Completion of necessary Annual Tax return for overseas clients
Preparing the 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 the Tenants should 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. Keys
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarized 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 you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name 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 the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle 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 for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete Service, we will if required arrange for a member of staff to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at the cost quoted in our Agency Agreement.
What is an 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 and Safety, and other Legal Requirements
The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.
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 EPC 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. Where we are managing the property 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 between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes. More information on request.
The above is a brief summary of landlords' 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.
Rent Smart Wales
Landlords! are you ready for Rent Smart Wales?
Launched on the 23rd November 2015, Rent Smart Wales is the product of the Welsh Government's bid to "improve the image" of the private rental sector.
The new law, which has been introduced applies to all landlords and agents of the private residential property. If you own, rent out, manage and or live in a rented property then this law will affect you. The new registration and licensing scheme will prevent rogue landlords and agents from letting and managing properties in Wales. It will also raise awareness by landlords, agents and tenants of their respective rights and responsibilities.
Landlords have 12 months from the launch date to register with Rent Smart Wales and decide whether to apply for a licence or hand over the management of their properties to a licensed agent such as Homelink Lettings.
With the introduction of this new legislation , landlords and agents must comply and become registered and licensed via Rent Smart Wales. This means that:
- All private landlords who have a rental property in Wales must register themselves and the address of the rental properties in Wales.
- Landlords who undertake defined letting or property management activities at a rental property in Wales must become licensed. Is a landlord instructs an agent to do such work on their behalf, it is that agent who must become licensed.
- In order to get a licence a person must be adequately trained, and also declare themselves "fit and proper"
- Licensing training will be offered through Rent Smart Wales or people can choose to attend Rent Smart Wales approved training courses delivered by authorised training bodies.
For further information on Rent Smart Wales please contact Amalia Protheroe on 01633 910018 or visit www.rentsmart.gov.wales/e/