SERVICE LEVELS TO SUIT YOU
We offer a range of services and packages so that we can make certain we find the right level of support to suit you.
We can be as involved as much or as little as you want us to be, from just finding you new tenants to us managing the whole tenancy, repairs and rent collection.
We want to take the stress of letting your property off your hands. With our years of experience in lettings, we know what needs to be done and when. We are experts in the legalities and practicalities of letting properties. With our marketing know-how and area knowledge we can ensure we get the right tenants for you.
We know how stressful renting a house can be, many large companies struggle to deliver a personal service and clients find themselves passed onto secretaries or answer-machines. Such time wasting and lack of communication can be enormously frustrating and even costly.
All of our members of staff are able to deal with your enquiries/queries as they have full knowledge of each individual property. We get to know you personally and all of our members of staff visit each and every property that is instructed on to the market to enable ourselves to confidently discuss the finer details your property has to offer. We consistently deliver a bespoke high-quality service throughout the rental process. We’re able to assure tenants and landlords alike that we’re the experts that they can trust.
Your property will be instantly marketed on our website lesleygreaves.co.uk and rightmove.co.uk. The Internet enables buyers to see your property both locally and nationally and to find out other vital local information, such as Ofsted reports for local schools and much more. Your property will have a good quality brochure with as much detail and photos as required, and a current EPC*.
We also have a prominent window display and a modern computer system which includes a Facebook and Twitter account to help ensure that your property is being marketed from every angle possible, enabling us to pro-actively target our mailing system of clients waiting to rent. We use all of the newest technology to ensure your property is marketed not forgetting traditional ways such as talking to clients on the phone to encourage them to view. We will conduct all viewings for you to allow us to vet the clients before they apply for your property.
OBTAINING CONSENT TO LET A PROPERTY
Prior to letting a property, landlords must obtain permission, as applicable, from:
Any bank, building society or lender whose loan or mortgage is secured against the property. If the landlord has not obtained consent from the lender the tenancy is deemed as unlawful. The lender therefore has an automatic right to take possession of the property.
In respect of the leasehold properties, the head landlord, (the terms and conditions of the long leasehold will almost certainly require that permission is sought before letting).
Any housing association or other body, which has regulations applying to the property, for example in the case of, shared ownership or local housing authority property.
The landlord’s insurance company, which must confirm that cover, will be maintained if the property is let. In particular it is important that the public liability element covers any loss or injury occurring at the property, which might be sustained by the tenant or visitors during the tenancy, for which the landlord could be liable.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 place statutory duty on all landlords of residential property to ensure that all gas appliances, pipework and flues are maintained in a safe condition.
All gas appliances must be serviced and tested every year. These regulations have been enforced since 1994. It is the landlord who is responsible for ensuring that the rented property meets the required gas safety standards. An approved Gas Safety engineer must carry out the gas safety check every twelve months. A written safety certificate must be supplied to the tenants. Failure to hold a current safety record or certificate is a criminal offence and makes the landlord or managing agent, liable to a fine, imprisonment, or both.
All electrical equipment and permanent electrical installation must comply with Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 and Law Voltage Regulation 1989. We can arrange for our fully qualified engineers to carry inspections on your behalf and as when required.
We put tenant safety and landlord legal requirements at the top of our agenda, in order to provide you with peace of mind.
Gas Check-Each year of our agreement with you, we can arrange for our fully qualified and experienced engineers to carry out the annual gas safety inspections on your behalf. (prices available on request).
Smoke Alarm / Carbon Monoxide -It is also a legal requirement to have a working smoke detector on every floor and a Carbon Monoxide where required. (prices available on request).
Electrics-When required electrical safety inspections should also be carried out; although this is not a legal requirement it is strongly advisable to make sure they comply to current regulations (prices available on request).
Legionnaires Disease-Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled. We can arrange for a Legionella Risk Assessment to be completed. (prices available on request).
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE
During the tenancy, we will attend to any minor repairs and obtain estimates for more serious works. We would first obtain your permission and authorisation prior to the execution of any work, except in cases of real emergency.
In the case of minor repairs we usually arrange for these without bothering you, although you can specify at the beginning of the tenancy if you wish for this not to be the case. Unless the damage is the tenant’s responsibility, all invoices will be paid direct from your rent and accounted to you on a monthly statement. Let us know of any guarantees or service agreements you hold, so that we can be sure to contact any relevant service providers when necessary.
As it is law that tenant’s deposits are protected, it is highly recommended that Landlords/Agents should provide a comprehensive inventory carried out by a professional inventory clerk. This document will comprise an integral part of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and provides a detailed record of the contents and condition of the property. This is invaluable should any dispute arise at the end of the tenancy.
We will arrange for this service through our recommended inventory company. The cost is £136.00 inclusive of VAT (20%), this includes the initial inventory and one inspection within three months of the tenant being in the property and £64.00 inclusive of VAT (20%), taken from the final rent for the final inspection when the tenant vacates. We would also highly recommend further six monthly inspections throughout the tenancy at an additional cost of £36.00 inclusive of VAT (20%), per inspection.
During inspections we can check for any visible defects that may require attention or repair. Should any defects be noted these would be reported to you, together with our suggestions of what to do to resolve the issue/s.
It must be noted that we cannot be held responsible for any disputes arising out of missing issues or errors from inventories by a third party.
We will coordinate the tenant’s occupation and vacation of the property and will require a completed signed document from the landlord authorising us to return the deposit or withhold monies. It is strongly recommended that the landlord visits the property at the end of the tenancy in order to ensure the property is in good order and to see if any works are required prior to remarketing.
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTIONS
It is important to be aware that since 2007 new tenancies (in nearly all cases) must be registered with one of three deposit schemes, within 30 days of receipt of deposit. Failure to comply affects your right to remove tenants and could result in you having to pay substantial compensation. The scheme also includes a dispute resolution service.
We are a member of the Deposit Protection Service (DPS); the full deposit is registered with the DPS, which sees one tenant appointed as the ‘lead tenant’. Therefore we are able to register these deposits on your behalf and liaise with the Dispute Service should any disputes arise at the end of the tenancy. Should the tenant not respond to a dispute, a single claim might be required after a period of time and we would then require a signed declaration by a Solicitor (Price on Application).
For further information please contact www.depositprotection.com
Keys and Alarms
We will require a minimum of three full sets of keys for all external doors, one set will be held in the office as a master set and the remainder will be recorded on the shorthold tenancy contract. Keys for windows and internal doors should be left in the property but it is advisable to ensure you hold a copy if required. We will also require the alarm code and contact details for the alarm servicing company (if any).
Some agents will tell you that insurance is not necessary. We believe insurance to be an essential and an integral part of letting your property. As part of your mortgage agreement you will find that buildings insurance is compulsory. You should ensure that your insurer is aware that you intend to let the property, and that the terms and conditions of your policy allow for this.
Whilst not obligatory, you should give serious consideration to maintaining contents insurance cover, even if your property is to be let ‘unfurnished’. Tenants are advised to make provision to make sure their own personal possessions are insured too.
RIGHT TO RENT
The equality laws are there to protect everyone. Landlords are advised to conduct immigration status checks in a consistent and fair manner in relation to all prospective tenants to protect themselves from claims of discrimination and to keep records of checks made. If a prospective tenant will not co-operate with the checks, landlords should explain that they are undertaking these checks to protect themselves in law. Should the tenant still fail to co-operate, landlords are not breaching any law by looking to other tenants to fill their accommodation.
FURNITURE & FURNISHING
Landlords vary in the amount of furniture and furnishings they have in their properties, but it’s vital you know the laws and regulations.
All upholstered furniture and furnishings (i.e. mattresses, scatter cushions, loose fittings and permanent and loose covers, but not carpets and curtains) manufactured after 1950 are required to be fire resistant. Furniture manufactured before 1950 is exempt because dangerous materials were not used in the manufacture of furniture prior to this date.
The law relating to the manufacture of furniture is quite clear. All materials used must meet the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amended) Regulations 1993. Manufacturers are required to carry out particular tests to ensure compliance.
Manufactures are required to affix permanent labels onto their products so that the removal would cause damage to either the label or the product. Furniture suppliers must ensure that any item they sell carries the correct label and each item (e.g. three piece suite) carries the relevant label, and this applies to both new and second hand furniture.
Rental profit is liable to tax whether or not you live in the UK. However several items of expenditure can be offset against rental profit. If you require further information on this matter we would recommend that you seek the advice of an Accountant as tax status does vary depending on your individual circumstances.
Communication with the Inland Revenue and tax returns are the responsibility of the Landlord and/or their Accountant.
OVERSEAS LANDLORD TAXATION
Under the Taxation of Income from Landlord (Non-Residents) Regulations, the rent-receiving agent is required to deduct basic rate tax from the rent, after taking deductible expenses paid out into account. They then (took out and) pay the tax to the Inland Revenue each quarter.
If you decide not to have your property managed, you should be aware that your tenant will be legally responsible for the collection and payment of the tax to the Inland Revenue.
However, overseas landlords can apply to the Inland Revenue for exemption from this requirement, providing that your tax history is good and up to date. If successful, the overseas landlord will be issued with a Certificate with a copy sent direct to our management department, authorising us to pay rent without tax deductions
THE PROPERTY OMBUDSMAN
Lettings and property management agents who join the TPO also subscribe to the Code of Practice for Letting Agents As stated on the Ombudsman’s Website ‘By dealing with a Member of the TPO, the public may be confident about the agent’s approach in its dealings with actual and potential buyers and sellers of residential property or lettings in the UK.
CLIENT MONEY PROTECTION (CMP) PROVIDED BY: NALS
NALS Service Standards
All NALS licensed firms have made a commitment to maintaining defined standards of service to any landlords they represent and to their tenants. These include:
- Inclusion under a Client Money Protection scheme
- Providing a written complaints procedure with access to independent redress
- Holding a Professional Indemnity Policy which can help pay to rectify problems in the unfortunate event that they occur
- Holding a client account where money is held separately to the operating funds of the firm and meeting strict accounting standards
For more information on NALS www.nalscheme.co.uk/ Our registration number is A4829
DEPOSIT PROTECTION SERVICE
The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) is the Government approved provider of custodial and insured tenancy deposit protection schemes. Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), as set out in the Housing Act 2004, requires that all agents/landlords protect their tenants’ deposits under a statutory tenancy deposit scheme within 30 days of receiving a deposit.
The DPS Custodial scheme will safeguard that deposit throughout the period of the tenancy and repay the funds to the appropriate parties in accordance with their instructions at the end of the tenancy period. The DPS is the only provider to offer a custodial deposit protection scheme – a scheme which is free to use and open to all agents/landlords.
The service is funded entirely from the interest earned from deposits held. Agents/landlords can register and make transactions online, but paper forms are also available. The scheme is supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.
For further information please contact www.depositprotection.com
WHY NOT USE THE LETTING AGENT WHO CARES!