Whether you are an Investment Landlord with a number of Properties, or a First Time Landlord, we understand that no two Properties or two Landlords are the same.

We offer a Service to suit you, and the right Tenant for your Property.

  • Free property Rental Evaluation at a time convenient to you
  • Achieve the Best Possible Rental Return
  • Free Advice on Legal Issues
  • Free Landlords Information Pack with no obligation
  • Stringent Tenant Referencing
  • Accompanied Viewings
  • No Fees to pay until the first month’s rent is received
  • FREE advice on the Presentation of your Property for the residential lettings market
  • Tenancy Agreement prepared under Current Legislation, including all the necessary notices
  • Rents paid by Electronic Bank Transfer, with a Detailed Monthly Statement of Account
  • Inventory including statement of condition
  • Quarterly Inspection Reports by email, fax, phone or post for managed properties
  • Extensive Tenant Marketing: we use a combination of Digital property photographs on our Web Site, Internet Marketing using major web portals such as Zoopla.co.uk, Prime Location, SpareRoom, Propertyfinder.com, Local Newspapers, Major Companies, Relocation Agents, To Let boards, referrals from Estate Agencies and our database with quality tenants waiting for the right property
  • Advice on the latest Safety Regulations
  • Unique Insurance products for Buildings, Rent & Legal and Contents
  • Co-ordination of all Maintenance if required and the undertaking of All Mandatory Safety Checks by our Professional Tradesmen who will provide an expert yet Cost Effective service
  • From Full Management, to a Tenant Find Only Service
  • A very Competitive fee structure with NO "hidden costs"

 

Finding the right tenant for a property is fundamental. We start by establishing criteria for the sort of person you wish to occupy your property. We then match this to prospective tenants who must provide us with references. Only after checking these references will we then proceed with a tenancy.

When dealing with private tenants we take references, usually from their employer and bank. Payments are due every calendar month, in advance, starting from the commencement of the lease. We do encourage tenants to pay their rent by standing order. However, should they pay by cheque; we must allow time for this to clear our bank before forwarding payment to you.

Private Tenants are tenants in full time employment and who are able to meet the rental commitment in full. When dealing with private tenants we always take references.

Payments are due every calendar month, in advance, starting from the commencement of the tenancy agreement. We encourage tenants to pay their rent by standing order, however, should they pay by cheque, we must allow time for this to clear our bank before forwarding payment to you.

Housing Benefit Tenants are tenants who are eligible for help from their local council with paying their rent. This could be because they do not work or are on low income. We always take references and also ask for proof of identification. In addition we require eligibility for Housing Benefit when they sign the lease. The claim form is then forwarded, usually by us, to the council either by hand or via recorded delivery.

It is normal to experience a delay of around ten to twelve weeks, as this is the time it takes the council to process all the paperwork. Rent is then usually backdated to when the tenant moved into the property. We liaise with the Housing Benefit section on a regular basis to ensure the claim is processed as efficiently as possible.

Once payments have been organised, the council usually pay over a four weekly period, in arrears. This means we will receive thirteen payments in a twelve month period, as opposed to twelve payments if paid on a calendar monthly basis.

An award for Housing Benefit is only given for a short period (usually twelve months). Towards the end of the claim the tenant is sent a new claim form and when this happens you may experience a slight delay in payments. This occurs because the council has to re-evaluate the tenant’s income.
When we initially assess a property we indicate what we believe to be a realistic rent, based on present market conditions. Prospective tenants usually accept our valuation, but there may need to be some room for negotiation. For tenants in receipt of local housing allowance information is available to determine the local rates for a particular property can be accessed via your local authority website. The rates sometimes change and run from the 1st of the month through to the 31st of each month.

It gives us, the agent a clear indication of the amount a tenant will receive from the council for the particular property.

The number of tenants, number of bedrooms however does determine the final amount of rent they will receive.

We request a deposit for all tenancies. For private tenants, the deposit is equal to ONE MONTH rent.

Some tenants in receipt of housing benefit may be eligible for a bond from the local council and this will depend on the location of the rented property. The bond is a guarantee of payment (up to the amount agreed with the Bond Board at the start of the tenancy) should there be an outstanding claim against the tenant.

Deposits are held to help ensure the tenant looks after the property and as a safeguard against unpaid rent. It is refundable at the end of a tenancy only after the tenant has vacated the property, providing the property and their account are in an acceptable condition.

When the tenant vacates the property, you will have an opportunity to inspect the property yourself prior to the deposit being refunded. Should you wish to so do, you must make arrangements to view the property as soon as possible, once the tenant has vacated.

The tenancy commences on the date shown in the tenancy agreement. Prior to the tenant moving in we will compile an inventory and schedule of condition of the property. The inventory will list all furnishings and contain a description of the condition of the property. A copy of the inventory will be sent to yourself and the tenant. This provides both parties with an opportunity to confirm the accuracy of the document.

Whilst compiling the inventory we also take any meter readings. These readings are then passed on to the appropriate utility companies. At the same time we also inform the council of the change in tenancy.

We are unable to inform British Telecom of the change in tenancy. This must be done by the user of the service. Consequently you must ensure that BT knows you no longer require a service at the property. The tenants then have to contact BT should they wish to be re-connected.

All new tenancies commence with a maximum six month assured shorthold contract. Once this contract has been in force for just over three months, the tenancy is reviewed and we will write to you asking if you wish the tenancy to continue. If you do not want to renew the tenancy you must inform us immediately. We will then make arrangements for the statutory notice to be served (where this notice has not already been served).

After contacting you we will then contact the tenants. They can opt to leave the property at the end of the lease or request permission to stay on. If the tenants wish to stay in the property you have the right to decline, if you wish, in which case a notice requiring possession must be served, giving the tenants a statutory two month notice period to vacate the property.

Alternatively, you can allow the tenancy to continue, in which case you can then choose to renew for a period of six months or more. A significant number of tenants do request twelve month contracts.

If you do not wish to commit yourself to a definite period, the contract can become ‘statutory periodic’ whereby the tenant is able to remain in the property, under the terms of the original contract, without signing for a new fixed period. Should they wish to leave at any stage during the periodic term, they only need to give one month’s notice. If you require possession of the property we will still need to give two months’ notice.

Please note: when a tenant is issued a notice requiring possession (a Section 21 notice), the tenant must vacate the property on the date specified. However, should the tenant fail to vacate the property, enforcement of this notice can only be arranged through the courts.

Serving a notice requiring possession does not always guarantee that the Tenant will vacate the property on the agreed date
Once a tenancy comes to an end, we make arrangements to meet the tenant at the property. We then inspect the property again and take meter readings and also obtain a forwarding address for the tenant. The deposit is refunded to the tenant once we are convinced that everything is in order.

Should there be any disputes regarding the property condition, the first course of action is to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify the problem. If the tenant does not rectify the situation, we can then make a deduction from the deposit (valid estimates must be obtained indicating the exact cost of repair). Should an agreement not be reached between the landlord and tenant, we will act as arbitrators. We will aim to resolve the disagreement as quickly and amicably as possible.

Our decision is final and both parties must agree to abide by our judgement.
We conduct regular inspections of all tenanted properties. These inspections serve numerous purposes and allow us to visit the tenant to ensure they are taking care of the property. We also check for signs that something may be wrong with the property. If anything needs attention, we will then inform you as soon as possible, helping to reduce the risk of the problem escalating and the potential cost increasing. These visits also enable us get to know the tenants better, so that when the lease is due for renewal we can be confident in the advice we offer you.
Every property at some point will need some work doing to it. If things go wrong and the tenant contacts us, we will immediately contact you. In many cases the problem will be resolved quickly. However, there are two important points to remember when it comes to repairs:

Firstly, if a serious fault occurs (water burst, flood, etc) and we are unable to reach you, we will authorise a repair up to the cost equivalent of three times the agreed monthly rent. Authorisation for this is contained within our agency agreement. There is a statutory obligation* for a landlord to make emergency repairs within a specified time frame and therefore we occasionally need to make a quick decision.

Secondly, once a property is tenanted, landlords have an obligation to ensure it is well maintained. Carrying out repairs quickly is as important for you as it is for the tenant. After all, repairs caught early can save money.

Tenants have the right to contact Environmental Health if repairs are not being attended to promptly and any ensuing enforcement order could include extra repairs. Work not done can be undertaken by them and they may add an additional charge on top of the repair bill, which could be hefty.

(*The obligation of the landlord is stated in the Landlord & Tenants Act 1985, section 11).
It is a legal requirement that gas installations in residential tenanted properties are inspected on an annual basis. Inspections must be carried out by a Corgi-registered engineer and have to meet strict conditions before a safety report is issued. A copy of the report must be left at the premises.

In addition, we must keep a copy in our files. We normally arrange for the safety inspection to be carried out for you by our local gas engineer, unless you have a preferred contractor. Central heating systems occasionally break down and the cost of repairs can be substantial. For this reason we recommend a service contract issued by British Gas. You are able to spread the cost and pay monthly installments.

If you decide to take out a service contract or are currently in possession of one, please let us know. The details will be kept in the files and should the tenant have any problems, we will contact your service provider on your behalf.

You should have a clear understanding of your responsibilities in relation to electrical installations and appliances and the duties and responsibilities placed on a landlord by the following regulation electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994. This legislation places obligations on landlords to ensure that the fixed installation and all electrical appliances supplied by the landlord are safe.

You must ensure that the the electrical installation and all electrical appliances are ‘’safe’’ with little risk of injury or death to humans, or risk of damage to the property .This applies to when the tenancy begins and throughout the life of the tenancy. This includes all mains voltage household electric goods supplied by the landlord such as cookers, kettles, toasters, electric blankets, washing machines etc.Any equipment supplied should be marked with the appropriate CE symbol.

The best course of action is either to supply new appliances or to get appliances checked by a qualified electrician before the property is let to new tenants. All paperwork regarding the item (i.e. receipts, warranties, and certificates of inspection) should be kept for a minimum period of six years.

Although there is no statutory requirement to have annual safety checks on electrical installations and appliances as there is with gas .the institution of electrical engineers recommends a formal periodic inspection and test being carried out on the installation at least once every 10 years or on a change of tenancy .it may be appropriate that where the risk is found to be greater, for instance where the installation is very old or where damage is regularly found, a more frequent regime will be necessary.

This periodic inspection and testing should only be undertaken by someone competent to do such work. On completion, a periodic inspections report should be issued by the person carrying out the work and this should be retained by you as the landlord.

It is our recommendation that all properties should be fitted with at least two smoke alarms. While this is not a legal requirement, failure to take adequate precautions (such as fitting smoke alarms) could lead to a landlord being prosecuted in the event of a fire which resulted in casualties. Smoke alarms are inexpensive and are easily fitted, however the batteries need to be checked regularly, something we will do during our periodic inspections.

If your property has gas appliances then you may wish to consider the installation of carbon monoxide alarms (these detect the build up of dangerous gasses). These units cost more than smoke alarms, but again serve a very useful purpose.

Some landlords have burglar alarms fitted that have a user code as well as a master code, (something that must be kept secure). The only means of changing the alarm number is with the Master code. Consequently while your tenants can have the benefit of the alarm they cannot change its settings. Due to the potential environmental impact of a malfunctioning alarm, they should be serviced on a regular basis.
Any furniture left in a property should be safe to use and well maintained. Any soft furnishings must comply with fire regulations and the original fire regulation labels should be attached. If not, the furnishings must be removed from the property and they cannot be stored at the rented address.
If the property is subject to a mortgage, the mortgage lender must be informed of your intention to let. This should be done before a tenant moves into the property. Gaining permission from the building society usually depends upon the mortgage account not being in arrears.

Some lenders ask to see a copy of the lease, which the tenant will be required to sign. We will provide them with this at your request. Lenders may make a small charge to cover administration costs.
As a landlord you are still responsible for the building and accordingly the buildings insurance. Please note buildings insurance will not cover the costs of replacing or repairing carpets if they become damaged but it does however cover fixtures and fittings. If the property is furnished or part-furnished you may also wish to consider contents insurance.
Income received from renting property is subject to tax and therefore we strongly recommend that you take advice from an accountant. Expenses incurred can be set against tax liability, as can the interest paid on the mortgage.
Landlords who reside overseas and own rented property in the UK are able to apply to the Inland Revenue for an exemption certificate, which enables us to pay them gross rent (subject to our deductions). However, if they do not apply for exemption, it is a statutory requirement that letting agents deduct tax at source, currently rated at the lowest prevailing tax rate.

In these circumstances, we will withhold the necessary funds from your account on a monthly basis and will issue a certificate at the end of each tax year indicating how much tax we have paid to the Inland Revenue, on your behalf.

Should you reside or subsequently move overseas, you may decide to contact the Centre for Non-Residents, an Inland Revenue office based in Bootle, for an exemption certificate. We are happy to offer more advice about this.

Further Notes

In accordance with the Finance Act 1995, any landlord residing outside the UK for more than 6 months is considered by the Inland Revenue to be a 'Non Resident Landlord'.

As such, it is the responsibility of any Letting Agent acting on behalf of Non Resident Landlord(s) to ensure that the landlord(s) have obtained approval from the Inland Revenue to receive gross rental income without deduction of tax.

In order to obtain approval, a landlord or landlords (in the case of joint ownership) simply require to complete an NRL1 Form (a copy of which can be provided by your letting agent) confirming the address of the property they intend to rent and the amount they expect to receive in rental income. The Agent will then complete their part and submit directly to the Inland Revenue who will then provide an 'Approval number' allowing the Agent to release the full amount of rent without deduction of tax to the landlord(s).

Please be aware that without approval, your Letting Agent must by law deduct the basic level of tax from your net rental income (after deductions for fees and repairs) and submit a tax return to the Inland Revenue at the end of every quarter.

In the case of Companies residing overseas, the procedure is very similar with the company completing an NRL2 form instead.
The provisions within our agency agreement do not cover your property when it is vacant. If you are concerned about the property and want us to manage it while it is empty, please inform us and we will make arrangements to do so. There may be an extra cost for this service.
We require two sets of keys for the property. One set is handed to the tenant upon occupation and the other is retained in our office in the event of an emergency. Please be aware that should you wish to use or collect these keys at any time, we will require proof of your identification as a security measure.

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