Information for Landlords
Our fee structure is simple.
For our full management service we charge an initial letting fee of £238.80 (£199.00 + vat) for finding the tenant which is deducted from the first months rent. We charge a management fee of 12% (10% + vat) each month*.
*min fee £54.00 (£45.00 + vat)
Included in the initial letting fee are the advertising costs including TO LET board, accompanied viewings, legionnaires risk assessment, housing health and safety risk assessment, smoke alarm testing, ensuring property is compliant with Fire and Furnishing Regulations, ensuring compliance with EPC and Gas Safety requirements, check in report, taking and provision of date stamped digital photos of the property prior to occupancy and providing a copy to the tenants, initial meter reads and advising utilities and council tax, deposit collection and registration. Note we DO NOT charge tenancy renewal fees unlike many agents.
The management fee covers property inspections, key holding, rent collection, monthly accounting to the landlord, annual financial statement for HMRC if requested, non resident landlord scheme guidance (where applicable), legal guidance, repair handling, dealing with tenant enquiries throughout the tenancy, service of notices (S13, S21 and s8), check out report, final meter reads and advising utilities and council tax, liaising with the deposit protection scheme, landlord and tenant to facilitate the release of the deposit.
We also offer a LET only service if desired charged at £400.00 includes vat.
In accordance with the Cancellation of Contracts Regulations 2008 there is a 14 day cooling off period once we are instructed. Thereafter, if we are instructed and then you withdraw before a tenancy is arranged we charge a withdrawal fee of £100.00 (£83.33 + vat) to cover our out of pocket expenses. Once let, if we are managing the property and you withdraw we charge the let only service fee as above.
We are members of The Property Ombudsman www.tpos.co.uk membership reference D7783
We are not members of a Client Money Protection Scheme
Guide for Landlords
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. 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. We will assume this has been done unless you advise us otherwise.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. An important aspect of your buildings and contents cover is your Pubic Liability Insurance, please ensure your policy includes such cover. Failure to inform your insurers you are letting your property will invalidate your insurance. We can provide information on Landlords Rent and Legal Protection and Landlord's Buildings and Contents insurance if required.
Council tax is the responsibility of the occupier. You should inform your local council tax office that you are leaving the property. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner. Calderdale Council, since April 2013, charge 100% for empty properties 30 days after they become empty.
The Schedule of Condition
It is most important that a record of the property condition is made in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of the tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be difficult for the landlord to prove any loss, damage or significant deterioration of the property or contents. We take date stamped digital photographs of the property and provide the tenants with a copy. This provides an excellent record of the property condition prior to occupation and can be used as a point of reference to identify any dilapidations.
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Since October 2008 landlords have to provide tenants with an EPC, this is a legal requirement coming from EU legislation. There are penalties in place if the legislation is not complied with. The aim is to provide tenants with a formal assessment of the energy efficiency of a domestic dwelling. This must be carried out prior to marketing the property. We are able to arrange this for you if requested. The good news, it is valid for 10 years once completed for rental properties.
When the landlord is resident in the UK, it is entirely his responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. However, where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under new rules effective from 6 April 1996, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as landlord's agents are obliged to retain and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received. An application form for exemption from such deductions is available from the Inland Revenue. Further information about the Non Resident Landlord Scheme is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm
Important Safety Regulations
The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the landlord).
Gas Appliances & Equipment
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accomodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a GAS SAFE registered gas installer).
- Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
- Records: Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.
- Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.
Electrical Appliances & Equipment
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 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the case of gas appliances), 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. We can arrange this for you if requested.
Furniture & Furnishings
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, and 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, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. In practice, most (but not all) items which comply must have a suitable permanent label attached. Items purchased since 01/03/1990 from a reputable supplier are also likely to comply.
General Product Safety
The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as hot surfaces, electric lawnmowers, etc. for the tenant.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
From October 2015 you must fit a smoke alarm to every floor of the property (battery or mains). We will test this when we perform the inventory and then it is the tenants responsibility to regularly test and replace batteries throughout the tenancy. Where there is a solid fuel fire or stove a carbon monoxide detector must be installed.
Legionella Risk Assessment
We will carry out an initial risk assessment as part of our management package, at no extra charge, at the start of each tenancy. A few simple steps can significantly reduce the risk of Legionella in low risk properties. In higher risk properties a specialist may needed but we will advise you if this is required. We also provide tenants with a Legionella Advice Sheet to reduce the risks.
Preparing the Property for Letting
We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenants too, and we are pleased to recommend properties to rent which conform to certain minimum standards. Quality properties attract quality tenants.
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 landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.
Similarly, appliances such as a washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established. We strongly recommend you ensure any appliances provided are PAT tested on an annual basis to ensure they are safe. We can arrange this for you if requested.
Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral.
It is recommended that you leave only minimum furnishings, and these should be of reasonable quality. It is preferable that items to be left are in the property during viewings. If you are letting unfurnished, we recommend that the property contains carpets, curtains, and a cooker.
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 maintenance visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of a tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant's responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense.
We recommend that you make use of the Post Office redirection service. Application forms are available at their counters and the cost is minimal. It is not the tenant's responsibility to forward mail.
Information for the tenant
It is expected that you leave information for the tenant on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day the refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we are managing we will arrange to have duplicate keys cut as required.
Please contact any of our offices to arrange a free, no obligation rental appraisal.