Our fees are competitive and may be open to negotiation dependent on the level of Service required. We are particularly committed to investment Landlords and savings can be made on the smallest of portfolios.
A Personal Service
We pride ourselves in offering a personal and friendly Service, whilst at the same time maintaining a high standard of competence and professionalism.
Carefully Selected Quality Tenants
Drawn from a continually updated register, all prospective Tenants are thoroughly referenced and credit checked. In some cases we will also require a guarantor.
Out of Hours Service
For our initial meetings with you we will if necessary be pleased to visit your property outside normal office hours, at a time that is convenient to you, and thus fit in with your busy schedule. A member of staff is also available on the telephone out of hours until the time stated in our accompanying letter.
In addition to our local Services, we are part of a UK-Wide Network of independent but associated Letting and Managing Agents, thus enabling us to offer an efficient national relocation service, and are often able to assist both individual and corporate clients, from within the UK and abroad.
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 the 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.
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under rules effective from 6 April 1996, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as Landlord's Agent 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, less certain expenses. An application form for exemption from such deductions is available from this Agency, and further information may be obtained from the Inland Revenue
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.
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. A list of recommended items is detailed over. If you are still unsure about certain items we will be able to advice. However we can provide furnishings, with the consent of the landlord at a very competitive rate.
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. Likewise cleaning can be arranged for before let at landlord’s 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.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
Suggested minimum contents for furnished lettings
|Sofa, Two armchairs, Coffee table||Dining table & chairs, Sideboard|
|Cooker, Fridge-freezer, Washing machine||Lawnmower, Gardening tools|
|Bed, Wardrobe, Chest of drawers||Vacuum cleaner, Iron board, Dustpan, and brush, Lampshades in all rooms, Curtains at all windows and appropriate floor coverings|
If you truly want to stand out like the proverbial diamond in the rough, you simply need to STAND UP and then take a stand. Instead of just trying to get by or looking for ways to do the bare minimum as many do these days, why not choose a different path where outstanding quality pays and is the name of the game?
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. 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 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.
- Catch up with deferred maintenance:
Oil door hinges, stop squeaky floorboards with talcum powder, replace washers on dripping taps and missing hooks on the curtains. Fix all those things you never got around to doing. First Impressions count.
- Drive-by desirability:
House buyers almost always drive by before they pick the houses they wish to view. Make yours stand out by painting the door a bright colour, planting window boxes or tubs of colourful flowers and make sure the house number is clearly visible from the road.
- The big clear out:
Clutter can be distracting to people trying to visualize living in your home. Buy a roll of bin liners. Check out your local charity shops. Pack your knick-knacks in boxes and seal down the lids and stack them (in the garage or a storage centre and NOT the spare room) ready for the day you move.
- Good views:
Clean the windowpanes and woodwork with a good household detergent. This improves the look of the room and lets in natural daylight.
- Neat window dressings:
Drying or steam-cleaning the curtains, really does lift the room, and removes all those built-up odors. Remove those nets and replace them with muslin drapes or blinds. They are les fussy and old fashioned and if you replace curtains with blinds it opens up the room.
- Welcome in:
Make sure you have replaced the bulbs in the light fitting in the hall. Keep it clean, light and clutter free. Adding a mirror can make a dark hall seem much lighter and bigger. Don’t paint it a dark colour.
Dust cobwebs. Don’t forget to look up, your viewers will. Dust or vacuum those cobwebs away, especially around light fittings. Ceilings tend to be a recurring problem when properties are re-styled for sale. If your ceiling has any damage, its worth spending a few pounds to put it right. It doesn’t have to cost much, but it really puts people off buying.
Wash down emulsion walls with a soft cloth and a little detergent and use match pots to touch up those damaged areas. Stick down lifting edges of wallpaper. You can crayon in scuffmarks on darker papers. If you do redecorate to sell then use neutral light colour like cream, pale yellow and white woodwork. It’s a winner every time.
Viewers watch and feel what’s under their feet. Carpets are seen as a large outlay for the new homeowner and that could cost you the sale. Carpets can also hold unpleasant odors so make the most of what you have by getting the carpets cleaned. If they are wearing thin, pull them up. Bare floorboards and a rug can be a cost-effective alternative.
- Surf Stoppers:
With the growing enthusiasm for buyers to use the internet to find property, photos are more important than ever. Buyers use external and internal photos to narrow down their choices. Not just to find a property to view, but to eliminate property from the selection. Before your buyers even get to your door, your home may be eliminated from their search.
The room needs to be staged for the shot to ensure you get the best photos published. Be selective and only publish the best shots with the best lighting. Get internal shots taken in daylight, otherwise the windows can look like big black boxes.
Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count, really count!
Important Safety Requirements
The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where you have signed our Full Management Agency Agreement, they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will need to ensure compliance.
Health and Safety - Gas
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 within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (i.e. a CORGI registered gas installer).
There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipe work are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
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.
Health and Safety - Electrical
Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and certain other regulations, electrical appliances and equipment provided in tenanted premises must be safe. It is therefore necessary to make a visual check to ensure that all electrical items, plugs and leads appear completely safe and undamaged, and remove or replace any faulty items.
Consumer Protection - Fire
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, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags.
Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. 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, 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).
We hope that the general points covered in this guide will be of some assistance to you. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please telephone our office. Alternatively we can visit you at your home to discuss your individual requirements, at your convenience.