Information for Landlords
If you currently own or intend to purchase residential property for rental in Kent, you should consider engaging our property management service. You’ll find it both professional and cost-effective.
As we are specialists, we know how to manage property for optimum performance, whilst ensuring smooth running tenancies, and compliance with the various landlord/tenant laws.
Maximise the return on your investment – contact us now. If you own or intend purchasing residential property for rental in any other area, please go to our UK Network page.
Our Services include:
- Visiting you at your property, and providing a rental valuation and any other advice which you may require about letting your property.
- Advising you on compliance with the various safety regulations.
- Locating suitable tenants. Your property will be advertised if necessary, however we have excellent contacts with various company and other establishment personnel departments, and furthermore usually have tenants waiting.
- Accompanying tenant applicants to view the property.
- Obtaining and evaluating references and credit checks.
- Preparing a suitable tenancy agreement and arranging signature by the tenant.
- Collecting and holding as stakeholders a deposit (bond) from the tenant.
- Preparing an inventory and schedule of condition.
- Checking the tenant into the property and agreeing the inventory.
- Supervising the transfer of gas, electricity and council tax accounts into the tenant’s name.
- Receiving rental payments monthly in advance, and paying you promptly, together with a detailed statement from our computerised management systems.
- If required paying regular outgoings for you from rental payments.
- Inspecting the property periodically, and reporting any problems to you.
- Arranging any necessary repairs or maintenance, first liaising with you in the case of larger works.
- Keeping in touch with the tenant on a routine basis, and arranging renewals of the agreement as necessary.
- Checking tenants out as required, re-letting and continuing the process with the minimum of vacant periods to ensure that you receive the optimum return from your property.
We maintain a flexible attitude, and are generally able to adapt our service to meet our client’s individual circumstances and needs, for example by providing a part only service, or alternatively by taking on additional tasks and duties.
Our initial letting and advertising charge is just £150, and our ongoing management commission is only 10% of monthly rental payments. We make an admin charge for the creation of an inventory (fee dependant on size of property) and £45 for each renewal of an existing agreement.
We also offer a ‘find only’ service for those landlords wanting to manage their own properties. Our charge for this is a flat fee of 75% of the first monthly rental for sole agency and 100% of the first months rent for multi-agency.
There are no up front charges – nothing to pay until a tenant moves in and starts paying rent.
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. For brief details of a subject scroll down the page. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
Mortgage 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.
Leaseholds If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.
Sub-letting If you are a tenant yourself, you will require your landlord’s consent.
Insurance 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 advise on Landlord’s Legal Protection, and Landlord’s Contents insurance if required.
Bills and regular outgoings We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. mortgage, 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 Council tax is the responsibility of the occupier. You should inform your local collection office that you are leaving the property. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner. When unoccupied but furnished, the charge is 50% of the normal rate. When unoccupied and ‘substantially’ unfurnished, there is no charge for the first six months, and thereafter a charge of 50% of the normal rate.
The inventory 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 to the landlord, we will if requested arrange for a member of staff to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at a reasonable cost.
Income tax 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, 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.
Important safety regulations
The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as agents. Therefore to protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the owner’s expense.
Gas Appliances & Equipment Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (amended 1996) and some other regulations, all gas appliances in tenanted premises must be checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months, by an approved registered gas engineer, and a safety certificate issued. Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, of defects identified, and of any remedial action taken.
Electrical Appliances & Equipment Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 and some other regulations, electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe. Although (unlike gas) no safety certificate is legally required, and therefore it may be adequate to perform a visual check of electrical equipment, fittings and leads, it is recommended that a qualified electrician be engaged for this purpose.
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 1.3.90 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.
Preparing the property for letting
We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers the relationship part 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. This is your job. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenant applicants too, and we are pleased to recommend properties to rent which conform to certain minimum standards. Quality properties attract quality tenants.
General condition 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.
Appliances Similarly, appliances such as washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. should be in usable condition.
Decorations Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Furnishings 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 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.
Cleaning 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 similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense.
Mail forwarding 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 helpful if you leave information for the tenant 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 are Managing we can arrange to have duplicates cut as required.