Terms and Conditions
FULL MANAGEMENT SERVICE
This service includes
a. Securing a suitable tenant through contact with a large number of local companies registered with us and advertising in local, national and specialist publications where relevant. The property will be included in our regular property list and circulated. We will arrange for viewings on your property, accompanied where appropriate.
b. Obtaining appropriate references and credit checks.
c. Collection of the deposit and first instalment of rent.
d. Lodge deposit in approved Tenants Deposit Scheme.
e. Preparing a Tenancy Agreement and any relevant notices.
f. Arranging and preparation of an Inventory of your property and contents as a mutual Landlord/Tenant safeguard where required.
g. Monthly rent collection
h. Payment of the proceeds into your bank account where required.
I. Submitting accounts to you and your accountant where required.
j. Where possible make arrangements for meter readings and telephone accounts at commend=cement and termination of the Tenancy. Where possible try to ensure that accounts are transferred into the tenants name for the duration of the Tenancy.
k. Arranging for the tenant to be check in and out of the property as required.
l. Our Maintenance manager will carry out a routine inspection of the property, if no serious defect requiring an inspection has been reported to us in the meantime. It should be appreciated that any such inspection and assessment of defects which are brought to our notice will be of a cursory nature and embrace only apparent or obvious defects, it will not amount in any way to a structural or complete survey.
m. Payment of water rates, insurances, ground rent etc on your behalf where appropriate and where instructed by you to do so.
n. Management includes the investigation of any defects that are brought to our attention. Minor repairs will be arranged under our normal management service. For repairs over £100 + vat we will arrange for estimates and submit these to you.
Letting Service; this service includes a.b.c.d.e.f.g.h.i.j. and k as detailed in the full management service.
Our management facilities do not come into effect until a tenant has taken up occupancy.
We will agree with you a rent to be quoted to potential Tenants. Unless specifically agreed otherwise, this will include all payments for which you are responsible, such as water rates, ground rent etc where applicable.
You should make certain that your property and contents are adequately insured and that our policy covers lettings whether furnished or unfurnished.
To maximise the letting potential of your property and to minimise the periods when the property is empty, we strongly recommend that professional cleaners are contracted to thoroughly clean the property once it is vacated.
TENANCY AGREEMENT AND CHARGES
A standard form or Tenancy Agreement is used. A charge for this is incorporated in the letting fee unless otherwise stated. We reserve the right to charge this fee. We wold point out that we are not Solicitors and cannot offer you formal legal advice. We recommend that you consult your solicitor should you require further information on your legal position as a landlord.
The Landlord is liable for Council Tax for a property which is not his principle residence and is not let.
If the property is unfurnished there is a 6 months example period.
The Tenant is liable for Council Tax for the term of the Tenancy.
Rentals quoted by ourselves will be exclusive of the Council Tax Utility Charges.
We have four payment dates each month, 4th, 12th, 19 and 26th. You will be paid on the closest date to your tenants pay date allowing 8 banking days.
If your property is leasehold please ensure that
a. Any intended furnishing letting is permitted by the terms of your lease.
b. Any Tenancy is for a period expiring prior to the termination of your lease.
c. The written permission of the Landlord if necessary is obtained for sub-letting.
d. If the property to be let is subject to a mortgage please ensure that ;
e. Permission is obtained from the mortgagee to sub-let the property (it is advisable to obtain such permission at an early date prior to any sub-letting)
f. Any joint owners permission has ben received and that their names appear on the Tenancy Agreement.
CHANGES TO TENANCY
If during our Management there is a change of Tenancy we will arrange any cleaning and minor repairs of the property required for any new tenants, as instructed by the owner of the property.
INSTRUCTION OF SOLICITORS
Should any rent arrears or breaches of covenant be brought to our attention you will be informed. Thereafter should legal action be thought necessary you will be responsible for instructing your own solicitor and any fees or charges pertaining them.
SCHEDULE OF DILAPIDATIONS
At the termination of a Tenancy a Schedule of Dilapidations will be prepared. Any damage or dilapidation which may have occurred during the Tenancy is recorded on the schedule.
Where stated our fees and any other charges will be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate or any other tax which may be imposed.
INCOME TAX AND MANAGEMENT ACT 1970
Income from UK property is subject to UK Income Tax even if the landlord is resident abroad or a Company registered overseas. In these circumstances the Inland Revenue holds the agent liable for tax on the Landlords letting income (or the Tenant if the rent is being paid directly to the Landlord). If it appears that we will be so assessed we will set aside monies from the rent to meet out potential liability to the Inland revenue. We cannot undertake to meet any tax claims or returns or negotiate with the Inland Revenue on your behalf unless we are in receipt of a tax exemption certificate.
The Landlord agrees to indemnify us as agents against any costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on us provided that they were incurred on his behalf in pursuit of our normal duties. We therefore recommend a Landlord should prudently arrange insurance cover in respect of such matters for the term of the tenancy.
Every endeavour will be made to ensure the Landlord has the protection allowed in law to enable him to obtain possession of his property. In addition every effort is made to provide a satisfactory Tenant but no responsibility / liability can be accepted by the Agent for damage caused to the property or rental loss.
A clients signature on the Agency Agreement Statement signifies recognition and acceptance of the aforementioned conditions.
TERMINATION OF AGREEMENT
Either party may withdraw from this agreement by giving one month notice. In the event of this agreement being terminated whilst the tenancy continues a fee equivalent to 50% of one months rent shall become payable to the agent.
Things you need to know...
1. You will be the Landlord not the agent
2. You should obtain the permission of your building society.
3. You should retain responsibility for maintaining all insurances. Please advise our insurers of your intention to let the property.
4. it is possible to insure against rental loss.
5. You will be responsible for all repairs.
6. Expenditure on maintenance agreements / repairs are tax deductible.
7. You will need to pay your ground rent.
8. Decoration should be clean and presentable.
9. Furniture should be clean and presentable.
10. Operating instructions should be provided for all equipment supplied.
11. In furnished accommodation adequate crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils should be provided.
12. No sheets or towels are necessary.
13. In a vacant property the refrigerator / freezer should be left off with the door open.
14. All carpets should be left clean
15. If the garden is to be maintained by the tenants they should be left well cared for with secure fencing and serviceable garden tools should be provided.
16. Gas and Electricity meter readings will be taken from the property at the check in where possible.
17. You will be responsible for the Community Charge / Council Tax due when the property is not occupied by tenants.
18. You may be responsible for the payment of water rates unless a water meter is fitted.
19. If you require us to refer to specialist suppliers in order to complete repairs we can do so if supplied with the necessary details
20. You should be aware of the Fire and Furnishings (Fire) Safety) Regulations 1988(amended 1989 and 1993) and the provisions it contains.
21. You should be aware of the provisions and comply with the terms contained within the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations Act 1994
22. You should be aware of the provisions and comply with the terms contained within the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations Act 1994.
ADVICE RELATING TO LEGISLATION AFFECTING LANDLORDS AND THEIR PROPERTIES
The regulations have been phased in as follows; in accommodation first let AFTER 1ST March,1993 furniture has to comply with the regulations immediately. In accommodation first LET BEFORE 1ST MARCH 1993 furniture did not need to comply until 1ST January 1997.
From 1st January 1997 non complying furniture can only remain in the accommodation until the first new agreement is made with a new tenant. This new let counts as a new supply of furniture and consequently all non-complying furniture must be replaced otherwise you will be breaking the law. Any furniture owned and provided by the tenant is not covered by the regulations.
HOW TO BUY SAFE FURNITURE
If you purchase furniture from persons selling in the course of a business then that furniture should already fully comply with the regulated requirements. However, experience has shown that much of the furniture sold by second-hand dealers may not comply - so again extra care is needed.
it is not easy to determine by external examination only whether or not furniture does comply with the regulations. however any furniture that does not comply would have originally been sold with a permeant label stitched in (usually on the base of the furniture or on the underside of a cushion).
The label is headed 'carelessness causes fire' consequently, an easy check is to look for the label.
Any upholstered furniture that does not bear such a permanent label should be regarded as a suspect.
Mattresses and Bed Bases(Further information - trading standards service) Mattresses and bed bases should bear a blue label indicating compliance with B57177:1991.
Main electrical equipment (further information - trading service) if electrical equipment is supplied with let accommodation then it must be safe. This applies to such items as kettles, televisions, electric cookers etc.
The law does not stipulate that you have to have each item of electrical equipment tested. However it is strongly recommended that you should consider having items tested to protect your tenant from danger and yourself from possible prosecution and/or civil litigation. Any tests should be carried out at reasonable intervals, bearing in mind the likely rate of usage of the appliance. Make sure any test identifies clearly the equipment tested and keep such test reports for your own reference and to produce the enforcement personnel, if required.
Any plug on an electrical appliance must be a standard plug, i.e. of an approved type, with live and neutral pins sleeved and having and having the correct fuse rating for the appliance to which it is connected.
Mains appliances must by law be supplied fitted with a plug.
1. Supply(further information - Trading Standards Service) All new and second-hand gas appliances as part of a let must be safe and have clear instructions and warnings appropriate to their safe use.
2. Installation and Use (further information - Private Sector Housing and Health and Safety Executive) Landlords must ensure that all gas appliances and flues (this includes bottle gas(LPG)cabinet heaters) are maintained and checked for safety at least every 12 months. You must also keep records of maintenance and safety checks and make this information available to tenants, on request.
3. Advisory An LPG heater presents a health and safety risk due to it being a portable source of heat. In addition it creates serve condensation and this may contribute to the dwelling being unfit for human habitation. Landlords are strongly advised not to provide LPG heaters to their tenants.
Other appliances and goods(further information - Trading Standards Service) The above requirements relate to some categories of high risk goods/appliances. Other goods/appliances not otherwise covered in these guidance notes, which are supplied for the use of tenants, must be reasonably safe. where instructions/warnings are necessary for the safe use of goods/appliances these should be supplied in writing , together with the goods/appliances.
Having a burglar alarm is not compulsory but it ma be a facility which a prospective client would look for:
We would advise that all external doors be fitted with five lever mortice locks. It is also advisable to ensure that any windows capable of being opened are fitted with window locks. This is often a requirement of household insurance.
SAFETY OF GOODS & EQUPIMENT SUPPLIED WITH LET ACCOMMODATION
WHAT DOES THE LAW REQUIRE?
Current consumer safety legalisation requires goods, including such items as gas cookers/heater, electric toasters, televisions, furniture, etc. supplied in the course of a business to be reasonably safe. practically all goods are covered, both new and second-hand. all goods have to satisfy general safety provisions. certain high risk goods including electrical equipment, upholstered furniture, gas cooking appliances etc., are covered by requirements contained in spec safety regulations.
The supply of such goods in rented accommodation, in the course of a business is considered to be a hire transaction and such is covered by consumer safety legalisation. the following notes are intended as a guide to the law.
WHO IS COVERED?
Those letting accommodation in the course of a business where the supply of the accommodation includes the supply of goods etc., furniture and domestic appliances, must comply with the law. Those acting as accommodation agents would appear to be liable where they enter into a contract with a tenant, under which agreement is made to let a furnished property on behalf of a landlord, or where they purport to act as the landlord for the purposes of such an agreement.
Furniture (further information - Trading Standards Service) Upholstered furniture must comply with regulations covering flammability. these regulations were brought into the force to try to reduce the number of deaths resulting from toxic fumes given off upholstered furniture in fires. Furniture that does not have a permanent label attached claiming compliance with the furniture & fittings(fire)(safety) regulations should be regarded as suspect. Furniture made before 1950 I exempt.
The definition of furniture covered by the regulations is wide. A DTI booklet, available from the trading standards service , gives detailed guidance on the scope of the regulations.
The regulations control the supply of furniture in accommodation let in the course of a business. providers of such furnished accommodation, including estate agents, letting agencies and landlords acting in the course of a business, have to ensure that furniture in properties governed by the regulations complies.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
Landlords will need to provide an EPC ( which will be valid for ten years) to prospective tenants, the first time the property is let or re-let after October 2008. EPC's can only be produced as a result of a survey by an accredited domestic energy assessor. They are used to collect standard information on the property including its size, how it is constructed and its hot water and heating systems. The information is then fed into a government approved software programme which produces the EPC.
DPS FURTHER INFORMATION
The Deposit Protection Service- the new legalisation
As part of the housing act 2004 the government has introduced the deposit protection scheme for all assured short hold tenancies (ATSs)in England and Wales where a deposit is taken.
The legislation aims to ensure that the tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent are entitled to receive all, or part of it back at the end of that tenancy, actually do so. The legalisation covers virtually all new AST contracts through which private landlords let property in England and Wales.
However the following will not need to be registered with a tenancy deposit protection scheme:
-Resident landlords (those living in the property).
-Landlords of let properties with rent over £25,000 a year.
-Student accommodation let directly by universities or colleges.
Deposits taken before 6th April 2007 do not need to be protected by the scheme such as DPS. However, as an existing tenancy is renewed and a landlord agrees a new fixed-term tenancy, the initial deposit taken must then be lodged with a new tenancy deposit protection scheme.
CONTRAVENTION OF ANY OF THE REGULATIONS, AS DETAILED IN THESE GUIDANCE NOTES, IS A CRIMINAL OFFENCE AND COULD RENDER YOU LIABLE TO PROSECUTION. MAXIMUM PENALITES ARE A FINE UP TO £5000 PER OFFENCE OR IMPRISONMENT FOR UP TO SIX MONTHS, OR BOTH.