As an independent company we endeavour to ensure that our appraisal is a true reflection of present market conditions without inflating the figure in an effort to obtain your instruction.
You may rest assured that when we are favoured with your instructions every effort and enthusiasm will be put into marketing your property.
Should you have any queries or questions then please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy
The Housing Act 1988 introduced the Assured Shorthold Tenancy, which enabled Landlords to let a property without fear of not being able to recover possession whether your property is unfurnished or furnished.
This will depend upon the following factors:
- The dates you will require the property for your own use.
- An Assured Shorthold Tenancy enables any length of tenancy to be offered. However it will often not be in your best interests to offer a very short tenancy due to re-letting costs and also if your tenant decides not to vacate after say a 3 month lease, a court will not issue proceedings until 6 months from the start date of the tenancy has expired.
We will not normally accept an instruction to look for a tenant where another agent is appointed. Rushing against another agent to find a tenant cannot be in the best interests of a landlord.
If we are not aware that another agent is involved then we may make tentative offers to tenants resulting in them releasing themselves from other housing commitments. The result may be the withdrawal of these offers due to another agency finding another tenant and as such causing unnecessary distress to all parties concerned. An agent has the power to act on your behalf. The importance of housing requires there to be clear instructions and parameters to work to.
If you instruct us to act on your behalf, it will be on the basis that we are the sole agent. This is unless we have specifically agreed to another arrangement.
It is in your interests that care is taken in selecting a tenant. This results in many applicants being rejected without showing them a property. When letting the tenant will be living in your property. This makes it important to be selective.
The type of tenant is dependent on the type of property offered. In addition, you are able to specify the criteria that a tenant needs to meet. As your agent we place emphasis on the quality of the tenant as well as the amount of rent charged. A tenant’s suitability for the individual property is checked in addition to their financial capability.
Many of the larger companies in the area have a continual demand for accommodation for their staff. In some cases we can arrange for the company to take up the tenancy or guarantee rent.
Where we are managing the property we hold a deposit equivalent to at least one month’s rent. This will only be released back to the tenant when the following conditions are met:
• Tenancy terminated
• Premises in an acceptable condition and all keys returned
• Final accounts settled
For items requiring reinstatement, repair or cleaning the tenant will cover the cost. This will normally come from the deposit held by us.
Deposits and their status – know where you stand
It is absolutely essential for agents, landlords & tenants to appreciate the status of dilapidation deposits, or bonds as they are sometimes referred to, and thus help prevent conflict concerning any of its retention at the end of a tenancy.
Firstly the money belongs to the tenant, and as agent we are obliged to arrange for this to be protected.
As it is the tenant’s money we must account for it and any deductions properly. If we manage the property we will protect this. We need both the landlord’s and tenant’s consent when apportioning its return at the end of a tenancy. We are members of the Deposit Protection Scheme.
Until both parties agree any deductions the money will remain with the Deposit Protection Scheme even if it has to go to Court for a decision to be made.
Whilst the agent acts for the landlord, they make a professional assessment to the best of their ability. This does not mean favouring the landlord if it compromises a lawful point, or is unfair or unreasonable to the tenant.
Deposit Protection Schemes came into force on April 6 2007 and requires landlords and agents to protect deposits in a Government authorised scheme.
Where we manage the property we will safeguard the deposit and offer free independent adjudication in the event of a dispute.
The Scheme will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where the landlord takes a deposit.
The vast majority of tenancies are ASTs.
The landlord will be able to choose between two types of scheme:
• A custodial scheme, whereby the landlord pays the deposit into a custodial scheme. At the end of the tenancy, if the landlord and tenant agree on how the deposit should be divided, the scheme will return the money to the tenant and landlord/agent as appropriate.
• An insurance-based scheme, where the landlord or agent will hold the deposit, pay a fee, and any failure on his part to repay it to the tenant will be covered by the scheme's insurance arrangements.
In the case of a dispute over how much of the deposit the tenant is entitled to, the landlord and tenant can use the alternative dispute resolution service (ADR), provided by the schemes, to resolve the dispute.
The three schemes are:
• The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) - the only custodial deposit protection scheme – is free to use and open to all Landlords and Letting Agents. The service is funded entirely from the interest earned from deposits held. Landlords and Letting Agents will be able to register and make transactions online. Paper forms will also be available should internet access be an issue. The scheme will be supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent dispute resolution service. For more information, visit www.depositprotection.com or call 0870 707 1 707
• Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (TDSL) is a partnership between the National Landlords Association and Hamilton Fraser Insurance. This insurance-based tenancy deposit protection scheme enables landlords, either directly or through agents, to hold deposits. Letting agents can also join the scheme. For more information, visit www.mydeposits.co.uk
• The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is an insurance-backed deposit protection and dispute resolution scheme run by The Dispute Service that builds on a scheme established in 2003 to provide dispute resolution and complaints handling for the lettings industry. The new scheme enables letting agents and landlords to hold deposits. For more information, visit www.tds.gb.com or call 0845 226 7837.
Where we managed the property upon carrying out a termination check we will inform the tenant of any deductions to be made from their deposit and MUST obtain their written consent to make these deductions. If there is a dispute between the landlord and the tenant then the deposit monies less the disputed amount must be returned to the tenant. As your agents we shall then try and mediate between both parties to come to an amicable solution for both parties. If an agreement cannot be made we then transfer the case to the arbitrators who will then make the decision.
Inventory of Contents and Schedule of Condition
If we are providing a Management Service we will prepare a complete inventory of the property. This will include a schedule of the condition of the premises including:
If we are simply finding you a tenant then we advise you prepare one yourself and provide us with a copy, prior to the commencement of the tenancy, to give to the ingoing tenant. Please note that a thorough inventory MUST be supplied to the tenant. We can show you an example of a detailed inventory if you wish. Deduction cannot be made from the deposit if you do not have an Inventory of Contents and Schedule of Condition.
OUR SERVICES AND CHARGES
Full Management Service Charges
The initial cost to set up a new Tenancy for managed properties is £230.00 + VAT and includes the following:
• Selecting and meeting prospective tenants.
• Accompanying prospective tenants to view the property.
• Obtaining credit, personal and employer references via a reputable credit referencing agency.
• Preparation of Tenancy Agreement.
• Preparation of Inventory of Contents and Schedule of Condition. (if your property is furnished we reserve the right to charge an extra fee equivalent to one weeks rent to cover the extra time taken to do this)
• Informing utility companies of change of occupancy.
• Setting up standing order for payment direct to our account.
Monthly Charges - 12% plus VAT to cover the following
• Supervising property.
• Attending to general repairs.
• Periodic property visits (within first 6 weeks, then quarterly).
• Collecting rent.
• Transfer of monies (less fee) to Landlord’s account
When a landlord instructs us to carry out specialist work (including accountancy, taxation, consulting solicitors, major repairs etc) we may charge an additional fee based on the time involved.
Let Only Service
• Advertising (if required).
• Selecting and interviewing prospective tenants.
• Accompanying to view property.
• Obtaining credit, personal and employer references via a reputable credit referencing agency
• Submitting names for client’s final selection and approval.
• Preparation of Tenancy Agreement.
• Collection of tenancy deposit and first month’s rental.
• Setting up the standing order for future payment in landlord’s account
• Transfer of monies to Landlord plus tenant’s deposit less our fees.
Fee - A one off fee of 75% of the first months rent subject to a minimum
fee of £350.00 plus vat