The latest Kent Reliance Buy to Let Britain report - seen as a snapshot of the state of health of the private rental landscape - shows the sector to be growing but with landlords doing more to minimise the effect of recent tax changes. The latest report, released this morning, shows: -...Read more
Why Choose Us?
Whether you are letting a property for the first time, or already work with an existing property portfolio, we are able to provide unrivalled expertise in our market place, aiming to maximise returns on investment whilst exceeding your expectations on all levels of service.
- A friendly and professional service
- Excellent communication and free professional advice
- A fully managed service and an Introduction only service
- Efficient collection and forwarding of rental payments
- Extensive property marketing to attract suitable tenants quickly
- Experts in our field and specialise solely in lettings
With the let only service, the landlord would become solely responsible for any issues that arise following the commencement date of the tenancy.
The let only service will provide you with the following benefits:
- A rental valuation of your property.
- Local and national marketing, including a professional “To Let” board where appropriate.
- Carrying out an accompanied viewing with prospective tenants.
- Free advice on the presentation and preparation of your property.
- Considering applications from prospective tenants and (if required) guarantors, in order to assess suitability.
- Preparing and signing, as agent on your behalf, a suitable tenancy agreement in accordance with current law.
- Ensuring that service suppliers details are given to the tenant (i.e. gas, electricity, water rates and telephone services, where applicable).
- We provide information on insurance i.e. rental guarantee, fire, contents, landlords
In addition to the let only service the full management also includes:
- An inventory detailing the general condition and contents, which will be checked at the termination, prior to any deposit being repaid to the tenant.
- Collection of ongoing rental payments and forwarding them by bank transfer to your chosen account and forwarding monthly statements (deposits retained by a government approved deposit scheme)
- Inspection of the property at agreed intervals to ensure that the tenant/s are fulfilling their obligations under the terms of their tenancy agreement, as well as providing a written report of the property.
- Action against the tenant in the event of rental arrears or any other breach of condition within the tenancy agreement.
- Organisation of repair or maintenance, instructing a tradesman to attend the property, obtain estimates where necessary, supervise works and settle accounts. This shall be subject to the agreed cost limit. However in an emergency, the right is reserved to proceed without prior authorisation.
- Arranging service contracts if requested by the landlord.
- Carrying out a full property inspection and inventory check at the end of each tenancy and dealing with matters relating to unfair wear and tear, before releasing the tenant's deposit.
- Re-letting the property unless otherwise instructed by the landlord.
First Stages of Renting Your Property
We will view the property initially to assess its rental value. At this point, we will answer any questions you may have and determine the most suitable service to meet your requirements. Also we will be able to make recommendations where necessary that could potentially increase the rental value of your property. Our advice at this point is completely free and aimed at making sure you have a firm understanding of all your obligations before proceeding to let your property.
Marketing your property
Once you have decided to appoint us as your agent, one of our representatives will visit the property in order to take some internal and external photographs. We shall use the photographs and the information we have collected to create an attractive advert, which we shall display whilst marketing your property.
In order to maximise property exposure, our website is updated daily and our properties are listed on market leading property portals.
Our highly trained and efficient staff will make sure that the best service is delivered to both the landlord and tenant.
Presenting the property
As the lettings market becomes more and more competitive, it is important that the property is presented in the best way possible. Without this, the property could remain empty for longer as well as affect its rental value.
To help a rental property appeal to a wider market, we would suggest the following:
- Keep the colours in the property neutral.
- Gardens must be kept maintained (when a tenant occupies the property, the maintenance of the garden becomes their responsibility).
- Keep the equipment provided and furnishings as contemporary as possible (can be basic).
- Check for any grouting issues in places such as the bathroom. Any mould issues here can really effect a prospective tenant's decision to rent the property.
- If the property is a flat with a communal entrance and hallway, make sure that for the benefit of all tenants that this area is kept tidy and clear of debris at all times.
- Modern Kitchen, Tiled Bathrooms, Double glazing and gas central heating is another popular feature amongst prospective tenants.
- In general, try to find and rectify any damages around the property that can be seen easily or experienced.
Obtaining the tenants and referencing
Arguably, the most important factor when letting the property is the prospective tenant. The whole success of letting depends on finding the right tenant. If an applicant wishes to proceed with a tenancy, we will assess their suitability.
The references aim to check that each tenant is creditworthy by for example checking for CCJ’s and arrears and obtaining employer, landlord and character references. Once references have been received, we will contact you to confirm the results of this and advise of the proposed checking in date.
All necessary legal paperwork, including an inventory, will be prepared and signed and any outstanding balances settled by the tenant before the tenancy commences.
Important Safety and Legal Requirements
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 state landlords must ensure that gas appliances, fittings and flues are safe for the tenant’s use and that installation, maintenance and annual safety checks are carried out by a technician registered with the Gas Safety Register (which superseded CORGI on 1st April 2009).
The landlord must keep a record of the safety check for two years. They must issue a copy to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being completed and issue a copy to any new tenants before they move in.
While there isn’t a legal obligation on landlords to have professional checks carried out on the electrical appliances, there is, however, an obligation to ensure that all electrical equipment is safe, under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation – Part P, and the British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets.
All electrical certification should be carried out by an electrician who is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installers and Contractors (NICEIC). There are two types of electrical certificate:
- Periodic Inspection Report
- Portable Appliance Testing (PAT)
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) sets minimum fire resistance standards for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery that remain in a dwelling during the course of a tenancy.
These include any of the following which contain upholstery:
- Furniture intended for private use in a dwelling, including children's furniture
- Beds, head-boards of beds, mattresses (of any size)
- Sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles
- Nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling
- Scatter cushions, pillows, seat pads and loose and stretch covers for furniture
The Regulations do not apply to:
- furniture made before 1950
- sleeping bags
- bed-clothes (including duvets)
- loose covers for mattresses
For items that do apply, a suitable label must be attached to the furniture in a prominent position so that the label will be clearly visible to a potential purchaser of the furniture and the wording on both sides can be read with reasonable ease. Examples of these labels can be seen above.
Smoke Alarms & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
After 1st October 2015 the landlord must ensure that a smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. Additionally, landlords must ensure that there is a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in any room that is used partly or wholly as living accommodation which also contains any appliance which burns, or is capable of burning, solid fuel. This would include log and coal burning stoves and open fires.
Energy Performance Certificate
With effect from 1st October 2008, all new tenancies require an Energy Performance Certificate. Their purpose is to determine how energy efficient homes are on a scale of A-G. The most efficient homes - which should have the lowest fuel bills - are in band A. The certificate uses the same scale to define the impact a home has on the environment. Better-rated homes should have less impact through carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The average property in theUKis in bands D-E for both ratings.
The certificate includes recommendations on ways to improve the home's energy efficiency to save money and help the environment.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy
If the landlord wishes to rent their property to multiple occupants, it may mean that a licence is required before the property can be legally rented. Houses in Multiple Occupation are also referred to as “HMOs” and the purpose of the licensing scheme is to improve management and safety standards in this area of the rental sector.
It is now a mandatory duty for:
- All Local Authorities to have a licensing scheme
- Owners of certain types of HMOs to have a licence
For further information on houses in multiple occupation and how this may affect you as a landlord, please speak to one of our representatives
Overseas Landlords and Income Tax
The scheme requires UK letting agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. If non-resident landlords don't have UK letting agents acting for them, it is their responsibility to inform the HMRC of rental income received and to pay any tax due. Non-resident landlords can apply at any time for approval to receive rent with no tax deducted.
If your intention is to reside abroad then we can offer the following services:
- Arrange for annual rental accounts to be prepared by a local firm of chartered accountants and be submitted to the HMRC at the end of each tax year. Details available on request.
- Tax saving schemes relating to earned income abroad and the possibilities of re-investing your income to receive tax-free interest. Again we have the expert advice of a firm of financial consultants on hand. Details are available.
The Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme
Under the provisions of the Housing Act 2004 every landlord or letting agent that takes a deposit for an Assured Short-hold Tenancy in England and Wales must join a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The new regulations came into effect from April 6, 2007. The purpose of this regulation is to ensure good practice. The secondary purpose of the new regulations is to try and keep disputes between landlords and tenants out of the courts by encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution.
In November 2006, three companies were awarded contracts by The Government to run Tenancy Deposit Schemes:
- The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS)
Insurance backed schemes
- Tenancy Deposit Solutions Ltd (TDSL), now trading as @'My Deposits'.
- The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
Property Redress Scheme
We are members of The Property Ombudsman and abide by The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice. You agree that we may disclose information relating to the rental of the property to The Property Ombudsman and other regulatory bodies, if you or the landlord have registered a complaint and The Property Ombudsman asks for it. You also agree that we may disclose your contact details to The Property Ombudsman if they ask for them, to assist in their monitoring of our compliance with the Code of Practice.
Our Latest News
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