Finding the right tenant for a property is fundamental. We start by establishing with yourself a criteria for the sort of person you wish to occupy your property. We then match this to prospective tenants who must provide us with references. Only after checking these references will we then proceed with a tenancy.
When dealing with private tenants we take references usually from their employer and previous landlord as well as credit checks and should these be satisfactory we will provide you with Rent Guarantee (please ask for full details). Payments are due every calendar month, in advance starting from the commencement of the lease. We do encourage tenants to pay their rent by standing order, if however they pay by cheque we must allow time for this to clear our bank before forwarding payment to you.
When we initially assess a property, we then indicate what we believe to be a realistic rent. Prospective tenants usually accept this figure but there may need to be some room for negotiation.
We request a deposit on all tenancies, the deposit is normally equal to one and a half months rent.
Deposits are held to help ensure the tenant looks after the property and as a safeguard against unpaid rent. It is refundable at the end of a tenancy only after the tenant has vacated the property and providing the house and their account is in order.
When the tenant vacates the property you will have an opportunity to inspect the property yourself prior to the deposit being refunded.
All deposits are then registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), this is a legal requirement that we take care of on your behalf.
The tenancy commences on the date shown in the lease. Prior to the tenant moving in we will carry out an inventory of the property, with a brief description of its condition.
Whilst compiling the inventory we also take the meter readings, these readings are then passed on to the appropriate companies, at the same time we also inform the council of the change in tenancy. We cannot inform British Telecom of the change in tenancy. This must be done by the user of the service, consequently you must ensure BT know you no longer require a service at the property. The tenants then have to contact BT should they wish to be re-connected.
All new tenancies commence with a maximum six month assured shorthold contract. Once this contract has been in force for just over three months the tenancy is reviewed and we will write to you asking if you wish the tenancy to continue, if you do not want to renew the tenancy you must inform us immediately, we will then make arrangements for the statutory notice to be served (where this notice has not already been served).
After contacting yourself we will then contact the tenants, they can opt to leave the property at the end of the lease or request permission to stay on. If the tenants wish to stay in the property you can either decline in which case the notice to quit must be served this then gives the tenants two months to vacate the property. Alternatively you can allow the tenancy to continue, here you can choose to renew for a period from six month upwards.
If you do not wish to commit yourself to a definite period the contract can become a periodic whereby the tenant stays in the property (under the terms of the original contract). Should they wish to leave however they only need to give one month’s notice, if you require possession of the property as the section requiring possession has already been served you can proceed with possession proceedings.
Please note that once a section 21 notice has been served on the tenants enforcement of this notice can only be enforced through the courts. Serving the notice does not guarantee that the tenant will vacate the property on the agreed date.
Once a tenancy comes to an end we make arrangements to meet the tenant at the property. We inspect the property again and take meter readings as well as obtaining details as to where the tenant is moving. The deposit is refundable to the tenant once we are convinced that everything is in order. If you wish you can inspect the property before the deposit is refunded, this must be done within a few days of the tenants moving out as the tenant are often eager for the refund of their money.
If for any reason there are any disputes with how the property has been left the first course of action is to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify the problem. If the tenant does not rectify the situation we can then make a deduction from the deposit (valid estimates must be obtained indicating the exact cost of repair). Failing agreement between the landlord and tenant, we will act as arbitrators. We will aim to resolve the disagreement as quickly and amicably as possible. Our decision is final, both parties agree to abide by our judgement.
We conduct regular inspections of all tenanted properties. These inspections serve numerous purposes, they allow us to visit the tenant in the property and ensure they are looking after it. We also check for signs that something may be wrong with the property, if something needs attention we can then inform you as soon as is practical helping to reduce the risk of the problem becoming worse and the cost escalating. These visits also help us get to know the tenants better, so that when the lease is due for renewal we can be confident in the advice we give to you.
Every property at some point will need some work doing to it, if things go wrong and the tenant contacts us, we then contact you. In the majority of cases the problem can be resolved quickly. However there are two important points to remember when it comes to repairs.
Once a property is tenanted you do have an obligation to ensure it is well maintained. Carrying out repairs quickly is often as important for you as it is for the tenant, after-all repair caught early enough can save you a lot of money. Remember tenants do have rights, tenants can contact the Environmental Health because repairs are not being attended to quickly, the ensuing ‘enforcement order’ could include extra repairs and significantly higher final bill. Work not done will be carried out by them and they will add a hefty additional charge on top of the repair bill.
It is a legal requirement that every gas appliance and gas central heating system has to be inspected on a annual basis, they have to meet strict conditions and a safety certificate must be issued. (This certificate or copy of if must be kept with our files). You can ask British Gas (who charge per item inspected) or a private gas engineer (some of whom have a flat rate, regardless of the number of appliances). Remember for a inspection to be complete the piping must also be inspected and the person conducting the inspection MUST be GASSAFE registered.
We can arrange for the safety inspection to be carried out for you by our local gas engineer. Once the inspection has been completed we keep a record of the date. A safety certificate must be issued every twelve months.
Central heating systems do break down, unfortunately it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient of times such as a Bank Holiday or when you are away. The cost of repair can be substantial and there is often little option but to have the work done. We are able to manage the repair on your behalf.
It is a legal requirement that all properties should be fitted with at least one smoke alarm to each floor. Smoke alarms are inexpensive and are easily fitted, they can and do save lives. Once installed these devices must be checked on a regular basis.
It is also a legal requirement for a carbon monoxide alarm to be fitted in every room where solid fuel is burnt or there is an open fire. If your property has gas appliances then you may wish to consider the installation of carbon monoxide alarms (these detect the build up of dangerous gasses). These units cost a little more than smoke alarms but again do serve a very useful purpose.
More and more landlords are having burglar alarms fitted that have a master code as well as a user code, this must be kept secret. A master code means that changing the alarm number is only possible with this number. Consequently while your tenants can have the benefit of the alarm they cannot change its settings. Alarms (like any peace of electrical equipment) can malfunction. This is not only annoying for yourself and neighbours but it is also leading to increased calls from police officers for a list of such nuisance alarms (the implication being that if an alarm is frequently sounding for no valid reason the police refuse to respond). We would therefore recommend that the alarm is checked on a regular basis.
If any furniture is left in a property, then you as landlord have a duty to ensure it is maintained and (for electrical / mechanical equipment) repaired should it become faulty, provided of course this is not as a result of negligence or malicious damage by the tenant. Any soft furnishings (Chairs & beds etc.) that are left in the property must comply too fire regulations, and a label clearly stating so should be attached. If not then the furnishings must be removed from the property, they cannot be stored at the rented address.
If the property you wish to rent is subject to a mortgage then the mortgage lender should be informed that you intend to let the property. This should be done before a tenant moves into the property. Gaining permission from the building society usually depends upon the mortgage account not being in arrears. Some lenders do ask to see a copy of the lease which the tenant will be asked to sign, we will happily provide them with this. The lender may make a small charge to cover administration costs.
As landlord you are still responsible for the building and accordingly the buildings insurance. Please note buildings insurance will not cover the costs of replacing or repairing carpets if they become damaged, it does however cover fixtures and fittings. If the property is furnished or part- furnished you may also wish to consider contents insurance.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION OR TA ARRANGE A VALAUTION OR NO OBLIGAITON PLEASE CONTACT US ON 01594 840111
Newerne Street, Lydney, Gloucester, GL15 5RF / firstname.lastname@example.org
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