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SERVICES TO LANDLORDS
We offer two principal service to landlords; Letting & Rent Collection Service, and Letting, Rent Collection & Management Service.
Where you will remain in residence locally, and are able to deal swiftly with repairs and maintenance problems that should arise, our Letting & Rent Collection Service may suit you.
If you remain local, but would prefer to leave it to the professionals to look after your interests, or if you will be resident abroad, or away from the local area, to ensure that you are able to meet your legal responsibilities to the tenant, you will want to take advantage of our Letting, Rent Collection & Management Service.
Alternatively, for those confident they can deal with rent collection issues as well as repair and maintenance, we can offer a simple Letting Service, providing our full marketing package and referencing of prospective tenants, arrangement of inventory checks, and secure holding of tenant deposits for the duration of the tenancy. It will be the landlord’s responsibility to collect rent and deal swiftly with repairs and maintenance problems.
Marketing & Letting
In all cases we will market your property through extensive local advertising and Internet service and, where appropriate, our corporate contacts. We also recommend a “To Let” board be placed outside the property, as they regularly prove an invaluable aid to swift letting. We will arrange for viewing by prospective tenants either with you or accompanied by our staff, as necessary. Offers received from prospective tenants will be put to you, together with their details, for your approval, following which we will obtain references. Only when satisfactory references have been received will we proceed to contract.
The tenancy will normally be documented for an initial six or twelve month term, often with a termination facility in favour of either the tenant or both parties subject to agreement. We will liaise between the parties to negotiate a subsequent renewal of tenancy if required, subject to a rental increase where appropriate, or serve legal Notice on your behalf where vacant possession is required.
We provide our own standard form of tenancy agreement covering all legal requirements, fully safeguarding both landlords’ and tenants’ rights, with additions and amendments appropriate to particular circumstances or to reflect arrangements agreed. As your agent, we would sign the tenancy agreement on your behalf. We will retain the Tenancy Agreement on file for safe-keeping, though you will be welcome to a copy if required.
Tenants will be responsible for utility bills during the course of their tenancy. Where applicable, we will notify utility providers of meter readings on commencement and termination of tenancy, though due to Data Protection and other legislation, landlords and tenants need to contact the utility companies themselves regarding the change of consumer.
Deposit & Dispute Settlement
To protect the interests of both landlords and tenants, we hold a tenant’s security deposit as stakeholder. The deposit is safeguarded in our client bank account. As stakeholder we are entitled to retain any interest accrued on deposits. Legislation prevents landlords and agents from holding tenant’s deposits unless they are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, sponsored by ARLA, NAEA & RICS, or Tenancy Deposit Solutions scheme, sponsored by the National Landlords Association. Otherwise, the deposit must be paid to a government custodial scheme. There are severe penalties for landlords who fail to comply with this legislation.
We, as long standing members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, are able to hold deposits, rather than pay them into a government custodial scheme, where the agent and the landlord lose control of the deposit.
Under the scheme we must endeavour to refund deposits, less agreed deductions, within 10 days. Normally, following receipt of an Inventory Check-Out report, we will be able to make a settlement within this time, making reasonable deductions for damage or deterioration beyond wear and tear subject to agreement by both parties. However, if there is a dispute over how the deposit should be allocated which we cannot settle, it will be referred to the Independent Case Examiner. He will adjudicate within 10 working days of receiving all the necessary papers.
The costs are modest, so we are able to charge you only £25 on commencement of each new tenancy toward our membership fees. There are no additional charges for the adjudication.
Further details of the TDS can be found at page 7, or you can go to http://www.tds.gb.com/. Information on the Tenancy Deposit Solutions scheme can be found at http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/, whilst information on the custodial scheme can be found at http://www.depositprotection.com/
Whilst most tenants will look after your property, in order to avoid dispute and to support your claim in the event of adjudication, we strongly recommend the professional preparation of an inventory to fully document the contents and condition of the property and that this is checked on commencement and termination of each tenancy. This will include the state of cleanliness of the property, condition of carpets, curtains, decorations and, where applicable the garden. Utility meter readings also need to be taken. We can arrange for these procedures to be undertaken by an independent inventory clerk.
The property should, of course, be clean on commencement of tenancy, including carpets and curtains. Consideration should be given to professional cleaning prior to commencement of tenancy, at your expense, and you should be prepared to have cleaning carried out between tenancies, subject to a contribution toward the cost from the outgoing tenant where applicable, at the recommendation of the inventory clerk.
You have two principle forms of repairing obligation to your tenants. The first is a statutory requirement to keep in good repair the structure and exterior of the property, all water, gas, electricity and sanitation services and heating installations. The second is a more general contractual obligation to keep the property and contents in working order, subject to the tenant’s duty of care.