If you currently own or intend to purchase residential property for rental in Devon, you should consider engaging our property management service. You'll find it both professional and cost-effective. As we are specialists, we know how to manage property for optimum performance, whilst ensuring smooth running tenancies, and compliance with the various landlord/tenant laws. Maximize the return on your investment - contact us now. If you own or intend purchasing residential property for rental in any other area, please go to our UK Network page.
Our Services include:
|Menu of Services||Full Management||Letting & Rent Collection||Letting Only|
|Visit you at your property, Provide a rental valuation, and give advice on all aspects of letting|
|Advertise the property, interview and selecting tenants arrange accompanied viewing's with prospective tenants|
|Take up references and carry out credit checks on prospective tenants|
|Draw up Tenancy Agreement for the Landlord to gain protection from the various Housing Acts|
|Collect 1st months advance rental equivalent to one months rent & a security deposit (security deposit is held as security against damages & dilapidation's)|
|Prepare a bespoke inventory*, supervise the transfer of all utility accounts to the new tenant(s) on creation of the tenancy|
|Accompany tenants to the property, check the inventory and release the keys, thereby completing the creation of the tenancy|
|Upon rental collections forward on payments less any fees or expenses incurred for the period|
|Pay outgoing charges as directed and organise essential maintenance and repairs|
|Regularly inspect the property to monitor its condition and use|
|Where necessary, issue tenants with lawful notices to abate a nuisance or quit the property|
|Keep in touch with the tenant on a routine basis, and arranging rent reviews and renewals of the agreement as necessary|
|Carry out a full inspection of the property at the end of the tenancy and quantify any loss, damage, or unfair wear-and-tear, re-let and continue the process|
*Inventories for furnished properties have an additional charge.
Initial set up fee of £125 (plus VAT) 10% of gross monthly rent, 12% for non-UK resident landlords (applicable for a minimum period of the tenancy agreement or 6 months, whichever is the greater).
We make an admin charge of £125 (Plus VAT) for each agreement granted to new tenants, there is no charge for renewal of an agreement to existing tenants
Letting and rent collection
Initial set up fee of £125 (plus VAT) 8% of gross monthly rent, 10% for non-UK resident landlords (applicable for a minimum period of the tenancy agreement or 6 months, whichever is the greater)
Our fee is 50% of first months gross rent (one off arrangement fee per tenancy minimum fee £299 (Plus VAT). This fee becomes payable upon the signing of the tenancy agreement by the Tenant(s) and will be deducted from the monies received from collecting the advance rental. Thereafter the day-to-day management of the property falls upon the landlord.
We make an admin charge of £50 (Plus VAT) for each renewal of an existing agreement.
There are no other standard fees or charges. No up front charges - nothing to pay until a tenant moves in and starts paying rent.
Having a flexible attitude, we can generally able to adapt our service to meet our client's individual circumstances and needs, for example by providing a part only service, or alternatively by taking on additional tasks and duties. Please contact us for further details.
Guide for Landlords
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. For brief details of a subject click on a link below, or scroll down the page. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee's written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.
If you are a tenant yourself, you will require your landlord's consent.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. For Landlords Buildings & Insurance information, please contact our partners Rent4Sure on 0330 088 3774
We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. mortgage, service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However, where we are Managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete service to the landlord, we will if requested prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at a additional cost for furnished properties.
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. Where we are managing the property we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption
The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as agents. Therefore to protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the Landlord's expense.
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a Gas Saferegistered gas installer).
Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
Records: Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.
Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the case of gas appliances), it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, and beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. In practice, most (but not all) items which comply must have a suitable permanent label attached. Items purchased since 1.3.90 from a reputable supplier are also likely to comply.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).
The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as hot surfaces, electric lawnmowers, etc. for the tenant.
We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers the relationship part is our job, but it is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.
Electrical, gas, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Similarly, appliances such as washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are usually at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.
Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner's risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the tenant's own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange maintenance visits on your behalf.
At the commencement of a tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant's responsibility to leave the property in similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense.
We recommend that you make use of the Post Office redirection service. Application forms are available at their counters, and the cost is minimal. It is not the tenant's responsibility to forward mail.
It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we are Managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
If fitted after Oct 2010 it is a legal requirement to have appliance certified by a HETAS installer with a mandatory Carbon Monoxide alarm installed.
Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £25,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant. In addition, if the tenant owes at least 2 months or 8 weeks rent on the property he can apply through the court to seek a possession order.
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply.
The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
From 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme will be supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents will be able to choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes.(please note that if a landlord instructs an agent to collect a deposit on his/her behalf the agent becomes responsible for ensuring the deposit is held in an authorized scheme. therefore we cannot accept deposits for forwarding to landlords)Learn more here: www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm
The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people's rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and common hold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Under the new duties, provided certain conditions are met (for example, that a request has been made), landlords and managers of premises which are to let, or of premises which have already been let, must make reasonable adjustments, and a failure to do so will be unlawful unless it can be justified under the Act. Landlords will only have to make reasonable adjustments. And they will not have to remove or alter physical features of the premises.
From 1st October 2008 landlords in England and Wales offering property for rent will be required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. In Scotland EPCs for rental properties will be required by January 2009. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. A new certificate will not be required on each let since, in the case of rental property, EPCs will be valid for 10 years. The requirement is being introduced to comply with the EU's Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which applies to all property, including rented property. This became law in 2003 and allowed until January 2009 for full implementation so as to provide time for sufficient numbers of energy assessor to be trained. The Directive's requirements were introduced in England and Wales along with the controversial Home Information Pack regulations that require sellers to produce packs providing information about their title, local searches, plus an EPC. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request. The cost is expected to be up to £100.
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