Please get in touch with us if you require any further information or advice, there is absoloutely no obligation.
Please get in touch with us if you require any further information or advice, there is absoloutely no obligation.
We advertise in the right places and know what works for lettings and we always have an up to date tenant database which we can draw upon and we will advertise your property through our Website and local property publications. We have a contract with Rightmove which means our properties will be advertised on their website which generates 10 million hits per month.
We offer tailor made management packages to suit individual needs, from full management to tenant find.
We can offer advice on any aspect of tenancy and housing law as staff have recognised NAEA / ARLA qualified staff. We also offer many free additional services that a landlord may require during the term of a tenancy, such as service of a section 21 notice. In most cases landlords would have to pay an additional fee for these types of service. We don’t charge a premium management fee for tenants claiming Housing benefit.
We pride ourselves on the friendly and professional relationship we have with landlords and encourage all potential landlord clients to call into our office for a coffee and to see how our property management systems work and to enable us to answer any questions they may have.
We can also provide landlords with rental guarantee and legal expense insurance during any tenancies and obtain all gas safety checks and energy performance certificates. We can offer a website log in service so landlords can check their accounts, property certificates, maintenance issues etc at a time that suits them.
We also now offer extremely competitive rates on Landlords Buildings & Contents insurance, something that you will need if you are renting a property.
We are proactive. We match tenants requirements to our properties, we don’t wait for the phone to ring.
The four main management packages are listed below although we do maintain a flexible attitude and are able to adapt our service to meet our clients individual circumstances for example by providing a part only service or by taking on additional tasks and duties.
We recommend our Landlords use the Premier Management Service for peace of mind as this will pay the rent if the tenant does not and will cover the Landlord’s legal costs (Terms & Conditions apply)
We only ever charge our commission when the rent is paid and not when the rent is charged. This means that it is in our interests that tenants pay rent promptly. We do not charge a premium for Housing Benefit tenants, the commission remains the same for all.
Whichever service you require we will provide you with a distinctive ‘To Let’ board, will advertise in the local press, on our website and on other recognised property websites such as www.rightmove.co.uk which attracts 10 million hits per month. Our Darlington office is open seven days a week and you can be sure that your property is advertised in the right places.
Rent and legal protection, rent will be paid if the tenant defaults -excellent rate
Before a property can be let there are several matters which the owner/landlord will need to attend to. 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 and we need to be informed of this.
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. We can advise on Landlord’s Legal Protection, and Landlord’s Contents insurance if required.
Council tax is the responsibility of the occupier. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner. The charging period and any possible exemptions depends entirely on the local authority. As part of our full management service we will liase with the Council on your behalf. It is important that landlords factor in council tax charges during void periods.
For unfurnished or for fully furnished properties, it is very important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. This should be undertaken whether the property is furnished or not as without such safeguards it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. To allow us to provide a complete service to the landlord, we will if requested, arrange for a member of staff to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition at a cost to be agreed. We will also conduct a ‘move out’ report at the end of the tenancy. This will be compared to the original inventory.
When a landlord is resident in the UK it is entirely his responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received and to pay any tax due. However, where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under new rules effective from 6 April 1996, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as landlord’s agents are obliged to retain and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received, less certain expenses. An application form for exemption from such deductions is available from this Agency, and further information may be obtained from the Inland Revenue.
Important safety regulations
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. To protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the owner’s expense:
Gas Appliances & Equipment
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances in tenanted premises must be checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months, by a CORGI registered gas engineer, and a safety certificate issued (a CP12), a copy of which must be handed to each tenant. Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, of defects identified, and of any remedial action taken. This will be done by us on your behalf.
Electrical Appliances & Equipment
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 recommended that the only way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your ‘duty of care’, is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
Energy Performance Certificates
From the 1st October 2008 it will be a legal requirement for a Landlord to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when renting out a property. An EPC must be done prior to the property being put on the rental market. Once done, these last for 10 years and therefore do not need to be done each time the property is re-let.
An EPC is not required for a licenced HMO where the facilities are shared. The Landlord remains the responsible person even if an Agent is used. An EPC gives information on the building’s energy efficiency. We can arrange this on your behalf
We are not responsible for the property during void periods. We strongly recommend that landlords take necessary steps to prevent any maintenance issues at the property particularly during void periods in winter months. Keeping the heating ticking over and turning off the water is recommended.
Furniture & Furnishings
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, 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 the relevant items 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.
General Product Safety
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. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenant applicants too, and we are pleased to recommend properties to rent which conform to certain minimum standards. Quality properties attract quality tenants. Please leave instruction manuals for appliances for tenants where possible
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.
Similarly, if the property contains appliances such as a washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. these should be in working condition. 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. It is worth considering cleaning or replacing carpets if necessary.
It is recommended that you leave only minimum furnishings, and these should be of reasonable quality, if you leave anything at all. It is preferable that items to be left are in the property during viewings. If you are letting unfurnished, we recommend that the property contains carpets and curtains. It is worth remembering most tenants have their own personal possessions. If you are unsure whether to furnish your property please feel free to seek our advice.
Personal items, ornaments etc
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 by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of a tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition. If you prefer, we can arrange for the property to be cleaned on your behalf. 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.
Information for the tenant
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.
The golden rule is that good quality accomodation will always attract good quality tenants.
Landlords…this is the link that will take you to your account information and enable you to download past statements, check on any outstanding maintenance issues and check on your property certificates and the dates they expire (you will need to have created an account to do this)
You can also create your account here.