We have found that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth running tenancy. As property managers this relationship is our job. 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 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 landlords’ 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. If letting furnished, you’ll find a list of recommended items on page 5.
Personal Items, ornaments etc
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owners’ risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the tenants’ own use
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with 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 to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the 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 a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
Information for the Tenant
It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
Suggested minimum contents for furnished lettings
Dining table and chairs
Washing up bowl
Chest of Drawers
Duvet or blankets
Iron and Board
Dustpan and brush
Lampshades in all rooms
Curtains at all windows
Appropriate floor coverings
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagees’ 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 the lease and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.
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 help arrange Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.
Domestic Energy Performance Certificates
As from 1st October 2008, all landlords will be required by law to provide an EPC for all buildings or parts of buildings when they are rented out. This has been introduced as part of an EU Directive to help combat climate change.
A Domestic EPC consists of.
- An energy efficiency rating on a scale from A to G
- An environmental impact rating on a scale from A to G
- Details of property features
- Recommendations for improvements
EPC’s can only be produced by Domestic Energy Assessors that are fully qualified and accredited by an authorised government scheme.
EPC’s are currently valid for 10 years. From 1st October 2008, the landlord becomes responsible for ensuring a valid EPC is made available free of charge to any prospective new tenants at the earliest opportunity, but before any written information is provided of a viewing is conducted.
Once an EPC is in place a new one is not required on subsequent changes of tenant for the period the certificate is valid.
Health and safety – Gas
Annual Safety Check.
All gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety at least every twelve months by a competent engineer (e.g. a GAS SAFE registered gas installer).
Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipe work are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
Full records must be kept for at least two years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and 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.
Health and Safety – Electrical
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 no current specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate, 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 manslaughter, is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
Consumer Protection – Fire
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 &1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance 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, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags.
Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non compliant items must be removed before the tenancy commences.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. From October 2015 it is a requirement that landlords fit at least one alarm on each floor of the property as well as a carbon monoxide detectors in any room with a solid heating source.
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the landlord’s responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as the landlord’s agent 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.
Since April 2007 it has been a legal requirement for tenant deposits to be protected in one of the prescribed deposit schemes. As managing agents fenland Estates will ensure compliance under the legislation. Landlords holding deposits themselves will need to register with one of the schemes, further advice can be gained via the government website at www.direct.gov.uk/en/tenancydeposit. Alternatively we will happily provide further information on request.
Council Tax and Utilities
It is usual for council tax and utilities to be paid by the tenant unless specifically agreed otherwise in the tenancy agreement.
Fenland Estates 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. Please note British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the landlord and tenant.
Fully managed service:
Set up fee (landlord’s share)
|£180 Inc vat
|Management Fee (% of rent received inclusive of VAT) includes:
Tenant Find Service:
Set up fee (landlord’s share)
|£360 Inc vat
Renewal fee (landlord’s share)
Contract negotiation, amending and updating terms and arranging a further tenancy and agreement
In the unlikely event that a service is required outside of those covered in our standard agreements, we will be happy to quote on an individual basis.