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LANDLORD GUIDE

Summary of your services and your legal responsibility

Letting Fee

Your property will be fully marketed on our website and other web portals including Rightmove, it will also be advertised locally in the press, marketing from our local offices, as well as providing a distinctive Shortland Horne TO LET board.

  • Existing clients who have registered will also be advised of your property
  • Viewings are accompanied and we can hold keys when properties are vacant
  • Clients will be fully credit referenced checked, employment and previous landlord/agent will also be required, in addition we will do an affordability calculation to ensure the clients can afford the monthly rent

Should the applicant require a financial guarantor, we shall check the references on the guarantor and ensure that they are a home owner, with no outstanding mortgage arrears and a clean credit history.

We shall prepare and draft a shorthold assured tenancy agreement for a minimum period of 6 months.

We shall take at least one month’s rent in advance and a security deposit which will be registered as per your instructions.

It is a term within our tenancy that all rents are paid by standing order and we shall ensure that this is set up.

All tenants are advised to take out contents insurance to protect their goods and to protect your goods against accidental damage only.

Where pets are allowed we shall ensure a suitable deposit is obtained prior to the tenants moving into your property and that you consent to the tenant having pets.

Management Fee

We will provide a comprehensive typed inventory and schedule of condition prior to the tenants moving in, this may include photos, and we shall advise all utility companies of the change of tenants.

Register the deposit with mydeposits and provide the tenants with a certificate.

We provide a day to day service and report to you on any issues the tenants may during the term of the tenancy.

Arrange any repairs you may authorise and pay this bill on your behalf.

Collect the rents on a monthly basis and pay you by electronic transfer and provide you with a monthly statement via post or email and copies of any invoices.

Arrange a quarterly inspection and report our findings, this will determine the frequency of further inspections.

Should there be a need to issue notice for arrears, possession or rent increases we shall issue the relevant inspections.

Arrange the renewal or extension of the tenancy agreement for a further period.

At the end of the tenancy we shall carry out a detailed final inspection and ensure the property is secure. Any issues shall be reported to you and we shall liaise with the tenants over any deductions, should there be any dispute over the deductions we shall prepare and submit a full report and evidence to mydeposits for them to adjudicate.

Rental warranty and legal fees

We can at an additional cost provide rental warranty to our managed landlords which is underwritten by a reputable insurer and you will benefit from no loss of monthly income and all legal expenses in respect of obtaining possession is fully covered. Rent is not covered under this policy once possession has been gained.

Gas safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure a landlord gas safety certificate be issued annually by a Gas Safe Registered engineer for each property and the tenant be provided with a copy. The owner should also retain records of any previous gas safety certificates.

Electrical equipment (Safety) regulations 1994

All portable appliances that are supplied by the owner remain the responsibility of the owner and should be P.A.T. tested by a qualified engineer at the start of each tenancy and renewed annually.

We recommend that fixed wiring should be check by a qualified electrician once the property is 5 years old and at interval of no more than 5 years thereafter. All electrical work and repairs etc must be carried out by a NICEIC approved electrician.

Smoke alarms

A smoke alarm should be installed in each property and it is recommended that this is hardwired into the electrics of the property by a qualified electrician.

General product safety regulations 1994

The owner should visually inspect all fixtures and fittings which are to be left within the property to ensure they are safe and fit to use, the owner should remove items which are not safe to use.

Furniture and furnishings (fire safety) Regulations 1998 (amended 1993)

The regulations apply to such items of soft furnishings as chairs, sofas, futons, beds, cushions, seat pads, and pillows (but not to carpets and curtains). Furniture manufactured before 1950 and not re-upholstered does not need to comply. Furniture manufactured before 1990 was often manufactures with materials that were not fire resistant and must be removed from the property. Compliant furniture must be capable of identification by label attached to the item(s) by the manufacturer.

Energy performance certificates

An energy performance certificate must be produced before the property is marketed and must be renewed as required by law. This must be produced and given to a tenant free of charge.

Finance Act

The self-assessment system applies to all tax payers whether a UK or overseas resident. Landlords who reside overseas may apply to the Inland Revenue for an approval number is available if the manager is legally bound to deduct tax at the basic rate. If a tenant pays rent directly to a landlord who is a resident overseas, the tenant becomes responsible and can withhold the tax. The manager is required to remit tax, due quarterly to the Inland Revenue. This will incur an administration charge of £25.00 plus VAT per quarter. Should the Inland Revenue exercise their powers and request information on UK landlords, a reasonable fee will be levied upon landlords residing in the UK who are responsible for their own tax affairs. Neither the Inland Revenue nor the manager will pay interest on monies held for the payment of tax liabilities arising from this contract. It is the responsibility of the owner to inform the manager in writing within 21 days if he us to be a non-resident landlord.

Water act/ Council tax

The water act 2003 allows tenants who are renting a property for more than six months to apply for a water meter without the permission of the owner, and that council tax is payable by the landlord when the property is let as a holiday let or let as a house in multiple occupation.

The tenancy deposit protection scheme for all assure shorthold tenancies which started after 6th April 2007

Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of the tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do no damage the property. Landlords must protect their tenant’s deposits using a TDP scheme if they have let the property on an assured short hold tenancy.

Landlords or agents must use one of the three approved TDP schemes to protect tenant’s deposits where these conditions apply. If any other scheme is used, deposits are not protected in law. The three approved schemes are:

  • Deposit protection service (DPS)
  • MyDeposits.co.uk
  • Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

If you don’t protect your tenant’s deposits when required to, your tenants can take you to court and you may have to repay them their deposit plus three times the original amount. You will also be unable to seek possession of your property in certain circumstances.

Legal Responsibility

The owner accepts that they are solely responsible for keeping accurate records and to ensure that they fulfil their legal responsibility in respect of a number of safety issues and their legal position throughout the term of each tenancy and that the following should be addressed prior to the commencement of any tenancy:

Written consent from the mortgage lender should be obtained prior to letting the property. If the property is leasehold the head lease may require written permission to sub-let.

The owner should ensure that their property is adequately insured for both the building and contents and ensure the insurance company are aware that the property is let. Should the property be vacant between tenancies, the owner is responsible for ensuring the insurance company are fully aware of any void periods. Owners are advised to read the policy wording of their insurance.

A more detailed version of our terms and conditions will be made available when instructed to let your property and that will form the basis of our contract with our clients. The above is a basic summary of our services and your legal responsibility as a landlord.

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