LANDLORD GUIDE TO RENTING
We at S.Ville Estates understand that letting your property can often be a very difficult and stressful experience and legal documents may be confusing at best. So our aim is to make the whole process as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Once you have made the decision to let, a member of our lettings team will arrange to visit your property to give you an accurate rental valuation and to take photographs.
In order to maximise exposure for your property details & photographs will be uploaded on to our website and also all the major property portals including Primelocation, Findaproperty, Rightmove, Zoopla & even Gumtree. Our proactive lettings team will contact, either by phone or e mail, all applicants previously registered. We also have a database of corporate clients & relocation agents who are constantly looking for quality rental properties.
Viewings & Negotiation
All viewings will be accompanied by one of our experienced & knowledgeable lettings professionals who will highlight all the positive aspects of your property, including proximity to transport links, shops, leisure facilities etc. We will put all offers forward to the landlord as soon as we receive them and negotiate with the applicant to achieve the highest possible rent for the property.
Progressing The Tenancy
Once we are in receipt of a holding deposit and the offer has been accepted the applicants will be referenced, this can be completed within an hour if necessary but more usually with 48 hours. As soon as suitable references have been returned S.Ville Estates can draw up the tenancy agreement & arrange for tenant to pay the balance on monies. Keys will be handed over on the start date of the tenancy only if we have cleared funds. Before the tenants move in we can arrange for a professional inventory to be compiled followed by a check-in report, when meter reading will be taken.
Since the introduction of statutory Tenancy Deposit Schemes on 6th April 2007 it has never been more important to have an up to date and accurate inventory.
A professionally compiled inventory provides a written benchmark, which should be amended, updated and recreated before the beginning of each new tenancy. A properly constructed Inventory/Schedule of Condition details the fixtures and fittings and describes their condition and that of the property generally. S.Ville Estates can arrange for both a professional inventory and check-in schedule of condition to be carried out.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Legislation introduced on 6th April 2007 requires landlords to register deposits taken for properties let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. S.Ville Estates is a member of two of the government approved schemes, The Deposit Protection Service and My Deposits, and can arrange for tenants deposits to be registered.
The landlord is legally required to provide an annual Gas Safety Certificate for any gas appliances or boilers in the property. These certificates can only be issued by an engineer registered on the Gas Safe Register. Failure to hold a current certificate is a criminal offence and could lead a fine of up to £20,000, imprisonment or both.
Approved carbon monoxide detectors are strongly recommended, although these must not be used as a substitute for regular checks and servicing by a registered engineer.
Landlords have a duty to ensure that all electrical equipment supplied by them is safe for tenants to use. S.Ville Estates can arrange for a NICEIC and PAT (Portable Appliance Test) using one of our reliable contractors.
The Building Regulations (1991) state that all properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms with at least one detector per floor level. There is no legal requirement to provide smoke alarm in older properties except for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), however it is strongly recommend that landlords provide a minimum of one battery operated smoke alarm in each property.
Furniture & Furnishings
As from 1st January 1997 all furniture in tenanted residential property must comply with the 1993 amendments to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 which extends the scope of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (CPA). This covers the supplying (hiring or lending) of specified goods (upholstered furniture and certain furnishings) “in the course of business”.
House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
An HMO is usually considered to be any property which is occupied by more than four people who are not related. Landlords are required to apply for a licence from the relevant Local Authority for all such properties.
Energy Performance Certificate
Since 1st October 2008 it has been mandatory for all rental properties being marketed to have and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This provides a rating for the property showings its official energy efficiency and environmental impact on a scale from A – G (A being the most efficient).
S.Ville Estates is required to deduct basic rate tax and account to HMRC for all overseas Landlords unless we have confirmation from HMRC that this is not necessary.
Summary Of Landlords Responsibilities
- To keep the property in a good state of repair, and ensure that is clean at the beginning of every tenancy.
- To pay any ground rent and services charges relating to the property
- Provide copies of Gas Safety Certificate, EPC and to ensure that furniture complies with current legislation
- Ensure that permission has been given to let the property by the mortgage provider
- To ensure that both buildings & contents insurance polices allow for the property to be rented
- Pay council tax and utilities including water rates for any period that the property is untenanted