The following information is intended to provide prospective landlords who are considering letting a residential property with the necessary information needed and outline the services Thomas Charles offer as your managing agents.
FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED
It is unlikely any higher rent will be achieved by leaving a property furnished. The landlord is obliged to comply with Fire & Safety legislation with regards to furnishings and must also maintain or replace items to which loss or damage cannot be attributed to Tenant negligence. However, in some circumstances it may be more convenient for a landlord to let the property furnished and there are no set rules regarding what is and what is not left at a property. However, as a minimum we would recommend carpets, curtains and white goods.
MORTGAGEES/HEAD LESSOR’S PERMISSION
If you have a mortgage on the property, you must obtain the lender’s permission to let the property and if you are also claiming tax relief on your mortgage interest payment then you will need to clarify whether this is still claimable. If the property is leasehold, the head lessor’s permission will also need to be obtained.
“My sincere thanks for the care you and your staff have put in to managing the property over the many years you have handled it for me”
It is imperative that you notify your contents and buildings insurers that your property is to be let, as failure to do so could invalidate any future claims.
COUNCIL TAX & UTILITY SERVICES
The tenant will be responsible for the Council Tax, water, gas, electricity and telephone services whilst in residence and we will duly request that these are transferred into their name(s) from the day the tenancy commences.
Before moving in, it is imperative that you as landlord take final readings advising the Council and utility companies that you will be letting out the property.
Please note that during any period where the property is vacant then the Landlord is again responsible for any Council Tax due or utilities used.
i) UK Resident Landlord. Although tax is due on income received from the rental of a property, many expenses can be offset against the rent received e.g. interest on mortgage payments, insurance, maintenance costs and our commission fees. Landlords remaining in the UK are responsible for their own tax affairs and we take no action on their behalf.
ii) Non – U K Resident Landlord. All Letting Agents are legally obliged, in respect of overseas Landlord, to make a Letting Return to the Inland Revenue and to deduct tax until a tax exemption certificate is received and becomes operative. A Landlord should obtain a Gross Payments Certificate from the Inland Revenue before leaving the UK so that gross rent payments can be received and we recommend you take advice from a qualified accountant.
All new agreements are Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements in compliance with Housing Act 1988 (amended 1996). Whilst there is no legal minimum term, it is usual to begin with a fixed period of six months for which we will prepare the necessary legal documentation.
“Thank you – you have been utterly brilliant in the management of my little house for the past five and a half years”
At the start of a tenancy, an inventory will be taken cataloguing the contents of the property and their condition. It will also reflect the condition of the property itself with respect to decoration, cleanliness, condition of fixtures and fittings and the state of the garden. The tenants will be asked to sign a copy of this, which will be retained in our files as an acknowledgement of the facts. At the end of the tenancy, a final inspection will be carried out to ensure that everything has been left in a reasonably similar condition (fair wear and tear expected) as at the commencement of the tenancy.
We will collect and hold a security deposit of one month’s rent from the Tenant, which will be held against any damage or dilapidation directly caused by the Tenants. This will be returned to the tenant only after the final inspection has been carried out. If any repairs, cleaning or replacements are needed, these will be deducted from the deposit.
Generally we will inspect a property at month three, month six and six monthly thereafter if all is well. This may be lengthened for long term tenants.
MAINTENANCE & REPAIRS
We would like to make it clear that the Landlord is responsible for all maintenance and repairs to the fabric of the property and also to all appliances at the property, assuming that the Tenants have not been negligent. Wherever possible, all repairs will be reported to the Landlord in the first instance, however, in the case of emergencies e.g. burst pipe or central heating not working, we will authorise the work on your behalf and deduct the cost from the next rent payment.
“Efficient and professional a pleasure to deal with”
It is a requirement that you provide us with three sets of the keys – two sets for the ingoing tenant and one set to be held at our office for emergencies.
All prospective tenants will be fully vetted usually via a Credit Referencing Agent who will conduct a comprehensive search to obtain a detailed personal, financial and tenant information. The result of this assessment is provided in the form of a credit score which is either acceptable or not for insurance purposes.
COLLECTION AND PAYMENT OF RENT
The rent due will be the day the Tenant(s) take possession of the property and calendar monthly in advance thereafter. Once the rent has been collected, funds will be forwarded, less our commission, as soon as we have confirmation of clearance.
RENT ARREARS, DILAPIDATIONS & OTHER PROBLEMS
In the unlikely event of any problems occurring with tenants then our responsibility is limited to managing the situation in conjunction with yourself and your legal representative. We admit no liability to meet the cost of repairs, replacements, arrears of professional fees in connection with difficulties of this kind.
FEES AND COMMISSION
We offer a competitive fee structure, which we are happy to discuss on with the landlords during the market appraisal. This can be arranged by contacting our offices.