Letting Your Property
- It is advisable to let your property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which your Connect4Property agent can usually prepare on your behalf along with the necessary statutory notices required under the Housing Act 1988 (as amended by the Housing act 1996). The cost of preparing the aforementioned will be split between you and your tenant. As an alternative, you may wish your solicitor to prepare the agreement, in which case you should ensure that this form of agreement is appropriate to your particular circumstances.
If you are a tenant or a lessee it is essential for you to ensure that the letting is both permitted by your lease and also for a period expiring prior to the termination of your lease. Your landlord's written permission may be required for the sub letting if you wish to protect your position.
- Where the property to be let is subject to a mortgage, permission is normally required from the mortgagee to let the property. Permission is usually granted if you are using a letting agent and an approved form of tenancy agreement. It is advisable to obtain your mortgagee's permission at the earliest date rather than once a tenant has been found.
- Unless otherwise agreed, the rent quoted to a tenant by a Connect4Property agent on your behalf must be inclusive of all outgoings for which you are responsible, i.e. ground rent and service charges, with the exception of council tax, water rates, gas, electricity or fuel oil if there is an independent oil fired central heating system.
- You should ensure that your property and contents are adequately insured and that the policy covers furnished lettings as some policies do not do so.
- It is advisable not to leave items of sentimental or great value in the property.
- With effect from 1st March 1993 all furniture included in accommodation let for the first time must be of a fire retardant nature. You should be aware that this is an offence which carries a custodial sentence. Agents are also responsible and so may require evidence that these regulations have been met.
- Your agent will assume that all electrical appliances included in the tenancy are in safe working order and have been left with clear instructions as to their operation, since this again is a legal requirement. Current legislation also requires that any gas appliances supplied by the landlord are tested annually by a registered Gas Safe gas fitter and a record kept of the inspection. If instructed to manage the property Connect4Property agents will undertake to arrange this unless a specific written instruction to the contrary is received.
- If you live abroad, even temporarily, the Inland Revenue have the power to collect any tax due on rental income from the managing agents. In these circumstances, Connect4Property agents hold back a percentage of the net rent until it is confirmed that any tax demand has been met.
- Whether a property is let furnished or unfurnished, you are strongly advised to have a good quality detailed inventory. This will describe the condition of the property's contents, fixtures, fittings and household effects. Connect4Property agents can arrange for an inventory to be carried out on your property, please ask for more information and a price.
- If a sale of the property to the tenant occurs, your Connect4Property agent will be entitled to commission at 1% of the sale price plus VAT.
Description of Services
This service is designed to select and provide you with a suitable tenant and set up the tenancy. Agent's fee includes:
- Finding a suitable tenant by placing suitable advertisements in the local press, inclusion on www.rightmove.co.uk, www.findaproperty.co.uk, www.Connect4Property.co.uk and the agent's own website with a colour photograph, a colour photograph in the agent's office window(s), a 'To Let' board and responses to direct enquires;
- Taking up references, i.e. using a credit search company who collects a full financial picture of the prospective tenants along with confirming with employers and their previous landlords their ability to pay the rent and to look after the property. If the references are successful your tenant will be entered into an insurance backed Rent Guarantee System for six months (renewable); and
- Collection of the first month's rent and deposit from the tenant. The deposit will be held in an approved deposit protection scheme and is released to the tenant at the end of the tenancy subject to any deductions made for damages or general breach of tenancy obligations.
Rent Collection Service
This service provides for administration of rental income as per your specific instructions. Your Connect4Property agent will perform all of the above and in addition will:
- Administer rents with accounting to the landlord as soon as is practical thereafter;
- Chase late payments of rent by telephone call and by letter;
- Credit net rental payments to your account as per your instructions. This is normally done by electronic transfer direct to your bank account; and
- Prepare a monthly statement of account.
Full Management Service
This service removes most of the day to day property management problems from you as the landlord. In addition to performing all items in the letting only service your Connect4Property agent will:
- Administer rents with accounting to you as soon as is practical thereafter;
- Pay current outgoings, such as insurance premiums, service charges and similar contributions to shared expenses (provided your account has funds to do so). Although agents shall endeavour to query any obvious discrepancies they are entitled to accept and pay without question demands and accounts which appear to be in order. In particular, they cannot accept responsibility for the adequacy of any insurance cover or for the verification of services/maintenance charge demands or estimates where applicable;
- Your agent will deal with day to day management matters including minor repairs up to a maximum figure to be mutually agreed (usually £200.00). An additional supervisory fee may be charged if works are required based on 10% of the total bill;
- The management fee includes investigation of defects which come to our notice or are clearly and adequately brought to our attention by the tenant. Your agent will inspect the premises periodically (not less than twice a year) but it should be appreciated that any such inspections can extend only to apparent and obvious defects. The agent cannot accept responsibility for hidden or latent defects;
- The management function does not include the supervision of the property when it is not let although in the normal course of letting periodic visits may be made to the property accompanying prospective tenants. If you wish your property to be managed during a void period, there will be an additional charge per visit; and
- Notification to service companies, i.e. gas, electricity, council tax, water at commencement of the tenancy. British Telecom will not take instructions from anyone other than the bill payer therefore you need to contact them direct.