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Net Lettings provides a range of letting and management services based on the experience, skills and expertise of our lettings and management teams. As members of The Property Ombusdman, The UK Association of Letting Agents (UKALA) and mydeposits, you can be assured that we have a detailed understanding of the lettings and management sector and will ensure that you are given the best possible service.
Over the last few years and, following the introduction of the 1988 Housing Act which offers greater protection and possession rights to Landlords, there has been resurgence in the lettings market.
People from all walks of life are looking to become involved in the rental market whether Investors, Companies, people who need to relocate with their work or homeowners who are having difficulty in selling their own properties. Increasingly, large numbers of people are entering the ‘Buy to Let’ sector as an opportunity for investment.
As a result, Landlords have come to expect extensive knowledge and expertise from the Agency they choose to act in their interests.
1. Local Lettings Agent – we would suggest you find a local agent who is associated to a Trade Association such as UKALA (The UK Association of Letting Agents). In choosing us, you have come to the right place.
UKALA is an independent organisation solely concerned with the letting market. It ensures that its affiliated agents meet specific professional standards and fulfil other strict criteria such as provision of a separate client account for collection of clients’ money and availability of a bonding scheme to protect the client in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds.
The agent may also be a member of NALS (the National Approved Letting Scheme) which is a government backed accreditation scheme providing peace of mind to both Landlord and Tenants through the knowledge that firms within NALS offer high levels of customer service.
2. Having chosen your agent, you will be required to prepare you property for rental and below we list a few guidelines to assist you:
The rental market as with any other is competitive therefore, in order to obtain the best possible Tenants; you must present your property in the most effective way, here are some of the measures we suggest:
3. Other important considerations for Landlords before Letting:
4. Tenancy – The Housing Act 1988 (amended 1996) has given rise to two types of Tenancy: Assured and Assured Short hold Tenancy as well as the existing Company Tenancy and Contractual Tenancy.
Certain criteria have to be satisfied for a tenancy to qualify for assured status. Assured Tenancy gives the Tenant security of tenure but at a market rent negotiated between the parties. The Landlord may request back possession of the property let on an Assured Tenancy but must obtain a COURT ORDER. This has its advantages but is not as flexible.
This Tenancy is attractive to Landlords as it offers market rents without security of tenure beyond the contractual term and the majority of Tenancies are based on this format. However, certain criteria must first be met:
If the property is let under an Assured Short hold Tenancy, the Landlord can issue a Section 21 Notice to guarantee possession provided the term of the Short hold is expired and not less than two months notice has been given by the Landlord stating he requires possession.
If court action is needed, this can be obtained on a number of different grounds against the Tenant.
However, it should be noted that is a criminal offence under the Protection from Evictions Act 1977, for a Landlord to threaten or forcibly evict a Tenant from their property.
This is governed by contract law and is not regulated by the Housing Acts of 1988 or 1996. It is used when a Private or Public Limited Company (excluding partnership or sole trader) want to enter into a Tenancy.
There is no security of tenure and rental payments are often made on a quarterly basis by prior agreement.
Contractual Tenancy also falls outside the provisions of the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 and is not regulated by statute. It is most commonly used where the rent exceeds £25,000 per annum and both parties have the freedom to contract as they choose, but must then rely solely on the provisions of that Agreement.
5. Furnished or Unfurnished - Most professional Tenants prefer the property to be unfurnished and it has been found that a Tenant is likely to respect the property more if they have their own possessions. Moreover the difference between rent for furnished or unfurnished is negligible and the Landlord remains responsible for the repair of replacement of any furnishings which become broken or worn (unless this was caused by a deliberate act of the Tenant – see Damage Deposits).
6. Marketing/Finding a Tenant – you will need to decide whether you require your agent to simply market your property and find a Tenant or whether you would prefer to engage the services of their Managing Agents.
Whether you chose to opt for a Managing Agent or not, Net Lettings as your Letting Agent will firstly provide colour property details and a rental valuation which will be based on the popularity of the area, proximity to transport, rental price of similar property handled and decorative condition to name but a few.
It is important to price your rent fairly but realistically in order to attract the most suitable Tenant.
Your rental property will be regularly advertised in the local press and publications dedicated to the letting industry as well as displayed in our offices and feature on our website and other sites such as Zoopla, RightMove to ensure maximum exposure. We also contact any listed prospective Tenants, local companies and relocation agents.
Should you decide to employ us as your Managing Agent, we will also field calls, arrange viewings, vet prospective Tenants and obtain references, draw up contracts and advise you on your Safety and Repairs obligations (see LEGAL DUTY OF CARE).
7. Full Credit Checking – thorough credit checks are carried out on all prospective Tenants as we can reserve the right to decline an application where necessary in the interests of protecting the Landlord’s investment.
8. References – these can be obtained through us as your Managing Agent and include references from the Tenant’s employer and previous Landlord.
We can also provide you with/assist you in obtaining a linked insurance policy to safeguard your rental income and provide legal protection (RENT GUARANTEE).
9. Drafting of Tenancy Agreement/Leases – the Letting team at Net Lettings can prepare and supply you with all legal documentation and give practical general legal advice.
10. Damage Deposits – This is usually equivalent to one month’s rent and is taken from the Tenant to be held in our Client Account until the end of the Tenancy. Upon vacation of your property, there will be a re-inspection and any refunds will be made within a maximum of 28 days, provided that there are no disputes and all utility accounts have been settled.
The costs of everyday repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the Landlord but, if we are instructed to manage your property on your behalf, we will pay the contractor out of the Tenant’s rent. We can also organise quotes for approval on any major repair as this becomes apparent.
Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, Landlords are responsible for repair of the structure and exterior of the property, together with installations for the supply of gas, electricity, water and sanitation.
If the property is not in a good state of repair at the commencement of the Tenancy, the Tenant has the right to insist that repairs are carried out and, in the event that the damage is serious, the Tenant will be entitled to consider the letting as terminated as the Landlord will be in breach of his obligations.
11. Collection of Rent – this is usually done on a calendar monthly basis and is forwarded to the Landlord via any previously approved method after any agreed deductions have been made for contractors etc.
12. Legal Duty of Care – Under common law, the Landlord must ensure that properties to let are safe and failure to comply with Safety Legislation is considered a criminal offence resulting in legal action and prosecution.
As your Managing Agent, we can carry out safety checks upon your request, deducting the cost from your rent.
13. Overseas Landlords – you are considered an overseas Landlord if you live abroad or go to work abroad for lengthy periods of time.
It is important to firstly note that Inland Revenue regulations apply even if you are a non-UK resident. Moreover, non-resident Landlords must apply to the Inland Revenue Financial Intermediaries Claims Office (FICO) for authorisation (by way of an exemption certificate) to receive payment of property rental “gross”, that is without deduction of Income Tax by the letting agent or Tenant as required by law.
NB: The above is merely a guideline and for fully qualified advice, you should contact an appropriate Accountant or Tax Expert.
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