Our specialist rental valuers and management team have put together answers in response to your frequently asked questions and concerns:
What about inventories?
We can provide a professional independent inventory for an additional fee*
A signed copy of the inventory is kept on file (for managed properties) we hold this for all our properties to be used when checking the property when the tenancy terminates and for interim inspections. For Tenant Find only properties, Landlords will be sent a copy of the inventory.
Are there any rules and regulations to which I am bound as a Landlord?
There are many rules and regulations to consider before letting your home and below we outline the principles of the three most fundamental rules:
(a) Fire & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety)(Amendment) Regulations 1993
These regulations came into force in March 1993. Broadly speaking the regulations require that all soft furnishing, upholstery or upholstered furnishings (including beds, mattresses, pillows, settees, armchairs, scatter cushions and bean bags) should conform and comply with earlier fire safety regulations which have been in force for some time controlling the sale of such goods. The furnishings must comply with the following three tests, each of which measures the flame retardant properties of the furnishings: The Cigarette Test, The Match Test and the Ignitability Test.
(b) Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
All Landlords who let property with gas appliances are subject to this act. This not only includes gas fires and boilers but other appliances such as cookers, hobs and portable heaters.
What must I do to comply?
If your property contains gas appliances, they must be serviced on an annual basis and any remedial work undertaken to bring the appliances up to standard. In addition, the engineer must provide a record of the inspection, part of which must be supplied to the Tenant(s). Anyone contracted by a Landlord to install, repair or service gas appliances must be GAS SAFE registered.
Do we organise this as part of our full service?
We can organise this at the Landlords request.
(c) Electric Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations state that all electrical equipment over 50 volts must be safe and also satisfy requirements relating to sleeving of pins on plugs, colour coding of main leads, labeling of cables and fusing information. Although the law does not say that the electrical equipment has to be tested, the best way to protect yourself from prosecution is to have relevant appliances tested annually by a suitably qualified electrician.
Finding the ideal Tenant
How do you select Tenants?
This is probably one of the most important factors in letting a property and we ensure that reasonable steps are taken to research the prospective Tenants’ background to include instructing an independent credit reference company to make searches from bank, employers and previous Landlords.
Do you allow pets?
If you decide that pets will be allowed, we will negotiate a premium of £25 per month ( additional to the agreed rental fee) from the Tenant. Your Tenant is asked to have the carpets professionally cleaned with pet neutralising and flea treatment products at the end of the tenancy.
Do Tenants have to pay a deposit?
Tenants pay a deposit equivalent to 5 weeks rent. The deposit will be returned to the Tenant(s) when they terminate the tenancy providing all the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement have been met. Should there be any contravention of the Tenancy Agreement, the costs incurred are deducted from the deposit and only the balance is refunded to the Tenant(s).
For 'Tenant Find' only properties, it is the Landlord’s responsibility to either hold the deposit in a ring-fenced account or to register the deposit with one of the appropriate schemes. We are happy to advise you on this or register the deposit ourselves, however an additional annual administration fee will apply.
What sort of Tenancy Agreement do you use?
At Marchand Petit Estate Agents, we use Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements, individually drawn up to suit your needs and requirements. These are for a minimum fixed period of six months and are accepted in the courts of law and by all major building societies.
During the Tenancy
When do the Tenants pay their rent and when do we receive our cheque?
All rents are due monthly in advance and rent received by us will be transferred into your account, or one nominated by you, within 10 working days of receipt of cleared funds. We will send you a ‘statement of account’ at the time detailing the rents collected and expenditure incurred by us while acting on your behalf as your managing agent.
How do we know whether our property is being looked after properly?
For our Managed Properties, we make regular visits to all the properties on our register and you will be advised of any problems that are found during these visits. We also visit the property for other reasons such as late or non-payment of rent, following up problems as reported by the Tenant(s) or if we believe the Tenancy Agreement may have been breached.
Who is responsible for repairs and general maintenance?
Generally, you are responsible for all costs incurred for repairs and general maintenance. We have a comprehensive list of accredited contractors we use or, alternatively, we will be pleased to follow your instructions and use your nominated contractors should you wish.
Who is responsible for garden maintenance?
Under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, your Tenant(s) are responsible for your garden and its maintenance and it is, therefore essential that sufficient tools in good working order are included in the inventory for this to be carried out. If your Tenant(s) fail to carry out garden maintenance, we will arrange for the service of a professional gardener and charge the Tenant accordingly.
N.B. It is unlikely that your Tenant(s) will do more than keep the grass cut and borders weeded. If you wish to maintain your garden to a higher standard, please feel free to discuss this with us.
Can we visit our property during the period of tenancy?
Yes. However, we request that prior arrangements are made through our office in sufficient time for us to advise your Tenant(s).
Ending the Tenancy
How can I regain possession of my property?
Generally, the possession is gained at the end of the fixed term of the tenancy but there are other grounds for terminating the tenancy within the period of the fixed term i.e. arrears of rent, breach of the terms and conditions of the tenancy etc.
You take possession by serving the correct notices. In the rare event of a Tenant(s) failing to vacate the property on the due date, it is likely that court proceedings will have to be initiated, which is both time consuming and expensive. Rental & Legal Expenses Insurance is available to protect you and we will be glad to advise you regarding this.
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If you would like any further assistance or advice please do not hesitate to contact the Lettings team on 01548 855599 or email using the form below.