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landlord guide to renting your property

Finding tenants quickly is important, but it's even more important to make sure your property is looked after, and that you receive good rent every month. Here's what we do to help.

Letting a property, particularly for the first time, can be a daunting prospect. Of course we are here to help and make it as smooth as possible, but some items unfortunately remain your responsibility as the landlord. Here is our guide to them and the letting process, but if you have any questions remaining, please feel free to give me or my team a call.

Debbie Williams
Manager
Phillip Mann Lettings

Phillip Mann Estate Agents

the property

general condition

A thorough inspection of the property is recommended to ensure that the structure, roof, plumbing and wiring etc is in good order. Where necessary, all works of repair should be completed before the start of the tenancy, subject to any terms to the contrary in the tenancy agreement, mutually agreed by all parties.

mortgage

If you have a mortgage on the property you will need to inform your lender that it is your intention to let the property. This is important as failure to obtain consent from your mortgage company can result in being in breach of your mortgage agreement.


furniture and décor

You should ensure that the property is in good decorative order and should attend to any internal or external decorations, which are necessary prior to the commencement of the tenancy. You should also ensure that the furniture (if applicable) is in good condition and complies with the necessary Fire and Safety Regulations Act. Please speak to our lettings department if you’d like more advice.







Phillip Mann Estate Agents

appliances

If you are letting the property with appliances, they should be checked and serviced, and it is recommended that wherever possible maintenance contracts for the period of the tenancy are in place. It is essential that operating manuals for all the appliances be provided for the use of the tenant, and you should provide details of any maintenance contracts to the tenant and ourselves, so that the appropriate contractors can be called out if necessary. If an appliance is under warranty, please give a copy of the details to the tenant and us. You should ensure that the central heating system and any gas appliances are serviced and checked by a registered plumber and should be covered under the Landlords Gas Safety Certificate. Please note the section under Electrical Safety.









cleaning

It is your responsibility to ensure that the entire property, including any carpets and the windows have been cleaned before the tenancy starts.

garden

You should ensure that the garden is in good condition with all the lawns cut, the flowerbeds tidy and the trees pruned. If it is your intention to have the garden maintained during the term of the tenancy, please make appropriate arrangements with a suitable garden contractor and please also let us have their details.

redirection of mail

Please make arrangements with the post office to have your mail re-directed if you have been residing at the property to be let.


repairs and replacements

If you have selected our Fully Managed level of service, we will deal with all the day-to-day repairs which may arise during the tenancy, instructing one of our approved contractors. However please tell us if you have a preferred contractor, and let us have their details. Please provide us with any maintenance contracts. If there is an emergency at the property, we will use our best endeavours to contact you, but if we don’t succeed, we will authorise our contractor to attend to the emergency. If the amount of the repair works at the property exceeds the amount of rent received in that particular month, we will then require you to deposit us with the difference before any work is carried out. As we are not chartered surveyors, any major works or structural problems would have to be referred to a chartered surveyor to prepare a report on your behalf, and they will make a separate charge for their services.

If you have not chosen the Fully Managed service, it is essential that you provide us with the name, address and telephone number (including landline, mobile and email if applicable) of who will be the ‘Point of Contact’ for your tenant. This will be lodged on our records and passed onto your tenant. The tenant will be provided with your name, address and contact details in order to discuss any aspect of the tenancy and maintenance issues should they arise.


keys

It is essential that you provide sufficient copies of keys for the tenants’ use, and a full set of keys for us to keep securely in the office, and retain a full set of keys for yourself. Remember to include keys for internal doors, patio doors, window locks, cupboard doors, shed and garage keys, gas/electricity meter cupboards. Please clearly mark all keys. If you have not chosen our Fully Managed service, please also ensure that you supply your ‘Point of Contact’ a full set of keys.

PLEASE NOTE: for Health & Safety reasons you must ensure that all windows are operable, and if they are locking windows, keys MUST be provided.

burglar alarms

If there is a burglar alarm system and you are prepared to cover the ongoing service contract and costs involved, please give clear instructions to the tenant and us. If the alarm system is linked to a central monitoring/police system, please ensure that we and the tenant know any passwords and instructions.


legal requirements

gas

If your property has a gas appliance, then it is incumbent upon you as the owner to ensure that the pipe work, the installation and every appliance complies with the Gas Safety Regulations. This check must be carried out before any letting and thereafter at least every 12 months by a ‘Gas-Safe-registered’ engineer. You must keep a record of all safety inspections and the certificate must be available to the tenant and a copy to us as agent, for our file.

Breach by you or the managing agent of these regulations is a criminal offence and penalties for non-compliance could mean a fine of up to £20,000. Liability for an incident could bring charges for manslaughter and in severe cases imprisonment.

PLEASE NOTE If we have not received evidence of your Gas Safety Certificate at least a week prior to new tenants taking occupation of a property, or when a certificate becomes due for renewal, we will instruct one of our own Gas-Safe-registered contractors to carry out an inspection and deduct the charge from your rental income

If you have a gas central heating system, then we recommend that you implement a service maintenance contract with a provider before the start of the tenancy. The contract should be maintained throughout the entire term of the tenancy.

authorisation and approval of tenant

We will sign the tenancy agreement on your behalf, unless specifically requested by you.

deposits

All deposits are required by law to be lodged into an approved government scheme and if Phillip Mann Lettings are to lodge the deposit, an administration fee will be charged.

All deposits must be registered with one of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes licensed by the government, which

  • provides an independent means of resolving any dispute that may arise between tenant and landlord
  • means that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants’ deposits
  • gives all parties confidence that deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards tenancy deposits against rogue landlords, tenants, and agents.

If you have chosen our Fully Managed or Part Managed Service, we will register the deposit for you in a ‘custodial scheme’ called The Deposit Protection Service.

If you have NOT chosen our Tenant Find Service, you will be required to make your own arrangements to register the deposit and confirm the details to us before the start of the tenancy.

electrical appliances

Although at present it is not law-enforceable, we recommend that you have an electrical inspection carried out by a qualified electrician to ensure the property is safe for your tenants. However, if there are portable appliances an annual PAT (Portable Appliance Test) is required and the relevant certification should be forwarded to Phillip Mann Lettings department. We can arrange this for you with our preferred contractor if you wish.

Whilst the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 are explicit and unambiguous in requiring landlords to ensure the safe operation of gas services under their control, the legislation specific to electrical services is more complex. To summarise, a duty of care is imposed on landlords to ensure that all electrical equipment and systems supplied by them are safe for use by their tenants, including:

  • Electrical equipment – any appliance supplied by you for use by the tenant, typically powered via a flex and a plug, and of any age (including new).
  • Electrical system – all fixed wiring on the premises, including the dwelling and any associated gardens and outbuildings, the fuse board and all final circuits (lighting, sockets etc.).

Failure to meet this duty of care can result in you being sued in Civil Law and, as a result, being faced with punitive damages. Additionally, failure to comply with the Electrical Regulations may constitute a criminal offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987, which carries a penalty of a fine and/or imprisonment upon summary conviction.

We would like to take this opportunity to strongly advise our landlords to check their insurance policies as most of the major underwriters have indicated that they expect the properties that they insure to be compliant with all applicable regulations. An insurer may reduce, delay or even refuse to pay on a claim for damage if an electrical appliance or system that has not been tested has led or contributed to the damage.

The only way to fully discharge your legal responsibilities is to:

  • Test electrical equipment annually
  • Inspect electrical systems annually (and on change of occupancy), and have a report every five years.

contents under hire-purchase or rental hire

You should ensure that all rental payments and hire purchase instalments are paid for the period of the tenancy.

ground rent and service charge

You should make arrangements to pay the ground rent and service charge during the term of the tenancy agreement.

utilities

Where possible, telephone, gas, electricity, water accounts, and council tax should be paid up to the date that a tenant takes occupation of the property. Please tell us if your water is metered and the location of the meter.

Please supply us with the relevant details of the utility companies together with vacating meter readings.

Please note it is your responsibility to notify the utility companies of the readings and the new tenant’s details at the start and the end of each tenancy. The tenant has a right to change the utility provider and to change the meter to a prepayment if required.

Phillip Mann Estate Agents

rent guarantee

All of our tenants are referenced and must qualify for a rent guarantee, which is an insurance product for the landlord against non-payment of rent. If a tenant does not qualify, ,then they must provide a guarantor, who will also be referenced and qualify for the guarantee. Please note if a tenant pays rent in advance, you may not be covered for loss of rent as the advance rent negates this, however you would be covered in most cases for the legal expenses. You must also be aware that if your tenant were to extend the tenancy by another fixed term, we may not be able to guarantee a further payment in advance and therefore the tenancy would revert to a periodic lease and no rent guarantee would be in place.

forwarding address and bank details

Please provide us with your forwarding address, telephone numbers, email address and your full bank details to include address of your bank or building society, account name, account number and sort code.


termination of this agreement

A lettings agreement may be terminated by either party with two months’ written notice on or before a rent due date, if the current tenancy is a periodic tenancy; or two months’ notice before the end of a six month contract.

sole letting rights

It is agreed that only the Agent may let the Property.

Value Added Tax

Value Added Tax is paid in addition to our fees at the current rate payable.


instructions

It is agreed that any instructions to the Agent from you regarding termination, proceedings, major repairs, payment details or other significant details regarding the letting be confirmed to the Agent in writing.


tenant information

Please provide details of the utility providers, the day the refuse & recycling is collected, where the stopcock is located, instruction manuals for gas and electrical appliances, and if you have any maintenance contracts regarding servicing of boilers, drains/water maintenance.

housing benefit

Please tell us before marketing the property if you agree to tenants claiming housing benefit with a guarantor, to having pets or allowing smokers.





If you have any questions about letting your property, please feel free to get in touch any time