It can be difficult to decide which agent to use if you have not been lucky enough to have one recommended to you by a friend. We suggest you look for an agent in your area, who is proactive and long-established. Check to see if they are members of any accredited associations like The Property Ombudsman Scheme (The Approved Code of the Office of Fair Trading), this will give you security should any problems arise and the confidence that your agent has been vetted on your behalf.
In addition to the above, there are two essential skills you need from your agent:-
An ability to market to the right people, at the right price, and achieve the best tenancy as quickly as possible.
The legal knowledge and ability to ensure your tenancy is set up correctly, to avoid potential problems.
The majority of lettings agent will fall into one these categories but will not be able to do both well. Ask how they market and how they keep their clients informed during marketing?
What training is given to staff? How does the company ensure they are up to date with the latest changes in legislation and how do they keep clients informed?
What are their security procedures for keeping information confidential and keys to properties safe? How quickly do they process client monies?
Managing a rented property can be very time-consuming, depending on the tenant and the condition of the property. You will need to be available twenty-four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year if you want do it yourself; which is why most landlords in the know use an agent to handle this for them.
If you want an agent to manage a property you should ask them how they would deal with problems arising out of office hours (i.e. Christmas day)?
What is the maximum the agent will spend without your confirmed consent?
How often would they visit the property and would all this be included in their fees?
Are all their contractors properly vetted and insured?
Value for money is what you should be looking for, but not at the cost of any of the above.
Arrange a valuation now.
Getting you the right tenants, fast...
We can help you find quality tenants in the quickest possible time. You will find us straight-talking, upbeat and totally customer-focused with a dedicated lettings department offering you a single point of contact with a personal accountability for the successful let and management of your property.
Establishing your rental value
Whilst a general picture of your local marketplace can be gleaned through local newspaper advertisements and website property-portals, to establish an accurate rental value for your property specifically you will need the services of an established letting agent. We will visit your property and meet with you at a time to suit you. We will discuss your specific needs relevant to your own situation, market forces and current demand, previous rental transactions in your street and activity levels with other property similar to your own. From this we will be able to advise you on the value range applicable to your property and anything we think you can do to enhance this value. We will then suggest an appropriate asking price.
Preparing Your Property
Well maintained property achieve maximum rental values appeal to the widest range of potential tenants:
Furnished or unfurnished
There´s often no difference between the rental achieved for a property whether it is furnished or unfurnished.
"Unfurnished" is normally defined as being fully carpeted (or with wooden floors in the reception areas), fully curtained and with white goods provided in the kitchen.
"Furnished" is usually defined as being a property ready for someone to move into. The furniture needs to be good quality and the property should be uncluttered. We´re more than happy to advise you on what should be left and what should be removed.
Fixtures & fittings
All fixtures and appliances should be serviced before the start of the tenancy and in good working order. If you have instruction booklets, make them available or write out clear instructions for use. Your property should always offer:
A modern and well-equipped kitchen. Ideally there should be a washing machine and separate dryer (or combined machine to save space), dishwasher, large fridge/freezer and microwave.
A modern bathroom with an effective power shower, modern fittings and good lighting. Tiled floors are preferable to carpets.
An efficient central heating system and plenty of hot water.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
On 31ST October 1994 the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 came into force. Under Regulations 35(2) it is duty of any person (i.e. Landlord) who owns a gas appliance and pipework is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk or injury to any person. The Regulations cover all appliances and all types of Gas i.e. mains propane or calor gas for heating, lighting, cooking or other purposes for which gas can be used. The owner (i.e. Landlord) of any gas appliance must ensure that each appliance is checked for safety at least every 12 months by a qualified gas engineer, e.g. an employee of British Gas or a CORGI registered person. A record must be kept of all safety inspections and the results open to Tenants inspection by law. The Landlord must have a Gas Safety Inspection carried out before a Tenant(s) occupies the property and signs the tenancy agreement. A copy of the certificate must be given to the tenant before the tenancy commences. If the Landlord is unable to, Location Location will provide the certificate at the Landlord/s expense.
Electrical testing whilst it is advisable and best practise to have all electrical appliance tested as yet the...................
Current legislation governing the collection of tax on rent income for non-resident Landlords came into effect from April 1996 under the 1995 Finance Act. The main changes affecting non-resident Landlords are as follows:
The act will not affect the Landlord´s actual tax liability but it will affect the way in which monies are collected by the Inland Revenue.
A non-resident Landlord will be able to apply directly or through his UK accountant to the Inland Revenue self-assessment on the tax from the rental income. If granted and confirmed by the Inland Revenue this will enable the agent to release the rent gross without making a tax retention thereby easing the Landlord´s tax flow. Joint owners must each apply to the Inland Revenue.
If the Landlord is not granted self-assessment, the agent will have to pay to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis the appropriate income tax percentage of the net rentals. The calculation of tax paid by the agent will not include mortgage interest, depreciation or other Tax-deductible items. Any overpayment of tax will then need to be reclaimed at the end of each year by the Landlord submitting a statement of accounts to the Inland Revenue.
When considering applications of self-assessment the Inland Revenue will look favorably on Landlords who have their own tax affairs in order to April 1995.
Once we have a prospective tenant, a holding deposit is taken in order to establish a level of commitment. We engage an independent licensed credit reference agency, to take references on the prospective tenant. These cover employment, computerised credit checks, bank reference, previous Landlord or character references. If you wish you will receive copies of these references to help you decide acceptability.
If you have a freehold property with no mortgage on it, there should be no barriers to letting it out to tenants. If you have a leasehold property however, you must check your lease in connection with sub-letting and obtain the necessary consent if required. If you have a mortgage on your property, consent may also be needed from your lender.
You´ll need to make sure both the property and its contents are fully insured. This is normally provided for in the Tenancy Agreement. You must inform your insurance company that the property is to be let, check that the conditions of the policy are complied with and that there are no restrictions on letting.
We arrange to have the Inventory checked and signed by the Tenant and the keys are handed over at the commencement of the Tenancy. We use experienced Inventory clerks and provide landlords with a copy for to check and agree . Following acceptance by all parties Mather Marshall cannot accept any liability for omissions or errors.
We offer a highly professional management service, designed to take care of any day-to-day problems. We´ll help you with:
The new rules and safety regulations governing residential lettings
Arranging all types of repairs, at very short notice if necessary
Access to an extensive range of competitively priced and reliable tradespeople
Liaising with tenants and carrying out inspections