We let property for any location using the same powerful internet marketing tools that are used for selling property.
Zoe is our experienced Lettings Manager and she is on hand to provide the advice, support, and guidance for letting your home, whether you are a new landlord or whether you have a comprehensive portfolio, we offer bespoke packages. Please contact the office for more details but here is an outline of what will happen after you have instructed us.
We will visit your property to carry out a free valuation with no obligation. From this, we will make a professional rental assessment taking location, condition of property and current demand into account.
We will discuss the following items:
- Your responsibilities as a landlord
- Your tenants responsibilities
- Advise you of any safety concerns
- Safety Laws
- Our advertising process
- Choice of tenants
- How we reference prospective tenants
- Explain how our Tenancy Agreements work
- The rent payment process
- Advising you on the additional laws effecting overseas landlords
Astley & Co will advertise your property extensively. As soon as the details are put on the system we will match them to prospective tenants on our database and generate viewings. Your property will be listed on the major internet property portals, a To Let board is erected and it will be displayed in our illuminated window displays in both branches.
All prospective tenants are met outside your property by either myself or Cherie and the interviewing process starts here.
We interview applicants with lots of structured questions to establish the wider picture and learn about the situation in hand. Letting property is a transient business and we aim to find out as much as possible to ensure they will look after your property and ultimately pay the rent. We thoroughly reference the applicant and include financial and employment enquiries. We character reference based on actual references and interview.
The Housing Act 1988 provides the legislative framework governing the creation of tenancies, the most common form being the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This form of tenancy gives an owner a right of possession (except within the first six months). This is subject to the service of certain notices at the prescribed times. We can tailor the agreements to suit our client’s particular requirements and there is no need to involve a solicitor. There is no additional cost for this service.
As of 6th April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords or letting agents under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) in England and Wales must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Landlords and Letting Agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We register our deposits with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
A detailed inventory is drawn up to provide an accurate description of contents and conditions at the property. The document provides the necessary point of reference to enable a property check to be carried out at the end of the Tenancy for any dilapidations or damages etc. to be assessed.
Whilst owners can reasonably expect to receive their property back in the condition in which it was rented, less fair wear and tear, owners must understand that they are not necessarily entitled to betterment (new for old). All personal and treasured possessions of either real or sentimental value should be removed.
In all situations, Gas, Electric, Telephone and Council Tax are the tenant’s responsibility. Water Rates, though usually paid by the tenant or may be paid by the landlord with an adjustment to the rent.
Gas, Electric and Water (if applicable) readings are taken at the start of the Tenancy and the services are transferred accordingly. As far as the Telephone is concerned, instructions to terminate a service must be given directly to BT or whoever the provider may be.
When the property is occupied, it is the Tenants responsibility to pay for Council Tax. When the property is vacant, the responsibility lies with the landlord.
During occupation, your property will be professionally inspected and there will also be a thorough inspection at the end of each Tenancy when the original inventory will be checked.
Our management service does not include supervision during any periods when your property is not let. However, periodic visits may be made by our staff, particularly when showing prospective tenants around.
Property Repairs & Maintenance
We have a list of contractors who can deal effectively with all forms of property maintenance requirements. Whether your issue is general or specialised one of our reliable and competitively priced contractors will be happy to help. All repair works are payable to the contractor directly from the rental received, or, directly to the contractor.
We will liaise between Landlord, contractor & Tenant regarding maintenance issues if required without any further charge.
Astley & Co will class the following issues as an emergency:
- Central Heating breakdown
- No Heating / Hot Water
- Water Leaks
- No Electric
- Sewage Problems
- Security Issues
- Fire / Alarm detection systems
If the Landlord cannot be contacted, the designated contractor will automatically be instructed to ensure smooth running of the Tenancy. We will not instruct any emergency repair over and above £100.00.
Rent is collected each calendar month and is transferred to your account within 24 working hours. A statement will be sent out for your records.
Gas Safety Regulations
By law, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed and thereafter at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered plumber. Corgi is no longer the governing body for gas.
Astley & Co have a selection of Gas Safe registered plumbers on hand to carry out this annual check for you. However, should you use your own plumber, you should ensure that they are qualified to service / check your items (for example under the Corgi law, your plumber may have been able to test you boiler, however, under the Gas Safe laws, he / she may not be qualified). Please ensure you check your engineers Gas Safe card, or, visit: www.gassaferegister.co.uk
There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times. Full records must be kept for at least two years, of the inspections of each appliance and flue. And any remedial work taken.
Electrical Safety Regulations
Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the plugs and sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 and some other regulations, the electrical installations and equipment in a rental premises must be safe. You are advised to have the property tested by a qualified electrician prior to letting. They must also be carried out periodically thereafter.
Astley & Co strongly recommend the mains supply being tested by a qualified electrical engineer who is a member of a governing body. Whilst there are numerous governing bodies available for electricians, the most popular of them all are NICEIC. For more information, you can visit: www.niceic.com
Building regulations state that all properties built after June 1992 must have mains operated smoke alarms fitted on every level of the property.
Older properties do not have to comply, but, landlords are strongly advised to provide at least one battery operated smoke alarm per floor of the property.
Oil & Solid Fuel
It is a legal requirement to install a carbon monoxide detector in every room which has a solid fuel burning appliance, such as an open fire or a log burning stove.
However, it is in both the Landlord’s and the Tenant’s best interests for a carbon monoxide detector to also be provided in every room which houses a gas appliance, and we would strongly recommend that Landlords supply detectors accordingly. We also recommend a chimney sweep is done once a year.
There is no compulsory requirement to provide fire extinguishers or fire blankets in normal tenanted properties, however, this may be a wise precaution, at least in the kitchen area.
Energy Performance Certifiacate (EPC)
An EPC is a certificate that shows in detail the energy performance of a building. The certificate will give the property an easy to understand rating of its energy efficiency using a scale of A - G (A being the most efficient and G being the least efficient).
It will also include any recommendations to improve the properties efficiency and save money following an on-site survey carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA).
As of the 1st October 2008, all landlords must hold a valid EPC for new Tenancy Agreements created. This lasts for 10 years and is only required for self-contained properties. An EPC is not required when tenants share facilities.
Astley & Co are unable to let your property without an EPC.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people's rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and common hold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
Under the new duties, provided certain conditions are met (for example, that a request has been made), landlords and managers of premises which are to let, or of premises which have already been let, must make reasonable adjustments, and a failure to do so will be unlawful unless it can be justified under the Act. Landlords will only have to make reasonable adjustments. And they will not have to remove or alter physical features of the premises. Learn more here: Provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.
Astley & Co are always pleased to give free, confidential advice on the type of property and area to invest in that is best suited to your needs.
What Our Management Service Includes:
- Advertising (Astley & Co Website, Rightmove, Zoopla, "To Let" board, office displays)
- 100% accompanied viewings
- Referencing tenants and discussing with the landlord whether or not to accept them
- Carry out an inventory
- Take meter readings
- Check that Gas, Electric, PAT testing, Energy Certificates are up to date
- Carry out the move in process; involves explaining all legal paperwork to the tenant, signing the tenancy agreement and handing over the keys
- Collect monthly rent and chase the tenant for any rent arrears
- Carry out regular inspections and feedback to the landlord
- Serve the tenant notice when required
- Renew Tenancy Agreements, increase rents etc. as per regular discussions with the landlord
- Keeping the landlord informed of changes in Tenancy Laws
What Our Finders Only Service Includes:
- Advertising (Astley & Co Website, Rightmove, Zoopla, "To Let" board, office displays)
- 100% accompanied viewings.
- Referencing tenants and discussing with the landlord whether or not to accept them.
- Carry out inventory.
- Check that Gas, Electric, PAT testing, Energy Certificates are up to date. (After the tenant moves in, this will be the landlord’s responsibility)
- Carry out the move in process; involves explaining all legal paperwork to the tenant, signing of the tenancy agreement and handing over the keys.
There are many things to consider prior to letting out your property and the process can become complex and time consuming. As specialists, we understand the letting process and can manage your property giving you peace of mind and relieve you of the commitment of being a full-time landlord.
Please contact us further to discuss your individual requirements for you and your property; we look forward to being of assistance to you.