Advertise Your Property on Rightmove
It is widely acknowledged that if you are looking to rent a property, then the starting point for most tenants is rightmove.co.uk.
Since it was launched in 2000, Rightmove has consistently proven to be the most successful UK property portal. In early 2011 the site overtook the BBC to become the eighth most popular site in the UK, sitting just behind giant Microsoft MSN.
We believe that you deserve only the best, and that is why we will use rightmove.co.uk to advertise your property.
Tenancy Agreement + Deposit Registration
The tenancy agreement, often referred to as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST), sits right at the heart of the let. As well as stipulating “the ground rules”, the document makes reference to deposit registration and the contents and condition of the property (the Inventory & Schedule of Condition). It should also incorporate important notices such as a Section 48 Notice, which confirms the address at which notices may be served upon the landlord.
Private landlords have been known to cut corners whilst preparing their own agreements. Some will try to adapt an old agreement prepared many years ago by their solicitor, whilst others scour the internet for free tenancy agreement forms of varying quality and accuracy.
Tenants today are much better informed and can be demanding. They will often request the insertion of what are known as Special Conditions. The most common of these is called a Break Clause. Landlords need to be very careful in the drafting of this particular clause, as it can have far reaching implications.
Given the relatively modest cost involved, and the serious implications of ‘getting it wrong’, we strongly recommend that you allow us take away the pressure.
“If you think that hiring a professional to customise an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for you is expensive…wait until you’ve had one written by an amateur!”
We will prepare the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for you, noting any Special Conditions required, and give you advice on how to effect the signing which should ideally take place in front of an independent witness.
Tenant’s deposits historically have been open to abuse by both landlords and agents.
Prior to April 2007, there was little redress for tenants and most just gave up in the end and walked away. In fact, particularly with Student Lets, the culture was so bad that it was accepted that the deposit would just “disappear”.
The law however changed on the 6th of April 2007 with the formation of Government approved Deposit Protection Schemes. Some of these are insurance based, which allow a landlord or agent to continue holding onto the deposit, with others being custodial.
We use the custodial side of the Deposit Protection Service which is the only free to use scheme, at the moment.
Failing to register a deposit properly within 30 days of receipt will render a Section 21 Notice as invalid. Additionally, as the landlord, you could be fined up to 3 times the value of the deposit and ordered to return the original deposit to the tenant within 14 days.
Inventory & Schedule of Condition
This is very much a specialist field, and one that requires time and real attention to detail to produce a robust report. It is for this very reason that large numbers of private landlords shy away or prepare something that will not stand up to scrutiny at a later date. This can prove to be very costly in the long run.
The benefits of having this work carried out by a qualified professional are:
- You end up with a report that will be very difficult for a tenant to challenge at the end of the lease.
- The clerks are recognised, trained professionals who cost effectively record the condition of the property.
- Clerks are totally independent with no allegiance to either the landlord or the tenant. The Courts like this.
With the advent of Deposit Schemes back in 2007 the emphasis has very much shifted onto a landlord being able to prove that he or she is entitled to make a claim against a tenant. A professional Inventory and Schedule of Condition - rich with dated digital photographs, and signed by the tenant - is crucial to this process.
Typically, a proper Inventory and Schedule of Condition will run to 15 plus pages and be produced in duplicate, so that both parties end up with an agreed copy.
We cannot emphasise enough the importance of using an Inventory and Schedule of Condition. It should be signed and dated by the tenant, within 7 days of the start of the lease.
It is this document that will be used when a tenant leaves to establish what, if anything, may be deducted from the deposit.
A small investment upfront in an Inventory and Schedule of Condition regularly saves Landlords hundreds, if not thousands of pounds plus hours of time.
Landlords are also strongly advised to have a formal check in process and document inspections, which ideally should be made on a quarterly basis.