Letting your property involves some important decisions about a hugely valuable asset.
It also requires a great deal of hard work and organisation, so it really pays to talk to the right people from the outset.
As one of South Wales’ leading estate agents and property managers, we understand how a landlord can maximise the value of their property, and how careful preparation can make the whole process run more smoothly. As a member of The Property Ombudsman and The Guild of Professional Estate Agents, we adhere to the industry codes of practice to ensure that your property transaction follows the latest regulations.
We understand how a landlord can maximise the value of their property.
LET US PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT
If you are about to let your property, you need a name you can trust. Crook & Blight offer staff with a wealth of experience in the lettings industry.
We do all we can to learn about our Client’s properties and needs; whether you have one property or a portfolio of properties, we will provide you with unrivalled levels of professionalism and a service to suit your specific needs.
If you are investing in a Buy to Let property, we are able to provide you with our expertise when choosing the right type of property to suit your budget and personal requirements. We can advise you on a location, current demand for certain types of property and achievable rental income.
When putting your property up to let; we will immediately commence marketing. We will accompany all viewings of the property by potential Tenants, liaising with you or the occupants (if applicable) for access.
Once a tenant has been found they will be referenced. When the references have been concluded we will discuss the findings with you and if you are satisfied with the Tenant a check-in date can be arranged and a suitable Tenancy Agreement prepared.
Prior to the Tenant moving in, the property will need to be ready for occupation. The property must be completely cleaned, and all personal effects and furniture removed (unless the property is to be let fully furnished). At this stage an inventory is arranged in order to draw up a full Inventory/ Schedule of Condition, and if applicable any safety checks will be carried out, and certificates issued.
On the day of check-in, we will arrange for the Tenants to meet with a member of staff in order to sign the Tenancy Agreement. We will collect from them the first month’s rent, and a Security Deposit on your behalf, we will register it with the deposit scheme in accordance with their regulations.
Full Management Service
This service includes:
A rental appraisal of the property including advice on maximising the rental value and marketability.
Extensive internet marketing
We are one of only two High Street Estate Agents in the area that advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla, PrimeLocation, The Times, Sunday Times, The Mail and Telegraph.
Advertising and marketing, and carrying out accompanied viewings.
Referencing Tenants through a reputable credit referencing agency.
Preparing the Tenancy Agreement and relevant Notices.
Arranging for the preparation of an Inventory and/or Schedule of Condition.
Taking a security deposit from the tenant at the commencement of the tenancy and registering it with the deposit scheme in accordance with their regulations.
Taking the first month’s rent payment from the Tenant at the commencement of the Tenancy.
Collecting the rent from the Tenant monthly by Standing Order.
Informing utility companies (electric, gas, council tax and water) of meter readings if applicable and change of occupation.
Carrying out Property Inspection visits periodically throughout the year.
Co-ordinating repairs and/or maintenance.
Offer you piece of mind insurance products.
In addition to our full management service we can tailor a bespoke service to suit your needs from a tenant find only to a rent collection service please speak to us to discuss the options.
Presentation of the Property
The presentation of a property has a direct impact on the marketability and the maximum level of rental income that can be achieved; therefore we recommend that the property is in the best possible condition before letting. The property should be thoroughly cleaned to a professional standard, or by a professional cleaning company. The carpets should be steam cleaned professionally, and a receipt retained. The garden should be in a neat and tidy condition, and any outstanding repairs should be attended to.
Our experienced team can advise you on any aspect of decoration works that may be necessary, and can recommend contractors if required.
If the property is mortgaged, it is important that you obtain permission from your mortgage provider to rent out the property.
You must also obtain permission from the Superior Landlord if the property is leasehold. If the property is leasehold, you will continue to be liable to pay any ground rent or service charges relating to the property. You will need to provide us with a copy of the Head Lease, if applicable, in order for this to be attached to the Tenancy Agreement.
The property must have adequate buildings insurance, and your insurers must be notified that the property is to be rented out. It is also recommended that a Landlord’s contents insurance is in place to cover curtains, carpets, white goods etc. we can assist you with this.
Utilities and Council Tax
It is the Tenants responsibility to pay all utility and council tax bills for the duration of the Tenancy. We will advise the utility providers and local council of any changes in occupation.
For extra peace of mind, we can offer a comprehensive selection of insurance and Rent Guarantee, subject to Tenants passing appropriate referencing.
Non UK Resident Landlords
If a Landlord is considered by the Inland Revenue to be non-resident in the UK for taxation purposes, we are legally obliged to withhold tax from the net rental income at the basic rate of income tax, and to pay this tax quarterly to the Inland Revenue, unless an approval certificate is provided to us. A Landlord can apply to the Inland Revenue for an approval certificate in order for us to pay the rent with no tax deducted – application forms are available from us on request. Please note that approval certificates are required by any named landlords on the Tenancy Agreement, when living abroad. Further information can be obtained from the Inland Revenue.
UK Resident Landlords
If you are a Landlord resident in the UK, you also have a liability to pay income tax on any profit made on the property. Many expenses are tax deductable, e.g. repairs, agency fees, insurances etc. Further information can be obtained from the Inland Revenue.
Please note that the following information is intended only as a brief guide for Landlords and does not in any way constitute a detailed interpretation of any of the complete Regulations which apply to rented properties. Non-compliance with the Regulations can result in a custodial prison sentence and/or a substantial fine.
Finding the right tenant for your property is the key to any successful let. At Crook and Blight we start by establishing with you, the criteria for the sort of person/s you wish to occupy your property. We then match prospective tenants via our networked database and accompany all viewings.
Once a prospective tenant is found and suitable references are provided, we then proceed with a tenancy. When dealing with private tenants we take references which include a credit check, usually from their employer, bank and current Landlord / Agent as applicable. Rental payments are made every calendar month, in advance starting from the commencement of the lease.
When we initially assess a property we indicate what we believe to be a realistic market rent. Prospective tenants usually accept this figure, as we do not encourage offers, however, we are obliged to forward any offers to you.
We request a deposit on all tenancies, which is lodged with The Deposit Protection Service, an approved government deposit scheme; this encourages the tenants to look after the property and acts as a safeguard against unpaid rent. Deposits are refundable at the end of the tenancy only after the tenant has vacated, and providing the property and their account is in order. When the tenant vacates you will have an opportunity to inspect the property yourself prior to the deposit being refunded. Should you wish to do so, you must make arrangements to view the property within as few days as possible (no greater than 5) of the date the tenant vacates the property.
Commencement of Tenancy
The tenancy commences on a mutually agreed date. Prior to the tenant moving in we advise that an inventory of the property be carried out, with a detailed description of its condition and contents. Whilst compiling the inventory we also take meter readings, these readings we then pass on to the appropriate companies, and at the same time we also inform the council and water companies, if appropriate, of the change of occupancy. We cannot inform your telecom provider, this must be done by the user of the service, and consequently you must ensure the provider knows that you no longer require a service at the property. The tenants then have to contact the provider should they wish to be re-connected.
Most tenancies commence with a minimum six month assured short-hold contract. Once this contract has been in force for just under four months the tenancy is reviewed and we will write to you asking if you wish the tenancy to continue, if you do not want to renew the tenancy you must inform us immediately, we will then make arrangements for the statutory notice to be served.
If you do wish to continue the tenancy we will contact the tenant, they can opt to leave the property at the end of the tenancy agreement or request permission to stay on. If you allow the tenancy to continue you can renew for a further fixed period. If you do not wish to commit yourself to a definite period the contract can become a periodic whereby the tenant stays in the property (under the terms of the original contract). Should they wish to leave however, they only need to give one calendar months’ notice. If you require possession of the property, two months’ notice is required from the rent due day.
Please note that once notice has been served it can only be enforced through the courts. Serving the notice does not guarantee that the tenant will vacate the property on the agreed date.
End of Tenancy
Once a tenancy comes to an end a detailed inspection of the property and check of the inventory is carried out, meter readings are taken as well as obtaining details as to where the tenant is moving. The deposit is refundable to the tenant once any issues have been dealt with. If you wish you can inspect the property before the deposit is refunded, this must be done within a few days of the tenants moving out as the tenants are often eager for the refund of their money.
If for any reason there are any disputes with how the property has been left the first course of action is to give the tenant an opportunity to rectify the problem. If the tenant does not rectify the situation we can then negotiate a deduction from the deposit (valid estimates must be obtained indicating the exact cost of repair). Failing agreement between the landlord and tenant, we will refer to the deposit scheme for judgment.
We conduct regular inspections of all tenanted properties. These inspections serve several purposes, they allow us to visit the tenant in the property and ensure they are looking after it. We also check for signs that something may be wrong with the property, if something needs attention we can then inform you as soon as is practical helping to reduce the risk of the problem becoming worse and the cost escalating. These visits also help us get to know the tenants better, so that when the tenancy agreement is due for renewal we can be confident in the advice we give to you.
Repairs (dependent upon service chosen)
The tenant should report to us any problems arising with the property and we will organise any minor repairs and obtain estimates for more serious work. Work required owing to the negligence or misuse by the tenant is payable by the tenant. In all other cases the landlord is responsible. It is our normal practice to organise repairs up to an agreed amount prior to consultation with the landlord. For repairs above this figure, we will obtain estimates from reputable tradesmen for your approval. If we are unable to contact you we will take the necessary steps to safeguard your property without liability to ourselves. Under section 11 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 the landlord is obliged to repair and maintain the structure and exterior of the property and maintain in working order the installations in the property for the supply of water, gas, electricity, heating and hot water. The tenant should look after the property in a “tenant like manner”.
The agreement you signed when the property was put on our books does not cover periods when the property is vacant. (Void) If you are concerned about the property and want us to manage it while it is empty you must inform us of this and we can make arrangements to do so (there will be an extra cost for this service).
We would normally require three sets of keys to the property, two will be handed to the tenant on occupation, and the other will be retained in our office for emergencies. The landlord is also recommended to keep their own set. Any sets of keys, which have to be cut, will be charged to the Landlord.