Posts tagged letting agents in canterbury

Congratulations to the staff at iConn – iConn Property Management, Canterbury


well done


Congratulations to Nadine in lettings for passing her fourth and final unit in NFOPP Technical Award in Residential Letting and Property Management, and of course to Paul in maintenance for passing unit one!


Nadine has now obtained the industry recognised ARLA membership, meaning that four members of staff here at iConn are now ARLA qualified.

Tenant who tripped on path not owned by landlord wins case – iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Rosalind Renshaw, on behalf of Property Industry Eye, writes about this interesting case that will see changes being made in property inspections by agents on behalf of landords:


An important new case has major implications for letting agents who manage properties and for landlords.

It may also have implications for insurance.

In the case of Edwards v Kumarasamy, the tenant tripped on a path outside the block of flats where he lived on the second floor, injuring his knee.

The landlord did not own the path and did not own the block. However, the landlord did own a flat within the block and the path was the essential means of access to the block.

Until now, it has always been assumed that repairing obligations only apply to what the landlord actually rents out to the tenant, and also that the landlord cannot be held liable if they have not been notified of the need for a repair.

However, in this case, the tenant took a disrepair claim under Section 111 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and, at the Court of Appeal, won his case.

Solicitor David Smith, of Anthony Gold, says this is “a big deal” for agents and landlords, and will have “serious consequences”.

Smith warns that as a result of the case, any landlord can now be sued for disrepair to areas serving their property, irrespective of ownership.

It also means that agents doing property inspections should look not just at the property itself but also at areas over which the landlord has rights, such as paths and drives.

There is, says Smith, no obligation on the tenant to report disrepair, so it is up to the landlord or agent to identify it and resolve it.

This particular case also raises another question, although one not dealt with by the Court of Appeal: paving stones that are merely uneven, rather than being in a state of disrepair.

The full case is reported here

David Smith’s commentary is here





Reminder to Landlords: January Tax Return is now due – iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Rightmove have printed this relevant article taken from The Muney Advice Service, reminding Landlords to complete their tax return before the end of the month:

There’s more to being a landlord than collecting rental payments and deposits. Paying your tax is one job you really need to be on top of – and the clock is ticking.

You must complete the online tax return by 31 January (if you’ve not paid in another way by 31 October 2014) having registered for self-assessment by 5 October.

All landlords need to keep HMRC in the loop

You must inform HMRC as soon as you start renting out a property, even if you’ve not yet made any income from it. Once you have earned £2,500 in rental income, you may be liable to pay tax on it. Landlords whose properties generate more than this amount in rent each year must complete a Self-Assessment Tax Return.

How you can reduce or avoid a tax bill

The amount of tax you pay depends on the type of property you are renting out and your personal circumstances. The tax obligations are different for each of the three categories – residential properties, furnished holiday lets and commercial property.

As a buy-to-let landlord you – or your company – pay tax on any profit you make from renting your property to residential tenants. This means you don’t pay income tax on what are known as allowable expenses – and there are plenty of these to get your teeth into. For example, you can claim back letting agents and accountant’s fees. Maintenance and repairs are also covered, as are buildings and contents insurance premiums.

Keep a record of your property-related outgoings

There are plenty of elements to renting out property that you need to keep a record of, including Council Tax bills, any utility bills you pay on the rented property and other direct costs like advertising and phone calls to tenants. Even so, it’s probably best to seek professional advice when calculating tax obligations and allowance expenses. The HMRC Self-Assessment helpline can be reached on 0300 200 3310 if required.

What you can’t claim for

You can’t claim for capital expenses such as buying the place or renovating it, but can lodge a claim for wear and tear. Be aware through that excessive claims will be scrutinised, so don’t think the tax office will automatically claim for the cost of a new bathroom suite or a plush kitchen. HMRC allows you to claim up to 10 per cent of the net rent as a wear and tear allowance if you provide a furnished flat or house, but make sure you have the receipts to hand.

Cheap rentals and HMRC

Even if you don’t earn £2,500 a year from your tenants – after considering all the costs you can claim to reduce tax – you still need to keep HMRC in the picture. They will be able to help ensure you tick all the right boxes as a landlord. You can also visit the Money Advice Service’s guide on your responsibilities as a buy to let landlord for more information.



Source: Rightmove, on behalf of Money Advice Service


Switch Energy Providers Now – iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Rightmove, on behalf of The Money Advice Service, explain all:


You needn’t get stuck with a high energy tariff – changing supplier could save you up to £200 a year.


Rising bills can mean a big chunk of your household budget goes on essentials such as gas and electricity.

Simply switching your supplier could mean big savings without much effort.

Yet two-thirds of people have never switched their energy provider which the regulator, Ofgem, reckons could save households about £200 a year.

That kind of saving could make a tidy contribution towards, say, redecorating a room in your home.

Most people can switch energy suppliers – even if you have a prepayment meter with debts of up to £500. If you change your mind, you have a 14-day cooling off period.


Here’s how to switch:


1) Check your bill from your current energy provider to see your usage in kWh

2) Make sure your provider won’t charge you to break your existing contract

3) Use comparison sites approved by Ofgem’s Confidence Code

4) Compare the latest deals and choose the best one for you

5) Consider different suppliers of duel deals for your gas and electricity

6) Choosing an online tariff and paying by direct debit could save you extra money




Ban on agency fees rumbles on – iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Rosalind Renshaw from Property Industry Eye writes:


The lettings industry and the Labour party remain on a collision course ahead of next year’s general election.

Labour has repeated its vow to make letting agent fees illegal, while agents are stepping up calls for wholesale regulation of the industry.

Speaking after Tuesday evening’s failed bid by Labour to have fees banned, Paul Weller, managing director of lettings chain Leaders, said: “Fortunately common sense has prevailed, but the vote was a wasted opportunity.

“The vote should have been on banning all unregulated agents from practising.

“This would have enabled Parliament to tackle all the problems at the heart of our industry in one motion: 40% of letting agents are not members of a professional body so it is clear that self-regulation is not enough.

“What is needed is legislation that ensures that – as a minimum requirement – all letting agents are qualified, have client money protection and operate to an agreed code of conduct for the whole industry.

“The issues go much further than agents charging fees to tenants. We need to rid the industry of rogue agents who charge extortionate fees, who do not protect their clients’ money and in some cases abuse it, who put their tenants’ lives at risk in unsafe properties and who provide a sub-standard service with little regard for the law.

“The best action politicians can take to protect tenants is to properly regulate letting agents. We have been calling for this for decades.”

Ian Potter, outgoing managing director of ARLA, said: “Fees are not arbitrary or unnecessary – they represent a business cost that those tabling the amendment failed to recognise.

“ARLA’s call, as ever, is for wholesale regulation of the market to ensure fair and transparent practices for all consumers, landlords and agents alike.”

Darren Harley, of EweMove, said: “Whilst we agree that there are far too many lettings agents across the country who don’t disclose their application fees too readily, banning all fees to tenants isn’t the way to promote fairness. It will simply drive up fees to the landlords which, in turn, will drive rents up.

“Ewemove charges no application fees, and only ever charges tenants once a property has been offered to them. We believe this is a much better system because it ensures more applications per property, and we can find the very best tenant for the landlord every time.

“Yes, the agent earns slightly less under this model, but it’s not all about the agent.

“Regulation of the industry is clearly required.

“We’ve all seen the reports from Shelter and other organisations, declaring the unscrupulous practices of a few rogue agents. I really don’t believe that those horror stories are the norm in the UK, but I do think that things can be improved, and a professional standard would be the way forward.

“The most obvious route would be compulsory membership of ARLA, and ARLA’s standards being strengthened.”

However, one person who took to Twitter to complain about the way the vote went was London Evening Standard columnist and landlord Victoria Whitlock.

She said: “Am disappointed MPs bought that bunkum that tenants would have paid more if letting agent fees were banned.”

The tireless Stella Creasy, Labour shadow consumers minister, was back on Twitter yesterday claiming: “An agency has contacted me to argue fees to tenants justified because they ‘give them a bag for life & mug’ upon arrival. Yes really.”

Meanwhile, shadow housing minister Emma Reynolds put the industry on warning by making it clear that the whole issue has not gone away.

She said: “Generation Rent needs proper protection against being ripped off.

“A Labour government will ban letting agent fees on tenants.”

* There were just three rebels when it came to Tuesday evening’s vote on letting agent fees – one Tory and two Lib Dems who refused to toe their party line.

Phillip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, and Lib Dem MPs Julian Huppert (Cambridge) and Ian Swales (Redcar) all voted to ban letting agent fees.

Of the Lib Dems, 38 voted against a ban, and 16 were missing. Among the absentees were Nick Clegg, Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, Andrew Stunell, Sarah Teather and Jo Swinson.

There were 242 Tory MPs who voted against the ban, with 58 absent from the vote. Absentees included David Cameron and George Osborne.

Labour’s attempt to ban letting agent fees was defeated by a majority of 53 (281 to 228).




How to avoid Condensation & Damp, iConn Property Management Canterbury


Samantha Hooper, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;

Autumn season has arrived and we have been experiencing a lot of rain over the last few days!  At this time of year, our tenants start drying clothes inside their homes, which later down the line can result in damp / condensation build up in the property.  Here’s a few tips on how to avoid this common problem!


Open bedroom windows when you go to bed at night; a 10mm gap will do. If it really is too cold to do this, wipe the condensation off the windows first thing in the morning, but please do not put the cloth you used on the radiator to dry as this will create more condensation.


Ensure full use of extractor or ventilation fans. Where these are not provided, open a window after bathing or showering to give the steam and damp air a chance to escape. Wipe windows, walls and mirrors to remove condensation (a microfiber cloth is the most efficient means of doing this), and dry the shower tray or bath. Keep the door closed while the bathroom is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.


When cooking, cover pans. Use exactor or ventilation fans where provided. If you do not have an automatic kettle, take care to ensure it is not left boiling. These precautions will help to reduce steam and therefore moisture in the air. Keep the door closed while the kitchen is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.


Where there are chimneys, do not block them up. If a wall appears to be damp, do not put furniture right up against it; allow some circulation of air.


Make sure that any ventilation bricks or openings in the building are not obstructed.


Keep glass as clear of condensation as you can. Wipe away any moisture that has formed using a soft cloth. Leave open any ”trickle” vents in double glazed units. Get into the habit of opening windows to keep moisture content in the air down and to air the property when you can.


Avoid drying clothes on radiators. Tumble dryers should be vented to the outside, unless fitted with a condenser.


Provide a reasonable level of heating (no less than 10°C in an unused area, or 16C if in use); cold rooms are susceptible to condensation. Remember, the best way to heat a room and avoid condensation is to maintain a low level of warmth throughout the day rather than to turn the heating off while you are out and put it on at a high level when you return home.


Portable gas and paraffin heaters can create a significant amount of damp and condensation within properties. Please do not use these types of heaters unless you have permission from your landlord or property manager.


Mildew may be removed from clothes by using a dry cleaning process.


Remove and kill mould by wiping the affected area(s) with a fungicide which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number, precisely following the manufactures instructions. Alternatively a mild bleach solution will have the desired effect, but do test on a small area first.

Do not disturb mould by vacuuming or brushing as this can give rise to respiratory complaints.



Wedding Announcement and Congrats!! iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Iris O’Connell, Managing Director at iConn Property Management writes;

A huge congratulations to our Accounts Coordinator, Samantha Douglas who tied the knot to Shaun Burgess this month! We hope you had a fantastic day, and we wish you lots of happy years together! :)







Staff success! iConn Property Management Canterbury


Iris O’Connell, Managing Director at iConn Property Management writes;

We are pleased to announce that our Property Manager Tanya MacLeod has recently passed all four units of the NFOPP Level 3 Qualification for the Technical Award in Residential Letting & Property Management, and our Lettings Negotiator, Sam Macdonald is also on her way and passed the first unit towards her qualification last week!  Well done to both of you!


Be safe this summer! iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Tanya MacLeod, Property Manager at iConn Property Management writes:

This article from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is a very interesting and informative read.

With millions of Britons planning to holiday in the UK this year the Gas Safety Register are again urging the public to stay safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from charcoal and gas barbecues, as well as potential risks from camping equipment and gas appliances in holiday accommodation.
The Gas Safety Register have produced leaflets, posters, web banners and article copy to advise people how to stay safe while on holiday, attending a music festival, sporting event or any one of the hundreds of things the Great British public get up to in their leisure time.

BBQ’s have been linked to several campsite deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous substance which is created when ­fossil fuels such as gas and solid fuels like charcoal and wood fail to combust fully due to a lack of oxygen. You can’t see it, taste it or smell it but it can kill quickly with no warning.

If you’re planning on using a BBQ, whether it’s a disposable one, gas or charcoal make sure you keep yourself safe and don’t put yourself at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Follow these top tips for BBQ safety:

  • Never take a smouldering or lit BBQ into a tent, caravan or cabin. Even if you have finished cooking your BBQ should remain outside as it will still give off fumes for some hours after use.
  • Never use a BBQ inside to keep you warm
  • Never leave a lit BBQ unattended or while sleeping
  • Place your cooking area well away from your tent. Always ensure there is an adequate supply of fresh air in the area where the BBQ is being used.
  • Only use appliances in accordance with the operating instructions
  • Remember the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – headaches, dizziness, breathlessness, nausea, collapse and loss of consciousness. If concerned, seek medical advice.

If you’re using gas camping equipment follow these extra tips to help you stay safe:

  • Check that the appliance is in good order, undamaged and that hoses are properly attached and undamaged. If in doubt get the hoses replaced or don’t use it
  • Make sure the gas taps are turned off before changing the gas cylinder and do it in the open air
  • Don’t over-tighten joints
  • When you have finished cooking, turn off the gas cylinder before you turn off the BBQ controls – this means any gas in the hose and pipeline will be used up
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions about how to check for gas escapes from hoses or pipework, e.g. brushing leak detection solution around all joints and looking for bubbles.
  • Never take a gas stove, light or heater into a tent, caravan or cabin unless it is a permanent fixture, installed and maintained correctly.

Take care this summer and don’t put yourself or your family at risk.

For more information or advice please visit or call 0800 408 5500.

iris sig

New member of the iConn Team!


Iris O’Connell, Managing Director of iConn Property Management writes:

I am pleased to introduce a new member staff who will be working alongside Sam Macdonald in the lettings team.  Amy Chilvers is our new Lettings Negotiator and has previously worked in Lettings & Property Maintenance for over 18 months.

If you have any tenancy queries, you can contact Amy on:












Changes to your waste collection in Canterbury – iConn Property Management








Tanya MacLeod, Property Manager at iConn Property Management writes;

Canterbury City Council have introduced some changes to the collection of waste in Canterbury recently.

The Canterbury City Councils website states;


Changes to your waste collection service

In the summer we will be making some changes to the waste collection service. We will be picking up your food waste every week and collecting glass every two weeks. To complement the new service we will be giving you some new bins and boxes.

Once we’ve delivered your bins, your first collection will take place on your next scheduled recycling day. That week, put out your blue lidded bin (glass, tins, cartons and plastics) with your red insert box (paper and card) inside along with your food waste caddy. If you have a garden bin, put that out too.

Here is some useful information taken from the Canterbury City Council’s website which may help you with the new system;


What goes in my bins?

Black household waste bin

Your black wheeled bin is for household and food waste, and items which cannot be recycled.

Recycling sacks

You can recycle the following items in your clear sacks:

  • Cans, aerosols with nozzles removed and aluminium foil.
  • Paper, magazines, newspapers, catalogues and phone directories.
  • Wrapping paper (remove Sellotape).
  • Cardboard food boxes and egg cartons (flattened).
  • Toilet or kitchen roll inner cardboard.
  • Plastic drinks bottles, shampoo bottles, and washing up liquid      bottles.

If the wrong materials are found in the sack, it will not be collected.

Please remember to flatten boxes, wash and squash plastic bottles and remove lids, empty and rinse food containers, put materials loose in your clear recycling sack and tie securely. Secured bundles of cardboard and newspapers will be collected if placed beside recycling sacks.

Green lidded bin

You can place the following items in your green bin:

  • Grass cuttings, hedge clippings, dead plants and weeds.
  • Cut flower and shrub prunings.
  • Bark, leaves and small twigs.
  • Branches (Up to 4cm thick).

We will not empty bins which contain the following:

  • Stone, concrete, timber or builder’s waste.
  • Glass, plastic, metal, paper or cardboard.
  • Plant pots, soil or turf.
  • Household rubbish and food waste.


You can also find more information regarding this matter on their website,










Competition Time!! Win £200 cash, iConn Property Management






Mr O’Sullivan, Tenant guarantor with iConn Property Management



So many thanks for all your very professional advice and tremendously helpful information.

With thanks, and my best regards

Mr Gerard O’Sullivan


First Aid Training, iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Tanya Macleod, Property Manager at iConn Property Management writes;


In April, two members of staff attended their annual First Aid Training Course and I’m pleased to announce that they both passed with flying colours!  Congratulations to Iris O’Connell, Managing Director and Sam Douglas, Accounts Coordinator! We are in safe hands for another year!! :)




Buy to Let information, Canterbury Letting Agent










Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;


Here’s some great advice from The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) regarding buy to let properties:



Think of buying to let as a medium to long term investment.


Seek advice from an ARLA letting agent on local market demands.


Get your sums right. Will the rent cover borrowings and costs, after allowing for void periods?


Decorate, fit out and furnish to high quality standards, especially kitchens and bathrooms, to attract the best tenants and let quickly every time.


Use an ARLA member as your letting agent. They have Client Money Protection, hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to required standards, have staff trained to ARLA’s competency standards and are kept up to date with the latest legal and regulatory requirements.


Let personal taste cloud your judgement. Be sure the property you choose meets market requirements


Purchase anything with potential maintenance problems like a lot of woodwork or large gardens. It will add nothing to the rental value and cost a lot to keep up.


Think that the running of an investment property to let can be left to friends or relatives in your absence. Tenants require a full management service.


Use off-the-shelf tenancy agreements from HMSO or law stationers, or forget to issue the right notices or fail to have a proper inventory and condition report made before a tenant moves in. Leave all documentation to a professional agent.


Furnish with second hand furniture or cast-off soft furnishings. These will probably contravene the Furniture and Furnishing Regulations.

If you require any further information regarding renting your property, please feel free to contact us on 01227 765008.





STUDENT REMINDER!! iConn Property Management, Canterbury


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes;






REMINDER!! Student Tenancies for 2013-2014 – Your administration fees are due to be paid by the 1st May 2013… remember to budget for this in the next month :)




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Easter Opening Times, iConn Property Management, Canterbury



Easter Egg Mountain Challenge – iConn Letting Agent in Canterbury


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;

Who think they could demolish this little mini mountain of chocolate loveliness…??

Well unfortunately these eggs are reserved…

Reed Recruitment in Ashford have launched a campaign to make an Easter Egg Mountain for the children of St Nicholas School in Canterbury.

iConn Property Management, Canterbury have teamed up with Superior Care in Whitstable to help them reach their target of 500 eggs.

So far we have 36 eggs ready for collection on the 25th March 2013.

If you would like to contribute please drop your egg(s) to our office at 26a Castle Street, Canterbury CT1 2PU.

Please help us spread the word by sharing the post :)
















D.Kellond – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


This was our first experience of using iConn Ltd to rent out our home and it was a seemless and problem-free experience.  The personnel were knowledgeable, professional and responsive to our numerous questions!  Most importantly, they were proactive and arranged good quality viewings which resulted in several offers within a week of taking on the property.  I would not hesitate to recommend that other prospective landlords use iConn and am delighted that we chose them to work with.



Census Information and Findings – For Landlords


Vicky Owen, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

I recently came across an article online regarding the recent census and the meaning behind the findings, I think it is a really useful tool for Landlords to understand for their current or furture investments:

The 2011 census highlighted that the cost for private tenants  in renting unfurnished properties (including the cost of rent together with fuel and power) has increased by 60% in the last 10 years, whereas their gross incomes have only increased by 31% in the same period.

The pressure to pay rent and meet all other outgoings has intensified and Shelter reported earlier in January that  1.4 million people in Britain are falling behind with their rent or mortgage payments.

According to a recent YouGov survey the number of people struggling to pay their rent or mortgage each month has increased by 44% over the past year, to 7.8 million people.

Their research also revealed that over the past year:

  • Almost a million people used a payday loan to help pay their rent or mortgage.
  • 2.8 million people used an unauthorised overdraft to help pay their rent or mortgage and of those 10% did so every month.

These uncomfortable statistics highlight the need for letting agents and landlords to carry out thorough checks on applicants when letting a property, including:

  • Obtain a credit check – Individuals with good credit histories are generally good tenants.
  • Obtain landlords and employment references.
  • If you have any doubts on the applicants ability to afford the rent, ask them to provide further proof, for example copies of payslips or a minimum of 6 months bank statements.
  • Arrange insurance cover for legal expenses and rent protection should the tenant default on the rent. LetRisks offers a wide choice of innovative solutions for protecting landlords against unpaid Rent to suit a variety of landlord pockets. Legal Expenses of up to £50,000 to obtain possession comes as standard with all policies and we can help recover unpaid rents.



iConn’s Day Out Spreading Some Christmas Cheer :) – (Canterbury Letting Agent)

Iris O’Connell, Managing Director for iConn Property Management writes:
Christmas is a time for giving and every year the staff at iConn donate their time to spread some Christmas cheer in the local community.
The staff at iConn teamed up with the Body Shop and had a fantastic time visiting three homes for the elderly in the Canterbury area delivering to them gifts of chocolates and Body Shop goodies along with providing hand massages for the elderly residents. iConn would like to thank the Managers, staff and residents of Saxon Lodge in Bridge, Highfield Care Home in Bekesbourne and The Red House Nursing Home in Canterbury for allowing us to come and visit your homes and for allowing us to spend time with all your wonderful residents.
We would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Student Lettings List for 2013-2014 for Canterbury is released


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes:

Our new lettings list for July 2013 – June 2014 is now available, click on the image below to view in full :)

Early signs show a busy student market for this year so are not expecting these properties to be on the market for long.
























Landlord advice regarding The Green Deal – from iConn Property Management, Canterbury Lettings


Iris O’Connell, Managing Director of iConn Property Management writes:

I am writing to advise you of a Government initiative which takes effect from January 2013.

In order to detail and explain the initiative clearly, I have taken abstracts from literature from The Department of Energy & Climate Change for your information.

The Green Deal is a government initiative to improve energy efficiency in UK households; its aim is to encourage people to make their homes more energy efficient in a cost effective way. The scheme will be available to home owners and tenants (with the consent of their landlords) and has also been extended to businesses.

The scheme lets customers pay for some or all of the improvements over time through their electricity bill. A home assessment will be undertaken by a Green Deal assessor who will create a report recommending the best improvements to minimise the utility bills in your home. If you are interested, you will be able to choose a Green Deal provider who will offer you a quote for a Green Deal Plan and access to the finance. The financial package is not a loan; although interest is added to the final total. The debt is attached to your property rather than you or the tenant, so it will not be means tested, therefore credit checks will not be undertaken.

In order to have any improvements undertaken, the improvements must be eligible under the Green Deal and recommended for your house following your home assessment. These measures will be expected to be able to show real savings over the repayment period. This is the Golden Rule of the Green Deal which states that the expected savings made from the home improvement must be the same or greater than the total cost of implementing the improvement itself. This rule protects the property owner, ensuring that they are not paying back more money as a result of the Green Deal scheme than they are actually saving on their energy bills.

Once the home improvements have been undertaken, the Green Deal will be paid back in installments attached to the electricity bill. The repayments will be affordable to everyone as they will be based on the savings made by the household as a result of the new home improvements.

In order for the home improvements to be beneficial, the Golden Rule states that you should not be paying more money on your repayments than you are saving on your utility bill. For example, if you have had new insulation fitted, and this gives you a saving of £25.00 on your heating bill each month, then you will be expected to pay less than £25.00 on your repayments.

Additionally, the length of time for the repayments should not exceed the expected lifetime of the home improvements itself. For example, if solar panels were to be installed and they have an expected lifespan of 30 years, then the repayments should not last any longer than 30 years.

Your tenant needs your permission before taking out a Green Deal. If your tenant wishes to take out a Green Deal Plan, they will first need your agreement to both the improvements and the financial aspects of the plan, If you do not agree to all, some or any of the assessors recommendations; the tenant is not permitted to proceed.

Click on the link for the official brochure provided by The Department of Energy & Climate Change for a comprehesive guide:




If you require any further information, please feel free to contact me.


Common Questions from Tenants (Canterbury Lettings)


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:

ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) supplies lots of answers to common questions which tenants might need to know.

This link takes tenants direct to their website:

Here is one of the questions I spotted earlier which I thought would be useful to know:

What About Rights Of Access To The Property, What Are The Rules?

A landlord, or his agent, or someone authorised to act on his behalf has a right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance at reasonable times of the day. The law says that a landlord or agent must give a tenant at least 24 hours prior notice in writing (except in an emergency) of such a visit. Naturally, if the tenant agrees, on specific or odd occasions to allow access without the 24 hours prior written notice, that is acceptable. [A clause in the tenancy agreement which tries to diminish or over-ride a tenant’s rights in this respect would be void and unenforceable.]


Canterbury Letting Agent iConn Wins Gold for 2012 :)



Top Tips for Landlords from


Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager from iConn Property Management writes:

Our friends from Propertyads  have provided us with their top tips for Landlords – Hope you find them useful.

Top tips for landlords considering buy-to-let properties

Buy-to-let properties can be an excellent way to supplement your income or your pension, and a little research and a bit of clever property market know-how can help you make the most out of your buy-to-let property. So if you’re considering adding a little extra to your pocket each month, here are our top tips for potential landlords looking at getting into buy-to-let properties.

1. Investigate the best area for good investment Before you buy a property, you have to think about what kind of tenant you want, and where you want to buy. Your rental property doesn’t even need to be in the same city! For example, buy-to-let properties in Sheffield and Canterbury, student cities, are a great investment. Each year new students arrive to study, and each year they need additional accommodation. Investing in a student area is an excellent idea when you’re looking for almost-guaranteed income. Much like student rental properties, investing in a business-oriented city near a financial district such as Canary Wharf in London will be a costly venture, but will also help you to secure a tenant relatively easily.

2. Decorate for demand to cater to your tenants Decorate and furnish your home according to your ideal tenant’s requirements. If you’ve bought a buy-to-let property in Canterbury, for example, make sure that each bedroom is furnished with a bed and a desk to allow multiple students to rent out the rooms. A large living room and plenty of storage space in the kitchen are also preferential, so make sure you don’t clutter it up with unnecessary décor.

3. Plan for empty flats As a landlord with a buy-to-let property, it’s important that you make financial provision for empty flats. If you’re unable to find a tenant you will still need to make mortgage repayments. Make sure you have access to funds if you need to do this. Another option would be to sign with a rental agency that guarantees rentals for your flats so that you’re always covered, or take out an insurance policy that insures you against non-payment of rent during a rental agreement.

 4. Write in increases to your tenancy agreements and set up a direct debit Make sure that you write in annual increase agreements in your tenancy contracts to make the most out of your rental property. Setting up a direct debit agreement will guarantee the rental income on a particular day (instead of collecting funds on different days each month when the tenant remembers to pay)

5. Protect your property with insurance Landlord’s insurance can help you protect yourself against unpaid rental, theft by tenants, or damage to a property due to tenant negligence or weather damage. A good insurance policy is a good investment when you’re in the landlord market to make money out of your buy-to-let property – especially if it is situated in a different city to your own residence

If you are looking to grow your portfolio or first time invest into the property market in the Canterbury area please contact us for free independent advice.

M.Disneur – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


We have worked with iConn for a number of years during which they have let our properties in the Canterbury area. We are enjoying excellent service form the agent and the team members with speedy responses to our queries, prompt appointments and viewings and an efficient execution of referencing and contract provision. The staff are always friendly and polite which makes it a pleasure to do business on this basis.

J.W – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


The service I have had from iConn has been excellent.

What I rate most highly about iConn is their punctual correspondence, their ability to take the initiative in my interest, and their help with difficult problems.  Monthly statements from iConn have never been late and are always well explained, particularly when there are delays in payments from tenants or additional costs due to work on the flat.

Sometimes they need to act quickly, and as I live in London, they have acted very effectively with only a quick nod from me, saving me considerable time.

A year ago, I had a difficult tenant who refused to pay rent. iConn was enormously helpful in leading me through the legal process that recovered my money. They also provide me with very helpful information regarding my tax statements, and always respond promptly.

I have had the pleasure of working with the whole team at iConn, who work together in a very efficient manner, and would recommend them strongly to anyone seeking an efficient and friendly letting agency.

M & S Wanstall – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


My wife and I invested some money into two properties for rent almost two years ago.  We had heard stories about bad tenants and the problems that could bring and so we were a little anxious.  Not having any previous experience as landlords we approached iConn Property Management and we were very much assured by their professionalism. 

iConn explained what was required but basically did all the work for us, including finding the right tenants, drawing up contracts and making sure we had the right insurance and safety certificates.  The company regularly carry out inspections of our properties and keep us informed.  In short, my wife and I can relax knowing that our properties are in good hands.  We would certainly recommend iConn Property Management to anyone who has property to rent. 

P – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


My experience of iConn has been very good.  In comparison to the other two Agencies that I use the service provided by iConn is the best.  I am able to rely on the income arriving in my bank account on time and the statement arriving in the post.  I have also been alerted immediately to any maintenance needs and given good support in terms of getting quotations and then overseeing the work.  I am happy to commend iConn.

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