Posts tagged lettings
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.
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
Sam Douglas, Accounts co-ordinator for iConn Property Management writes;
I came accross an article from LetRisks which I think may be an interesting an useful read.
Important safety alert
In a recent claim a landlord suffered over £100,000 worth of damage to his property and loss of rent following a fire from a faulty fridge freezer. This case highlights the number of potentially dangerous brand new appliances in rented property and the action that letting agents can take to protect their landlords and tenants.
Over the past few years there have been hundreds of fires involving white goods, particularly fridge/freezers, tumble dryers and dishwashers, with more than a dozen blazes deemed “serious”. According to recent press articles, almost half a million potentially dangerous dishwashers are still being used in households because their owners cannot be traced. As an example, a batch of faulty Bosch dishwashers, made over a seven-year period, are at risk of catching fire. Just one in four has been traced.
Although manufacturers issue product recalls, via national advertising, letters and phone calls to consumers there are difficulties in tracing the purchasers, particularly if tenants have moved address or landlords have appointed an agent.
The Electrical Safety Council (ESC) found that the average success rate of recalls is just 10-20%. With 266 electrical product recalls in the last six years and manufacturers often producing hundreds of thousands of units, there are likely to be millions of dangerous products threatening safety every day. Following a survey, they claim that 2 million adults have purposefully ignored a product recall notice, a third won’t return an item if it seems too inconvenient and a fifth would not go without a luxury product such as a television or hair straighteners.
LetRisks has put together a checklist to help you protect landlords and tenants:
- Register your contact details with the manufacturer for any new appliances when purchased. This is not just for marketing purposes – it may save a life.
- Property management staff and inventory clerks should record the make and model numbers of each of the landlords appliances and check them against the Product Recall information websites (see below).
- Ensure that appliances are checked regularly: The law surrounding Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) simply requires you to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. New equipment should be “supplied in a safe condition”. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT.
- Remind tenants to check that any electrical appliances are safe and refer them to the Product Recall information websites. It is a condition of most tenancy agreements that the tenant must not bring on to the premises anything that might be a fire hazard.
- Retain forwarding addresses for tenants and arrange for mail to be forwarded, if possible. It may include product recall information.
- Use the Product Recall information websites (see below)
- Electrical Safety Council (ESC): www.esc.org.uk/recall. You will need to enter a model number, brand name or description of a particular item. If the product has been recalled, the website will advise on next steps.
- RecallUK is the primary product recall site that lists all UK product recalls, for all product types, announced in the last few weeks: www.recalluk.com/default.aspx
- White Goods Help – Archives for Safety Warnings & Appliance Recalls: www.whitegoodshelp.co.uk/category/safety-warnings-recalls-houshold-appliances
- Arrange appropriate insurances, for both the structure of the building (that includes fixtures and fittings), and contents. Make sure that the insurance is suitable for let property and includes Property Owners Liability. Even if you are letting an unfurnished flat, we recommend that you arrange cover for limited contents (covering carpets, curtains and white goods) which will also come with cover for liability to the public and injury to tenants.
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.
I have been using iConn in it’s various stages of development for the last fifteen years as a rental agency for my house in Canterbury. The company has been extremely professional in finding suitable tenants every year, maintaining the house in good condition and relaying problems, suggestions and legal matters promptly to me by mail and E-mail to my addresses abroad. This year my family will be returning to take up permanent residence at our Canterbury home, and I can heartily recommend the company to anyone who wishes to either rent out or rent an abode in the Canterbury area.
We have 2 properties which have been let by iConn since around 2005. I only have positive words to say about iConn, the staff that we have contact with (namely Vicky) is always helpful, friendly and efficient. Any problems have been dealt with professionally and swiftly and therefore we have the utmost confidence in them. I also know that they are helpful to our tenants. We have the pick of lettings agents here in Canterbury, but as we receive such an excellent service, I have no reason to move my business elsewhere – a completely satisfied customer on all counts!
The service level of iConn in terms of professional communication on all matters from tenancy agreement, proactive property inspections, quotations for works required etc. and looking after the landlords interest as if the property is their own is better than I have experienced from any other letting agent. With iConn’s managed services package I’m confident our properties are in good hands and therefore have not had to visit our properties that are managed by them for the last 8 years.
iConn Property Management have always provided a top quality service, I have let my property through them for over four years and I hope there will be many more years to come. They maintain an honest approach and always keep my informed as to the progress of letting my property. Over the four years there has never been a void period and this is down to hard working fully trained staff and quality marketing. I will certainly not be using any other agent and would recommend iConn to any Landlord.
Sam Douglas, Accounts Co-Ordinator for iConn Property Management writes:
The Localism Act comes into force on April 6th 2012 and makes an important change to the timescale for protecting deposits.
The timescale for registering deposits and serving Prescribed Information has increased from 14 to 30 days – but the 30 days is an absolute deadline.
Our prescribed information will be updated in our current tenancy agreements and terms of business and this change will only really affect tenancies created after the 6th April but current clients may wish to take note of these changes for any future tenancies.
Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:
Tenants and Landlords often get confused by the notice clause in their A.S.T (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) Tenancy Agreements when it comes to needing to give notice.
Commonly the confusion comes when deciding how much notice should be given and how to give notice.
Here are the basics:
If your tenancy is in a fixed term contract:
This means that your contract is still within its initial fixed period, dated on the contract ie. 1st January 2011 – 31st December 2012. Whilst within a fixed term you are unable to give notice. Instead you will need to wait until the contract expires. The Agent or Landlord must serve a Section 21 noticeto end the contract, otherwise the contract will roll over and then both parties will be subject to the Statutory Periodic notice terms (See below). The notice must be served two months before the end of the tenancyand in most cases they are accompanied will an offer to renew the contract if possession is not required from the landlord.
If it is the tenants intention to leave they need to confirm this to the agent or landlord when they receive the section 21 notice.
This also applies to tenancy agreements which have been renewed using a fixed term addendum as a new fixed contract has been agreed to be extended by certain dates and so the landlord and tenant are liable for the term again, until it expires.
If your tenancy is Statutory Periodic:
This is when your fixed term has expired and you are now on a rolling contract.
In this case you are able to provide notice and the standard notice lengths are one month notice from the tenant to vacate the property or two months notice from the landlord for possession of the property. The notice from the tenant must be provided in writing to either the agent or landlord. The notice from the landlord must also be in writing and should be accompanied with a section 21(4)(a) notice. The notice from both parties must be in line with the rental date. So, for example, if you pay your rent on the 5th of the month your notice will be in force from the 5th of the month, even if you provide a written letter before this date it will not come into effect until you pay your last months rent.
Full and further information regarding to notice periods under the Housing Act 1988 are available from this website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/50/contents
iConn has received some great advice from our friends at Roombuddies.com with some tips for tenants looking to share a property:
Safely Seeking Flatshares
When looking for a new flatshare opportunity, it is important that you exercise good judgement and stay safe at all times. This isn’t paranoia; it’s just being sensible. No; not everyone is out to get you, but one or two might be and they’re the ones you need to watch out for. Statistically speaking, you are very unlikely to be hurt by someone that you are seeking a flatshare or house share with. Of course, the same can be said about being struck by lightning, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to walk around holding a golf club over your head during a thunderstorm (unless you are either a hard-core golfer and/or a total nutter). Being sensible and keeping your eye-out for potentially dodgy situations will help you avoid trouble as much as possible.
Always remember the old cliché, “if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is” (it’s a cliché for a reason after all). Flats that are priced considerably lower than other similar properties in the same area will undoubtedly come with a catch. Always practice caution when an advertiser tells you that you won’t be able to view a property until you have either signed something or parted with cash and try to keep away from deals that involve paying/receiving money through a money transfer system (such as Western Union). When an advert is written in concise English, you should expect a similar standard in the rest of your correspondence (if the correspondent’s language use is broken or inconsistent then suspect foul play).
You need to view property before you agree to take it on and certainly before you hand over any cash. Property should always be of a safe and reasonably inhabitable standard. Any flatshare or house share opportunities that are not up to spec should be avoided and not taken on because of promises that they will be put right before you move in (wait until they are put right before agreeing to anything/giving a deposit). If there is to be a tenancy agreement (and you are advised to ask for one, though a landlord is not legally obliged to provide one to you) you should be given a copy and time to read it before you sign.
You will also want to ask what deposit protection scheme your landlord will use before you give them a deposit (deposit protection is required by law), though this does not guarantee your money will be returned in full when your tenancy is over (but it will give you more power to dispute any unfair deductions). Though these financial safeguards are important, they are not as important as making sure you are physically safe. You will want to check that the locks in a potential flatshare or house share are suitable for your purposes. If you are looking at getting a http://www.roombuddies.com/ then make sure the room has its own separate lock.
When you are actually attending a viewing, you need to take steps to ensure your safety then too. Ask the advertiser for a landline number (rather than a mobile) and call them on it to confirm they are where they say they are. Make a note of the address you will be viewing (and don’t agree to meet anywhere other than this address) giving it and the name of the person you are meeting to someone you trust (so they know where to look if you go missing). Arrange a time to call or meet your friend after the viewing so that they can react quicker if you don’t turn up and (preferably) take another friend with you when you attend the viewing.
iConn Property Management show thier support by collecting used stamps for RNIB,
a charity that supports the blind and partially sighted people.
If you would like to make a donation or find out more about how to show your support, click on the link below.
Sam Douglas, Account Co-ordinator for iConn Property Management writes:
Say goodbye to your winter clothes, freshen up your home and get ready for the summertime!
Here’s an interesting article to help you along your way…
Just click on the link below :
Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management writes:
Make a checklist to ensure that it all goes smoothly! Check out this link:
If you are looking for a property, or are seeking advice, feel free to contact us.
iConn Property Management are proud to be a regulated member of
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).
We believe that it is extremely important for all landlords and tenants to have the facility to be able to ask questions and gain free advice.
This is why iConn Property Management are offering free advice for anyone who needs it, whether you are a current tenant or landlords of ours, or even if you aren’t!
Please share your questions by replying to this blog, and we will endeavour to answer you as soon as possible, alternatively email us on email@example.com
Take advantage of our free advisory service and get all your questions answered today.
Sam Douglas, Accounts Co-ordinator for iConn Property Management writes:
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) deals with health and safety in the workplace and their work also includes guidance on gas safety. HSE offers advice for Landlords and letting Agents on how to comply with the law, information about gas safety checks, maintenance etc; including useful links to other information and websites.