Posts tagged Property Letting

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






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!


Support Cancer Research UK!! iConn Property Management Cantebrury


Amy Chilvers, Lettings Negotiator at iConn Property Management writes;

Well done to our Lettings Negotiator, Sam Macdonald who did her bit for charity this month and ran the Race For Life in aid of raising money for an amazing cause, Cancer Research UK.  If you would like to make a donation, please feel free to donate online and show your support!

Tenants! Get ready for your departure, iConn Property Management


New Member of the iConn Team


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

I am pleased to announce that we have a new Property Manager.

Tanya Macleod has worked for over six years in the Lettings and Property Management industry and specialises in Property Management.

She has previously worked for a well known large Agent in Canterbury and brings with her a wealth of knowledge.

Going forward, if you have any maintenance queries, please contact Tanya in the first instance




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 Student Admin Fee Sale – iConn Letting Agent Canterbury



Important Safety Alert! iConn Property Management


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

March 21, 2013  By Leave a Comment

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): 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:
  • White Goods Help – Archives for Safety Warnings & Appliance Recalls:
  • 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.



Changes to the EPC Rules – Update from January 2013


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

Within the industry we are used to regulations being changed and updated but none so much as the requirements of the EPC (energy performance certificate).

I have detailed the amendments below for your information and future reference.

Changes to the EPC rules

Changes to the rules from 9th January 2013, include

  • Agents must ensure that an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) has been commissioned before they can market a property for rent.
  • From 9th January 2013, when a building or building unit is offered for sale or rent, the energy rating must be stated in “commercial media” (includes adverts and the internet) where one is available.
  • There is no longer a requirement to attach the front page of the EPC to any written materials.
  • The EPC must be ‘made available’ in copy form to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity and at the latest, before entering into a contract. When the letting is finalised, the EPC must be given free of charge to the tenant.



Social Media for Property Advertising – iConn Lettings, Canterbury


Vicky Owen, Office Manager at iConn Property Management writes:

Over the past few years the way we advertise and market properties to rent has evolved dramatically! Prospective tenants have replaced peering in the window fronts of local agents with anytime internet search sites giants like Rightmove, Primelocation and Findaproperty.

In a age where Internet is King – with nearly 98% of our sucessfully let properties coming from an internet enquiry, it is important for us to keep up with our prospective tenant habits.

We now take “Featured Property” slots on the three largest property portals –;; meaning that our clients properties are advertised at the top of the page, seperating them from the competition, highlighting them first and giving their properties a head start.










Now we see another change to the media market with the use of social media sites becoming more popular and opening companies out to interactive, on the spot feedback; the biggest being Facebook and Twitter… even the mighty property portals now provide links for people to “Like” or “Share” their properties on their page!

We have now signed up to PropertyPlace which is an app on these sites created to advertise properties which has over 10,000 monthly users showing the evolution of these social sites to a place of advertising potential.

Our social media sites are growing by the day, with our company Facebook page having nearly 350 likes, our Twitter account has over 600 followers coupled with our blog following and our LinkedIn sites and the new Google+ page – we are bringing our properties to a new market.

Although this highlights the benefits to our Clients as this new advertising potential unfolds, there is a huge benefit to the prospective tenants – social media is instant, with property portals taking up to 24 hours to update their new listings – social sites provide an exclusivity in a fast moving rental market. It provides interaction for the customer not only with the company that is advertising but also with their friends: liking a property or commenting on a post spreads their activity to all their friends who then comment with advice or provide feedback for that person.

The secret to this social media growth is connectivity, interesting and relevant posts and recommendations. Please take a moment to explore our sites and by providing recommendations or getting involved and interactive with us helps us to broaden our auidence which in turn benefits our clients and tenants.

Click on the links to join in:





You can link with our personal Linkedin Profiles here to:







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.


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.

G& C. Morris – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


I moved to iConn after many years with another letting agent and was immediately impressed by their professionalism and set up.  The team are friendly, engaging and helpful.  When on the very odd occasion I have had to rise an issue or concern regarding my tenancy, it is soon resolved in an effective and efficient manner.  Their communication is good and overall service is excellent.  It is a world apart from the service I had received from my previous agent.  Overall I am extremely content with their service, professionalism and overall letting package.  I am clear they are well ahead of their competitors and have recommended them to family and other landlords as a very satisfied customer and landlord!

RF – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


iConn and their predecessors have marketed our property for six years.  They have always given us sound advice and Vicky Cranthorne in particular has always gone “the extra mile” to help.  The new e-mail Bulletin has regular updates on matters of interest to landlords and tenants as well as more light-hearted items, which make it palatable.

A&K – Tenants with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


We have been using iConn Property Management Ltd for the past three years.  We have always found the staff incredibly helpful with all enquiries we’ve had.

They provide a very professional and friendly service.  If ever we have a problem or issue it is always resolved in a matter of hours where other agencies in the past have taken much longer even to acknowledge the issue.  Having built up a rapport with the staff, it makes it easier for all when looking for a new property as the team already know our likes and dislikes.

We have always received a quality service from iConn.  They care about you, your situation and how you want to live, they don’t just forget about you when you sign the contract.  We would recommend them to anyone looking for a Property Management / Lettings company

R.Clarke – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


iConn has been my letting agent for the last 7 years and undertakes a full management service for me. I have been impressed with the efficient manner in which they have undertaken this role and the professional way they handle issues. As a ‘distant’ landlord, I rely on effective communication, timely resolution of issues whilst keeping me fully informed of developments. In each of these aspects I rate them highly. During the tenure of my agreement with iConn thus far, the accounting aspect has been first rate with rental income invariably paid on time and any missing sums urgently pursued. I very much value the relationship and look forward to it continuing for many more years.

L.Martin – Landlord with iConn Property Management, Canterbury


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!

N. Summerfield – Landlord with iConn Property Management


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.

B. Sharp – Landlord with iConn Property Management


iConn have at all times been most professional and helpful. I have had other properties which have been handled by well known agents and none has reached the high standard of service that I have had from iConn.


Budget Announcement 2012 – How it Applies to Landlords & Tenants (Canterbury Letting Agent)


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

ARLA has recently created this great article to help explain what this years budget announcements will mean to us; definately worth a read: ARLA Budget News

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TDS Changes of Legislation – Timescale for Registering Deposits. (Canterbury Letting Agent)


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.


Water Saving Tips as Drought Warning is Issued (Canterbury Lettings)


Sam Macdonald, Lettings Negotiator for iConn Property Management, Canterbury writes: 

Drought warning

 According to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Kent is suffering a drought.

 For the last two winters the south east has seen lower than average rainfall, which means that water stocks in rivers, reservoirs and aquifers are at severely low levels.

 Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary said: “It is not just the responsibility of Government, water companies and businesses to act against drought. We are asking for the help of everyone by urging them to use less water and to start now.”

 Water saving tips; before during and after a drought

  • Before a drought arrives, it’s useful to get into good habits, such as using a bowl of water to peel and wash fruit and vegetables instead of a running tap, and reusing grey water to water the garden.
  • Putting a ‘Hippo’ water-saving device or brick in your cistern also helps. Placing water butts under downpipes and considering many other ways of saving rainwater can drastically reduce consumption in the garden and help ensure you can keep watering even during a hosepipe ban.
  • During a drought, saving water is even more important. The Environment Agency has lots of advice about saving water when the need arises. Simply turning the tap off when you brush your teeth can save up to five litres a minute! Don’t use any clean water for non-essential purposes like cleaning windows, for example. Hosepipe and sprinkler bans are only used when there’s a real need. Always follow the water company’s advice.
  •  After a drought, as the environment recovers, it is still important to continue to use water in a sensible fashion. Water conservation is good for the environment and for society at all times.


Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in or Youtube


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

Join the growing iConn Property Management group on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Link in to the team for the latest information on legislation, new properties on the market, offers and competitions and advice for all:


Happy Christmas from all at iConn Property Management, Canterbury!! :)






STUDENT LETTINGS LIST FOR 2012-2013 RELEASED by iConn Property Management


And so it begins….. We have released our available properties for next years academic term. For your ideal student property in Canterbury Don’t Delay and Take a Look Today!!!


Viewings are available and demand is expected to be high this year, so don’t miss out on the ideal property in the best location and book today!!

Full details and more photos are available on our website:

You will also find all the student terms and documents on this page:

Good Luck! :)


Advice for Potential Landlords looking to invest in property…


Vicky Cranthorne, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) provides this useful article for potential Landlords looking to invest in property…

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 are bonded, 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.


Tenancy Deposit Service


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

Most landlords and tenants are aware of the change in legislation in April 2007 which requires landlords to hold their tenants deposits within a secured scheme. At iConn we use the Tenancy Deposit Scheme – (TDS).

Our tenants and landlords may find this website useful as it provides the guidelines and processes involved when using the TDS. – For landlords – For Tenants.


Boiler Flues – Changes to Safety Checks


Vicky Cranthorne M.A.R.L.A, Office Manager for iConn Property Management writes:

There is a major change to the gas safety certificate requirements which will be coming into effect from 31st December 2012 which some landlords will need to be aware of.

If the boiler in your property is situated on an outside wall and you can see the flue then you will not be effected BUT if your boiler flue is concealed and runs behind walls or ceilings before reaching an outside wall then this change will effect you.

Gas Safe Engineers need to be able to inspect the flue all the way along to ensure that there is no carbon monoxide (CO) danger and in order to be able to complete a gas safety certification. If they can not see the whole flue they will need to install inspection hatches.

 Landlords will need to prepare for this added required expense and so we will be writing to our current clients whose properties will be effected to offer a payment plan and advice on contacting development managing agents if the proprety is in an apartment block.

The legislation comes into effect on the 31st December 2012 which will means that any certifications due after the 31st December 2011 will need to be brought up to the new requirements so that they are not invalidated when the changes are enforced.

This websites confirms the changes in more detail:

and further information can be found on the HSE website :

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