If you have an investment property or are now looking to let your home, we offer an experienced and proactive lettings service. Call us on 01993 627766 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more or arrange a free, no-obligation market appraisal.
If you are an experienced landlord you will know that there is a lot more to letting than just finding a tenant. If you just are starting out, it is crucial to get the set up right and we can help you every step of the way.
Jason manages the lettings office along with our complimentary team in Oxford, Thomas Merrifield Lettings. We will visit you at your property and talk through your ideas for letting – we appreciate if you are a first time landlord you are likely to have a few further questions. This will enable us to discuss a marketing price and suggest anything you can do to help achieve the best return on your property investment, including honest advice on whether any works need completing or not. Legislation associated with letting can seem daunting and we feel it is important to understand the options and necessities from the start, so for this meeting we suggest you allow approximately one hour.
There are a number of professional reports that will need to be carried out, as a landlord you have a legal requirement to ensure the house, including electrics are safe for a tenant to use. These include a gas safety certificate (this must be completed on an annual basis by law), energy performance certificate (EPC), the risk of legionella needs to be considered and others, depending on your property to cover your duty of care for your tenant. Electrical installation condition reports became a legal requirement for all new tenancies from 1 July 2020 and all existing tenancies from 1 April 2021. We feel it’s good practice to have an electrical appliances PAT tested as you do have a legal responsibility to ensure these are safe for a tenant to use.
We can organise gas safety checks, electrical safety inspections and legionnaires testing, along with other tradespeople to carry out any specific jobs that need completing. We can manage the timing of all these to ensure everything is ready for your tenant move in.
An EPC will indicate how energy efficient a property is, with an ‘A’ rating being the most efficient, ‘G’ being the least efficient. A report is valid for 10 years; however a landlord may choose to update the EPC at any time in the event of improvements works being carried out.
We are fortunate to be surrounded with lovely period cottages in Woodstock, however this will occasionally present us with challenges when an EPC is carried out for letting, since the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) was updated in April 2020. All properties have a requirement to meet an ‘E’ rating, making it unlawful to let a property that falls under this rating. You can apply for an ‘exemptions certificate’ under certain circumstances if a property cannot meet the required level. We work closely with a local EPC company offering a Property Improvement Plan (PIP). This report will outline the improvements that can be made to a property along with a predicted EPC rating once the works have been completed.
With timescales agreed and paperwork signed we can get on with the job of presenting your property to the market. We will take plenty of good photographs, preparing the property brochure to include a floorplan. We like to present your property in the best way possible whether it is empty or occupied - first impressions count. It is essential to ensure your property is well presented online from the first day – with marketing on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and On The Market, so you can ensure your property will be seen online. We would recommend a ‘To Let’ board as part of the marketing campaign, it not only allows viewers to identify the property more easily when arriving to view, it also lets local people know who may not be looking online the property has become available. We are happy to liaise with your current tenants arranging viewing appointments to ensure all parties are fully informed.
We find we are lucky in this area; finding a tenant is not usually difficult; but finding the right one is important! We know different landlords have different priorities and we like to know about them. All our viewings are accompanied. We always meet prospective tenants before putting their offer to you and if there is a choice of tenants, we will give you the facts and share our thoughts so you can make an informed decision. A proposed move in date will also be agreed at this point for all parties to work towards.
Since the Tenants Fees Act 2019, tenants can no longer be charged a referencing fee; however we can take a holding deposit equivalent to one weeks’ rent. This holding deposit can be held for 15 calendar days in order to complete tenant referencing, draft the tenancy agreement to be checked by all parties and then signed. This timeframe can be extended if all parties are in agreement due to an unforeseen delay.
We work with our complimentary team in Oxford, Thomas Merrifield Lettings, who undertakes this part of the process. References will include an employment reference, credit and identity check and current/previous landlord reference where applicable. We feel it is important to ensure your tenants are fully referenced.
This is a good point to start arranging any certificates applicable to your property that need to be obtained and look at any other requirements that may need to be fulfilled, such as cleaning or gardening.
The tenancy deposit is ‘capped’ at an amount equivalent to 5 weeks’ rent, for rents under £50,000 per year, 6 weeks rent for rents over £50,000 per year, with or without pets. Both letting service levels include the protection of the tenancy security deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
An inventory is an essential part of a tenancy. We suggest an inventory is prepared by an independent, professional inventory clerk. This report will be used to check the condition of the property and contents at the start and end of the tenancy. Without a good inventory it will prove very difficult to claim any damages or dilapidations from the deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Property management can be hard work – especially if you are working long hours or have a busy family life. Tenants will often demand a quick response to maintenance issues, with some tenants having a preference to renting a letting agent managed property. We can offer a ‘management’ service whereby we will look after the tenancy and property from start to finish, we will also ensure you and the property comply with the ever changing legislation surrounding letting. Our managing agent, Thomas Merrifield Lettings, can deal with everything from tenant enquires to out of hour calls from your tenant with urgent maintenance issues. Any routine maintenance or contractual issues such as your legally required annual gas safety certificate and utility transfers will also be dealt with. Regular property inspections will be carried out with a report on condition being forwarded to you. This service also includes rent collection with monthly statements and annual tax statement.
This is probably not on your mind at this stage, however when the time comes to your tenant vacating it is important a thorough check out inspection is completed. This will compare the property condition to the original inventory that was prepared at the outset of the tenancy. If you are on a managed service, we will arrange the check out report forwarding to you with our thoughts and then negotiating any dilapidations with your tenants on your behalf. Following the correct set-up procedures will naturally reduce the likelihood of a problem at this stage with the deposit. If a problem did arise which we were unable to resolve, any disagreement can be raised to dispute level with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).
Thomas Merrifield Lettings hold all client money, Flowers Estate Agents do not hold client money.
|Our services include||Let Only||Managed|
|Free market appraisal||√||√|
|Arranging an EPC*||√||√|
|Producing full property details including photography and floor plan||√||√|
|Advertising and marketing the property||√||√|
|Conducting viewings & negotiating offers and terms||√||√|
|Obtaining references through a referencing company||√||√|
|Arranging pre-tenancy maintenance and certificates as required*||√||√|
|Arrange an inventory and condition report*||Optional||√|
|Preparation of legal documentation e.g. tenancy agreement||√||√|
|Registration of deposit and associated administration||√||√|
|Post move in Transfer of utility accounts||√|
|Rent collection and accounting including account statements||√|
|Annual tax return statement||√|
|Chasing rent arrears||√|
|Payment of invoices from received rent||√|
|Compliance with the over seas landlord scheme||√|
|Regular inspections and reports*||√|
|Obtaining quotes for repairs where required||√|
|Attending to day-to-day maintenance and tenant enquiries||√|
|Advise on refurbishment and substantial repairs*||√|
|Inspection of completed works||√|
|Preparing and serving notices*||Optional||√|
|Tenancy renewals/end of tenancy|
|Negotiate a renewal agreement between landlord and tenant*||Optional||√|
|Review rent at renewal point*||Optional||√|
|Prepare renewal documents*||Optional||√|
|Comply with the requirements of the tenancy deposit scheme*||√||√|
|Arrange a checkout*||Optional||√|
|Transfer utility accounts||√|
|Re-market the property*||√||√|
|Negotiate the return of the deposit||√|
|Disperse the deposit with agreement from landlord and tenant||√||√|
|Confirm deposit return with the tenancy deposit scheme||√||√|
|Log a dispute with the tenancy deposit scheme for arbitration||√||√|
|*Fees may apply,please see further details below|