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Landlords Guide

Prospect Residential offer a wide range of services for Landlords, tailored to suit individual requirements.
We will give you an accurate market appraisal, based on current market conditions and advise you of any recommendations that may help you maximize the value.

MARKETING, FINDING A TENANT & THE TENANCY PROCESS;

MARKETING
On instruction, all properties are immediately placed onto our company website and the property portals, including Rightmove.co.uk and Zoopla.co.uk, which happen to be the two largest portals.
In addition to this we advertise in our own monthly e-magazine and seek coverage in other publications and media.
We contact all suitable prospective tenants on our database; and also mail out property particulars to relocation agents and HR departments of large companies that take out ‘company lets’.
"To let'' boards generate a great deal of interest from prospective tenants, therefore when possible we will also aim to erect a board.

KEYS
We will hold a set of keys to the property and ensure that all viewings are accompanied by our staff. Keys are encoded using a secure tag system in order to make them unidentifiable to outside parties.

NEGOTIATIONS
As soon as a suitable applicant has expressed an interest in taking the property, we will contact you with their details and, if you are happy, we will negotiate all the essential terms and conditions for inclusion in the Tenancy Agreement.

REFERENCES
Prospect Residential will arrange an independent credit check on the proposed tenant.

TENANCY AGREEMENT
We will prepare the Tenancy Agreement for the Tenancy, using the appropriate agreement meeting the current housing g legislation.

INITIAL MONIES
The first month's rent and deposit will be collected by Prospect Residential prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
Prospect Residential ask tenants that all future rental payments are made by standing order, as outlined in the tenancy agreement, they will be provided with a standing order mandate to complete.

DEPOSIT
Normally the equivalent of six weeks' rent is taken as a deposit, unless otherwise agreed, or except where a letter of guarantee is acceptable.
Legislation requires that the deposits of all Tenants who have an Assured Shorthold Tenancy are registered with a Tenancy Deposit Scheme, and that the Tenant is advised of this, within 30 days of receipt.
Currently Prospect Residential register all deposits under the custodial scheme for further details please refer to http://www.depositprotection.com/about
If a Landlord wishes to hold a deposit themselves they will need to make their own arrangements for registration with a tenancy deposit scheme. Prospect Residential should be provided with details of the chosen scheme so that we can incorporate the necessary details into the Tenancy Agreement. You should be aware that there are serious implications for failing to register a deposit with one of the authorised schemes.

INVENTORY
We use reliable, independent inventory clerks who are known to us, and we strongly advise that an inventory be prepared and that this is checked at the beginning and end of each tenancy. Without an independent report it can be difficult to charge an outgoing tenant for any dilapidations. Inventory Clerks also read and report meter readings.
The cost of inventory preparation and check -in varies depending on the size and contents of the property.
Prospect Residential cannot accept liability for any error or omission on their part.
It is usual for the cost of preparing the inventory and the "check in" report to be paid by the Landlord and for the Tenant to pay for the preparation of a "check out" report and the cost of this can, if necessary, be deducted from the tenant’s deposit.
We cannot accept any responsibility should the Landlord prefer to carry out their own inventory formalities.

CLEANING

Many tenants request that the property is professionally cleaned prior to the commencement of the tenancy and we also recommend this as agency. It is common practice for the landlord to pay for the cost of having the property professionally cleaned and the cost is borne by the tenants to have the property cleaned at the end of their tenancy. The inventory will reflect the cleanliness of the property and this will also be noted in the tenancy agreement. The cost of such is dependent on size and cleanliness prior to the cleaning.

UTILITIES
We will advise the local authority when Tenants move in but we cannot open or close utility accounts on behalf of occupiers, many of the suppliers do not accept instructions from third parties.

AT THE END OF THE TENANCY
We will contact the Landlord at least two month prior to the end of the Tenancy to enquire what their intentions are. If possession is required we will serve the appropriate notice. If the Landlord is happy for the tenancy to continue we will negotiate the terms with the Tenant. Once an agreement has been reached we will prepare the renewal paperwork.
You should bear in mind that if the Tenant remains in the property without a formal Agreement the tenants have to give their Landlord a rent's period notice (normally one month) when they wish to go.
However, most Tenancies require the Landlord to give the Tenant two months' written notice to terminate the Tenancy. We cannot accept any liability should any documentation prepared by us not be returned to our offices by either party.
If the Tenant chooses not to continue the tenancy we will commence with remarketing the property, in the hoping of securing a replacement Tenant immediately.

NOTICE PERIODS
In the event that a break clause is included in the tenancy, allowing the Landlords and/or Tenants to terminate the Tenancy before the fixed term, a two-month notice period will usually be required.
If this happens, we are able to re-market the property during this period and, having re-let the property, commission on the new tenancy will be adjusted on a pro rata basis to ensure that you are not paying fees twice for the same period.
However if you give notice to your tenants, and we are not given the opportunity to re-let the property, fees are not refundable.

OUR DIFFERET SERVICES;

RENT COLLECTION
If we are instructed to collect rent on behalf of a Landlord we do so in accordance with the terms of the Tenancy Agreement; deduct any monies due to Prospect Residential &/or contractors and pay the balance by bank transfer to the Landlords account.
Each time a payment is made you will receive a statements detailing all income and expenditure.
In the unlikely event that the rent remains unpaid 14 days after it is due, we will undertake to notify the Landlord and offer advice regarding legal proceedings for the recovery of the rent and repossession of the Property, where appropriate. It is a legal requirement that tenants need to be two months in arrears before you are able to serve notice.

MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Prospect Residential offer a comprehensive management service. All Tenants need a point of contact to resolve problems and arrange repairs, and Landlords need to know that their property is being looked after. We offer a bespoke service, tailored to the Landlords requirements.

WHATS INCLUDED IN OUR MANAGEMENT SERVICE;

PAYMENT OF OUTGOINGS
We can pay regular outgoings such as service charge/maintenance charge or similar contribution to shared expenses.
Although we will do our best to query any obvious discrepancies, it must be understood that we are entitled to accept and pay without questioning demands and accounts, which appear to be correct. In particular, we cannot accept responsibility for the adequacy of insurance cover, or for the verification of service/maintenance charge demands.

REPAIRS &REPLACEMENTS
We will deal with day-to-day repairs and maintenance. Whenever it is possible we obtain estimates and seek your approval, before the work is carried out, unless the cost is under the retention/float, which is usually £300, in which case we will proceed with the works. In emergencies and when we consider it necessary, we act to protect your interests, if necessary without consultation regardless of the cost.
As a Landlord, you are obliged, under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, to ensure that all necessary repairs are carried out and we do that on your behalf. Should we not have your permission to act, and work is necessary, with the result that the Tenant withholds all or part of his rent, we reserve the right to instruct contractors at our discretion and to deduct the costs incurred from rents received. This should only become necessary if all efforts to contact you over a 48 hour period have been unsuccessful.

REGULAR INSPECTIONS
We make regular inspections (usually five monthly) of all managed properties, after the inspection the Landlord will receive a written report, with photographs, of our findings.
These inspections are only a superficial examination, and whilst we will investigate any defect observed, or reported by the tenant, they are not intended to be as thorough as an inventory check or structural survey. We cannot be held responsible for any maintenance problems if or when tenants refuse us access to the property.

BEFORE AND BETWEEN TENANCIES
If required, we can arrange for professional cleaning of the property after Tenants have vacated, and we can also arrange and supervise any repairs or replacements which are found to be necessary between tenancies. We strongly recommend that a professional clean be done before a Tenancy starts because cleaning standards vary greatly. This will ensure that the Tenant is responsible for leaving the property to the same standard at the end of the Tenancy.

POST FORWARDING
We will forward to any address in the UK, post which is addressed to you, when it reaches our offices. However, we strongly recommend that you make arrangements to have post forwarded by the Post Office. Any post forwarded by

INFORMATION
We ask all Landlords to complete a Property Information Form, providing all the information that we will require in order to look after a property.

KEYS
When we managing a property we require enough keys to be able to provide each individual named Tenant with a set o keys, and a set to be retained by Prospect Residential for the duration of the Tenancy for management purposes.
If Tenants require any additional sets of keys, they can have copies made at their own cost.

FLOAT/RETENTION
We retain a float of £300 when rent is paid monthly or £500 when rent is paid quarterly or biannually to cover any routine outgoings and any repairs or maintenance that might be needed. Where works are likely to exceed the monthly rental, we will ask you to send us extra monies which may be required to settle invoices from contractors before the work starts.

ENDING THE MANAGEMENT SERVICE
Our management service is subject to three months' notice to terminate by either party

OTHER SERVICES;

VOID MANAGEMENT
Our management team can make regular visits to the property at agreed intervals to give you peace of mind while the property is empty, between tenancies, or on the market. The visits normally consist of a walk through to ensure that there are no emergency maintenance problems, and to ensure that during the cold winter months the heating system is turned on low to avoid freezing, and subsequent bursting of pipes.
The cost of this depends on the size of the property, the number of visits required and the level of service needed. Quotes available on request.

REFURBISHING
Prospect Residential are able to offer a comprehensive refurbishment service, from the installation of new kitchens and bathrooms, to redecoration, soft furnishings and carpets.
We are able to obtain various quotes, and submit these to the Landlord for their consideration.

GENERAL INFORMATION;

TENANCY AGREEMENTS
Prospect Residential use comprehensive Tenancy Agreements, which have been approved b y ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agencies) and the Office of Fair Trading, and have been drawn up specifically to cover the present day legislation and protect the Landlord's interests. The charge for Prospect Residential for the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement is £100 to the Landlord.
Whilst these Tenancy Agreements cannot be tailored to meet individual needs, we can add individual clauses.
However, we cannot amend or remove clauses that are included in the main body of the Tenancy Agreement, and we recommend that the Landlord seeks his own legal advice in this respect.
We can take no responsibility in relation to its use in any particular case, and the Landlord must rely entirely on their own legal advice in this connection. A Landlord may of course use their own Tenancy Agreement. If they chose to do so an administration charge of £50 per hour for any amendments/negotiations that we undertake will be applicable.

ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY AGREEMENTS
The most common form of Tenancy Agreement used is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement under the 1988
Housing Act (amended 1996). This offers flexibility to both Landlords and Tenants, and has straightforward notice procedures for bringing the tenancy to an end.

CONTRACT OF LAW TENANCY AGREEMENT
Where the tenant is a registered company, or where the Landlord also lives in the same Property as the Tenant, or where the annual rent is over £150,000 a Contract of Law tenancy agreement will be appropriate. This is a "contractual'' agreement falling outside the Housing Acts.

RENEWAL OR EXTENSION OF TENANCIES
When we prepare documentation for the renewal of a Tenancy, we make a charge of £50 to both Tenant and Landlord.

PREMIUM LEASE
Should a Premium lease be required, or a Tenant pays the whole rent in advance, our fees are payable in full at the outset of the Tenancy

NOTICES
There is an administrative charge of £50 to serve any of the notices below:
Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988
Where there is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, Landlords are required to serve 2 months notice, a "Section
21'' notice, on their Tenants before the end of the Tenancy. Only once this notice has expired are Landlords legally entitled to initiate proceedings to obtain possession of their property in the unlikely event that their Tenants do not leave as expected.
We recommend that this notice is served as a matter of course 2 months before the expected end of each tenancy.
Where we manage the Property, we can serve the appropriate notice on the tenants, without any additional charge.
Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988
Where a Landlord wishes to take possession from an assured (or assured shorthold) tenant before the fixed term has come to an end (e.g. due to default by non-payment of rent), they must serve notice of their intention to seek possession before possession proceedings can be commenced.
Section 13 of the Housing Act 1988
This notice must be served on the tenants should the Landlord wish to implement a rent increase. If there is a fixed term Tenancy, i.e. a start date, an end date, and a rental figure named on the Tenancy Agreement, the rental cannot be increased during this period.
If the fixed term has lapsed, no renewal documents have been prepared to formally extend the Tenancy Agreement, and the tenancy has continued, it becomes a Statutory Periodic Tenancy. In this instance the Section 13 notice can be served. The Tenant has one rent period (usually one month) to object to this, by making an application to the Rent Assessment Committee who will examine all the facts.

INSURANCE
A Landlord should take care to review any existing policy they may have in place prior to letting out their Property, as some policies may not cover, or have restrictions for, rented properties.
We advise the Landlord to have buildings insurance cover that includes fixtures and fittings, and an appropriate insurance policy that covers the Landlord contents including furniture and furnishings. Such cover will not be the responsibility of the Agents or the Tenant. Tenants are responsible, however, for insuring their own personal belongings.

CONSENT TO LET
Permission is usually required by any mortgage provider to sub-let the property, and it is essential that the Landlord obtains this permission in principle, before a tenant is found. Mortgage companies usually charge a small fee for issuing the letter of authority to sub-let. Failure to inform the mortgage company can have very serious consequences. Where there is a mortgage in place, the Landlord must provide us with a copy of the mortgage consent.
We will not be liable for any action taken in respect of non-payment of the Landlord's mortgage or failure to obtain the necessary consents.
Where the property is leasehold, the lease may require the Landlord to obtain consent from his superior Landlord in writing, prior to subletting the property.

PROOF OF OWNERSHIP
Prior to letting the property we will require a copy of the Deeds of the property by way of proof of ownership.

CHANGE OF OWNERSHIP
In the event that the Property is sold or passed on with the benefit of a Tenant introduced by us, where our Terms and Conditions of Business are not signed by the new owner, we will look to the original Landlord for payment/settlement of our fees due for the entire term of the Tenancy.

THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY TO THE TENANT
In the event of a party introduced by us (or any person body or corporate associated with that party) subsequently purchasing the property, whether before or after entering into a tenancy agreement, commission shall be payable to us on completion of the sale at the rate of 1% of the sale price exclusive of VAT.
Fees are due for payment on exchange of contracts but deferred until completion. The Landlord will give his irrevocable authority to the solicitors appointed at the time of the sale, to pay out of the proceeds of the sale our agreed charges on the day of completion, and any interest will be charged above Barclay's Bank base rate if the account remains unpaid for more than ten days after completion.

 

ACCOUNTANTS
We can forward an extra copy of all statements to the Landlord's accountant or financial advisor for a charge of £5 per copy.

NON-RESIDENT LANDLORDS
Overseas Landlords should complete an NRL1 Form (application to receive UK rental income with no tax deducted) before the start of the tenancy. This can be sent to us to forward to the Inland Revenue FICO.
We, as agents, will not need to deduct tax from the payments if the Inland Revenue have informed us that the Landlord has been approved to receive rental without any tax deduction. However, if this approval is not received by us, we have to deduct tax at the basic rate (20% of the net rental) on receipt of rent.
In this respect we must retain and pay to the Inland Revenue the sum deducted until the Landlord's tax liability has been agreed with the Inland Revenue. We will then forward a certificate informing the Landlord of the amount of tax paid to the Inland Revenue at the end of the financial year.
When a Landlord is considered non-resident for tax purposes and is not in possession of an exemption from the Inland Revenue, Prospect Residential have a duty to deduct tax. A charge of £75 will be made for the work carried out in submitting quarterly & annual returns, and final certificates.
As agents we are not qualified to reconcile the Landlord's accounts at the end of each tax year, and we are not qualified to advise him of his tax situation. Further information may be found on the HM Revenue & Customs website:
www.hmrc.gov.uk

LANDLORD’S RESPONSIBILITIES
It is a Landlord's duty to advise his letting agents of all relevant information concerning the property, including and not limiting in any way the obligation to inform, the existence of any enforcement notice, or covenant, or restriction affecting the use of the property, and supply proof of ownership. Prospect Residential accept no liability if we do not receive this information.
The Landlord warrants that he will promptly pay all ground rent, service charges, insurance premiums, and mortgage payments concerning the property, and any hire purchase, or similar payments concerning the contents of the Property.
It is the Landlord's duty to advise Prospect Residential if they intends to appoint, another agent in respect of the property. The Landlord must make adequate alternative arrangements with someone based in the UK, and advise the Tenants accordingly.

UNPAID INVOICES
Any outstanding invoices are payable on receipt. In the event of non-payment within thirty days of issue, we retains the right to charge interest on the amount outstanding at a rate of 5% above the base rate of Barclays Bank plc.
It should be noted that we will be unable to carry out any further work for the Landlord, on any matter, until the outstanding amount has been paid.

TELEPHONE/UTILITY SUPPLIERS
We accept no liability should the tenant(s) change the telephone number and/ or the utility supplier at the Property during the term of the tenancy.
Before Tenants move in, we ask Landlords to give details of the utility suppliers to the property, and we forward these to the Tenant. It should be noted that we do not accept any responsibility in respect of the utilities being transferred.

APPLIANCES
AII appliances, including central heating and boilers, should be checked and serviced prior to the Tenant occupying the property.
Operating manuals and guarantee cards should be provided by the landlord. It is also helpful to compile a file for the tenants providing any useful information the Landlord may have concerning the area, i.e. refuse collection etc.

GARDENS
Gardens should be left tidy and in good condition. If the Tenant is expected to maintain the garden, the appropriate equipment should be provided whether the house is considered furnished, or unfinished. Landlords should note however, that heavy pruning of foliage/creepers from the facade of the property, or removal of trees, is their responsibility.