Information for Landlords
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Landlords Information Guide
In order for Isca Bay to achieve a good working relationship with our Landlords and Tenants, we take the time to listen and understand both the needs and worries when renting your home or letting your property.
A Landlord’s ambition when letting a property is to achieve the best rental possible for as great a proportion of the year as is feasible. Not only this but they must have the reassurance that the tenant is suitable for their property. Here at Isca Bay, our aim is not just to find tenants for properties but to find the right tenant for the right property.
What to do
Our initial Market Appraisal of your property (properties) and advice on the letting market is unbiased, without obligation and free of charge.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
This is a frequently asked question to which there is no right or wrong answer, but in the main unfurnished is preferred by most Tenants.
The property should be cleaned to a professional standard throughout, including carpets and curtains in all rooms and any white goods which are to be left in the property.
In most properties a cooker should be provided and in any property where there are no outdoor drying areas or indoor ventilated drying facilities, then a washer/dryer should be provided. This avoids future problems with condensation and mould.
A fully furnished property should be ready for immediate occupation so that the tenant can just move in and put the kettle on. A full list of items which should be included is available on request.
It is important that furnishings, fittings and décor should be of suitable quality and in keeping with the style of the property. This will make the property more appealing to prospective tenants, improve your prospects of achieving optimum rental value, avoid continual maintenance and repair of low quality items and, we find, encourages tenants to respect the property as if it were their own.
There are certain safety requirements that must be adhered to when letting a property; some of these need to be addressed prior to marketing, so it is important you ask for clarification. This can be provided on request.
Energy Performance Certificate
A definite must! As from 1st October 2008 legislation requires us to have available an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before a property can be marketed. The EPC is valued for ten years and will rate a property’s energy performance and make recommendations about how to improve the energy of the property. We can arrange for our Domestic Energy Assessor to provide an EPC for you if required. Please note that from 2018 certain restrictions will apply to the letting of E & F grade properties and from 2020 it will not be possible to let these properties unless an Exemption Certificate has been issued.
Marketing your Property
During your Market Appraisal we will discuss with you how your property will be marketed. We will give your property as much coverage as possible i.e. on our website, facebook and Property Press. It is important that we obtain the right tenant for the right property (a bit like selling a house!).
Once we have found a suitable tenant that has passed the reference stage and you have approved them, we can then go through the process of drawing up a Tenancy Agreement which is signed by both parties.
When referencing, we use a professional Credit Company. If the Credit Company returns a favourable reference for the Tenant we can then proceed. However, on some occasions for whatever the reason, a favourable reference is not returned and then the decision as to whether or not you wish to proceed is very much up to the Landlord. A good reference not being received can be for a relatively simple reason which can often be overcome by the use of a Rent Guarantor for the Tenant (again this is up to the Landlord as to whether he/she would want to use this route).
The Tenancy Agreement
The Agreement will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and is a legally binding document once it has been signed by both parties. Should you raise a query over this Agreement, please do not hesitate to contact us and we shall be more than happy to try and answer your question.
Just before a tenancy commences a detailed Inventory will be taken of the property. This will show what is within the property and it’s condition, together with the state of cleanliness and any repairs which might need to be undertaken. This is useful for mid-term inspections (when an inspection is carried out half way through a tenancy agreement). This will enable the Agent to see that the property is being well maintained or whether there is something within the property that might need attention or a little wear and tear that the Landlord needs to be made aware of (i.e. perhaps a window which is sticking or a tap which might need replacing in the future). The Inventory will also be checked when the Tenant is finishing the Tenancy Agreement and if all is well, then the deposit can be released once the Agent confirms the property is in a good condition and all is well within.
Initial month’s rent and deposit
The tenant will pay this before the beginning of the tenancy. If it is mutually agreed that for a request by the Tenant. Under the Tenant Fee Act, the deposit will be a maximum of 5 weeks rent (rent x 12 divided by 52 x 5) and Isca Bay will log this with TDS (Custodial) Scheme. This means that at the end of the tenancy, agreement must be reached between the Landlord and Tenant or whether anything has to be held back from the deposit for damages, breakages, etc. A check-out report, checked against the inventory is very important in this case and has to be made at the end of each tenancy.
Once a tenancy has finished Isca Bay will notify the appropriate Utility Companies of the meter readings and any forwarding address of the tenant.
What we require from our Landlords
Legally, we require:-
• Consent from the Lender, if appropriate to let the property
• Consent from the Freeholder, if appropriate to let the property
• A current EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) – 10 year life span
• A current and valid Gas Certificate *An up-to-date satisfactory Electrical Report (with a 5 year life span) • Working smoke alarms, correctly placed (preferably hard wired) on all habitable levels
• Working carbon monoxide detectors, correctly placed if required by Law
What we do ask is if you could please ensure that your property is insured for buildings and contents (especially if letting as furnished). We have recommended to the Tenants that they take out their own insurance for their own contents, but you should keep a contents insurance for any items you might be leaving.
Please notify us of any change of email address or phone numbers.
Click here http://www.iscabay.com/scale-of-fees-landlordsto view the scale of fees for landlords.