Landlords

We take great pride in our residential lettings services and consultancy advice, informed by years of industry knowledge and an up to date understanding of how to predict current market trends. We help our landlords let property with ease. Not only do we help our landlords to find a tenant and manage their property, but we also help our landlords to understand and navigate current lettings legislation tailored to their exact requirements. We also keep one eye on the market horizon and we can inform our landlords of any upcoming changes that could impact them before they take effect and not after.

Homemaker Properties provide many services throughout the lettings process depending on our customers needs; from organizing inventories and arranging for properties to be cleaned pre-tenancy, right through to handling deposits once the tenancy has come to an end.

At the start of the tenancy, we liaise with utility suppliers and arrange repairs, maintenance works and safety reports on your behalf.

How we’ll help you to let your property

Homemaker Properties will do all we can to help you let your property smoothly, at the right price and to the right people. We can advise you on anything you need to do first, including repairs, your legal obligations, or how to make your property look its best in the photographs. We’ll put a ‘To Let’ board on, or beside, your property, feature it on our website and show it on the display panels in our office windows. We’ll add a full custom written description of every part of your property to numerous property search websites (Zoopla.co.uk etc) and we also have an up-to-date list of potential tenants and we’ll let those people know that you have a place to let.

Our letting services

You can choose from our two letting services:

  • Let only
  • Full management (including rent collection)

Your valuation

We always aim to give a realistic valuation based upon the current property market, rather than an inflated, or unrealistic, rental price. We try to be honest and realistic about every valuation we give.

Viewings and feedback

We’ll keep a set of keys so that you don’t need to be around for viewings. We keep these safely locked away when not needed and we always accompany people who view your property. We’ll arrange viewings for the days that work for you and your current tenants, whether on weekdays, evenings or at weekends. And we always give you feedback, together with suggestions to help you rent your place based on our experience, the feedback we receive and current market trends.

Commission

For let only properties our commission rate is £195.00.
For fully managed properties our rate is 8%.

Local services

We work with a number of reliable and competitive local services and can recommend a solicitor, builder, decorator, Gas Safe registered engineer, plumber or electrician and cleaners if needed.

Our let only service

If we arrange the let only we will:

  • Give you a free rental valuation and advise you on your obligations as a landlord.
  • Market your property and take people to view it.
  • Negotiate the best terms between you and your tenant.
  • Arrange for references and credit checks.
  • Agree the move date.
  • Draw up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This will contain statutory information although we can tailor the agreement to suit you and your tenant’s needs.
  • On the move in day we’ll make sure that we have received the first month’s rent and mutually agreeable bond as security deposit before we give the keys to your tenant. We’ll send you the deposit and first month’s rent, less our commission, within five working days, together with an accounts statement.
  • We’ll ask the tenant to complete a standing order with their bank for your monthly rental payments.

The following are your responsibility but we can help you with these, if needed:

  • A full inventory. We recommend this as it protects both you and the tenant if there’s any dispute at a later date.
  • Registering your tenant’s deposit with a government-backed deposit protection scheme.
  • Informing the local authority and utility providers about the new tenancy.
  • Once the tenancy has begun you’ll be your tenant’s contact for any repairs or maintenance. You’ll also be responsible for taking their rental payments. If you’d like us to do this on your behalf, then you can choose our full management service instead.

Our full management and rent collection service

This includes our let only service, plus, once the tenancy has begun, we’ll be your tenant’s first contact if they have any questions or problems. We’ll also do the following, free of charge:

  • Collect your tenant’s rent and pay it to you by bank transfer each month.
  • Register your tenant’s deposit with a government-backed deposit protection scheme.
  • Inform the local authority and utility providers about the new tenancy.
  • Keep a set of keys to the property.
  • Deal with any insurance claims, including rent default or accidental damage estimates.
  • Liaise with apartment block management companies on your behalf.
  • Carry out regular inspections throughout the tenancy and check the property when the tenant moves out.
  • Send you a monthly accounts statement showing your rent payments, our deducted commission and any deductions for the cost of repairs or servicing to the property

We’ll arrange for any repairs or annual servicing at the property. You’ll need to pay for these services, so we’ll do that on your behalf and deduct the cost from your rent payments after your approval. These services include:

  • A full inventory at the start of the tenancy.
  • Annual boiler services, gas safety certificates and electrical certificates.
  • General repairs, redecoration or cleaning.
  • We work with local builders, plumbers and electricians who are quick and reliable. All work is fully guaranteed by them and done at a reasonable cost. We’ll always ask you first before instructing any work, unless it’s an emergency, and we’ll respond to your tenant within 48 hours, giving you a no hassle let.

What you’ll need to do before letting your place

Before we can market and let your property there are a few things that you’ll need to do first.

Letting agreement

You’ll need to read and sign a letting agreement.

Photos and description

We’ll take photos and write a property description, which you’ll need to confirm as accurate and approve before we use.

Keys

You’ll need to give us a set of keys for the property so that we can take people to view it.

Let board

We’ll put a ‘To Let’ board on, or beside, your property. Please tell us if you don’t want this.

Utilities and council tax

You’ll need to let us know who your local authority is and who provides the property’s gas, water and electricity, so that we can give them the tenant’s details for billing.

Making your property safe for your tenants

As a landlord you’re responsible for your tenant’s safety in relation to gas, electric and fire. Here’s some general guidance:

Gas Safety

By law you must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition.
  • Make sure that a gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance and flue that you have provided in the property, and that a gas safety check is carried out annually.
  • Keep a record of each gas safety check.
  • We can arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out the safety check on your behalf, if needed. The Gas Safe Register (www.gassaferegister.co.uk) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE.gov.uk) websites have more information.

If you have British Gas Homecare cover, please let us know.

Electrical safety

You must make sure that:

  • The electrical system in the property (e.g. sockets and light fittings) is safe
  • All appliances you provide in the property (e.g. cookers, kettles) are safe
  • Landlords are not required by law to provide an electrical safety certificate. But, you could be held liable if any electrical fittings or appliances within your property cause harm to a tenant. We can arrange electrical system and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), if needed.

Fire safety

You must:

  • Follow fire safety regulations. For example, by checking that your tenants have access to escape routes at all times
  • Make sure that all furniture and furnishings you provide in the property are fire safe
  • Provide fire alarms and extinguishers (depending on the size of the property)
  • Under The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, any furniture you supply should come with a fire safety tag. Visit www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/1324 for more information.

We strongly recommend that you install smoke alarms in the property.

Tenancy deposit protection

Agents and landlords must protect their tenant’s deposit using a government-backed deposit protection scheme, regardless of who holds the money. The deposit must be registered within 30 days of receiving it and the tenant must be told, in writing, where the deposit is held.

When we fully manage the property on your behalf, we’ll arrange the deposit protection. If you choose our let only service, then you’re responsible for doing this. You may have to pay a charge depending on the scheme that you choose to use. We can give you details of government-backed schemes. And the GOV.UK website has more information on tenancy deposit protection.

Inventory and check out

Most of the time, tenants leave properties in good order. But, we recommend taking a full inventory, as it protects you and your tenant if there’s any dispute later. A thorough inventory will detail the condition of the property and its furnishings, and list all contents.

It’s important that the same company carries out the initial inventory as well as checking the property when the tenant leaves. We use a registered inventory company who’ll write a full report, including photos, which must be signed by you and the tenant. If we fully manage the property we’ll arrange this. If we arrange the let only you’ll need to organise this, or we can arrange it on your behalf, if needed.

Energy Performance Certificate

By law, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you can market your property for rent. And we must show this certificate to potential tenants before they view your property. An EPC is valid for 10 years and gives:

  • Information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
  • Recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
  • The property’s energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient)

To get an EPC, you’ll need to use an accredited assessor. We can do this on your behalf at a cost of £60. You can read more about Energy Performance Certificates on the GOV.UK website.

Non-resident landlords

If we take your UK rental payment on your behalf, we’re required to deduct tax from it and pay this directly to HM Revenue & Customs, unless you have an exemption certificate under the Non-resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme.

The NRL Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of people whose ‘usual place of abode’ is outside the UK. If you normally live outside of the UK you can apply for an exemption by completing an NRL1 form. Please tell us if you have an exemption certificate. You can find more information, including the NRL1 form, at www.hmrc.gov.uk/nonresidents.

Other things to consider when renting out a property

Potential tenants will want to be able to imagine themselves in your property and it’s harder for them to do that if it’s untidy or needs cleaning. Where possible, we recommend that you make the property clean and tidy before we take the photos.

You may want to fix anything that’s broken, such as a door that sticks, or give a fresh lick of paint to any walls that have become marked.

Doing these things may not increase the rental value of your property, but will help to make it look its best for potential tenants.

Any questions?

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.