Managing property is not always easy. You should always expect the unexpected and we’ve seen it all so are well equipped to deal with any situation that may arise.
We’ve won awards at the highest level for our Property Management offering, positioning us as a company you can trust to take care of your biggest assets. Here’s how we do it:
Our tenants pay us on a monthly basis, paying the first months’ rent on the day they move in and monthly thereafter on the tenancy anniversary date. This is paid in to our audited and protected client bank account to begin processing before it is paid out the you, the Landlord. We offer a choice of payment options to Landlords – for the Landlord of a sole property we will pay out within a maximum of six working days into your account, or if you have multiple properties we can make just one payment per month encompassing all of your properties – the choice is yours!
When we pay your rent, we will send you a statement breakdown by either post or email (depending on your preferences) and this will be accompanied by a management report detailing all activity on your property in the last rental period. You can download a sample of the Landlord Statement and Management Reports at our Landlord Resources page.
You can further protect your rental income by opting into ‘Rent Guarantee Insurance’ when your tenant moves into the property. If the tenant is unable to pay the rent due to illness, redundancy or any other reason, this insurance will ‘kick in’ and pay all rent due to you that the tenant has failed to pay. Further to this, it will also pay any solicitor’s costs and court fees due in going through the eviction process to gain back possession of the property.
Generally the most difficult aspect of managing property is maintenance and repairs. As a Landlord you have certain obligations to your tenant, such as to ensure any gas appliances are tested on an annual basis, to always provide heating and hot water facilities, supply carbon monoxide detectors amongst many others.
We are the only agent in the area to utilise our own sister maintenance company, REBI Construction, to take care of all repairs, maintenance and improvements in our managed houses. With REBI, we can take care of the smallest problems such as minor leaks, to all gas and electrical work and even to the lengths of full house refurbishments including redecoration, replacement flooring and new kitchens and bathrooms. You can view a full list of REBI’s services by clicking here.
Under the Housing Act 2004, there is a requirement to enter all deposits taken from a tenant in respect of a rental property into a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We cover this for you under our service, electing to protect with my|deposits. Under this scheme we retain the deposit in our client bank account for the duration of the tenancy, and protect with this insurance backed scheme. We prefer this method to the custodial method as generally deposits are returned quicker, and disputes resolved much quicker as we hold control over the situation. In the event we are unable to resolve in-house, the dispute is assigned to an Independent Adjudicator who will make a decision.
The Inventory/Initial Inspection
Before the tenant moves into your property, it is imperative with modern day deposit regulations that a full report on the condition of the property is compiled. We list every fixture and fitting in the property, from skirting boards to light switches and floors to ceilings and covings. In the event of a deposit dispute at the end of the tenancy, concrete evidence is required on the condition of the disputed items prior to the tenancy, and the condition at the end of the tenancy. Our inventory reports also contain a large number of photos – on a typical 3 bedroom house we normally take around 150 photos for the report. We also take meter readings in order to notify the relevant suppliers of the change of occupier. You can view an example report from one of our managed houses at our Landlord Resources page.
Inspecting the Property
It is important after a tenant has taken occupation to then keep regular contact with the tenant and ensure everything at the property is functioning correctly, and as importantly that the tenant is maintaining the property well and not causing any damage. To this end, we inspect all managed properties every three months, taking photographs of each room and sending a report to you on the property. We also test smoke alarms on each inspection, and check outside factors such as the condition of fences, fascias/guttering and also roof tiles for any signs of damage/deterioration. You can download a sample of our mid term inspections at our Landlord Resources page.
The Check Out
When the tenants move out we attend the property to complete a ‘Check Out’ report. This compares the property against the inventory report we took when the tenants moved in, noting any damages and again embedding photographs in, as this report will prove a vital piece of evidence should any deposit disputes arise. We take closing meter readings so we can again inform the relevant utility companies of the change of occupant. We also close off the main services by switching off the electricity and gas at the mains and the water at the stopcock, to prevent any unnecessary bills being created whilst the property is vacant. We leave services on during the winter and put the heating on a low temperature to prevent frozen/burst pipes. A sample check out report can be found at our Landlord Resources page.
Landlord Tax Obligations
As a Landlord, you have an obligation to declare all income you receive to HM Revenue and Customs. We can provide you at the end of the financial year with a financial summary free of charge to aid you in completing your self assessment tax return. As agents, we are not allowed to advise on tax, so we recommend that you seek the help of a professional accountant with your tax return. We have a partner tax division, which can be accessed by clicking here.