Landlord Process

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1Finding The Right Tenant(s)

Property Appraisal & Valuation
We offer an independent assessment of your property by one of our trained and experienced members of staff. This is free of charge and with absolutely no obligation. We will also offer advice on any other actions you need to take before you let the property including necessary repairs or refurbishments.

It’s important that you set a rent that is competitively priced, fair and achievable. Using our extensive knowledge of the local rental market, we will assess how much your property could fetch in the current climate. Our rental valuation will take into consideration the location, size, standard and condition of the property and whether it will be let furnished, part furnished or unfurnished.

During the assessment we will be happy to discuss the letting process with you and answer your questions. If you are a first time landlord you will have plenty of opportunity to find out more about what is involved in letting a residential property.

Effective Advertising & Marketing
We use all the major property websites including Rightmove and onthemarket.com. This gives your rental property the highest possible online exposure, whichever device your potential tenant uses. Once instructed, one of the first things we do is to match a property with our list of waiting tenants and send them your property particulars by email or alerts via SMS text message. High quality photography is fundamental to presenting your rental property in the best possible way. We take the time to capture the best picture of each room and show off its best features, ensuring every picture looks professional.

Securing The Most Suitable Tenant(s)
As a landlord, you will need peace of mind that the right tenants will be living in your property. All potential tenants are qualified by us before they apply to rent the property to ensure that they will be suitable. All property viewings are accompanied and conducted by a fully trained member of our team and we provide prompt and honest feedback.

We will keep you up-to-date on progress and will let you know as soon as someone applies to rent your property. We take up tenant references and credit checks on your behalf using a specialist referencing agency. This vetting process is a critical step in securing a reliable tenant for you.

Energy Performance Certificate
All properties for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before any marketing or viewings can take place. An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for ten years for rental properties. A copy of the EPC must be made available to tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement. If you do not have an EPC for your property, Montagues can arrange an inspection for you.

Gas Safety Certificate
Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, landlords have a legal obligation to make sure all gas pipework, appliances, fittings and flues are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. Every gas appliance and flue must be tested for gas safety every 12 months. A Gas Safety record must be provided to existing tenants within 28 days of the annual safety check, or to new tenants before they move in, and you must keep copies yourself for two years. All installation, maintenance and safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. We can arrange this for you.

Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety Regulations 2010
Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings supplied in a rented property must comply with current regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofabeds, pillows, cushions, seat pads and any garden furniture that may be used indoors. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. All non-compliant items must be removed before a tenant moves in. Bedding, carpets, curtains and any furniture made before 1950 are exempt.

Electrical Safety
Landlords are required to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when tenants move in and maintained in safe condition. Although not a legal requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every five years and arrange Portable Appliance Testing (PAT test) once a year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
New regulations introduced in October 2015 require landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their rental property and test them at the start of every tenancy. And to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system is installed.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
If you own a property and rent it out, your local council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection. Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas.

Consent to Let
If your property is mortgaged, you must obtain written consent to let from your mortgage lender. If it is leasehold, your lease may require written consent from your landlord before you can sub-let.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
If your property is let to at least three tenants who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities but are not from one household or family - sometimes called a “house share” - it is a House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO). Depending on the size of the property, the number of tenants and the area, you are likely to need an HMO licence from your local council plus an HHSRS inspection. We can advise you on this.

Buildings Insurance
Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. We advise our clients to also consider contents insurance and policies to cover rent guarantee and legal expenses.

2Moving Your Tenant(s) In

Tenancy Agreement
This is a legally binding agreement, setting out the rights and obligations of both Landlord and Tenant. Most residential property is let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for an initial fixed term of 6 or 12 months. We can advise on all options available to help you make an informed decision on areas of responsibility, conditions of tenancy, how and when the rent will be reviewed and notice terms. We will prepare all the paperwork and draw up a comprehensive legal document for signing. If we are fully managing your tenancy and rental property for you, then the tenancy agreement will include those activities we will be responsible for on your behalf.

Inventory / Schedule of Condition
All of the inventories produced for Montagues clients contain a full written description of the property, its contents and schedule of condition inside and out including the walls, flooring and all fixtures, fittings and furnishings provided with photographic evidence. This provides a crucial legal reference in case of any discrepancy or claim against a tenant’s deposit at the end of a tenancy.

Utilities & Council Tax
Usually, it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay utility bills and council tax. We can organise all meter readings and arrange the transfer of water rates, gas, electricity, telephone, TV licence and Council Tax accounts to the tenant.

Deposit Schemes
A deposit is paid by the tenant at the start of a tenancy to safeguard against damage. Since April 2007, all new Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be registered with a government backed tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme within 30 days of receipt of the deposit. If we are not providing our Fully Managed Letting Service to you, then you would need to register the deposit with a TDP scheme yourself. Landlords should be aware that there are significant penalties for falling to comply with deposit protection requirements.

Keys
You should provide at least one set of keys for each tenant. Where we will be managing the property for you, we will also require a full set which will be coded for security purposes. We can arrange to have duplicates cut.

3Day To Day Management

Collecting Rent
We collect rent monthly unless the Tenancy Agreement specifies otherwise. Occasionally, tenants may experience financial difficulties and our rent collection service includes chasing any late payments. We will notify you at the earliest opportunity of any rent arrears. We employ a reference agency to protect against loss of rental income. We pay the rent to landlords monthly by BACS (net of our fees and any disbursements, bills and income tax if appropriate) and provide monthly income and expenditure records.

Rental Income & Taxation
As a landlord, you are responsible for assessing your own tax for rent received. Below is some basic guidance on taxation matters relevant to landlords: however we would always recommend you seek independent financial advice from an accountant on tax matters.

  1. Income Tax
    Rental income is liable to tax, although a number of expenditure items can be offset against rental profit. You would also need to pay Class 2 National Insurance if the work you do counts as running a property business.
  2. Overseas Landlords
    Under the Non-resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme, your lettings agent will need to deduct tax from therental income and pay the tax directly to HM Revenue & Customs. If you choose not to use alettings agent to collect rent, then your tenant will be legally responsible for collecting and paying thetax to HMRC. Alternatively, landlords living overseas can apply for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted. Full details of the NRL Scheme are available from HMRC.

Inspections, Maintenance & Repairs
The practicalities of being a landlord can be very time-consuming. With our Fully Managed Letting Service we take care of all the day to day management and upkeep of your rental property so you don’t need to worry about it. We will carry out regular routine inspections - usually quarterly - at a mutually convenient time agreed with the tenant. This will involve visual inspections, assessing any wear and tear, and organising maintenance and compliance checks. If we identify any problems we will advise you and, depending on our agreement with you, we can arrange for repairs and any work to be done on the property and pay for this out of the rent received. We have a network of reliable and trustworthy contractors we can call on to deal with routine repairs or emergencies at very competitive rates.

Tenancy renewals, reviews and notices
We will handle all tenancy renewals, including rental reviews, for you. If you decide to increase the rent we will issue the relevant notice informing your tenants. If you wish to end a tenancy, we will serve notice to your tenants in line with all legal process and timing requirements and manage all the end of tenancy administration.

End of Tenancy Checks & Deposit Returns
At the end of a tenancy the landlord should ensure the property is in a good, clean condition before the tenant checks out, take back the keys and formally take possession of the property. Assuming there are no issues and all paper work is completed, utility companies notified and you have a forwarding address for the tenant, the landlord should return the tenant’s deposit. This is all included as part of our Fully Managed Letting Service.

4Our Two Services To Consider

Let Only Basis
We charge a one off finder’s fee of two and a half weeks rent equivalent + VAT.

What does this service include?
Advising on achievable market rent, devising the best suited marketing strategy and advertising the property through various portals and publications including Rightmove, Onthemarket and PropertyMart. Advice offered on refurbishments, guidance regarding compliance of statutory provisions and letting consents, arranging and accompanying all viewings, negotiation of offers received, advice on non-resident tax requirements (if applicable), arranging gas and electrical certificates and organising inventories. Full reference checks conducted, right to rent checks, KYC background checks, contracts raised and signed, collection and remittance of initial rent received, deduct any pre-tenancy costs, set-up of standing order for future rents.

Full Management Basis
We charge a one off finder’s fee the equivalent of one weeks rent + VAT then a further 10% + VAT per calendar month.

What does this service include?
*We pay for six months of rent guarantee insurance for all managed properties!*

Advising on achievable market rent, devising the best suited marketing strategy and advertising the property through various portals and publications including Rightmove, Onthemarket and PropertyMart. Advice offered on refurbishments, guidance regarding compliance of statutory provisions and letting consents, arranging and accompanying all viewings, negotiation of offers received, advice on non-resident tax requirements (if applicable), arranging gas and electrical certificates and organising inventories. Full reference checks conducted, right to rent checks, KYC background checks, contracts raised and signed, collection and remittance of initial rent received, deduct any pre-tenancy costs, set-up of standing order for future rents.

Once the tenant(s) has taken possession, we then regularly inspect the property and produce full reports, collect the rent, arrange routine repairs, organise pre and post tenancy cleans, instruct approved contractors; hold keys throughout the tenancy and we are the point of contact for your tenants (They will not be provided with your contact details).