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Landlord Information

If you are thinking about letting your property, feel free to call us and we can arrange a meeting at our offices in Andover.

Before a property can be let, there are several matters which you will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that you comply with the law.

If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us. Below are a few points you may need to consider.

Mortgage

If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee's written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.

Leaseholds

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.

Insurance

You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies.

We recommend you have rent arrears and legal expenses insurance – We can arrange this for you with FCC Paragon. Please ask us for more information.

Council Tax

Council Tax is the responsibility of the occupier. We will inform your local Council office that you are leaving the property. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner. When unoccupied but furnished, the charge is 50% of the normal rate. When unoccupied and 'substantially' unfurnished, there is no charge for the first six months, and thereafter a charge of 50% of the normal rate.

The Inventory

It is extremely important that a schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete service to the landlord, we will arrange for a member of staff to prepare a detailed schedule of condition.

Income Tax

When the landlord is a resident in the UK, it is entirely their responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. If you intend to reside overseas, we recommend that you contact the Inland Revenue for further details.

Important Safety Regulations

The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as agents. To protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations at the owner's expense.

Gas Appliances & Equipment

Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (i.e. Gas Safe).

Maintenance: There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.

Records: Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.

Copies to tenants: A copy of the safety certificate must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.

Electrical Appliances & Equipment

There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no specific legal requirement for a qualified electrician to carry out an inspection and issue a safety certificate (as exists in the case of gas appliances), it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.

General Product Safety

The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as heating boilers for the tenant.

Preparing the Property for Letting

We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Manager the relationship part is our job, but it is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. This is your job. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenant applicants too, and we are pleased to recommend properties to rent which conform to certain minimum standards. Quality properties attract quality tenants.

General Condition

Electrical, gas, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.

Appliances

Similarly, appliances such as fridge freezers, cookers, dishwashers etc. should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.

Decorations

Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral. We also offer a decorating service.

Furnishings

It is recommended that you leave only minimum furnishings, and these should be of reasonable quality. If you are letting unfurnished, we recommend that the property contains carpets.

Personal Items, Ornaments etc

Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises. We recommend you do not store items in the loft, if you do request to do this it's at your own risk.

Gardens

Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, however, few tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish for us to arrange maintenance visits by our regular gardener.

Cleaning

At the commencement of a tenancy, the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant's responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will arranged at their expense.

Mail Forwarding

We recommend that you make use of the Post Office's re-direction service. Application forms are available at their counters, and the cost is minimal. It is not the tenant's responsibility to forward mail.

Information for the tenant

It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant on operating the central heating and hot water system, and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.

Keys

You will need to provide one set of keys for each tenant and one set for Swattons.