Our step-by-step guide to letting a property
Letting your house or flat need not be a complicated process, and Parkheath can offer you solid, professional advice based on many years of experience in the business. As a premier letting agency we are known for our meticulous care and attention to detail.
This guide will help you achieve the best rental income for your property, and in addition outlines the property management options available to landlords seeking this service. We look forward to helping you.
Valuing your property
The first step to letting your home is to either contact or visit your local office to make an appointment for a free valuation with one of our experienced members of staff.
Alternatively, you can request a valuation by filling in our simple online form. As soon as we receive the form, one of our experienced members of staff will contact you to arrange an appointment.
At Parkheath we believe that it is only through valuing a property accurately that we can achieve the best market price for your property.
If you have obtained several valuations on your property, it is advisable to ask the agents for details of other properties which they have recently let, in order to substantiate the higher valuations. This will help you to verify that the agent is being realistic and not giving false hope in order to obtain your marketing instructions.
As soon as we have received confirmation of your instructions to market your property with us, your property will be uploaded to our website along with colour photographs, location maps and a printable colour brochure. All our prospective tenants will be alerted to your property via telephone, text and email contact. Further to this, the photographs are then used in our extensive marketing activities which include your property being featured in our office window, on various internet property portals, in mail drops and in local weekly and monthly publications.
Your local office will discuss with you the best campaign of advertising for your property to ensure maximum exposure to enable us to achieve the best price in the shortest time.
There are a number of regulations that govern the letting of residential property. As a Landlord, you have an obligation to ensure that your property complies with all the necessary regulations covering gas appliances, electrical installations and any furnishings supplied for the Tenancy.
It is a legal requirement to provide the tenant and letting agent with a valid Landlord’s gas certificate every 12 months and we strongly recommend that you opt for the dual certificate which covers gas and electrical appliances. We can arrange either of these on your behalf.
Our policy is to accompany all viewings. Having access to your property at short notice is important in order that we can show your property to prospective tenants as soon as they contact us with an interest in viewing your property; a set of door keys and/or contact details for the current occupier/s is essential.
Preparing your Property
The preparation that you put into your property in order for it to be ready for rental can make all the difference to how long the property is on the market, as the condition of a property is one of the main factors potential tenants will be considering. A well presented property will rent more easily, and it is best to ensure that it is put on the market in a good decorative state.
If you currently have tenants in the property, it is not possible for you to ensure that they keep the place tidy for viewings, so our lettings negotiators will explain this to prospective tenants before they carry out the viewing.
We recommend that the property is professionally cleaned. If the property is professionally cleaned at the outset of the Tenancy, then the tenant is obliged to pay for this service at the end of the Tenancy, so it is strongly advised that you arrange for this to be carried out. Parkheath will be able to organise this on your behalf if required
Finding the right tenant
Once we have found a suitable tenant for your property and terms have been agreed, we will apply for references on your behalf and forward this on to you for your consideration. If the tenant proves to be acceptable we will proceed to the next stage.
More and more tenants, in particular corporate tenants, prefer to rent properties that are managed by an agent.
Property Management ensures full time care for your property and your tenant. After placing a tenant in your property, we also collect the rent, handle all the administration and assist with maintenance issues.
Parkheath offer a number of management packages which can be tailor-made to suit your requirements. More about Property Management.
Once you have confirmed that you would like to proceed, we will draw up the relevant paperwork and form an agreement (the Tenancy Agreement), which is signed by both parties.
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract between a Landlord and a Tenant and sets out the contractual responsibilities of both parties. All persons over the age of 18 must be named on the Tenancy Agreement, up to a maximum of 4 tenants. Prior to the commencement date of the Tenancy, the agreement must be signed by all of the parties and, when everyone is happy to proceed, the contract will be dated, by hand, to put it into force. If Parkheath act as your managing agent, they are able to sign the Tenancy contracts on your behalf.
In most instances an inventory will be prepared prior to the commencement of a Tenancy, which details the contents of the property and a schedule of its condition. Parkheath complies with the EEC regulations which states: ‘it is imperative that the Landlord provides an independent inventory prepared by an independent clerk’. A copy of this inventory will be supplied to both Landlord and tenant.
Deposits & rent
Under new legislation introduced on 6th April 2007, all deposits taken from tenants against possible damage to a property or non-payment of rent must now be covered by a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. This applies to Assured Shorthold Tenancies only.
All our offices are members of a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, which means that in the event that there is an unresolved issue over the allocation of a deposit, it can be referred to the scheme for an independent third party adjudication, which will provide a resolution fair to the Landlord and tenant. Further information is available at www.arla.co.uk or www.tds.gb.com
Prior to the commencement of the Tenancy we will take an advanced rental payment from the tenant on your behalf.
Please ensure that Parkheath are given details of the current utility suppliers for your property, account numbers if possible and the location of meters (especially water meters), to pass onto the in-going tenant, who will be responsible for payment of services once they are in the property.
You will need to notify these suppliers whenever there is a change of tenant and it is advisable to obtain meter readings at the outset and end of any Tenancy agreement. If we are managing your property, we will notify the utility companies when there is a change of occupier on your behalf.
On the day the Tenancy commences, we will usually arrange for your tenant to be checked into the property by an independent inventory clerk and for the keys to be handed over accordingly.
Standard Fees to Landlord
Tenant Find/Let Only Fee
10% plus VAT (12% inclusive of VAT) of annual rent - sole agency
11% plus VAT (13.2% inclusive of VAT) of annual rent - multiple agency
Fees to be taken upfront
Tenancy Agreement Fee
£60.00 inclusive of VAT
Renewal of Tenancy Fee
8% plus VAT (9.6% inclusive of VAT) of annual rent - sole agency
9% plus VAT (10.8% inclusive of VAT) of annual rent - multiple agency
Fees to be taken upfront
1% plus VAT (1.2% inclusive of VAT) of annual rent
Fee to be taken as the rent is paid i.e. monthly/quarterly etc
Service of Section 8 Notice to Tenant by Legal for Landlords due to non-payment of rent - £148.80 inclusive of VAT (optional)
Court attendance for non-payment of rent - £60.00 inclusive of VAT per hour per staff member in attendance (optional)
Sending Additional Copy Statements - £30.00 inclusive of VAT
Should it be necessary to take a tenant to court on a Landlords behalf due to non-payment of rent, we will instruct Legal for Landlords on the Landlords behalf and the relevant legal and court costs will be payable by the Landlord.
6% plus VAT (7.2% inclusive of VAT) of the rent as and when collected
Fee to be taken as the rent is paid i.e. monthly/quarterly etc
Call out charge for additional visits - £60.00 inclusive of VAT per hour or part thereof (optional)
26% plus VAT (31.2% inclusive of VAT) of total rent for term – Letting & Management
20% plus VAT (24% inclusive of VAT) of the total rent for term Let Only Service
Vacant Property Management
£90.00 inclusive of VAT per month
Additional Property Inspection at Landlords request - £60.00 inclusive of VAT – (optional)
Utility Set up Fee - £48.00 inclusive of VAT – (optional)
Additional visits by staff - £40.00 inclusive of VAT – (optional)
Refurbishment Service/Project Management
10% plus VAT (12% inclusive of VAT) of total expenditure – (optional)
Deposit Registration Fee
£48.00 inclusive of VAT for the first term
£24.00 inclusive of VAT for each renewal of tenancy thereof
Withdrawal of Offer by Landlords
Tenancy Administration Fee - £199.00 inclusive of VAT
Tenants reference cost if instructed - £30.00 inclusive of VAT minimum per Tenant/Guarantor
Non Payment of Commission and Fees
Should we refer any unpaid commission and fees to our debt collection agents, costs of 18% inclusive of VAT of the debt will be incurred along with interest at the relevant rate provided for under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (interest) Act 1998.
IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS REGARDING OUR FEES OR WOULD LIKE TO SEE A COPY OF OUR TERMS OF BUSINESS CONTAINING ANY OTHER MISCELLANEOUS OPTIONAL FEES AND CHARGES THEN PLEASE SPEAK TO A MEMBER OF STAFF.
Parkheath is an ARLA Licensed Member - www.ARLA.co.uk - Look for the ARLA logo
This guide is intended to help readers navigate their way through the letting process under the estate agency systems in England and Wales. Readers take any advice at their own risk. Parkheath accept no responsibility for any action taken, or loss occurring, as a result of any advice and/or information in this guide.
If you require further information or advice, contact your local office to talk to one of our experienced members of staff.