At Parkheath we believe that maintaining the long term value on your rental investment is just as important as getting a good tenant for your property. We also know how time-consuming it can be to be a full-time Landlord dealing with tenants’ telephones calls and resulting work. Parkheath offers a management service which ensures that we not only deal with any maintenance issues that may arise, but that we also keep an eye on your property for you to ensure that is kept in good condition.
Our Property Management Service includes the following services:
We offer a number of management packages and can even tailor the packages to suit your requirements. Our standard management package offers, marketing of your property, finding a suitable tenant, obtaining references, collecting the rent throughout the duration of the Tenancy and dealing with the renewal at the end of the Tenancy. What does it include?
- Arrange regular rental payments made on the client’s behalf, including any necessary tax deductions.
- Dedicated telephone and email contact for tenants.
- Transfer utilities and arrange settlement of final accounts.
- Arrange annual gas safety checks.
- Carry out periodic inspections of the property and report on it’s general condition.
- Settlement of regular outgoings such as Ground Rent, Service Charges, Maintenance Charges, with your agreement.
- Arrange any cleaning and garden maintenance necessary to put the property in order before or after the Tenancy.
- Arrange all repairs and maintenance to the property.
- Arrange an independent inventory and schedule of your property.
- Provide a key holding service.
- Arrange to re-negotiate a further rental period or end a Tenancy .
- Manage the check-out and deposit negotiation process.
An inventory is an essential part of any Tenancy. The inventory provides the Tenant and the Landlord with a concise and accurate description of the interior of the property, which faithfully records the furniture and fittings in the property, as well as describing in detail the decorative order of carpets, rugs, doors, windows, light fittings etc. The inventory will also highlight the overall condition of any outside areas such as gardens.
This document is then used at the end of a Tenancy to validate whether a tenant is entitled to a full or partial return of a deposit. Without an accurate inventory, you would have no evidence to prove that a property that you have let has been neglected or abused in any way, and therefore would have no legal recourse to withhold monies lodged as a deposit.
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 of 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.
There are a number of regulations and obligations on a Landlord with regard to Gas Safety, Electrical Equipment and Fire Safety. It is important that as a Landlord you take these responsibilities seriously as there are large fines and even imprisonment should you fail to comply. We can advise you on all these regulations and ensure that you have peace of mind when you let your property.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended)
All furniture and furnishings in the property to be let and included in the letting (whether originally provided or added during the Tenancy) fully comply with the requirements of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and statutory instruments made under it, including, in particular, the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, as amended by the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1989 and 1993.
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
It is the Landlords responsibility to comply with the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 which states that a Landlord must arrange a Gas Safety Inspection at the property to be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer prior to the commencement of the Tenancy and supply the Tenant with a valid certificate. On your instructions Parkheath can arrange this on your behalf and in the event of short notice and that we could not get in touch with you, reserve the right to authorize necessary works up to the value of £360.00 inclusive of VAT to ensure a certificate can be issued prior to the commencement of the Tenancy.
Please note that without a valid Landlords Gas Safe Certificate, Parkheath reserve the right to delay the commencement of the tenancy as we cannot allow a tenancy to go ahead without a copy of one. Parkheath shall not be penalized or liable for any loss of rental income in this instance. Please note that this can give cause for Tenant to post-date any Tenancy Agreement.
An inspection must be made every year and it would be the Landlords responsibility to ensure this is done on a yearly basis. If you have instructed us to manage the property on your behalf then we will ensure this is arranged as part of our service.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations became law on 1 October 2015 meaning that all properties in England – whether existing tenancies or new tenancies – must comply from this date. It is a legal requirement to have an operational smoke alarm on every floor of the property. If your property has a hallway on each floor, this is the recommended position for the alarm in most instances. In the instance where you enter a property from the ground floor with stairs going straight up then it is also a requirement to position a smoke alarm at entry.
It is a legal requirement to place a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm in any room where there is a solid fuel burning appliance. It is also expected by Parkheath - although not formally part of this regulation - that a reputable Landlord also place a CO alarm in any room with a gas appliance such as boilers, gas hobs/oven, fireplaces.
Parkheath highly recommends that all kitchens whether open plan or separate, have an additional operational heat detector.
It will be the responsibility of the Landlord to ensure that all alarms and detectors, if battery operated, have working batteries within them in order for a tenancy to commence. It will then be the responsibility of the tenant to replace the batteries as and when required throughout their tenancy including if the existing tenancy renews.
If you have a property which is professionally managed by Parkheath, we shall ensure that you comply with this regulation.
If you do not use Parkheath’s Property Management service, we can arrange the installation of alarms at your request and expense prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Parkheath will not allow a tenancy to commence if the property does not comply.
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
The Landlord is advised to ensure that the earthing and insulation of all electrical appliances within the property are safe and are regularly checked by an appropriately registered engineer. Cabling fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary with the correct rating for that particular appliance. Parkheath can arrange an Electrical Safety Test on the Landlords behalf if requested. Failure to comply with these regulations is a criminal offence, which could result in a fine.
Law on Internal Window Blinds
From early 2014 the standards regarding the manufacture, supply and professional installation of internal window blinds changed significantly. It is now illegal to supply or professionally install an internal window blind which does not comply with the child safety requirements of BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014. Blinds that are ‘safe by design’ are deemed to be fully compliant with this new standard.
Mandatory requirements - The new standard aims to protect babies and small children by:
- Installation of child safe blinds to ALL HOMES whether children are present or not
- Limitations on cord and chain lengths
- Safety devices for preventing any cords or chains from creating a hazardous loop
- The fitting of safety devices on cords and chains at the point of manufacture
- The testing of all safety critical components of internal blinds
- Safety warnings and product instruction
As a Landlord, if you have any blinds in the property to be rented, we highly advise you check them to ensure they comply with current standards. Parkheath can recommend a company that offer safety checks on the blinds and rectification as appropriate.
Tax advice for overseas landlords
Under the Finance Act 1995, any Landlord considered a non-resident for tax purposes has to pay United Kingdom Income Tax. Parkheath are obliged by law to deduct tax from rental monies received unless we receive an ‘Exemption Certificate’ from the Inland Revenue. Whilst it is the Landlord’s responsibility to obtain the ‘Exemption Certificate’, we can advise you on how to go about applying for it. For more information on this please contact your local Parkheath office.
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.