Landlords

PRE INSTRUCTION REQUIREMENTS

1.1 CLIENT IDENTIFICATION

Prior to accepting instructions, we are required by law to ensure we have proof of our client’s identity and require one of the following:-

  • Copy of full passport
  • Colour copy of photo card driving licence

And one of the following, in each case showing your current address

  • Recent utility bill
  • Copy of original council tax bill

If the property is owned by a UK company, we will require a certified copy of the certificate of incorporation of the company as well as the names of the directors and copies of their passports.  We would also require the names of the principal shareholders and certified copies of their passports.

If the property is owned by a non UK company or off shore company, we will require the names of the shareholders and confirmation that they are known to the directors of the company.  We will also require confirmation from either the trustees, accountants or solicitors that the company is properly constituted.

1.2 SUB LETTING

It is essential if you are a Tenant or Lessee that you obtain permission from your Landlord if required under the terms of your lease, prior to us finding a Tenant. The Tenancy must expire prior to the termination of your lease. If the property is subject to a Mortgage then it is advisable for you to obtain permission from your Lender prior to letting.  Should the property be in joint names then written permission must be obtained from the joint owner(s) who should both be named in the Tenancy Agreement.

1.3 INSURANCE

Under the terms of a Tenancy Agreement a Landlord is responsible for insuring the building and any contents included in the inventory.  The Landlord should also advise the insurance company that the property will be tenanted. We shall not knowingly carry out the letting of property that is uninsured.

LEGAL SAFETY REQUIREMENTS

2.1 GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1994

All gas appliances (gas boilers, water heaters, gas coal and log fires, gas hobs and gas ovens) must be serviced annually by a CORGI Registered Engineer and all gas/log fires must have permanent ventilation.  The Landlord is required to keep accurate records of work carried out on all gas appliances within the property, which record shall be made available upon request for the inspection of any tenant who may be affected by the use or operation of any appliance to which the record relates.
Where we are instructed to manage your property we will, in the case of long term landlords check our records for proof of the last inspection of relevant gas appliances, or in the case of new landlords we will ask for proof of inspection.  If no inspection has taken place within the last 12 months we will arrange for an inspection by a GAS SAFE Registered Engineer as soon as administratively possible and thereafter annually.  Separate records will be kept of all inspections and repairs effected for each property which will be returned to the landlord on cessation of our management service.
For those properties which we are instructed to let but not manage we do require the landlord to discharge us from any responsibility for his own liability under the Regulations.   We should point out that non-compliance with these Regulations is a criminal offence which carries a penalty of six months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000.00.  

2.2 THE FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS (FIRE) (SAFETY) REGULATIONS - AMENDED 1993

The Consumer Protection Act 1987 Section 12(1) and the 1988 Regulations Make it an offence to  "supply" in the course of business any furniture to which the Regulations apply unless that furniture meets what is known as the "cigarette test" or "match test" and also what is known as the "ignitability test".  The Regulations basically apply to all upholstery and upholstered furnishings, loose fittings and permanent or loose covers.  The Offence carries a punishment of six months imprisonment, or fine (maximum of £5000.00) or both. All upholstered furniture manufactured after 1950 (including loose fittings and permanent and loose covers) must be made from fire resistant material.  This legislation applies in respect of all lettings of property (unless commenced prior to 1st March 1993).  All furniture in respect of all new lettings commenced after 1st March 1993 must comply with the regulations.  After 1st January 1997 All furniture supplied, whether new or old, and whether or not previously included in a letting, must comply with the 1988 Regulations.  During the transitional period all upholstered furniture, which is in accommodation made available for letting for the first time, must meet the Fire Resistance Requirements.  If a Landlord refuses to change furniture, which we feel ought to comply, then we will not accept the instruction or proceed into letting any property that in our opinion is non-compliant with current legislation.

2.3 SMOKE DETECTORS

All NEW homes must be fitted with mains operated smoke detectors.  They must be installed on every floor and must be interlinking.  Although there are no regulations governing older properties we would insist that independent smoke detectors are installed and we will arrange for installation if they are not present at the time of letting.  The cost of installation will be deducted from rent received.

2.4 THE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994 AND THE LOW VOLTAGE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1989.

These Regulations apply to any electrical equipment between 50 and 1,000 volts of alternating current or 75 to 1,000 volts of direct current and require that the apparatus must be safe and tested regularly.  The regulations do not stipulate how regularly testing of electrical equipment should be carried out, it will depend upon the age and extent of use of the appliance, but we would recommend that tests should be carried out at least every 2 years.  These tests should be carried out by a qualified electrician using the appropriate portable appliance testing equipment.

Items covered by the Regulations include any electrical equipment from fixed appliance such as cookers and immersion heaters to television sets, kettles, electric blankets etc.  Each item should be tested and carry details of the tester and all appliances should either have instructions shown on them or be supplied with an instruction book.

We recommend that you remove and replace old or suspect appliances prior to letting.  Imported goods from non-EC countries should be removed if they have not been tested and approved by an UK registered electrician.

COMMISSION AND FEE STRUCTURE

3.1 LETTING ONLY SERVICE -10% OF TOTAL RENT RECEIVABLE PLUS VAT  

(Example:- if the monthly rent was £3000.00 the fee would be £360.00)

This is deducted pro-rata from the rent received.  Where the rent is paid directly to the Landlord, our fees are payable in full in advance.

Included in this service are the following:

1. Once the asking rent is agreed with our client, the Landlord, we will circulate, advertise and promote the property to suitable applicants here and abroad. This will include marketing of the property with reputable fellow Lettings Agents on a shared commission basis, acting as our sub-agents; this wider exposure to the market carries no additional cost burden to the Landlord.

2. We will carry out accompanied viewings and inspections and will always communicate all offers received for Landlord consideration.

3. Once an offer is accepted we shall in good faith take up appropriate references which, on occasion, may involve rent guarantees by third parties. A company search, if requested or if deemed appropriate, would be charged to the Landlord at cost.

4. We shall draft the Tenancy Agreement and obtain the tenant's signature.  This document can be submitted to the Landlord's solicitors for approval if required.  We should clarify that while the basic form of our Standard Tenancy Agreement is constantly being reviewed and updated, we can take no responsibility whatsoever in relation to its use and you must rely entirely on your own legal advice in that connection.

5. We will collect periodic rent under the terms of the agreement.  Rent collected will usually include outgoings that are the Landlords responsibility i.e. service charge, ground rent, insurance premiums.  Gas electricity and telephone charges are normally the responsibility of the Tenant with the exception of lettings that are for less than 3 months where these charges are normally payable by the Landlord. We guide that collected rents (minus appropriate charges, if any) are usually forwarded to the client accompanied by an income/expenses statement after 14 days of receipt.

6. We shall receive and hold the deposit under the terms of the agreement. Normally this is equivalent to 6 weeks’ rent.  The deposit is held under a Government Protection Scheme and cannot be released until both parties agree to any charges that become due as per the inventory check out. Failure to agree on deductions will result in the matter being referred to arbitration.

7. Where possible, we shall arrange the transfer of utilities (gas, electricity and telephone etc.) at the commencement and termination of the tenancy without liability on our part.  It must be noted there are frequent occasions entirely beyond our control when the Boards concerned will not take instructions from a Letting Agent in which case we shall notify and must rely on the Landlord to effect the required change.

8. In good faith we shall arrange for an Inventory to be prepared and/or checked by an independent inventory clerk at the commencement and termination of the tenancy.  The fee for the make and check-in is payable by the Landlord. At the termination of the tenancy the independent inventory clerk will prepare a schedule of condition.  Where we are providing a letting service only, we will not become involved in any way in the agreement of dilapidations charges which must be negotiated directly between the Landlord and the Tenant.

9. During the Tenancy we shall be preparing and submitting periodic income/expenses statements to the Landlord. Statement frequency is dictated by the periodic receipt of rental income from the tenant (usually monthly or quarterly).

3.2 MANAGEMENT SERVICE - 12.5% OF TOTAL RENT RECEIVABLE PLUS VAT

(Example:- If the monthly rent was £3000.00 the fee would be £450.00)

This service includes all the services referred to hereabove as well as the following:

1. We will pay from rental income all regular outgoings pertaining to the property i.e. service charge, ground rent, insurance etc., but only if the demands for such outgoings are sent to us.  The Landlord must ensure that these demands are sent to us. We cannot accept responsibility for the adequacy or otherwise of any insurance cover nor can we predict or specify service/maintenance charges, demands or estimates.  Although we will do our best to query any obvious inaccuracies we must emphasise that we are entitled to accept and pay on your behalf demands and accounts which appear to be correct at the time of payment.

2. We will inspect the property regularly (usually quarterly).  However, these visits can only provide a superficial examination and are not intended to be a structural or other survey or inventory check.  All inspections by Central Estates are carried out in good faith and without any responsibility on our part whatsoever.

3. We will arrange for the day to day maintenance, repairs and servicing of appliances up to a maximum of £300.00 for any one item without further instruction by the Landlord. We will do our best to use contractors who have been specifically nominated by the Landlord but we cannot guarantee to do so. Where the repair, renewal, re-placement, necessary re-decoration etc. are liable to cost more than £500.00 we will, where possible, obtain 2 estimates, except in the case of an emergency. Upon acceptance of the estimate we would then put in hand the works, providing we are in funds, which we would supervise and inspect. Should you wish to claim on insurance we will handle the claim on your behalf at a cost to be agreed. Additionally, for works requiring supervision and costing in excess of £1000, we shall levy a charge of 10% of cost plus VAT, to cover our expenses. (Example:- If the works cost £1100.00 it would incur a fee of £132.00 inc VAT).

4. At the termination of a Tenancy we would arrange for the inventory to be checked by an independent inventory company and for a schedule of dilapidations (if any) to be prepared.  We will negotiate and agree dilapidations on your behalf.  We will arrange for cleaning and routine repair works (subject to availability of funds) and obtain estimates for larger works if appropriate.

5. Arrange for the additional cleaning of the property between Tenancies if, in our opinion, this should become necessary.

6. It should be noted that our responsibility only commences as and when we have found a Tenant for the property that has entered into a Tenancy Agreement.  Unless otherwise agreed, our appointment as managing agent is for the duration of the tenancy and any renewal or extension, subject to three months written notice by either party.

7. During the full term of the Tenancy we must be in sufficient funds to enable us to meet any expenditure prior to the next rent collection. Please note we are unable to arrange for works of repair unless we are holding sufficient funds from you to cover the expected cost.

3.3 ADMINISTRATION CHARGES

(i) Our fee for each letting is £120.00 (inc. VAT) upon the Commencement of the tenancy and £90.00 inc VAT for any Extension thereafter.

(ii) Deposit Registration Fee:    £30.00 (inc. VAT)    We will register landlord and tenant details and protect the security deposit with a Government authorised Scheme and Provide the tenant(s) with the Deposit Certificate and Prescribed Information within 30 days of start of tenancy.

(iii) Additional Property Visits:      £30.00 (inc. VAT)    To attend to specific requests such as neighbour disputes; to monitor the tenancy; or any maintenance-linked visits.

(iv) Submission of Non-Resident Landlords Receipts To HMRC   £30.00 (inc. VAT) quarterly.  
To remit and balance the financial return to HMRC quarterly – and respond to any specific query relating to the return from the landlord or HMRC.

(v) Checkout Fee      £100.00 (inc. VAT) Agreeing with tenant check out date and time appointment, Instruct inventory provider to attend. Negotiating with landlord and tenant any disbursement of the security deposit. Returning deposit as agreed with landlord and tenant to relevant parties.  
Remitting any disputed amount to Scheme for final adjudication. Unprotect security deposit. Instructing contractors; obtain quotes; organise repairs /replacement/cost of any broken or missing items.

(vi) Court Attendance.   Should we be required to attend court for possession proceedings or for non-payment of rent our charges are £100 per hour inc. VAT

3.4 SHORT/HOLIDAY LETS:

Our fee for introducing a tenant for a holiday let is 15% plus VAT of the total gross rent for the agreed term of the tenancy
(Example:- if the rent was £1000.00 per week, the fee would be £180.00 per week).

The rental on lettings under 3 months is inclusive of gas and electricity such costs being the responsibility of the Landlord.  The Tenant is responsible for telephone calls incurred during the tenancy and dilapidations (if any).

1.We will prepare the tenancy agreement as 1.4
2.We will collect the rent and remit to the Landlord as 1.5
3.We will collect the deposit as 1.6

In good faith we must guide that dilapidations from short lets tend to be higher than those from longer term lets. Furthermore, the usual absence of a detailed inventory can render claims for breakages/ damages difficult to prove. These intrinsic weaknesses are compensated by much higher weekly income and quite often by accommodating Tenants who have either stayed with us before or who come recommended from reputable sources. Whilst we always do our best with Tenant selection, we accept no responsibility whatsoever for such Tenancies which are solely carried out to maximise Landlord income and fully at Landlords’ risk.

3.5 WAITING AT PROPERTIES

In the event we are asked to attend at a client’s property for repairs, deliveries, removals, meter readings etc. we will charge travel and waiting time at the property at £30 per hour inc. VAT.


GENERAL INFORMATION

4.1 LANDLORDS DETAILS

We are legally obliged to insert the landlords name/s, address/es and the telephone number/s on the Deposit Protection Documentation that is provided to the tenant. We require these details to be provided on the signing hereof.

4.2 INSTRUCTION OF SOLICITORS

In good faith, should any rent arrears or breach/es of agreement be brought to our attention, we will inform you. Should legal action become necessary the Landlord will be responsible to instruct solicitors and for any fees charged pertaining thereto.

4.3 THE TAXATION OF INCOME FROM LAND (NON RESIDENTS) REGULATIONS 1995

The income from letting UK property is subject to UK Income Tax even if the Landlord is non-resident or is an overseas entity or company.  New regulations that deal with the changes in the charging, collection and recovery of tax on income from land owned by non-UK residents came into force on 6 April 1996. We do now account to H.M. Revenue & Customs on a quarterly basis and are required to deduct tax at 20 per cent from the net rental income received (certain expenses paid only may be deducted) and account for this within 30 days of the quarter end to H.M. Revenue & Customs.  Non-UK resident landlords can apply to H.M Revenue & Customs for payments to be made gross to them.  Approval will only be given by H.M Revenue & Customs if certain stringent conditions have been met, e.g. a statement by the non-UK resident that he/she/it has complied fully with UK tax obligations prior to the application and an undertaking to continue doing so.

4.4 LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1987

Under section 48 of the above, written rental demands to Tenants should include an address within England and Wales at which the Tenant may serve Notices upon their Landlord.  In the event that we make a written demand for rental from your tenants we will require the above information.

4.5 THE COUNCIL TAX

The Landlord ordinarily is liable to pay the Council Tax charge on vacant furnished/unfurnished property and during tenancies of less than six months. For longer term tenancies the tenant is usually liable unless specifically agreed otherwise between the contracted parties (e.g. in cases where the rent payable by the Tenant is inclusive of outgoings).

4.6 TENANCY EXTENSIONS

Our fees are fixed for the first two years of any tenancy. Should any tenancy be renewed for a third year either with the original tenant or with any associated party of the original tenant then we shall reduce our fee structure by 2% plus VAT for each of the third and fourth years of tenancy. Longer tenancy durations shall not receive any further discount.

LANDLORD RESPONSIBILITIES – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

(i) The Landlord must advise us of all relevant information concerning the property including the existence of any enforcement notice or covenant or restriction affecting the use of the property.  Failure to do so may put the tenancy at risk, with unforeseen legal and other consequences.

(ii) The Landlord must also pay all service charges, ground rent, insurance premium and mortgage payments promptly.

Safety in the home is of the utmost importance and no less so when Tenants occupy your home.  In signing our Terms and Conditions of Business we would point out to you that you are confirming to us that you are aware of your obligations under the Regulations outlined above and you are satisfied we have drawn your attention to them and that your premises and any relevant contents supplied by you do comply with Regulations.  We will be offering the property and contents to prospective tenants in good faith on that basis.  We stress that these notes are intended to appraise you of your potential liability.  Whilst we have provided as much information as we consider relevant, we cannot accept any liability whatsoever in respect of your failing to comply with the Regulations.

Failure to comply with any of the Regulations described above constitutes a criminal offence, punishable by fine and or imprisonment.

Should you wish us to proceed in letting or managing your property please confirm your instructions by returning one copy of the terms and conditions signed in the reply envelope provided together with the necessary information required.

RIGHT TO CANCEL

You have a 14-day cooling off period from the date of instruction within which time you are entitled to cancel any agreement made between yourself and Central Estates Lettings Ltd.