Landlords

Why Choose Us?

We understand that letting your property, especially for the first time, can be a worrying experience. With this in mind our most important consideration is providing you the Landlord with the best possible service and the right Tenant for your property.

Landlords who fail to comply with legislation can fall foul of the Law, incurring costly fines and even imprisonment. Much time and effort is invested in ensuring that LRF Lettings are fully up to date with ever changing tenancy law and government legislation, so you will have peace of mind and avoid the pitfalls.

A Personal Service with Competitive Rates

We never forget that your property is an important asset. We can confidently assure you that by instructing us to act as your Agent your asset will be in professional and caring hands.

Landlords benefit from very competitive rates without compromising on quality and a high standard of competence and professionalism. Prices are currently not subject to VAT.

Carefully Selected Tenants

Drawn from a continually updated register, all prospective Tenants are thoroughly referenced and credit checked. In some cases we will also require a guarantor.

Our Services and Fees

Letting Only

Our Letting Only Services includes marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and comprehensive referencing of a prospective Tenant. This proving satisfactory, we then prepare the tenancy agreement and inventory. We can also arrange an Energy Performance Certificate, floorplan and photographs. Following this, the first month’s rent and a tenancy deposit is collected. If the Landlord is a member of one of the insurance based tenancy deposit schemes then the deposit will be credited to the landlord. In the case of the Landlord being a member of the DPS, LRF Lettings will ensure that the deposit is sent to the DPS in accordance with the Scheme Rules.

A Bespoke Property Management Service (save £££s over the course of a tenancy)

In addition to finding a tenant for your property LRF Lettings are proud to offer an ‘add on’ pay as you go service to Landlords. Whilst you will receive full rent direct from your tenants with no monthly commission charge you will have peace of mind that LRF Lettings are just a phone call or email away as and when you need assistance.

If you regularly check your bank statements to make sure that rent has been paid then you can avoid monthly commission charges and by instructing LRF Lettings on a ‘pay as you go’ basis you can save £££s over the course of a tenancy.

Whether you are an experienced Landlord managing your own property; or perhaps a Landlord who wants to have full rent paid to them each month, but desires the ‘cushion’ of having a qualified experienced Agent to deal with matters as they arise, then LRF Lettings would be your Agent of choice.

As well as providing Free advice to Landlords who commission a Tenancy Agreement and Inventory we can offer Landlords, upon instructions, additional services as and when required.

Or

Full Management Service

For a % monthly commission we will collect and process rents, automatically attend to all of the above, and be the direct point of contact for tenants/tradesmen.

Our Fees

Market appraisal & tenancy/compliance advice FREE

Energy Performance Certificate (if required & payable in advance) £85

Legionella Risk Assesment report POA

FULL MANAGEMENT SERVICE CHARGES

LRF Lettings will manage all aspects of your property including arranging repairs and gas/electrical safety checks. We will undertake regular inspection visits and reports and will be the point of contact for tenants. At the end of the Tenancy (after the Inventory check out report) we will visit the property and advise on deposit deductions (if any) and deal with deposit return.

Tenancy set up fee - 50% of the first month’s rent (no VAT) – minimum fee £375 plus £75 Tenancy Agreement and Right to Rent checks plus Inventory/ Schedule of Condition (see below).

Monthly Management fee - 10% of each month’s rent (currently no VAT) (12% for Winchester properties)

The Tenancy Set Up fee includes advertising, accompanied visits with potential tenants, negotiation of a tenancy, tenant referencing, drawing of Tenancy Agreement, Property Information Pack, Deposit Protection and transfer of Utilities/Council Tax. Landlords will be informed of any maintenance issues as they arise and must ensure that LRF Lettings are put in funds to pay any tradesmen invoices or deal with payment themselves should for any reason the rent not be available/adequate.

LRF Lettings will hold the deposit securely in The Deposit Protection Service scheme and deal with the return of deposit at the end of the tenancy. The cost of the check- out fee will be deducted from the tenants deposit in accordance with their tenancy agreement and paid to LRF Lettings. In the case of a deposit dispute, administration costs in respect of a reference to the Independent Case Examiner will be charged at £45 per hour.

RENT COLLECT

LRF Lettings also offer a Rent Collect only service for a monthly management fee of 7% of each month’s rent (currently no VAT) and Landlords will be the point of contact for tenants and arrange repairs and gas/electric renewals themselves. Tenancy set up fee will be as Full Management Service.

TENANT FIND SERVICE CHARGES

The Tenant Find Service includes advertising, accompanied visits with potential tenants, negotiation of a tenancy, tenant referencing, drawing of Tenancy Agreement, Deposit Protection and transfer of Utilities/ Council Tax. All correspondence will be via email except for the Tenancy Agreement and Inventory/Schedule of Condition for which the tenants and landlord will each have a printed document.

Tenancy set up fee - 70% of the first month’s rent (no VAT) – minimum fee £375 plus £75 Tenancy Agreement and Right to Rent checks plus Inventory/ Schedule of Condition (see below).

Above charges will be deducted from first month’s rent paid by the tenant/s to LRF Lettings. Further payments of rent will be made by bank standing order directly into the Landlords chosen bank account. Tenants will contact the landlord direct throughout the course of the tenancy. LRF Lettings will register the deposit in The Deposit Protection Service scheme and transfer to the Landlord or pay direct to the Landlord if the Landlord is a member of one of the insurance based deposit schemes. Additional Services for Tenant Find Only Landlords available upon request and payable at time of instruction:

Property Information Pack £18

Arranging Gas and electrical safety renewals & PAT tests At cost plus £20 each

Interim inspection visit & report £40 - £60 per visit

Letters to tenants (i.e. rent arrears, care of property) £25 per letter

Tenancy Agreement Renewal £40

Serving of notices £45 per notice

Landlords holiday cover (subject to availability) £10/wk plus £25/hr for any work

End of Tenancy visit/deposit deduction advice £45 per hour

For Landlords who only require a Tenancy Agreement

New Tenancy Agreement £75

End of tenancy inventory check out fee – payable on instruction – (note that there will be provision within the Tenancy Agreement for you to recover the check-out fee from the Tenants Deposit). (Current prices range from £80 to £120).

INVENTORY/SCHEDULE OF CONDITION CHARGES PRICES BASED ON UNFURNISHED PROPERTIES (FURNISHED PROPERTIES – PRICE ON APPLICATION)

Studio/1 Bedroom £110 4 Bedroom £150

2 Bedroom £120 5 Bedroom £175

3 Bedroom £140

(INVENTORY UPDATES FOR FUTURE TENANCIES ARE CHARGED AT 75% OF THE ABOVE PRICES UNLESS MAJOR REFURBISHMENT WORKS HAVE TAKEN PLACE)

ADDITIONAL CHARGES:

Key cutting at cost plus £10

Forwarding of post at cost plus £5

Tenancy Agreement Renewal £40

Supply and delivery of smoke alarms/CO sensors £10 - 30

Empty property visits £40

Loan of heaters £1 per day per heater

TENANCY AND COMPLIANCE ADVICE DURING THE TERM OF THE TENANCY

FREE TO LANDLORDS WHO HAVE COMMISSIONED A TENANCY AGREEMENT AND INVENTORY/SCHEDULE OF CONDITION

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Preparing the Property

Having a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. It is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they receive value for money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.

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 Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.

Furnishings

Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtain and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.

Personal items, ornaments etc.

Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner’s risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenant’s own use.

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, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish to use the services of a regular gardener.

Cleaning

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

Information for the Tenant

It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc. In addition LRF Lettings can supply useful Property Information Packs for tenants - please contact us for further information.

Keys

You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant.

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Other Considerations

Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:

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 any 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 can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.

Bills and regular outgoings

We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit.

Council tax and utility accounts

We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.

Inventory

It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards it would be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. LRF Lettings use an independent inventory company registered with the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks (AIIC).

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £100,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant. In cases where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is not suitable we will advise accordingly and a Company Let or Common Law Tenancy Agreement can be produced.

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Health and Safety, and other Legal Requirements

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.

Gas

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 at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must be maintained in a safe condition at all times, records kept for at least 2 years, and a copy of the safety certificate given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences.

Electrical

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 legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) 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', is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.

Fire

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, and certain other items. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

Smoke Alarms/Carbon Monoxide Sensors

The installation of Carbon Monoxide Sensors and Smoke Alarms will be a legal requirement in rented properties from October 2015.

Legionnaires Disease

Landlords have always been liable for preventing or removing the risk of Legionnaires disease in hot and cold water systems over 300 litres but since 6th April 2012 this limit has been removed. Recent changes to the Control of Legionella bacteria in Water Systems Approved Code of Practice (ACOP L8) now apply to domestic living. Landlords must carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment every two years to comply with the Law. LRF Lettings are not able to carry out this assessment but we can instruct an assessor on your behalf. Most residential lettings are low risk and a simple risk assessment may show there are minimal risks from Legionella, in which case no further action may be necessary. Some Landlords may be competent to ascertain whether their properties are at risk or not and a Risk Assessment form for completion is available from LRF Lettings.

Child Safety Requirements for Internal Blinds

From February 2014 all internal blinds must meet British Standards. Although the new standards do not apply to blinds already installed in people’s homes, as best practice Landlords should ensure that any hazardous cords, chains and loops be removed or made safe.

Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules will apply.

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)

The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005

The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people’s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and commonhold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

EPCs are required for all tenanted property in England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Landlords offering property for rent are required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. An EPC is valid for 10 years. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request.

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Overseas Landlords and Income tax

When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax.

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Tenancy Deposit Protection

All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland must now be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents can choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes. More information on request.

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The above is a brief summary of landlords' responsibilities and of the laws surrounding tenanted property. We hope that you find it useful. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you. If you wish you can print this page by using your browser Print option.