Letting your property can be a complicated process, one which many landlords have found to be a stressful and harrowing experience. We at ea2 aim to ensure that the letting and on going management of your property is dealt with in a professional and competent manner offering security and confidence.
The notes contained herein are designed to answer some of the questions you may have. Alternatively we at ea2 are always available to offer advice and assistance for any queries that you may have.
Fire and Safety Regulations –
It is illegal to let a property containing items of furniture that do not comply with current safety requirements as laid out by The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993. Any items of furniture older then 1950 are exempt from the above. Most items purchased from 1993 should comply but we at ea2 are able to advise should you have any queries.
Gas Safety Certificates –
It is illegal to let a property without a current Gas Safety certificate. Under The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure all gas installations and appliances are maintained in safe working order. The Gas Safety certificate lasts 12 months and must be renewed whilst there is a tenant in the property. We at ea2 can recommend and organize a Gas Safety Registered Engineer should you require one.
Electrical Safety –
The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 states that the landlord must ensure that all electrical appliances are safe and in good working order. A visual inspection of all electrical appliances should be carried out to ensure there are no obvious faults. We at ea2 can recommend and organize an EIC Registered Electrician to carry out an electrical test where upon the Landlord would receive a 12 month EIC certificate.
Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It is a legal requirement to fit smoke detectors in rental properties. Smoke detectors should be fitted per floor of the property being let. It is also a legal requirement to fit carbon monoxide detectors for all solid fuel heating and hot water systems.
It is the landlords responsibility to ensure that the property and contents included within the let are insured. Items brought into the property by the tenants remain the tenants responsibility to insure.
It is the landlords responsibility to pay any ground rent and or service charges relating to the let property. The tenant is however responsible for all utility charges including gas, electricity, water, telephone and council tax.
If the property being let is subject to finance and the terms of this agreement require consent then you should obtain this consent prior to any tenancy.
Again if the property is leasehold and requires consent to sub-let then this consent should be obtained prior to any tenancy.
We recommend that you as a landlord set up a mail re-direction agreement with the post office. This will avoid any potential loss of mail.
We should be supplied with the relevant sets of keys depending on the number of tenants moving in. We can have additional keys cut on your behalf with your permission. (Note : Under the Management Service we will require an additional set of keys for our use).
Tenancy Agreements –
We at ea2 only let properties using a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement as set under the Housing Act 1988, (As Amended 1996).
It is advisable to have an inventory of the furnishings and fittings of the property drawn up prior to any tenancy. This will confirm the furnishings and fittings and this condition prior to a tenants occupation. We use a professional inventory company to carry out all inventory report who are bonded by the AIIC, (Associated Independent Inventory Clerks). The landlord is responsible for the inventory report.
Check In / Out –
It is also advisable to carry out a check in when the tenant moves into the property. This will confirm the condition of the property on point of move in and then again when the tenant moves out. Again we use a professional inventory company to carry out all Check In / out reports who are bonded by the AIIC, (Associated Independent Inventory Clerks). The tenant is responsible for the Check In report whilst the landlord is responsible for the Check Out report.
Finding a Tenant –
We at ea2 will endeavour to find you the landlord a suitable tenant. Once we have agreed a monthly rent with you the landlord and the prospective tenant we will request 1 weeks rent from the prospective tenant to secure their interest and offer you some security. We will go through a series of formal procedures to verify a prospective tenant’s suitability including referencing and credit checking. Please note that should the prospective tenant’s references return un-satisfactory to the degree that would inhibit us in moving the tenant into the property then the prospective tenant would lose their deposit which would be forwarded to you the landlord in full. Ultimately the decision to accept a prospective tenant lies with you the landlord and should you wish to meet them prior to them moving in then we will of course arrange this.
We at ea2 request a damage deposit amounting to the equivalent of 6 weeks rent. In some instances a higher amount can be requested if the property being let has furnishings and fittings to warrant. The damage deposit is held against possible damage to furnishings and fittings during the duration of the tenancy period. The damage deposit is lodged with ‘The Deposit Protection Service’ as per legislation that was introduced in 2007 . Further information on this can be obtained from www.depositprotection.com
From October 2008 the law applying to tenanted property changed and Landlords will have to provide Energy Performance Certificates for every property that they let.
The EPC is being phased in across all residential, commercial and rented property. Only qualified domestic Energy Assessors (DEAs) can carry out the inspection and once complete an A to G rating will be applied to the property with recommendations to further improve internal efficiency.
The new legislation regarding Energy Performance Certification (EPC) for rental property requires properties to have an EPC after the 1st of October 2008.