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Landlord Guide

Sinton Andrews are here to guide you through a step by step process, and to ensure the letting of your property is as straight forward as possible. Not all agents are regulated, so it is important to choose someone who can offer high standards and professionalism. We are proud to have been an affiliated ARLA agent for over 15 years. As an ARLA licensed member we have to follow their Rules of Conduct, and keep Continuing Professional Development up to date and adhere to best practice guidelines, this includes the Client Money Protection Scheme.  This provides compensation to Landlords, Tenants and other clients should an agent misappropriate the rent, deposit or other client funds.  Please see our ‘Terms of Business‘.

The first step is to obtain an accurate valuation of your property, and consider the length of time you wish to let your property. We will advise on how to enhance the presentation of your property to ensure it is viewed in the best possible light and achieves the highest rental offer.

We have a constant database of suitable applicants, and over the years we have built up relationships with the relocation agents and corporate services, and know we will be contacted whenever there is a client looking in our area. All offers will be put forward to you to consider.

Once you have accepted an offer we will secure this with a holding fee from the prospective tenant. We will then apply for their references via our reference agency, with their supporting paperwork. Upon your approval, we would draft the tenancy agreement ready for both parties to sign.

With your instructions we can organise the necessary certificates required and confirm your property meets the necessary legal requirements for letting.

Legal Requirements:

Please see below for a brief guidance. Please contact us for further information or we can put you in contact with a professional who can further advise.

Gas:
Regulations are mandatory for all gas systems and appliances in a rental property to be tested prior to tenancy, and a Gas Safety Certificate must be provided to the Tenant prior to the start of the tenancy. This is an annual check, and should be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. 

Electrics:
PAT Testing:
With rented residential accommodation it is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that the electrical installation and appliances provided by the landlord are safe when the tenancy begins and are in proper working order throughout the tenancy. At the start of the tenancy and throughout both must be free of risk of injury to tenants and residents. We therefore recommend that a PAT test ( portable appliance test ) is carried out

Smoke and CO Alarms:
From the 1 October 2015 landlords must ensure that a smoke alarm is fitted on every floor of their property. They will also have to put a carbon monoxide alarm in any room where a solid fuel is burnt, such as wood, coal or biomass and includes open fires. It does not include gas, oil or LPG (liquefied petroleum gas). Please see the attached leaflet for further information.

Furniture and Furnishings:
As per The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993 all upholstered furniture and soft furnishings must have a fire label. The Regulations apply to the following which must be match resistant, cigarette resistant and carry a permanent label: All upholstered furniture, three piece suites, beds and divans including the upholstered bases, padded headboards, sofa beds, furniture with loose or fitted covers including cushions,  children’s furniture, highchairs, mattress of any size, pillows and garden furniture which can be used indoors.
http://www.firesafe.org.uk/furniture-and-furnishings-fire-safety-regulations-19881989-and-1993/

Legionnaires’ disease:
Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants, residents and visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled. Please see below link for further information as to your obligations as a Landlord. http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg458.pdf

Asbestos:
Landlords have a legal responsibility to manage the risk associated with any asbestos found in a property. The HSE or your local authority can give detailed advice about safe procedures. Any work done on the asbestos that takes longer than 2 hours must be done by someone who is licensed by the HSE (Health Safety Executive).
http://www.rla.org.uk/landlord/guides/asbestos.shtml

Blinds:
From 2014 stringent new standards governing the manufacture, selling and installation of new blinds came into effect with the aim of reducing child accidents. The new regulations do not apply to blinds already installed in properties with an existing tenancy. However, Landlords have a duty of care towards our tenants and therefore must ensure that all blinds comply with the new standards. Please see attached leaflet for further information.

Energy Performance Certificate:
As of 01 October 2008 Landlords have an obligation to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Once obtained the certificate is valid for 10 years. 

Inventory:

All the Inventory Clerks we use are members of AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks). 

The Landlord is responsible for providing an inventory of the property before the commencement of a tenancy.  The preparation of the document is a cost borne by the Landlord, and will depend on the size and style of the premises. 

Our Tenants will pay for the clerk to check them into the property at the start of their tenancy, and the schedule will include meter readings, and photos. The Landlord will be liable for the check-out fee at the end of the tenancy term. 

Tenancy Agreement:

We will prepare and draft the tenancy agreement in advance of the commencement date. We use tenancy agreements which have been prepared by a firm of Solicitors specialising in residential Lettings

Money Laundering and ID/Address:

In order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Regulations 2003, we require Landlords to provide us with one proof of identity and one proof of residence

Right to Rent Immigration Checks:

Under Section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014 a Landlord must not authorise an adult to occupy property as their only or main home under a residential tenancy agreement unless the adult is a British citizen, or European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national, or has a Right to Rent in the UK. 
http://www.arla.co.uk/media/1044073/right-to-rent-immigration-checks.pdf

Referencing Agency:

We use an independent referencing agency called LetRef. They will carry out full references on any applicant wishing to rent a property, these references include employment or accountant reference, Landlord reference of up to three years or proof of homeownership where applicable, credit check and character reference. We also obtain proof of current address, Photo ID and copies of visas where applicable.

LetRef also offer Rent Guarantee and Legal Expense Insurance. Please see their website for further information. http://www.letref.co.uk/

Preparing the property:

Renting your property can be a stressful and daunting experience and we are here to help you every step of the way.

We can arrange all the relevant certificates and confirm that the property complies with all the regulations prior to the tenancy commencing. This can also include a professional clean and gardening.


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