Durbins Lettings offer the following property management services to landlords:
Please read through this document carefully. It contains important information for Landlords, including safety responsibilities. If anything is unclear to you please get in touch.
REGISTRATION OF LANDLORDS
Please note that ALL Landlords MUST register themselves and the addresses of their properties with Rent Smart Wales. This must be done by November 2016 at the latest. There are additional requirements on Landlords who manage their own property. Further information can be found at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/
Any Landlord client who does not register themselves and their property within 12 weeks of appointment we have a duty to report to Rent Smart Wales.
A member of our rentals department team will visit your property to carry out a rental appraisal. From this, we can provide you with a rental assessment taking into account the location, condition and current demand. We can then discuss potential tenants and whether you will allow pets, children, smokers, etc. as well as identifying our best marketing strategy.
Your property will be offered for rent within our office showroom and website and advertised on a regular basis within the local press, internet sites such as OnTheMarket.com, RightMove or other marketing sites. We are also in contact with many blue-chip firms, which provide a good source of reliable tenants. As enquiries are received, we automatically match up prospective tenants via our computerised mailing service and vice versa. A full rental list of available properties will be available at our office.
We use a Professional referencing agency (Letsure), who will check details, address, electoral register, credit search, employment and landlord’s references. In certain circumstances we may require a guarantor and the relevant checks will be made.
Prospective tenants are met outside your property. If the property is occupied all visits will be made strictly by appointment unless by specific agreement with the sitting tenant. All tenants will be accompanied when viewing a property.
TENANCY AGREEMENTS AND RENEWALS
Once the tenant is selected, an appropriate Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreement will be drawn up. If you are letting your principal place of residence the necessary safeguards to repossess on expiry will be legally incorporated. In the event of arrears or breaches of covenant, we act quickly and effectively, although Durbins Lettings is not liable for the rent. Serious problems are rare, but any action considered necessary would be discussed with you first. Rental warranty and legal protection insurance are available on request. We always endeavour to renew tenancy agreements where appropriate, after the initial term has elapsed.
DEPOSITS AND FIDELITY BONDING
A Bond – usually equivalent of one month’s rent- will be held by a Government Protected Scheme throughout the tenancy, to use in the case of loss or damage caused to the property and/or rent arrears.
INVENTORIES AND SCHEDULES OF CONDITION
Prior to your tenants moving in, a member of Durbins Lettings will prepare an inventory. This vital record avoids any differences of opinion occurring during or at the end of the Tenancy. It is important that all floors, carpets, curtains, bedding and paintwork are cleaned before occupancy. All new electrical equipment should be serviced. (See also ‘electrical safety regulation’ below). It is in your best interest to take out service contracts for domestic appliances and particularly for central heating systems. All personal and treasured possessions of either real or sentimental value should be removed. A list of useful information should be provided in a file or drawer. This should incorporate domestic appliance instructions and manuals, service contracts, main stopcock and meter location, useful hints regarding the property, dustbin collections, etc.
During occupancy, your property will be professionally inspected on an annual basis (or six monthly if you so specify). There will be an inspection at the end of each tenancy when the inventory will be checked. Unless you hear to the contrary you may assume that no damages and losses occurred at the inventory check out. You will be informed of any electrical items which have become obsolete or need replacing should you wish to relet your property. Our management function does not include supervision during any periods when your property is not let, although periodic visits may be made by our staff, particularly when showing prospective tenants around.
PERMISSION TO LET
If your property is subject to a mortgage, then permission to sub-let is normally required from the company providing your mortgage. This is your responsibility and Durbins Lettings will assume that you have made the necessary checks. We cannot be held responsible for any claim a tenant may bring against you, should you have not gained the Mortgagors permission to let or if you face repossession through Mortgage arrears.
We will ensure that Electricity, Gas and Water accounts are transferred in to the Tenants name from their date of occupation. Final accounts can be forwarded to you, but you must advise the utility providers in advance if you intend to return to occupy your home. Please advise us in writing if you wish the electricity to remain connected during periods when the property is vacant.
You should request a closing account before leaving your property. Tenants must make their own application for a telephone connection.
Rent is received monthly or if your tenant is DSS then payment is made every 4 weeks (although please be aware that initial payments can take anything from 4-10 weeks) and transferred to you, once the tenants payment is cleared, less our fees. You will be paid monthly in advance either by cheque sent to your address of directly to your bank or building society account.
Many standard household policies do not cover furnished lettings, so you need to make sure that your property and contents are adequately insured. Durbins Lettings cannot be held responsible for any difficulties arising as a result of a failure to do this.
You should supply one set of front door keys per occupant and one set for Durbins Lettings. All keys in our possession are coded for security. All other household keys should be clearly marked and left in the property.
The landlord is responsible for responding to breakdown of appliances (typically “white goods”). In addition it is essential to check that all electrical or gas appliances are clean, serviced and in good working order. Routine service contracts, particularly for central heating, are strongly recommended. If the property is left vacant the fridge and freezer should be defrosted and left with their doors open.
This is normally the Tenants responsibility during occupation, but your responsibility during periods when your property is vacant. However please note that if any part of the property is locked and made unavailable to the tenant, the Landlord may be liable for council tax charges.
Tenants will be expected to maintain gardens, provided that the necessary tools and equipment are made available.
Legislation provides for a range of Landlords expenses to be offset against rental income. You should seek professional advice on these matters.
TAXES MANAGEMENT ACT 1970. SECTION 78
Where the Landlord of furnished property resided abroad, the Inland Revenue will hold us, as your agents responsible for the payment of any tax liability which arises on rents received by us on your behalf. Income tax will be deducted at basic rate from the gross amount. The process of tax deduction by the agent can be avoided by applying for a tax exemption certificate. Forms can be obtained directly from the Inland Revenue.
You must ensure that furniture supplied conforms to the Fire & Furnishings (fire) safety amendments Regulations 1993. We require you to indemnify us from any action or consequence resulting from any breach of these regulations before we can complete any contract.
SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS
In Wales, properties built since 1992 MUST be fitted with mains powered inter-linked smoke detectors/alarms on each storey. For older properties we recommend the provision of at least battery operated smoke alarms.
We also recommend the fitting of CO (Carbon Monoxide) detectors in any room which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. (This is now a legal requirement for properties in England)
It is also good practice to fit a CO detector near gas boilers and gas fires.
All smoke and carbon detectors should be tested periodically and particularly when a new tenancy commences.
GAS SAFETY REGULATION 35, 1994
Gas equipment in rented properties MUST be checked annually by a registered Gas Safe installer, to ensure that it meets current regulation and that a current Landlord/Home Owner Gas Safety Record is in place.
ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT (SAFETY) REGULATIONS 1994.
For electrical equipment we advise property is checked every 5 years by a Qualified Electrician Part P registered installer.
Landlords should also carry out a basic visual safety check of the electrical installation (plugs, wiring etc) annually and on change of occupancy.
Accurate records of all work carried out on all appliances, including dates of checking must be available upon request.
LEGIONELLA RISK ASSESSMENT
Legionella bacteria may contaminate and grow in water systems including domestic hot and cold water systems. The bacteria can cause a serious illness. Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants is properly assessed and controlled. All rental properties must therefore have a Legionella Risk Assessment. The relevant legislation and guidance can be viewed at www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires .
The risk assessment for typical domestic rental properties is very simple and can usually be done by you. However, if you would prefer us to arrange the risk assessment for you then please get in touch. Once the assessment has been done, it is very unlikely that you would need to do anything else. It is also not likely to need repeating unless something changes (e.g. the property is empty for a long time or the water system changes or some other relevant change).
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATE (EPC)
Every rental property by law requires an EPC prior to marketing the property. The EPC will be valid for 10 years. If your property is currently let, once the Tenant moves out, you will need to have the certificate in place prior to the new Tenant.
FEES AND CHARGES
A set up fee to cover administration is £150 + VAT (for Managed contracts)
Management fee will be the administration fee (as above) plus 10% of the gross monthly rent plus VAT.
Find a tenant only fee will be half of the first months rent + VAT, which is payable at the start of each new tenancy.
Statement of Equal Opportunities policy and purpose of policy
1. Durbins Lettings is committed to equal opportunities for all client, Landlords and tenants.
2. It is our policy that all Durbins Lettings decisions are based on merit and the legitimate business needs of the organisation. Durbins Lettings does not discriminate on the basis of race, colour or nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, disability, religion or belief, age or any other ground on which it is or becomes unlawful to discriminate under the laws of England and Wales (referred to as Protected Characteristics).
3. Our intention is to enable all our staff to work in an environment which allows them to fulfill their potential without fear of discrimination, harassment or victimisation. Durbins Lettings commitment to equal opportunities extends to all aspects of the working relationship including:
• recruitment and selection procedures;
• terms of employment, including pay, conditions and benefits;
• training, appraisals, career development and promotion;
• work practices, conduct issues, allocation of tasks, discipline and grievances;
• work-related social events; and
• termination of employment and matters after termination, including references.
4. This policy is intended to help Durbins Lettings achieve its diversity and anti-discrimination aims by clarifying the responsibilities and duties of all staff in respect of equal opportunities and discrimination. Durbins Lettings will promote effective communication and consultation between Durbins Lettings and staff concerning equal opportunities by means it considers appropriate.
5. The principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunities also apply to the way in which staff treat visitors, clients, customers, suppliers and former staff members.
6. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment. This policy may be amended at any time by Durbins Lettings, in its absolute discretion.
SHOULD YOU REQUIRE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT US