Browsing all articles tagged with tenancy agreements Archives - LettingLinks - Connecting Landlords & Tenants
Nov
27

Using a Rental Agent? Which Service Should I Go For?

Is this your first time letting out a property? Maybe you’re planning on using an Agent but you really aren’t sure what service you should be using. They generally fall under 3 different types of service categories.

Introduction Only or Let Only

As you can imagine from the name, this is the basic service that will market your property for you and be available for potential tenants to view the unit. The Agent would then take references, for which the prospective tenant would most likely be charged for this service. Once a suitable tenant was found, you would probably pay extra to your agent to have the tenancy agreement written up and signed. As soon as the tenant moves in the agents service is complete and the responsibility for collecting rent and taking care of the property falls back to you – the Landlord.

Rent Collection

Most agents will market this service as an add-on to the Let Only model, but is again a basic service that has its limitations. The agent will collect the rent on your behalf by setting up a standing order with the tenant’s bank account to have the monthly rent transferred into a rental account which would then be transferred to you. This is not a rent Guarantee. The agent will most likely have a few standard letters that would go out to remind the tenant that the rent is due, should they go into arrears, and he might even make a few calls on your behalf. If however the matter becomes a court situation in order to collect back rent, this would become your responsibility. If you want to save the 2 – 3% that the agent would charge, it would be just as easy for you to set up the standing order yourself.

Full Management

This is the hardest decision to make; do you want to manage the property yourself or hire an agent to do this for you. There are several things you should consider before making this decision.

If for example you do not live locally, it would be quite impossible for you to be there quickly should there be an emergency, or to do check ins and outs, or for periodic inspections.

How knowledgeable are you about repairs and maintenance? You need to have a basic understanding to be able to figure out what was wrong, and either how to fix it or who you should call. And without the basics, it becomes more likely that you could be taken advantage of by some unscrupulous tradesman. This is where an agent would have the advantage, especially if they have several properties they are managing. They would hopefully have a good team of tradespeople they could call on, and if they are giving them steady work, the tradespeople have a tendency of putting letting agents in priority sequences.

And the most important question you need to answer is: do you have the time it takes to manage the property yourself? Problems have a way of occurring at the worst possible time and could interfere with your other commitments, such as family. Your tenant doesn’t care what he’s interrupting; all he knows is that he has a problem and wants it fixed – now!

If after reading this you’ve decided that managing the property yourself is just not worth it, try to negotiate with the letting agent about their management fee. Most agents like the benefits of managing the properties such as receiving repeat let only fees so they are more likely to be flexible when charging a management fee. Let Only fees are usually paid up front whereas the management fee would be received monthly.

In order to find the right letting agent for you, why not let ‘Letting Links’ help you find what you are looking for? We can even match you up with some potential tenants, so check out our services.

Nov
13

Landlord Law – Lesser known Regulations you should be aware of!

As you may already know, the two most important and vital regulations that a landlord needs be in compliance with are The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 and The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulation 1988 – as amended 1993.

However there are several lesser known regulations, laws and acts that as a landlord you must have up-to-date information in order to be compliant. The following are a few of those regulations:

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 was introduced in order for the electrical equipment that is to be supplied by the landlord to be in good working order and safe to use. Although there is no mandatory equipment testing requirement, unlike the Gas Safety regulation, the responsibility of the landlord is no different. The best practice for landlords is to include the testing of all electronic appliances and electrics (wires, plugs and sockets) at the beginning of each tenancy, and annually thereafter, to ensure everything is in working order. If you are in the habit of having these items checked regularly you would not have any trouble proving due diligence in the event of a fire or any other problem or mishap.

As part of this regulation there is also the Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulation 1994 that states any plug, socket or adaptor that the landlord is supplying within a residential letting must comply with the appropriate current standard and that the plugs are prewired and insulated enough so that there would be no shock when removing plugs from the socket.

There are several other subsections of this regulation, so you would be wise to check out the entire document.

The other document you would be advised to have on hand for reference is the Landlord and Tenant Act. Unfortunately it’s an ever changing and expanding document that can be difficult to keep up with. The following are but a few examples that might be of interest to you:

Section 47, Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 is regarding the need for landlords to have an address in England or Wales, even if they reside outside of England or Wales. There must be an address in England or Wales for the rent to be sent as well as any notifications, this address could be that of an office rather than their home.

Section 11, Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 requires landlords to keep both the interior and exterior of the property, including drains, ducts, gutters and pipes, in good working order. They must also keep the installations for supplying water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating and water heating in good repair and working order. This would also imply that the landlord has the right to view all of the above in order to assess the conditions of his property, provided they give a 24 hour written notice to the tenant.

The Protection from Eviction Act 1977, states that neither the landlord nor the agent has a right to reclaim possession of a property if the tenant refuses to leave without first obtaining a court order. It would be considered a criminal offense to harass, change the locks, cut off services or remove the tenant’s possessions.  

The Sex Discrimination Act 1975; the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; the Race Relations Act 1976. All of these Acts make it illegal to discriminate an application for tenancy on the grounds of sex, marital status, disability or race (including colour, nationality, creed, ethnicity or national origin).

So as you can see there is definitely more to becoming a landlord than just finding a tenant for a property you want to let. As many of these regulations, laws and acts carry the possibility of penalties and sometimes even imprisonment; you can see just how important it is to be aware, up-to-date and diligent about the condition of your property in order to protect your possessions.

 

 

Oct
3

The Benefits of Private Landlord Lettings

There are many advantages from renting from a private landlord. The most important advantage is that you will likely be paying less rent. And who doesn’t want to have less of an expense for their rent each month? But the advantages are not limited to the rent you’ll pay.

Communicating directly with the private landlord gives you a better chance of showing your most redeeming qualities and establishing a more personal relationship right up front. This will give you a better opportunity to show what a good tenant you would be, or to introduce a pet that you are trying to have included in your tenancy. The more a landlord likes you and gets to know you the more likely he might be to decreasing the rent. A private landlord is looking to rent to a responsible person that they can trust with their property and who will pay their rent in a timely fashion.

Since you won’t need to go through a letting agent, a private landlord does not pay an additional fee which means he can pass this saving along to the tenant by charging less rent. As a private landlord it is unlikely that he will have the means in which to perform a credit check which also cuts down on the amount of money a landlord pays out of pocket, not to mention the advantage this presents if you have bad credit, ccj’s or bankruptcy in your history.

Also because most private landlords do not perform credit checks and other administrative functions, the move in date is generally much quicker. Private landlords are looking to get their properties rented as quickly as possible so that the amount of lost revenue is kept at a minimum.

You will also find the term of tenancy to be more flexible than if you were to go through a letting agent. With a more personal relationship, you are more likely to negotiate a rental agreement that is suitable for both yourself and the landlord. The entire experience with a private landlord is more personable and can lead to a long and enjoyable relationship that benefits all those involved.

A letting agent generally charges additional fees for credit checks and references sometimes check in and check out fees, which are fees that you would not expect to pay when dealing with a private landlord. The savings can leave you with more money in your pocket for other expenses that are associated with moving.

Lettinglinks.com is a social networking site that connects landlords with tenants. If you are looking to rent a property from a private landlord then visit the main site and create your account in seconds. The site is 100% FREE to use. Gain access to thousands of UK registered landlords NOW!

Sep
19

Tenancy Agreements — Know Your Rights

When first moving into a new flat or rental unit, the excitement can be over-whelming. While this is always a good sign, it is always important to know and remember your rights as a tenant, should you need to exercise them in the event of a problem during the letting period. Likewise, as a landlord it is equally important to know and understand what the rights of both you and your tenants, should there be an issue down the road.

Insurance is the first right both the tenant and the landlord share equally. On the landlord side, maintaining adequate insurance on the rental property is the utmost important way to secure your investment, in the event of an accident. This means, while the tenant is living there, should a fire, flood arson etc. happen, your physical home is covered. Always check with an insurance agent about proper coverage for your unit. A tenant should always secure insurance on a rental property prior to moving in, for the same reasons. Should there be an accident or incident in the home, many times a landlords insurance will not cover your own private property (think you bed,television, computer or kitchen appliances.)

Rental upkeep is yet another common right both landlords and tenants share equally. In the event of repairs being needed on the rental unit, it is the landlords responsibility to make sure they are made in an orderly and prompt fashion. In order to notify the owner of such needed repairs, they are expected to provide accurate and current contact information to the tenant.

As a property owner, you have the right to ensure your property is being treated properly (not damaged or used for malicious purposes) and as such, you are entitled to enter the property after giving the tenant 24 hours notice.

In regards to monetary amounts, a landlord must put the rental deposit in trust immediately after approving the lease (see rental deposits for more information) and ensure the amount is returned promptly within 30 days of the lease being terminated. In the event of needed repairs, property owners need to justify withholding any monies from the tenant. Likewise, a landlord also has the right to collect any past due rent or arrears from the tenant. A landlord may visit their tenant at any time to request the amounts in full.

Subject to not receiving any compensation, a landlord also has the right to remove any tenant from their property (only following proper legal actions.)

Knowing and respecting tenancy rights is both a landlord and tenants responsibility meant to be shared equally. Knowing these rights can save hours of frustration down the road, should a problem arise.

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