Property Owners

As all buildings are unique, this is an area where we naturally tailor our services to best meet your requirements.

Mandatory to the service is the completion of your Company Accounts for Company House; running your books and bank accounts; maintaining up-to-date safety certificates; insurance renewals; security; attending AGMs; and day to day maintenance.

If you’ve never let a property before, this section covers the main areas you should know. A full guide to the letting process is available on request.

Rental Payments and Deposits

We ensure that the Tenants pay rental monies monthly in advance by standing order. We also collect a deposit (normally equivalent to one month’s rent plus £100) at the commencement of the tenancy for submission to a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme.

Inventories

We strongly recommend that a detailed Inventory of the property be produced including the Landlord’s furniture and effects. This should be done even if the property is let unfurnished to protect your carpets, paintwork, large kitchen equipment, and the condition of your garden (if applicable). The Inventory should be given to the Agent prior to the commencement of the tenancy, and we will then have it signed by the Tenant along with the Tenancy Agreement.

If you require us to prepare the Inventory in full, we are happy to do so at an additional fee, or alternatively we can provide a sample Inventory which details the information the Inventory should contain. We would recommend that all personal items of sentimental or financial value be removed.

Maintenance

The Tenants are responsible for maintaining the property and its contents (including gardens, fixtures, features, furniture and all items listed in the inventory) in as good and clean state of repair, condition and decoration during the tenancy as the property was in at the commencement of the Term. They should make good any damages to the property that have occurred during the tenancy (fair wear and tear excluded), and failure to do so will result in deductions in their deposit in order to pay for the necessary work to be carried out by tradespeople.

The Tenants are responsible for notifying the Landlord or Managing Agent (if applicable) of any damage, disrepair or defect immediately on the same coming to the attention of the Tenant.

Council Tax and Utility Bills

The Tenants are responsible for the payment of Council Tax, electricity and gas consumed on or supplied to the property during the tenancy. They are also responsible for all telephone billing charges. On the day of move in we ensure the tenants read the relevant utility meters and inform the suppliers accordingly. We register the tenants for Council Tax, Bristol and Wessex Water.

Tenant Rights

We would like to point out that Tenants do have rights to ‘possess and enjoy the premises during the Tenancy without any interruption from the landlord’. We would also mention that should a Landlord wish to gain access to the property during a Tenancy they must give the Tenants the correct written notice. If a Landlord affects entry to a Tenanted property without the Tenant’s consent and without giving the prior notice they will be trespassing and in effect be breaking and entering. They may even be liable for damages under the Housing Act 1988.

Shorthold Tenancy Agreements – Obtaining Possession & Rent Reviews

The usual minimum tenancy period under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy is for six months. If the Landlord wishes to terminate the Agreement or undertake a rent review he must give the Tenants two months’ notice prior to the end of the tenancy, or from the commencement of a rental period any time after the six months have lapsed. This must be served in the correct statutory form.

The Tenant may end the Agreement at any time after the first five months of the rental period by giving at least one month’s notice in writing to the Landlord (such notice to be given at the commencement of a rental period).

Insurance and Lending Institutions

The Landlord should insure their building and contents (the tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions). The Insurers should be notified when a Landlord intends to let the property and where a Landlord is going overseas. It is helpful for us to know the Insurance Companies and the Policy Numbers. We advise that contents be insured to cover accidental damage. Check details of your insurance policies for vacant properties as this cover may be needed between lettings. Should you encounter problems obtaining Building/Contents insurance we can recommend a specialist Landlord broker.

The Landlord should ensure that they have permission from their lending institution (if any) to let the property. The bank or building society will usually require sight of the Tenancy Agreement and we are happy to arrange this.

How to leave the property to facilitate letting

It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that their property is clean and tidy throughout prior to the commencement of the new Tenancy. All electrical and gas appliances must be in excellent working order, and instructions for their use, and any information on service contracts, manuals and guarantees, must be left in the property or with the Agent if managed. Advice on the location of stop cock, fuse box and meters should also be provided. The Tenant is responsible for maintaining the garden during the tenancy, but the equipment to do so should be provided by the Landlord. It is helpful if the Landlord leaves details of general services, i.e. refuse collection and allocated parking spaces and, unless the property is managed, the Landlord should leave a forwarding address and contact numbers for the tenant.

The Landlord should arrange with the Post Office to have their mail re-directed (if applicable).

The Landlord should notify the telephone service of the change in tenancy. British Telecom’s Regulations are such that the Agent is unable to exercise any management in this area.

Gas, Electrical appliances and Soft furnishings

The Landlord must ensure that his contents comply with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1993 which requires that all sofas, sofa-beds, upholstered chairs and mattresses are made from fire-resistant foam. After testing, these items are labelled to indicate that they comply with the Regulation. The only furniture exempt from this Regulation is antique furniture made before 1950.

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 1996, all gas equipment in rented accommodation must be checked for safety by a registered CORGI Gas Engineer at 12-monthly intervals.

The Landlord is required to keep accurate records of any work carried out on all appliances in their control for a period of two years from the date of that check, and to produce to the Tenant a copy of such certificate for every gas appliance in the property for the rental period whenever requested by the Tenant. It is the duty of any person who owns a gas appliance in any part of premises let by him to ensure that such an appliance or installation pipework is maintained in a safe condition so as to prevent risk of injury to any person.

Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, all portable electrical equipment supplied by the Landlord must be correctly maintained and safe for use. All portable appliances (namely anything that can be carried from place to place or that has a plug on the end) are now required to be annually both visually and electrically tested and the results recorded. Landlords should ensure the necessary arrangements are made for such testing.

Compliance with these Regulations will not only make your property safe for your Tenant, but will also safeguard your insurance. (Claims may be invalid if the Regulations have been breached in any way). Absolute Property Management Limited will not be able to market a property for rental purposes unless totally satisfied that the requirements of the legislation have been met.

Although not yet a Statutory requirement in let or managed property which is not deemed to be multiple occupancy, all Landlords have a ‘Duty of Care’ to their tenants and risk negligence claims if fire breaks out and smoke alarms are not installed.

We will be happy to recommend a qualified safety-testing engineer who can do all the testing in one visit.

As you may know, from 6th April 2007 all deposits taken by Landlords in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement must be registered with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days of the tenancy commencement date.
Absolute register all tenants deposits with My Deposits, please follow the link: