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Landlord Guide

Why Choose Howard & Co

  • Highly professional, friendly, approachable and knowledgeable staff
  • Award winning professional service tailored to your individual needs with excellent communication and feedback. We treat all our landlords the same, whether you have one property or a large portfolio
  • Properties usually let within a week of instruction - often on the same day!
  • Strong demand from very good tenants - database of applicants ready to move now
  • Comprehensive online marketing of your property - via our website, major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla, and Social Media. Local advertising in property papers and magazines
  • Detailed Property Particulars (with room measurements), floor plans and professional photography - giving that professional look. We make your property stand out from the crowd
  • Long established in Worthing
  • Proud members of The Property Ombudsman Scheme and ARLA
  • Thorough and rigorous referencing of potential tenants including credit checks, identity checks, employer and previous landlord references. In fact, we only place tenants we would want ourselves, as if the property were our own
  • All client money is fully insured
  • Dedicated Property Manager for managed properties dealing with maintenance issues promptly and efficiently
  • 24 hour emergency out of hours service for managed properties
  • Peace of mind that you will be fully updated on the ever changing and complex regulations affecting residential landlords.

Tenant Introduction

This option is usually suitable for experienced landlords who are familiar with tenancy law and property management and have the time to deal with any tenants queries promptly.

The service includes:

  • Full marketing of your property online and in local property papers
  • Detailed Property Particulars, floor plans and professional photography
  • Accompanied viewings
  • Full and extensive tenant referencing to determine suitability
  • Tenant identity checks as required by law
  • Preparation of Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
  • Collecting security deposit and first month’s rent
  • Registration of deposit with Deposit Protection Service
  • Setting up standing order for future rent payments
  • Notifying Council and Utility companies of tenants details
  • Inventory preparation including Legionella risk assessment - optional extra
  • Arranging Gas Safety Check - optional extra
  • Arranging carbon monoxide and smoke alarms - optional extra
  • Rent guarantee insurance - optional extra.

Rent Collection

This option is usually suitable for landlords who are familiar with tenancy law and property management and have the time to deal with any tenants queries promptly but want the peace of mind of the rent being collected and chased by an experienced company.

The service includes everything in the Tenant Introduction service PLUS:

  • Receiving rental payments & prompt forwarding to your account via BACS; sending you a monthly statement
  • Dealing with any arrears promptly
  • Advising on eviction if required
  • Tenancy renewal and rent increase negotiation
  • Deposit reconciliation assistance

Full Management

This service is suitable for landlords who are new to letting or those who want complete peace of mind and no contact with the tenant.

The service includes everything in the Tenant Introduction and Rent Collection Services PLUS:

  • Looking after your property and tenant throughout the tenancy
  • Quarterly management inspection visits to the property
  • Taking calls from your tenant regarding any maintenance or repair issues
  • Arranging maintenance or repairs through our trusted contractors (or your own nominated contractors if you prefer)
  • 24 hour emergency telephone service for maintenance emergencies
  • Keeping you up to date with the latest legal aspects of letting your property.

Preparing your Property to Let

It may seem obvious but well presented properties attract good tenants and first impressions really count. We are happy to provide advice on how to present your property, but in general it is best to keep decor clean and neutral, with easily manageable kitchens and bathrooms. If a property is clean at the start of the tenancy it is more likely to be well looked after and you can insist on it being professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. Similarly if there is a garden, if it is in a tidy well maintained condition at the start of the tenancy it is reasonable for you to expect it to be in a similar condition when the tenants move out. If you are furnishing the property, remove all personal effects or any favourite or valuable pieces of furniture.

Tenants’ Deposits

All security deposits taken in relation to an Assured Shorthold tenancy must by law be held by and protected in a government approved scheme. Howard & Co protects all security deposits in the Deposit Protection Service, unless you are a member of an approved scheme yourself.

Energy Performance Certificates

All properties being marketed to let must have an EPC, a copy of which must be given to the tenant. An EPC is valid for 10 years. From April 2018 all rented properties must have an EPC rating of E or above.

Gas Safety Certificates

It is legal requirement for all properties which have a gas supply to have a yearly Gas Safety Check carried out.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

It is a legal requirement for all rented properties to be fitted with smoke alarms on each floor. All properties with a gas supply, solid fuel burning appliances or open fires must by law have a carbon monoxide alarm.

Electrical Safety

All wiring and equipment supplied in a rented property must be safe and free of risk of death and injury. We strongly recommend that any electrical appliances provided in the property should be PAT tested. We also recommend a visual fixed wiring inspection at least every 5 years.

Furniture

All furniture provided must meet the requirements of the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition

We strongly recommend that a detailed inventory and schedule of condition is drawn up for each new tenancy even if your property is unfurnished. This will be used to compare the condition of the property at the start and end of the tenancy in order to decide if any deductions from the deposit need to be made. Without an inventory, it is virtually impossible to make any deductions from the deposit as you will not be able to prove the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy.

Legionnaires Disease

It is a legal requirement to ensure that the risk to tenants, residents and visitors is properly assessed and controlled.

Buildings and Contents Insurance

It is the landlord’s responsibility to have buildings insurance in place at all times. We also recommend that landlords have contents insurance even if your property is unfurnished, to cover such items as carpets, appliances etc, as well as public liability.

Rent Guarantee Insurance

We can arrange insurance to cover loss of rent and legal expenses of eviction if required.

Consents

If you have a mortgage or other loan secured on your property, you should obtain written permission from your lender prior to letting the property. If the property is leasehold, you should also check whether you need permission from the freeholder.

Taxation

Whilst we can and do advise all landlords about Tax this is best covered by your accountant/tax consultant on your liability to pay tax on your rent. If you are an overseas client you will be aware of the UK Tax collection at source and to claim this back in your return minus your expenses, also as an overseas investor you will require a valuation point of reference for capital gains which again your accountant will advise.


On your marks

We will visit your property and advise on what to leave in or remove and what to expect in terms of rental income and any expenses / costs

We will discuss which of our levels of service is best for you and whether you require an EPC, inventory, etc. We will also discuss what type of tenants you are looking for - for example, whether you would accept children or pets.

Once you are fully satisfied you can instruct Howard & Co to market your property.

Following this we will produce your unique property particulars and market your property to all our registered prospective tenants. We advertise online - via our website, social media, and our partners Rightmove and Zoopla

Get set

Usually we will have interest in your property within hours - not days or weeks

We will do all the preliminary checks for you so that we don’t waste your time - only putting forward tenants who meet your criteria.

Once we have someone interested in taking the property, we will contact you to discuss. Sometimes there are several people for you to choose from although we can normally recommend who we think will be best. The final decision is of course yours.

When an agreement is reached, we will carry out full and comprehensive referencing of the tenant. If satisfactory, we then prepare the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, and if required, the inventory.

The tenants will sign the Agreement and pay the security deposit, plus the first month’s rent in advance.

Go!

All the administration is nearly done now. We will pay the initial rent, less expenses, into your account and provide a statement.

A standing order is set up for future rent payments. The deposit is securely registered with the Deposit Protection Service (or in your own deposit scheme if you have one) and the inventory is returned signed by the tenant.

That’s not all. Having found your ideal tenant, if you have selected our Rent Collection or Full Management service we will continue to work for you throughout the tenancy. Even if you have chosen our Tenant Introduction service, we are always on hand to provide advice or assistance if required.

Howard & Co take the worry and stress out of renting your property - leaving you free to continue with your life.