Brights of Bideford Lettings & Property Management

Brights have for many years provided a very personal Lettings and Management Service to their clients.

We pride ourselves on trying to pick the right tenant and doing what is most beneficial for the property and the landlord to have a trouble free let. Finding these tenants and not rushing the rental process comes down to many years of rental experience within Bideford.

Starting with an initial and free consultation so as to provide potential rental advice, whether the property should be furnished or unfurnished, current safety regulations and the type of tenants likely to be considered suitable.

Letting and Full Management

(Always on a Sole Agency Basis)

Management Fees
Each property and proposed arrangement is individually assessed but these are usually in the region of 10% - 15% + vat of the gross rent collected.

Initial Letting Fee
(Only applicable if in conjunction with Management instructions). An amount equivalent to 2 weeks’ rental is payable for finding and introducing a tenant, taking up references, notifying authorities and service departments etc.

Should it be necessary to arrange subsequent lettings, letting fees would be payable in each case, together with the appropriate fees for checking and revising the inventory.

Inventory Fee with Schedule of Superficial Condition
The initial inventory fee is dependent on the size of the accommodation and time taken to prepare. An estimate of the cost can be given upon our inspection of the accommodation (usually approx. £100 to £300 + vat). The fee for checking the inventory and accommodation at the end of the tenancy would similarly depend on the time taken (usually £50 + vat)

Tenancy Agreement
We are able to prepare the appropriate tenancy documents for the letting of a furnished or unfurnished dwelling on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under Part 1 Housing Act as amended by Part 111 Housing Act 1996. The cost will be met by the incoming tenants. However should a client prefer to use their own solicitors for this, we would of course provide all the relevant information.

Energy Performance Certificate
For compliance with the Housing Act 2004 (effective October 2008) an Energy Performance Certificate has to be made available to prospective tenants at time of enquiry/viewing to that they are aware of the current energy performance ratings of the property.

If required this service can be commissioned for the sum of £58.50 (no vat).

The EPC whilst used for letting purposes has a life of 10 years although if improvements have been made and/or another EPC commissioned voluntarily the more up to date Certificate takes precedent.

Tenancy Deposit Protection
Compliance is required with the Housing Act 2004 provisions (effective 5th April 2007). We are members of my deposits (www.mydeposits.co.uk) a Government authorised and Insurance based Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (for which we have to pay).

This legislation affects all Landlords and any Agent acting for them. NO CHARGE.

A deposit of not less than a sum equivalent of 1 months rent is taken from the tenant(s) and is held by us on behalf of the Landlord Client(s) within a Client Money Account as security for: (a) The performance of any obligations of the Tenant; or (b) The discharge of any liability of the Tenant’s, arising under or in connection with the tenancy. In the event of there being no dilapidations or other outstanding accounts/rent at the date of the termination of the tenancy then the deposit is repaid to the tenants in full without accrued interest. The interest is retained by us as Agents.

In the event of an unresolvable dispute the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) is available through mydeposits.

Accounts
A quarterly statement of account will be sent to the client together the net rental balance being paid direct into the client’s bank or building society account.

Outgoings
It is our normal practice to charge a rental exclusive of Council Tax and Water Rates with authorities being notified of tenants’ occupation so that they may be accounted to direct.

Utilities
It is also normal practice for gas and electricity supplies to be transferred to the name of the tenants.

Telephone
British Telecom will not accept third party instructions with regard to disconnection or connection of their services. Consequently any outgoing landlord/tenant has to request disconnection and forwarding of final accounts themselves and incoming tenants have to make their arrangements for line connection.

Inspections
The usual tenancy agreement stipulates that we as landlord’s Agents have the right to inspect the property at any reasonable time with notice and as part of our service regular inspections are carried out.

Building Society etc.
Where a property is mortgaged permission should be sought from the Society/Bank to let the accommodation. Ample time should be allowed to obtain this consent prior to letting.

Insurance
Owners should ensure that the property and contents are adequately insured to cover a letting of the property. Clients may find that many insurance companies will not now be prepared to insure the contents of the property to be let. We would also suggest that cover be obtained for loss of rental in the event of the property becoming unlettable as a result of damage perhaps by fire, storm or burst pipes etc

.

Exclusions
Should an owner not be prepared to accept responsibility for maintenance of any items such as washing machines, electrical equipment etc, the Agent should be informed before the commencement of any tenancy so that these points may be included in any tenancy agreement.

General Maintenance
We would normally expect tenants to maintain the interior of the property to a standard and condition comparable to that at the start of any tenancy, allowing for fair wear and tear. The owner will be responsible for structural repairs and external maintenance etc. Where there are gardens to the property tenants will be expected to maintain these properly although a compromise is sometimes necessary regarding trees, hedges etc.

Rental
When assessing the rental likely to be achieved it is necessary to take into account the type of applicants that the owner is prepared to consider and the availability of alternative properties at that time. This, together with the type of tenancy required, will be discussed at the time of our initial visit.

Tax
From 6th April 1996 a new scheme came into effect for taxing of UK rental income of non-residential Landlords.

Letting agents or indeed tenants,(where there is no letting agent for a non-resident landlord), are obliged under the scheme to deduct tax from the landlords UK rental income and pay the tax to the Inland Revenue.

This must be done for each quarter ending 30th June, 30th September, 31 December and 31st March.

Letting Agents and tenants do not have to deduct tax from the rental income of a non-resident landlord if the Inland Revenue have told them, in writing, that the landlord is approved to receive the rental income with no tax deducted.

Consequently non-resident landlords can apply to the Inland Revenue’s Financial Intermediaries and Claims Office (IFCO) for approval to receive their rental income with no tax deducted.

We will be able to direct you in this respect and assist with the appropriate applications.

Let Only Fees

(Always on a Sole Agency Basis)

  • For introducing and securing suitable Landlord approved Tenant(s), obtaining usual references and preparing Tenancy Agreements – In region of 10% of annual rent agreed plus vat.
  • Compliance with Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (for which we have to pay) - £75.00 plus vat.
  • Preparation of an Inventory of Furnishings and/or of Fixtures and Fittings with Schedule of Superficial Condition – to be assessed but usually between £100.00 and £300.00 + vat.
  • End of Tenancy release of deposit which, if without controversy requires form signing by Tenant agreeing to the un-protection of their deposit and repayment in full or with deductions by agreement - £50.00 plus vat.
  • If release of deposit is to be disputed and mediation/referral necessary to the scheme – time charged at £75.00 per hour plus vat.
  • Provision of Energy Performance Certificate if needed (as overleaf).

Important regulations/Legislation



The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988
The regulations do not apply to furniture made before 1950. Any furniture included in the property made since 1950 must meet the fire resistance requirements (if no fire label visible non - compliance must be assumed) or be removed.

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994
This requires annual inspection and certification of each appliance by a ‘Gas Safe’ Registered engineer who will issue the appropriate Gas Safety Certificate.

Electrical Appliances/Installations
It is the Landlords responsibility to ensure that the electrical installation and any appliance provided are safe when the tenancy begins & are in proper working order throughout the tenancy so as to be free of risk of injury to tenants & residents.

The Local Authority can take action to enforce electrical safety in residential accommodation under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System.

It is our recommendation that a Periodic (Inspection) Condition Report is obtained prior to a new tenancy & repeated every 5 years & any portable appliances also tested for safety together with any interim visual inspections completed by Landlord or Agent as necessary.

Whilst Landlords have no legal obligation to have the electrical equipment tested Trading standards also recommend that electrical systems/equipment are regularly checked and there can be harsh penalties for Landlords/Agents found to be negligent or having failed to have shown due diligence.

Housing Health and Safety Rating System
This Legislation was prepared in the light of the Housing Act 2004 and enforceable by the Local Authority. Designed to identify risks and reduce the number of accidents in the home. There are 29 potential hazards to be checked and a risk assessment should be carried out in all properties offered ‘to let’.

The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015
Effective 1/10/2015 – 1. A smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and 2. A carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation & contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance. (We are taking this further to include all fuel burning appliances that can emit Carbon Monoxide).

Checks are to be made by or on behalf of the Landlord to ensure that each prescribed alarm is in proper working order on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy.

Legionnaires’ Disease
The Health & Safety Executive state that the legal duty for Landlords who provide residential accommodation is to consider, assess & control the risks of exposure to Legionnaires’ Disease to their tenants.

Simple control measures can help such as:

  • Flushing out the system prior to letting the property
  • Avoid debris getting into the system (e.g. ensure the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight fitted lid).
  • Setting heat control parameters at 600 C
  • Make sure any redundant pipework identified is removed.

It is hoped that the aforegoing will give you a general outline of our Terms of Management and Services but we shall be pleased to discuss any matters in further detail or provide additional information that you may require.

A copy of our standard agreement for management of property will be completed upon receipt of your instructions, together with general information relating to yourself and the property.

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