About Houses - Estate Agents In Bristol

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Adcroft House
15 Roath Road
Portishead
Bristol
North Somerset
BS20 6AW

Landlords

A guide to our professional services

Whether you are planning to own a property for investment purposes or perhaps if you are going abroad for a period of time then your home can provide a rental income. This may well cover mortgage payments (or at least subsidise them) whilst you can benefit from any capital appreciation in the value of the property. However, it is imperative that professional advice is obtained so that decisions on the letting are kept to a minimum and all legalities are explained in detail.

Properties can be let both furnished and unfurnished. The tenancy type for both classes is currently the same and the process for obtaining possession is also the same. Furnishings and appliances included in the tenancy are the Landlords responsibility for maintenance and many Landlords, for this reason, prefer to let their properties unfurnished. However, unfurnished properties are usually let with carpets, curtains and usually white goods.

The purpose of this guide is to give general information and advice relating to the experience and property service of this company. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in these pages and it is for information only and not in any way an authoritative statement of the law. The advice of a solicitor is also recommended should there be any doubts regarding legalities.

We will be happy to discuss your specific requirements and any aspect of residential letting not covered within this guide. Please do not hesitate to contact us; we look forward to your call.

PROPERTY REFURBISHMENT/MAINTENANCE & DRESSING

About Houses has its' own Maintenance Department and any refurbishment requirements can be quoted upon from completely stripping down and redecorating the property to installing new kitchens and bathrooms. We will advise on colour schemes to suit tenanted properties and be more than happy to help with the dressing of the property.

If you already own the property we will advise and assess any work/cleaning needed to put the property in top class condition to let out. We will also advise on any dressing required, ie curtains, white goods etc and take this on if requested.

We pride ourselves on the presentation of the properties we let out and the quality of workmanship of our tradesmen and expect a high standard from all involved in works to our properties.

Our Property Management & Lettings Service
  • Having instructed us the Landlord will receive our utmost attention and advice on letting the property
  • We will advise on current rental values and the legal aspects of letting including advice on insurance, permissions from mortgage lenders (if applicable) and safety aspects
  • We will then advertise the property and accompany viewings
  • Potential tenants will be interviewed and references from banks, employers and any previous landlords will be obtained, credit checks are also undertaken.
  • An inventory will be prepared and schedule of dilapidations will be made prior to the beginning of a tenancy and again on vacation of the property
  • A deposit from the tenant will be obtained as security against undue wear and damage. This is usually one month's rental amount + £100 which is held in a separate Client's Account against possible damage caused during the term of the agreement. This will be returned to the tenant, without interest, at the end of the tenancy subject to everything being left in a satisfactory condition. One months' rent (cleared funds) in advance will also be obtained
  • Agreements will be signed
  • Tenants will be instructed on the use of any equipment installed at the property
  • Notice will be given to the utility services and authorities with regard to the change of occupant of the property
  • Collection of rent will be on a monthly basis and will then be transferred to the Landlord's bank or building society on a monthly basis minus any commissions, repairs and other incidentals
  • General maintenance and essential repairs will be carried out with permission from the Landlord during the tenancy period and paid from the rental income of the property. We have our own in house maintenance team
  • Monthly statements of your account will be provided
  • Quarterly inspection visits will be made to the property and a detailed report of any findings provided.
Responsibility for Out Goings

The tenant has the responsibility of paying the utility bills during the term of the tenancy which include water, gas, electricity, council tax, TV licence and telephone. The responsibility for these charges during vacant times and in between tenancies is that of the Landlord. If the property is leasehold then the Landlord is also responsible for any service charges and ground rent due.

Insurance - The Landlord is required to pay insurance on buildings & any contents of his that remain in the property. The tenant will be required to insure their own contents and furnishings. Insurance can be arranged via ourselves.

Maintenance - The Landlord is required to maintain the property with regard to structure and services. Under our full management service we would arrange for any emergency/immediate repair work to be carried out. Routine repairs can also be arranged via our own maintenance department. Estimates will be submitted to the Landlord for agreement before the work is carried out. If any equipment within the property is under guarantee we must be informed of the details before letting commences.

Consents to Let

The property may be subject to a mortgage. Permission must be obtained from the Lender for the letting of the property.

If the property is subject to a Leasehold then it may be a requirement of the Freeholder that permission is sought to let the property.

Joint ownership - Permission must be obtained from all owners of the property. Full names and addresses must be provided

Keys

About Houses will require 1 full set of keys (all doors, windows, padlocks, garages etc). A set of keys will also be provided for each adult tenant (which will be invoiced to the Landlord).

Boards - To Let

We believe that the most effective way of advertising a property is that of the "to let" board which will be displayed at the property in a suitable location.

Safety

The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the Landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as Agents. Therefore to protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the owner's expense.

Gas Appliances and Equipment

Gas Appliances Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. There are requirements relating to the installation and use of gas appliances., all gas appliances in tenanted premises must be checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months, by a CORGI registered gas engineer, and a safety certificate issued. Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, of defects identified, and of any remedial action taken.

Electrical Appliances and Equipment

Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 and some other regulations, electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe. Although (unlike gas) no safety certificate is legally required, and therefore it may be adequate to perform a visual check of electrical equipment, fittings and leads, it is recommended that a qualified electrician be engaged for this purpose.

Furniture and Furnishings

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, and beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. In practice, most (but not all) items that comply must have a suitable permanent label attached. Items purchased since 1.3.90 from a reputable supplier are also likely to comply.

General Product Safety

The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as hot surfaces, electric lawnmowers, etc. for the tenant.

FEE'S TO LANDLORDS

Summary of fees available on request

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