Moving home is a major event in your life. At Pennys we put people first and we understand that there is much more to moving than just getting the best price for your property.
We put ourselves in your shoes; only employ trained agents, and work hard to make the process of selling, buying, renting or letting as smooth and stress free as possible.
Our customers tell us communication is key, so we make sure we feedback within 24 hours. We also know that people move not only in their own area but throughout the country and beyond; and as exclusive members of the Relocation Agent Network we have access to a huge database of buyers, tenants and properties throughout the UK including the London market
What will I need to do to let my property? Is a question that most first time landlords will ask. The first and most important answer is to ensure that it will comply with safety requirements.
A Gas Landlord certificate(housing act 1988) is required by law and must be checked annually. This will involve having any gas appliance serviced and checked. Failure to do so, could result in a hefty fine or a prison sentence.
Electrical testing as yet ( but I feel sure this will become law I the future) is not a legal requirement BUT the ARLA code of practice states that you should be able to prove that your electrics are safe and the only sure way of doing this is to have a 5 year fixed wiring or portable appliance test (PAT) test as a minimum.
It could affect your insurance policy if there should be an incident. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are also a requirement on all rental properties from October 2015.
Since October 2008, all properties require one as soon as we receive instruction for letting. They are valid for 10 years and cost in the region of £70. The Government are introducing new legislation in the future, to ask all letting agents to not market or let a property that is anything below an E rating.
If this should affect a property that you have, we are happy to work with you to help bring this rating up. It is usually a case of looking at Heating, lighting, insulation and age of boiler etc. The Government run various schemes to help to improve on home energy efficiency and may be worth investigating.
There are no legal obligations to have an oil fired boiler serviced, but we always recommend that this is carried out annually, it will general improve performance and efficiency of the boiler. Open fires or wood burners should be swept prior to letting and have a certificate to show this has been carried out.
Since March 2014 – it is a requirement that all properties should have a risk assessment. A template can be downloaded and completed by yourself of a competent person – please see the Housing Safety Executive website for more details – or we can discuss this further to have an assessment carried out for you. Please see this website for more details: www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/
We strongly advise landlords to have a building and contents landlord’s policy. A number of companies offer this now but you will need to check the requirements of what happen if your property is empty for a short while as some companies ask for security checks.
You will need Public liability insurance to also be incorporated into the policy.
If you have a mortgage on your property, you will need to obtain consent to let and forward a copy of this to Pennys. If there is a lease or any terms within the freehold over restrictions on letting, you will also need to check this.
New legislation came into effect on 6th April 1996, a non-resident landlord (out of the country for 6 months or more each year) is required to apply to HMRC for an NRL1 form to be personally responsible for his own tax matters under the self-assessment scheme. If this permission is granted, a certificate will be issued and we can pay our landlords his rental income without deduction. If however, permission is refused, Pennys are obliged to deduct 20% of rents collected, and make quarterly payments to the Inland Revenue on the landlord’s behalf. Please be aware that we are not regulated by the FSA and that you may wish to discuss this further with our accountant or Tax Advisor.
We use a reference company to take up in depth financial history on each applicant. The usual checks would include ; credit checks, employers checks and address verification etc. if we are not happy with any part of the findings – we will take further information from the tenant and advise you of circumstances. We do take a fee from the tenants upon application, therefore should you have a change of circumstances and no longer able to proceed with the letting of your property, there will be a fee payable to cover tenancy costs that have been incurred. If you would like to meet with the tenant in advance –please let a member of staff at Pennys know. On the tenant find service – please note that the tenant is obliged to take the utility readings and set up accounts themselves, but for your own records – advise you to also make a note of these.
The majority of tenancy agreements will be on a 6 months assured shorthold tenancy. This means that you would be required to give 2 months’ notice in line with the rent due date if you require possession of your property. (if still during the fixed term notice can be served to end in line with the last day of the rental period) in certain circumstances , a non housing act tenancy will be required – example is a landlord that lives on the premises or if you rent exceeds £100k per year.
The agency will prepare tenancy agreements and will sign the agreement for the landlord, unless we have specific instructions from the landlord that would like to sign this themselves.
Appointment as the agent is agreed to be for the duration of the tenancy, thereafter is subject to one month’s written notice from the landlord.
Pennys will register the tenants deposit with the Deposit Protection Scheme. The terms and conditions are available to view at : www.depositprotection.com/
The DPS will contact all parties at the start of the tenancy to confirm receipt of the deposit and provide a copy of the terms etc.
Since April 2007, it has become a legal requirement for the deposit to be held within a registered scheme. A the end of the tenancy, if there is no dispute, the agent will keep any amounts agreed as deductions where expenditure has been incurred on behalf of the landlord and tenant. Payment of the deposit will be made within ten working days of receipt of written consent from both parties. If a dispute between the landlord and tenant should arise, it will be referred to the DPS for independent adjudication. This will require a case to be presented along with evidence of the claim with a sworn affidavit witnessed by a solicitor.
If it is a particularly difficult case, there may be a fee incurred to deal with this.
If we are instructed to manage your property, we will include a fully detailed inventory/schedule of condition which will include a photographic record. We recommend that all properties have one as in the event of a dispute at the end of the tenancy, the DPS will not consider an appeal if there is not an inventory in place. If you would our tenant find service, we can still provide the inventory at an additional cost (dependant on the size of your property). We use this report to check the tenant out at the end of the tenancy.
Pennys will deal with any day to day maintenance matters, including minor repairs up to a maximum cost of £200 per item. Except in an emergency and wherever practical, estimates will be obtained and submitted for approval for any repairs/replacements likely to exceed this level.
For any works of a larger scale for example – Decorating, building, flooring, Heating systems etc, we do have an extensive list of contractors that we can pass your details on to so that you can arrange to meet directly with them to discuss your requirements.
Wherever, the instructions of the landlord are sought the agent will expect a prompt reply, and in the absence of such a response, reserves the right to follow the course deemed to be in the landlord’s best interest, and to fulfil the landlords legal and contractual obligations.
Where faults occur the agent will define what the defect is, usually by visiting the property, there will not be a call out fee for this unless it is out of usual office hours.
The agent will undertake to use the contractors qualified to deal with the reported defect, but cannot be held liable for contractors inability to rectify a particular problem.
All properties that are managed by Pennys will have a regular property visit and you will receive a report via email after this has taken place. On the visit, the general condition of the property will checked for defects, the report does not represent a survey of the premises, or a full inventory check as time does not allow for this. The first visit will be made one month after the tenancy commences and thereafter will be made every 3 months.
We would like 3 sets of keys to each property – one for Pennys to keep for maintenance and 2 sets for the tenants. A set may just consist of a front door key. As long as every lock in the house has a key. All windows that have a locking mechanism will require keys. This is usually a requirement now for insurance companies.