Swindon Homes Letting Department.
Swindon Homes letting dept was established by Nathan Morse in September 2001.He is now ably assisted by Carolyn Lynch who has been with the Company since 2006. They manage a large portfolio on a day to day basis helping Landlords and Tenants alike with any matters that come to the fore.
The letting market is a competitive place, complex and time consuming, with Landlords looking to achieve the highest rents and attract the best Tenants at the least cost. The rewards for the Landlord could be considerable when done in the right way.
Swindon Homes Letting Department can help you achieve this. They will help you prepare and then let your investment property, but there is a lot to do before you get those new tenants through the door.
Here is a brief summary of the letting process that may help you.
Free Rental Valuation
Arrange a free rental valuation on your property. From this you will get a good idea of the rent achievable. Make sure your property is as presentable as possible, e.g., neutral colours throughout, flooring should be wooden, laminate or plain hardwearing carpets, furnishings if any should be able to withstand reasonable wear and tear, keep the property clean, well aired and keep the garden up together. Also keep the heating on if the weather is cold.
Furnished or Unfurnished
In most cases furnished properties tend to achieve a higher rental, but things are gradually changing and the difference is not that big now. Our Letting Department would advise a Landlord to be flexible with regards to this so their property would appeal to a wider audience. If the Landlord does leave furniture he would have to make sure they comply with the Fire Safety Regulation 1993 which covers the fire resistance of domestic furniture and furnishings.
Considering The Costs
When renting a property you usually think of how much you can make but the Landlord should also budget for other costs such as, any costs to bring the property up to a good accommodation standard, regulatory safety standards of furniture, utility equipment and appliances, Solicitors fees, letting agent and management fees and property insurance fees plus additional reserve fees in case of repairs.
The Letting Agent
A lot of Landlords use a Letting Agent to find their Tenants for them which saves time with the Landlord having to do accompany the viewings, negotiating with potential Tenants and doing all the paperwork. The Management Agent will advertise the property, have knowledge of the local market, the demand for the different types of properties and the rents achievable, the types of tenants who could be interested, accompany all of the viewings and give feedback, negotiate on the Landlords behalf when discussing rental and also provide advice and guidance for the tenant and the Landlord.
The Managing Agents
After you have found a suitable tenant for your property you can either manage it yourself or ask a managing/ letting agent to do it for you. This will obviously depend on your circumstances.
A managing /letting agent will also , vet your potential tenants, obtain references from previous landlords, instruct a credit check and ask for bank details, organise the tenancy agreement and an inventory, manage the start and end of the tenancy agreement, collect the rent on a monthly basis, arrange for any repairs to be done[ after being given the owner’s consent], inspect the property on a regular basis and give any professional help or guidance throughout the duration of the tenancy agreement.
Pre-Tenancy Check List
Before you let the property there are a few things that you might want to ensure that you have done e.g., make sure you have consent from your mortgage lender and freeholder, make sure you have your landlords insurance in place, make sure furniture and furnishings comply with the latest fire regulations, make sure that all gas appliances and equipment have been serviced by a corgi registered engineer and that you keep all safety records in a safe place, make sure all electrical wiring and appliances have been checked for safety by an approved qualified electrician, inform the local council tax department and the utility suppliers that the property will be let, make sure you have an Energy Performance Certificate and give this to your letting agent for their office file[ this should also be available during viewings if required] . On the day the tenant moves in you may need additional keys cut depending on how many tenants you have.
An Inventory is the catalogue of a rental property and all its contents. The schedule of condition is a record of the condition of all these items and is usually combined with the inventory. This is done before the tenant moves in either by the landlord or an outside company. The tenant then can check the inventory when he moves in so it must be written in plain English, be easy to understand, be comprehensive, have attached photographs and be verifiable. When the tenant moves out the property can then checked against the original inventory so anything that is needed to be done or resolved can be.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
When the tenant moves in they will pay either you or the letting agent a deposit as they will have signed a shorthold tenancy agreement. This should be lodged with the Government backed Tenancy Deposit Scheme within 30 days of you receiving it. When they move out and the property and is as it was when they moved in, they have paid their bills on time and have adhered to the tenancy agreement, they can have this money back. This must be done within 10 days of them moving out.
All letting agents must advise HMRC of any properties they let. The property tax is applied individually and will apply to the individual’s circumstances. Deductions can usually be made against the tax from items like interest on a mortgage, accountant’s bills, ground rent and service charge, insurances, council tax etc. The list goes on. If you a landlord working outside the UK then the tax you pay will be determined by the UK and the country you are living in. Property tax is very complicated so we would recommend you seek out a qualified Accountant or Tax Expert.
This is not an exhaustive list but it will give you some idea of what is required if you are to become a Landlord.
Swindon Homes Direct charge £250 per property to set up a Tenancy (not per tenant).
£100 non-refundable payment will secure the property to cover the cost of referencing and affordability checks. This £100 will then be deducted from the set-up fee. The remainder of the set-up fee is to be paid with the first month’s rent in advance and deposit on or before move in date.
Guarantor (if required) will be an extra £100, which covers the cost guarantor referencing and document.
Landlords: Fully Managed Properties
Rental commission is deducted from the calendar monthly rent received at a rate of maximum 12% + vat, for advertising and marketing in finding the tenant.
£120 + vat will be charged for the initial set up, which includes preparing an inventory of the property and a tenancy agreement.
Landlords: Let Only Service (No Management)
For advertising and marketing, referencing a tenant and drawing up a tenancy agreement, a cost equivalent to 50% of the first month’s rent + vat is payable
Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) £60 + vat, if required