Harrison Lettings & Management constantly seek quality homes for suitable tenants. We are a friendly and personal team who care. We fully appreciate that letting a home can be extremely stressful and we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to pick up the phone to discuss any details which may be troubling you.
For those letting for investment purposes we can help with any advice you require, we are well experienced and have connections in all aspects. We can help with advice from decorators to lawyers, If you want to build an investment portfolio, then we can help.
If you ask us to manage your property, we use the best tradesmen in town, most of whom we have personal experience of. Unlike many agencies we pass their cost straight on to you with no mark up. We can provide you with insurance cover to suit your needs. Policies which cover building, contents, maintenance, rent and legal fees are all available.
Harrison Lettings & Management have a high level of rent collected with very low void periods between tenancies.
We’ll combine our local expertise and the latest market intelligence information with the huge marketing power of the internet, to help you find the right tenant fast.
All our properties are advertised on rightmove.co.uk, the UK’S favourite property website, attracting over 5 million visits from home movers every month.
We appreciate every landlord is an individual. We will always find time to talk to you and to return all enquiries.
What to do First?
You may have already decided that you wish to let your property or you may just be seeking advice, if so, simply pick up the phone and speak to us. We will be pleased to meet you at your property to discuss your specific requirements and answer any queries you may have.
We can carry out a FREE rental appraisal and advise you, in our opinion, the best way to proceed. This service is provided at no cost to you and without obligation. Contact us today to arrange your free lettings valuation.
Finding a Tenant
The success of a good tenancy is carefully selecting a suitable tenant for your property.
Restrictions concerning pets, smokers, multiple occupancy etc can be incorporated. It is our job to find the tenant which best suits you and your individual property.
All prospective tenants will be accompanied to view your property. We never send prospective tenants to properties without an escort.
Harrison Lettings & Management uses a very thorough tenant assessment service to qualify all prospective tenants offering fast and effective comprehensive referencing. We take photographic ID and reference any person over the age of 18 moving into a property. Some tenants may require a Guarantor, who will also be party to the agreement to ensure your protection.
Our many years of experience have enabled us to build an excellent reputation in selecting tenants for our clients, however, we never forget that it is your property and you have the final word.
Once a suitable tenant has been chosen and approved, the necessary Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements will be prepared and appropriate notices under the Housing Act will be prepared in house. We will have already asked your permission to enter into tenancy.
Furnishing & Fire Safety Regulations
We would recommend that properties are let with carpets, curtains and a cooker only.
Should you decide to let your property furnished then as a landlord you will have to meet the current Health & Safety regulations.
The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) stipulate that items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds and futons, and much more. The regulations do not apply to bedcovers, curtains, carpets, or antique furniture (furniture made before 1950). Items of furniture or furnishings purchased since 01 March 1990 will automatically comply with the regulations, providing they have a suitable permanent label attached or the receipt kept. All non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
A detailed explanation is available in ‘A guide to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) regulations’ from the department Trade of Industry. For details visithttp://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file24685.pdf
Whilst it is recommended that the occupier of any property with gas appliances connected ensures that they are regularly serviced for safety reasons, as soon as you fall into the category of ‘Landlord’ you immediately have responsibilities under the law to ensure that your gas appliances are safe and certified.
Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 stipulate that all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be serviced and safety checked within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent GAS SAFE REGISTERED engineer.
We can arrange for a suitably qualified engineer to inspect and issue a safety record on your behalf.
A copy of the safety record issued must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being conducted.
You can instruct your own GAS SAFE REGISTERED engineer if you wish, however, if we do not hold a certificate at commencement of the tenancy, we will instruct our own engineer to carry out the safety inspection.
The penalties for any infringements of this regulation are extremely high. Harrison Lettings & Management will not permit entry into a tenancy without holding this certificate in our office.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detection alarms.
Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other tenanted properties, it is generally considered the common law ‘duty of care’ meaning that landlords could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the landlord fits at least one smoke detector alarm in the hallway and/or landing areas of each floor of a property
Electrical Installations & Equipment
Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs & Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994, electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe.
This Regulation recommends that Portable Appliances are tested annually and Fixed Electrical wiring every five years.
Although (unlike gas) no safety certificate is legally required, it is necessary to make a visual check to ensure that all electrical items, plugs and leads appear completely safe and undamaged, and remove or replace any faulty items.
Domestic Energy Assessments / Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
Landlords offering property to let from 01 October 2008 will be required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). By October 2008 all buildings, whenever they are built, sold or rented out (regardless of tenure type), will require one.
The EPC provides ‘A’ to ‘G’ ratings for the building, with ‘A’ being the most energy efficient and ‘G’ being the least, with the average to date being ‘D’. An accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA) will produce an EPC alongside an associated report which suggests improvements to make a building more energy efficient. Landlords are not required to carry out any of the works suggested in the report.
An EPC for rented property is valid for ten years and can be renewed at any time should a landlord carry out any works to improve the energy efficiency of the property. An Energy Performance Certificate will not be required for a renewed tenancy.
Failure to provide an EPC when required by the Regulations means that a landlord may be liable to penalty.
Harrison Lettings & Management can arrange for our Energy assessor to carry out the EPC.
For further information please contact our office or visit www.campaigns.direct.gov.uk/epc/
Inventory & Schedule of Condition
Prior to occupation of a tenant it is recommended for all landlords to have a full inventory and schedule of condition. This will detail the contents and condition of each room and any specific defects which exist at the commencement of the tenancy, including the condition of gardens (if applicable).
We consider the inventory an important document, which is duly checked and signed by the ingoing tenant as a true record of the original condition of the property. The tenant is able to make note of any points or amendments on the inventory at the time of check-in.
It is on the basis of this document that the tenant is checked out of the property at the expiration of the tenancy. Any charges levied upon the tenancy deposit for remedial works found necessary e.g. general cleaning, gardening, missing/damaged items will be subject to this report.
Landlords wishing to provide their own inventory should ensure that it is not simply a list of contents, which could be open to misinterpretation at the end of the tenancy leading to disputes and unpleasantness.
We have an inventory clerk who can assist in providing your property with a full photographic inventory.
When taking a tenancy it is the responsibility of the ingoing tenant to take over the utility services connected to the property, (unless specifically included in the rental).
These may include:
- Council Tax
We set the utilities into the tenants name, this course of action will ensure that the utilities do not remain in the landlord’s name during the tenancy and ensures there is no responsibility on the landlord for services used by the tenant.
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain the lender’s written consent to let your property. The lender may require a draft copy of the tenancy agreement, which we will be pleased to provide, they may also require additional clauses in the agreement which we must be informed of.
If you are a leaseholders, you should check the terms of your lease and obtain the necessary written consent before letting your property.
Electrical, gas, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must all be safe and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are the landlord’s responsibility unless tenant misuse can be proved. Interior decoration, flooring and fixtures should be in good condition, preferably plain, light and neutral.
While letting your property we consider it essential that your building, its interior and any contents are fully insured during the term of the tenancy. For peace of mind Harrison Lettings & Management are able to arrange a variety of insurance policies to suit every need.
We realise how difficult it can be to arrange insurance cover for rented property. Often cover is either very restrictive or provides more cover than is normally required, premiums and policy excesses can be prohibitive. Your exiting insurance may well offer excellent terms for owner occupation, please enquire whether the policy permits letting. You will probably require a landlord’s policy.
There are many insurance policies available to landlords. We can arrange cover for
- Landlords Household Insurance
- Legal Protection Insurance
- Tenant Assessment Service
All our tenants are required to take out tenants’ contents insurance, either through this office or provide a copy of their own policy of a similar quality, policies must include cover against accidental damage to landlords fixtures and fittings.
Landlords’ must provide buildings insurance.
All policies available through this office are underwritten by a major insurance company. No charge is made to our landlords’ for arranging cover on their behalf.
In April 2007 legalisation was imposed by the Government to protect tenancy deposits. All deposits taken (up to the level of £25,000) by landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales, must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. There are three schemes available to both private landlords and letting agents – for details visit www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/DG_066391
Harrison Lettings & Managment are members of the The Deposit Protection Service (DPS);
The DPS is the sole Custodial scheme – the running costs of this scheme are funded entirely from the interest earned on all the deposits held by the scheme. The Custodial scheme is run by Computershare who have administered similar schemes for some years in other parts of the world, particularly Australia and New Zealand. For more information visit the website www.depositprotection.com or call the DPS Helpline on 0870 7071 707.
If you are a non-managed landlord, you can register yourself with the Deposit Protection Service who will issue you with a Landlord’s ID number. Once we are provided with your Landlord’s ID number funds can be transferred from our DPS account into your DPS account. Alternatively you may wish to be insured in order to hold deposit monies, in which case we can forward funds directly to you.
To find out more information about how this may effect you visit www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm.
Whilst you are based in the UK you will be responsible for your own tax affairs, declaring rental income and claiming relief for your expenditure (including our letting & management fees). Many of our clients have arranged an appointment with the local Tax Office and have been pleasantly surprised with the help and guidance given in minimising their tax liability from rental income.
If you are to be a resident OUTSIDE of the UK, Harrison Lettings & Management is liable to retain 22% of the rental income unless you receive Non-Resident Landlord Scheme notification and have an approval number from the Inland Revenue instructing us that no tax deduction is to be made.
As your managing agent we would be responsible for declaration to the Inland Revenue unless you claim non-resident landlords’ exemption (which you will be required to arrange with the Inland Revenue). Further details concerning the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme can be found athttp://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm
Details of NRL approval is available in our office. Alternatively you can complete a NRL 1 form available from Inland Revenue or clickhttp://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nrl1.pdf
The Management Service
Many landlords like to detach themselves from the day to day stresses of managing their own properties. Once the tenancy has commenced and you’ve chosen to take advantage of Harrison lettings & Management’s full management service (our full management service is usually essential for landlords leaving the area or going abroad) the following will be provided:
Rent will be collected from your tenant. You will receive a monthly invoice showing the rent received and any agreed deductions made (e.g. management fees, repairs etc.) along with the balance of the rent.
Throughout the tenancy, the property will be regularly inspected (approximately every six months) to ensure that the tenant is maintaining the house/flat, contents and garden to a high standard.
Harrison Lettings & Management’s management package is comprehensive and inclusive; there are no extra surprise costs at the end of the tenancy. We will attend to check out the inventory, receive the keys and instigate and supervise any final cleaning, gardening, etc. as necessary. We will ensure that the property is ready for re-letting or handing back to you if you are re-occupying.
Our management fee’s our extremely competitive within the local area allowing for more income for you in these difficult times.
Repairs and Maintenance
Included in our management service is supervision and organisation of any approved repairs and maintenance to your property. We have personal experience of most of our contractors and find them to be extremely punctual and trustworthy.
As soon as a fault occurs and the tenant contacts our office, we will seek your instructions before arranging estimates for the work to be done.
You may have specific contractors that you wish to use for your property, then you will simply need to advise us of your chosen plumber, heating engineer, electrician, builder, etc. Alternatively we are able to recommend suitable contractors to you, if required, who regularly undertake work on behalf of our clients and consequently do so at reasonable cost. WE DO NOT ADD A FURTHER AMOUNT TO THE JOB PRICE, WHAT WE PAY IS WHAT YOU PAY.
Re-Letting and Tenancy Renewals
Towards the end of any tenancy term we will contact you to establish whether you wish to re-let your property for a further period.
If instructed to re-let we will enquire with the existing tenant whether they would like to re-new for a further period and if so produce the new tenancy documentation and statutory notices (if requested) for the new agreed term.
If your existing tenant is moving, then the property will be re-advertised and in most cases a new tenant will be found to take occupation from the end of the previous tenancy and ideally keeping the property permanently occupied, preserving your rental income.
At each tenancy renewal or re-let, the rental value will be reassessed and increased if appropriate.
Ceasing a Tenancy
At the end of each tenancy a member of staff will attend the property to receive the keys, check the inventory and schedule of condition and make arrangements to finalise the tenancy in readiness for any new tenancy, or hand the property back if you are intending to re-occupy.
In the event that there is any final cleaning, gardening, repairs or missing items to be replaced, then our staff will arrange appropriate estimates and supervise any remedial works, the cost of which will be charged to the outgoing tenants.
If you decide to undertake your own rent collection and management, then it will be your responsibility to check the property at the end of the tenancy, and instruct us accordingly to release any deposit monies. We will still be pleased to provide the tenant check out service on unmanaged properties if you prefer. The cost of this service is quoted on the basis of size of the property.
Finalising the Tenancy
Checking the tenant out of the property and finalising the tenancy are included in our management charge.
We aim to provide a friendly flexible service. If the service you require is not detailed in our introduction, or you require any extended services, please do not hesitate to ask. We will try to accommodate your specific requirements.