Why Choose Us?
We understand that letting your property, especially for the first time, can be a worrying experience and with this in mind our most important consideration is providing you the Landlord with the best possible service and the right tenant for your property.
We never forget that the property is your most important asset and we can confidently assure you that by instructing us to act as your Letting and Management Agents your asset will be in professional and caring hands.
A Personal Service.
Because we are a truly independent professional company, we are able to offer a personal service, with attention to detail, whilst at the same time maintaining a high standard of competence and professionalism. A large percentage of our new Landlord Business comes from recommendation form existing Landlords which gives us a good indication that the service we provide meets the requirements of our value customers.
Our fees are competitive and may be open to negotiation dependent on the level of Service required. We are particularly committed to investment Landlords and savings can be made on the smallest of portfolios.
Carefully Selected Tenants.
Drawn from a continually updated register, all prospective Tenants are thoroughly referenced and credit checked. In some cases we will also require a guarantor.
- Our Services
- Preparing the Property
- Other Considerations
- Health, Safety & Other Legal Requirements
- Overseas Landlords and Income Tax
- Tenancy Deposit Protection
- The Right to rent Legislation
Our Letting Only Services includes marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and vetting of a prospective Tenant. This proving satisfactory, we then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement, and if required an inventory.
Following this, the first months rent and usually a tenancy deposit is collected and credited to the Landlord less our agreed fee. Managing the tenancy, including the maintenance and rent collection, will then be the responsibility of the Landlord.
This is our inclusive Service, which provides for the marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and vetting of a prospective Tenant. This proving satisfactory, we then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement, and an inventory to protect our landlords interest on condition and content of the property. The Tenant will then be checked in against the inventory.
During the tenancy we carry out periodic inspection visits. Should these bring to light any maintenance issues, we will (within the confines of our Management Agreement) arrange or recommend any necessary repairs.
Collecting and processing of rental payments is also an important part of our Full Management Service. Rental balances will be credited automatically to the Landlords nominated bank account.
Towards the end of the tenancy, we liaise with the Tenant, with a view to renewing the tenancy agreement, or arranging to check them out and re-advertising the property to let.
This Service is suitable for Landlords who are not residing locally, or would rather not deal with the Tenants directly, preferring all aspects to be handled by an Dedicated Agent on their behalf.
Our Charges: (All charges are subject to the required relevant Value added tax where required or appropriate to be charged by law) Charges set out below in bold include the vat content.
(a) Letting Charge: Charged at: £350.00.(£350.00 plus vat = £420.00)
(b) Management Commission equivalent to 10% of rental received (10% plus vat = 12%). for example a monthly rental of £600.00 per calendar month would be charged at £60.00 plus VAT = £72.00 inclusive of VAT.
(c) Charges for preparation of an inventory and condition report are: £125.00. (£125.00 plus vat = £150.00)
(d)The Letting Charge will be payable for each new agreement granted to new tenants. An Administration Fee will be payable on the occasion of each renewal of an existing tenant agreement please see these charges set out below.
Letting Only Service; Inclusive of the tenancy agreement,
- Letting Charge 75% of the first months rent (minimum fee of £400.00 + a set up Charge of £125.00 + vat ( £525.00 plus vat = £630.00).
- Charges for preparation of an inventory and condition report are: £125.00 + vat. (£125.00 plus vat = £150.00
· Legionella Risk Assessment and ongoing monitoring and re-assessment £110.00 (£110.00 plus vat = £132.00)
· Serving a section 21 Notice £110.00 (£110.00 plus vat = £132.00excluding any associated legal service, charge or ongoing management of the tenant removal)
· Energy Performance Certification Charge £85.00 (£85.00 plus vat = £102.00)
· Annual Gas safety Certification £83.00 (£83.00 plusvat = £99.60)
· Renewal Charge £75.00 (£75.00 plus vat = £90.00)
- All the above charges are plus vat and the bold type figures are inclusive of the vat element
Preparing the Property.
We have found that a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.
Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.
Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided.
Personal items, ornaments etc.
Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises,Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owners risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenants own use.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
Information for the Tenant
It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.
You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.
Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law. We provide summarised information below. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee?s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.
If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.
You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can provide information on Landlords Legal Protection, Rent Guarantee Cover and Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.
Bills and regular outgoings
We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.
Council tax and utility accounts
We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.
It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete Service, we will if required arrange for a member of staff to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at the cost quoted in our Agency Agreement.
What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy
Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £100,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are granted for an initial fixed term of usually 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant or agree to continue on a fixed or rolling contract.
Health and Safety, and other Legal Requirements
The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where we are managing the property they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will ensure compliance, any costs of which will be the responsibility of the landlord.
Annual safety check: Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer. They must be maintained in a safe condition at all times, records kept for at least 2 years, and a copy of the safety certificate given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences.
There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'. They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.
Fire Risk and Prevention.
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified 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, 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, and certain other items. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.
All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties (except HMOs), it is generally considered that the common law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each floor (in the hall and landing areas).
Is your property a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority. Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules will apply.
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people?s rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and commonhold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
EPCs are required for all tenanted property in England & Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Landlords offering property for rent are required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted. An EPCs is valid for 10 years. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request. it is now a legal requirement that all domestic rental properties reach the minimum standard Energy Rating of E prior to a tenancy be granted and marketing of the property. It is now a legal requirement that a valid compliant Energy Performance Certificate is in place prior to marketing your property.
Legionella Risk Assessment: it is now a legal requirement that all domestic rental properties have a Legionella Risk Assessment prior to a tenancy be granted and Interlet Property are able to provide this service to Landlords.
Overseas Landlords and Income tax.
When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. Where we are managing the property we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption.
Tenancy Deposit Protection.
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland must now be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents can choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes. More information on request.
The above is a summary of landlords' responsibilities and of the laws surrounding tenanted property. We hope that you find it useful. If you wish you can print this page by using your browser Print option. The most reassuring aspect of the above information for our Landlords is that we manage and advise them on all aspects of their property letting taking the hastle out of their property management. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us.
We are Members of the UKALA Client Money Protection Scheme for your added security.
Client Money Handling Procedures
Interlet Property Management (Taunton) Limited preserve the security of clients’ money entrusted to its care in the course of its business.
Our aim is to ensure that clients’ money can be clearly linked to the clients to whom it belongs and is protected on their behalf at all times and in particular, in the following circumstances:
- Misappropriation by any party
- Transfer of client money to another organisation
Should clients’ money be misappropriated, the firm will inform, where appropriate, the police and our insurers.
- employees have clear segregation of duties and responsibilities and that a Principal or appropriately qualified individual oversees the client accounting function.
- that we employ competent and knowledgeable staff who are responsible for processing clients’ money and who are familiar with company procedures.
- that our accounting systems and client data are securely controlled and protected.
- that our computer systems are adequately protected for access, firewalls, backups and Cyber and disaster recovery.
- there is adequate cover for holiday and long term absence.
- Principals cannot and do not override controls surrounding the accounting systems.
Client bank accounts
- that our clients’ money is held in one or more client bank accounts separate from all other monies and that client money is available on demand.
- any client bank accounts are correctly titled to distinguish the accounts from an office or any other account.
- we have obtained written confirmation from the bank of the client account conditions.
- we advise clients in writing of the bank account details and agree the terms of the account handling, including arrangements for interest and charges.
- we have obtained written consent from our clients regarding retention of interest.
Client accounting systems and controls
We ensure that:
- accounting records and systems are appropriate to the nature and volumes of client account transactions. We use a suitable software package to manage client money effectively.
- our systems provide details of all money received into and paid from all client accounts and show a running balance of all client money held in that account.
- our systems identify all receipts and payments to the client to which they relate; for example by means of client ledgers showing cash balances held on behalf of clients at all times.
- accounting records are completed chronologically and promptly.
- the current balances at the total and client levels are available.
- all ledgers have the client name and an appropriate description, e.g. the property address.
- overdrawn balances on client ledgers are prevented by the systems or controls in place and where they do occur are investigated and rectified immediately.
- adequate controls are in place over unidentified client money to ensure that such funds are kept securely. The clients are located and reimbursed as soon as possible. Such funds held for more than six years reviewed.
- we complete a reconciliation at least once every month where clients’ money is held in a general client account.
- reconciliations are reviewed and signed off by a Director or an appropriate independent senior member of staff.
- client accounting records, including copies of reconciliations, are securely kept for at least six years plus the current year.
Controls over the receipt of client money
We ensure that:
- only a Principal or appropriate staff independent of accounting staff open incoming post.
- procedures exist to ensure all clients’ money is banked within five working days.
- all cash and cheques received by post or by hand are promptly recorded.
- a reconciliation is performed between money received by post and that day’s banking.
- procedures exist to identify and distinguish between clients’ and office money.
- mixed monies are initially paid into the client account and the office element paid in the office account when the receipt has cleared the bank and Deposits into a deposit scheme where required.
- fees received in advance for professional work not yet billed are paid into a client account pending completion of the work.
- duplicate receipts are issued for cash received and controls over the physical security of cash are effective.
- unbanked client money receipts are kept secure.
Controls over the payment of client money
We ensure that:
- checks are made to ensure that sufficient funds are held on behalf of the relevant client before payments are made.
- adequate authorisation and supervision procedures are in place for payments made by cheque, bank transfer and electronic methods.
- insurance and adequate Principal supervision is in place where payments are made by non-principals.
- all payment requests have supporting evidence and that documentation has been authorised in advance by a Principal or other appropriate person.
- blank cheques are not signed, and unused cheques are kept securely.
- effective controls are in place over the setting up of new supplier accounts on the system.
- cash payments are avoided.