Often Landlords will instruct the agent who values their property the highest. It is important not to be tempted by the highest valuation alone as in many cases the valuation can be exaggerated and this will result in weeks of lost rental income.
We will always try and provide a Landlord with evidence of similar properties recently let or presently available to rent. This, together with our own view on the present rental value of your property, means that our advice will be realistic and reflect the market conditions at any time. It is important to strike a balance between the best price and one that will encourage initial viewings and, above all, ensure that your property is tenanted within the shortest possible time.
Our top priority is to listen to your individual needs, as every Landlord has different requirements and expectations regarding their type of tenant. Our aim is to secure tenants that you will be happy with and who will be suited to your property. This should result in long term tenants providing a regular rental income for you and less rent voids.
About ARLA Propertymark
ARLA Propertymark protects and guides consumers, helping tenants and landlords to find and manage their treasured homes. They work to raise professional standards among letting agents from single branch independents to large national groups, promoting education and qualifications within the sector. Nearly 9,000 letting agents are ARLA Propertymark Protected, meeting higher standards than the law demands and through this we offer greater protection to consumers.
ARLA evolved into ARLA Propertymark in February 2017, working with sister organisations NAEA Propertymark, ARLA Inventories and Propertymark Qualifications to improve the choices available to consumers. By holding our members accountable and by empowering consumers with knowledge and advice, they protect consumers and their money.
They aim to reassure all of those renting and letting out property that agents who display the Propertymark Protected logo offer better protection for their clients: Client Money Protection, Professional Indemnity insurance, membership of an independent redress scheme. Members are also subject to Propertymark Conduct and Membership Rules and disciplinary procedures with sanctions for those who fall below the expected standards. Anyone using an agent displaying the Propertymark Protected logo will be confident that their agent is guiding them on their property journey.
What makes ARLA Propertymark Protected Members Different?
- Backed by Propertymark Client Money Protection scheme. Details of our Client Money Handling Procedures are covered in the Propertymark Conduct and Membership Rules that can be found at: www.propertymark.co.uk/working-in-the-industry/member-requirements (A hard copy is available on request)
- Experienced and trained professionals required to undertake regular training
- Up to date with complex legislative changes and best practice
- Adhere to nationally recognised Code of Practice
- Submit independently audited accounts to Propertymark annually
- Membership of an independent redress scheme
- Professional indemnity insurance
The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 places a continuous duty on landlords in England to maintain their property to the electrical safety standards and to have evidence of this. This means your property must meet the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and you must have a report that shows this from a qualified person. If you are renting out a property in England, any tenancy you create or renew on or after July 1st 2020 will require an electrical inspection and a report on the condition of the property (EICR) performed by a qualified person. Renewals in this case include statutory periodic tenancies that are created at the end of a fixed term on or after this date. For pre-existing tenancies, you will need to have an EICR performed on all existing tenancies before April 1st 2021.
As a Landlord you are also responsible to ensure that any appliances that you provide for a tenants use are safe. With this in mind we would recommend that you carry out portable appliance testing (PAT) on an annual basis. Under some local authority licensing schemes it may be a condition of the licensing that the electrical installation and portable appliances are periodically tested.
By law, under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, it is your responsibility to arrange a Gas Safety Certificate every twelve months. You must get this from a Gas Safe Registered engineer for all pipe work, gas appliances and flues installed at your property.
Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Safety
The smoke and carbon monoxide alarm (England) regulations 2015
Under new legalisation that commenced from October 2015, Landlords will be required to install a smoke alarm on every floor of their rental property. Carbon Monoxide alarms need to be installed in all high risk rooms, such as those where a solid fuel heating system or appliance is installed.
We would recommend that, even if your property does not have a solid fuel appliance, you fit a carbon monoxide alarm on each floor as a minimum and you may also want to consider at the same time having a heat alarm fitted to the kitchen.
Legionella Risk Assessment of Rented Properties
There is a requirement for Landlords of residential properties to carry out risk assessments of their property for legionnaires disease and, if necessary, take appropriate action. More details can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionaires/
We can instruct a specialist company to carry out a risk assessment of your property or you can instruct your own company and let us have a copy of the report. We will not accept liability for any issues resulting in non-compliance.
The Furniture & Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amended) Regulations 1993
The above regulations were amended in 1993 and have set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is now an offence to ‘supply’ in the course of business any furniture, which does not comply with the regulations. This includes supplying furniture as part of a rented residential property. Any upholstered furniture provided in the property must comply with these regulations. If you cannot be sure that the furniture supplied complies then it should be removed from the property prior to the commencement of the property.
European Standards for safety of Internal Window Blinds
The Standards apply to blinds which have cords or chains fitted with a hazardous loop that could create a danger in premises where there are children aged between 0 and 4 years, or who are likely to have access or be present. You should check that all cords and chains on blinds at the property are replaced or fitted with a cleat or snap connector.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s)
The requirement to have a report on the energy efficiency of a property came into force under the provisions of Part 5 of the Housing Act 2004 (section 163 (5) (e)) and implements the Energy Performance of Buildings European Directive 2002. The certificate will last for 10 years, or until a subsequent certificate is produced and a valid certificate is required for rental properties that are marketed from 1st October 2008. In addition to this, from 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The regulations will come into force for new lets and renewals of tenancies with effect from 1st April 2018 and for all existing tenancies on 1st April 2020. It will be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption.
Tenant’s deposits are now protected under government legislation. We are members of the TDS custodial scheme and we can register and send the deposit to them to hold throughout the tenancy. We will also serve the prescribed information on your behalf to the tenant.
You should inform Inland Revenue at your earliest opportunity of any undeclared income you receive as a result of letting your property. If your normal place of abode is outside the UK or you will be spending more than 6 months abroad, you will be classed as a Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) and you will be required to complete an appropriate form that will need to be submitted to the Inland Revenue. Unless we receive an exemption letter from the Inland revenue, we have an obligation to deduct tax from your rental income.
Some local authorities have introduced, or are planning to introduce, mandatory licensing schemes in an effort to regulate Landlords and provide better quality rental accommodation and protect tenants. We will be able to advise you if such a scheme has been introduced in your area.
If you are a first time Landlord this may all seem quite daunting. Do not despair, this is something we deal with on a day to day basis and it is our job to make renting your property as straightforward as possible.
Ask us for a rental valuation or some no obligation advice! Just fill out the form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01277 523358.