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We Are The Letting Professionals
Thank you for considering Yorkshire Accommodation Bureau, The letting professionals. If you have any questions about our services, considering letting a property in our area, or would like to be contacted to arrange an appointment for a member of the team to visit your home without obligation then please contact our office where we will be more than happy to help.
1. Tenant Selection
We carry out thorough checks on all prospective tenants before recommending them to you. We obtain and check detailed information about the prospective tenant including employment, banking, previous landlord and credit references. The tenant selection process is very thorough and over the years this has led us to have a very good tenant payment record. Subject to satisfactory responses the property can be included in the Rent Protection option. Tenants normally pay their rent on time but occasionally a tenant may be ill for a long time or become unemployed. These or a variety of other situations can result in the tenant having financial difficulties. The Rent Protection Policy covers the Landlord against non-payment of rent and also pays the legal fees of obtaining possession, should that become necessary.
2. Tenancy Agreements
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between the landlord and the people renting the property and contains the conditions and responsibilities of both parties. Our tenancy agreements are written to meet the specific needs of each owner and are regularly updated to take into account changes in legislation, decisions of court cases and our own experiences. We will provide the Tenancy Agreements and appropriate Statutory Notices with copies, if necessary, to help you to obtain the necessary approvals from your mortgage lender.
There is not a minimum period for which a property can be let out but the usual period of tenancy is 6 months which can then be extended or renewed. A longer period can be agreed but a landlord has better security in a shorter term let.
When you let your property you will have various obligations which are laid down in law. With our fully managed service package, we put your mind at ease as we assist you in ensuring that you meet your legal mandatory obligations as a Landlord,as most breaches are classed as a criminal offence. These concerns in particular are;
a) Right to Rent checks & the Immigration Act 2016
New provisions came into force on 1st December 2016. Landlords in England must undertake checks to ensure that their prospective tenants have the right to live in the UK, before they let a property to them. This requires landlords to view and take records of identity information, such as passports and visas. If a landlord knowingly lets a property to tenants who do not have the right to rent; if found guilty they could face an unlimited fine or up to five years’ imprisonment.
b) GDPR Data Protection
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
All tenancies in England and Wales that begin after 1st April 2018 must have a minimum EPC rating of E. The regulations prevent any landlord from letting a property with a rating of F or G until the necessary energy efficiency improvements have been carried out. A local authority can impose financial penalties on a landlord if it finds they are in breach of these regulations or unable to prove compliance. As part of our managed service package we arrange for an EPC to be undertaken which are valid for 10 years.
d) Landlord gas safety checks & certification
If there is a gas supply in the property, it is a legality that landlords must have a gas safety inspection each year. Furthermore, a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to tenants every year. All appliances, installations, pipework, and air vents must be checked to ensure they’re safe to use. For licensed areas the certificate has to be submitted to the local authority with the relevant annual declaration.
e) Landlord Electrical Safety
Landlords letting property in the UK have a legal obligation to ensure that the property being let is safe to occupy, which includes ensuring the electrics, including portable appliances supplied with the property, are in a safe condition. The Government has announced they will require landlords to have an electrician perform tests every five years and a record of electrical inspections should be kept. It is best practice to conduct regular and routine checks (e.g. ‘PAT testing’ and ‘Electrical Installation Condition Reports’) by a qualified electrician, for licensed properties this a mandatory requirement.
f) Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994 for landlords
This regulation requires that any plug, socket or adapter supplied for intended domestic use complies with the appropriate current standard, and specifically that the live and neutral pins on plugs are part insulated so as to prevent shocks when removing plugs from sockets and all plugs are pre-wired.
g) Landlord fire safety checks
By law, landlord rental properties must have fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. A smoke alarm must be installed on each floor of your rental property and carbon monoxide detectors must be installed in any room with a solid fuel-burning device. It is also recommended you include a fire extinguisher in the property. There are additional requirements for HMOs and licensed which reflect the greater risk for these properties, including ensuring a protected escape route.
h) Landlord responsibility for fire safety in relation to furnished properties
All furniture provided by the landlord must meet the fire resistance requirements in the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. Non-compliance with the regulations is a criminal offence and carries penalties of a £5,000 fine or six month’s imprisonment, or both.
i) Prescribed information
The law requires the landlord to ensure that various prescribed information and certificates are provided to the tenant at the correct time and any delays in providing this information / certificates could result in the landlord not being able to serve the appropriate notice to seek possession of the property and also result in a criminal offence.
4. Consent To Letting
If you have a mortgage on your property the lender will normally require details of the proposed Tenancy in order to consent to the letting. In the case of leasehold properties (for example if you own a flat) you will need the Landlord’s or management company’s consent.
Some lenders may impose conditions and want to see the form of contract we intend to use. Policies vary from lender to lender but, if you can show that the property will be professionally managed, permission will normally be granted.
You will be responsible for insuring the buildings and your own contents and your insurance company must be advised that the property is being let otherwise any pre-existing cover may not be valid. Some insurance companies may not agree to cover letting or may do so only at an increased premium. We are introducers to one of the regions leading Brokers that offers an Agents only policy at competitive rates. Further details can be provided on request. The Tenants are responsible for insuring their own contents.
6. Services & Utilities
Electricity, gas, water rates and Council Tax costs are usually the responsibility of the Tenant. We will forward the meter readings to the utility companies on the day the tenancy starts and ends. Telephone and Cable companies will not take occupancy amendments from Agents so you will have to contact them direct. If the property is empty between tenancies the responsibility for payment of these bills reverts back to the landlord.
If the property is leasehold you will remain contractually responsible for the ground rent and service charges levied by the freeholder or Management Company so we suggest you maintain payment of these charges.
7. Digital Inventory & Schedule Of Condition
You should remove any items that have sentimental value as even the most careful tenants have accidents. We will prepare a digital inventory of the items remaining in the property (even if it is being let with only carpets and curtains) and a digital inventory of condition on a room by room basis. These will be checked through and signed by the tenant when the property is handed over.
You should bear in mind that due to everyday wear and tear you cannot expect a property to be in the same condition at the end of a letting as it was before you let it, no matter how well the property is looked after. The more information and instructions you can give the tenants and us the better (manuals or instructions about equipment in the property are not only useful but are now a legal requirement). We suggest you draw up a simple information guide to the house giving handy day to day facts such as the day the dustbins are emptied, names of the neighbours, details of any window cleaner you might use etc.
At the start of the tenancy, apart from the first months rent, the tenant also pays a deposit of a sum in excess of one months rent. Handling of deposits is now statutorily regulated. We are approved and regulated by The Deposit Protection Service to hold tenants deposits whether we are managing the property or not. Deductions from the deposit can only be made with the tenants agreement but there is an arbitration procedure in cases where a dispute arises. Return of the deposit or reporting of a dispute is strictly controlled by timescales laid down in the regulations.
Rent is due in advance on the monthly anniversary date and is usually paid to us by standing order. Once we are in cleared funds we will usually pay the balance rent direct into a bank account. The statement is sent by email where possible but can be posted.
We have an arrears chasing procedure but the costs of any court action lie with the Landlord.
We will Inspect your property periodically. We check that the property is being looked after to a suitable standard and advise if any general maintenance is required. These are not full surveys, merely a walk round to ensure that general living standards are satisfactory. We ask tenants to let us know about any problems they find with the property.
11. Repairs & Maintenance
The Landlord is responsible for repairs and maintenance of the structure, storm damage and failure of any appliances. Repairs reported to us are reported to the landlord in the first instance. You may wish to do the repairs yourself or through your own nominated contractor and, if you let us know, this can be arranged. We have various tradesmen that we use, all of whom are suitably qualified and insured, and therefore we can arrange for repairs quickly and efficiently. Any costs invoiced to us will be deducted from the next rental statement sent to you.
If the property is let on a long-term basis, you may ask us to arrange and supervise works which do not come within day to day repairs such as redecoration, new drains, installation of heating or double glazing, refitting of kitchen or bathroom . We will be happy to do this, subject to a fee that will be quoted at the time.
12. Landlord Letting Schemes
NEW LANDLORD SCHEMES FOR 2020
We have various new schemes that are available for a limited time in South Yorkshire.
Benefits of the new schemes:
- Guaranteed rent (3 or 5-year term).
- Rent payable even if the property is EMPTY
- We will pay all utility/council tax bills
- On certain schemes majority of the day to day maintenance of your property will be carried out for FREE
- Regular quarterly property checks
- Some of the schemes do not require furniture
- For these schemes you will be EXCEMPT from requiring a Selective License or HMO license (saving you hundreds of pounds in license fees).
These schemes have now reached their capacity for the following areas in Sheffield Page Hall, Rotherham Ferham, Parkgate and Eastwood areas. We are currently accepting properties for all others areas!!!!.
HURRY as capacity is getting filled up quickly, if you’re interested in this scheme email your contact details and full property to-let address to firstname.lastname@example.org for the criteria and rent details.