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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.

3. Legislation

When you let your home you will have various obligations which are laid down in law. These concern in particular;

a) The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 1996
Landlords must comply with these regulations by ensuring that an inspection is carried out by a CORGI registered gas fitter/contractor before the commencement of a tenancy. A satisfactory Landlords Gas Safety Record must be obtained or exist as a copy of this record must be given to the tenant before he/she occupies the property. This has to be renewed annually with a copy given to the tenant. The Regulations apply to all pipework, flues and Landlord owned appliances whether fixed or portable and all forms of gas supply (including Calor). Records are required to be kept for at least 2 years. Pricing from £40.

b) The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
These regulations cover all mains voltage household electrical goods and require that the supplier of such goods ensures they are safe, including flexes and plugs. The mains electric plugs, wires and circuits must also be safe. A safety check by a fully qualified electrician is recommended before the property is let and thereafter checked periodically.

c) The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988
These regulations apply to soft furnishings. Your property must meet the regulations and compliant furniture must have attached labels confirming compliance with these regulations. Should any furniture not comply then the furniture/furnishings must be removed or replaced prior to any letting.

We will advise on the need for tests and can arrange for these to be done. Obtaining a gas safety certificate for gas boiler, gas fire and gas cooker.
More recent legislation has introduced the need for the production of an Energy Performance Certificate for properties being let for the first time (previous EPC’S produced for selling can be used). We have our own in house Domestic Energy Assessor and can produce these Certificates quickly and at competitive rates.

d) Energy Performance Certificates (EPC)
From 1 October 2008, if you’re letting a property the law requires you to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to prospective tenants. An EPC is a legal requirement for any new tenancies that begin on or after 1 October, detailing the energy performance of a property. It is carried out by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor to ensure it meets all legal requirements and is valid for 10 years.

1)What is an EPC?
An EPC stands for an Energy Performance Certificate and will provide a Grade from A to G for the building with A being the most energy efficient and G being the least. The average grading to date is a D.

2)When Do Landlords need to get an EPC?
Every property on the market on 1 October 2008 onwards must have an EPC. It is a legal offence for Landlords to let a property without an EPC from 1 October 2008.

3)When does a Landlord need one?
Before viewings for a lettings property can be arranged an EPC must be completed or ordered (proof of order may be required).

4)How long to they last for?
EPCs last 10 years so the Landlord does not need to do one every year.

5)Do we need to get them for Renewals and existing Tenancies?
No, EPCs are only required for new tenancies and not renewals. An EPC is not required if the Tenants moved in before 1 October 2008.

6)What if the property is also for sale and has a HIP?
If the property is also listed for sale you can use the EPC from the HIP for lettings purposes.

7)What do we do with the EPC when we have it?
A tenant may ask to see the whole report which you can give them.

We will advise on the need for tests and can arrange for these to be done. Obtaining a gas safety certificate for gas boiler, gas fire and gas cooker.
More recent legislation has introduced the need for the production of an Energy Performance Certificate for properties being let for the first time (previous EPC’S produced for selling can be used).

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.

5. Insurance

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, 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 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.

8. Deposits

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.

9. Rent

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.

10. Inspections

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 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.