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Landlords' Frequently Asked Questions



How do you assess Rental Value?
How do you vet Tenants?
How often will you contact me?
When will I receive my rent?
What must I do to comply with Gas and Electrical Regulations?
What else must I do to make my property safe?
Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?
Who holds deposits and what if there is a dispute about damages?
Is my property a House in Multiple Occupation?
What are the Money Laundering laws about?

How do you assess Rental Value?

We give a fair market appraisal taking into account your situation (how soon you need to have a tenant etc), rental demand and current marketing conditions/requirements. We will always support our valuation with information on comparable properties in the area. We confirm all our valuations in writing. ^back to top^

How do you vet Tenants?

We use a reputable referencing company to vet all occupants over 18 years of age. This company checks applicants' credit rating, previous renting history and employers' references. Occasionally when they have just moved to the area or are starting a new job a Guarantor may be required. A Guarantor has to undergo the same rigorous referencing as a tenant. ^back to top^

How often will you contact me?

We recognise that being kept informed is vitally important to a Landlord. Therefore, we will provide Landlords with feedback after every tenant viewing. Warning: We will tell you the negative comments as well as the positive ones!

Full Management Landlords will receive a statement of rents received, invoices paid etc with every payment we make to you. Where practical we aim to advise you of repairs in progress. If time permits we will you advise you in advance of the cost of repairs but there will be will occasions when this will not be possible. ^back to top^

When will I receive my rent?

We will collect the deposit and the first months rent, in cleared funds, from tenants before they move in. For full management Landlords we will chase late rent payment no later than the 7th working day after the due date. We will forward payment to you within seven days of receiving cleared funds from the tenants. It is a condition of our tenancies that rents are paid by standing order. There will however, be occasions when a tenant pays rent by a personal cheque. When this occurs we will not forward payment until the cheque has cleared. For this reason, should a mortgage payment be dependent upon the rent we strongly recommend that you keep at least one month's mortgage payment in the account to avoid unnecessary bank charges etc. We cannot be responsible for any interest or late payment charges incurred by non-payment of rent. ^back to top^

What must I do to comply with Gas and Electrical Regulations?

As a Landlord of a residential property you are obliged under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances in a let property are properly maintained and serviced. There is a legal requirement to have a gas safety test carried out on all gas appliances in the property before tenants move in. Also you must obtain a new certificate every year and the certificate must be issued by a Gas Safe registered engineer. There are a number of electrical safety regulations applying to residential property, all appliances supplied in a letting must be tested for safety. The fixed installations in the house must also be safe and periodically tested. The Landlord has a legal duty to ensure all appliances are safe eg: fridges, kettles etc (this is called a portable appliance test). All electrical equipment manufactured after January 1995 should carry the CE symbol. Remember you will be breaking the law if you do not obtain the relevant approval or certification for installations. You will also be asked to supply evidence of satisfactory installation when selling or mortgaging the house if you own it. EXCEPTIONS - Electrical work that does not need building regulation approval:

What else must I do to make my property safe?

Fire and Furnishings

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 as amended, place a legal obligation on residential landlords to ensure that upholstered articles meet fire resistance regulations:

Smoke Alarms

We recommend that you install at least one battery operated smoke alarm per floor. These are relatively cheap and will give you and your tenants secure peace of mind.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide ("CO") is the most toxic substance you'll come into contact with in your daily life; in your home, at work, garage, car, caravan & boat. Fitting a Carbon Monoxide Detector is not yet a legal requirement, but you do have a duty to show "due diligence".
See this site for more information: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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Who is responsible for repairs and maintenance?

As a Landlord you must maintain the property in good working order. Tenants are expected to carry out minor repairs and maintenance that they could reasonably be expected to do in their own home. We will instruct our in -house maintenance company to carry out all other repairs reported to us by tenants in line with your previous instructions. Some Landlords prefer to arrange their own contractors or do their own minor repairs. We make a commitment to resolve such repairs within 10 working days wherever possible subject to availability of parts etc. Any emergency repairs which render the accommodation unfit for habitation will be attended to within 24 hours wherever possible. ^back to top^

Who holds deposits and what if there is a dispute about damages?

Where we manage the property on your behalf then BRPL will hold the deposit in a separate client account. We do not pay interest on deposits. To protect both the Landlord and the Tenants we use an independent inventory clerk to prepare the inventory and to check tenants in and out of the property. The cost of the inventory clerk is shared equally between the landlord and the tenants and his decision should be considered as binding on both parties. We would arbitrate in any disputes at the end of tenancy in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement. Disputes are normally resolved without involving the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR), but the use of an independent inventory clerk means referral to the ADR will be rare. Since the introduction of the Tenancy Deposit Protection (part of the Housing Act 2004) on 6th April 2007 ALL deposits must be protected with 14 days of receipt. In addition you will have to provide the tenant with certain information about the scheme safeguarding the deposit within that period. This information has been prescribed in secondary legislation. We can hold and protect deposits for your tenants and arrange an AIIC member to prepare the inventory and check your tenants in and out. Please contact us for details. ^back to top^

Is my property a House in Multiple Occupation?

As a result of the Housing Act 2004 there are new definitions for Houses in Multiple Occupation. Generally a house (or flat) will be classed as an HMO if it is a shared by three or more people. It will need a licence if it is classed as an HMO and is occupied by five or more people and on three or more storeys, including basements, mezzanine and attics that are occupied. There are exceptions to these general "rules" and for more information please click here for the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation in the West of England website run by Bristol City, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset Councils. ^back to top^

What are the Money Laundering laws about?

Under anti-money laundering regulations, agents have a duty to satisfy themselves as to the identity of prospective tenants and Landlords. In order to comply with current legislation we may ask to see your passport or driving licence. Please do not be concerned by this routine request, we make the same and indeed more thorough checks on your would-be tenants! ^back to top^
 
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