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Diamond Estate Agents provides a trusted range of letting and management services based on the experience, skills, and expertise of our lettings team. As members of both Propertymark and The Guild of Property Professionals, you can be assured that we have a detailed understanding of the lettings and management sector and will ensure that you are given the best possible service.
We also offer free rent guarantee insurance for landlords with our fully managed service, giving you complete peace of mind.
Discounts are available for property portfolios. Please contact us today to discuss your needs on 01884 253484 or email our lettings team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last few years and, following the introduction of the 1988 Housing Act which offers greater protection and possession rights to Landlords, there has been a resurgence in the lettings market.
People from all walks of life are looking to become involved in the rental market whether Investors, Companies, people who need to relocate with their work or homeowners who are having difficulty in selling their own properties. Increasingly, large numbers of people are entering the ‘Buy to Let’ sector as an opportunity for investment.
As a result, Landlords have come to expect extensive knowledge and expertise from the Agency they choose to act in their interests.
1. Local Lettings Agent – we would suggest you find a local agent who is associated with a Trade Association such as Propertymark. In choosing us, you have come to the right place. Propetymark ensures that its affiliated agents meet specific professional standards and fulfil other strict criteria such as the provision of a separate client account for the collection of clients’ money and availability of a bonding scheme to protect the client in the event of misappropriation of clients’ funds.
2. Having chosen your agent, you will be required to prepare your property for rental and below we list a few guidelines to assist you:
The rental market as with any other is competitive therefore, in order to obtain the best possible Tenants; you must present your property in the most effective way.
For any other advice contact your Agent
3. Other important considerations for Landlords before Letting
The Inventory is required whether the property to let is furnished or unfurnished and accurate descriptions of the overall condition of wall/floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom fittings to name but a few are essential. Amounts cannot be withheld from the Tenant’s deposit unless the loss or damage is proved to have been caused by the Tenant.
In the event that any dispute concerning loss or damage to your property is not amicably resolved then the matter will be referred to the Courts and arbitration but should be noted that any judgement will be on the basis of written documentation – the Inventory.
4. TENANCY – The Housing Act 1988 (amended 1996) has given rise to two types of Tenancy: Assured and Assured Short hold Tenancy as well as the existing Company Tenancy and Contractual Tenancy.
A) ASSURED TENANCY
Certain criteria have to be satisfied for a tenancy to qualify for assured status. Assured Tenancy gives the Tenant security of tenure but at a market rent negotiated between the parties. The Landlord may request back possession of the property let on an Assured Tenancy but must obtain a COURT ORDER. This has its advantages but is not as flexible.
B) ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY (AST)
This Tenancy is attractive to Landlords as it offers market rents without security of tenurebeyond the contractual term and the majority of Tenancies are based on this format. However, certain criteria must first be met:
a) The Tenant must be an individual
b) The property must be the Tenant’s main residence/home
c) The rent cannot exceed £25,000 per annum
d) The Landlord must not occupy the same property
If the property is let under an Assured Short hold Tenancy, the Landlord can issue a Section 21 Notice to guarantee possession provided the term of the Short hold is expired and not less than two months notice has been given by the Landlord stating he requires possession.
If court action is needed, this can be obtained on a number of different grounds against the Tenant.
However, it should be noted that is a criminal offence under the Protection from Evictions Act 1977, for a Landlord to threaten or forcibly evict a Tenant from their property.
C) COMPANY TENANCY
This is governed by contract law and is not regulated by the Housing Acts of 1988 or 1996. It is used when a Private or Public Limited Company (excluding partnership or sole trader) want to enter into a Tenancy. There is no security of tenure and rental payments are often made on a quarterly basis by prior agreement.
D) CONTRACTUAL TENANCY
Contractual Tenancy also falls outside the provisions of the Housing Acts of 1988 and 1996 and is not regulated by statute. It is most commonly used where the rent exceeds £25,000 per annum and both parties have the freedom to contract as they choose, but must then rely solely on the provisions of that Agreement.
5. FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED - Most professional Tenants prefer the property to be unfurnished and it has been found that a Tenant is likely to respect the property more if they have their own possessions. Moreover the difference between rent for furnished or unfurnished is negligible and the Landlord remains responsible for the repair of replacement of any furnishings which become broken or worn (unless this was caused by a deliberate act of the Tenant – see Damage Deposits).
6. MARKETING/FINDING A TENANT – you will need to decide whether you require your agent to simply market your property and find a Tenant or whether you would prefer to engage the services of their Managing Agents.
Whether you chose to opt for a Managing Agent or not, Diamond Estate Agents as your Letting Agent will firstly provide colour property details and a rental valuation which will be based on the popularity of the area, proximity to transport, rental price of similar property handled and decorative condition to name but a few.
It is important to price your rent fairly but realistically in order to attract the most suitable Tenant.
Your rental property will be regularly advertised in the local press and publications dedicated to the letting industry as well as displayed in our offices and feature on our website and other sites such as Rightmove, Zoopla & Onthemarket.com to ensure maximum exposure. We also contact any listed prospective Tenants, local companies and relocation agents.
Should you decide to employ us as your Managing Agent, we will also field calls, arrange viewings, vet prospective Tenants and obtain references, draw up contracts and advise you on your Safety and Repairs obligations (see LEGAL DUTY OF CARE).
7. FULL CREDIT CHECKING – thorough credit checks are carried out on all prospective Tenants as we can reserve the right to decline an application where necessary in the interests of protecting the Landlord’s investment.
8. REFERENCES – these can be obtained through us as your Managing Agent and include references from the Tenant’s employer and previous Landlord. As part of our full management service, we also provide you with a linked insurance policy to safeguard your rental income and provide legal protection (RENT GUARANTEE) at no additional charge.
9. DRAFTING OF TENANCY AGREEMENT/LEASES – the Letting team at Diamond Estate Agents can prepare and supply you with all legal documentation and give practical general legal advice.
10. DAMAGE DEPOSITS – This is usually equivalent to one month’s rent and is taken from the Tenant to be held in our Client Account until the end of the Tenancy. Upon vacation of your property, there will be a re-inspection and any refunds will be made within a maximum of 28 days, provided that there are no disputes and all utility accounts have been settled.
The costs of everyday repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the Landlord but, if we are instructed to manage your property on your behalf, we will pay the contractor out of the Tenant’s rent. We can also organise quotes for approval on any major repair as this becomes apparent.
Under the LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985, Landlords are responsible for repair of the structure and exterior of the property, together with installations for the supply of gas, electricity, water and sanitation.
If the property is not in a good state of repair at the commencement of the Tenancy, the Tenant has the right to insist that repairs are carried out and, in the event that the damage is serious, the Tenant will be entitled to consider the letting as terminated as the Landlord will be in breach of his obligations.
11. COLLECTION OF RENT – this is usually done on a calendar monthly basis and is forwarded to the Landlord via any previously approved method after any agreed deductions have been made for contractors etc.
12. LEGAL DUTY OF CARE – Under common law, the Landlord must ensure that properties to let are safe and failure to comply with Safety Legislation is considered a criminal offence resulting in legal action and prosecution.
As your Managing Agent, we can carry out safety checks upon your request, deducting the cost from your rent.
An NICEIC or similarly qualified electrical engineer must carry out these tests on an annual basis and we would also recommend this is done upon change of Tenancy.
All operating instructions must be left in the property for the Tenant’s benefit.
NB: The penalty for failure to comply with statutory safety legislation is currently a maximum of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for each offence. This can be harsher in the case of injury or fatality.
The above is only a guide to the legal safety requirements and should you have any further enquiries, we would recommend that you contact a qualified solicitor who will be able to verify these in full.
13. OVERSEAS LANDLORDS – you are considered an overseas Landlord if you live abroad or go to work abroad for lengthy periods of time.
It is important to firstly note that Inland Revenue regulations apply even if you are a non-UK resident. Moreover, non-resident Landlords must apply to the Inland Revenue Financial Intermediaries Claims Office (FICO) for authorisation (by way of an exemption certificate) to receive payment of property rental “gross”, that is without deduction of Income Tax by the letting agent or Tenant as required by law.
NB: The above is merely a guideline and for fully qualified advice, you should contact an appropriate Accountant or Tax Expert.
BRIEF GUIDE TO SERVICES:
Contacting the Tenant and arranging for renewals and/or check-out as necessary
At Diamond Estate Agents, we let and manage a variety of furnished and unfurnished properties throughout Tiverton and Mid Devon for rent. As members of Propertymark all security deposits are held in a designated Clients Account and fully bonded.
Our site contains a constantly updated register of rental property. CLICK HERE to see our latest list. In order to receive a regularly updated list of our available rental properties, please register with us and we will contact you with details of new properties to suit your specified requirements.
For more detailed information or appointments to view please contact us on 01884 253484.
Please keep in mind that a range of rigorous checks on all prospective tenants will be carried out and we will require at least one full month’s rent as a deposit and one month’s rent paid in advance. Should you be uncertain as to your suitability or have specific requirements, please contact us.
Although Letting Agents have different procedures, this guide is intended as a general overview to assist you when renting a property. We have set out below a few significant pointers to assist you.
YOUR OFFER – Once we have found your suitable property, you will be in a position to make an offer to the Landlord for consideration. Please note that any offer you make would be subject to you fulfilling our reference criteria.
At this point, you will be requested to provide a RESERVATION FEE that holds the property for you. However, if the Tenancy Agreement is not signed by you (the Tenant) within 7 to 14 working days after receipt of your application, the Landlord reserves the right to re-offer the property. In these circumstances or, should your references prove unsatisfactory, the reservation/application fee would be non-refundable.
AGREEING ON THE LET- As soon as your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, we will apply for references and draw up the relevant documentation which will form the basis of the agreement between you and the Landlord.
IDENTIFICATION/PROOF OF RESIDENCY
All tenants must show proof of address. Only the following forms of identification are accepted:
Utility bill (less than 3 months old)
Full driving license
Council tax bill (less than 3 months old)
Mobile phone bill (less than 3 months old)
We will also contact your employer and your landlord (if you are in rented accommodation already. Your previous employer will also be contacted if you have recently changed jobs. If you are self-employed, we will need to contact your accountant. A credit check will also be conducted.
To assist us in collating the necessary references, it would be advantageous for you to warn the above individuals in advance that references are required as these can be returned to us within a matter of a few days, barring any delays.
Occasionally, a GUARANTOR will be required if, for example, the tenant has not been continuously employed for the past 18 months; has been working abroad in the previous 6 months; the tenants’ income falls short of our criteria or the tenants’ employment is considered as changeable.
Please note that the same criteria apply to the guarantor and, furthermore, the guarantor must earn the equivalent of 3 times the yearly sum of the rent, be in full-time employment or be able to prove by bank statements that they have “independent means”. All tenants should be able to provide a guarantor and should the tenant be unable to provide one, we will decide that the tenant has withdrawn their application. The tenant will therefore forfeit their deposit.
The guarantor must be aware that they will stand as guarantor for you, (and your partner if you are moving into the property with someone else), for the entire occupancy of the property, not just for the period of the initial tenancy term.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO EARN TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE PROPERTY?
Having passed all the referencing criteria to be considered for the property and, subject to the Landlord’s decision, you must earn at least 1.5 times the yearly rent (however, you will require a guarantor) or at least 2.5 times the yearly rent (you will qualify on the income part of the referencing without a guarantor).
TENANCY AGREEMENT – An appointment will be arranged with you to visit our offices to sign the Tenancy Agreement when all references have been received. The Landlord will also be asked to sign their copy of the document.
RENT AND DEPOSIT – You will be required to provide the agreed sum of rent and deposit before taking possession of the property.
The deposit is required for the full tenancy against loss, damage or charges payable at the termination of the tenancy. Whilst this is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent, this may vary therefore we suggest that the actual amount is verified via the property description as found on our letting list. Diamond Estate Agents will register the deposit with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Further information on the DPS can be found here - https://www.depositprotection.com/ It is returnable in full at the end of the tenancy subject to final inspection of the property and it should be noted that deductions will also be made for cleaning should the property (and garden areas) not have been left in a satisfactory condition
Rent is to be paid monthly in advance commencing on the first day of the tenancy and then on the same day each month thereafter. The preferred method is by bank standing order.
FEES – We charge no further fees to our tenants
CHECK-IN AND CONDITION REPORT - If we have been instructed by the Landlord, a Condition Report will be prepared of your new home and a convenient appointment will be made with the Inventory Clerk to carry out a Check In report to coincide with your move-in day.
All information is provided in good faith. It does not replace the advice of a qualified legal advisor. We will accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies.
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