This service is designed for those Landlords who are not able to oversee the day-to-day needs of Property Management.
Within the context of these Terms and Conditions, the following definitions shall apply:
Landlord: legal owner(s) of the let Premises.
Premises: the building and any land or outbuildings that are to be let on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.
Deposit: the monetary sum taken by the Member Agent from the Tenant and held by The Member Agent as Stakeholder in the Client Account as security against the Tenant breaching any of their terms of the Tenancy Agreement.
Member: The Landlord who may be a Member of one of three schemes under Tenancy Deposit Protection
Member Agent: The Landlord’s Letting Agency who is a Member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is administered by The Dispute Service. In this case Andrew Walker Residential Letting.
Stakeholder: The Member Agent will not release the deposit until the Agent has received written consent from both parties or from The Court or from an adjudication decision from The Dispute Service Limited .
ICE: The Independent Case Examiner of the Dispute Service Limited.
Relevant Person: Any other person or company paying the Deposit on behalf of the Tenant (ie Local Authority, Parent or Guarantor).
Deposit Holder: The person, firm or company who holds the Deposit under, and is a Member of, The Dispute Service Limited.
We provide a free rental valuation which involves an inspection of the property that is to be let. When we have agreed the rent to be charged, and a signed Agreement to Let form has been received, then we will actively market the property. All viewings will be accompanied unless other arrangements are made.
Agreement to Let Form
We must be in receipt of a signed Agreement to Let form prior to the commencement of any marketing of the property. All owners of the property must sign this form as the names of all owners must appear on the Tenancy Agreement.
Our commission rate is 12.5% (plus VAT at the current rate of 20%) of the agreed rent for the term of the tenancy. Payment is due in full for the initial fixed term at the beginning of the tenancy and is deducted from the first month’s rent. We will set up a Standing Order for the Tenant to pay the monthly rent direct into the Landlord’s designated bank account or our client account.
A 12.5% (plus VAT @ 20%) commission rate will be charged on all tenancies that continue after the agreed initial fixed term as well as any tenancies that arise as a result of the Tenant introducing a prospective Tenant that proceeds to take up tenancy. This commission is payable in advance or on a monthly basis and if the need arises, a new tenancy agreement shall be drawn up.
After interviewing the Tenant and finding that Tenant to be suitable for your property, we will then ask for one month’s rent in advance and a deposit usually equal to one month’s rent plus £100. This deposit will be held by the Member Agent under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which is administered by the Dispute Service Ltd.
All invoices will be raised on the same date every month as the date of signature on the tenancy agreement. In case of a late payment by the Tenant, the Landlord should ensure that there are sufficient cleared funds in his account to cover any mortgage payments, standing orders etc.
We are then able to apply for references, and providing that these are satisfactory, we will proceed with the tenancy. Once both the Landlord and the Tenant have signed the agreement and the Tenant has moved in, we are in a position to forward the first month’s rent (less our fees) to the Landlord.
It is naturally important that the Tenant wishing to take up tenancy of your property is suitable and trustworthy. We will take up a series of references on the Tenant, and interview the prospective Tenant on a number of occasions before the terms are agreed.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme
1. The Agent is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which is administered by:
The Dispute Service Ltd
PO Box 1255
phone 0845 226 7837
fax 01442 253193
2. If The Member Agent is instructed by the Landlord to hold the Deposit, the Member Agent shall do so under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
3. The Agent holds tenancy deposits as Stakeholder.
At the end of the tenancy covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme
4. If there is no dispute the Member Agent will keep any amounts agreed as deductions where expenditure has been incurred on behalf of the Landlord, or repay the whole or the balance of the Deposit according to the conditions of the Tenancy Agreement with the Landlord and the Tenant. Payment of the Deposit will be made within 10 working days of written consent from both parties.
5. If, after 10 working days following notification of a dispute to the Member Agent and reasonable attempts have been made in that time to resolve any differences of opinion, there remains an unresolved dispute between the Landlord and the Tenant over the allocation of the Deposit it will (subject to paragraph 6 below) be submitted to the ICE for adjudication. All parties agree to co-operate with any adjudication.
6. When the amount in dispute is over £5,000 the Landlord and the Tenant will agree by signing the Tenancy Agreement to submit the dispute to formal arbitration through the engagement of an arbitrator appointed by the ICE although, with the written consent of both parties, the ICE may at his discretion accept the dispute for adjudication. The appointment of an arbitrator will incur an administration fee, to be fixed by the Board of The Dispute Service Ltd from time to time, shared equally between the Landlord and the Tenant. The liability for any subsequent costs will be dependent upon the award made by the arbitrator.
7. The statutory rights of either the Landlord or the Tenant(s) to take legal action against the other party remain unaffected.
8. It is not compulsory for the parties to refer the dispute to the ICE for adjudication. The parties may, if either party chooses to do so seek the decision of the Court. However, this process may take longer and may incur further costs. Judges may, because it is a condition of the Tenancy Agreement signed by both parties, refer the dispute back to the ICE for adjudication. If the parties do agree that the dispute should be resolved by the ICE, they must accept the decision of the ICE as final and binding.
9. If there is a dispute we must remit to The Dispute Service Ltd the full deposit, less any amounts already agreed by the parties and paid over to them. This must be done within 10 working days of being told that a dispute has been registered whether or not you or we want to contest it. Failure to do so will not delay the adjudication but The Dispute Service Ltd will take appropriate action to recover the deposit and discipline us.
10. The Member Agent must co-operate with the ICE in the adjudication of the dispute and follow any recommendations concerning the method of the resolution of the dispute.
11. Incorrect Information
The Landlord warrants that all the information he has provided to the Member Agent is correct to the best of his knowledge and belief. In the event that the Landlord provides incorrect information to the Member Agent which causes the Agent to suffer loss or causes legal proceedings to be taken the landlord agrees to reimburse and compensate the Member Agent for all losses suffered.
12. Our charge for holding Tenants’ deposits under the scheme will be £60.00 Including VAT (currently at 20%) per deposit.
If the Landlord decides to hold the Deposit themselves, we will transfer it to you within 5 days of receiving it. The Landlord must then register it with another Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme within a further 9 days if the Tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you fail to do so the Tenant can take legal action against the Landlord in the County Court. The Court will make an order stating that the Landlord must pay the Deposit back to the Tenant or lodge it with the custodial scheme which is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme. In addition a further order will be made requiring the Landlord to pay compensation to the Tenant of an amount equal to three times the Deposit. The Landlord will be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice on your Tenant until compliance with the above conditions and the Court will not grant the Landlord a possession order The Member Agent has no liability for any loss suffered if the Landlord fails to comply.
It is vital that an inventory is prepared prior to the commencement of any viewings so that the contents to be included in the tenancy agreement are viewed by the tenant. A comprehensive description of the condition of the furnishings, fixtures and fittings should also be noted in order that they may be incorporated within the tenancy agreement. It is advisable to take photographs of the Premises and the contents in case a dispute arises at the end of the Tenancy. Any furnishings classified as “Antique” to be included in the inventory must be photographed and have an insurance valuation and description to be appended to the inventory.
The property must be professionally cleaned prior to commencement of the tenancy, and we must be provided with receipts to show that this has been done.
Under Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act all electrical wiring and appliances must be in good working order and inspections shall have to be undertaken by an NICEIC (National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting) approved contractor before commencement of the tenancy. Relevant legislation is applicable under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016. We would advise that inspections are carried out once every twelve months, or at the break of a tenancy, whichever is sooner.
Gas boilers/fires must be serviced by a Gas Safe registered engineer at least once every twelve months and prior to commencement of the tenancy. A Landlord’s Gas Safety Record is obtained for future reference. It is the Landlord’s responsibility to ensure that such certificates are obtained and provided. The Tenant must be provided with a copy of this record prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Relevant legislation is applicable under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 as amended. If this is not done prior to commencement of the tenancy, the cost of inspections and certificates will be deducted from the first month’s rent.
All furnishings within the property must comply with the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and 1988 Regulations, and the Furniture Furnishings (Fire Safety) 1993 Regulations as amended.
Landlords must ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under these regulations and ask for further guidance or advice from our staff should it be required. Please note that Andrew Walker Residential Letting is obliged to refuse to take on property where the furniture, gas installations or electrical equipment does not comply. In the event of any breach being found, the Landlord’s acceptance of these Terms and Conditions of Business will be deemed as having indemnified Andrew Walker Residential Letting against any liability occasioned by such breach. This firm reserves the right to dispose of non-compliant furnishing, the cost of such action shall be debited from the first month’s rent.
It is normally expected of the Landlord to provide for the Tenant carpets, curtains or window shutters, and light fittings including light bulbs and light shades.
If it is not possible for the Landlord to prepare an inventory, then we shall, on the Landlord’s instructions, attend the property and draw up an inventory on behalf of the Landlord. Our charge for this service is £48.00 per hour (inclusive of VAT @ 20%) or part thereof and is chargeable at the commencement and at the expiration of the first Tenancy.
The inventory will be checked and signed by each in-going Tenant and will be checked when the Tenant departs. A member from our office will be present at the property on each occasion, depending on the day of departure and unless other arrangements are made.
We shall inspect the property at least once every twelve to fifteen weeks, having given reasonable notice to the Tenant. This is to ensure that the Tenant is respecting the premises. This does not prevent the Tenant bringing to our attention any problems either before, during or after the inspection. Any action taken will be carried out and noted in the file. The Tenant will be notified of any replacements that are his responsibility, and we will ensure that he fulfills any obligations. The agent can only carry out his management duties if he is aware of any problems relating to the premises, he is not responsible for hidden or structural defects.
If the property is left unoccupied for any period of time we will continue our inspections and take necessary precautions, for example turn the heating on with a low setting during cold weather.
Our charge for the management of the property during void periods will be the equivalent of 1 weeks rent (plus VAT @ 20%) for the duration of the void period. No responsibility whatsoever will be accepted by this firm in respect of any damage/theft incurred by third parties during the void period.
Energy Performance Certificates
It is now a mandatory requirement for the Landlord to supply an Energy Performance Certificate before the property is marketed. Please contact this firm for a quote by one of our independent assessors.
Under the terms of our tenancy agreement the Tenant is responsible for payment of Council Tax, water rates, gas, electricity, telephone, television license and oil is appropriate.
If any appliances within the property are under guarantee, have service contracts or warranty, then we require documentation for our files in case one of them needed servicing/replacement.
If the Landlord is not a UK resident we are obliged under UK Tax Laws to provide for any tax due on his “unearned income”. Overseas Landlords must have an exemption certificate from the Inland Revenue (2 exemption certificates if property is jointly owned) before commencement of the tenancy. We shall be happy to provide more information upon request. We would also recommend that the advice of a Chartered Accountant is sought.
All Landlords who intend to let their property must ensure that their current insurance company will allow the property to be let to Students or Tenants who are not in full-time employment. At the same time if the Landlord has a mortgage or other secured loan on the property, then these bodies must be notified and their permission granted. It is also strongly advised that Landlords apply for Legal Protection Insurance which will cover their legal costs in disputes with Tenants. We would be happy to provide more information on request.
Prior to the tenancy commencing the Landlord must ensure that he has Contents and Building Insurance to cover any damage. The relevant insurance companies must be notified of your intention to let the premises. Occupiers Liability should be covered within the contents policy in case of injury to the tenant.
If the property you intend to let is a leasehold property then it must be ascertained whether or not the property can be let under the terms of the lease. The Landlord remains responsible for the payment of ground rent and management company charges as well as obtaining Contents and Buildings Insurance (see Insurance).
Our charge to the Landlord for drawing up the tenancy agreement and serving the relevant notices is currently £78.00 (Inclusive of VAT @ 20%).
Andrew Walker Residential Letting shall prepare the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements and ensure the appropriate notices are served on the Tenant under the terms of the 1988 Housing Act, as amended by the Housing Act 1996.
If necessary, the agent can sign the contract on the Landlord’s behalf and this will still be legally binding on the Landlord.
Andrew Walker Residential Letting advises all Landlords intending to let their property to seek legal advice on their rights and obligations from a Solicitor. We are able to supply the names and addresses of our retained Solicitors if you so wish. A charge may be made for this service.
Should it be necessary for their intervention, Solicitors must be instructed by the Landlord for any legal proceedings. We reserve the right to charge a fee of £48.00 (Inclusive of VAT @ 20%) per hour for any court appearances.
Please be advised that should the Landlord require possession of the let premises, a notice must be served 2 months before the intended possession. This is subject to certain conditions, so please contact us 3 months before you intend to possess the premises.
At the time of instructing us to let your property, we will require three sets of keys. Two are for the prospective Tenant and one is to be kept in our office in a coded system.
Under Section 11 of the Landlords and Tenant Act 1985 the Landlord is required to keep in good repair the structure and exterior of the property and the installations for the supply of water, gas electricity etc.
If we are instructed to let your property on a full management basis, we would not report every small fault, but any major item of expenditure in excess of £150.00 would immediately be brought to your notice without repairs commencing. If, however, there is in our opinion an emergency, then we would act upon it immediately.
We would recommend that a sinking fund be arranged in case the need for repairs arises during a void period or between rental payments. We would suggest that a balance of £150.00 is maintained in our client’s account to cover this eventuality.
We have a team of approved contractors and engineers who we use for all maintenance and repair work. If the Landlord wishes to use his own contractors then we must be provided with copies of contractors’ insurance documents and GAS SAFE/NICEIC registration numbers. We do have a maintenance man who is charged out at £40.00 per hour, or part thereof.
ANDREW WALKER LETTING SERVICE
We will endeavour to contact you as soon as we have found a suitable Tenant within the terms of the proposed tenancy.
We would ask Landlords to direct all negotiations through Andrew Walker Residential Letting as we cannot be held responsible for any negotiations conducted solely between the Landlord and Tenant.
The Landlord may give 14 days notice to terminate the agreement between the Landlord and this firm. This firm may give 14 days notice to terminate the agreement between the two parties.
The Landlord indemnifies the agent against all reasonable costs incurred in instructing contractors to carry out repairs up to the agreed level of £150.00 per item.