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not all estate agents are the same. welcome to a company that does things differently.
How did House + Co arrive at the marketing figure for my property?
We arrive at this figure by taking into account the local demand for your style of property, current market conditions and your own specific circumstances. You will receive a detailed valuation letter supporting our marketing figure, usually the same day as your appraisal.
How will you market my property?
House + Co have the largest branch network of any independent agent in east Bristol. Each branch is connected in real time via a sophisticated computer network, which means that every member of staff in each branch knows about your house. Every potential tenant walking through our door, regardless of which branch, will be shown your house. Like most things in life, its not rocket science. The more people who get to see it, the better chance of someone taking it. As you would expect from a company that embraces technology as we do, we also advertise on every major property portal in the UK. Rightmove, Zoopla, Fish4, Google Property, findaproperty... we are on them all and many, many, more...
Do you credit check tenants?
At House + Co all the references for your new tenants will be carried out ‘in house’ by our own referencing team. This means we are actually speaking to their existing landlord and employer and generally getting a feel for them as people, not just names on a piece of paper. This in turn allows us to offer you our personal opinion on whether we feel they are the right fit for your property, allowing you to make a more informed decision on whether to take them on or not.
All prospective tenants are subject to the following checks —
- Full credit check via Equifax, which covers the last 3 years address history
- Current employment reference
- Current landlords reference
All prospective tenants are also required to provide the following —
- Copy of passport or driving license
- Copy of utility bill or bank statement showing current address
- Last three months’ bank statements
- Last three months’ payslips
Will the tenants look after my property?
We all hope that people will treat our property in the same way that we would. Unfortunately, not all people share the same values and we have heard some real horror stories over the years. The good news is that if you use our managed or guaranteed rent service, a member of our staff will be walking through the front door of your property every 12 weeks. You will receive a detailed report the same day via email highlighting any issues. If we are not happy with the condition at that time we will work with the tenants to ensure any issues are resolved - of course, keeping you fully informed along the way.
When will I receive rent?
House + Co collect the first months' rent and the deposit from the tenants before or on the day they move in. Our fees are then deducted and the remaining balance is paid into your nominated bank account, usually on the same day.
Your tenant will not be permitted to access your property until the first months’ rent and deposit has been paid to us in cleared funds and all relevant paperwork has been completed. For our managed or guaranteed rent service, we will collect the rent each month and usually pay it into your nominated account the same day, minus our fees. Our dedicated accounts team will chase any late rent payments, naturally keeping you informed along the way until the account is brought up to date.
Should I rent my property furnished or unfurnished?
Generally most tenants we see are looking for an unfurnished property with white goods provided. That said, there is a market for fully furnished properties and you can expect a slightly higher rental because of this.
Who will pay the council tax and utility bills?
Our properties are let on the basis of ‘bills on top’, therefore your tenant will not only pay you the rent, but will pay the council tax, water, gas and electricity (where applicable). However if you have a maintenance or management charge (common on flats) you, the Landlord, will be expected to pay these fees.
What is the standard length of tenancy?
We will generate an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST) on completion of the successful referencing of your tenant. This can be either a 6 or 12-month term.
Who is responsible for the on-going maintenance of the property?
Unless it is proven that a tenant has deliberately damaged the property then as a landlord you will be responsible for all of the maintenance required at the property. As part of our managed or guaranteed service we will take away the hassle of the ongoing maintenance at your property. We are able to handle all aspects of this onerous task, from a leaky tap to a leaky roof - of course, keeping you fully informed along the way.
Who holds the tenant’s deposit?
In accordance with the Housing Act 2004, landlords are no longer permitted to retain a tenant’s deposit and must select either an insured based or custodial based scheme in which to hold a Tenant’s deposit.
Depending on which service you choose, the answer to this question will vary. Under the managed and guaranteed service our tenancy deposit, inventory + check in/out service is included, at no additional cost to you. Therefore, the short answer to this is, we do. If you select the let only option, you can choose to bolt this option on for an additional £100.00 plus VAT. We retain the deposit in trust on behalf of your tenant. It is held in a designated client bonded account and will be apportioned and returned only after the property is vacated and checked by a member of our staff. Alternatively, you can use your own preferred scheme. We will require your unique Landlord I.D. number prior to us releasing the deposit into your care.
What happens if there is a dispute about the deposit?
In the event of a dispute, House + Co will attempt to arbitrate for 10 days, after which time if a satisfactory resolution between both parties has not been agreed the dispute will be refereed to the Dispute Service for independent arbitration. This service is free to all landlords where we hold the deposit.
What insurance will I need?
It is important to note that if you let out your property, you will need landlord specific buildings insurance, as a minimum. We are able to source this on your behalf; all you need to do is ask.
Do I need to inform my mortgage lender?
Yes, you must seek permission from your mortgage lender to let out your property.
What legal obligations apply to gas?
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 an annual safety test carried out of all gas appliances on the property.
You must obtain a new certificate every year and the certificate must be issued by a ‘Gas Safe’ registered engineer. Don’t worry about remembering when this is due, we will send you a reminder when the time comes, even if you have only opted for our let only service.
What legal obligations apply to furniture and fittings?
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.
- Regulations apply to beds, mattresses, sofas and other soft furniture
- All affected furniture must carry the fire resistant label
- Non-compliant furniture must be removed from a property prior to letting
What legal obligations apply to electrical safety?
There are a number of electrical safety regulations applying to residential property. All appliances supplied in a letting must be tested for safety.
The landlord has a legal duty to ensure all appliances such as fridges and kettles are safe. This applies to used and brand new appliances. The fixed installations in the house must also be safe and periodically tested.
All electrical equipment manufactured after January 1995 should carry the CE symbol.
This is only a summary of the regulations applying to residential let properties. Please feel free to talk us about the best way to keep your property and tenants safe.
Our commitment to you.
All of our staff understand how important it is to look after your home. Any issues relating to your property will be dealt with in a timely manner and we will of course keep you informed along the way. Should you feel we are not meeting your expectations in any way, please fell free to contact us here.