01229 831111

Landlords FAQ

Landlords FAQ

Customer update 22/09/2020 Unfortunately, as we fear another lockdown either locally or nationally we feel another update is due as well as a clarification of a few items for all our property owners, tenants and contractors. Viewings Currently we provide videos for all our marketed houses but will avoid obtaining this until tenants have vacated. We start full marketing a week before the houses are empty. This has been working very well as many customers have already seen the house on our “coming soon” page so can apply beforehand. Viewings can be completed but we will insist that customers wear a facemask, we will do so and have all doors open and lights on inviting you to walk around then ask any questions. Valuations Should you prefer we can conduct these in your absence, given key access and will take care to touch a minimum of surfaces. If you would like to meet, we will wear a facemask and would prefer if you would do so also Inspections For now we cannot feasibly complete these but specific concerns or requests will of course be accommodated whenever possible. We were planning for these to re-commence soon but now feel that this cannot be the case. Move in and move outs We will continue to carry these out separately from tenants or owners. We have simple systems for this and it is working well. We carry out the check before the tenants move in and then after they move out. There is just a little more communication for us to complete but this is easily done via email or phone. Our office For now we will not be re-opening on a Saturday and will remain open for one customer at a time wearing a face mask during the week. We know this is frustrating but we have to do all we can to avoid having to shut the office again completely. Internally we have added screens between staff members, hand sanitiser stations as well as regular cleaning and other measures as suggested by our risk assessment. Legal changes during the last few months The biggest change from Covid is that since 1st September property owners will have to give 6 months notice to regain possession not two months as previously. (section 21 notice) Also since 1st July all new tenancies will first require an EICR (Electrical installation condition report) we can complete these for £150.00 including v.a.t. The market in general Post lock down has been the single busiest period we have ever had. Through July and August alone we took 122 tenancy applications! Things have eased off a little but it is still very busy we have people waiting for houses. Overall, the situation is unclear as many Bae staff are being asked to work from home maybe into next year which is a concern. It also seems many others are still coming to work in the area for Bae, the NHS, local police and a range of other organisations. There are very few houses available for rent overall and prices remain on the higher side as a result. What will happen if there is another full lockdown? (this is not where we are now this is just us being prepared) We are ready for this now, of course, it will not be easy but we can operate the business with the priorities being. Repairing any issues for tenants and collecting and paying rental funds for property owners. We have the ability for staff to work from home and plan to work with a split team i.e. some within the office and some working only from home. Updates will be provided on our website and Facebook page. All viewings and new property valuations would have to be cancelled if this is made a requirement by the government you are welcome to talk however as a rough valuation can still be provided. Office calls will be answered and again we would ask that queries and requests are kept to a minimum as dependant on the extent of the lockdown some staff may be unable to work normally from home. We ask that tenants will respect the contractors and open doors for them and ensure they have to touch as little as possible. We will require that they wear ppe. We will delay all PAT testing none essential repairs and Epcs but try to continue with Gas safety checks where possible. Last time some people did have issues with loss of income and if this happens, we will again speak to individual property owners but of course, communication is key.
To be direct we are confident that we offer a better service than any other local letting agent. We are not perfect and can make mistakes but we aim to be the preferred choice for all landlords and tenants in our local area and constantly strive to improve our service. Below we have listed just a few of the things we know our existing clients appreciate;-
  • Owned and run by successfull, professional and qualified landlords who understand the business and work full time within it
  • Specialising in residential lettings, we are not estate agents whose interest lies elsewhere
  • We are one of very few agents already providing virtual tours on our own website! as well as on the portals and YouTube.
  • Advertising more than other letting agents using radio, newspaper and online marketing including all the main portals Rightmove, On the Market, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube & Google Adwords
  • Attracting better clients through a higher level of customer service
  • Inspecting our managed houses every 12 weeks
  • Paying landlords every weekday not weekly or even monthly like some!
  • If you have a serious problem you will be able to meet or speak to one of the company directors/owners
  • Our long standing relationship with the government key workers that work with Bae systems
  • Our website is up to date, easy to find and comprehensive like our service
  • Keeping abreast of internet developments for marketing, we were actually using Google maps on our website before Rightmove!
  • Operating from just one location and weekly meetings help ensure all staff are up to date
  • Having a large team of contractors from painters and plumbers to roofers and electricians all local, tested and trusted
  • Having an excellent relationship with Bae and gain a very significant proportion of their demand for corporate accommodation
  • The main source of lets is people working at Bae systems. There is one particular organisation with whom we have a long standing relationship for security reasons the information we can provide is somewhat limited of course. We of course have other tenants from almost every other walk of life although we try to only deal with working tenants in full employment. We have a high standard and operate a very risk adverse policy.

    Landlord services

    We have three main services relating to letting properties, these are a full management service, a let only service and an advertise only service all of which are detailed below. We also provide insurance services and valuation services both specifically for the residential lettings industry. We are happy to tailor a service to your needs and can discuss this with you when we look at the property for rent. We offer a free property appraisal and rental valuation service, during this we will provide advice & tips on how you might maximise the potential income from your property. We will also explain your legal obligations as a landlord as well as describing our services and fees. Please just contact our office on 01229 83 1111, unfortunately we cannot book these appointments via email.

    Full management Letting Agent's Service

    A full management service is designed to ensure you have as little to do with the property as possible. We ensure you receive as high as possible rent paid in full, on time and that property is looked after and maintained. Specifically it involves the following although listing everything we might do is impossible!
    • Significant promotion of the property through various media & accompanied viewings
    • Tenant vetting & referencing including significant credit and personal checks
    • Formation of legal documents regarding the lease between you and the tenant
    • Composition of a thorough inventory of the property and contents
    • Formal agreement of condition of property with tenant at beginning of tenancy
    • Collection and administration of all rents and deposits with monthly statements
    • Regular property inspections with written feedback to you every time (eleven weekly -more than any other agent we know)
    • Organisation of maintenance and repairs upon your instruction
    • Organisation of all legally required safety checks upon your instruction
    • Recording of all activities relating to the tenancy on bespoke computer systems
    • Final inspections of the property with the tenant present to agree any deposit deductions
    • Arrangement of any cleaning/repairs at the end of any tenancy
    • Re-direction of mail from previous tenants and other parties
    • Free advice and updates on changes within property law and the market in general
    • Our standard fee is a set up fee of £175.00 plus v.a.t. followed by a management fee of between 10 and 12.5% dependant on level of service subject to v.a.t.

    Let-Only Service

    A let only service is for landlords who are happy to manage everything themselves but just need help finding the right tenant and ensuring your legal standing is sound. We do not recommend this for people with no previous experience. The standard cost of this service is one month's rent inc. vat although larger properties are priced at the valuation.
    • Significant promotion of the property through various media & accompanied viewings
    • Tenant vetting & referencing including significant credit and personal checks
    • Formation of legal documents regarding the lease between you and the tenant
    • Composition of a thorough inventory of the property and contents
    • Collection and administration of any deposits via recognised deposit protection scheme
    • Formal agreement of condition of property with tenant at start of tenancy

    Advertise only service - a new service we have launched in 2011

    This involves advertising a residential or commercial property for rent and passing on all enquiries to you until the property is let.(subject to a maximum term)  You would handle viewings, leases and everything else. The advertising is our full range which includes ALL major property portals online, Google Adwords, local radio and the Evening mail. This is charged as a one off fee payable before we commence advertising, this is an ideal service for experienced landlords. We can still produce leases, move tenants in/out, lodge deposits or prepare inventories etc for you but would charge individually for these services allowing you to choose exactly what you want.
    As a private landlord in the United Kingdom you are required by law to inform the inland revenue of any rental income this is usually done via a self-assessment. From the total rent received in a tax year you can normally deduct, for tax purposes, the following:
    • Our fees
    • Fair wear and tear & repair costs
    • Safety checks such as portable appliance tests and gas safety checks
    • Interest paid to the Building Society or Mortgage Company - this is now changing see below
    • Insurance premiums
    • You then pay tax on the remainder of the rent.
    Please bear in mind that we are not accountants and have no qualification to provide this advice. Should you require further tax advice please contact a qualified accountant.
    Yes it does as you need to be registered as a "non-resident landlord" for tax. This is important and if you go here you can fill in the required information. Our non-resident landlord agency number is NA 046071. Once you are registered we will receive a "fico" number and are able to pay you as normal. Other than this you being abroad is no problem for us but communication can of course be more difficult so please make sure you give us the following information. The email address you actually use most An up to date number for you at home and at work as well as  mobile and any required overseas dialling codes A window of UK time best to call within and the time difference you have All the details for your house i.e. fill in the property information form and permissions sheet fully Contact details for a local friend or relative (not always required simply useful on occasion) A Uk address to send non-essential post to (not always required simply useful on occasion)
    We are not and have no plans to become a memebr of Arla this is by choice as we do not agree with some of their "guidelines" one clear example is their long standing suggestion that a burnt carpet should be charged at £25.00! We don't agree and feel there is no benefit of joining. We are a member of a property redress scheme for the protection of both landlords and tenants alike.
    From 1st October 2015 Regulations will require a smoke alarm on every floor of rented accommodation and also a carbon monoxide alarm in any habitable rooms with a solid fuel appliance. Local authorities will have a duty to serve notice on the landlord if there is a breach of the Regulations and can execute remedial action if necessary and make a penalty charge up to £5,000. We have advised the same for some time already but are re-iterating our requirement for at least one carbon monoxide alarm for every property where gas or oil/lpg is used. We hope all our landlord clients will take a pro-active approach where they either supply the required alarms and fit them or ask us to do so. The smoke alarms that we will be supplying are Kidde i9040 9V Ionisation Smoke Alarm with Test Button. These will only be charged at £5.00 plus vat each alarm. Carbon Monoxide (co 1) alarm advice pc! lettings strongly advise the following allocation of co 1 alarms to prevent the risk of people becoming ill or dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. As the gas has no smell the alarm is the only real means of warning. Any room where a real fire, wood burner or any solid fuel device is in use must have a co 1 alarm fitted. This is a legal requirement. In addition to this one co 1 alarm should be fitted in any room with a gas fire or boiler. The only exceptions would be if the boiler is outside in which case none is needed, integral garages within the house are not outside. If the boiler is situated in bath/shower room the co1 alarm is best fitted in the hallway or room next to this. Rooms with gas hobs or cookers do not require a co 1 alarm Many agents simply shrug their shoulders with this issue. We have taken advice from Cumbria Fire Safety and the local Environmental health department as well as legal advice to ensure our advice is accurate. As usual our advice is based on experience and sound common sense. Further information   The smoke alarms that we will be supplying are Kidde i9040 9V Ionisation Smoke Alarm with Test Button. These will only be charged at £5.00 plus vat each alarm.   The carbon monoxide alarms that we will be supplying are KD5CO - Kidde BatteryOperated. These will only be charged at£15.00 plus vat each alarm. The cost of installing both types of alarms will be the same at;- 1 alarm fitted £7.50 plus v.a.t. 2 alarms fitted £12.50 plus v.a.t. 3 alarms fitted £15.50 plus v.a.t. 4 alarms fitted £17.50 plus v.a.t. We will be completing this during gas safety checks and p.a.t testing as well as during inspections, check in/outs and pre move in checks. If the required amount are not present we will supply and fit the legal requirement as well as carbon monoxide detectors. Please contact us if you are at all unsure. For more information please feel free to read this document which is the official guidance.
    Yes this is not a problem assuming access is agreed with the tenant and you only complete works you are qualified to. You MUST NOT WORK ON ANY ELECTRICAL ITEM OR GAS APPLIANCE OR SUPPLY unless specifically qualified. With your own contractors the best thing to do is give us all their numbers and let them know we have permission to instruct them for you. So long as they are only working on things they are qualified for and have public liability insurance this is fine. They cannot work on gas or electrical items unless qualified to do so and must arrange access with us or the tenant directly. They can either invoice you directly for payment or send the bill to us, if they send the bill to us it must be a full invoice with all their details and a bank account, name, number and sort code we cannot pay them via cash or cheque, they will be paid from the next month's rental income or if you transfer the money to us we can pay them sooner.
    Yes we will inform the council tax department, water, gas and electric suppliers and the tenants become due from the first day on the tenancy and/or meter readings which we will take at the move in appointment. ( conducted as part of the let only or managed service or via separate charge) We do not inform phone, broadband, oil or television providers but if you are cancelling these services be careful that the phone line is not disconnected as a result otherwise a fee of £124.99 (approx.) will be requested from Bt/ other phone provider.
    Yes, if you are considering renting your property please just give us a call we will be happy to come and meet you at the property and will run through everything with you as well as providing a valuation and discussing our fees. The appointment will be with either Shaun Dixon or Steven Squires the owners of the business who are both qualified. If you are out of the area or very pushed for time we can complete a quick valuation if you provide a key but we do much prefer to meet you in person and have a chat with you.
    There is an online register for all Energy perfomance certifcates so you can check if you have one or get a copy here http://www.epcregister.com/ there is also a very helpful faq area on there website here https://www.epcregister.com/faq.html Please be aware that since 1st April 2019 there will be a new requirement for any property rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It is of great importance to note that from April 2020 all tenancies will require a minimum E rating i.e. including tenancies that are month by month (statutory periodic) which have thus far been exempt. It will then be unlawful to rent a property which breaches the requirement for a minimum E rating, unless there is an applicable exemption. A civil penalty of up to £4,000 will be imposed for breaches.

    Customer Comments

    We have used PC Lettings for many years... They offer a comprehensive service for both tenants and landlords. Well done PC lettings team!

    K.Brears

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