01229 831111

Landlords FAQ

Landlords FAQ

Corona Virus information for pc! Lettings for staff, customers and suppliers Please understand this is only our attempt to help you worry less and plan, further advice should be sought from a trusted source eg the NHS website. The advice here has no merit other than our own opinion and we have no medical training or authority. We already have customers self-isolating and must take some measures now. Whilst there is no need to panic we all need to think about what we would do if staff become infected and/or the government put more restrictions on the movement of people in general which is now very likely. In the first instance should you have any symptoms these being a cough, fever or shortness of breath you should call the NHS 111 line and seek advice. Do not attend any appointment with us or come to our office. From today 17th March 2020 we will commence with the following precautions • Postponement of all viewings on properties with tenants still in situ • Postponement of all periodic inspections • Postponement of all none essential maintenance (except empty houses) • Completing essential move in/out appointments separate to customers • Restricting office access to all customers and the public with communication only via phone or email for all but essential visits • Staff self-isolating but not unwell being requested to check emails via office 365 from home where possible (currently all staff are well) • Valuations only to be conducted separately to customers and only on empty houses • Please note if staff do have to self-isolate we intend to treat this as sickness and will extend full wage payments to the first 14 days and onwards as long as we possibly can If movement of people is further restricted, our next steps will be;- • Postponement of all appointments both outside of the office and inside. For the avoidance of doubt this will include;- All non-emergency repairs All property valuations All check in or check out appointments All viewing appointments Where permitted some urgent appointments might be conducted on a sole person basis i.e. we would complete our role alone and then allow people only to collect or return keys/documents. • Complete closure of our office with contact only via email (this stage only if complete travel ban come into force) • Cancellation of all non- essential safety checks • Should any tenant be unable to pay the rent for any reason please do email us so we can at least inform your landlord • Please note rent will still be due and we will make all payments as normal until such time as mortgage relief if offered nationally What will be doing for customers and suppliers We will do as much as we can as always but we will need your co-operation and ask that all none urgent enquires are avoided to help us deal with things. • We will open the office until we are told otherwise and whilst staff numbers allow but only for essential visits • For now we are asking customers to contact us via phone and email only and not to come to our office unless essential • If movement is restricted we will dial in to complete the most urgent tasks for customers • We will continue to pay landlords, issue tenant refunds and pay contractors Monday to Friday as before • We will continue to try and attend to emergency repairs these will include;- Lack of hot water or heating Water leaks or roof leaks Electrical faults Plumbing issues in relation to toilets and drainage only Issues with access i.e. keys and locks Again please understand we are taking these measures to help the national effort to limit the effect of this virus. With co-operation things will return to normal over time. General advice. Right now to help with the situation you should;- • Wash your hands with soap & water often – for at least 20 seconds • Drink water on a regular basis this can help remove germs to your stomach where they are more likely to die • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work • Do not shake hands with anyone, customers, contractors or suppliers • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell • Avoid taking Ibuprofen if you develop symptoms Do Not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean this is a common way of you picking up contagion on your hands and actually giving yourself the virus.
First of all please understand we all have families and bills to pay too and are as worried about this as you are we are doing our very best and taking this very seriously. As things stand yes the rent is still due to be paid but the decision to allow any postponement or reduction is down to each property owner unless the government issue some type of clear emergency legislation or assistance. This does not mean we do not care or are going to ask tenants to leave. If tenants inform us they are struggling to pay the rent or are unable to pay we will talk to you as the property owner. We are hoping that some type of mortgage payment delay will be offered that property owners can pass on. We advise you start to think about this now and perhaps ask your mortgage lender if they are offering any payment holiday or other facility.
THOSE SELF ISOLATING or WHO HAVE THE VIRUS If you or anyone in your household have the virus or are self-isolating, please inform us as soon as possible. Follow measures suggested by the NHS online and turn any contractor or staff member away who might attend before knowing this. We will make a note and inform the property owner. No staff or contractors will be able to attend and unless there are emergency works required. Our tradesmen are self-employed and attendance will be at their discretion.
For the time being non-emergency repairs and maintenance will be postponed with the exception of empty houses. We will continue to try and attend to emergency repairs these will include;- Lack of hot water or heating Water/Gas/Oil leaks or roof leaks Electrical faults Plumbing issues in relation to toilets and drainage only Issues with access i.e. keys and locks, smoke/ carbon monoxide alarms We want to continue with Gas safety checks Again please understand we are taking these measures to help the national effort to limit the effect of this virus. With co-operation things will return to normal over time.
If you are unable to return to your property (as a tenant or property owner )for any reason and would like us to check it, pop some credit on a card meter or turn items off please let us know. For now we should be able to do this of course at no cost other than the cost of any credit put onto meters. There may have to be a modest charge for let only landlords.
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
  • Advertising more than other letting agents using radio, newspaper and online marketing including all the main portals Rightmove, Zoopla, Facebook and 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!

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