WADSWORTH & CO enjoy long-standing relationships with many of our Clients and Landlord, our letting team is always happy to meet with new clients to advise them on how best to maximise their rental return. At Wadsworth's our letting team is fully PropertyMark trained and therefore able to offer advice to our Landlords on the market conditions as well as the current legal requirements.
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 as 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.
Wadsworth's carry out many market appraisals each month and have excellent knowledge of our areas, which include Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, Great Barr and Lichfield. We find that this helps to provide our clients with accurate appraisals, which results in being able to consistently achieve the correct marketing price. Whether you are a homeowner looking to rent out your property, a seller who can’t sell and needs to move, a Buy to Let landlord with 1 or 100 hundred properties, at Wadsworth’s we will ensure that you receive the lettings service you need. Of course, when your tenant has moved in, you will want the remainder of the tenancy to run smoothly. Whether it is routine repairs and maintenance or an emergency in the middle of the night, our expert property management team are there to deal with it all.
Whether you are thinking about becoming a Buy to Let Landlord or already have a large portfolio, our Company will give you:
For our full Terms & Conditions, please email where we will be happy to discuss them with you in more detail.
And remember, we offer a free valuation and a no let - no fee policy!
One Months Rent.
Tenancy Setup Fee - £179
Tenancy Setup Fee - £179
WHERE TO START?
1. Local Lettings Agent - we would suggest you find an established local agent who is associated to a Trade Association. It ensures that its affiliated agents meet specific professional standards and fulfil 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 you 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.
3. Other important considerations for Landlords before Letting
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 Shorthold 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 tenure beyond 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 Shorthold 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, Wadsworth & Co 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, the 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 our offices and feature on our company website and other sites such as OnTheMarket and Zoopla 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. We can also provide you with/assist you in obtaining a linked insurance policy to safeguard your rental income and provide legal protection (RENT GUARANTEE).
9. DRAFTING OF TENANCY AGREEMENT/LEASES - the Letting team at Wadsworth & Co 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 the 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.
1. Gas - (The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1994 (amended 1998) – the Landlord must maintain gas installations and all gas appliances through annual inspections and safety checks carried out by a CORGI registered engineer and a copy of the Current Inspection Certificate must be left at the property.
2. Electricity - (The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & Electricity at Works Regulations 1989- the Landlord must ensure that all mains voltage household electrical appliances and equipment is tested and safe to use. Any non-repairable items must be replaced and removed. 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.
3. Furniture and Furnishings - The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety)Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) - Soft furnishings (such as mattresses, settees, bed bases, cushions and padded headboards) must meet fire resistance standards and bear a permanent label confirming this. If compliance cannot be proved, the item must be removed and replaced.
4. Smoke Detectors - whilst only properties built after 1992 legally require the fitting of smoke detectors (Building Regulation 1991), we would strongly recommend that smoke detectors are fitted to each floor of the property being let.
5. Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 - came into force on 6 April 2012, updating previous asbestos regulations to take account of the European Commission's view that the UK had not fully implemented the EU Directive on exposure to asbestos (Directive 2009/148/EC).
6. Legionnaires’ Disease: The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems - which includes those in control of premises and those with health and safety responsibilities for others, to help them comply with their legal duties. These include identifying and assessing sources of risk, preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk, implementing, managing and monitoring precautions, keeping records of precautions and appointing a manager responsible for others.
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.
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.
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.