Choosing a letting agent can seem a bit of a lottery at times, with so many "specialists" offering their services. It is a particularly critical decision if you are considering asking your agent to "manage" the property.

Norman J. Shepherd & Co are one of the leading letting and property management specialists with over 50 years of experience in Cheshunt and surrounding areas. Our company philosophy is to offer clients a personal, friendly and efficient service, utilising modern technology together with traditional values.

We always take steps to satisfy ourselves and our clients that a tenant under consideration has the capacity to meet their obligations. This is done by seeking bank references, employment and wherever possible previous landlord or managing agent references along with a credit check and the new legal requirement from the 1st February 2016  of the "Right to Rent" check which means it is the responsibility of the Landlord to check that their tenants have the legitimate right to live and work in the country. From 1 December, landlords could be charged with a criminal offence if they know, or have reasonable cause to believe, that they are letting to an illegal migrant.

Just as important, we consider whether a potential tenant displays the maturity and responsibility to look after a property.

A successful letting we believe starts with finding the "right tenant" rather than just "a tenant".

Of course, the decision of whether to accept a tenant is not ours but our clients. Unlike some agents, we prefer to submit copy references to you the client and discuss the matter carefully, before accepting a proposed tenant on your behalf.

If you are thinking of letting for the first time or a current landlord with properties shortly to be vacated, why not call or email our Lettings Manager for an informal discussion without obligation.

We always have good, readily available Tenants looking to rent immediately.

 

Fees

  • Fully Managed 10% + VAT of monthly rent
  • Let Only 5% + VAT of 12 months rent
  • Resigning New Contract (Let Only) £60.00 (inclusive of VAT)
  • Tenancy Deposit Fee £15.00 per annum (managed)
  • Tenancy Deposit Fee £36.00 per contract (let only)
  • Energy Performance £60.00 (if required)
  • Landlords Gas Safety £60.00 (if required)

 

PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY

It is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in your property, and that they are receiving value for money, this is key to a smooth running tenancy. It follows therefore that a well maintained property in a good decorative and working order will go towards this, whilst also achieving the best rental figure.

General Condition:

Plumbing, electrical central heating and hot water systems must be safe and in a good working order, repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in a clean and good condition. At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be thoroughly cleaned and at the end of tenancy it is the Tenant’s responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be at their expense.

Furnishings:

The Furniture and Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1994 provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofas-beds, futons, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows.

Safety Certificates:

Annual safety checks need to be carried out under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety before the property can be let and thereafter at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered gas installer. Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, and certain other regulations, electrical appliances and equipment provided in tenanted premises must be safe. It is therefore necessary to make a visual check to ensure that all electrical items plugs and leads appear completely safe and undamaged, and remove or replace any faulty items. We would highly recommend an Electrical Test be carried out on the property every five to eight years, along with electrical inspections each time a tenant moves out.

Inventory:

Inventories are extremely important and a precise list of contents and schedule of condition needs to be taken to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage or significant deterioration of the property or contents. We highly recommend a professional inventory be carried out (details and costs can be supplied by request). Norman J. Shepherd & Co are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

Garden:

Gardens should be left in a neat and tidy state, all rubbish should be removed and the lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools.

Personal Items:

All personal possessions, pictures, books etc should be removed from the premises, especially those of real sentimental value. All cupboards and shelves should be left clear and any loft storage space should be cleared unless specific mention of items are to be left and locked away.

Smoke Alarms and CO2 Detectors:

All properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains powered smoke alarms from new. As of 1st October 2015 all properties must be fitted with a working smoke alarm on each floor (in hall and landing areas). CO2 detectors are also required to be fitted were solid fuel is used and is highly recommended where gas is supplied as it is generally considered that the common law duty of care means that you could be liable were these are not fitted.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPC):

From 21st May 2010 all properties that are rented must commission an Energy Performance Certificate, and be available for all tenants to view, these last for 10 years. (Details and costs can be supplied by request).

Keys:

You should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange for copies to be cut as required.

Mortgage:

If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgages written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us of.

Leaseholds:

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.

Insurance: 

You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies.

Income tax:

When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under rules effective from April 6 1996, unless an exemption certificate is held with the Agent we are obliged to retain and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received, less certain expenses. We are able to supply you with an application form if needed.

If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please do not hesitate to telephone our office, or alternatively we would be pleased to visit you at your home to discuss your individual requirements, at your convenience.


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