Brief guide to services
With over 30-years experience within the field Cornwall Homeseekers provides a range of letting and management services. With an experienced understanding of the lettings and management sector we have an extensive knowledge of the Lettings field which is handled with great professionalism, they know they have chosen an Agency that act in their interests. We will ensure that you are given the best possible service based on the experience, skills and expertise of our lettings team.
You can be assured that we have a detailed understanding of the market 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 resurgence in the lettings market.
People from all walks of life are looking to become involved in the rental market whether Investors, Companies, people who need to relocate with their work or homeowners who are having difficulties in selling their own properties. Increasingly, large numbers of people are entering the 'Buy to Let' sector as an opportunity for investment.
OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU AS A LANDLORD
- Advice on letting your property
- Rental evaluation, provision of property details with colour photographs
- Advertising of your rental property in local publications/on our website
- Accompanied viewings and finding of suitable Tenant
- Status enquiries/reference and credit check of prospective Tenants
- Obtaining security deposit/rent guarantee
- Organising/preparing the Inventory and Check-In (free of charge)
- Preparing Tenancy Agreement and Legal Notices
- Arranging transfer of Utilities to Tenant's name including Council Tax and Water Rates
- Advising on compliance with Safety Regulations for Gas/Electricity supplies etc.
- Collecting monthly rental payments and providing monthly statements to Landlords
- Arranging annual gas safety checks (chargeable)
- Arrange an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate - Chargeable) This will last for 10 years.
- Periodic inspection of the property and reporting of any problems
- Obtaining competitive quotations and arranging for necessary repairs/maintenance to be carried out
- Contacting the Tenant and arranging for renewals and/or check-outs as necessary
PREPARING YOUR PROPERTY
All issues are generally covered under the Landlords buildings Insurance, it is paramount that Landlords insure their property for rental purposes the Landlord will also need to adhere to the following regulations:
Under the gas safety regulations of 1998 a Landlord is required to have an annual Gas Safety Certificate, this needs to be arranged through a Gas Safe registered engineer which we can easily arrange.
At present there is no legal requirement to have an Electrical certificate in place. This is a grey area at present and a visual inspection of all electrical wiring will suffice. If you believe that your electrics are in a poor state a qualified electrician would be able to advise you further.
Open fires, woodburners etc, it is good practice that the chimney/flue is swept prior to the tenancy agreement start date and certificate issued, thereafter it would be the tenants responsibility to annually sweep and to provide certification.
Since 1st October 2015 it has been a legal requirement that landlords must install at least one smoke alarm on every storey of their rental property which is used as living accommodation. It is the landlords responsibility to ensure that these are working on day one of the tenancy; it is the tenants responsibility to maintain them thereafter. We strongly recommend sealed units so that the batteries cannot be removed.
ENERGY PERFORMANCE CERTIFICATES
From April 2018 it will be a requirement that any property starting a new tenancy or renewing a current tenancy will require an EPC certificate and a rating of 'E' or above; this legislation will not apply to rolling contracts until 2020.
Certain properties maybe exempt from the EPC requirements and the most common example of this would be a listed building, where the required work cannot be conducted as it would change the exterior of the building and not comply with the listed building regulations.
FURNITURE AND FURNISHINGS
Although less likley to apply nowadays the furniture, furnishings, fire and safety regulations of 1988 require all soft furnishings to be compliant with these regulations, your Cornwall Homeseekers representative can advise you further.
We will read all meters on tenancy commencement date and transfer these into tenant's name, we cannot arrange telecommunication transfer, we would recommend at this stage that you disconnect the telephone, this will alleviate phone charges to the Landlord. If you have sky you will need to notify them regarding disconnection as they will not allow us to speak on your behalf.
Our advice would be to keep the decoration simple, neutral colour schemes and furnishings are unlikely to offend tenants tastes and will aide you to letting your property quickly and efficiently. Bathrooms and kitchens are head of tenants requirements, bathrooms nowadays need to have bath and shower as standard, kitchens need to be in good decorative order, with a modern working cooker.
Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard. If you value your garden and shrubs, or if it is high maintenance you may wish to consider employing a gardener again which we can arrange if that helps.
At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a clean condition and the carpets professionally cleaned, this ensures that there can be no argument at the end of the initial tenancy agreement as it is the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION
All deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. We use 'The Dispute Service', we will register the deposit and issue the tenants with certification that this has been done. However there is a minimal annual charge for this.
Right to Rent was first introduced in parts of the West Midlands in December 2014 and was then rolled out further in February 2016. Landlords, agents and anybody who sublets or takes in lodgers, could face a financial penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant if they are found to be letting property to someone who has no right to stay in the UK.
Further guidance can also be found on GOV.uk
Who does the Right to Rent scheme apply to?
The scheme applies to private landlords with property in England, including people who are subletting their property or taking in lodgers. Alternatively an agent can be appointed by a landlord to make Right to Rent checks on their behalf.
Checks must be carried out on all adult occupants – the rules apply to new tenancy agreements from 1 February 2016. Existing tenancy agreements are not affected.