In the famous Dickens’ classic, “Great Expectations”, young Pip has high expectations which leads to a fair share of disappointment. This can often be the case when it comes to renting or letting a property. Whether you are an agent, a landlord or a tenant in the lettings process everyone has expectations. Sadly, what you can expect is not always clear to all parties and disappointment and misunderstandings can creep in creating unnecessary stress and issues. As experienced ARLA and Propertymark letting agents, Sheridan Sales & Lettings try to ensure that all parties are clear on what should happen in the letting process from start to finish. Whilst it is always possible that something can be overlooked there are certain basic expectations that all sides to the arrangement should have no matter what, starting with professionalism and courtesy for all.
Lettings agents facilitate a property letting by matching the tenant with the right property and acts on behalf of the landlord with legal and professional obligations to both the landlord and to the tenant. Sheridan Sales & Lettings offer two very different levels of lettings service. The Let Only Services (£495 set up fee as at October 2019) and the Full Management Service (£395 PLUS 10% of the monthly rent as at October 2019).
The Let Only Service sources and matches the tenant and goes through the letting process right up to and including the tenant taking possession and paying their first month’s rent and deposit. However, the ongoing line of communication in the event of any issues is then between the landlord and the tenant directly thereafter.
Under the Full Management Service, Sheridan Sales & Lettings will seek to match the tenant with the right property on behalf of the landlord. Throughout the process there are legal and professional obligations to both the landlord and to the tenant including staying up to date with legislation and ensuring compliance by all parties. We are responsible for ensuring tenants are suitable tenants and able to meet their financial commitments. We will accompany prospective tenants on all property viewings and provide suitable rental agreements, inventory and other related documentation. We also conduct regular inspections of the property during the tenancy to ensure there are no problems building up. Dealing with unexpected issues that may arise during the tenancy (ie maintenance problems such as a boiler failure) is another key area of responsibility for letting agents as well as managing the conclusion of a tenancy. Below is a clear breakdown of what each party can expect when letting through Sheridan Sales & Lettings and should be the norm for any good lettings agent.
When renting through a lettings agent, tenants should expect:
1. a fair market rent to be set for the property they are renting.
2. all aspects of the property to comply with current safety regulations.
3. to provide appropriate references and allow credit checks from the outset.
4. the letting agent to accompany them on property viewings.
5. to approve and sign a suitable tenancy agreement and receive this and any other documents as required under current legislation before the tenancy commences.
6. to receive a copy of a comprehensive inventory and schedule of condition for the property.
7. to have the opportunity to confirm the inventory and schedule of condition is correct, including all meter readings. Tenants should also be able to make any amendments within the reasonable legal timeframes.
8. to be formally checked into the property by the letting agent.
9. to make payment of the first month’s rent and security deposit before taking possession.
10. to ensure all utilities and any other relevant household bills are registered in their own name(s).
11. to make regular rental payments as agreed in the tenancy agreement.
12. to take care of property and premises and keep in a good state throughout.
13. to pay the rent as agreed as per contract.
14. to enjoy the property, fixtures and premises to its fullest extent in safety and comfort.
15. to advise the letting agent of any maintenance issues as soon as they arise during the tenancy and expect them to be resolved within a reasonable timescale.
16. to allow the letting agent and/or landlord access to the property for two initial quarterly inspections and thereafter half yearly inspections.
17. the letting agent to make contact with the tenant(s) and for them to be able to contact the letting agent as needed.
In a Full Property Management Service landlords should obviously expect to provide the unreserved use of the property and premises in good safe repair as per current legislation.
In addition, landlords should also expect their letting agent to:
1. provide a rental valuation and any other advice they may require about the lettings process.
2. advise on compliance with current safety regulations.
3. locate a suitable tenant(s) through local and national advertising.
4. accompany prospective tenant(s) to view their property.
5. obtain and evaluate tenant(s) references and credit checks.
6. prepare a suitable tenancy agreement.
7. issue all required documents in line with current legislation.
8. prepare an inventory and schedule of condition carried out by an independent professional inventory specialist.
9. check the tenant(s) into the property.
10. ensure agreement and signing of the inventory, schedule of condition, and meter readings.
11. collect the first month’s rent and security deposit.
12. supervise the transfer of utilities and all other relevant bills into the tenant(s) name.
13. convey payment of the first month’s rent to your bank account after check-in and provide a statement of account.
14. receive advance monthly rental payments and pay them direct into the landlord’s bank account, together with a detailed statement.
15. half yearly inspection of the property following the first two satisfactory quarterly inspections.
16. liaison with the landlord concerning any repairs or maintenance which may be required.
If you would If you would like to see how we can help with your next property let please do give us a call on 01366 858228 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.