- Comprehensive marketing strategy and eye-catching digital photograph ‘Pad To Let’ boards
- Accompanied viewings to suit
- Full referencing on all tenants and guarantors
- Preparation of tenancy agreement & service of all legal notices during tenancy
- Preparation of inventory & utilities
- Rent collection and deposit
- Inland Revenue administration and reporting
- Overseas landlords
- Health & Safety regulations
- Arrangement of gas and electrical inspections
- Regular inspections and property maintenance as required
- Tenancy renewals
- Final inspection, inventory and check out procedures
A most important aspect of letting your property land we endeavour to stress this to your tenant. We have stringent rules in place regarding the checking and signing of the inventory by your tenant as this can ultimately affect the return of their deposit. We charge an additional fee for fully furnished properties subject to property size, otherwise unfurnished properties are included in our management fee.
Meter readings are taken of gas and electricity (where applicable) and we inform the appropriate utility services including water authorities and council tax departments of the name and commencement of the tenancy.
Rent is collected calendar monthly in advance and we encourage your tenant to pay by standing order. Once the rent receipt is processed, we endeavour to pay your rental income due less any agreed expenditure direct into your bank account using our Bacs system promptly. We carry out a payment system on a daily basis to avoid any delays.
Inland revenue administration and reporting
Depending on your circumstances, income from property in the UK must be declared to the Inland Revenue. Landlords can claim personal allowances against income from property. Expenditure incurred in connection with letting including interest paid on a mortgage can be offset against your tax liability (although this is reducing by 25%/year between 2017-2021 and will then be exempt thereafter, along with wear and tear allowance in the case of furnished property may be granted. We will provide an annual statement itemising rental income received and all expenditure to enable your tax computation be completed. (We would advise you to take independent advice from a professional body with regard to your tax affairs).
Overseas landlords are classed as Non-Resident Landlords and all income from property is subject to tax. To enable rental income to be paid gross, you can apply for an exemption certificate from the Inland Revenue. We can supply you with the necessary forms and guidance notes and would recommend that these are completed as a priority.
Health & safety regulations
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11 (as amended by section 116 of the Housing Act 1988) requires the landlord (a) To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling including drains, gutters and external pipes (b) to keep in repair and proper working order the installations of water, gas, electricity and sanitation (c) to keep in proper working order installations for space and water heating. Landlords also have a duty to ensure that the premises, fixtures, fittings and appliances are safe.
The gas safety (installation & use) regulations 1994
Requires landlords to ensure that all gas appliances and installed pipe work are maintained in a safe condition and that they are inspected annually by an approved Gas Safe Register Engineer. A Landlord Gas Safety Certificate must be kept and issued to all tenants prior to the start of a tenancy. These annual inspections can be arranged by Leapfrog Lettings at a cost of £70 inc VAT. Should you wish to arrange your own, we will require the original certificate to be retained on our file.
Electrical equipment (safety) regulations 1994
Electrical Inspection Conditioning Report 2020
Since June 1, under The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020, landlords in England have been required to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested, at least every five years, by a person who is qualified and competent.
This applied in England to new specified tenancies from July 1 2020 and will apply to all other tenancies from April 1 2021. A new specified tenancy is a tenancy which was ‘granted’ (signed) on or after June 1 2020.
The regulations refer to an electrical safety report being obtained by the person conducting the electrical installation inspection and test.
An Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is used within the industry for this purpose. An EICR is a report carried out to assess the safety of the existing electrical installation within a property and is used to describe its condition. Its purpose is to confirm as far as possible whether or not the electrical installation is in a safe condition for continued service. The EICR will show whether the electrical installation is in a satisfactory or unsatisfactory condition and will detail a list of observations affecting the safety or requiring improvements.
Landlords are required to give all tenants a copy of the EICR within 28 days of it being completed. If the EICR is unsatisfactory (e.g. it has defects with C1, C2 or FI codes), the landlord has a responsibility to carry out any remedial or further investigative work within 28 days of the unsatisfactory report being issued, or any shorter period if specified as necessary in the report, and provide evidence to the tenants and local housing authority that any remedial work has been completed and the electrical installation is now safe for continued use.
Landlords do not need to have another EICR done if the commissioned report was unsatisfactory, but they will need to keep all the supporting certificates for the remedial and further investigative work with the EICR to show the required remedial works have been completed.
The regulations require landlords to have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent. To determine those who are qualified and competent to undertake the electrical inspection, landlords can either:
• Check if the inspector is a member of a competent person scheme for inspection and testing; or
• Require the inspector to sign a checklist certifying their competence, including their experience, whether they have adequate insurance and hold a qualification covering the current version of the Wiring Regulations and the periodic inspection, testing and certification of electrical installations.
Registered Competent Person Electrical is a single mark and register set up in 2014 following an agreement between all government-approved electrical Competent Person Scheme Operators to raise awareness of electrical safety in the home by simplifying the task of finding and checking a competent, registered electrician.
The smoke and carbon monoxide alarm (England) regulations 2015
Requires Landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor level of their property and test them at the start of every tenancy. Landlords would also need to install carbon monoxide detectors in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system installed. Those who fail to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms would face sanctions and could face up to a £5,000 civil penalty. We are happy to organise supply and installation of smoke alarms at a cost of £20 per alarm and £30 per carbon monoxide detector. These will be fitted as standard, if not already done.
Legionnaire’s risk assessments
There have been a number of recent changes by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Housing Minister. New regulations in respect of The Approved Code of Practice L8 and “reducing the risk of Legionnaires disease” requires that all rental properties have a Legionella Risk Assessment completed on all rented properties, of which is carried out by a competent person and that all relevant recommendations be immediately complied with. Unfortunately with local councils becoming more strict on their rules, this is not something that can be ignored due to legal/compliance issues, particularly in relation to tenants health and safety matters, whereby local councils have the power to impose fixed penalty fines up to £500.
The provisions of the amended act are to ensure health and safety is complied with. Regulations are made up of:- ACoP (l8) The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems, HSG274 Part 1, 2 and 3,and COSHH Regulations.
Your Legal Requirements as a Landlord is to appoint a competent person to:-
* Identify and assess sources of risk (Risk Assessment)
* Carry out any new risk assessments, only if any changes occur to the hot & cold water services, or if the tenant/occupier changes
* Prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk, implement, manage and monitor precautions
* Keep records of precautions
* Appoint a person to be managerially responsible
What is a competent person? A competent person is, as defined by the Health & Safety Executive, is someone who has sufficient training, experience or knowledge and other qualities that allow them to assist you properly, in carrying out the risk assessments and any additional recommendations. The level of competence required will depend on the complexity of the situation and the particular help you need.
Who we will be using as a competent person? Leapfrog Lettings have begun working with several Water Hygiene Specialists offering a wide range of water treatment and water hygiene services designed to improve both the safety and cost effectiveness of our customer’s water systems, providing the highest standards in water management, with memberships to the british Occupational Hygiene Society and Residential Landlords Association.
These risk assessments will be carried out on every newly tenanted property (at the changeover of tenant/occupation) with a maximum period of 2 years. A certificate will be held on file for our records.
Regular inspections and property maintenance
We are committed to carrying out regular inspections ensuring that the property is being cared for to an acceptable standard and remains in good order throughout. We aim for three monthly inspections to keep maintenance at a controllable level (if required) and after every inspection, you will receive a written report of the condition and details of any maintenance we deem necessary to protect your investment. Should repairs become necessary or your tenant informs us of a problem, we will contact you prior to instructing contractors. In most cases we will obtain an estimate of costs, instruct the contractor and monitor the repair. Carrying out repairs on a timely basis is not only important to your tenant; it is important to safeguarding your investment.
Should you wish to offer a further fixed term to your tenant we will arrange to have a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement drawn up and duly signed. There is an administration charge of 25% for this service.
At Leapfrog we take a minimum deposit equivalent to 1 month’s rent at the onset of the tenancy. We have a stringent check out procedure at the end of every tenancy whereby we arrange to meet the vacating tenant at the property to carry out a final inspection. All meter readings are taken and a forwarding address is obtained. We stress to the tenant that they have an obligation to inform all services and as a safeguard we also write to all service providers with outgoing meter readings etc and forwarding addresses for final bills.
The Leapfrog Full Management Service includes all the above for a monthly management fee (unless stated). All our services are designed to ensure your needs are met but we would be happy to add to or remove any of the above and design a service to suit your requirements.
If you would like to discuss our fees, strategies and service with us, please do not hesitate to contact the team.