As you all know, in recent years the letting industry has changed dramatically. Both landlords and letting agents in the industry have felt the impact of these challenging times, from the loss of mortgage relief, admin fee bans and general increases in costs across the board for everyone.
We would like to take the opportunity to inform you on some of the recent changes which directly impact you as landlords;
- You are no longer able to charge a penalty fee for bounced cheques.
- You are no longer able to charge a management fees on utility bills and can only charge tenants the exact amount of the bill.
- You are no longer able to charge for cleaning the property if pets are taken as a pre-requestee.
- You are no longer able to charge garden maintenance fees however, charges can be applied if the house, which includes the garden, is not returned in the same state as when occupants started the tenancy.
- Late payment fees are now capped at 3% above bank of England annual base rate.
- A maximum of 5 weeks rent can be requested as a deposit, unless the annual rent for the property exceeds £50 k.
Considering that the industry is going though significant change we regularly seek detailed feedback from our landlords and tenants to ensure we provide the highest level of customer service possible. As a result, we have implemented several changes to our application process which now includes SMS notification to landlords when an application has been started and another once completed.
In addition, we listened to what you had to say and have actively further improved our communication practices. We are happy to report that we have received increased feedback scores since we streamlined several processes after an extensive review.
We consistently evaluate our procedures to ensure we provide value to our landlords and save you money where possible. As part of this we provide a wealth of benefits to our customers which includes;
- Free rent guarantee for occupied properties.
- Eviction cover in the unlikely event that tenants need to be evicted.
- Free inventory checks.
- Are famously friendly check in & out appointments, at times which are convenient to your tenants.
- Regular inspections of the property throughout the tenancy.
- Free contents insurance with a reputable company as well as free keycare, helping the students get there keys back if they lose them.
- Bill management, if you wish to avoid the hassle.
- We organise safety certificate inspections e.g gas and electric.
- Access to our user-friendly online ‘MYAREA’ platform where you can access a range of documentation relating to your property including, rental statement and contracts, at your own convenience, anywhere in the world.
On top of the benefits outlined above we perform several activities behind the scenes as your management team. These include but are not limited to;
- Checks to ensure tenants have the right to legally rent in the UK.
- Guarantor checks.
- Anti-money laundering checks.
- Identity checks.
- Gas certification, which is a legal requirement.
- Electrical certification, whilst not legal in all instances, we highly recommend as a responsible landlord.
- Third party deposit protection and distribution of the prescribed information to tenants.
- Providing “how to rent” guides to tenants.
- Ensuring EPC certification is valid, which is also a legal requirement
As part of our review, and after extensive discussions with numerous landlords, we have taken the decision to cease all ‘let only’ packages and increase the finder’s fee from 50% to 75% for “fully managed” accounts.
We understand that these changes will affect our clients however, they will ensure that we continue to provide an outstanding service and benefits package, whilst remaining competitive. These changes come into effect June 1st, which will coincide with the inclusion of rent guarantee and eviction cover as standard