Terms of Business
Part 1: Lettings
If you are a tenant or lessee it is essential for you to make certain:
(i) That the intended letting is permitted by your lease.
(ii) That the tenancy is for a period expiring prior to the termination of your lease.
(iii) That your Landlord's written permission, if necessary, has been obtained for the sub-letting. If in doubt, refer to your lease or tenancy agreement.
Where the property to be let is subject to a mortgage, permission is normally required from the mortgagees to sub-let the property. You must obtain your mortgagee's permission to sub-let (if required) in writing, at the earliest date rather than applying for this when a tenant is found. Most mortgages enable the lender to withhold permission without providing a reason.
On finding a tenant who is accepted by you or whom you have given us and who completes the Tenancy Agreement, our commission will be charged as follows:
(i) 9.6% inclusive of VAT for a long let (six months or more) of the total rent reserved under the terms of the Agreement, (E.g. If the monthly rent is £1,300.00, you will pay a fee of £124.80 inclusive of VAT).
(ii) With regard to extended tenancies, whether or not negotiated by us, commission is payable at the same rate.
(iii) If the tenancy terminates before the due date there is a minimum non-refundable fee of 9.6% inclusive of VAT of the equivalent of six months' rent, but after six months there will be a pro rata refund.
(iv) The commission will be deducted monthly.
(v) Fees are due and payable even if the Landlord dispenses with the services of the Agent during the Tenancy.
(vi) The Agent reserve the right to retain any interest or commission obtained while carrying out duties on behalf of the Landlord.
The services we provide for our commission (if required by you) are:
(i) Taking up references but not including any charges for company investigations.
We can give no warranties to the suitability of a prospective tenant.
(ii) Collection of the deposit payable by the tenant against dilapidations.
(iv) Notification to service companies (telephone, gas, electricity, water) at the commencement and termination of the letting. Notification to the local authority of liability to Council Tax at the commencement of the tenancy.
1.5 The Furnished Rent
Unless otherwise agreed, the rent quoted to a tenant by us on your behalf must be inclusive of all outgoings for which you are responsible (ie, ground rent, service charges, etc) with the exception of gas, electricity, water rates, the telephone service and fuel oil where there is an independent oil fired heating system and Council Tax.
Inventory clerks are not employed by us. We can, however, if required, instruct established independent firms to act on your behalf on your accepting responsibility for the cost of the inventory make and the cost of check-in and check-out inventories. While care will be taken in giving instructions to inventory clerks, we cannot accept liability for any error or omission on their part.
1.7 Tenancy Agreement and Charges
Unless we are instructed otherwise, we use our standard form of Tenancy Agreement in respect of all lettings. Our charge for this form of Agreement for a new tenancy is £144.00 inclusive of VAT for a term of six or twelve months or less and £72.00 inclusive of VAT for the Memorandum of Agreement used for extended tenancies. Landlords instructing their own solicitors to prepare an Agreement must be responsible for their Lawyer's fees.
1.8 Rent Collection
Once a tenant has been found for the property we will arrange to collect the rent on your behalf.
1.9 Rent Remittances
Rents will be paid out only when Property Lodge Management Company receive cleared rent payments from the tenant.
You should make certain that your property and contents are adequately insured and that you have informed your insurance company of your intention to let your property as many household policies do not cover lettings.
All deposits are held by ourselves, as Agent of the Landlord, throughout the tenancy. Once dilapidations have been agreed and copies of all receipted final invoices have been checked, the balance of the deposit will be returned to the tenant.
As from 6 April 2007 all deposits taken by Agents must be protected by a tenancy deposit scheme for the regulation of disputes between Landlord/Agents and Tenants. Any deposit taken by The Property Lodge will be dealt with in accordance with the terms of My Deposits of which we are a member. My Deposits is sponsored by the National Landlords Association and administered by Hamilton Fraser Insurance, a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The cost of registering the deposit is £48.00 inclusive of VAT.
1.12 Right to Rent
We check immigration status and that of anyone aged 18 or over by seeing the original passport, visas or work permits before the commencement of the tenancy as required by the government’s Right to Rent scheme introduced in the Immigration Act 2014.
Part 2: Management
In addition to the letting, we can provide a management service at an extra charge as follows:
We pay current outgoings such as rent, insurance premiums and any service charge and/or maintenance charge or similar contribution to shared expenses and account to you regularly. Although we shall do our best to query any obvious discrepancies, it must be understood that we are entitled to accept and pay without question, demands and accounts which appear to be in order. In particular, we cannot accept responsibility for the adequacy or any insurance cover or for the verification of service/maintenance charge demands or estimates where applicable.
2.2 Repairs and Replacements
We shall deal without any additional charge for day to day management matters including repairs up to approximately £1,000.00 for any one item, except in an emergency. Wherever practical estimates are obtained and submitted to you for approval in respect of works of redecoration, renewal or repair likely to cost more than £400.00. An additional supervisory fee of 12% inclusive of VAT of the total cost is charged for major works. If any damage is caused by the negligence or failure of tradesmen specified by the Landlord the Agents will not be held responsible.
2.3 Inspection and Defects
Our management will include investigation of defects which come to our notice or are clearly adequately brought to our attention by the tenant. We inspect the property regularly and inform you of any problems that have arisen, and the action taken. It should be appreciated that any such inspection can extend only to apparent and obvious defects and would not amount in any way to a structural survey of the property. We cannot accept responsibility for hidden or latent defects.
2.4 Tenancy Changes
In the event of there being a change of tenancy during our management, we deal with the preparation of the property for the new tenant, subject to being in funds to do so.
2.5 Terms of Management Appointment
Except in cases where you intend to re-occupy the accommodation and where special arrangements are made, our appointment is for an agreed initial period and thereafter subject to three months notice to terminate on either side. We expect to be place in sufficient funds being a minimum of £400 at the commencement and, if necessary, during the term of the management, to enable us to meet all expenditure prior to the next rent collection. We hold this working balance so that we can undertake to meet any outgoings up to the limit of the cash available in our hands on your account.
The Landlord agrees that he appoints us or our assignees as his Agent in connection with the Agent's functions under this Agreement and the Tenancy Agreement to be entered into and authorises us (without any obligation to do so) to enter the premises and take all reasonable steps with regards to our appointment as Agents.
2.6 Void Periods
Our management function does not include the supervision of property when it is not let, although, in the normal course of letting, periodic visits may be made to the accommodation. It also does not include any period before the property is let. However, if you wish us to manage your property during a void period we will gladly do so at a charge of £90.00 per calendar month inclusive of VAT.
(i) Subject to our remarks in Part 2 above, our management charges will be payable monthly at the rate of 7.2% inclusive of VAT of the total rent reserved under the terms of the Agreement. (E.g. If the monthly rent is £1,300.00, you will pay a fee of £93.60 per month inclusive of VAT).
Part 3: General Remarks
3.1 Instruction to Solicitors
You will be informed of any rent arrears or breaches of covenant brought to our attention. However, if it is necessary for a Solicitor to take action, you will be responsible for instructing your own Lawyer and for all fees involved.
3.2 Taxes Management Act
Where the Landlord of the property resides abroad, the Commissioners for Inland Revenue will hold us, as your Agents, responsible for the payment of any tax liability which arises on rents collected by us on your behalf. Accordingly, if you are resident abroad, it will be necessary for us to deduct income tax at the rate of 20% of the gross rent and pass this on to the Inspector of Taxes. If we are given an Inland Revenue Approval Number for you it will not be necessary for us to deduct this 20%.
Similarly, if you at present live within the UK but subsequently move abroad, it will be necessary for us to commence this deduction from the time you leave the country. The monies deducted will be handed over to the Inland Revenue as set out above.
The eventual liability for tax may be considerably less than the amount we have handed over to the Inland Revenue and we suggest that you employ accountants or other tax advisers to agree your assessment each year with the Inspector of Taxes.
We regret the necessity to make such deductions but you will appreciate we have no alternative in view of our responsibility to meet the tax liability on your behalf. We therefore ask you to let us know as soon as possible who will be dealing with your tax affairs in this country. Should you at present reside within the UK but subsequently move abroad, we ask that you let us know the name of your accountant or tax advisers at that time.
3.3 The Housing Act 1988
Applications for market rent appearances before the Rent Assessment Committee or any other Court or Tribunal will be by special arrangement only and will form the subject of an additional charge, being £36.00 per hour inclusive of VAT.
The Landlord agrees to indemnify us as Agents against any costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on us provided that they were incurred on his behalf in pursuit of our normal duties.
3.5 Fire Regulations
As from 1 March 1993 all furniture in properties being rented for the first time or any new or additional furniture being put in a property already rented out must comply with the fire regulations by displaying a label stating that they are fire resistant. If items or furniture do not comply with the fire regulations, the Landlord must either change the items of furniture or authorise ourselves as Agents to either replace or remove the items before any tenancy commences. Instructions to let a property available for rental will only be accepted if all furniture complies with the regulations. Failure to comply can result in your prosecution.
3.6 Electric and Gas Appliances Regulations
All low voltage electric appliances and all gas appliances must be checked by professional tradesmen and all items marked with the date and time of testing to comply with Government Regulations. The Landlord must carry out such tests annually or they will be carried out by the Agents at the Landlord's expense prior to the rental of the property and on an annual basis thereafter, the cost being deductible from the rent. All appliances must have instruction books left at the property. Failure to comply with the Regulations can result in your prosecution.
3.7 Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
All properties on the market for letting must have an Enegy Performance Certificate which has been produced within the past ten years.
An EPC tells owners and tenants how efficient the property is and gives standard energy and carbon emission ratings from A to G, with A being the most efficient. EPCs for rented properties are valid for ten years, however if improvements are made to the property which might affect its energy rating then the EPC may be updated.
EPC assessments must be carried out by approved assessors, which are listed on the EPC register and usually costs between £60 and £120 inclusive of VAT.
3.8 CONSUMER REDRESS
The Property Lodge Management Company Limited is a member of The Property Ombudsman. For more information please go to www.tpos.co.uk
3.9 client money protection
The Property Lodge Management Company Limited is a member of Client Money Protect.
3.10 RIGHT TO CANCEL
The Landlord has a 14 day ‘notice of right to cancel’ from the date of signing the contract. Please note that this cancellation period means that marketing of the property cannot start until after the 14 days. If the Landlord wishes the contract to begin before the end of the 14 day cancellation period they must request this in writing and have an agreement to cover any costs incurred during this cancellation period.