Homelets property to let in Brighton and Hove
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Letting your home is now a much safer process thanks to the protection afforded by the 1996 Housing Act, and the The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Legislation which provides rigorous safeguards enabling Landlords to let their homes with confidence. You can be sure that Homelets will manage the process professionally and securely; finding the right Tenant for your property, using the care and professionalism that has become our hallmark, we will ensure that the agreement is enforced by dealing with the issuing of formal letters and notices whenever necessary to protect your rights as a landlord.

We at Homelets offer a complete service for Landlords, from initial evaluation, advice on safety legislation and financial planning for any possible tax implications, through marketing your property, to selection of tenants and management of agreements.

Homelets is a well known name in the Brighton & Hove property market and since starting in 1988 we have gained an enviable track record for handling the management and rental of many interesting properties. Our team of dedicated property professionals has an unparalleled reputation for providing a complete Lettings & Management service and for letting property of all shapes and sizes in all locations. Our Brighton office is prominently located on Western Road 100 metres from Waitrose.

When it comes to letting your property, you can rely on the backup of one Brighton & Hove's most progressive property firms. Our aim is to introduce reliable, professional tenants and manage your property with your interests first and foremost. We expect to achieve the highest possible rental, selecting the best possible tenants who will occupy your property for the period of time you feel comfortable.

With a comprehensive legal back up, and many years of experience, we are well placed to assist you with all your lettings and management requirements.

We always recommend a visit from our lettings manager, who can access your property for rental purposes, providing you with guidance on expected monthly rental, levels of furnishings and any other matters, which need clarification.

A Guide to Letting

PREPARATION & PRESENTATION
Our experience has shown that those properties which have been properly prepared for letting benefit from successful, long-term lets, generating the right market rent and attracting reliable tenants. In the majority of cases where tenants have been problematical, badly maintained property or opportunist landlords have been the root cause.

We recommend your property is properly prepared and that any decorating jobs are undertaken prior to marketing. Furniture should be of good quality or removed all together. Windows should be clean and domestic appliances serviced. If you have any unreliable appliances in the property you should consider replacement prior to letting. Our representative will offer impartial advice aimed to assist you. In summary, quality homes attract quality tenants. Unfortunately the reverse is also true.

ADVERTISING
As an established letting agent in a prominent position we attract numerous enquiries for rental property every day. However, we advertise a selection of suitable property in suitable papers on a regular basis.

SELECTION OF SUITABLE TENANTS
We will discuss with you the target tenants suitable for your property, and will endeavor to recruit tenants matching the agreed criteria. Once an application is forwarded, references are usually taken from the following: Employer, previous Landlord, Bank and personal/character. We also credit check tenants for reliability and track record. We aim to process all references within 1 week. On approximately 70% of all properties we also demand parental guarantors who own their own property to act as surety.

INVENTORY
Once a tenant's application has been placed and accepted, we will prepare an inventory and schedule of conditions, utilising the latest digital photograph technology. This is not just a list of included furniture and chattels, but a schedule of the condition of your property. This can then be compared to a schedule of dilapidations prepared at the end of a tenancy.

TENANCY AGREEMENT
The tenancy agreement we use is very comprehensive. An initial contract is usually prepared for no less than six months. All tenancies are now Assured Short hold, unless stated otherwise. The tenant will usually pay no less than one month's rent in advance, with the equivalent being paid as a security deposit. The security deposit can be paid back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy upon satisfaction of the Landlord and production of paid Utility Bills etc. The landlord upon request can add additional clauses to the tenancy agreement.

TENURE
The tenancy agreement we use is very comprehensive. An initial contract is usually prepared for no less than six months. All tenancies are now Assured Short hold, unless stated otherwise. The tenant will usually pay no less than one month's rent in advance, with the equivalent being paid as a security deposit. The security deposit can be paid back to the tenant at the end of the tenancy upon satisfaction of the Landlord and production of paid Utility Bills etc. The landlord upon request can add additional clauses to the tenancy agreement.

TRANSFER OF SERVICES
As part of our normal letting service, we will organise the transfer of services into the in going tenant's name, reading meters where appropriate.

RENT COLLECTION
For managed clients, we will collect the monthly rent on your behalf. We then make deductions for management charges and any other maintenance items, paying the net amount into your bank account.

INSPECTIONS
A regular visit by our management department is an obvious way of monitoring your tenants. We expect to visit your property at least once every three months.

MAINTENANCE
Homelets have access to a number of reliable, quality tradesmen who will, under our supervision, carry out maintenance tasks on your behalf. Servicing of boilers, small decorating jobs and repairs of domestic appliances are all every day tasks we carry out for you. Larger tasks are carried out with your full co‑operation

SCHEDULE OF DILAPIDATIONS
Once the tenants have vacated, if required we will prepare a schedule of dilapidation's, to be compared to the original Inventory. As experienced landlord's ourselves, we always expect reasonable wear and tear. However, abuse and neglect are not accepted, and accordingly deposit Monies will only be released after full consultation and authority from you, the landlord.

TAXATION
Rental income is unearned and therefore subject to taxation However, mortgage interest, depreciation and maintenance are all valid expenditures which lower your tax burden. We recommend you discuss your taxation position with a qualified accountant and are happy to make recommendations when required.

LEGAL EXPENSE INSURANCE
There are a number of insurance policies available to landlords including legal expense and rent guarantee. Homelets can provide full details of any policies you may wish to undertake.

CHARGES AND FEES
Our fees are payable from the rent we receive on your behalf. We do not make charges in advance of successful letting. Management fees are deducted monthly and are subject to VAT. Letting fees and ancillary charges are deducted from the first month’s rent and are again subject to VAT.

COMPLIANCE
There are three compliance matters, which need to be considered when planning to let your property: Gas, Electricity & Foam Furniture. It is now a criminal offence to let your property without first having a Landlord's Gas Safety Certificate. Similarly, any furniture included in your property must comply with the foam furniture regulations.

GAS SAFETY
More often than not this is a simple inspection carried out by a CORGI registered inspector. Upon satisfaction, a certificate is issued for 12 months. This certificate must be placed on file with Homelets. A gas safety certificate typically costs in the region of £35.00 + VAT, but may cost more if work is required for your property to comply. The gas regulations state:

  • Landlords must maintain gas appliances annually
  • Gas appliances must have detectors, which cut off the gas supply before dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide build up
  • Gas appliances such as open flue boilers are banned from bedrooms due to incidents when lives have been lost because of faulty appliances
  • A CORGI or registered installer must carry out maintenance of appliances
  • If an appliance is faulty, both Landlord and Tenant must be notified, only CORGI registered installers will be allowed to carry out reconnection, repairs or fit new appliances
  • If a faulty appliance is not disconnected, an installer who will use their Statutory Rights to disconnect the appliance should inform British Gas
  • The tenants have the right to complain to the Health & Safety Executive if they believe an appliance to be substandard
  • The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations are in addition to the Gas Cooking Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1989

Our advice, in summary, is to have a service contact on any gas appliance with either British Gas or a reputable CORGI plumber. Further information can be sought from our lettings manager.

FIRE & FURNISHINGS SAFETY REGULATIONS
The above regulations place a responsibility on the landlord of a furnished or part furnished property to ensure the furniture, which is supplied in the property, complies with current legislation.

The following notes have been prepared as a guide to enable you to comply with the law.

In general:

  • Upholstered furniture must have a fire resistant filing material.
  • Cover fabrics must have passed a match resistant test (covers in certain fabric such as cotton or silk maybe used in a non match resistant form, provided the furniture has a fire resistant material.)
  • The combination of the cover and filing material must have passed a cigarette resistance test.

Furniture included in the above:

  • Bed Bases
  • Headboards
  • Mattresses
  • Sofa/Sofa Beds
  • Armchairs
  • Futons
  • Convertible Beds
  • Nursery Furniture
  • Garden Furniture
  • Scatter Cushions
  • Seat Pads
  • Pillows
  • Loose & Stretch Covers
    for furniture

Items not include:

  • Sleeping Bags
  • Bed Clothes (Including Duvets)
  • Loose Covers for Mattresses
  • Pillow Cases
  • Curtains
  • Carpets
  • Any items manufactured
    before 1950.

Identifying Compliant Furniture

The majority of the above items, with the exception of mattresses and bed bases that comply with existing legislation will carry a label that states "CARELESSNESS CAUSES FIRE". The label will also state whether either the covers or the interliner will pass the match test. Items that should, but do not carry the appropriate label can not be included in the tenancy. -  If in doubt leave it out.

NON COMPLIANCE
The penalty for non-compliance carries a maximum punishment of up to 6 months imprisonment or a level 5 fine currently £5,000 or both.

ELECTRICAL TESTS
If a property is let as part of a business, the landlord should comply with current electrical legislation, which also require that all plugs are to be half sheathed on the live and neutral pins. Specialist electricians should be consulted prior to lettings.

LOGICAL LETTING
The above legislation and compliance has been introduced to protect you, the landlord, from liability. If a property is properly prepared for lettings, it will comply with all of the above, and can be let with total peace of mind. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you require advice on any aspect on residential letting.

COSTS/FEES FOR LANDLORDS
Homelets are committed to offering a fair and transparent service to our Landlords. Standard fees payable by are listed below, however multiple and outstanding properties are by negotiation please call Brighton 01273 747485.

Finders only service 3 weeks rental + VAT
Full Management 12.5% of monthly rental + VAT
Inventory service 80 + VAT (94.00)
Check in 50 + VAT (60.00)
Arranging works over 1,000 invoice cost, 10% of final invoice
Contribution towards the renewal agreement fee Nil
Energy Performance Certificate 55 including VAT
Providing documentation to solicitors for Fast Track Possession only 40+Vat (48.00)
Court appearance by a Homelets representative per half day 100.00 + Vat (120.00)
Cutting of Keys Free
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