Landlords

Micawber Lettings manage properties of our own and therefore have a greater understanding of the way the present day-to-day lettings market behaves. You can also rest assured that your property will be looked after by us as if it were our own. Finding you the right tenant is the important factor to a successful let and every effort will be made to vet prospective tenants to ensure the right tenant is found. We pride ourselves on delivering a friendly and professional service which will exceed customer expectations.

Levels of Service offered

A Tailored Service

Outlined below are the two basic elements of our service. However, we maintain a flexible attitude, and are generally able to adapt our service to meet our client’s individual circumstances and needs.

Full Management

This is our inclusive service, which provides for the marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and vetting of a prospective tenant. This proving satisfactory, we will then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement, and organise an inventory.

During the tenancy we carry out periodic inspection visits. Should these bring to light any maintenance issues, we will (within the terms of our Management Agreement) recommend, oversee and account for any necessary repairs.

Collecting and processing of rental payments is also part of the full management service. These will be credited to the landlord’s nominated bank account.

Towards the end of the tenancy, we will liaise with the tenant and either renew the tenancy agreement if required, or arrange to check them out, as applicable.

This service is suitable for those landlords who would rather not deal with their tenants directly, preferring all aspects to be handled by an agent.

Introduction Only

Our Introduction Only service includes marketing of the property and carrying out viewings, leading to the introduction and vetting of a prospective Tenant. This proving satisfactory, we will then go ahead and prepare the tenancy agreement, and organise an inventory.

Following this, the first month’s rent will be collected and credited to the landlord, less our agreed fee. Managing the tenancy, including the maintenance, dealing with emergency call outs etc. will then be the responsibility of the landlord.

Please note we also offer a Rent Collection service. This includes all the benefits of our introduction service but is designed for landlords who have the time, resources and trade contacts to manage the day-to-day maintenance of the property themselves, but do not want to deal with the rent collection or accounting.

Preparing your Property

Overview

We have found that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As property managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in good decorative order will go a long way towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental figure. In our experience tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.

General Condition

Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord’s expense unless misuse can be established. Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral.

Furnishing

Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings.

Gardens

Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, if the maintenance of your garden is particularly important to you, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.

Information for the Tenant

It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant, e.g on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.

Keys

You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.

Cleaning

At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant’s responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.

Legal Requirements

Mortgage

If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee’s written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.

Leaseholds

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.

Health and Safety and other legal requirements

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (landlord). Where you have signed our full management agency agreement, they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will need to ensure compliance of all legal requirements.

Gas

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and therefore at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (on the Gas Safety Register).

  • Maintenance There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.
  • Records Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.
  • Copies to tenants A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

From 1st October 2008, it is now required by law that all residential property being let must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and this must be made available free of charge to a tenant by the landlord. Once in place an EPC is valid for 10 years.

We have a database of registered energy assessors, and we will be pleased to arrange an EPC inspection and assessment on your property upon request. Please note that we cannot market your property to let until we have a valid EPC for the property.

For more information on EPCs, please check the following government website:

www.direct.gov.uk

Electrical

Although a landlord is not required by law to annually test for electrical wiring, all portable appliances will need an annual PAT test.

It is however, the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all wiring and appliances are safe and where applicable instruction manuals are left. We would therefore recommend a full electrical safety check, which we would be happy to arrange for you.

Fire

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

Smoke Alarms

All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were approved by parliament and came into force on 1 October 2015. Private sector landlords are now required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). All alarmsmust be checked to make sure they are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

Insurance

You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. If you need to arrange cover for landlords legal protection, rent guarantee cover and landlords building and contents insurance please contact us for details of our insurance provider.

Council Tax and Utility Accounts

We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. We can handle all these matters for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the landlord and the tenant.

Income Tax

When resident in the UK, it is entirely the landlord’s responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. You will need to complete relevant forms, details of which can be found via the following link. www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm

The Inventory

It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition is prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage or significant deterioration of the property or contents.

What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?

Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £100,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months’ written notice to the tenant. Should the landlord and tenant wish to renew the tenancy, this can be arranged for you.

Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP)

Since 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an Alternative Dispute Resolution service (ADR). Please note we use the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), and as part of our full management and rent collection service, we will lodge your tenant’s deposit on your behalf.

Services at a Glance

All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 were approved by parliament and came into force on 1 October 2015. Private sector landlords are now required to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance (e.g. a coal fire, wood burning stove). All alarmsmust be checked to make sure they are in working order at the start of each new tenancy.

*Additional charges may apply, please see our current list of fees.


Landlord - Your Essential Guide

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Landlord - Question & Answers

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Lucky Number 7 Campaign

We are also running a special offer of 7% management fee with NO VAT FOREVER* for all landlords.

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