Sheraton Law

Landlord Guide

Sheraton Law is a specialist firm of estate agents with an in-depth local knowledge of the areas we cover. Whether you are letting or selling your property Sheraton Law can help you through the process with experienced and knowledgeable staff.

An introduction to our services

TMCSince 1988 Sheraton Law has been letting and managing residential property from studio flats to large family houses. As an established professional letting agent we bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the business of letting your property. We understand that every landlord is unique and each property different and are happy to deal the time consuming aspects of letting from quickly finding tenants, negotiating the terms of the tenancy, obtaining references, drawing up the agreement as well as fully managing your property if that is what suits you.

Letting your home, without experience of some of the problems that can arise, can be a legal minefield but Sheraton Law can foresee and avoid potential problems and guide you through the process.

Letting your property can provide a secure income to cover mortgage repayments and other outgoings. It can be the ideal solution if you are working abroad, have invested in a second property, or simply do not wish to sell or remain living in your existing home. You may be considering moving out of London but do not yet want to make that final commitment. Whatever the reason leaving your property unoccupied for any length of time is uneconomic and letting is the flexible and simple answer. Sheraton Law can help you maximise this asset – we are well aware of the great returns that can be made from investing in property as well as how costly it can be if done incorrectly.

Why using an ARLA agent is important to you

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is the professional and regulatory body for letting agents in the UK. Being a member means

  • We have a Client Money Protection Scheme so you won’t suffer financial loss

  • We have Professional Indemnity insurance so you won’t suffer due to negligence

  • We have ARLA qualified staff so you will get professional and informed advice

  • We have ARLA Codes of Conduct and Practice so you will always receive a regulated and thoroughly professional service

What services do Sheraton Law offer?

Sheraton Law offer two services; the letting service which includes rent collection and the full management service designed for people who do not have the time for day-to-day management.

Both services start with an initial visit to your property where we will advise a realistic and achievable rental level, discus all aspects relating to the letting of your property and suggest any ways that could help maximise your earnings as well as avoid those dreaded void periods.

The Letting Service

  • Advertise your property. We are members of Rightmove and On the Market as well advertising in selected magazines such as South

  • Contact a substantial database of live enquiries, including relocation agents looking to house both corporate clients and families

  • Arrange accompanied viewings and always keep you informed with feedback

  • Give regular progress reports usually from the Lettings Manager

  • Negotiate offers

  • Carry out full reference checks through an independent reference company

  • Draw up a comprehensive tenancy agreement

  • Obtain an advance rental payment and security deposit

  • Register the security deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme

  • Ensure rental payments are received on time, chase late rent payment and oversee debt management

  • Credit your nominated account and email you a monthly statement of account

The Full Management Service – as above plus

  • Appoint an independent inventory clerk to draw up a comprehensive inventory

  • Check in tenants to the property

  • Assign a Property Manager to carefully supervise and manage your property on a day-to-day basis to ensure it is maintained in good order

  • Make available to you any contractor’s invoice for works undertaken

  • Carry out regular management visits, usually every six months, and send you the report

  • Arrange all repairs or emergency works

  • Organise the servicing of appliances

  • Renew all relevant safety certificates

  • Pay any outgoings on your behalf such as utility closing bills

  • Negotiate and agree any dilapidations on your behalf and make the appropriate deductions from the tenants security deposit at the end of the tenancy

  • Carry out any repairs or further cleaning needed between tenancies

  • Send you an annual statement for tax purposes for the appropriate tax year

mhallSelection of tenants

Sheraton Law will aim to find the most suitable, fully referenced tenants for your property. Obviously the ultimate choice of tenant is up to the landlord and sometimes the landlord will want to meet the interested party to be assured that they are right for the property.

Once the landlord has decided in principle on a tenant, Sheraton Law will then take up references. As Sheraton Law acts in the landlord’s interest we are highly selective about the choice of tenants and use an independent reference company to thoroughly check that the proposed tenant is financially stable, has been a good tenant in the past and has a good credit history. A final report is compiled and presented to the landlord.

Why a professional inventory is important

Since April 2007 and the introduction of the statutory deposit protection schemes, a proper professional and detailed inventory including photographs has never been more essential. The inventory describes clearly and in detail the state of the property at the beginning of the tenancy as well as listing all the contents, together with notes about condition and cleanliness. As an inventory is the only record of the condition of the property at the start of the tenancy it is absolutely essential that it is as detailed as possible so that an accurate assessment of any dilapidations can be made. Because of the importance of the inventory we strongly recommend that it is drawn up by a professional inventory clerk. Normally the landlord pays for the check-in inventory and the tenant pays for the check-out inventory.

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The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

Sheraton Law is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The vast majority of tenancies arranged by Sheraton Law are conducted and ended without disagreement in a reasonable and proper manner; however should there be a dispute at the end of the tenancy this scheme provides a quick, fair and independent adjudication. Where the deposit is held by Sheraton Law all these tenancies will be included in the scheme and clauses to that effect will be included in the tenancy agreement.

flooringLandlords Gas Safety Certificate and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

All landlords have a common law duty to ensure that gas installations and appliances supplied at their properties are safe. Landlords (or their agents) have a statutory duty to arrange an annual gas safety check. Where your property is managed by Sheraton Law we will arrange this.

An EPC tells you how energy efficient a home is on a scale of A to G. The most efficient homes – which should have the lowest fuel bills – are in Band A

Since 1st October 2007 it is a requirement that every rental property should have an EPC prior to the property being advertised for rental

Mortgage consent

If the property to be let is subject to a mortgage then you should obtain consent to let your property from the mortgage lender. Some charge a small administrative fee, others may require a copy of the tenancy agreement. We recommend that you get in touch with your mortgage provider as soon as possible to avoid any unnecessary delay.

Insurance

Landlords must ensure that the building is properly insured so you should advise your insurer that the property is going to be let as some insurance companies will not insure tenanted properties. Sheraton Law is able to recommend companies that specialise in insurance for tenanted properties

Questions about tax

Your rental profit will be unearned income and liable to tax whether you are a resident in the UK or an overseas landlord. HMRC class an overseas landlord as a person who spends more than six months in a tax year abroad. Sheraton Law request that all overseas landlords fill in HMRC form NRL1 so that you can they are able to receive full rental payment from us with no tax deducted.

Accountancy services can be cost effective by offering help to reduce any tax liability. The main expenses eligible to be offset against your rental income from letting for both furnished and unfurnished properties are:

  • Maintenance, repairs, insurance and management charges (including our fees)

  • Accounting and legal fees

  • Interest payable

  • Ground rent

In addition for furnished properties landlords can claim for:

  • Insurance

  • Repair of landlords contents, fixtures and fittings

  • ‘Wear and tear’ on a replacement cost

Sheraton Law standard charges

The Letting Service: 12% +vat (14.4%)

The Full Management Service: 16% +vat (19.2%)

Registering the deposit: £30 +vat (£36)

Checking in the tenant at the start of the tenancy and going through the inventory with the tenant, arranging keys, taking meter readings etc.  Prices vary – furnished;

1 bed - £85+vat (£102), 2 bed - £105 +vat (£126), 3 bed – £125 +vat (£150), 4 bed - £145 +vat (£174) or unfurnished; 1 bed - £65 +vat (£78), 2 bed – £80 +vat (£96), 3 bed - £95 +vat (£114), 4 bed - £110 +vat (£132).  Sheraton Law (or the inventory clerk) will always undertake this service with the Full Management Service.

Arranging a subsequent tenancy: £120 +vat (£144)

For non managed properties organising a Landlords Gas Safety check, EPC, inventory make or professional clean: £15 +vat per arrangement (£18)

 


Clapham Branch | 1-3 Old Town, London SW4 OJT
T: 020 7627 5566 | E: clapham@sheratonlaw.com | www.sheratonlaw.com

Wandsworth Branch | 338 Garratt Lane, London SW18 4EL
T: 020 8871 0445 | E: wandsworth@sheratonlaw.com | W: www.sheratonlaw.com

Sheraton Law