Landlords

We cover everything that is needed to assist new or experienced Landlords in the successful day to day running of their property investment. We offer a bespoke yet professional service which can be tailored to meet an individual Landlords requirements with no intial set up fees. We have approved and reliable contractors to deal with day to maintenance and repair or if necessary quote for major refurbishment.

Some of the main items to consider as a residential landlord are explained in brief below:

Initial Inspection
We are happy to carry out a free inspection to offer advice on anticipated rentals achievable, statutory requirements, presentation, security, necessary improvements and other associated issues. In addition we will provide a full written confirmation of our Management Terms.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
Under current legislation prior to marketing all residential properties require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This gives information on how to make your home more energy efficient and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Woodheads have a discounted arrangement with a local supplier.

Marketing
Residential properties retained on a full management basis are all let inclusive of marketing charges. All properties are advertised on the market leading website Rightmove, provided with To Let boards, advertised on our own web site and if necessary within local newspaper publications. If required. All viewings will be accompanied by an experienced member of staff.

Tenancies
Whilst as a company we deal with a variety of differing residential tenancies, all new tenancies granted are now deemed to be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) as defined under the Housing Act 1996 and subsequent legislation. Following the successful agreement of a residential letting, Woodheads will prepare and issue such an agreement. The AST utilised is checked and updated on a regular basis by a local firm of solicitors.

Inventories
Before a tenant moves in to a property, we will take a basic inventory of major fixtures and fittings, together with photographs in addition to obtaining a signature from the tenants confirming the items listed.

If a more detailed inventory is considered necessary, then  this can be arranged via a specialised  company at an additional cost.

On termination of the agreement, when the tenant moves out, we will revisit the property to ensure it has been left as we found it, prior to returning any bond monies held.

References
All prospective tenants are asked to complete forms to enable us to complete a basic credit check. We also obtain employer and or character references. Further references or a more detailed credit check can be obtained if required by the Landlord at an additional cost.

Dependant on the initial references recieved, we may then also recommend a tenant provides a guarantor.  In these cases the guarantor will be required to be over 25, working full time and be a home owner.

Bonds
Bonds are held to provide the Landlord with added security and mitigate any loses in the unfortunate circumstance that these may arise. The bond is held for the duration of the agreement and usually equivalent to one months rent. We are however happy to re-asses the bond amount, should the client wish.

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government introduced tenancy deposit protection for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have to be protected within 14 calendar days of receipt by the Landlord under an approved scheme.

Woodheads are part of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and are approved to hold tenants bonds etc via the dispute resolution service further details of which can be obtained from www.thedisputeservice.co.uk

Payment
Woodheads have a designated management software system to deal with all accounting matters which is backed up off site. Rents received can be accounted on a monthly or quarterly basis, and if necessary paid direct into your bank account ( through prior arrangement).

We hold separate client's account as required by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) ensuring monies collected cannot be misappropriated in any way, and we are RICS regulated.

Obtaining Possession
We will keep in regular contact with you concerning your property investment and should you wish to regain vacant possession at the end of the granted tenancy, we will serve all relevant notices. You will however have to consider your long term requirements for the property, as obviously tenants have protection during their tenancy agreement.

Gas Safety
From the 1st of April 2009 the Gas Safe Register replaced the previously used CORGI register. All Landlords must maintain gas appliances annually and obtain a gas safe certificate. Woodheads will arrange for a suitable contractor to carry out these services and keep the necessary paprework available for inspection. In addition it is now a legal requirement for carbon monoxide detectors to be present at the commencement of all residential tenancies.

Electrical Safety
There is at present no specific legal requirement for Landlords to arrange an annual safety check of electrical equipment, although the Electrical Equipment (safety) Regulations 1994 imply you have a responsibility to ensure all electrical appliances and wiring are safe. In this respect we would recommend an appropriate electrical certificate is obtained prior to letting with this subsequently renewed on a regular basis. If required, Woodheads can arrange for such to be undertaken.

Fire Safety
The majority of our properties are let unfurnished, however should you choose to let out a residential property either part or fully furnished, then under the Furniture and Furnishings (fire)(safety)(amended) Regulations 1993 it is the Landlords responsibility to ensure soft furnishings comply with these regulations. To check such comply they should carry a regulatory display label. In addition we would highly recommend all residential properties are provided with appropriate smoke / fire alarms be these hard wired or battery operated.

Insurance
The Landlord will be responsible for buildings insurance cover to the property and Woodheads will, if necessary advise on alternatives to existing cover, and if required pay premiums out of rentals collected and deal with any claims. You should also advise your insurance company if you are letting the property to a third party as your existing policy may not cover you for such.

Mortgages

Should you hold a mortgage or have lending secured against a property you wish to let out, it is vital you check with your lender you are able to do this.  Some mortgages specifically prevent owners from doing such, whilst others request they are advised of your intention to do such.