Landlords Frequently Asked Questions
What services do you offer?
We provide 'Let only', 'Manage only' or 'Let and Managed' letting agent services. The Let only is geared towards experienced Landlords whose day-to-day business is the management of their portfolio. The majority of our clients choose the Let and Managed option as this provides a complete service from start to finish, offering you peace of mind and the satisfaction that your property is in capable hands.
Can I manage my property myself?
You certainly can, however, many Landlords under-estimate the amount of time and skill that is required to manage a property and Tenant well. For just a 4% monthly fee we can handle virtually every aspect and provide a useful buffer between you and your Tenant. You still make all the decisions but we do all the work for you.
How is the rent paid?
Typically a standing order is set up from the Tenant's bank account and the rent will be paid in advance. The rent is then paid by BACS directly into the account of your choice. A detailed statement of account is naturally part of our service, it is sent by email to you on a monthly basis.
How is MMP different from the high street agents? We have a very personal approach to all of our services, unlike many high street estate agents, and treat all the properties as we would our own. We are very honest and straightforward with our fees - there are no hidden 'extras' for tenancy agreements or deposit registration, our letting fee includes all the administration of getting tenants into the property. Many estate agents charge applicants large administration fees, we don't, therefore your property is far more appealing to tenants when marketed by us.
How are the fees taken? The letting fee is due at the start of the tenancy and is calculate as a percentage of the total rent for the term of the tenancy. This normally equates to just over 1 months rent. The management fee is taken monthly.
What are renewal fees? At the end of the fixed term of the tenancy MMP will negotiate with the tenant about staying on at the property for another fixed term, thereby protecting the landlord from costly vacant periods. We will also review the rent at this stage and advise you of any increase, if appropriate. The renewal letting fee is reduced to 6% for all renewals.
Do I need an inventory?
We strongly advise our Landlords to carry out an inventory for each separate tenancy, as your letting agent we are more than happy to arrange this. The purpose of checking an inventory is to establish damages which can only be done if descriptions and conditioning remarks are sufficiently detailed at the commencement of the tenancy and then at the end of the term.
How often do you inspect the properties?
MMP carries on one mid-tenancy inspection.
Why do you want two sets of keys for the management properties?
Some contractors are not able to return the keys straight after they finish on site. This means for short periods of time our letting agents and property managers are without a set of keys, therefore in an emergency could not access the property.
Why do you hold a maintenance float?
A maintenance float enables MMP to contract traders who required an immediate payment. This way repairs are not delayed due to funds not being available.
How do you reference applicants?
We appoint a specialized company to check all applicant references. Letsure check employment, previous landlord, affordability, CCJs, credit score and more.
What sort of agreement is used?
In the majority of cases we use an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a fixed period of at least 12 months.
What happens if the tenant doesn't pay the rent? As part of our service we try to make sure that the rent is paid on time and will contact tenants by phone and email if the rent is late. However, people's circumstances do sometimes change during a tenancy and if the rent is not paid then we will advise you on the appropriate course of action to be taken.
Do I have to provide furniture?
No. We will advise you at the valuation on the most appropriate option for your property.
An unfurnished property would require carpets, curtains and usually white goods. The requirements for a furnished property can vary depending upon the style and location of your property. We can also provide furniture packs for you property at very competitive prices.
Are smoke alarms required?
Smoke alarms have to be installed in any new building, conversion or HMO. We would strongly recommend that you install at least one alarm per floor of your property. We can provide and install on request for our managed properties.
What am I responsible for repairing?
As a Landlord you have a legal obligation under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 to maintain the structure of the building, the sanitation and the supply of services. In addition, should an item in the property require replacing or repairing through fair wear and tear then you would be expected within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement to deal with this. We also have a maintenance team that can carry out the works required.
What about all the various safety regulations that I hear about?
As your letting agent we will keep you advised of any current or future legislation that affects your property and guide you through it.
Do I need to insure the building and contents?
Landlords are normally responsible for insuring the property and MMP recommend landlords also insure their contents. We can arrange a policy specifically designed for rented properties. A landlords content insurance policy also includes a level of public liability insurance protecting the landlord if someone were to get injured in their property.
What Is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme? In accordance with the Housing Act 2004, Landlords are no longer permitted to retain a Tenant's deposit and must select either an insured based or custodial based scheme in which to hold a Tenant's deposit. MMP is member of the Deposit Resolution Service www.depositprotection.com.
What happens if there is a dispute about the deposit? In the event of a dispute, MMP as your letting agent will attempt to arbitrate for 10 days, after which time if a satisfactory resolution between both parties has not been agreed the dispute will be refereed to the Dispute Service for independent arbitration.
What legal obligations apply to Gas?
As a landlord of a residential property you are obliged under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1998 to ensure that all gas appliances in a let property are properly maintained and serviced. There is a legal requirement to have an annual safety test carried out of all gas appliances on the property. You must obtain a new certificate every year and the certificate must be issued by a qualified engineer.
What is an EPC?
The new legislation regarding Energy Performance Certification (EPC) for rental property requires properties to have an EPC after the 1st of October 2008.