Letting with Patrick Gardner in Ashtead, Bookham, Dorking and Leatherhead
Patrick Gardner Residential is the leading Letting Agent in the Mole Valley offering flexible lettings services to suit the individual landlord's needs. We have four offices in the key centres of Ashtead, Bookham, Dorking and Leatherhead covering the entire local area.
Following an individual market appraisal, a rental figure will be agreed based on the size, condition, and location of your property, taking into account current market conditions. We can also advise on any improvements or alterations that could be made to help maximise your property’s rental potential.
We offer a highly effective marketing service using a combination of means:
- High Street offices in Ashtead, Bookham, Dorking and Leatherhead, with highly visible window displays and informed staff
- To Let boards (where appropriate)
- Property details with colour photographs,floorplans, thorough description and measurements
- Internet advertising – our own website and major property portals
- Well established links with local employers and relocation agents
- Large database of applicants
We are always available to accompany viewings or where appropriate organise a mutually convenient time for applicants to view outside office hours.
This begins with an initial registration interview with the prospective tenant where we can assess both their suitability and their requirements. Once an applicant has registered an interest in your property we will negotiate terms on your behalf to maximise your rental income. When agreement has been reached, a credit check and comprehensive tenant's reference will be carried out by an independent company and a written report issued. We will advise where additional security is required and can arrange for a guarantor to also be credit referenced.
Once a satisfactory reference is in place the tenancy agreement will be drawn up. Tenancy agreements vary and we will advise as to the most appropriate for each tenancy.
Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement
ASTs are applicable for most tenancies with an annual rent of less than £125,000 per annum and a number of other caveats. The tenancies are regulated under the Housing Act.
High Rent Tenancy
A contract outside the Housing Act where the annual rent is in excess of £125,000 per annum.
A Company Let is regulated under commercial law usually for the occupation of a company employee. The company is referenced rather than the individual and sometimes letters of guarantee are offered instead of deposits.
Levels of Service
There are different levels of service that can be offered, depending on the landlords’ specific requirements.
Our basic service involves the following:
- Full marketing campaign including colour particulars
- Accompanied viewings
- Offer negotiation
- Tenant referencing
- Production of appropriate tenancy agreement
- Collection of initial monies and deposits
Let with Rent Collection
In addition to the above, if you require us to perform a rent processing service the tenant will pay their rent directly to Patrick Gardner Lettings on the rent due date. We will undertake to remit the rent to the landlord within 5 working days of the funds being allocated to the landlord's account. The landlord statement will be sent monthly via email to a prearranged address in order that records can be kept for tax purposes. It can also be arranged for an annual summary statement to be provided at the end of the tax year for accounting purposes. We will notify the landlord if the rent falls more than one week overdue and take appropriate steps to ensure the account is brought up to date.
In addition to letting and rent collection our property management service offers comprehensive professional care of your property. In particular we undertake the following on your behalf:
- Periodic property inspections
- Management of a working fund for repairs/maintenance
- Liaison with block managing agents
- Arrangement of general repairs
- Contact point for tenants
- Arrangement of cleaning/garden maintenance
- Ensuring safety checks are renewed appropriately
- Management of insurance claims (additional fees may apply)
- Negotiation of any deposit disputes
- Emergency repair service
- Management of utility changeover
This list is, of course, not exhaustive and we are happy to tailor our service to each landlord’s individual requirements. The fee charged is dependent on the level of service chosen and our fees are set out in our Terms of Business.
An inventory provides a list of all the contents and condition of the property including walls, floors, doors, light fitting, furnishings, bathroom and kitchen fittings and appliances.
The inventory procedure covers three stages:
- Preparation of the inventory, during which the inventory clerk will visit the property and prepare the report prior to occupation
- Check-in at the commencement of the tenancy
- Check-out at the end of the tenancy, when any changes or damages as well as professional opinion on wear and tear or maintenance issues are noted and added to the report
The inventory is a document produced by an independent inventory company. The inventory provides a professional assessment of the condition of the property and is essential for any later claim made on the tenants deposit for damages or cleaning issues at the end of the tenancy.
Prior to the date of occupancy, the tenant will be required to deposit funds usually equivalent to one and a half months rent which will be held in accordance with the regulations of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (see further details) until the end of the tenancy. The deposit is held to cover any dilapidations that may occur during the tenancy, as noted on the Inventory check in and out reports.
Electricity, gas, water, telephone and council tax charges are usually borne by the tenant. On all managed properties, we will deal with the utility companies when tenants check in and check out. It is good practice to leave a live telephone line so tenants may arrange their own service provider for telephone and broadband.
Insurance/ Mortgage consent
Please ensure you have permission from your mortgage company to let the property. As a landlord, you will be responsible for insuring the building and any of the contents listed on the inventory. It is important that you inform your insurance company that the property will be let, as some companies do not offer insurance for tenanted properties. If the property is a flat or apartment, buildings insurance is usually included in the Service Charges. If your property is leasehold you may also need permission from the freeholder.
Where the landlord resides overseas it is important to remember that the property is subject to UK taxation. As your agent we are required to retain tax on rent received unless we have the correct authorisation from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The relevant paperwork needs to be submitted to HMRC in good time in order that appropriate authorisation is passed to our accounts department. For more information please visit www.hmrc.gov.uk
Agent of Necessity
If the landlord is unavailable or after reasonable enquiry we are unable to contact the landlord, we reserve the right to arrange works without notice to ensure that the property meets statutory requirements, Health and Safety regulations, and complies with best practice. If we are required to act as an Agent of Necessity, the landlord undertakes to fully reimburse us upon demand for all costs incurred.
As a landlord you need to be aware of the following safety regulations:
- Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 plus (Amended) Regulations 1989 and 1993
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
In addition, prior to marketing the property an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required. As from the 1st April 2018 it is a legal requirement for all properties that are being let to have a minimum EPC rating of E. The regulations cover all existing and new lets and unless a specific exemption is granted it is unlawful to let a property not meeting these standards.