Page 1

Le tti n g s Guide

Lettings and Property Management Over the past 30 years, Wyatt Hughes has grown to become one of the largest and most successful privately owned residential letting and management agents in Hastings, St Leonards and the surrounding areas. Our high standards of professionalism are reflected in our membership of both the National Association of Estate Agents and the Ombudsman for Estate Agents. These bodies have very strict rules of conduct both in terms of how we run our business and how we look after our clients’ money. Our membership also means we are kept informed of all the very latest changes in legislation that effect our industry. We have Professional Indemnity Insurance, Public Liability Insurance and Client Money Protection Insurance that covers any monies held in our client account. This means that in the unlikely event of a fraud or problems within the business itself, your money is protected at all times. From 6th April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and Letting Agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England & Wales, must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) whom are a completely independent body that adjudicates in the event of any dispute at the end of a tenancy. Every new tenancy where we hold the deposit is covered by this scheme making this open and fair process very attractive to prospective tenants. Our staff have over 70 years combined experience in Residential Lettings & Property Management, which has provided them with the level of knowledge and experience you expect when placing your investment in the hands of someone else.

01424 426727 n n

Preparing your property to rent Successful rental investment comprises of three main factors – long term capital growth, maximum rental yield achievable and near constant occupation. Long term growth is determined by economic factors beyond the control of agents and landlords, however, one can maximise the rental achieved and increase the desirability of the property, thus reducing void periods, by ensuring that the property is presented in the best possible way. It is important that the property looks inviting to prospective tenants. We strongly recommend that properties be professionally cleaned before the commencement of the tenancy. It is a condition of the tenancy that the property is left in the same condition at the end of the tenancy as it was found at the commencement. Any maintenance issues should be addressed and dÊcor should be of a high standard. We generally recommend a choice of neutral colours. Wyatt Hughes has a number of approved contractors who can provide quotes free of charge for cleaning, decorating and general repair. The property can be let either furnished or unfurnished. In either case, it should have curtains and carpets where applicable. The investment you put into the property will pay dividends as it will ensure not only the best rental, but will reduce marketing time in finding a tenant thus reducing any of the dreaded void periods.

01424 426727 n n

Finding a tenant There are many aspects to renting, but few so important as finding a suitable tenant quickly and

Once we have finalised all the details of the tenancy, we will arrange for all parties to sign the agreement and collect the first month’s rent together with the balance of the security deposit.

that is why marketing the property correctly is the

Landlord’s Legal and Moral Obligations

key issue.

As a landlord you are bound by a moral duty of

Using the latest technology, our property management software enables us to market your property to it’s maximum effect with internal & external photos and allows for a comprehensive tenant matching process of any applicants we

care and statutory obligations to provide a safe environment for your tenants and any visitors to the premises. Safety regulations have been revised and made more stringent over recent years and penalties for non compliance can be severe.

hold on our database. We also advertise all our available properties within the local press, via our distinguished ‘To Let’ boards and on the internet including the number one property portal, as well as, and our own site Our database of awaiting applicants always includes details of professional tenants seeking good quality properties. All viewing appointments are accompanied by an experienced member of the lettings team. Once a tenant agrees to rent a property, a holding deposit is taken. An independent, specialist company will take up the applicants references and report to us on the suitability of the prospective tenant. Each tenant is assessed on the basis of: n

Employment reference


Previous Landlord reference (where applicable)


Search of public records for evidence of previous address and credit worthiness


Students are required to provide a guarantor

1. Gas Safety Regulations It is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that every 12 months a qualified CORGI registered engineer checks all gas appliances, the flue and pipe work. As a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate must be given to the tenants, it is essential that the safety check be completed and any recommended works attended to well in advance of the proposed tenancy commencement date.

who is referenced separately and who is obliged

If you choose to take advantage of our Full

to sign a guarantors agreement.

Management Service, we can arrange for one of our authorised CORGI engineers to complete the safety check on your behalf at annual intervals.

01424 426727 n n

2. The Electrical Equipment (Safety)


Regulations 1994

The rental income you receive is viewed as

Landlords are required to ensure all electrical

‘unearned’ income and subject to UK tax,

wiring and electrical appliances are in a safe,

whether you are a resident in the UK or abroad,

working condition. Whilst not yet a statutory

and must be declared on your Self-Assessment

requirement, it is strongly recommended

return. Certain items may be offset against the

that a qualified electrical engineer checks all

rental income, so you should keep copies of your

appliances. Any defects such as fraying wires,

monthly statements and invoices.

damaged plugs or sockets should be repaired immediately and any unsafe items removed.

Such Items Include: n

Agent Fees

3. Furniture and Furnishings Fire Safety


Insurance premiums

The Furniture and Furnishings Fire (Safety)


Service charges and ground rent

Regulations 1998 (amended 1993) require


Service or maintenance contract

that all upholstered furniture and furnishings


Repairs and necessary maintenance works

in rented properties pass the ‘match test’.


Legal and accounting fees

Generally all products manufactured after


VAT on all applicable charges

March 1989 will satisfy the standards. In the absence of a label or a manufacturers warranty the possible non-compliant item must be removed prior to letting.

If you are currently overseas or intend moving abroad then further rules apply and you will still normally be required to pay the lower rate of income tax on the net income earned on any let

4. Smoke Alarms

property. There are some additional obligations

The Building Regulations of 1991 state that

on our part, where we are required to withhold

all properties built after June 1992 must

a proportion of rental income (equivalent to

be fitted with smoke detectors and alarms.

the basic rate of tax) and pay this directly to

Although older properties are exempt from

the Inland Revenue unless we receive a written

this requirement, we strongly recommend the

exemption from the Inland Revenue.

installation of a smoke alarm on each floor in all rental properties.

To this point we are able to advise you on the necessary forms that need to be completed in order to request this exemption, allowing us to pay your rent without any tax deduction.

01424 426727 n n

Let Only Our let only service is suited for experienced landlords who have the time and resources to deal with the issues that arise from renting a property. One must consider issues such as emergency call outs, lost keys, insurance claims, faulty appliances etc. Additionally, the service of notices is crucially important in order to regain possession of the property at the appropriate time. If you live overseas, you must by law provide a UK address at which notices can be served. Our let only service includes: n Initial market valuation n Advice on presentation n Arrangement of safety checks upon request n Accompanied viewings n Submission and reporting of references n Arrangement of a professional inventory where required n Receipt of the first months rent & security deposit in cleared funds n Finally we set-up a standing order for future rent monies to be paid directly into your account

Property Management The responsibility of a landlord can be daunting. The property needs to be well cared for and problems must be resolved quickly. If you live out of the area or simply do not have enough time to look after the day-to-day issues, which arise from having a rental property, then our property management service is tailored to meet your needs. Managing a property is a specialised and time consuming business, especially when problems arise. You will be assigned a personal property administrator who will be your main point of contact. Our property management service deals with all aspects of looking after your investment. In addition to the let only service, our management service further includes: n

Collection of rent and monthly statements of account


Four monthly inspections to identify any issues


Inspection reports – if required


Dealing with maintenance issues using approved contractors


Service of notices


Holding tenants deposits and assessing dilapidations


Estimates for repairs and refurbishments


Payment of routine outgoings


Arrangement of Gas, electrical and furniture safety checks


Insurance claims


Extensions, renewals and remarketing

01424 426727 n n

In safe hands with Wyatt Hughes If you are thinking of letting your property, this booklet emphasises how important it is to get the right professional advice from the very start. Here at Wyatt Hughes, we believe in specialising in lettings enabling us to give you a dedicated professional service. Our aim is to give you the best return on capital coupled with the lowest annual cost of running your property, whilst maintaining it to the highest standard. We hope that this brochure has been both informative and helpful to you and if you would like to discuss your property in more detail, please contact us in order to arrange a free rental appraisal. Our contact details are as follows: 18 Grand Parade, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 6DN Telephone: 01424 426727 Fax: 01424 430160 Email: Website:

01424 426727 n n

18 Grand Parade St Leonards-on-Sea East Sussex TN37 6DN T 01424 426727 F 01424 430160 E W

rla Wyatt Huges  
rla Wyatt Huges  

Lettings Guide your investment in the hands of someone else. Association of Estate Agents and the Ombudsman for Estate Agents. These bodies...