Landlords

We believe in telling it like it is, we don’t make promises we can’t keep and our priority is to make renting your property easy.

We have a vast number of years experience in the lettings industry, we can offer you sound professional advice, caution where necessary and a guiding hand.

We have a few simple rules we work to: 

  • We don’t deal in property, we deal with people.
  • Because your home or rental property are important in your scheme of things, we make sure they’re important in ours too.
  • We’re part of the community, we’re here for the long haul and that’s the way we run our business. If something’s not right, it’s not right and we won’t waste our time or yours trying to persuade you otherwise.
  • We believe trust in our business is the most important thing we can build, relationships are as vital as sales and in this tough economic climate that holds true, more than ever.     

Our rules work well for us, if you think they might work well for you too, pop in and see us or give us a call.
                   
Independent centrally located Residential Sales and Letting agents 

Coopers based in Watford provide a range of letting and management services for rental properties from studio flats to executive homes.

People from all walks of life are looking to become involved in the rental market whether Investors, Companies, people who need to relocate with their work or homeowners who are having difficulty in selling their own properties. Increasingly, large numbers of people are entering the ‘Buy to Let’ sector as an opportunity for investment. 

As a result, Landlords have come to expect extensive knowledge and expertise from the Agency they choose to act in their interests.

MARKETING/FINDING A TENANT – Coopers can offer you the following services:

Fully Managed Letting Service includes:

  • Free rent guarantee and legal insurance for the first 6 months when available. Credit checks on tenants
  • Inspections (as agreed)
  • Monthly collection of all rents and a monthly statement
  • Dealing with all first line management calls
  • Guaranteed weekly advertising and prominent window display
  • Partner as point of contact
  • Tenant Check out

Rent Collection Service includes:

  • Free rent guarantee and legal insurance for the first 6 months when available Credit checks on tenants
  • Monthly collection of all rents and a monthly statement
  • Guaranteed weekly advertising and prominent window display
  • Partner as point of contact

Whether you opted for a Full Management Service or not, as your Letting Agent we will provide a rental valuation which will be based on the popularity of the area, proximity to transport, rental price of similar property and decorative condition to name but a few.  

It is important to price your rent fairly but realistically in order to attract the most suitable Tenant.

Your rental property will be regularly advertised in the local press as well as displayed in our offices and feature on our website and other sites such as Right Move, Find a Property, Property Finder, Property Today and Prime Location to ensure maximum exposure. We also contact all listed prospective Tenants, local companies and relocation agents.

Coopers will arrange viewings, vet prospective Tenants and obtain references, draw up contracts and advise you on your Safety and Repairs obligations (see LEGAL DUTY OF CARE).

REFERENCES

Once Coopers have found a tenant for your property we will take holding deposit and using HOMELET we will take up references and provide 6 months free Rent Guarantee and Legal protection for your property subject to acceptance this safeguards your rental income.

FURNISHED OR UNFURNISHED - Most professional Tenants prefer the property to be unfurnished and it has been found that a Tenant is likely to respect the property more if they have their own possessions. Moreover the difference between rent for furnished or unfurnished is negligible and the Landlord remains responsible for the repair of replacement of any furnishings which become broken or worn (unless this was caused by a deliberate act of the Tenant – see Damage Deposits).

DRAFTING OF TENANCY AGREEMENT– the Letting team at Coopers will prepare an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement or a Company Tenancy Agreement, all legal documentation and give practical general legal advice.

DAMAGE DEPOSITS – Coopers will take a deposit that will be held in our Client Deposit Account until the end of the Tenancy. Upon vacation of your property, there will be a re-inspection and any refunds will be made within a maximum of 10 days, provided that there are no disputes and all utility accounts have been settled.

INVENTORY

Coopers advise that a professional Inventory and Check In should be drawn up. This is an important legal document which forms an integral part of the Tenancy Agreement and, as such, it is a false economy to prepare your own in most cases.

The Inventory is required whether the property to let is furnished or unfurnished and accurate descriptions of the overall condition of wall/floor coverings, kitchen and bathroom fittings to name but a few are essential. Amounts cannot be withheld from the Tenant’s deposit unless the loss or damage is proved to have been caused by the Tenant.

In the event that any dispute concerning loss or damage to your property is not amicably resolved then the matter will be referred to the Courts and arbitration but should be noted that any judgement will be on the basis of written documentation – the Inventory.
            
REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE

The costs of everyday repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the Landlord but, if we are instructed to manage your property on your behalf, we will pay the contractor out of the Tenant’s rent. We can also organise quotes for approval on any major repair as this becomes apparent.

Under the LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1985, Landlords are responsible for repair of the structure and exterior of the property, together with installations for the supply of gas, electricity, water and sanitation.

If the property is not in a good state of repair at the commencement of the Tenancy, the Tenant has the right to insist that repairs are carried out and, in the event that the damage is serious, the Tenant will be entitled to consider the letting as terminated as the Landlord will be in breach of his obligations.

COLLECTION OF RENT – this is usually done on a calendar monthly basis and is forwarded to the Landlord via Bank Transfer after any agreed deductions have been made for contractors etc.

LEGAL DUTY OF CARE – Under common law, the Landlord must ensure that properties to let are safe and failure to comply with Safety Legislation is considered a criminal offence resulting in legal action and prosecution.

As your Agent, we can carry out safety checks upon your request, deducting the cost from your rent.

1. Gas – (The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1994 (amended 1998) – the Landlord must maintain gas installations and all gas appliances through annual inspections and safety checks carried out by a CORGI registered engineer and a copy of the Current Inspection Certificate must be given to the tenants and also held in the Coopers office.

2. Electricity  - (The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 & Electricity at Works Regulations 1989-  the Landlord must ensure that all mains voltage household electrical appliances and equipment is tested and safe to use. Any non-repairable items must be replaced and removed. 
An NICEIC or similarly qualified electrical engineer must carry out these tests on an annual basis. All operating instructions must be left in the property for the Tenant’s benefit.

3. Furniture and Furnishings – The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety)Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993)  - Soft furnishings (such as mattresses, settees, bed bases, cushions and padded headboards) must meet fire resistance standards and bear a permanent  label confirming this. If compliance cannot be proved, the item must be removed and replaced.

4. Smoke Detectors – whilst only properties built after 1992 legally require the fitting of smoke detectors (Building Regulation 1991), we would strongly recommend that smoke detectors are fitted to each floor of the property being let.

NB: The penalty for failure to comply with statutory gas safety legislation is currently a maximum of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment for each offence. This can be harsher in the case of injury or fatality.

The above is only a guide to safety requirements and should you have any further enquiries, we would recommend that you contact us or a qualified solicitor who will be able to verify these in full.

OVERSEAS LANDLORDS – you are considered an overseas Landlord if you live abroad or go to work abroad for lengthy periods of time.

It is important to firstly note that Inland Revenue regulations apply even if you are a non-UK resident. All non-resident Landlords must apply to the Inland Revenue Financial Intermediaries Claims Office (FICO) for authorisation (by way of a NALS exemption certificate) to receive payment of property rental “gross”, that is without deduction of Income Tax by the letting agent or Tenant as required by law.

NB: The above is merely a guideline and for fully qualified advice, you should contact an appropriate Accountant or Tax Expert.

BRIEF GUIDE TO SERVICES OFFERED BY COOPERS:
 
  • Advice on letting your property
  • Rental evaluation, provision of property details with colour photographs
  • Advertising of your rental property in local publications, on our website and other sites
  • Accompanied viewings and finding of a suitable Tenant
  • Reference and credit check of prospective Tenants
  • Obtaining security deposit/rent guarantee
  • Obtaining competitive quotes for insurance
  • Organising/preparing the Inventory and Check-In (additional charge)
  • Preparing Tenancy Agreement and Legal Notices
  • Arranging transfer of Utilities to Tenant’s name and establishing Council Tax and Water Rates in Tenant’s name
  • Advising on compliance with Safety Regulations for Gas/Electricity supplies etc.
  • Collecting monthly rental payments and providing monthly accounting to Landlords
  • Arranging annual gas safety checks (chargeable)
  • Periodic inspection of the property and reporting of any problems (possibly chargeable)
  • Obtaining competitive quotations and, upon approval, arranging for necessary repairs/maintenance to be carried out
  • Contacting the Tenant and arranging for renewals and/or check-out as necessary

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR PROPERTY FOR RENTAL
below we list a few guidelines to assist you:

The rental market as with any other is competitive therefore, in order to obtain the best possible Tenants; you must present your property in the most effective way.

  • Interior walls should be neutral colours and carpets plain
  • Fabrics and Furnishings (if any) should be able to withstand reasonable wear and tear and be of suitable quality
  • Animals and their odours should be eliminated
  • The front door should be clean and the Entrance Hall clear of any obstructions as first impressions are important
  • The entire property should be clean and well-aired and the garden tidy.
  • If the weather is cold, heating should be turned on and, in warmer conditions, windows opened
  • For any other advice please contact us.

Other important considerations for Landlords before Letting

  • Written consent must be obtained from your Mortgage Provider/Freeholder (if property is leasehold).
  • Your Insurance Company must be notified that the property is to be rented out and appropriate insurance obtained for a tenanted property. There are specialist insurance companies who can provide this and we would be happy to assist you.
  • If applicable mail should be redirected with the Post Office.
  • Keys will need to be provided for all tenants and a front door key for Coopers if we are acting as Managing Agents.
  • Coopers will transfer the utilities such as gas/electricity/water/telephone & Council Tax to the new Tenant.
  • Coopers advise that a professional Inventory and Check In should be drawn up. This is an important legal document which forms an integral part of the Tenancy Agreement and, as such, it is a false economy to prepare your own in most cases.

“Coopers Estate Agents is an Appointed Representative of HomeLet which is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England number 3135797”