1 LAW AND REGULATIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL LETTING IN ENGLAND AND WALES
1.1 Various Acts of Parliament cover letting property. There must be adherence to such Acts by both the Landlord and Agent before the Property can be let. Specifically, the Landlord and Agent agree and acknowledge that:
1.1.1 The Agent has a duty to any potential tenant(s) (the ‘Tenant’) to make sure that both the Agent and Landlord are legally entitled to offer them a tenancy. If the Landlord has a mortgage there may be a requirement for them to obtain the lender’s permission before letting the Property. The Agent may assist and offer advice on how to do this. If there are joint owners, the Landlord must inform the Agent of who they are, and their permission will be needed in writing before the Agent is authorised to act for the Landlord.
1.1.2 Under the Consumer Protection Acts, the Property must be fit for someone to live in at the point of letting. The Agent will inspect the Property and inform the Landlord of anything it is felt that may not meet those laws. Any repairs that are deemed necessary must be completed before the Agent allows the Property to be let.
1.1.3 All furniture and soft furnishings supplied by the Landlord as part of the tenancy must meet the Fire and Furnishing Regulations 1988.
1.1.4 The Landlord must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) for the Property before the start of the tenancy. This is a requirement under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations 1994. If a valid certificate is not provided to the Agent before the start of the tenancy then the Landlord agrees that this will be arranged to be completed by the Agent and chargeable to the Landlord.
1.1.5 The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1989 and Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994 deal with the safety of electrical appliances and wiring. Although these regulations are not a legal requirement, the Agent reserves the right to instruct the Landlord to have this completed.
1.1.6 The Landlord must inform their insurers once the Property is let. The Landlord should seek specific advice from an Insurance professional about insurance cover that makes sure that there is no liability in the event of the Tenant or any visitors being injured in the Property. The Agent cannot provide advice on insurance matters and it is the Landlord’s obligation to make sure that there is adequate cover.
1.1.7 If there is a garden, the Landlord needs to indicate to the Agent how they expect the Tenant to maintain it. This will need to become a condition of the tenancy. The Landlord should elect from the following options:
• The garden must be maintained according to the time of year.
Recommended if there is not much garden and it just needs to look tidy.
• The tenant must mow the lawn, trim the hedges & weed the garden regularly.
Recommended if there is a lawn and some hedges. The Landlord must provide the garden tools the Tenant will need for this, and have an RCD protected electrical supply (an electrical supply with a circuit breaker to prevent electrocution), and provide safety gloves.
• The Landlord will provide a gardener and pay 75% of the cost of this, and the tenant must pay 25% of the cost.
Recommended if the gardens are landscaped. As the Office of Fair Trading state that tenants do not have a long-term benefit from the garden, the Landlord should pay the greater share of the cost, as they receive the long-term benefit.
1.1.8 The Landlord must notify the Agent of any restrictions in the lease or freehold documents pertaining to the Property. For example, clauses preventing you from parking caravans or commercial vehicles on the drive. The Agent will not be liable for the departure of a Tenant caused by a restriction that the Agent was not made aware of. Additionally the Landlord will still remain liable for any Agent fees and may be liable to the Tenant for damages.
2 INITIAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE AGENT
2.1 The Agent agrees that:
2.1.1 When marketing the property, will use their database of possible tenants, advertise the property in newspapers and/or on the internet, and put the details in their window. The Agent reserves the right to do only those things listed above deemed appropriate in the current market conditions.
2.1.2 They will provide advice about the rent likely to be received for the Property, and agree a rental figure at which the Property will be advertised.
2.1.3 They will show possible Tenants around the Property. Accordingly, the Landlord must provide the Agent with keys to all parts of the Property
2.1.4 When a suitable Tenant is found, the Agent will contact a Credit Reference Agency to make checks about them (and any potential guarantor). Specifically, the Agent will:
184.108.40.206 Search to see if the Tenant has any County Court Judgments against them
220.127.116.11 Confirm that they are on the electoral roll at the address they have provided.
18.104.22.168 Obtain proof of the Tenant’s current earnings
22.214.171.124 Ask the Tenant’s employer to confirm that their employer to confirm that their employment is likely to continue for the term of the tenancy
126.96.36.199 Obtain a reference from the Tenant’s current or previous landlord is applicable
However, the Landlord acknowledges that references give details of a Tenant’s past behaviour and do not guarantee that they will pay their rent in the future. Accordingly, no future liability attaches to the Agent in respect of Tenant references, provided the Agent has acted with reasonable care and skill in performing their contractual obligations.
2.1.5 When a suitable Tenant is found, the Agent will:
188.8.131.52 Ask the Landlord for instructions on the length of tenancy to offer them and the date the tenancy should start. The Agent will prepare an Assured Shorthold Tenancy in line with these instructions, and get the Tenant to sign it.
184.108.40.206 Prepare details of the condition of the property and a list of its contents. This list will be agreed with the Landlord and the Tenant. Alternatively, the Agent reserves the right to have this function performed by an independent third party which specializes in Inventory preparation.
2.1.6 They will take the first month’s rent in advance, and one month’s rent as a deposit. The tenancy will not be permitted to proceed until this is in cleared funds. If applicable, the deposit will held in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the Agent will provide you with details of that scheme.
2.1.7 Once the tenancy starts, the Agent will arrange to read any gas and electric meters and give the utility companies and the Council Tax department the new Tenant’s details.
3 OBLIGATIONS OF THE LANDLORD
3.1 The Landlord agrees to:
3.1.1 Pay the Agents fees as outlined in Page 1 of this Agreement. Such fee will be deducted from the money received from the Tenant and the balance will be sent to the Landlord within seven days of the start of the Tenancy. VAT will be added at the prevailing rate.
3.1.2 Pay any other fees or expenses in full within seven days of receiving a demand for payment. This includes repayment to the Agent if the Agent received Housing Benefit payments for the Tenant but then the Local Authority decides those payments have been overpaid and the Agent has to repay them to the Local Authority. The Landlord also agrees to pay the Agent’s reasonable costs and fines if the Agent is prosecuted for managing a House in Multiple Occupation because the Landlord failed to get a Licence where one is needed.
3.1.3 Authorize the Agent to sign all legal documents in connection with matters arising from the Tenancy Agreement on the Landlord’s behalf except Court Applications.
3.1.4 Provide contact details for themselves at all times.
3.1.5 Inform the Agent of any items that are currently in the Property but which will not be included in the new tenancy.
3.1.6 Pay the Agent any legal costs and damages suffered as a result of the Landlord breaking any of their legal responsibilities.
3.1.7 Inform the Agent beforehand about any tenants the Landlord may not want. For example, smokers, people with pets, people on Housing Benefit and so on
3.1.8 Give the Agent two months notice so that they can arrange all matters in connection with ending their management of the Property in the event that the Property is going to be sold.
3.1.9 Be responsible for inspections during ‘voids’ (when the Property is empty).
4 MANAGING AND ENDING THE TENANCY
4.1 Rent Collection: The Agent will collect the rent from the Tenant as per the Tenancy Agreement. The Agent agrees to pass the rent to the Landlord within 7 days of it clearing in the Agent’s account. This will be paid by cheque or direct to the Landlord’s elected bank account. If the Landlord is not a domiciled in the United Kingdom, the Agent must deduct Income Tax at the basic rate, unless the Landlord has registered with the Inland Revenue’s Non Resident Landlord Scheme.
4.2 Inspections/Repairs: Every three months the Agent will inspect the Property and report to the Landlord on its general condition. If the Agent cannot get into the Property to carry out the inspection, they will notify the Landlord. If the inspection reveals that repairs need to be carried out, the Agent will arrange for these to be done and the Landlord agrees to allow the Agent to spend up to £200 without having to consult Landlord. The Agent must provide full details of any spending made on the Landlord’s behalf. If the Agent does not have authority to carry out the repair because it exceeds the agreed limit then the Agent will contact the Landlord. If the Landlord cannot be contacted the Agent will may spend more than the agreed limit so long as it was reasonable to do so and they were acting in the Landlord’s best interests. In such a case the Landlord agrees to reimburse the Agent. If the Agent has to wait in the Property to deal with any repair issues because the Landlord cannot attend then the Agent will make a charge.
4.3 Notices: If the tenant breaks any of the terms of their Tenancy Agreement, the Agent will prepare a Section 8 Housing Act 1988 notice. However, the Landlord will have to take any further legal action. If the Tenant is late paying the rent, the Agent will write to them once the rent is seven days late. If a satisfactory response to that letter is not received, the Agent will issue a Section 8 notice. If the Landlord wants the Tenant to leave the Property at the end of the Tenancy Agreement, the Agent will prepare a Section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice and give it to the Tenant. However, the Landlord will have to take any further legal action.
4.4 Renewals: Two months before the end of the Tenancy, the Agent will find out whether the Landlord and the Tenant want the tenancy to continue. If the tenancy is to be renewed, the Agent will prepare a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement in line with the Landlord’s instructions. The Agent’s charges for this are £ plus VAT
4.5 Tenancy End: At the end of the tenancy, the Agent will check the condition of the property and the list of items included with the tenancy, making allowance for fair wear and tear. If any items have been damaged, we will negotiate with you and the tenant an appropriate figure to compensate you for your loss. If there is a dispute this must be dealt with in accordance with the rules of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. At the end of the tenancy the Agent will read the gas and electricity meters, tell the utility companies and the Council Tax Department that the Tenant has moved out. When the Tenant leaves the Agent will secure the property and will either turn off the water supply or leave the central heating on a low setting to prevent damage by frost during the winter.
4.6 Termination: This Agreement will end immediately if the Landlord withdraws their instruction before the Agent finds a Tenant. Once the Agent finds a tenant who meets the criteria agreed which was agreed with the Landlord, the Landlord must pay the Agent the agreed commission. Once the Tenancy Agreement has ended either party to the Agreement may give 2 months written notice, sent by first class recorded delivery to the address for the parties as contained in this agreement (or such subsequent address as has been notified in writing by either party). In the event of a significant breach by either party which cannot be remedied then either party is entitled to terminate forthwith. “Significant Breach” would include the landlord failing to carry out repairs within a reasonable time or otherwise exposing the agent to financial or other risks, and would include the agent not passing on sums he has received to the landlord.
In the event of this Agreement ending, the Landlord will be entitled to such copies of all documents the Agent has on file so long as the Landlord has paid the Agents agreed fees in full.
4.7 Fees: The Landlord will have to pay the Agent’s reasonable expenses if the Landlord does not deal with the issues raised in Section 1 of this Agreement, or if the Landlord lets the Property through another agent without telling the Agent when they have also found a tenant. The Landlord will also have to pay the Agent’s fees if the Landlord offers a tenancy to anyone the Agent has introduced to the Property. If the Landlord withdraws this instruction, and the Agent had to return an administration charge to a possible tenant as a result, the Landlord agrees to repay the Agent that administration charge.
5 OTHER CONDITIONS
5.1 No one else will benefit from this Agreement as permitted by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations 2000 are excluded from this Agreement.
5.2 If any term of this Agreement cannot be enforced or is found to be unfair, it does not affect the other terms of the Agreement.
5.3 The Agent shall have the right to assign this Agreement as long as the rights of the Landlord are not materially affected.
5.4 The Agent retains the right to change the terms of this Agreement by giving you two months’ written notice of the change and the date the change will become effective.
5.5 This Agreement is governed by and should be read in accordance with the Law of England and Wales.