Do you have a property you wish to let? Well you’re in the right place…
Whether this is your first time letting your property or you’re a seasoned landlord, Neighbourhood Properties has the local knowledge and vast experience to help you every step of the way. With the legal and compliance responsibilities that come with being a landlord - we know it can seem daunting. We’re here to help you, so you can feel confident that you’re in good hands.
We manage property for a range of individuals, from portfolio landlords and property investors to accidental landlords who may have inherited a property, for example. Whatever your situation we have the know-how to ensure a smooth process from the offset.
If you are unsure about renting out your house or flat and have some questions, feel free to reach out to our friendly team who will be delighted to answer any queries you may have. Our directors are landlords too, so we get it. With this in mind, we’ve drafted our packages to reflect the services we would like to receive when renting out our own properties. You can read more about these services below.
8.2 DAYS TO FIND A CONTRACT HOLDER
Currently, the average time it takes us from instruction to completion, to identify a fully vetted and credit-referenced Contract Holder for Landlord approval is 8.2 days. This includes the re-letting of properties for our existing landlords, resulting in minimal void periods.
LESS THAN 0.5% ARREARS
Given our thorough Contract Holder vetting standards, and our strict arrears process, arrears across the full portfolio under our management is less than 0.5%. We have the experience to bring arrears situations to a resolution in a timely manner.
We carry out regular inspections for properties under our management, to ensure there are no breaches to the Occupation Contract. And, all safety and maintenance issues are addressed early before they escalate into a costly problem for the landlord.
"For anyone looking for a reliable trustworthy hard working agent to look after your property! Look no further.
The team is professional, work all hours god sends, making sure the landlord and tenants are both looked after.
They offer the best rates on the market. "
"This company have been managing my property portfolio for 10 years and in this time have turned it around from short term lets with many voids to long term tenants with very few voids. I have been very happy with their service and assume my tenants have as many have been renting for years now. A big thank you the team for all your help over the years!!"
"I have used Neighbourhood Properties for quite a few years and can not recommend them highly enough.
We have built up a good working relationship and would recommend them to anyone wish to hand over the management of their portfolio."
Contract Holder Find Only
Services For Landlords
Rental Advice & Initial Visit
The first step for renting out a property is an initial appraisal. A member of our team will book a convenient time to meet you at the property. This allows us to provide you with our professional opinion on the property's condition, any changes required to make it compliant for renting, and the rental value that we believe it could achieve.
Once it’s confirmed that you would like us to act on your behalf as your sole letting agent, the property will be placed on the market for the agreed monthly rent. Then comes the exciting bit - identifying a suitable Contract Holder for your consideration.
Property Advertising & Marketing (To Let)
Firstly, we’ll take photographs at the property, to accompany the literature we will create to showcase its key selling points. Using this, it’s our job to get your property in front of potential Contract Holders who are actively seeking a new home. We have multiple advertising channels, including our own high-traffic website, well-known property advertising portals, and social media platforms. We will contact any potential applicants from our active database who’s desires match your property, too. Plus, we’ll place our eye-catching ‘TO LET’ board outside the property. (unless you specify otherwise).
In order to maximise your chance of finding the perfect Contract Holder, the property must be prepared for viewings. Our team will make sure that the property is in a safe and presentable condition to carry out the viewings. We’ll then schedule appointments with interested parties at a convenient time, carried out by our trained viewings team. Alternatively, you can conduct the viewing yourself if preferred. Neighbourhood Properties also offer virtual property viewings which are particularly useful for those who are relocating to the area.
If your rental property is already occupied by a Contract Holder, we can liaise with them to arrange a suitable time for a viewing. We’ll let you know as soon as a prospective Contract Holder makes an offer, arming you with details of their current situation for you to approve or decline. If you give the go-ahead, we’ll negotiate the terms of the Occupation Contract that you’re expecting and move the application to the next stage…
Vetting The Successful Contract Holder - References, and Credit Checks
We’re super proud of our current time to let a property - which currently stands at 8.2 days from the day of instruction. Once we have found an interested party, then comes the most important part - checking they’re reputable and can afford to enter into an Occupation Contract with you.
The Contract Holder checks we go through are rigorous and are there to give you some comfort around who will be living in your asset during the Occupation Contract. It’s our goal to do everything we can we filter out any potential problem Contract Holders from the outset.
We use an industry-leading Credit Reference Agency to undergo Contract Holder references. This includes a ‘soft search’ which will highlight CCJs/IVAs or bankruptcies.
To bolster our tenant checks we also seek out references from employers, previous landlords, and a personal referee if necessary. If a potential Contract Holder is self-employed, a student or on housing benefit support, we gather references from either a solicitor, accountant, or guarantor.
Landlord Compliance, Safety Checks, and Certificates.
(certificates charged independently)
It’s a legal requirement that all rental properties are certified for gas safety prior to the Contract Holder occupying the property. It is also imminent that Electrical Certificates (EICR) will also become a legal requirement, so it’s our advice to have this in place, too.
We have long-term relationships with fully-vetted and reputable contractors that can provide the required certificates, which will be included in the Contract Holders' move-in pack. If you have selected our fully managed package, we’ll schedule the next annual gas safety check to ensure it is completed on time, we’ll also circulate the certificate to the relevant parties.
In England and Wales, from the 1st of April 2018, changes in legislation made it a legal requirement for all residential landlords to ensure their property has an energy-performance rating of E or above. Initially, this only applied to new Occupation Contracts from that date forward but has since been updated to existing Occupation Contracts too. We can arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on your behalf using an accredited assessor who will produce the certificate you require in order to rent your property.
Occupation Contract and Documentation
The aim of our Occupation Contract is to ensure that the contract provides protection to both the Contract Holder and the landlord. We use an Occupation Contract under the 1996 Housing Act, which has been drafted by the National Landlord’s Association (now NRLA). This is to ensure both party’s interests are protected throughout the course of the Occupation Contract.
Property Inventory Check-In/Check-Out
Having a move-in and check-out inventory is highly recommended in all situations, so the condition of the property can be compared from the beginning to the end of the Occupation Contract.
This avoids any difficulties arising from damage claims, during or at the end, by providing essential independent evidence that can be submitted to third-party adjudicators in the event of any disputes. Inventories will also show that all furnishing, soft furnishings, and all electrical and safety alarms and equipment comply with current legislation.
A full inventory, including photographs, is conducted by us using our inventory software. You will be provided with a PDF report to highlight the findings.
When a new Occupation Contract starts, it is important that there are no discrepancies between the previous occupier and your new Contract Holder. We work with a reputable third-party service that will notify the Electricity, Gas, Water and Council Tax Companies of a new Occupation Contract. The new Contract Holder will then be instructed to contact above companies the to set up their own accounts and payment methods.
Security Deposit or Deposit Replacement Product
At the commencement of the Occupation Contract, we will collect/arrange the deposit or deposit replacement product, as agreed by both Landlord and Contract Holder, and set out in the Occupation Contract.
Deposits will be registered with the government-authorised deposit custodial scheme, DPS (Deposit Protection Scheme) to be held until the end of Occupation Contract, once all our fees and outstanding invoices have been discharged. We will also issue Proscribed Information in line with the DPS terms and conditions.
The deposit replacement product we use is provided by Flatfair Limited. If this is elected, we will set this up on Flatfair’s customer portal and they will liaise with the Contract Holders to activate their account. This covers you for up to 6 weeks worth of rent loss and damage to the property. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how this works, we’d be happy to discuss all the landlord benefits of this product.
Occupation Contract Set Up
Setting up a new Occupation Contract needs to be done with care and attention, and we’re on hand to assist you. We’ll handle all of the actions and administration required to set up the Occupation Contract and move the Contract Holder into the property. We’ll ensure the tenant’s standing order is in place for the monthly rental payments, all documentation is signed, and the Contract Holder is provided with a move-in pack with important information regarding the Occupation Contract. A member of our team with check the Contract Holder in and sign over the sets of keys for the property. This service is especially ideal if you are not based locally to the property.
Rental Payments & Annual Rent Reviews
Every Occupation Contract is set up to ensure that rent payments are collected on the Occupation Contract start date, per calendar month. We will pass the rent onto you within 7 days. In the unlikely event that payment has not been received from the Contract Holder, we will proceed with our arrears process.
As we are always looking out for our landlords, every year we conduct an annual rent review. This ensures that you are getting the best rate for your rental property and it can be adjusted if necessary by following the correct processes. This will need to be done via a section 13/form 4 which we can do on your behalf.
When you are renting out your property it is important that you receive regular statements to demonstrate your income. We use world-leading online accounting software, which allows us to produce monthly/ annual landlord statements, detailing rental income and reductions for any repairs, maintenance or compliance work undertaken.
Contract Holder Issues | 24/7 Contact for Contract Holders
As a landlord, the last thing you want to worry about is any problems at the property. As a part of our fully managed services, we will act as the point of contact, 24 hour hours a day for the Contract Holder to report any problems, providing you with peace of mind and a hands-off approach.
Property Repairs and Maintenance Scheduling
For properties under our fully managed service, we will be the point of contact for the Contract Holder to report any repair or maintenance issues that may occur. Using our approved network of contractors, we’ll liaise with the Contract Holder to get the issue fixed in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible. We do not carry out repairs or maintenance without your prior permission unless we are unable to contact you in the case of an emergency that requires us to protect the well-being of the Contract Holder - which is our first priority in that situation.
We will pay the contractor and deduct the cost from the monthly rental payment to remove this administration burden from the Landlord and allowing you to benefit from our preferential rates.
Interim Property inspections
In order for us to successfully execute our duties under our fully managed package, we will need to conduct property inspections. Inspections are essential to ensure the smooth running of a tOccupation Contract. This will take place at the halfway point of Occupation Contract, and every six months thereafter.
Inspections are to ensure there are no breaches to the Occupation Contract, and there are no safety or maintenance issues that need remedying. From our experience, spotting early problems can prevent escalation to costly issues for the landlord. Inspection reports include photographs and are conducted using our inspection software. You will be provided with a PDF report which highlights the findings.
Rent Arrears and Breach of Occupation Contract - Management to Resolution
We operate a strict arrears procedure, to quickly resolve any arrears situation in the unlikely event that they occur. Should your Contract Holder fall into rental arrears, they will enter into a vigorous step-by-step process. We will communicate with the Contract Holder, set up payment plans, and, issue reminder letters, followed by legal notices for possession (s8/s21) through the eviction process if required. We track all communication and actions along this process, should they need to be submitted as evidence during a formal hearing.
This thorough approach ensures the landlord’s interests are looked after and has resulted in the arrears across our portfolio under management being lower than 0.5%.
Renewal of an Occupational Contract
Should your tenant wants to continue renting the property from you beyond the initial term, we will handle all the administrative aspects of the renewal agreement, otherwise, the Occupation Contract will default to a rolling periodic Occupational Contract on a month by month basis. We will also handle the updating of any deposit or deposit replacement product. Again, this allows you to be completely hands-off whilst our team handles the administration.
End of Occupation Contract Administration
We ensure that all aspects of ending an Occupation Contract are covered so that you or any new Contract Holders are not met with any unexpected surprises. We take final meter readings for gas, water, and electricity which are then passed on to the relevant utility companies along with a forwarding address for the exiting Contract Holder.
The local council will also be informed of the Occupation Contract end date for council tax purposes too. Following this, all keys are returned to the office and are signed for by a member of staff.
We will also handle the administrative tasks around the return of a deposit or concluding the deposit replacement product that may be in play.
When a Contract Holder issues a notice to vacate your property, we will seek your permission to immediately start a new Contract Holder find process. This means we’re using the Contract Holder’s notice period to identify and vet a new Contract Holder, minimising any potential voids and gaps in rental income.
Mediation of Landlord/Contract Holder Disputes (If appropriate Referral to DPS or Flatfair for any unresolved disputes.)
Given the thorough Contract Holder vetting process that we conduct, Contract Holder disputes are rare. In the unlikely event that they do occur, we can often resolve the dispute between a landlord and a Contract Holder, without the need for further action. If required, we will submit any evidence to the DPS or Flatfair, in order to resolve the matter.
Packages Available for Landlords
Additional Charges Associated with Letting or Managing A Property
Any services charged independently are set out in our Landlord Agreement Terms and Conditions, under our full transparency promise. We are confident that you will find the charges the most cost effective of our competitors across our area of operation.
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