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1 information for landlords passionate about property

2 residential lettings

3 The marketplace Since the 1988 Housing Act and the introduction of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy the private rented sector in the United Kingdom has re-emerged as a realistic housing choice for many people. Residential Lettings can make sound commercial sense. Provided the tenancy is handled correctly, Landlords now have the freedom to charge a market rent and can be sure of getting their property back. As the United Kingdom continues to create closer ties with Europe and more companies are moving their staff around the world, so the private rented sector will continue to increase. Every other western country has a thriving rented sector. Our commitment to you Letting your property need not be a hazardous or complicated operation but, with the relatively complex legislation and the current economic climate, it is important to minimise your risk by appointing a professional specialist letting agent to represent you. We are members of ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents), the main governing body of our industry, and our staff are trained to advise you on all the aspects of letting your property; from the initial marketing strategy through to the basic legal and taxation considerations and finally to the Tenant s departure at the end of the tenancy. We feel that, because we are specialists in our field, we can devote more time to the job of finding you a suitable professional Tenant quickly and efficiently. If you would like further information or a no-obligation valuation please do not hesitate to call. James Hathaway, Director Atlantis - passionate about property

4 The service we offer and Landlords considerations Valuation and advice If you are considering renting out your property, or have made a firm decision to do so, the first step is to call a reputable specialist lettings agent. No charge will be made for this visit, as the purpose is to assess what rental could be realistically achieved and to discuss the service available. Rental valuation We have a great deal of experience in establishing the correct level of rent to be charged and many factors are taken into account. For instance, it is not just the size of the property but condition, level of furnishings, location etc. We can draw comparisons with similar properties recently rented in the area and value accordingly. It is better to be realistic in rental valuation and have immediate response than unrealistic and no response at all! Mortgage and leasehold property Generally, Landlords are required to seek permission from their lenders if a mortgage is outstanding on the property to be let. If the property is leasehold, permission to let may be required from the Freeholder or Management Company. They may require a copy of the rental agreement, which can be made available on request. Please ensure this has been done, as failure to do so may prejudice the tenancy. Marketing the property We will prepare full marketing details of the property including multiple photographs. It will then be advertised in the local property newspapers, featured on our Property Listings which is circulated to companies, relocation agents and prospective Tenants and also advertised on our easy to surf website, together with the main property portals websites including and Applicants who we consider to be suitable will then be shown the property. We will accompany prospective Tenants on viewings and when a suitable Tenant is found we will negotiate the terms of the tenancy. Whilst every effort is made to select suitable Tenants, Atlantis Property Services can give no guarantee or warranty in respect of the references or the suitability of the Tenants. However the Tenant will complete a detailed reference application, which will be processed by our insurance company who will issue us with a certificate for the Rent Guarantee & Legal Expenses Cover. Tenancy agreement The Assured Shorthold Tenancy was introduced under the 1988 Housing Act and, providing certain conditions have been met, ensures that the Landlord can recover his property if required. In most cases, we will draw up an Assured Shorthold unless otherwise instructed or a company is to be the Tenant. The cost for preparation of an agreement is VAT, a renewal / extension of the agreement will cost VAT. Collection of first month s rent and deposit We will collect from the Tenant the first month s rent and deposit. From the first month s rent we will deduct our fees and any other costs relating to the tenancy. The balance is then forwarded to you and we will hold the deposit as Stakeholder in our Client A/C and will be responsible for refunding all or the agreed proportion thereof. Deposit We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). It guarantees the protection of the deposit; and a fair, independent and expert assessment and settlement of any disputes over its return at the end of a tenancy. This is sometimes needed when Landlords and Tenants are totally unable to agree the amount due for damage, dilapidations or loss at the end of a tenancy. Under the new provisions of the Housing Act 2004 it is illegal for an Agent or a Landlord to hold a deposit under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy unless they are members of a scheme such as the TDS. Buildings & contents insurance Landlords are required to maintain a fully comprehensive policy of insurance on the building and their contents of the rented property. If the property is an apartment it is likely that the Management Company or Freeholder arranges the buildings insurance, however, you will still be responsible for insuring your own contents. Please make sure that you are adequately covered. In association with HomeLet Insurance we can provide a full range of Landlords Contents and Buildings policies specifically designed for rented property. Full details and a quotation are available on request or via our website

5 Atlantis - the property experts

6 Atlantis - experience you can rely on

7 Rent guarantee & legal protection insurance In association with HomeLet Insurance we offer a rent guarantee & legal protection insurance policy ensuring complete peace of mind for all our Landlords and this is offered free of charge for the first six months courtesy of Atlantis. The Service We Offer and Landlords directly from the Inland Considerations Revenue. Inventory of the fixtures and fittings We always recommend that a complete inventory is carried out before a tenancy commences. We can appoint independent inventory clerks who, if needs be, can be unbiased arbitrators in the event of a dispute. They will produce a detailed document listing the contents and condition of the property. At the end of the term a check-out is carried out and a final report is then produced, together with an updated inventory compilation. Please advise in advance should you require us to arrange an independent inventory. Prices are available on request. Utilities Generally, the Tenant will pay for the gas, electricity, oil, water and telephone. Meter readings will be taken by the inventory clerk at the commencement of the tenancy and we will notify the utility companies. Please advise us of your account details before the tenancy commences. Oil tanks (if applicable) should be filled at the start of the tenancy by the Landlord and left full by the Tenant on departure. Unfortunately, we cannot arrange for the transfer of the telephone, as BT will only take instructions from those named on the account. The transfer of telephone is very straightforward and can be done by dialling 150 from a BT landline. Post Please notify the Post Office of your new address if applicable. Council tax Council tax is paid by the occupiers of the property and this is covered in our tenancy agreements. We will notify the council of new occupation. Taxation Many expenses arising from letting can be offset against tax liability a few examples follow: Mortgage interest Maintenance and repair of equipment Internal and external decoration Expenses in connection with visiting the property Agents fees and commissions Building and contents insurance Depreciation allowance or Capital Expenditure allowance Non-resident Landlords (Landlords living overseas) Non-resident Landlords will be able to apply directly, or through accountants, to the Inland Revenue for inclusion in FICO, the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme, as part of self assessment on the tax from rental income. If granted, and confirmed by the Inland Revenue, this will enable our accounts department to release the rent without making a tax retention. If you are not granted self-assessment we will have to pay to the Inland Revenue, on a quarterly basis, 22% on net rentals. The calculation of the tax paid by our accounts department will not include mortgage interest, depreciation or other tax-deductible items. Any over-payment at the end of the year should be claimed This act does not affect your tax liability but should improve the method of collections. Contents checklist We have a long established reputation for letting quality rental property of all sizes from studio flats to large country houses. In order to maintain this reputation, and to reassure our contacts in relocation agencies and large companies that property offered through Atlantis Property Services is of good quality, we would advise that the following basic requirements are met: The Property should be left as clean as possible and any linen laundered before a tenancy commences. If inventory clerks have been appointed they will be very thorough in their assessment of the condition of the property. Please leave a property as you would expect to find it. All minor repairs should be carried out before commencement of the tenancy. Unfurnished properties should generally comprise of: Carpets Oven & hob Curtains Washer/dryer. Fridge/freezer Light fittings etc. Fully furnished properties should generally comprise of: Kitchen Lounge/dining room Oven & hob Three piece suite Dinner service for four people Coffee table Cutlery Dining table and four chairs (min) Crockery Sideboard Saucepans Place mats Dustpan and brush Iron and ironing board Outside Vacuum cleaner Lawn mower Gardening tools Bedrooms Hosepipe Wardrobe Bed and mattress in good condition The above is a guide only, as some properties may be offered furnished without cutlery, crockery etc or alternatively may be offered part furnished say with a dining table & chairs but no bed. In what is becoming an increasingly competitive market-place, listed below are some additions which will enhance the property and hopefully attract a suitable Tenant sooner. Electric/power shower Television & DVD player Microwave Hi-fi Dishwasher

8 Landlord safety regulations In recent years, new regulations have been introduced to improve safety in rented residential accommodation. All Landlords who own property which is let need to be aware of the implications of the legislation. The penalties for non-compliance are severe and can include a substantial fine and/or imprisonment. The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and subsequent amendments All gas appliances need to be regularly maintained so they run safely and reliably and should only be worked on by a qualified CORGI gas engineer. A CORGI Landlord s Gas Safety Certificate needs to be obtained on an annual basis and supplied to the Tenant. A record of all work carried out shoul also be kept. The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and subsequent amendments All Landlords letting residential property will be expected to ensure that all upholstered furniture complies with the Fire and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and its subsequent amendments. In general this means that all upholstered articles (i.e. beds, sofas, armchairs, seat cushions, headboards etc) must have fire resistant filling, which has passed the cigarette test and displays the appropriate labels. The Electrical Equipemt (Safety) Regulations and subsequent amendments All electrical equipent and appliances supplied with rental property need to be safe. Although there is currently no statutory annual testing interval or certification required all equipement should be checked by a suitably qualified engineer. Where the safe use of any equipment or appliance relies upon the user being aware of any particular characteristic, suitable information or instruction booklets should be provided. Smoke alarms Any new homes built after 1992 are required to have a mains aperated smoke alarm installed. On pre 1992 buildings there is no legal requirement to be installed, however Atlantis strongly recommend at least one smoke alarm is provided per floor. EPC legislation Energy Performance Certificates, or an EPC, is required by law when you re letting out your property. As the actual homeowner you need to provide an EPC free of charge to your tenant. To sort this all out for you, we can contact an accredited domestic energy assessor on your behalf and then they will carry out the assessment and produce the certificate for you. EPCs contain important information about a property s energy use and cost, suggestions on how to reduce energy, details of the person who carried out the assessment and who to contact if you need to make a complaint. EPCs are valid for ten years and the price is set by the market and will depend on the size and location of your property. Property Management Our Lettings Consultants are specialists and dedicate all their time to finding a suitable Tenant as quickly and efficiently as possible. For the day-to-day management, maintenance and repair of your property we will appoint one of our ex;perienced Property Managers. The Property Manager s sole responsibility is to look after your property, not to let it, and they are therefore not side-tracked. Before the tenancy commences, the manager can visit you at your property and gain a full understanding of the property and its central heating system, appliances, etc. The property management service is as follows: Rent collection - The Rent is collected from the Tenant on a predetermined settlement date and deposited into a nominated UK bank account as defined in the Tenancy Agreement, dependent on the commencement of the tenancy. The payment will be net of any maintenance deductions, etc. Statements - A detailed statement will be provided on a monthly basis showing all income and expenditure. The statement can either be posted or ed. Emergency repairs - The Tenant is able to contact our Property Managers at any time 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year in the event that emergency repairs are required. Maintenance - The Property Manager will attend to the day-to-day matters of repair and maintenance up to a limit of 250 on any one item. However we always try to contact the Landlord first before dealing with such matters. Unless in an absolute emergency prior authorisation is always sought for works likely to exceed 250. No loading or additional administration fees are made for any repair or maintenance work. Quarterly visits - Your property will be visited every 3 months. These visits are purely superficial and are not intended to be structural or inventory check. Security deposits - The Tenant s deposit will be held in a client account for the duration of the tenancy.

9 Atlantis - the complete property service

10 Atlantis - putting you first

11 Inventory check-out At the end of the tenancy the inventory clerk will visit the property and produce a report confirming meter readings, the cleanliness, state of repair, condition and decoration of the property. The Property Manager will then use this report, take any action necessary and administer the deposit accordingly. As we use independent inventory clerks to ensure complete fairness there will be a charge for this service dependant upon the size of property. Utility transfer Gas, electricity, water and council tax accounts will be closed off and forwarded to the outgoing Tenant. Gas & electrical safety inspections The Property Manager will arrange for the relevant inspections and certificates. As we use third party certified contractors there will be a charge for this service. Investment property advice We have extensive knowledge of local properties, which may be suitable for letting. With our constant contact with new Tenants we can offer clients invaluable advice on the right property which will rent out quickly and be relatively easy to maintain. We will be happy to discuss specific properties with you and give estimates on rentals which could be expected. We have strong relationships with local agents who can offer a selection of properties as letting investments. There is no fee for this service. Fees All fees are exclusive of VAT which will be added at the current rate. Introduction of Tenant a) 9% of the rent reserved under the terms of the tenancy up to a maximum of twelve months. This is payable in advance and will be deducted from the first month s rent paid by the Tenant. Note: Whether negotiated by us or not, should a Tenant extend a six month agreement for a further six months 9% of that additional rental income will be payable as fees. b) After the initial twelve months, whether negotiated by us or not, should the Tenant remain in the property a renewal fee of 5% for a maximum of twelve months will be payable prior to commencement of the second year.. c) Our minimum fee is 500+VAT. d) Should Atlantis Property Services be instructed to market your property on a sole agency basis for a period of four weeks prior to when the property is available, our first years fees will be reduced to 7%. Introduction of Tenant & rent collection a) 12%pcm of the rent reserved for the term of the tenancy is charged for this service. b) Should Atlantis Property Services be instructed to market your property on a sole agency basis for a period of four weeks prior to when the property is available, our rate will be reduced to 10%pcm of the rent reserved for the duration of the tenancy. Introduction of Tenant, rent collection & property management a) 14%pcm of the rent reserved for the term of the tenancy is charged for our very comprehensive Fully Managed Service. b) Should Atlantis Property Services be instructed to market your property on a sole agency basis for a period of four weeks prior to when the property is available, our rate will be reduced to 12%pcm of the rent reserved for the duration of the tenancy. Tenancy agreement The Landlord s contribution towards the cost of preparing a tenancy agreement is VAT. Renewal fee The Landlord s contribution towards the cost of preparing the renewal agreement is VAT. Housing Act notices If at any point during the tenancy it becomes necessary to serve a Housing Act notice on your tenant (e.g. Notice to terminate tenancy from the Landlord, Rent Arrears notice etc.) the cost of preparing and serving the relevant notice is VAT. Sale of property Should a Tenant, associate of a Tenant, prospective Tenant, or person introduced by Atlantis Property Services purchase a property introduced by us, a fee of 1.5% of the sale price will be payable by the Landlord on completion of the sale. Fees rebate If a Tenant legitimately uses a break clause (if applicable) and the property is re-let through Atlantis Property Services, 100% of the fees paid for the out-going standing period will be refunded. If the property is not re-let through Atlantis, 50% of the fees for the outstanding period will be refunded.

12 Block / Estate Management Building & Maintenance Commercial Services Financial Services Land & Development New Homes Property Insurance Residential Lettings & Management Residential Sales Serviced Apartments market place reading RG1 2DE tel: all of the information in this brochure is correct at the time of going to press VA 0707

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