We’re an independent estate agency and we’ve been helping people to buy, sell and rent homes throughout London. Our experience and local knowledge means that we’re able to give up-to-date advice on the current property market.

We’re registered and accredited by the Property Redress Scheme (www.theprs.co.uk) and follow their code of practice, so you can be confident in the way that we work.

And we take a personal approach, so we’ll be on hand to help with any questions you have along the way.



Our letting services

You can choose from our two letting services:

  • Let only
  • Full management (including rent collection)


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How we’ll help you to let your property

We’ll do everything we can to help you let your property smoothly, at the right price and to the right people. We can advise you on anything you need to do first, including repairs, your legal obligations, or how to make your property look its best in the photographs.

We’ll put a ‘To Let’ board on, or beside, your property, feature it on our website and show it on the display screens in our office windows. And we’ll add it to Zoopla.co.uk, Rightmove.co.uk, PrimeLocation.com and other property search sites.

We also have an up-to-date list of potential tenants and we’ll let those people know that you have a place to let.

Your valuation

We always aim to give a realistic valuation based upon the current market, rather than an inflated, or unrealistic, rental price.

Viewings and feedback

We’ll keep a set of keys so that you don’t need to be around for viewings. We keep these safely locked away when not needed and we always accompany people who view your property.

We’ll arrange viewings for the days that work for you and your current tenants, whether on weekdays, evenings or at weekends. And we always give you feedback, together with suggestions to help you rent your place.

Commission

For let only properties our commission rate is 10% + VAT (12%).
For fully managed properties our rate is 16% + VAT (19.2%).

Local services

We work with a number of reliable and competitive local services and can recommend a solicitor, builder, decorator, Gas Safe registered engineer, plumber or electrician, if needed.

If we arrange the let only we will:

• Give you a free rental valuation and advise you on your obligations as a landlord.
• Market your property and take people to view it.
• Negotiate the best terms between you and your tenant.
• Arrange for references and credit checks using a company called Rent4Sure. They can also guarantee these for an extra fee, if needed.
• Agree the move in date.
• Draw up an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This will contain statutory information although we can tailor the agreement to suit you and your tenant’s needs.
• On the move in day we’ll make sure that we have received the first month’s rent and six weeks’ security deposit before we give the keys to your tenant. We’ll send you the deposit and first month’s rent, less our commission, within five working days, together with an accounts statement.
• We’ll ask the tenant to complete a standing order with their bank for your monthly rental payments.

The following are your responsibility but we can help you with these, if needed:

• A full inventory. We recommend this as it protects both you and the tenant if there’s any dispute at a later date.
• Registering your tenant’s deposit with a government-backed deposit protection scheme. • Informing the local authority and utility providers about the new tenancy.
Once the tenancy has begun you’ll be your tenant’s contact for any repairs or maintenance. You’ll also be responsible for taking their rental payments. If you’d like us to do this on your behalf, then you can choose our full management service instead.
This includes our let only service, plus, once the tenancy has begun, we’ll be your tenant’s first contact if they have any questions or problems. We’ll also do the following, free of charge:

• Collect your tenant’s rent and pay it to you by bank transfer each month.
• Register your tenant’s deposit with a government-backed deposit protection scheme.
• Inform the local authority and utility providers about the new tenancy.
• Keep a set of keys to the property.
• Deal with any insurance claims, including rent default or accidental damage estimates.
• Liaise with apartment block management companies on your behalf, including payment of service charges or any other bills and rerouting mail.
• Carry out regular inspections throughout the tenancy and check the property when the tenant moves out.
• Arrange a checkout free of charge.
• Send you a monthly accounts statement showing your rent payments, our deducted commission and any deductions for the cost of repairs or servicing to the property.

We’ll arrange for any repairs or annual servicing at the property. You’ll need to pay for these services, so we’ll do that on your behalf and deduct the cost from your rent payments. These services include:

• A full inventory at the start of the tenancy.
• Annual boiler services, gas safety certificates and electrical certificates.
• General repairs, redecoration or cleaning.

We work with local builders, plumbers and electricians who are on call 24 hours a day. All work is fully guaranteed by them and done at a reasonable cost. We’ll always ask you first before instructing any work, unless it’s an emergency, and we’ll respond to your tenant within 48 hours, giving you a no hassle let.

What you will need to do

Before Letting your place

Before we can market and let your property there are a few things that you’ll need to do first.

Letting agreement

You’ll need to read and sign a letting agreement.

Photos and description

We’ll take photos and write a property description, which you’ll need to confirm as accurate and approve before we use.

Keys

You’ll need to give us a set of keys for the property so that we can take people to view it.

Let board

We’ll put a ‘To Let’ board on, or beside, your property. Please tell us if you don’t want this.

Utilities and council tax

You’ll need to let us know who your local authority is and who provides the property’s gas, water and electricity, so that we can give them the tenant’s details for billing.

Making your property safe for your tenants

As a landlord you’re responsible for your tenant’s safety in relation to gas, electric and fire. Here’s some general guidance:

By law you must:

• Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition.
• Make sure that a gas safety check is carried out within 12 months of the installation of a new appliance and flue that you have provided in the property, and that a gas safety check is carried out annually.
• Keep a record of each gas safety check.
We can arrange for a Gas Safe registered engineer to carry out the safety check on your behalf, if needed. The Gas Safe Register (www.gassaferegister.co.uk) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE.gov.uk) websites have more information.

If you have British Gas Homecare cover, please let us know.
You must make sure that:

• the electrical system in the property (eg sockets and light fittings) is safe
• all appliances you provide in the property (eg cookers, kettles) are safe

Landlords are not required by law to provide an electrical safety certificate. But, you could be held liable if any electrical fittings or appliances within your property cause harm to a tenant. We can arrange electrical system and Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), if needed.
Your must:

• follow fire safety regulations. For example, by checking that your tenants have access to escape routes at all times
• make sure that all furniture and furnishings you provide in the property are fire safe
• provide fire alarms and extinguishers (depending on the size of the property)

Under The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, any furniture you supply should come with a fire safety tag. Visit www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1988/1324 for more information. We strongly recommend that you install smoke alarms in the property.

Tenancy deposit protection

Agents and landlords must protect their tenant’s deposit using a government-backed deposit protection scheme, regardless of who holds the money. The deposit must be registered within 30 days of receiving it and the tenant must be told, in writing, where the deposit is held.

If we fully manage the property on your behalf we’ll arrange the deposit protection. If you choose our let only service, then you’re responsible for doing this. You may have to pay a charge depending on the scheme that you choose to use.

We can give you details of government-backed schemes. And the GOV.UK website has more information: www.gov.uk/tenancy-deposit-protection

Inventory and check out

Most of the time, tenants leave properties in good order. But, we recommend taking a full inventory, as it protects you and your tenant if there’s any dispute later. A thorough inventory will detail the condition of the property and its furnishings, and list all contents.

It’s important that the same company carries out the initial inventory as well as checking the property when the tenant leaves. We use a registered inventory company who’ll write a full report, including photos, which must be signed by you and the tenant. If we fully manage the property we’ll arrange this. If we arrange the let only you’ll need to organise this, or we can arrange it on your behalf, if needed.

Energy Performance Certificate

By law, you must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before you can market your property for rent. And we must show this certificate to potential tenants before they view your property. An EPC is valid for 10 years and gives:

  • information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
  • recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
  • the property’s energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient)

To get an EPC, you’ll need to use an accredited assessor. We can do this on your behalf at a cost of £80 (inc VAT). GOV.UK has more info – search for ‘Energy Performance Certificate’.

Non-resident landlords

If we take your UK rental payment on your behalf, we’re required to deduct tax from it and pay this directly to HM Revenue & Customs, unless you have an exemption certificate under the Non-resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme.

The NRL Scheme is a scheme for taxing the UK rental income of people whose ‘usual place of abode’ is outside the UK. If you normally live outside of the UK you can apply for an exemption by completing an NRL1 form. Please tell us if you have an exemption certificate.

You can find more information, including the NRL1 form, at www.hmrc.gov.uk/nonresidents

Other things to think about

Potential tenants will want to be able to imagine themselves in your property and it’s harder for them to do that if it’s untidy or needs cleaning. Where possible, we recommend that you make the property clean and tidy before we take the photos.

You may want to fix anything that’s broken, such as a door that sticks, or give a fresh lick of paint to any walls that have become marked.

Doing these things may not increase the rental value of your property, but will help to make it look its best for potential tenants.

Terms You May Need To Know

You may see this term during your lettings search – it refers to the most common type of rental agreement where the tenant is protected under various Housing Acts, but still allows the Landlord to regain possession after serving 2 months’ notice (subject to contract and potentially a court order). In order for an agreement to be AST it must fulfil certain criteria, the annual rent must be under £100,000, the tenant must be an individual or group of individuals, the landlord must not live in the same property, and the property must be the tenant’s main residence.
This agreement is used when the rent is over £100,000 per annum and the property is let to an individual or a group of individuals. There is no additional protection other than what is outlined within the written agreement.
A tenancy taken out under a company name, automatically this is not an Assured Household Tenancy.
Before you let your property you will need to get consent from the your mortgage lender and the freeholder (if your property is leasehold). You will also need to provide your tenants with the relevant sections of any lease on the property if adherence to a head lease is stated within the tenancy agreement. The providers of any insurance on your property will also need to be informed when the property is going to be let out, and failure to do so could nullify a policy.
A UK homeowner who can guarantee the rent of a tenant who is not in a financial position to do so.
An inventory will be undertaken. This is an accurate list of everything contained within a property and the condition.

A house in multiple occupation, the guidelines for which can be found on the relevant local council website.
There are various safety regulations that you have to adhere to as a Landlord. Not all of them are statutory obligations, but Saks London recommends that you treat them as such. If your property has any gas appliances, installation or pipe work within the property they must be declared safe by a Gas Safe registered engineer. This is a statutory obligation and an inspection must be carried out prior to the commencement of a tenancy and then on an annual basis. The electrics within your property must be safe, including any electrical appliances that you might leave in the property, so Saks London recommends you allow an NICEIC electrician check your property before it is let out. All the furniture you leave within the property must comply with the provisions contained within the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988. These apply to beds, sofas, cushions, pillows amongst other things. Saks London also recommends that you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your property.
A contractually agreed point in the tenancy agreement where either party may break the contract without penalty. You may have agreed to have a break clause put into your contract. Your contract will specify how notice is to be served, but as a rule of thumb, if your property is managed by Saks London you will need to deliver your notice by hand or registered mail to our Property Management Department.

Any questions?

Please get in touch with us if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to help.