At Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants, we aim to please and advise you in the best possible way. Below is a general, but not exhaustive, guide. We will be more than happy to discuss the letting of your property in more detail upon request.
Tenants generally look for well-presented properties in good condition and by paying attention to details at the beginning, a landlord will ensure maximum potential. First impressions matter and it is therefore of paramount importance that this is achieved from the outset.
Properties can be let either furnished, part-furnished or unfurnished. If the property is to be let unfurnished, it will still need to have appropriate floor coverings (i.e. carpets/wood floors), window dressings (curtains/blinds) and light shades. For partly furnished, the kitchen will require a complete set of white goods/appliances, including cookers/hobs, grills, washing machines, fridge/freezers, microwaves and hoovers. If the property is to be let furnished, it would have to have the relevant furnishing for its size. Bedrooms would require beds, wardrobes, chest of draws, and bedside cabinets, dining rooms sofas, dining tables and chairs and coffee tables.
In any case, all kitchen appliances should be up-to-date, in full working order and serviced as appropriate. All furniture should meet fire regulation. Décor should be fresh and ideally in neutral colours. Carpets should be in good condition with no excessive wear and tear and should always be cleaned prior to letting. It is recommended that a property be professionally cleaned throughout prior to the tenancy, as it is a condition of the tenancy that the property be left in the same condition at the end of the tenancy as it was found at the commencement by the tenant. Instruction manuals for all appliances, electrical equipment and heating and hot water systems should be left in the property. An appropriate number of sets of keys would need to be provided to match either the number of rooms or tenants, as well as any entry fobs or car park remotes.
Irrespective of the lettings service you opt for, we will arrange and organise the following for all of our rental properties on behalf of the Landlord:
• Visit the property before any marketing commences
• Prepare property particulars, including internal and external photographs
• Erect a "to let" board outside the property, if allowed. Prepare a comprehensive marketing strategy, which includes the circulation of your property to suitable prospective tenants already registered on our database, listing the property on our popular website and all the major web portals (such as Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation), along with showcasing your property within our centrally located modern offices
• Accompany every viewing with potential tenants
• Once a suitable tenant has been found, we will carry out referencing using either a third-party company or our in-house methods, to establish full financial, employment and previous rental history
• Prepare the necessary tenancy agreement and deposit protection (as part of the Housing Act 2004, deposits must be protected by an approved deposit scheme
The most common form of tenancy is the assured-shorthold tenancy (also known as an AST) which is governed by the Housing Act 1988. An AST is used where a property is let as a ‘dwelling house’ (not solely a bedroom) to an individual or individuals (legislation varies depending on boroughs). The other form is a Contractual Tenancy, governed by contract law and not the Housing Act 1988. This type of tenancy is used for all tenancies that do not qualify as an AST, most commonly used for company lets, a second home or a premium lease where annual rent exceeds £100,000.
It is essential to arrange a professional inventory prior to the commencement of the tenancy. A professional inventory is not merely a list of furniture; it will also note the condition of everything in the property (i.e. walls, ceilings, flooring, windows, light fittings, etc). The landlord and tenant receive a copy of the inventory at the commencement of the tenancy so each party is aware of the contents and condition of the property. Without such a document, it is extremely difficult to resolve any disagreements at the end of the tenancy.
Prior to the start of a tenancy, there are a number of administrative issues that should be addressed by the landlord. When a property is subject to a mortgage, it is normally a requirement that permission is needed to let the property. It is your responsibility, as Landlord, to obtain this permission. If your property is held on a lease, you should contact your Managing Agent or freeholder to check that you can sub-let the property. You will need to inform your insurance company that you are letting the property and ensure that you have adequate cover for buildings, contents and public liability and that you comply with any conditions they may impose. If you are living overseas, it is important that you complete an NRL1 form available from HMRC, as there are tax implications.
A valid gas safety certificate and EPC is required for the entire duration of the tenant’s occupancy. If you do not have one, Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants will organise for an initial gas safety and EPC check at a fixed cost to you. It is your legal responsibility to arrange to have all subsequent annual gas checks carried out and indemnify Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants against the consequences of not doing so. If upon receipt of written instructions this is not done, Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants will arrange the renewal of any gas checks on your behalf. We advise our landlords to have an electrical safety certificate carried out on their properties, which although not mandatory, is considered best practice.
Tenant Find & Rent Collection Service
In providing this service to you, Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants will:
• Carry out an inspection of the property and advise you on the decorative condition, furnishings, expected level of rent and any steps you may need to take to comply with all relevant safety regulations or other legal requirements.
• Advertise the property and arrange viewings.
• Arrange for (at a cost to you) an inventory and professional check in/out relating to the letting of the property of the furniture, furnishings, fixtures and fittings and provide a copy to you.
• Apply for relevant references to be taken up on all prospective tenants.
• Advise on, demand and account to you for the rent for the duration of the tenancy, and pay the appropriate net amount into your nominated bank account once it has cleared our account. You should allow 5 working days from the tenancy date for cleared funds to be available for transfer to your account.
• Make formal demand for, and take all other reasonable steps necessary (without issuing court proceedings) to recover any arrears of rent, and thereafter advise you of timescales for you to instruct solicitors and commence court proceedings to recover such arrears and/or enforce or defend your other rights in relation to the letting of the property.
• Acting on your instructions to negotiate the terms and sign an appropriate tenancy agreement or renewal agreement on your behalf.
Comprehensive Management Service
If you have appointed us to manage the property, Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants will also:
• Visit the property quarterly and submit a written report (if requested) to you on its condition. Any reports submitted by us relate only to the decorative state of the property and are not intended to be a structural survey and should not be relied upon as such.
• Carry out on your behalf, and at your cost, any repairs, servicing or maintenance of the property that may be required to maintain the property in a satisfactory condition.
• Arrange for a statutory gas safety test to be carried out at your expense prior to the tenant’s occupation and annually thereafter.
• Once a professional check in/out is done, we will notify the relevant gas, electricity, water and local authority suppliers of the change of occupancy and at the end of the tenancy request them to revert to you or another incoming tenant.
A Guide for Tenants
Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants is a recommended letting agent for a number of London’s portfolio landlords. We have worked closely with property investors for many years and now manage hundreds of properties throughout inner London.
All of Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants’ properties are subjected to a thorough check before we offer them for rent to ensure that they are compliant with all safety legislation including Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations, Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations, Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations and The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (England) Regulations. All properties must also have a current Energy Performance Certificate.
Our experienced letting experts will work closely with you to ensure that you find your ideal home and will guide you through the rental process to ensure that your experience is a happy one. They will accompany you on all viewings at times convenient to you, including evenings and weekends.
More than 90% of properties let by Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants are fully managed so you can be assured that if any problems arise you simply contact us. Any necessary repairs can be quickly dealt with by our fully qualified and insured contractors without the need for you to be present. We also have an emergency and out-of-hours phone line, which is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In accordance with legislation, all deposits are registered by Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants with a government approved deposit protection scheme within 14 days. Client Money Protection is provided by UKALA and independent redress by The Property Ombudsman Service.
Below are some general terms and conditions of renting through Hawk & Eagle Property Consultants:
• Offers will only be forwarded officially once a reservation fee is left and all offers are subject to contract and satisfactory referencing.
• Any proposed terms of tenancy are only provisional and subject to change. The final terms will be outlined in the Tenant Offer Acceptance E-mail, after the landlord’s acceptance
• Should the application by the Tenant be declined by the Agent, due to either the Landlord withdrawing the Property or an alternative application being accepted, as it is the right of any Landlord or Managing Agent, the reservation will be returned to the Tenant in full, less any expenses already incurred. Should the reservation fee need to be refunded back, the tenant should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that all refunds are processed through BACS or cheque within 5 working days of request and you may not receive a response from our non-customer facing accounts department
• The Tenant understands that, by paying a reservation fee, s/he is committing to rent the Property and confirms that s/he is able to provide the appropriate and satisfactory references (and if necessary, guarantors), to establish suitability as a good Tenant. No references can be accepted from someone whose relationship to the Tenant is entirely one of a friend or relative and given in no other capacity. If each party of the Tenant cannot provide acceptable references or guarantors, the Tenant will be considered to have withdrawn their application
• The Tenant understands that a reservation fee will hold the Property for a period of time equal in value to the rent.
• The Tenant understands that should he, or any other joint party for a Tenancy of the Property, withdraw the application at any time, the reservation fee will be forfeited to the Agent in its entirety. The Tenant agrees to abide by the Agent’s terms of payment with regard to rent, deposits, fees and charges
• The Tenant understands that on or before signing of this agreement, he shall pay a one-off non-refundable administration and legal fee of a week’s rent + VAT, as a reservation fee
• The Tenant further understands that upon receiving the Offer Acceptance Letter, s/he shall clear the referencing fee of £60 (including VAT) per reference, the first full calendar month’s rent (or a sum agreed between the Agent and Tenant taking the application into consideration) and a security deposit equivalent to six week’s (eight weeks for students) rent
• Should any information come to the attention of the Agent or Landlord, which the Tenant did not reveal during their application but which would affect the application, or should referees or guarantors refuse to provide the appropriate documentation, the application will be considered withdrawn and the reservation fee shall be forfeited to the Agent in its entirety.