With sensitivity, expert negotiation skills and outstanding competence, we take care of all commercial and technical tasks including invoicing, maintenance and insurance claims. We also manage administrative tasks such as quote requests and protocols for the personal element, including selection of an appropriate tenant and meeting the owner. We also manage regulatory aspects: for example, compliance with legal procedures and insurance policy requirements.
We provide property owners with two options -
Full Management or Let Only services.
Full Management means just what it says - we do everything. As most property searches are done on the internet your property will be advertised on major Scottish websites. Sometimes local advertising is useful - even in this internet age there is a shop in the west end of Glasgow with a three deep audience on the pavement each Autumn, surveying the window cards for student flats! A 'To Let' board and window posters can be very productive, as are window cards for local properties at our offices in Holmlea Road, Battlefield.
We will arrange viewings at the property at times to suit prospective tenants and always try to be as flexible as possible with appointments, which can generally include evenings and weekends.
When an application is made for a tenancy we carry out thorough referencing which checks the previous tenancy history, employment situation and domestic circumstances. Sometimes a Guarantor will be required to 'underwrite' the tenancy. Students are asked to provide Guarantors.
The move-in to the property will be organised by our team. We will need three full sets of keys to the property - two are for the tenant and we retain one set. A Tenancy Agreement will be compiled, signed and witnessed. An inventory will be compiled, with phographic back-up and both the tenant and agent sign the inventory. The initial letting period will be six months and, if both sides agree, this can be renewed or extended to a year - or even run on a month-by-month basis with a month's notice to be provided by the tenant, or two months to be provided by the owner.
A deposit and the first month's rent are collected from the tenant immediately prior to the move-in date. The deposit is usually equivalent to a month's rent but can be increased by up to 50% if the property is deemed to warrant a higher deposit. The deposit is retained in a separate account for the duration of the tenancy.
We can provide a Rent Guarantee Service as an optional extra. In the unlikely event of a tenant failing to pay rent, or delaying payment, the landlord will receive payment. If legal action should become necessary the costs will also be covered.
For repairs and maintenance we have a range of trusted colleagues and contractors. Owners who prefer to be 'hands-on' are welcomed - but they need to be properly insured as well as competent! If owners prefer to use their own contacts we will record their details and always call them first. Owners will be notified of any routine repairs and invoices and cost details will be advised before a deduction is applied to the account.
We also notify the gas and electricity suppliers and give them meter readings, and update the local council tax office. If a council tax rebate or exemption is due for any void periods we will reclaim that also.
Rent is paid each month by standing order, or by debit or credit card payment. Owner payments are made to their bank accounts by BACS. Portfolio landlords receive a month-end report detailing transactions covering all their properties for the previous month. We also prepare income and expenditure reports on request for the tax year. We can give general advice on tax matters or provide an introduction to specialist accountants. Overseas landlords should normally apply for a non-resident approval number from HMRC for information www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm
Property inspections are carried out every six months. This might be thought of as intrusive, particularly for tenants who have lived at their property for a long time (as many of our tenants have), but our good relationships with tenants means that it's usually quite informal and a good opportunity both to keep in contact and to give them a chance to let us know of any problems . Unreported minor items can be identified at this stage - it saves them becoming major headaches further down the line!
Our management fees are realistic and enable us to provide a properly resourced service. We don't charge for same-tenant renewals and we do not add a surcharge to contractors accounts.
We have our own accounts and credit-control office who monitor all rent accounts to ensure prompt payment. We also work with any tenants who might find themselves in financial difficulties - and we ensure that any benefit claims are made correctly and processed timeously.
Let Only service. For landlords who wish to deal with their own tenancy and property management we provide a service where we advertise and carry out viewings, referencing and booking in a new tenant. Utilities and council tax are notified and an inventory is compiled, with photographs. We collect the deposit and the first month's rent, sign the tenant up for a standing order to the owner's bank account for future payments. The deposit and first month's rent, less the agreed fee, is paid to the owner who from that point looks after all aspects of the tenancy and the property.