We have a specialised Lettings department with more than 30 years of experience, offering a range of services we are proud of.
This page outlines our services and provides a guide to the pitfalls of residential letting. We provide a high-quality service and truly care about your property and tenants. We follow strict professional guidelines and are governed by the disciplinary procedures of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Ombudsman.
This page outlines our services and provides a guide to the pitfalls of residential letting. We consider we are an agent providing the best service and actually care about your property and the tenants. We follow strict professional guidelines and are governed by the disciplinary procedures of the ARLA & RICS.
As an agent, we provide a comprehensive service:
Specialist, friendly service
Free property rental & sales valuations
A choice of Rent Guarantee Full Management, Full Management, Rent Collection or Tenant Introduction
Comprehensive property marketing, strong online marketing.
Affiliation to all relevant professional bodies.
We follow Management guidelines of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
Our Managing Director is RICS qualified
We treat tenants fairly and without discrimination
Comprehensive vetting of tenants
Client Accounts - Safe money
Full solicitor back-up
Our fees are competitive; please ask for seasonal deals available.
If you wish to chat further about our services, please give us a call at any time: 01271 329345
INTRODUCTION. Our commitment to you, as Landlord.
John Smale & Co. Property Management will take care of your property, giving you total peace of mind, whilst maximising your income.
The company's aim is to serve you by providing a comprehensive service package handled by helpful staff committed to your needs.
We are members of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Property Ombudsman. We also carry Professional Indemnity Insurance.
LETTING YOUR PROPERTY:- How we can help
Following your initial enquiry, we will arrange an appointment to visit your property. During the visit we will provide you with advice on the current rental value, guidance on the condition of the property, advice on decor and facilities and give general advice on up-to-date legislation.
LEVEL OF SERVICE OPTIONS:- Flexible levels of service to suit
a) Full Management: We will advertise your property, professionally vet and secure a tenant, collect all monies, deposits and rent, handle all repairs subject to your approval, regularly inspect the property and advise you on its condition so that we can help you manage your most important asset.
We now offer Rent Guarantee Full Management; please enquire for details.
b) Tenant Introduction and Rent Collection: We will advertise your property, professionally vet and secure a tenant, collect all monies, deposits and rent. However, you would take responsibility for repairs and inspections.
c) Tenant Introduction: If you would like us solely to introduce a tenant then we can organise this too. We will market the property, find a suitable tenant and professionally vet the applicant, with references. At the end of the term we offer the option of organising any change of tenant and handovers.
THE SERVICE WE OFFER:-
Securing a Tenant: We will match suitable tenants to your property through advertising and through our excellent contacts with industry, banks, medical, military and many other professions. All our tenants must provide bank, solicitor/employer references and guarantors for the right to rent. We will arrange appointments with suitable tenants to view your property. On establishing the right tenant we will deal with the necessary formalities as efficiently as possible.
Professional Vetting: We use a professional independent company to carry out the credit checks and employment, landlord and character references.
Landlords Approval: We seek your approval before proceeding with any agreement; we will help you make a final decision based on the tenants' information.
Preparation of Agreement: A Tenancy Agreement will be drawn up within the office. It will take into account all current Landlord and Tenant legislation.
Client Account: We set up a totally separate account for clients' monies. Your money is completely secure and accounted for separately. This is a bonded account and checked by an outside firm of accountants.
Tenant Deposit: We will receive a 6-week (of the monthly rental) deposit from the tenant which will be held in the TDS client amount for the duration on the tenancy, in case of rent arrear or dilapidations.
Rent Collection: In the case of services (a) and (b) we will collect the first month's rent and then monthly in advance thereafter. This will be paid into the John Smale client account where agreed fees will be deducted before being transferred. You will receive a monthly statement of accounts.
Inventory and Schedule of Condition: We recommend a Schedule of Condition with photos and meter readings as an insurance against the tenants' deposit. For a new Tenancy Agreement for unfurnished/furnished accommodation, it is advisable to prepare an official Inventory, listing details of all fixtures and fittings at the property, along with the condition of the property. We are willing to prepare such a document alternatively, we can advise you on its preparation.
Transfer of Utilities: If you opt for service options (a) or (b), then before a new tenant occupies the property, we will arrange for all the utilities and council tax to be transferred to the new incoming tenant.
Payment of Bills and Repairs: For the full management service option, we can set up an arrangement with you for the payment of necessary repairs and emergencies during the tenants' occupation. If you have your own contractors we are happy that you use them. However, please note that we will require their public liability insurance. We do have a good local knowledge of quality tradesmen whose workmanship, charges and liability insurance are closely monitored.
Regular Inspections: For the full management service, we will carry out inspections of the property on a regular basis. This will take into account the condition of the property and any necessary repairs. This also gives the tenant an opportunity to discuss any maintenance issues they may have, enabling us to deal with problems before they become costly issues. We will forward a copy of our report after each inspection.
At the Conclusion of a Tenancy: As and when the tenant gives notice, we will inform you immediately and discuss your future plans for the property. Once the keys have been returned by the tenant, we will inspect the property against the Schedule of Condition and Inventory. If necessary, deductions will be made from the tenants deposit to cover any dilapidations or rent arrears. When the property is ready to let again we will endeavour to find you a new suitable tenant, making the transition to new tenants as smooth as possible.
FURTHER IMPORTANT ADVICE:- Your questions answered.
What Should I do About Preparing my Property to Let?
Every property is unique and we will therefore need to visit your property in order to evaluate its suitability for renting out and advise you on any necessary improvements and legal requirements. Briefly, the property should be clean, tidy and habitable. If furnished, then we will give advice on the regulations concerning furniture. Outside, the garden should he presentable and tidy. With regard to cooking facilities, heating systems and other appliances, clear working instructions should be provided.
Furnished or Unfurnished?
This is up to you. With the introduction of new regulations, it has become much more expensive to furnish properties. Unfurnished is quite acceptable, or part-furnished can be an attraction to the tenants, allowing them to bring in some of their own furnishings.
How Will the Fire Regulations Effect Me?
The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety)(Amendment) Regulations 1993 lay down rules setting new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products containing upholstery. All lettings properties must comply with the regulations. This is a detailed subject so please ask for our information leaflet.
If I Have Gas Appliances, is There Any Control Over These?
Yes, there is the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulation 1994 which requires that in rented properties, gas central heating boilers, water heaters and gas cookers should be subject to an annual check by a qualified (CORGI) engineer. On a fully-managed property, we will arrange for this to be done on your behalf.
Electrical Safety Check?
This is not a legal requirement, but we would recommend one to protect the landlord against an unfortunate claim. Best to be safe than sorry.
What About Insurance?
You should inform your insurance company (Buildings and Contents) that the property is to be let. You will be advised accordingly. Landlords should also consider other insurance options such as legal expenses and residential lettings warranty. Further details are available upon request.
You must obtain consent from your mortgage prior to the let (unless you have a Buy to Let mortgage).
What Happens if a Tenant Defaults on Rent?
We will monitor incoming rents closely, and will take immediate action to recover unpaid rents. If these steps fail, we would recommend the appointment of a solicitor to act on your behalf to recover the rent. There are insurance policies available for the recovery of such legal costs; ask us for details of legal costs insurance.
Tax is a complicated field and although we can provide initial advice, the landlord should obtain advice from an accountant or tax advisor. We are able to provide a leaflet on the matter upon request.
a) Full Management
b) Tenant Introduction and Rent Collection
c) Tenant Introduction
d) Schedule of Condition and Inventory
The service required in this sector will depend on the property and the role required. Fee levels will be tailored to suit the client’s needs. We look after commercial estates as well as individual properties. Please enquire for more details. Click here to search for a commercial property in North Devon.