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Please read thoroughly

Deposit Holding

Deposits must be registered into an approved deposit scheme within 30 days of the commencement of the tenancy or from the date the deposit was received, whichever is sooner, and the deposit provider (tenant, guarantor etc) must be provided with the schemes prescribed information. It is, however, your responsibility to ensure that any changes to the prescribed information are notified to Austin D’arcy or direct to your tenant throughout the tenancy period.

If the correct information is NOT given to your tenant and if the deposit is not registered with a scheme within 30 days of receipt of the deposit, or the outset of the tenancy (whichever is sooner) then you will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice on your tenant in order to regain possession of your property. In addition, a tenant can take court action against you for breach of contract and a judge has the liberty of awarding them up to 3 times the amount of the deposit for the property. Do not leave this to chance, let Austin D’arcy take care of these legalities in full!

At the time of accepting an offer from a tenant introduced by Austin D’arcy, if you are unable to confirm your chosen Tenancy Deposit Scheme, it will be assumed that you wish to utilise our deposit holding scheme.

If you fail to do any of the above points within the 30 day period you will be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice upon your tenant in order to regain possession of your property and, in addition, you may incur a hefty fine up to the value of 3 times the security deposit amount if prosecuted via the courts.

Types of tenancy exempt from legislation

At the present time this legislation does NOT apply to Non-Housing Act Tenancies, which are:

  • Tenancies with an annual pure rent of over £100,000 or less than £1,000
  • Tenancies with a resident Landlord
  • Tenancies where the property is a 2nd home and not the tenant’s main residence
  • Company tenancies

Energy Efficiency

Energy Efficiency (Private Rental Sector) Regulations 2015 make it unlawful from April 2018 to let residential properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘F’ or ‘G’ ie: the lowest 2 grades of energy efficiency.

Terminating the Tenancy

Termination of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy

To regain possession of your property at the end of an Assured Shorthold Fixed Term Tenancy you MUST give the relevant notice period to your tenants and have provided (with proof) all relevant prescribed information at the outset of the tenancy:

In the event of you, the landlord, wishing Austin D’arcy to serve notice on the tenant, you must give us a minimum of 2 weeks notice, in addition to the notice period required for the Tenant.

Please Note: The tenant can vacate at the end of a Fixed Term tenancy without giving notice to the landlord, however, within a Statutory Periodic Tenancy, the tenant must give one periods’ notice to end the tenancy. One period is calculated in accordance with the tenancy date. (See over to calculate notice for a periodic tenancy).

Termination of a Non-Housing Act Tenancy

A company tenancy, a high rent tenancy (over £100,000 pa pure rent), a tenancy with a resident landlord or a pied-a-terre tenancy will end according to the dates contained within the initial fixed term of the agreement, called the “effluxion of time” and although formal notice is not required, both parties have a duty of care to give reasonable notice to the other party, generally one months’ notice will suffice or notice can be given in accordance with any break clause contained within the tenancy. If the tenant remains in the property and no replacement tenancy is put in force so that the original tenancy becomes a periodic or rolling tenancy, the landlord must serve a Notice to Quit giving one periods’ notice to end the periodic tenancy.

Using a break clause

If you have negotiated a break clause in the tenancy agreement and the tenant exercises their right to this clause Austin D’arcy will refund any lettings service commission paid or due for the unexpired period providing all three criteria listed below have been met:

  1. At least six months of the tenancy has lapsed
  2. We are given six weeks exclusivity to re-market the property
  3. We are unable to introduce a suitable tenant within the 6 week period of re-marketing.

In the event that we are not given the opportunity to re-market the premises, no refund will be given, unless a valid, reasonable explanation has been provided and agreed. If we are able to secure a new tenancy covering the remaining period, our commission for the second letting will apply as above, and we will credit your account for the period of overlap with the original fee. You will therefore not pay twice for the same period. Should you agree to release the tenants from their tenancy agreement before any break clause expires, no refund of fees shall be due before the period where the break clause would have allowed the tenancy to be terminated.

Tenant References

References are essential to the letting process and these checks are carried out on your behalf by “Let Alliance” a National referencing company who will investigate your tenants’ income, credit history and previous landlord references.

You will be asked to accept these findings prior to tenancy commencement.

The Rent

Unless otherwise agreed, the rent achieved by us on your behalf will be inclusive of all outgoings for which you are responsible eg: ground rent, service charges, buildings insurance etc with the exception of gas, electricity, water, the telephone line rental, council tax and where there is an independent heating system. Any rent requested by us on your behalf will not include reference to council tax. This charge will normally be levied separately on the occupants of the property. If you pay water rates as part of your service charge and wish to pass this charge onto your tenant, please ensure you have notified Austin D’arcy of this and the relevant clauses are contained within the tenancy agreement.

Rent Remittances

The tenant is requested to pay the rent direct into the bank by standing order mandate. If the tenant does not wish to pay in this manner and adopts a different payment method, it is not possible to enforce the standing order payment method and court action can only be taken if the rent is in arrears as per the grounds listed in the tenancy agreement.

For rent collection or managed service tenancies, banking arrangements are such that it is necessary for us to allow approximately 10 days before transferring monies to you, although it is always our aim to make payment on the same day as rent is received into our account. Any monies dispatched will be without prejudice to final clearance.

Please Note: By accepting rent by standing order, should the tenant breach the terms of their agreement, the continued payment of rent may be deemed by a court as a waiver by you of the tenant’s breach. Therefore, In the event that we do not manage your property you must notify the tenant immediately following any breach that monies received by standing order are to be regarded as “mesne profits”, basically money taken for the continued use and occupation of the premises and NOT RENT.

Type of Tenancy Agreement

Unless we are instructed otherwise, we will use our standard form of tenancy agreement. Landlords instructing their own solicitors to prepare an agreement will be responsible for their solicitor fees, however, an additional administration charge of £72 inc VAT (£60 plus VAT), will remain due to Austin D’arcy  at the outset of the tenancy, because, as your agent, we have a duty of care to fully understand and advise on the contract you wish to use.

Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 section 47

We are obliged to include your full name and address on all rent demands (tenancy agreements). If your address is outside England and Wales, then we must provide the tenant with an address within England and Wales to which notices (including notices in proceedings), may be served on you. Unless otherwise instructed, if your address is outside England and Wales, we will use our address during such period as we manage the property. We will use our best endeavour to forward any notices to you promptly, but we cannot accept liability for any loss or damage incurred either directly or indirectly from our actions in this respect.

Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sections 1 and 2

If the tenant makes a written request for your actual address, where-so-ever in the world you may be, it is a criminal offence to withhold the information and it must be provided within 21 days of receipt of the request, otherwise, you may be liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of £2,500. If you, as the landlord, are a limited company or body corporate, upon written request by the tenant, you are obliged to provide the name and address of every director and the company secretary within 21 days, or you could face a further fine of up to £2,500.

Housing Benefit Payments (if applicable)

Where the tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit payments, you indemnify Austin D’arcy against any requirement to refund Housing Benefit to the council.

Water Rates and Water Meter Charges

Further to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 you will remain liable for any outstanding water charges if the tenant vacates the property and DOES NOT provide a UK forwarding address or does not settle the account in full at the end of the tenancy. If Austin D’arcy is not acting as your management agent, you are advised to request proof of payment in the form of a receipted final bills or retain money from the deposit for the purpose of settling any final accounts. Austin D’arcy is not accountable or responsible for checking water meters or finalising water bills on behalf of tenants.

Courts and Tribunals

Applications for fair rent or appearances before the Rent Officer, Rent Assessment Committee or any other court or tribunal is by special arrangement only and will be subject to an additional charge of £60 inc VAT (£50 plus VAT), per hour or part thereof, per person in attendance, plus expenses. The administration cost for Austin D’arcy to organise paperwork for solicitors or arbitration is £72 plus VAT (£60 plus VAT) in addition to the legal costs.

Instructions of Solicitors

You will be informed of any rent arrears or breaches of covenant brought to our attention. However, if legal action is required you will be responsible for instructing your own solicitors and for all fees involved.

Right to rent in the UK - Documentation and Working Visa

Under the Immigration Act 2014, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all tenants have the right to rent in the UK by making and keeping a copy of passports for all tenants and evidence of their immigration status (biometric residence permit). Austin D’arcy will undertake tenant checks to the best of our ability but we cannot accept liability for any subsequent issues which arise either directly or indirectly from our actions in this respect. Please note that the penalty for non-compliance is up to £3000 per tenant.

The Deregulation Act 2015

The new rules also remove the need for a landlord to specify that a tenancy must end on the last day of a rental period; unless the tenancy started on a periodic basis without any initial fixed term where a longer notice period may be required depending on how often the tenant is required to pay rent (for example, if the tenant pays rent quarterly, they must be given at least three months’ notice, or, if they have a periodic tenancy which is half yearly or annual, they must be given at least six months’ notice (which is the maximum)).

New Section 21 (6A) notices will automatically expire after 6 months.

Please note: In the event that a tenant has paid an amount of rent in advance and a Section 21 Notice requires them to leave during the period paid for, the tenant is entitled to a refund of the rent paid for the days they are not occupying the property.

Landlords will not be able to serve a Section 21 Notice on tenancies that begin on or after 1st October 2015 unless they have provided tenants with the following information:

  • A Gas Safety Certificate covering all fixed as well as portable gas appliances provided by the landlord for the tenants’ use.
  • The property’s Energy Performance Certificates (EPC); except where a property is not required to have an EPC – such as where the landlord is letting a room on a single AST in a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
  • The Department for Communities and Local Government “How to Rent – the checklist for renting in England”. This can be provided in electronic format, or if the tenant requests it, or does not have access to IT facilities, should be supplied in paper copy. Agents and Landlords should supply the document itself as it is unlikely a link to where the document can be found on the internet will be sufficient. This should be given at the start of a new tenancy.

Post

We will NOT arrange for re-directing the post if it continues to be delivered to the property, so please ensure that you make adequate arrangements for this, either with the Royal Mail or by leaving sufficient stamped addressed envelopes for the tenants to forward mail to you. It is respectful to ask the tenant if they mind doing this, as they may find it intrusive.

Improvements / Replacements

Austin D’arcy have been requested to replace any of the contents, fixtures or fittings in the property, the charge for taking your instructions, selecting the item and arranging for installation at the property will be 12% inc VAT (10% plus VAT) of the supplier’s total invoice, with a minimum charge of £42 inc VAT (£35 plus VAT) to cover administration.

End of Management Service

Our Management Service will NOT continue beyond the end of the tenancy. Should either party wish to terminate the management service then both parties agree to give the other three months’ notice in writing of their intentions.

Miscellaneous Duties

Outside of usual property management requirements, staff will NOT attend the property for the purpose of giving access to visiting trades people, delivery persons, etc. If an arrangement is made to attend the property on your behalf, this will be at the charge of £72 inc VAT (£60 plus VAT), per hour or part thereof.

General Data Protection Regulations 2018

In  order to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations 2018, we shall ensure that your data is:

  1. processed lawfully
  2. collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes only,
  3. adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which it is processed;
  4. accurate and up to date; and we shall take every reasonable step to ensure that your personal data, having regard to the purposes for which it was processed, is erased or rectified without delay;
  5. kept for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it was processed; however, personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by the GDPR in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of individuals; and
  6. processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.

Interest on client monies and commission

Any interest accrued on monies that we hold on your behalf will be retained by ourselves to cover bank and administration charges etc. Any commission earned by us while acting on your behalf will be retained to cover costs.

Anti-Money Laundering Policy

In order to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfers of Funds (information on the payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 2017) we require you to provide us with one proof of identity and one proof of residence, which can be selected from the list below. You should either send us the original documents for copying and returning to you; or provide us with copies certified by a solicitor as genuine. We apologise but we will not be able to accept printouts of online bank statements or utility bills

List A:

  • Full passport
  • National identity card
  • Full driving licence
  • Cheque (please mark this as “void”)

List B:

  • Council tax bill
  • Utility bill
  • Mortgage statement
  • Bank statement
  • Credit or charge card statement

If you are a public limited company we will require a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation. If the company is not quoted we require certified copies of any two of the following documents:

  • ‘Memorandum and Articles of Association’
  • ‘Certificate of Incorporation’
  • A set of your latest accounts
  • The most recent annual ‘Companies House’ return

In addition, we need proof of identity and residence of one of the directors of the company.

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