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Information for Landlords

Whatever your reason for becoming a landlord, you can relax in the knowledge that Richard Jackson Property Consultants will be able to guide you through the process, create a bespoke service to suit your requirements and ensure that your property is left in safe hands.

As members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Richard Jackson Property Consultants adhere to a strict code of practice and ensure we are kept fully informed of current legislation.

We pride ourselves on our effective marketing strategies. We maintain excellent links with local companies, relocation agents and educational institutions and are, therefore, confident that not only can we secure good tenants but do so within a reasonable timescale to ensure maximum occupancy.

We trust that you will find this section informative and helpful and would be delighted to provide more information on our services and a free of charge marketing proposal for your property.

Landlord services

We provide a comprehensive and flexible range of management services to our landlords to suit experienced, overseas or first time landlords.

We understand that your property is a valuable asset and always endeavour to maintain high professional standards worthy of your complete trust.

Tenant Find Service

This service is designed for professional landlords who are confident in the management of their property and their finances but, at the same time, wish to benefit from expertise in marketing the property and thorough referencing of tenants.

Let & Rent Service

This service is designed for professional landlords who have the knowledge and skills to manage their property but wish to utilise our comprehensive marketing and our professional accounts service.

Full Management Service

This service gives our landlords complete peace of mind. Each property and the tenants are looked after on a day-to-day basis, ensuring everything is well maintained and cared for.

Portfolio Management Service

Our Portfolio Management Service is ideal for landlords with three or more properties who require property management with one point of contact and an agent who has expertise in ensuring portfolios achieve a good yield, that void periods are kept to a minimum and that capital values are protected. We can work closely together to help landlords grow their portfolio with properties perfect for the Oxfordshire lettings market which are often not available on the open market.

Legislation and Safety

Keeping on top of all the legislative changes surrounding letting a property is enough to make anyone’s head spin.

As well as being members of ARLA we are connected to a national firm of solicitors who specialise in lettings and property law. We have immediate access to expert legal advice if it is ever needed and this advice is passed onto our landlords free of charge. All our legal documents including tenancy agreement and notices have been assessed and approved.

In respect of safety, Richard Jackson Property Consultants ensure that all current legislation is complied with, and will fully advise you on the requirements. We will be happy to undertake the organisation of the inspections on your behalf

The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998

It is a criminal offence to let a property with gas appliances, installation and pipe-work that have not been checked by a GAS SAFE registered engineer. The certificate issued lasts for twelve months and must be renewed annually whilst the property remains let.

Richard Jackson Property Consultations do not commence marketing of any property unless we are in receipt of a valid Gas Safety Certificate. If a landlord chooses to use their own contractor we require proof of their GAS SAFE registration.

Gas Safety Certificates are held on file and a copy is provided to the tenants prior to occupation.

Equally those properties with Oil or Solid Fuel heating must be regularly serviced to ensure their safety.

Update to Carbon Monoxide Legislation

In December 2010 the Health and Safety Executive released a Safety Notice to raise awareness of the potential dangers from certain types of flues connected to gas-fired central heating installations in some properties. Landlords are now obliged to take action before the 31 December 2012.

Where boilers are located away from external walls, flues are more likely to run through ceiling (or wall) voids. In such cases when the gas appliance is serviced or maintained it can be difficult, if not impossible, to determine whether the flue has been installed correctly or whether it is still in good condition.

Unless the gas engineer can make these checks they cannot ensure that the flue from the boiler is safe in order to comply with their legal duties. The engineer therefore will only be able to comply with his legal obligation if appropriate inspection hatches have been installed. Landlords are advised that after 31 December 2012 if the hatches have not been installed the gas engineer will not carry out the inspection.

If the flue is not inspected and a fault overlooked, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) could be released into the living accommodation. CO is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. It stops the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues and organs and can kill quickly, without warning.

Electrical Safety, Rental Property and The Law

Whilst the legislation for electrical safety is less explicit than that of gas safety and there is no GAS SAFE equivalent for inspection standards, it is nevertheless a statutory duty for landlords and agents to ensure that all electrical wiring and equipment present in a rental property is safe for use and maintained adequately.

Mains Installation and Fixed Wiring

The two main Acts of Parliament that impose a statutory duty on landlords with respect to safety, including electrics are:

The Consumer Protection Act 1987

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (section 11)

The only way a landlord can check that the electrical installation (the fixed wiring) in the property is safe is by having a Periodic Inspection and Report (PIR) carried out. This report identifies any deficiencies against the safety standard for electrical installations. Any areas that require attention will be detailed in the report, together with a recommendation of remedial works required, if any, in order of priority. It is considered best practice to have a PIR carried out when a property is first prepared for letting and every five years thereafter.

Portable Appliances

There are also several items of secondary legislation under the umbrella of the Consumer Protection Act which are directly relevant to the supply of electrical goods, including:

The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment Regulations 1989

The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994

The General Product (Safety) Regulations 1994

The Plugs and Sockets (Safety) Regulations 1994

Richard Jackson Property Consultants require that mains installation and fixed wiring and all portable appliances (any item with an accessible plug) to be tested prior to the commencement of the initial tenancy and a Portable Appliance Test (PAT) to be completed annually thereafter.

We are happy to undertake the organisation of the inspections on behalf of our landlords.

The PIR and PAT is held on our records and a copy provided to the tenant prior to occupation

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988

All upholstery and upholstered furnishings supplied as part of a tenancy must comply with current fire resistance standards. It is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine and/or a prison term, to let premises with furniture or soft furnishings which cannot be proven to comply with the above fire safety regulations. The regulations apply to the following which must be match resistant, cigarette resistant and carry a permanent label:

All upholstered furniture, Three piece suites, Beds and divans including the upholstered bases, Padded headboards, Sofa-beds, Furniture with loose or fitted covers, Children’s furniture, Cots and other items used by a baby or small child, Cushions, High Chairs, Mattresses of any size, Pillows, Garden Furniture which may be used indoors

Items such as carpets and curtains are not included. Any furniture manufactured prior to 1950 will be exempt, provided that they have not been re-upholstered with an illegal filling. All furnishings must carry the appropriate permanent labels to show that they comply. Any furnishings that do not comply with the regulations must be removed prior to the start of the tenancy.

Smoke Detectors

Properties built after June 1992 must have mains interlinked smoke detectors on each floor. Although older properties do not fall under these regulations, ) Richard Jackson Property Consultants that a let property must have a least one fully operational battery operated detector on each floor as a minimum requirement.

Insurance

Landlords

Landlords must have buildings and contents insurance for their rental property, and should be careful to choose an insurance policy that is designed specifically for their needs and obligations. A copy of your insurance must be provided before the start of the tenancy.

Tenants

Tenants must have insurance which covers accidental damage to the landlords property and personal liability cover should their negligence cause damage. This will help to protect a tenant’s deposit in the event of an insured incident. This cover is typically available under a contents policy. Under the terms of the tenancy agreement tenants are required to have suitable insurance cover for accidental damage that may occur to landlords contents, fixtures and fittings in place for the duration of the tenancy. Proof of insurance cover must be provided before the start date of the tenancy.

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