Acorns Lettings and Property Management
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If you currently own or intend to purchase residential property for rental around Heathrow,Staines,Stanwell,Ashford,Hampton Hill, or in Berkshire, Middlesex,West London,Surrey and now in Lockeridge,Aldbourne,Marlborough & Swindon,Wiltshire you should consider engaging our property management service. You'll find it both professional and cost-effective. As we are specialists, we know how to manage property for optimum performance, whilst ensuring smooth running tenancies, and compliance with the various ever increasing landlord/tenant laws.To maximise the return on your investment - contact us now. If you own or intend purchasing residential property for rental in any other area, please go to our UK Network page.

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  • Our Service includes -
    1. Visiting you at your property, and providing a rental valuation and any other advice which you may require about letting your property.
    2. Advising you on compliance with the various safety regulations.
    3. Locating suitable tenants. Your property will be advertised if necessary, however we have excellent contacts with various company and other establishment personnel departments, and furthermore usually have tenants waiting.
    4. Accompanying tenant applicants to view the property.
    5. Obtaining and evaluating references and credit checks.
    6. Preparing a suitable tenancy agreement and arranging signature by the tenant.
    7. Collecting and holding as stakeholders a deposit (bond) from the tenant.
    8. Preparing an inventory and schedule of condition.
    9. Checking the tenant into the property and agreeing the inventory.
    10. Supervising the transfer of gas, electricity and council tax accounts into the tenant's name.
    11. Receiving rental payments monthly in advance, and paying you promptly, together with a detailed statement from our computerised management systems.
    12. If required paying regular outgoings for you from rental payments.
    13. Inspecting the property periodically, and reporting any problems to you.
    14. Arranging any necessary repairs or maintenance, first liaising with you in the case of larger works.
    15. Keeping in touch with the tenant on a routine basis, and arranging renewals of the agreement as necessary.
    16. Checking tenants out as required, reletting and continuing the process with the minimum of vacant periods to ensure that you receive the optimum return from your property.
    We maintain a flexible attitude, and are generally able to adapt our service to meet our client's individual circumstances and needs, for example by providing a part only service, or alternatively by taking on additional tasks and duties.

    Our Fees:
    (a) Letting only: 8.0%, (b) Letting and rental receipt: 10.5%, (c) Letting,rental receipt and full management of the tenancy: 13.0%-15.0%.

    We do not charge VAT.


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    Guide for Landlords
    Before a property can be let, there are several matters which the owner will need to deal with to ensure that the tenancy runs smoothly, and also that he/she complies with the law.Acorns Lettings will always keep our clients informed of the current legislation concerning their property. For brief details of a subject click on a blue link below, or scroll down the page. If you require further advice or assistance with any matter, please do not hesitate to contact us:
    IMPORTANT UPDATE FOR LANDLORDS: A whole range of new legislation affecting landlords is being phased in during 2006/2007 relating to: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), Tenancy Deposit Protection, Selective Licensing and Accreditation Schemes. As you would expect, we will provide all of our applicable landlord clients with adequate information and advice on these provisions to ensure that they, and we, remain firmly on the right side of the law.
    Mortgage
    Leaseholds
    Sub-letting
    Insurance
    Bills and regular outgoings
    Council tax
    The inventory
    Income tax
    Important safety regulations:
    - Gas
    - Electrical
    - Furnishings
    - General Products
    Preparing the property for letting
    General condition
    Appliances
    Decorations
    Furnishings
    Personal items
    Gardens
    Cleaning
    Mail forwarding
    Info for tenants
    Keys
    Mortgage
    If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee's written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.

    Leaseholds
    If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain the necessary written consent before letting.

    Sub-letting
    If you are a tenant yourself, you will require your landlord's consent.

    Insurance
    You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies. We can advise on Landlord's Legal Protection, and Landlord's Contents insurance if required.

    Bills and regular outgoings
    We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. mortgage, service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However, where we are Managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.

    Council tax
    Council tax is the responsibility of the occupier. You should inform your local collection office that you are leaving the property. During vacant periods the charge reverts to the owner. When unoccupied but furnished, the charge was 50% of the normal rate. When unoccupied and 'substantially' unfurnished, there was no charge for the first six months, and thereafter a charge of 50% of the normal rate.These rules are constantly changing and as of April 2013 Councils now have more freedom to raise money locally so some now give zero discount,check with your local Council office first.

    The inventory
    It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents. In order to provide a complete service to the landlord, we will if requested arrange for a member of staff to prepare an inventory and schedule of condition, at a cost to be quoted.The Landlord will incur the cost for the Inventory check-in and the Tenant/s will incur the cost of the Inventory check-out.

    Income tax
    When the landlord is resident in the UK, it is entirely his responsibility to inform the Inland Revenue of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. However, where the landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, under new rules effective from 6 April 1996 Non-Residents Landlords Scheme, unless an exemption certificate is held, we as landlord's agents are obliged to retain and forward to the Inland Revenue on a quarterly basis, an amount equal to the basic rate of income tax from rental received, less certain expenses. An application form for exemption from such deductions is available from this Agency, and further information may be obtained from the Inland Revenue.



    Important safety regulations

    The following safety requirements are the responsibility of the owner (the landlord), and where we are to manage the property, they are also ours as agents. Therefore to protect all interests we ensure full compliance with the appropriate regulations, at the owner's expense.The rules & regulations are constantly changing, listed below is just a very brief summary of landlords responsibilities and some of the many many many new laws surrounding tenanted properties. Acorns Lettings hope that you find it useful.

    Booklet: "How to rent: the checklist for renting in England"
    All Landlords are now responsible (2015) for giving tenants a booklet called "How to rent:the checklist for renting in England". You can access the booklet "How to rent" ----> here: Click here

    Energy Performance Certificate
    ENERGY PERFORMANCE OF BUILDINGS (CERTIFICATES AND INSPECTIONS) (ENGLAND AND WALES) REGULATIONS 2007: From 1st October 2008,a prospective Tenant of a residential property has to be provided with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) free of charge at the commencement of marketing. EPC’s must be provided by accredited energy inspectors and they last for 10 years.

    Gas Appliances & Equipment
    Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 (amended 1996),Building Regulations 'Part L1' and some other regulations, all gas appliances in tenanted premises must be checked for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months, by a CORGI/Gas Safe registered gas engineer, and a safety certificate issued. Records must be kept of the dates of inspections, of defects identified, and of any remedial action taken.Landlords should be aware that as from April 1st 2005 you will now have to fit a more energy efficient condensing gas boiler when you replace your existing model.The new requirements are a result of 'Part L1' Building Regulations.

    Electrical Appliances & Equipment
    Under the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs & Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994,Building Regulations 'Part P' and some other regulations, electrical installations and equipment in tenanted premises must be safe. Although (unlike gas) no safety certificate is legally required (except in the case of all HMOs now), and therefore it may be adequate to perform a visual check of electrical equipment, fittings and leads, it is recommended that a qualified competent electrician working to BS 7671 be engaged for this purpose.As from 1st January 2005 electrical work on certain types of fixed electrical installations in dwellings has to comply with 'Part P' requirements of the Building Regulations.The new requirements in Regulations,'Requirement P',is simply that:P1 Design,Installation,Inspection and Testing-Reasonable provision shall be made in the design,installation,inspection and testing of electrical installations in order to protect persons from fire or injury.P2 Provision Information-Suffucient information shall be provided so that persons wishing to operate,maintain or alter any electrical installation can do so with reasonable safety.For the puposes of 'Part P',the Government has defined Competent Electrician as those registered under the NICEIC Approved Contractor Scheme,the Domestic Installer Scheme and the Electrotechnical Assessment Scheme.

    Furniture & Furnishings

    The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 & 1996) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum fire resistant standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, and beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows, and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bed clothes including duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Therefore all relevant items as above must be checked for compliance, and non-compliant items removed from the premises. In practice, most (but not all) items which comply must have a suitable permanent label attached. Items purchased since 1.3.90 from a reputable supplier are also likely to comply.

    Smoke Alarms Update:
    The Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 come into force on the 1st October 2015.The new legislation requires that all Landlords must install a working smoke alarm on every floor of a property as well as carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where solid fuel appliances are present.

    The Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS)
    The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing.Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy enviroment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.

    Disability Discrimination

    The Equality Act 2010 replaced much of the Disability Discrimination Act of 2005.However,the Disability Eqality Duty in the DDA continues to apply. These Acts define disabled peoples rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let. Landlords of let/to be let premises are required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

    General Product Safety
    The General Product Safety Regulations 1994 specify that any product supplied in the course of a commercial activity must be safe. In the case of letting, this would include both the structure of the building and its contents. Recommended action is to check for obvious danger signs - leaning walls, broken glass, sharp edges etc., and also to leave operating manuals or other written instructions about high risk items, such as hot surfaces, electric lawnmowers, etc. for the tenant.



    Preparing the property for letting

    We have found from experience that a good relationship with tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers the relationship part is our job, but it is important that the tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. This is your job. Our policy of offering a service of quality and care therefore extends to our tenant applicants too, and we are pleased to recommend properties to rent which conform to certain minimum standards. Quality rental properties attract quality tenants.

    General condition
    Electrical, gas, plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.

    Appliances
    Similarly, appliances such as washing machine, fridge freezer, cooker, dishwasher etc. should be in usable condition. Repairs and maintenance are at the landlord's expense unless misuse can be established.

    Decorations
    Interior decorations should be in good condition, and preferably plain, light and neutral.

    Furnishings
    It is recommended that you leave only minimum furnishings, and these should be of reasonable quality. It is preferable that items to be left are in the property during viewings. If you are letting unfurnished, we recommend that the property contains carpets, curtains, and a cooker.

    Personal items, ornaments etc
    Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner's risk. All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the tenant's own use.

    Gardens
    Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish-free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange maintenance visits by our regular gardener.

    Cleaning
    At the commencement of a tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the tenant's responsibility to leave the property in similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning should be arranged at their expense.

    Mail forwarding
    We recommend that you make use of the Post Office/Royal Mail redirection service. Application forms are available at their counters or online www.royalmail.com/redirection, and the cost is minimal. It is not the tenant's responsibility to forward mail.

    Information for the tenant
    It is helpful if you leave information for the tenant on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc.

    Keys
    You should provide one set of keys for each tenant. Where we are Managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required and will also hold one set in our office.


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    Letting Agent Ashford,Ascot,Hampton Hill,Harlington,Hounslow,Langley,Longford,Staines-upon-Thames,Stanwell,Shepperton,Sunbury,Weybridge,Windsor and now Lockeridge,Aldbourne,Marlborough,Clatford,Manton,West Overton & Swindon,Wiltshire. Full members of UKALA.THE UK ASSOCIATION OF LETTING AGENTS.