Here are just a couple of positive comments, from our extensive collection of satisfied Landlords.
'I have used Brookbanks for nearly 20 years to manage the letting of one property in Swanley and an additional property in Orpington. During this period I have worked overseas regularly and have needed to have the assurance that the properties would be managed efficiently and professionally to ensure that tenant free periods were minimised and any repairs and maintenance were carried out quickly and properly. This is exactly what Brookbanks has delivered over the years and I have total confidence in them to manage my properties and to provide updates and information when necessary. All this has been done with total professionalism'. Mr David C..
'Brookbanks have helped me rent my property for nearly 5 years. I deal regularly with Colin Whitebread and Jenny who are both excellent in what they do. Brookbanks have full management of my property. I trust them entirely. They are professional, courteous and always nothing is too much to ask. I will recommend Colin/Jenny and team without hesitation. Any problems are solved straightaway. I highly recommend Brookbanks and look forward to the next 5 years and more. Thank you Brookbanks' Marsha F..
We have listed the most frequently asked points when Landlords are assessing how we operate:
All viewings are by pre-arranged appointments and we never hand out keys to the prospective Tenant.
We are happy to accommodate prospective Tenants over your property during our normal office hours and will keep you advised of any helpful feedback we receive.
2. Payment of Rent
Utilising specialist computer software, we maintain up to the minute records on all managed property, receiving rent by standing order from Tenants and forwarding it directly to your nominated bank account. All rents are collected monthly in advance and we take a damages deposit from the Tenant equivalent to 5 weeks rent.
3. Credit Checks & Referencing
To ensure as far as possible that the Tenants are suitable, we employ independent companies that specialise in vetting Tenants and carry out various checks to establishe their credit worthiness.
Provided that the company accepts the Tenant we can offer our Low Cost Rent Guarantee Scheme - details available on request.
In the rare instance where some doubt still exists we will ask for responsible guarantors. With 'sharers' we obtain separate references on each individual. We normally only let to professional people in full employment and would not let to sharers without the express permission of the Landlord.
4. Tenancy Agreement
Your preferences regarding the allowing (or not) of smokers, pets and children at the property are strictly adhered to.
Our computer software is continually updated to ensure that our Tenancy Agreements comply with the most recent legislation for your proptection.
In most cases a private residential tenancy will be governed by the Housing Act 1988 (as amended in 1996) and will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. These tenancies are either for a minimum period of 6 months, or one year less one day. They can be renewed for additional 6 monthes/year or let to run on a periodic basis (month by month).
Alternatively when the Tenant is a Company, these tenancies are not governed by the Housing Act, but will include many of the same clauses and conditions of an Assured Shorthold. In these agreements the notice period is agreed between each party prior to the start of the tenancy (usually two months notice on either side).
Additionally Tenancies with an annual rent in excess of £25,000 per annum are not governed under the Housing Act and therefore take the format of a Company Tenancy.
We tailor each agreement to your exact needs and are happy to forward a draft copy to you for approval prior to signing.
5. Break Clauses
Some Tenants, both private and company require a break clause to terminate the tenancy earlier than the end of a fixed period. Such clauses are agreed prior to the commencement of a tenancy and any implications will be discussed with you at this point.
Termination of the tenancy will be in accordance with the Housing Act 1988 and any clauses stated in the tenancy agreement.
Brookbanks will only be responsible for serving notices on Tenants if the property is fully managed.
7. Marketing Your Property
Regular advertising in local newspapers and our centrally located office, ensure that we have constant enquires from Tenants. In addition we have contacts with local companies, relocation companies and recommend erecting a 'To Let' board where possible.
8. Letting Services
We offer three levels of service as complete packages, detailed below.
All fees are subject to VAT.
If you have additional needs we will try to accommodate these where practicable.
LETTING ONLY SERVICE:
Marketing your property.
Arranging viewings with potential Tenants.
Obtaining references through a credit search agency.
Preparing the Tenancy Agreement (see scale of charges in the our Terms and Conditions).
Collecting a deposit and the first months rent and forwarding balance to you net of our fees and VAT.
Engaging on your behalf and at your expense the services of an independent Inventrory Clerk, if required.
To terminate a Tenancy to gain possession of the property the Landlord must serve the appropriate notice. Brookbanks will serve such notice with written instructions from the Landlord (see scale of charges).
LETTING & RENT COLLECTION SERVICE:
Includes all the features of our Basic Letting Service but in addition we hold and protect the deposit and receive the rent monthly on your behalf, transfer it to your Bank or Building Society (net of our agreed fees and VAT) usually within 12 working days and submit to you a monthly Statement of Account.
FULL MANAGEMENT SERVICE:
Includes all the features of both our Basic Letting Service and Letting & Rent Demand Service and is suitable for Landlords who prefer not to be involved in the day to day management of their property.
FULL MANAGEMENT SERVICE during the tenancy comprises:-
Visits to your property every 6 months.
Arrange and supervise any minor repairs and maintenance needed up to an agreed limit, usually £150.00 VAT. In the event of an emergency we will exceed any repair limit you may specify if, in our opinion, this would prevent further damage to your property.
Engage on your behalf and at your expense the services of a professional surveyor to report on any major problems.
Serving notice on the Tenant to terminate the Tenancy.
We can prepare the necessary paperwork to extend a tenancy on a fixed term basis (See scale of charges in our agency terms).
Inventory and Check In/Out
Includes preparation of detailed inventroy and schedule of damages, checking at start and end of tenancy. We strongly recommend that our Landlords always have an up to date inventory and that all Tenants are checked in and out.
We use independent Inventory Clerks thus ensuring that their findings are impartial, however, we cannot accept responsiblility for their errors or omissions. The Landlord pays for the preparation of the inventory and the check in. The Tenant pays for the check out.
We will be happy to give an estimate of these costs on request.
Service Contracts etc.
Many Landords have service contracts for central heating, kitchen, electrical appliances and so on. It is advisable to keep these in force whilst the property is tenanted, leaving full details with us. Also, if you have any preferred contractors please advise us and we will endeavour to use them.
All instruction manuals should be left at the property but we advise Landlords to retain a photocopy, as these can be difficult to replace.
Please advise us of the location of the mains stopcock, distribution/fuse box, private drainage system and the alarm code (if fitted) etc.
You should maintain the property during the letting as if you were living in it yourself because:-
The expenditure may be tax deductable.
The market value of the property is maintained.
The standard of Tenant and rental value will be maintained.
Condition of the property
The property should be maintained in good decorative order inside and out. The wiring and plumbing should be safe, in a good state of repair, and the property left clean and tidy. Tenants generally check the property before paying their deposit.
There are now various laws and recommendations governing the safety of tenanted property:-
All properties that have either natural or bottled gas are required by law to have an annual Gas Safety Certificate issued by a CORGIregistered engineer and a copy given to us and the Tenant. All work carried out on any gas appliance, to include pipe work or installation, must be undertaken by a CORGI registered engineer.
Landlords have a Duty of Care under Common Law to ensure that the electrical installations and appliances are safe. From 1st January 1997, all new electrical appliances must carry a 'CE' mark and instructions must to provided. We therefore require annual PATS and 5 yearly wiring checks on all tenanted properties.
Furniture & Furnishings
All furniture including beds, devans, sofa beds, children's furniture, cots, cushions, high chairs, mattresses, pillows and seat pads left at the property by the Landlord must comply with the Fire Sefety Regulations 1988 as Amended 1993.
Furniture proven to the manufactured before 1st January 1950 and not since re-upholstered is exempt. Upholstered furniture purchased after 1993 should carry a label with the heading 'Carelessness causes fire'.
Mattresses should have a label stating compliance with BS7177.
Any items not appropriately labelled may not conform to the regulation and must be removed from the property.
From 1st October 2015, landlords are required to fit a smoke alarm to each floor of their rented property.
Please note that new build houses are required to have mains wired smoke alarms by law.
From 1st October 2015, landlords are required to fit a carbon monoxide alarm to each room with a fuel burning device.
Landlords are now required to carry out a risk assessment for the above, of their rented property.
The garden should be left neat and tidy. It is a requirement of our Rental Agreement that the Tenant keeps the grass cut, borders and paths weed free and shrubs trimmed. Adequate gardening equipment should be left for the Tenant to maintain the garden. A power breaker should be provided if any electrical garden equipment is provided.
Should you require certain plants or trees to the pruned or treated in a specialist contract gardener.
What to leave
We are happy to advise on what items to leave at the property. Unfurnished properties should normally have carpets, curtains, lampshades, kitchen with goods.
As a general rule, do not leave items of a personal or sentimental nature, or valuables of any kind.
Please make arrangements with Royal Mail to have your post re-directed.
There should be at least two full sets for the Tenant, including the garage, shed, window locks etc, and
ONE FULL SET OF KEYS
For us to hold for emergencies and inspections.
When an inventrory has been prepared and the Tenant checked in and out, with the exception of fair wear and tear, any deterioration will be corrected and the cost deducted from the deposit.
The Inland Revenue state that all UK derived income is subject to taxation after the deduction of allowable expenses. It is your responsibility to advise the Tax Authorities that you are renting out your property. We are able to offer general guidance regarding allowable expenses, but strongly recommend you instruct an Accountant.
If you are living or going abroad, the Government requires the letting agent to deduct Income Tax from rental income before passing it to you unless you register with the Inland Revenue as a Non Resident Landlord and supply us with confirmation of an approval number issued by the Inland Revenue.
Application Form for Non resident Landlord to recieve UK rental income gross, can be found here:-
Council Tax is payable by the Tenant of the property and a clause to this effect is included in our tenancy agreement.
During void periods, the Landlord is responsible for this payment and the basic rules are:-
Substantially unfurnished - first six months totally exempt, thereafter 50% of the Council Tax payable.
Furnished dwellings - 50% of the Council Tax payable.
Ground Rent & Maintenance
The Landlord is usually responsible for the ground rent and any service charges and the maintenance of the property.
Insurance & Mortgages
It is your responsibility to advise your mortgage provider that you intend to rent your property out. Most Banks and Building Societys require you to seek their permission.
Your buildings and contents insurance should be amended to account for the fact that the property is tenanted.
We have access to Insurance and Mortgage providers who specialise in the rental market and will be pleased to pass your details to them if required.
If you are a Tenant of Lessees, permission to let must be sought from your Landlord for subletting and must be permitted by your lease. the intended letting period must expire prior to the termination of your own lease. It is your resposiblility to obtain this consent.
We hope this has answered any questions you may have however, please contact us if you would like to discuss any further information.
Brookbanks, Letting & Management Department, 41 High Street, Swanley, Kent, BR8 8AE
Tel: 01322 666452 or 01322 613949
Fax: 01322 665838
PROPERTIES REQUIRED IN
SWANLEY, HEXTABLE, CROCKENHILL, EYNSFORD, FARNINGHAM, WILMINGTON, SOUTH DARENTH, HORTON KIRBY, SUTTON AT HONE, WEST KINGSDOWN, DARTFORD, CRAYFORD and GREENHITHE