Lets get serious!
Landlords and tenants trust us to deliver. Our professional, loyal and empathic approach to lettings works for both parties on every tenancy. In 20 years of looking after hundreds of properties our experience and expertise adds value to the contract for both parties. That's why landlords stay with us and why tenants rent through us, and on some occasions come to us as landlords.
Residential property ownership is the biggest capital outlay most people will ever make. Those who have made this commitment and find themselves, for numerous reasons, in a position where their property is vacant for a sustained period of time, or who have purchased residential property in order to supplement their income, may find that letting out their property can, if managed properly, provide a useful source of income.
As a specialist in the lettings market, we are aware that your property is valuable to you and, therefore, will endeavour to ensure your peace of mind at all times.
We place great emphasis on finding the right tenant for the right property, vetting all potential tenants prior to releasing any information to them about properties on our books.
We do not charge tenants a registration fee as we feel that this could constitute a conflict of interest, as a consequence, tenants prefer to rent through ourselves.
We do however, charge tenants a very competitive Administration Fee, which is minimal compared with the charges that other local agents make.
We offer a six-day-a-week service to enable a flexible appointment and viewing schedule and we also offer viewings in the early evening.
We produce attractive window displays including internal photographs for executive properties taken by our in-house photographer.
We accompany all viewings unless the landlord instructs us otherwise.
We have no hidden charges. We offer two levels of service to suite individual needs and requirements. Our Non-Managed/Introduction Only service is our most basic while our Full Management Service is our most comprehensive and deals with most issues of property management required on a daily basis. For landlords who are working or living abroad, for instance, this level of service is very attractive.
Most importantly, our services are based on one principle, “to treat each property as if it were our own.”
This service is our most basic and includes the following:
We currently charge a one off fee of 12% inclusive of VAT or 10% plus VAT of the first year’s rental income. We will invoice the landlord. The landlord is then responsible for all further rental incomes and property management issues. Inventory preparation is available for a small additional charge.
This includes everything that is offered in our ‘Non-Managed/Introduction Only’ service as well as:
The Management Fee is 16.8% Inclusive of VAT Or 14% plus VAT of each month’s rental income. (to be deducted on a monthly basis).
Michael Morris is not a member of a Client Money Protection Scheme.
Please note that we are a member of the TPO scheme and subscribe to its code of practice. http://www.tpos.co.uk/
(A consumer guide is available upon request)
Right to Cancel :
You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days of the date that it is entered into without giving any reason. If you wish to cancel you must make a clear statement to us such as (an email or letter) and send this to us within 14 days. Please note that if an agreed sale has taken place before cancellation then fees will be due as per our agreement, please note that you will be liable for any costs /
expenditure incurred ie: photography, Floorplans and EPC.
How much rent will I get?
The style, location and condition of your property, amenities and current market conditions drive rental levels. We aim to maximise your weekly rental returns while maintaining high occupancy rates.
Should my property be rented as furnished or unfurnished?
Many owners ask us this question. Largely this depends on current market conditions. Several factors come into play, including the style and location of your property, desired rental returns and occupancy rates. If you decide to leave your property part-furnished it is often better to leave carpets, curtains and basic kitchen appliances, e.g., washing machine, cooker and fridge, if possible. However, we can let your property with any combination of furnishings. It is important to bear in mind that the landlord is normally responsible for repairing anything that remains in the property, unless damaged by the tenant’s wilful neglect.
What should I do to prepare my property for rental?
The property should be in good decorative order, clean and tidy both internally and externally and all windows should be cleaned. Gardens should be in a tidy condition since the tenant is required to maintain this condition; the appropriate tools should be supplied. If the Landlord intends to employ the services of a gardener or cleaner, the appropriate arrangements should be finalised prior to commencement of the tenancy. It is advisable to add any additional agreement to the contract by way of Addendum. Michael Morris are happy to do this on your behalf.
All appliances including central heating systems should be checked and serviced before the tenant occupies the property. Where possible, maintenance contracts should be taken out and details of these contracts and companies involved should be held at our office (for our Full Management clients) together with warranty registration documents, etc. All appliances operating manuals and instruction booklets should be left at the property for use by the tenant.
With effect from October 1994, the Landlord has a legal responsibility to maintain all gas appliances in the property and supply a current Gas Safety Certificate. If required, Michael Morris can arrange this on your behalf at a charge of £55.00 plus VAT. A gas certificate is not sufficient. There is currently no legislation in regards to portable appliances, however, we recommend you test these as well.
In the event of letting your property furnished, your must be aware of the Consumer Protection Act 1897 Section 12(1) and the subsequent 1988 Regulations in regards to soft furnishings. Our office can provide you with detailed guidelines regarding this subject.
It is advisable to have smoke alarms fitted in all rented accommodation prior to occupation and to ensure tenants are advised to regularly test them and replace batteries as necessary. Furthermore, The Building Regulations 1991 state it is a requirement that all properties since June 1992 be fitted with a mains operated inter-linked smoke alarm system.
Owners are requested to leave as much information as possible at the property for tenants regarding any little idiosyncrasies relating to the property, appliances, etc.
Instructions relating to electrical equipment and central heating systems should also be left, as problems can arise when machines break down because they have not been used properly, due to lack of instructions.
How will you advertise my property for rental?
We have three key objectives when marketing your property for rental: To achieve maximum possible rental income
To lease the property in the quickest possible time
To effectively promote your property to the widest possible audience, through a variety of media including:
Overseas and domestic trends show exponential growth in Internet usage. Our website enables prospective tenants to view your property 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the comfort of their home or workplace.
Our Finsbury Park Offices
Our marketing expertise and reputation means a large number of tenants come to us first.
We advertise our rental properties in ‘Loot’, the classified advertising website and newspaper.
Will I be charged for advertising?
No. Advertising is provided free of charge for all properties let by Michael Morris Estate Agents.
What are your fees?
We charge a flat fee based on rent collected, no charges are made for inspections, disbursements or managing maintenance projects.
How do I get paid?
Funds are transferred directly into your bank account or by cheque. For overseas clients, we can arrange payment by telegraphic transfer.
What accounting information do you provide?
For our Full Management clients, we provide a monthly financial statement and pay funds into your UK bank or building society account each month. We are happy to pay any of the outgoings on the property that you require, including service contracts, insurance, etc. However, at our discretion, we may request that a bill be settled directly by you should it exceed one month’s rent.
What insurance should I have?
We recommend you have house cover including a loss of rent extension. A loss of rent extension provides compensation for lost rental income should your property become uninhabitable due to fire, flood or other calamity. Your insurance company or broker will be able to provide expert advice on insurance matters.
Do I need to inform my mortgage lender of my intention to rent my property?
If the property is let under mortgage, it is normally necessary to obtain the mortgage company’s consent to the letting. The majority of Banks and Building Societies have approved our contract, however, should there by any special requirements, we will liase with your lender. Some lenders charge an administrative fee; others may increase the mortgage rate by a half to one percent if they suspect you are letting the property for commercial reasons.
As a Leaseholder, do I need to inform the Freeholder that I will be renting my property?
If you are a leaseholder, it may be necessary to inform your Freeholder that you are letting the property. Please refer to your lease.
What taxation issues are relevant to me?
The Inland Revenue requires rental income to be declared. Likewise, a number of related tax deductions are available to the property investor. These include:
Repairs and maintenance costs
Interest on associated borrowings
For expert advice we suggest you contact your Accountant. Alternatively, contact us and we can put you in touch with an Accountant.
What amount of deposit do tenants pay?
Tenants pay a deposit of one month’s rent prior to moving into a property. Deposits are retained by the Landlord (Non-Managed/Introduction Only service) or by us under the government’s Tenants Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS).
What is included in the rental price?
Rents can include or exclude water rates, as preferred, with the tenants being liable for their own council tax, gas, electricity and telephone accounts. Immediately before the tenants take occupation, we read all utility meters. The accounts are then transferred into the tenant’s name for the duration of the tenancy.
How often will you inspect my property? (Offered to Full Management clients)
Every six months. We will highlight any obvious maintenance problems that require attendance. After this initial inspection a regular schedule of inspections is set.
Occasionally, we will recommend a refurbishment to maintain the property in an attractive condition. Should this occur, we will liase with you and contractors to ensure minimal disruption to tenants and your income.
What maintenance contractors do you use?
We use a range of contractors across all trades. Our contractors are independent of Michael Morris Estate Agents and are selected for their response times, quality workmanship and competitive pricing. If you have relationships with your own contractors and would like us to continue using them for your property, we are happy to accommodate this.
What bills can you pay on my behalf from the rental income?
All bills relating to your property can be directed to us and we will pay them on your behalf.
Do you still charge me if my property is vacant?
No, we will not charge you if your property is vacant.
What if I decide to sell the property?
If you decide to put your property on the market we are legally required to give your tenant written notice of this. If your property is sold and the purchaser requires vacant possession the tenant must be given 42 days notice to vacate. Again, Michael Morris Estate Agents can do all of this for you, and put you in contact with the appropriate people should you require assistance to market your property for sale.
This does not apply to fixed term tenancies, where the tenant is guaranteed a security of tenure.