What is involved with the managed service we offer to our landlords and how does it differ from our introduction only service?
Marketing & tenancy process for both Managed and Introduction Only service.
(M- Managed – I/O Introduction Only.)
I/O – Basic photo package
I/O – Listing’s on Rightmove/NJH website
M – ‘Dress To Impress’ photo package
I/O & M – 6 days a week
I/O & M – AST
I/O & M – Clauses
M – Prescribed Information
I/O – Initial GDPR Compliance
M – GDPR compliance
Documents to tenants
(All including in our Introduction Only & Managed service)
- Gas safety record
- Damp & Mould leaflet
- Fire leaflet
- Legionella leaflet
Attachments to Contracts (All including in our Introduction Only & Managed service)
I/O & M- Guarantors
I/O & M – Right To Rent Checks
I/O & M – Student IDs
I/O – Deposit sent to landlord to register
M – Deposit registration
M – TDS Leaflet sent to tenants
M – TDS certificate sent to tenants upon registration
M – Prescribed Information relevant to the deposit scheme signed and sent to tenants
You could be fined up to x3 the total deposit if you don’t comply with these 3 requirements within 30 days of the tenants paying their deposit!
Student Property Management Service
As a managing agent, it is our objective to ensure our landlord’s and their properties are looked after to the highest standard. We understand that your property is your business and each of our landlords have different priorities and expectations as to how they ideally would anticipate their property is managed. We take the time to get to know our landlords and what is important to each of them to ensure this is reflected in the service we endeavour to provide.
In our experience, happy tenants (and guarantors!) result in well looked after properties. We understand that for a lot of our tenants, it is their first time living away from their family home or student halls. Often issues that arise during tenancies are ones that are easily avoidable with a bit of help and guidance. We strive to educate our tenants and provide them with the tools and resources to look after and maintain their property in a ‘tenant like manner’.
As well as creating an experience for both our landlord and tenants, we also work closely with the council and keep up to date with the ever changing laws and legislations surrounding property management.
In this day and age, managing a property isn’t as black and white as responding to maintenance issues and collecting rent. It is our job as managing agent to ensure we are proactive with all new obstacles and challenges coming into force and ensure we remain compliant.
We provide ourselves on keeping our landlords, our properties and our tenants safe and happy and believe it to be the foundation of our service.
Start Of Tenancy
A detailed condition report of the internal and external of the property (inc photos) is carried out before at the beginning of the tenancy in to order for both tenant and agent to have a clear understanding of how we expect the property to be left at the end of their tenancy and ensure tenant understand that they will be accountable for any damages.
Allocated timeslots are booked in for our tenants to collect their keys from the office. This gives us the chance to meet our new tenants, give them an initial introduction to the property (keys, alarms etc) and provide them with their welcome pack.
- Gas Safety Record
- HMO Licence
- ASB guidelines
- A guides to looking after the property – Do’s and Don’ts
- Mould prevention guide
- Details of our emergency contractors
Mid Term Inspections
A report of the condition of the property will be taken to monitor how the tenants are looking after the property and offer any advice of improvements required. We will keep you updated with all feedback and action being taken.
End Of Tenancy
Pre check out inspection
- To give advice and helpful tips to our tenants of what action they will need to take to ensure the property is brought up to an acceptable standard before they leave the property.
- It allows us enough time to start considering remedial works that may need to be carried out at the property and ensure our contractors are booked in accordingly.
- With such a competitive marketing season just around the corner, it’s the perfect time for us to start advising you on any works that will help to futureproof your property and get it let quickly.
Check out inspection
At the end of the tenancy our property management team will visit the property to take an in depth report regarding the condition of the property. The inventory taken at the beginning of the tenancy is used as a reference tool and supports any deductions made from the tenants’ deposit.
The move out report will be sent to our tenants with an itemised pricelist of any deductions made. All deductions and costs incurred by the tenant are to subsidise the costs of the work to bring the property back to the same standard it was upon the beginning of the tenancy.
As you would expect, tenants are not always forthcoming with parting with money and will often dispute deductions made from their deposit. Luckily, as we will have carried out a detailed inventory at the beginning of the tenancy and worked closely with the tenants during their tenancy we are usually able to resolve any disputes and help the tenants understand the charges.
On the rare occasion, the dispute is taken to the TDS in order for an external adjudicator to mediate between Agent & Tenant. We will provide and complete all of the evidence for our case and ensure we win as much (if not all) of the disputed deposit back.
Did you know we have an arrears team that spend all of their time focusing their attention on chasing overdue rent and ensuring your rent is with you as quickly as possible.
Week 1 – Initial letter to tenant
Week 2 – Letter to tenant and guarantor
Week 3 – Letter to all tenants & all guarantors
Week 4 – Intended County Court Judgement Proceedings letter
Tenants are on a joint tenancy therefore any arrears will affect the whole household. Although we will initially chase the tenant (& guarantor) in arrears, if they do not pay the household will be pursued for the outstanding amount.
Defects & Maintenance
We use an online portal which is accessible to our tenants 24/7, 365 days of the year.
Not only does this diffuse the majority of maintenance issues before a contractor is called out, it also gives our tenants advice and tips on what they can do to resolve the issue themselves and also their responsibilities as tenants – even when the office isn’t open, tenants have round the clock support from our maintenance portal.
We understand that our landlord’s often have their own preference when choosing contractors. We are more than happy to use our landlord’s contractors to complete works on the understanding that the required documentation (insurance etc) is supplied and qualifications (if applicable.)
We only use contractors that we trust to price fairly and finished to a high standard, as our contractors represent Nicholas Humphreys it is imperative that we ensure our service is reflected in the work they complete on the behalf of us and our landlords.
Unfortunately, there can occasionally be a difference of opinion between tenants and agent/landlord. Any complaints received from a tenant will be dealt with directly by Nicholas Humphreys. We will always work toward defusing and resolving any issues before involving the landlord. If the complaint is escalated to the Ombudsman, Nicholas Humphreys will continue to work on your behalf in order try to resolve the issue.
Manchester City Council are working hard to eliminate Anti-Social Behaviour and eradicate any acts that may be considered to cause annoyance or distress in the community
Types of Anti-Social Behaviour include;
- · Domestic noise – such as shouting, loud music, DIY, dogs barking etc.
- · Build up of rubbish causing foul smells and overflowing bins
- · Fly-tipping
- · Graffiti
If a case of Anti-Social Behaviour is reported to Nicholas Humphreys the following steps are taken;
Step One: Warning Letter from the branch to both tenants and guarantors
Step Two: House visit from the Property Manager and Senior member of staff (planned monthly visits if necessary)
Step Three: If there is no significant improvement after monthly house visits, Nicholas Humphreys will liaise with the local authority regarding the next steps and arrange joint inspections.
Step Four: Serve notice, Section 8 under ground 14.
Nicholas Humphreys supply an information pack to our managed tenants at the beginning of the tenancy supplying advice on how to avoid receiving an Anti Social Behaviour order from the council.
Our property management team will attend any required HMO inspections with a representative from the council.
Following on from the inspection, if works are required, we will get quotes for any works required at the property and ensure that the property is compliant and in line with all HMO regulations.
If a follow up inspection/photos are required by the council, Nicholas Humphreys will ensure either is complete prior in the timeframe specified.
As with our arrears department, we now have a property manager focusing solely on safety records to ensure your property is compliant and meets the HMO requirements including;
- Mandatory/Additional/Selective HMO License – Every 5 years
- Electrical safety record – Every 5 years.
- Gas safety record – Yearly
- Legionella Risk Assessment – Yearly.
- Fire Safety Inspection – Either every year or 6 months depending on the system at the property. A LD1 Fire Panel System (Usually required in HMO’s consisting of 6 or more occupants) requires testing every 6 months.
- Emergency Lighting Test – Not a legal requirement, but recommended for all HMO’s.
- PAT Testing – Yearly.
- Energy Performance Certificate – Every 10 years.
Legionella Risk Assessment- As part of our managed service we will carry out an assessment each year prior to tenants moving into a property.
Other Legislations & laws surrounding property management to be aware of;
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985
Section 11 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 sets out the obligations on a landlord. These largely relate to the structure of the property to ensure a base standard of property habitation.
Sections 11-17 of the Act state that the landlord shall:
- Keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house (including drains, gutters and external pipes)
- Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for the supply of water, gas and electricity and for sanitation (including basins, sinks baths and sanitary conveniences but not for other fixtures, fittings and appliances for making use of the supply of water, gas or electricity)
- Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for space heating and heating water
The Deregulation Act 2015
All maintenance issues legally must be reported in writing.
Section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015 seeks to provide tenants with protection against retaliatory evictions by requiring the landlord to show evidence that they have resolved (or are in the process of resolving) the issue before allowing them to issue a Section 21 notice. To activate this protection a tenant is required to put any complaint of disrepair in writing to the landlord, who is then required to issue the tenant with an adequate response in writing within 14 days that provides a description of the proposed action to address the complaint and sets out a reasonable timescale within which that action will be taken.
If a property manager or landlord (knowingly or unknowingly) appoints a contractor whose certifications and insurances have lapsed and their work causes an incident which itself causes damage or injury to anyone on-site, the property management company could be liable, leading to fines and even criminal prosecution if the incident is deemed severe enough to warrant that level of punishment. This may also be the case if the property manager or landlord fails to meet health and safety regulations and an incident occurs.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) April 2018
From 1 April 2018 it will be unlawful for landlords to grant new tenancies of properties that have an energy efficiency rating of F and G on its EPC. We have been working closely with one of our most reputable contractors, not only to ensure that required works are carried out but also to incorporate any government schemes available to help assist with the financial costs to do so.
GDPR May 2018
The rights of individuals over their data are now much stronger, a property manager must determine the purposes and means of processing tenants’ personal data.
The basis in which a property manager can process personal data is that it is in the legitimate interests of the landlord to manage a property using a property manager. As such, consent is not required to process tenants’ personal data, but under GDPR sharing guidelines, it must be processed fairly and lawfully. In order for the processing to be considered fair, property managers will need to explain to tenants how their data will be processed and who it will be shared with, and include this information in a privacy notice.
Additionally, property management businesses should have appropriate technical and
organisational measures in place to protect personal data that is shared – for instance, a repairs and maintenance management platform should have comprehensive inbuilt security and monitoring features and ideally undergo periodic, independent penetration tests.
As far as compliance breaches are concerned, one of the most serious will occur if a tenant’s data is sent to anyone who has no business receiving or using it – in a repairs and maintenance situation, that might occur if you are sending details to a contractor so they can complete a repairs tasks, but accidentally send them to someone else. This will constitute a serious data breach that must be reported to the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) within 72 hours. If you are found to have breached the terms of GDPR, you could be fined up to 4% of your turnover (or, if you’re a larger company, up to £20 million) – non-compliance here could, therefore, significantly affect the future of your company.
Fitness for Human Habitation Bill
The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) was introduced in 2006 to help local authorities enforce conditions in the private rented sector. It is comprised of 29 hazards ranging from excesses in temperature to fire and carbon monoxide hazards that represent a significant risk to the health of occupants of a property. Each hazard is assessed separately and can be classed as either Category 1 or Category 2. A hazard is classed as Category 1 if it is deemed a serious and immediate risk to a person’s health and safety. If a hazard is deemed less serious or less urgent, it is classed as Category 2.
The HHSRS will be a key part of the Fitness for Human Habitation Bill as a way of assessing whether properties are fit for human habitation. This means that landlords and property managers have to assess properties carefully to ensure they are not in breach of any of the cited 29 hazards.
Arranging a visit and authorised access
It is absolutely critical to ensure that there is no breach of a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property. They have an exclusive right to occupy the property, so giving them the opportunity to confirm and record the fact that you are able to access the property using keys is absolutely critical. They may wish to be present or they may be happy for the works to be carried out when they are absent, but specific times and dates of visits must be agreed in advance and there should never be any unauthorised entry to the property.
While there are no direct penalties for doing so, the effect on the relationship with the tenant could be damaging – if the property is an HMO property, they might also complain to the local authority tenancy relations officer, which could affect an application for HMO license renewal.