Lettings Term's & Condition's
Various Acts of Parliament cover letting property. There must be adherence to such Acts by both the Landlord and Agent before the Property can be let. Specifically, the Landlord and Agent agree and acknowledge that:
1) The Agent has a duty to any potential tenant(s) (the ‘Tenant’) to make sure that both the Agent and Landlord are legally entitled to offer them a tenancy. If the Landlord has a mortgage there may be a requirement for them to obtain the lender’s permission before letting the Property. The Agent may assist and offer advice on how to do this. If there are joint owners, the Landlord must inform the Agent of who they are, and their permission will be needed in writing before the Agent is authorised to act for the Landlord.
2) Under the Consumer Protection Acts, the Property must be fit for someone to live in at the point of letting. The Agent will inspect the Property and inform the Landlord of anything it is felt that may not meet those laws. Any repairs that are deemed necessary must be completed before the Agent allows the Property to be let.
3) All furniture and soft furnishings supplied by the Landlord as part of the tenancy must meet the Fire and Furnishing Regulations Act 1988.
4) The Landlord must have a valid Gas Safety Certificate (CP12) for the Property before the start of the tenancy. This is a requirement under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations Act 1994. If a valid certificate is not provided to the Agent 3 working days prior to the start of the tenancy, then the Landlord agrees that this will be arranged to be completed by the Agent and chargeable to the Landlord.
5) The Low Voltage Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations Act 1989 and Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations Act 1994 deal with the safety of electrical appliances and wiring. Although these regulations are not a legal requirement, the Agent reserves the right to instruct the Landlord to have this completed.
6) The Landlord must inform their insurers once the Property is let. The Landlord should seek specific advice from an Insurance professional about insurance cover that makes sure that there is no liability in the event of the Tenant or any visitors being injured in the Property. The Agent cannot provide advice on insurance matters and it is the Landlord’s obligation to make sure that there is adequate cover.
7) If there is a garden, the Landlord needs to indicate to the Agent how they expect the Tenant to maintain it. This will need to become a condition of the tenancy. The Landlord should elect from the following options:
i. The garden must be maintained according to the time of year. Recommended if there is not much garden and it just needs to look tidy.
ii. The tenant must mow the lawn, trim the hedges & weed the garden regularly. Recommended if there is a lawn and some hedges. The Landlord must provide the garden tools the Tenant will need for this, and have an RCD protected electrical supply (an electrical supply with a circuit breaker to prevent electrocution), and provide safety gloves.
iii. The Landlord will provide a gardener and pay 75% of the cost of this, and the tenant must pay 25% of the cost. Recommended if the gardens are landscaped. As the Office of Fair Trading state that tenants do not have a long-term benefit from the garden, the Landlord should pay the greater share of the cost, as they receive the long-term benefit.
8) The Landlord must notify the Agent of any restrictions in the lease or freehold documents pertaining to the Property. For example, clauses preventing you from parking caravans or commercial vehicles on the drive. The Agent will not be liable for the departure of a Tenant caused by a restriction that the Agent was not made aware of. Additionally the Landlord will still remain liable for any Agent fees and may be liable to the Tenant for damages.
1) General Authority:
The Landlord confirms that he/she is the sole or joint owner of the Property and has the right to rent out the Property under the terms of the mortgage or head lease. Where necessary, the Landlord confirms that permission to let has been granted by the mortgagee. The Landlord authorises the Agent to carry out the various duties of property management as detailed in page 3 & 4. The Landlord also agrees that the Agent may take and hold deposits. It is declared that the agent may earn and retain commission on insurance policies issued.
2) Reasonable Costs & Expenses:
The Landlord agrees to repay the Agent for any reasonable costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on the Agent provided that they were incurred on behalf of the Landlord pursuant to the duties of the agent under the terms of this agreement. To assist the Agent in carrying out his duties effectively, the Landlord agrees to respond promptly with instructions where necessary to any correspondence or requests from the Agent.
The Landlord agrees to provide the letting property in good and lettable condition and that the property, beds, sofas and all other soft furnishings confirm to the current fire safety regulations. The Landlord agrees to make the Agent aware of any on-going maintenance problems. Subject to a retained maximum expenditure limit (UK landlords: £200, overseas landlords: £250) on any single item or repair, and any other requirements or limits specified by the Landlord, the Agent will administer any miscellaneous maintenance work that needs to be carried out on the property (although the administration of major works or refurbishment will incur an additional charge). ‘Retained maximum expenditure limit’ means that the Agent has authority to spend up to this amount (or other amount as individually agreed) on reasonable improvements or repairs in any single monthly accounting period without prior reference to the Landlord.
For expenditure in excess of this, the Agent would normally request authorisation in advance, although it is agreed that in an emergency or for reasons of contractual necessity where reasonable endeavours have been made to contact the Landlord, the Agent may reasonably exceed the limits specified. By law, it is necessary to carry out an annual inspection and service for the central heating and any gas appliances. The Agent will carry this out on the Landlord’s behalf and expense and administer the necessary inspection and maintenance records. The reasonable costs involved will be debited to the landlord’s account.
4) Safety Regulations:
The Landlord confirms that they have read Law & Regulations for residential Letting in England & Wales. The Landlord confirms that they are aware of these obligations. It is agreed that the Landlord shall ensure that the property is made available for letting in a safe condition and in compliance with above regulations. The Landlord agrees to repay the Agent costs in incurring any reasonable expenses or penalties that may be suffered as a result of non-compliance of the property to fire and appliance safety standards.
The Landlord shall be responsible for the property being adequately insured and that the insurance policy covers the situation where the property is let. The Agent would normally be responsible for the administration of any claims arising during the period of management where the property is being fully managed. However an additional fee of 15% + VAT (of the claim amount) may be charged to cover the time spent for handling the claim.
6) Overseas Residents
When letting property and collecting rents for landlords overseas, the Agent is obliged by the Taxes Management Act (TMA)1970 and the Taxation of Income from Land (Non-Residents) Regulations Act 1995 to deduct tax (at the basic tax rate) to cover any tax liability, unless the landlord has been authorised in writing by Inland Revenue to receive rent gross. In this situation, the Agent also requests that the Landlord appoints an accountant or reserves the Agent the right to employ a suitably qualified accountant in order to manage correspondence with the Inland Revenue. A standard annual charge will be made for this work and reasonable administration expenses may be charged by the Agent for further work requested by the Landlord, the Landlord’s accountant or the Inland Revenue in connection with such tax liabilities. In many cases, landlord’s tax liability is minimal when all allowable costs are deducted.
7) Other Obligations:
- Pay the Agents fees as outlined in Page 2 of this Agreement. Such fee will be deducted from the money received from the Tenant and the balance will be sent to the Landlord within 5 days of the start of the Tenancy. VAT will be added at the prevailing rate.
- Pay any other fees or expenses in full within seven days of receiving a demand for payment. This includes repayment to the Agent if the Agent received Housing Benefit payments for the Tenant but then the Local Authority decides those payments have been overpaid and the Agent has to repay them to the Local Authority. The Landlord also agrees to pay the Agent’s reasonable costs and fines if the Agent is prosecuted for managing a House in Multiple Occupation because the Landlord failed to get a Licence where one is needed.
- Authorise the Agent to sign all legal documents in connection with matters arising from the Tenancy Agreement on the Landlord’s behalf except Court Applications.
- Should the Landlord, advisors or mortgagees require amendment of the contract or require the Agent enter into further work or correspondence, a fee for this extra work may be requested (or you may have the tenancy agreement amended by your own adviser at your own expense). This must be done before the tenancy commences.
- Be responsible for inspections during ‘voids’ (when the Property is empty).
- Provide contact details for themselves at all times.
- Inform the Agent of any items that are currently in the Property but which will not be included in the new tenancy.
- Pay the Agent any legal costs and damages suffered as a result of the Landlord breaking any of their legal responsibilities.
- Inform the Agent beforehand about any tenants the Landlord may not want. For example, smokers, people with pets, people on Housing Benefit and so on.
- Give the Agent two months’ notice so that they can arrange all matters in connection with ending their management of the Property in the event that the Property is going to be sold.
- The Landlord will be required to re-imburse the Agent / Tenant any overpaid rent on a pro-rata basis should the tenant vacate early in order to accommodate new incoming tenant or once a notice has been served to the tenant.
1) Initial Commission
a) In the event that Oyster Properties introduces a tenant who enters into an agreement to rent the landlord’s property (the “Initial Agreement”), commission becomes payable to Oyster Properties, whether or not the tenancy is finalised by Oyster Properties.
b) The Initial Commission fee is payable on the commencement of the tenancy and charged as a percentage of the total annual rental amount of the agreed term as specified in the tenancy agreement.
2) Renewal Commission
a) Oyster Properties will endeavour to contact both the landlord and the tenant before the end of the Initial Agreement to negotiate an extension of the tenancy, if so required.
b) In the event that the tenant renews, extends, hold over and or enters into a new agreement for which rental income is received, commission become payable to Oyster Properties (Renewal Commission).
c) The Renewal Commission fee is due and payable on the commencement of each Renewal taking place within two years from the expiry of the Initial Agreement.
d) Where there is no agreed term for a Renewal, the Renewal Commission fee is charged as a percentage of the total annual rental amount as if the Renewal would be for the same duration as the Initial Agreement.
e) Renewal Commission will be due in respect of Renewals where the original tenant remains in occupation. Where there is more than one tenant, Renewal Commission will be payable in full where any or all of them remain in occupation.
f) Renewal Commission will be due whether or not the renewal, extension, hold over or new agreement with the tenant is negotiated by Oyster Properties.
g) Liability for Renewal Commission will come to an end once the property has been sold.
3) Early Termination
a) If the tenancy agreement is terminated in accordance with a break clause, Oyster Properties will refund any commission already received for the remaining period of the tenancy. The commission will be refunded within 14 days of the tenant vacating the property.
b) If the tenant terminated the tenancy agreement prior to the end of the tenancy term and the tenant vacates the property, Oyster Properties will refund the commission for the remaining period of the tenancy to the landlord to the extent that this is not recoverable from the tenant’s deposit.
c) If the tenant vacates the property prior to the end of the period for which Renewal Commission has been paid, Oyster Properties will refund the commission for the remaining period within 14 days of the tenant vacating the property.
Our processes are created to maximise the probability that your rent will be paid on time. We vet all potential applicants using an independent reference company to carry out credit and reference checks.
In addition, we offer our own comprehensive rent protection – a simplified policy with very limited exclusions. For our fully managed service we have set our own management service standards where all rents are always paid to landlords within 2 working days of receipt. If the rent is delayed we will continuously chase the tenant keeping you updated throughout.
1) Utility Services:
The Agent will take meter readings whenever possible at each change of occupation in the Property and inform the service companies (electricity, gas and water) of these readings and change of occupation. In many cases, the service companies (e.g. BT) require that the new occupiers formally request and authorise the service and it is not possible for the Agent to do this on the tenant’s or Landlord’s behalf.
- Where the property is empty, let as a holiday accommodation, let as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) responsibility for payment of council tax rests with the client.
- Where the property remains Fully Managed by Oyster Properties, bills can be paid and deducted from rent after re-let.
- Where the property is no longer managed by Oyster Properties at the end of the tenancy, bills will NOT be paid on client’s behalf. They will be the client’s responsibility.
- Service Charge, Telephone, TV, etc. are the client’s responsibility. If bills are forwarded to Oyster Properties then payments can be arranged on client’s behalf.
- Client must arrange to have their mail forwarded to their new address. Tenants cannot be relied upon to forward the mail to us.
2) Disclosure of Landlord’s details to Spark Energy
When the property is let gas and electricity will be provided, or will be in the process of being provided by Spark Energy Supply Limited (“Spark Energy”). However this will not prevent the Landlord from changing to a different energy provider if desired.
The Landlord agrees that the letting agent may pass the Landlord’s name and contact details to Spark Energy for the purposes of:
- Registering the gas and electricity meters at the property in the Landlord name with Spark Energy, providing gas and electricity to the Landlord and administering the Landlord’s account with Spark Energy;
- Registering the Landlord with the relevant local authority for the payment of council tax; and
- Registering the Landlord with the incumbent water supplier to the property. The water supplier may contact the Tenant in order to provide further information about its services and products and conclude an agreement with the Tenant for those services and products.
Spark Energy will use the Landlord’s details only for the purposes set out above and not in any other way. Spark Energy will comply with its obligations as a data controller in the Data Protection Act 1998 and will handle Landlord’s data in the manner set out in Spark Energy’s standard terms and conditions and/or privacy notice. If the Landlord has any questions regarding details or use of the Landlord’s data held by Spark Energy, the Landlord may contact Spark Energy at Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk TD7 5EB or firstname.lastname@example.org or 0345 034 7474.
Should it be necessary, the Agent will prepare an inventory for the Property and a charge will be made for this depending on the size of the inventory. The standard inventory will include all removable items in the Property (except those of negligible value) plus carpets, paintwork, wall coverings, curtains, mirrors, sanitary ware and other articles that, in the opinion of the Agent, need regular checking. Landlords should not leave any articles of exceptional value in the Property without prior arrangement with the Agent.
Under the Oyster Properties Management Services, the Agent will normally carry out 1 annual inspection during the tenancy. This will usually occur between 3 to 6 months after the tenant has moved in. It is not the intention to check every item of the inventory at this stage; the inspection is concerned with verifying the good order of the tenancy (i.e. house being used in a ‘tenant-like’ manner) and the general condition of the Property. This would normally include inspecting the main items (carpets, walls, cooker, main living areas and gardens.) Where these were felt to be unsatisfactory, a more detailed inspection would generally be made.
Additional inspections are available and will be charged at the agreed rate of £100 + VAT.
Following the departure of tenants, a final inspection of the Property is carried out by the Agent. Testing of all the electrical appliances, heating system and plumbing is not feasible during this inspection; a qualified contractor should be appointed for this purpose should it be required by the Landlord. Any deficiencies or dilapidations would normally be submitted to the Landlord together with any recommended deductions or replacement values.
5) Holding Fees & Deposits:
A holding fee is generally taken from a tenant applying to rent a property. The purpose of this fee is to verify the tenant’s serious intent to proceed, and to protect the Agent against any administrative expenses (taking references, conducting viewings, re-advertising) that may be incurred should the tenant decide to withdraw the application. The holding fee does not protect the Landlord against loss of rent due to the tenant deciding to withdraw, or references proving unsuitable although early acceptance of rent from the applicant would not be advisable until satisfactory references have been received. Landlords should notify the Agent where they wish a larger security fee or deposit to be carried to protect against loss of rents, or insurance undertaken.
Upon signing the tenancy agreement, the Agent will take a dilapidations deposit from the tenant(s) in addition to any rents due. The purpose of the dilapidations deposit is to protect the Landlord against loss of rent or damage to the Property during the tenancy itself. These deposits, are held by us in a secure Client Account, ready for refunding (less any charges due) at the end of the tenancy.
Amendment Fee: May be applicable if a change to tenancy is required mid-term. This may be due to a change in personal circumstances and/ or a request to leave the tenancy early is agreed prior to the end of the tenancy agreement (this is subject to Landlord consent).
Security Deposit: Deductions may be made due to variation of the condition of the property compared to the inventory. A work arrangement fee of 12% (10%+VAT) of that invoice will be charged for arranging the works, processing the invoice and making the payments to the contractor.
1) This agreement will end immediately if the Landlord withdraws their instruction before the Agent finds a Tenant. Once the Agent finds a tenant who meets the criteria agreed which was agreed with the Landlord, the Landlord must pay the Agent the agreed commission.
2) Once the Tenancy Agreement has ended either party to the Agreement may give 2 months written notice, sent by first class recorded delivery to the address for the parties as contained in this agreement (or such subsequent address as has been notified in writing by either party).
3) In the event of a significant breach by either party which cannot be remedied then either party is entitled to terminate forthwith. “Significant Breach” would include the landlord failing to carry out repairs within a reasonable time or otherwise exposing the agent to financial or other risks.
4) For all managed properties: In the event of a significant breach by a landlord including failure to carry out essential works, unreasonable behaviour/harassment/discrimination towards tenants, Oyster Properties may at its discretion terminate our management agreement. Should this occur, our contract will be changed to ‘Let-Only’ and the appropriate fees (as set out in page 2) will apply.
5) Under the Terms and Conditions, you will be liable to pay Oyster Properties commission fees in respect of the initial period of the tenancy AND ALSO in respect of periods after the end of that initial period where the original tenant introduced by Oyster Properties remains in occupation, whether under a new agreement or by the initial agreement being extended or the tenant being allowed to hold-over (all these being “Renewals”). When these is more than one tenant, Renewal Commission will be payable in full where any or all of them remain in occupation. Renewal Commission will be charged in advance and will only be payable for the first two years of Renewals.
6) You will be liable to pay Oyster Properties Renewal Commission fees whether or not any Renewal is negotiated by Oyster Properties; even if any Renewal is negotiated by another agent; and even if you do not require Oyster Properties to perform any additional services over and above the introduction of a tenant.
7) After the initial period of tenancy and two years of Renewals, Oyster Properties obligations under this agreement will cease. Oyster will offer you the opportunity of continuing to receive the benefit of our services at the same/reduced rate.
8) In the event of this Agreement ending, the Landlord will be entitled to such copies of all documents the Agent has on file so long as the Landlord has paid the Agents agreed fees in full.
1) No one else will benefit from this Agreement as permitted by the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 and the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations Act 2000 are excluded from this Agreement.
2) If any term of this Agreement cannot be enforced or is found to be unfair, it does not affect the other terms of the Agreement.
3) The Agent shall have the right to assign this Agreement as long as the rights of the Landlord are not materially affected.
4) The Agent retains the right to change the terms of this Agreement by giving you two months’ written notice of the change and the date the change will become effective.
5) This Agreement is governed by and should be read in accordance with the Law of England and Wales.
6) Should the Tenant at later date decide to buy the property, our sales fee of 1.5% + VAT will be applicable.
7) VAT at the appropriate rate will be applicable on our fees.
8) You attention is drawn to the “How to Rent – The checklist for renting in England”. This booklet is provided to the tenants at the start of the tenancy and explains to them the rights and obligations of both the tenants and the landlords.