Landlord Services 

Being a successful property landlord brings financial rewards, but it also comes with responsibilities and risk. Choosing the right letting service for you and your property is all about finding a balance of these three things that you are comfortable with.

We can help with three types of service:

1. Guaranteed Rent

Our Guaranteed Rent service includes professional letting and management and the most financial security. It is ideal if you are looking for the stability of a fixed income with no breaks or gaps and prefer low risk and is often the preferred “let it and forget it” solution for the following:

  • Purchase of a Buy-to-Let investment property
  • Letting a property that is highly mortgaged or where non-payment of rent or periods when the property is empty without rent would cause financial hardship
  • Where a property has been on the market for sale but has not sold and the owner(s) want a mechanism that enables them to move to a different property
  • Relocating for a temporary period maybe 1 to 3 years (e.g. with a work contract or the armed forces) and wanting to rent out your home for that period
  • Going to live abroad with a view to emigrating but do not want to sell your UK property
  • Couples who have two properties between them and are looking to move in together and let one of the properties out
  • Where an elderly relative owns a property but is moving into care or going to live with family
  • A property has been inherited and a monthly income is preferred

What is it?

The property owner receives a guaranteed annual rent (for normally 1, 2 or 3 years at a time) payable in fixed monthly amounts direct from Northwood with a fixed rent start date.

The rent is payable to the owner even if the occupier does not pay the rent and, unlike any rent guarantee policies, even if the property becomes empty from time to time.

There are absolutely no fees, commissions or hidden extras to pay.

The key difference between Guaranteed Rent and more traditional services is that it is a contractual agreement between Northwood and the property owner (the landlord) in which we effectively become the tenant though we never move in.

Why Guaranteed Rent?

Guaranteed rent start date

No matter how long it takes for us to find the right tenant, we’ll start paying rent a set number of days after the property is signed over to us with all necessary certificates, all works completed, fully cleaned and ready for a tenant to potentially move straight into.

Predictable income

Letting a property is an unpredictable process and there are things outside a landlord’s control, but which can substantially affect and reduce their overall rental income. Sadly, couples split up, people lose their jobs, prospective tenants sometimes pull out of lettings because their circumstances change and even the best of tenants decide to move on. There are usually empty or ‘void’ periods between tenancies when no rent is received, tenants can be late making payments (sometimes very late) and occasionally there is a need to take legal action.

On a standard letting service, all these things increase the landlord’s costs and significantly lower their income. With our Guaranteed Rent service though, Northwood takes over these risks and the property owner continues to receive their fixed monthly rental payments set out in the contract.

No fees or commissions

There are no charges for setting the contract up, no tenant introduction fees, no commissions and absolutely no ‘hidden extras’ to pay.

Legal costs covered

Occasionally, there can be a need for court action to recover unpaid rent or possession of a property. This can be costly and time-consuming with court fees of £335 (August 2019) and a legal process that takes around 4 to 4½ months. Northwood will meet all the legal costs and handle the court process and the landlord will still receive continuous monthly rental payments.

2. Fully-Managed

This service includes professional letting and management of the property, but the owner carries the financial impact of non-payment of rent, empty periods and legal costs. It carries more risk for the owner than our Guaranteed Rent service and is often a good choice for:

  • Landlords who have several properties where the financial impact of one being empty or non-income producing for a while would be, to some extent, diluted by the income still received from the others
  • Owners with little or no borrowings on their rental property or where the impact of a potential significantly reduced income in any year, would not be too severe on their general financial position

What’s included?

Tenant Sourcing

Once we’ve agreed a suitable rental level, we will advertise the property, conduct accompanied viewings and source a suitable tenant. This process includes:

  • Carrying out appropriate employment and landlord referencing, financial and ID checks (in-house, not farmed out to third-party companies)
  • Discussing and making recommendations on the findings
  • Preparing tenancy contracts including a comprehensive Inventory and set of Property Photographs including meter readings and recording the condition of the property prior to the start of the tenancy
  • Securing a tenancy deposit normally equivalent to 5 weeks’ rent in line with current legislation
  • Collecting the monthly rent on the landlord’s behalf
  • Notification of meter readings to utility companies and provision of tenant move-in details to council tax authority

Tenancy Deposit Registration

Northwood is a member of the insured tenancy deposit protection scheme administered by TDS. We will register each tenant deposit within 30 days of commencement of the tenancy and ensure that the deposit remains protected for the duration of the tenancy. The cost of this is included in our management fee.

Maintenance Management

We are the tenant’s point of contact and when any maintenance or repair issues arise, we first contact the landlord who can choose to address the matter themselves or resolve it using a local contractor of their choice or a regular Northwood contractor. For works arranged by us, we provide the landlord with a copy of the invoice and deduct the amount (with nothing added on by Northwood) from the next monthly rental payment.

Property Inspections

We carry out regular property inspections (normally quarterly or six-monthly depending on instructions and circumstances), keep a report on file and action any issues arising. A copy of the report is available to the landlord upon request.

Legal Action

It is sometimes necessary to take legal action against a tenant. Should the situation arise, we prepare and serve the notices and legal documents. Unlike on the Guaranteed Rent service, all court costs, solicitors’ fees and any rent losses fall to the landlord.

Check Outs

At the end of a tenancy, we undertake an inspection of the property on the final day and assess for any damage that goes beyond fair wear and tear with reference to the Inventory and Property Photographs prepared at the start of the tenancy.

Tenancy Deposit Disputes

If any issues arise at the Check Out, we will negotiate matters between the out-going tenant and the landlord in line with the tenancy deposit protection scheme legislation. If matters cannot be resolved by negotiation, Northwood will handle any formal dispute arising at no extra cost.

3. Tenant Find

This service can give the best overall income for landlords who are happy to have a much greater level of involvement and feel comfortable about dealing direct with tenants, arranging maintenance and repairs, carrying out property inspections and keeping themselves and their property compliant with relevant legislation and regulations. This option carries the most risk for a landlord when compared to our other offerings.

What’s included?

  • Marketing on Rightmove, on the Northwood website, and to our database of registered tenants looking for properties and in our office frontage
  • Accompanied viewings
  • Financial and identity checks on prospective tenants
  • Employment and current accommodation referencing
  • Arranging for property owners to meet the prospective tenant(s) before matters proceed
  • Preparation of an Inventory & Schedule of Condition report including a full set of Property Photographs with meter readings
  • Completion of an assured shorthold tenancy agreement
  • Collection of a tenancy deposit equivalent to 5 weeks’ rent in line with current legislation
  • Provision of bank account details for the payment of rent by the tenant(s) direct into the landlord’s bank account
  • Notifying meter readings and tenant details to the Gas, Electricity, Water & Council Tax authorities
  • You will receive the original tenancy agreement, inventory & property photographs, contact details for the new tenant(s) and payment of the first month’s rent in advance plus the tenant’s deposit sum less fees.

Thereafter, if any issues arise and you would like to chat things through and get some general guidance and advice, we are always happy to help.

Contact The Worcester Team

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