Lettings and Management
Letting and Management in Ealing & Acton
The Tenancy Agreement
As soon as contracts are exchanged on your property our Letting Team will begin to market it. Such is our reputation amongst the Japanese community that there is generally a tenants waiting to move in as soon as the property is ready. Once a tenant is found he will be asked to sign the Japan Service Tenancy Agreement. A copy will then be sent to the Landlord for signature. The Agreement is standard and has been approved by solicitors and the lenders through whom we arrange mortgages. Some particular items of note are:
- Rent will be paid monthly to Japan Services. Japan Services will also hold an additional sum equivalent to one month's rent as a deposit against dilapidations beyond fair wear and tear or any damage.
- The tentants pays for the council tax, water rates and utility bills.
- The Landlord pays for repairs necessary due to 'fair wear and tear' whilst the tenant pays for any damages or breakages over and above this.
- The tenant is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the garden although sometimes the Landlord may agree to employ a regular gardener for increased rent.
- The Landlord is responsible for insuring the buildings and their furniture; the tenant is responsible for insuring their own possessions.
- After the first six months either party may give sixty days notice to terminate the agreement under certain specified conditions.
- No pets are allowed in the property unless the Landlord specifically agrees.
- The tenant normally has the option to renew the agreement at a rent increased in line with inflation based on the current RPI.
Tenant Check In and Check Out
Japan Services will prepare an Inventory of Contents and Schedule of Condition for the property before the tenant moves in. On Check In our Inventory Clerk goes through the inventory with the tenant, explains how everything works and hands over the keys. She will call again after a couple of months to check on progress and give advice if necessary on use if equipment and maintenance of the property.
On Check Out a list is made of any missing items or damage cause by the tenant and the cost of replacement or repair is deducted from the tenants deposit.
Day to Day Management
Day to day management problems will be minimalised if a property is refurbished properly at the outset but inevitably machines still break down and accidents do occur. Japan Services provides a 24 hour plumbing and emergency service for all tenants. Problems caused by the tenant, e.g. being locked out, will be paid for by the tenant but the central heating or machine breakdown will normally be paid for by the Landlord. Unless it is an emergency Japan Services normally request permission from the landlord for any expenditure over £200. The Landlord will be informed of expenditure under £200 with the monthly rent statement.
Renewals and Renewal Requests
Most Tenancy Agreements are initially for one year but the majority of Japanese tenants renew annually at a basic rent increased in line with the prevailing Retail Price Index and stay for three years or even longer. Prior to renewal the tenant may well request additional items of furniture or expenditure. Our policy is that reasonable requests should be granted, but the tenant should contribute towards large expenditure through appropriate increase in the rent, in consolidation with the Landlord.
Properties sometimes become vacant between tenancies especially in the 'slow months' of December and January. Japan Services visits vacant properties regularly and makes no charge for continued management unless the Landlord has specifically asked that the property be kept vacant for their own use. However, costs do continue. The Landlord will be responsible for Council Tax as well as insurance and water rates and the garden will need to be maintained regularly. Japan Services will therefore require a minimum float or credit balance on the Landlord's account to cover such expenditure.
Rents are paid monthly to Japan Services. After deduction of letting and management fees and any necessary expenditure the balance will be transferred to the Landlord's bank and an account statement together with copy receipts will be forwarded to the Landlord. Japan Services also keep a minimum balance or float on the account to cover unexpected expenditure. Landlords who rely on their rental income to make their mortgage payments should maintain a sufficient balance to cover at least one payment of their mortgage, as rent transfers are sometimes unavoidably delayed.
Long Term Maintenance
At the end of each tenancy Japan Services will prepare a short report for the Landlord on any work that needs to be done or furniture replaced to restore the property to the required standard for an early re-let.
External decoration and maintenance is controlled via a four year rolling maintenance programme for all the house managed by Japan Services. We recommend that Landlords arrange their own sinking fund (say a few hundred pounds each year) to deal with both external and internal upkeep.
Japan Services Letting Agent in West Acton and Ealing are here to help. For more information on any of the above, please contact us.