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Landlords

These pages are for both current and prospective landlords. Here we offer information about our property management service as well as useful information about letting your property.

 

If you have queries, comments and feedback about any aspect of our service or the properties we manage, or would like any further information about Montrose Properties, please contact our directors Rob and Jen Wildblood or office manager Ben Smith - rob@montroseproperties.co.uk, jen@montroseproperties.co.uk and ben@montroseproperties.co.uk

 

 

 

Why Montrose?

 

Offering one of the most friendly services in this sector is not the whole story. Neither is our commitment to giving total satisfaction. So why Montrose?

 

  • We advertise in all the right places.
  • Our own website is updated daily …
  • … and is kept high on the search engine pages…
  • … that’s why 61% of people who rent our properties initially responded to our website … 21% were word of mouth recommendations … 9% was passing trade … and the rest came from ‘To Let’ boards, directories and people who have used us before.
  • The Montrose office is open six days a week and contactable out of hours for any emergency. Landlords and tenants can telephone day or night to report any maintenance issue that needs urgent attention.
  • We know that your let will be more profitable with happy tenants. So, without reducing our loyalty to you in any way, the interest and concern we have for the tenants we find leads to longer lets, renewed agreements and fewer costly vacancies.
  • Our in-house maintenance team, regular local professionals and knowledgeable Montrose staff provide cover for any maintenance issue - so problems are solved, expense is controlled and there can, sometimes, be no cost at all. So – quick service and happy tenant adds up to a more profitable let for you.

 

Let-only service

 

Rental value

 

We visit your property, take details and agree a rental value that includes ground rent or service charges but excludes council tax and utilities.

 

Tenants, viewings, deposits and references

 

To attract the right tenant we take internal and external digital photographs, upload them onto our web site with a property description, check our own tenant waiting list, advertise, erect ‘To Let’ boards if required, and put details in our office window. We arrange accompanied viewings, including you if you prefer, and deal with applications, deposits, references, credit checks and, if necessary, approved guarantors – so properties in our care are not let to unsuitable applicants.

 

Notices and agreements

We prepare tenancy agreements for signature – normally for an initial six-month fixed period. After that the tenancy will run on a month to month basis until notice to quit is served. But longer terms are arranged if required.

 

Occupation and rent collection

We arrange with you a date for the tenant to move in and how the rent is to be paid.
(If you use our Full Management Service this will be by direct debit to our fully insured client account.) Keys are issued and signed for. The council and local water authority are informed.

 

If the letting is all you have commissioned Montrose to do, this completes our service. For more… click on our ‘Full Management’ tab.

 

Full management service

Most of our clients let property for convenience, investment or both. They are looking for a financial return without the worry of close involvement but don’t want to lose control of their property.

This specially designed ‘Full Management’ service – which includes the ‘Let Only’ package - meets every detailed objective.

 

Rent collection


Our computerised system monitors when rents are due. Our tenants are normally regular, problem-free payers but any non-payment is quickly obvious, rigorously pursued and receives personal attention.

 

Transfers to your bank


Rents, less commission, reach you safely by BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing System). We instruct our bank electronically and money is transferred to your account as immediately useable cleared funds. No lost cheques or postal problems.

 

Clear records


Our monthly statements, by post or e-mail keep you fully informed of income and expenditure, rent due, collections and transfers to your bank. We can also provide end of year tax summaries on request and free of charge.

 

Security


The tenants we find have to pass our vetting procedure. Doubtful applicants are rejected.
We also offer an insurance backed rent guarantee service.

 

Repairs and maintenance


We can deal with all running repairs … sometimes at no cost. We investigate larger repairs, obtain estimates for approval and check all completed work. We ensure routine maintenance is carried out and arrange for legally required annual gas safety checks.

 

24-hour contact


Tenants will judge a landlord or managing agent’s reputation largely by the speed and quality of maintenance. So 24-hour contact is essential – which is why we issue a  ‘Tenancy Notes’ pack with details of what to do and who to call in an out-of-hours emergency. This also includes legally required basic safety instructions for electrical appliances.

 

Property visits


We periodically visit each property in our care. Not just to check that tenants are treating your property respectfully but for signs of potentially expensive wear and tear.

 

Queries, complaints and advice


We deal with all your tenant’s day to day requirements and can involve you as much or as little as you wish.

 

‘Worry-free’ management


We save you the trouble of paying property-related bills, obtain estimates for larger work, deal with contractors and oversee regular maintenance contracts. We guide you through legal issues, oversee notices when tenants move out and can, under separate contract, arrange and report on major work.

 

When a tenant moves out


We meet them at the property, check meter readings, ensure that all utility bills are paid up to date, check the inventory, agree any dilapidation figure, pass it on to you and arrange for correction, check fridge/freezer appliances, collect keys, arrange refund of deposit or balance and leave the property secure.

 

Prepare for re-let


When a tenant has moved out we start preparing for the new one. Our property cleaning service moves in. And we arrange for a legally required ‘Portable Appliance Test’ on all your electrical appliances.

 

Refurbishment


Does a newly acquired property require refurbishment or major repair before it is let? Or could an existing one benefit from a ‘facelift’ between tenants? A new bathroom, kitchen or central heating system? The Montrose ‘Project Management Service’ uses the experience from our many years of reliable relationships with local professionals - from builders to cleaners.  And our expertise can put the right team together, at the right time, to tackle any full or part refurbishment … in time for tenants to move in.

 

Questions and answers

 

Who should be informed of my plans to let the property?

If your property is mortgaged, the lender should be informed. If the property is leasehold you may also need to inform the landlord. Contents and buildings insurers too. (If you have problems we can arrange insurance specifically designed for landlords.)

Is it better to let furnished or unfurnished?

 

An unfurnished property can be just as easy to let as furnished but we advise landlords to be flexible. Storing your furniture saves wear and tear but if it costs money you may be as well leaving it in the property. We can market your property as furnished, part furnished or unfurnished and then negotiate the level of furnishings required by an interested applicant. A ready furnished property, however, usually gives a better first impression when viewing.

 

What should be left in the property?

Furnished property should be let with the basic essentials for living including things like vacuum cleaners, washing machines. Dishwashers, microwaves, telephone points and Broadband connection are optional although, with increasing competition for quality tenants, we would recommend supplying them - although repair or replacement is your responsibility.

Beds should be clean and mattresses preferably covered with a fitted protector. Linen is provided by the tenant. Flexibility is very much in your interest though; if a particular item is important to a tenant you should considering providing it. Unfurnished properties will usually need at least carpets, curtains and white goods. Do NOT leave valuable family heirlooms or special ornaments.

Are tenants responsible for any damage they cause?

Yes! At the start of the tenancy, we collect a returnable deposit and agree an inventory of contents and condition. At the end of the tenancy the cost of rectifying any damage is deducted from the deposit. (Wear and tear is covered by the Inland Revenue’s 10% depreciation allowance.)

 

What happens to the deposit?
It is registered with a tenancy deposit scheme administered by TDS (The Dispute Service) and held by us in a separate client account until the end of the tenancy.

 

Who will prepare the inventory?


We will … free of charge. However, it is advisable to have an independent inventory written by a member of the Association of Independent Inventory Clerks – which would ensure a totally impartial record in case any future arbitration is necessary. We can arrange this but would be chargeable.

 

Can I stipulate ‘No Pets’ and other things?

 

Certainly! This is well within your rights but needs careful and sympathetic consideration.
The Housing Act does not want you to be unfair by refusing without good reason and any limitation can reduce the range of interested tenants.

 

What insurance do I need during the letting?


You are responsible for insuring everything that is yours - buildings and contents, including carpets, curtains, cooker, etc. It is advisable to include Accidental Damage cover and our policies include landlord’s liability cover. You can also insure against loss of rent and any legal costs of repossession. If your present insurer does not provide what you need we can arrange policies specifically designed for landlords - please ask for details. (Tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions.)

 

Will my property meet all legal standards required?

 

Probably, although some adjustments may need to be made. 1988 fire regulations, for instance, require that furnishings should be fire resistant and there are gas and electrical regulations too.

 

What happens to my property when it is unoccupied?


Before letting we can keep an eye while visiting with prospective tenants but cannot accept any responsibility unless we are instructed as separately contracted ‘caretakers’. This service is also available at the end of a tenancy if the property is not re-let - please ask for details.

 

Should I employ a gardener?

 

This depends on the property. For a house - with a large garden and plants that require maintenance - it would be a good idea. For a small garden, that needs only basic maintenance, you could provide equipment – such as a small lawnmower - so the tenant can at least keep the grass down. For a flat, within a block, the gardening should be part of an existing service contract and included in the rent.

 

What if the tenant doesn’t pay?

 

Then we pursue the debt … and usually succeed. If not you may need to take court action and instruct a solicitor. Your legal protection insurance can cover non payment of rent.

 

Can I increase the rent?


Yes, of course! Montrose would act for you and arrange this – even though we always re-let at the highest achievable rent and keep you informed of market variations.

 

Is there ever any tension with a tenant?

 

Provided tenants feel they are getting a fair deal and the property is properly managed, there are no problems. Our service is designed to stand between you and any day-to-day issues that may arise.

 

Can I get my property back? Will the tenant leave?


Both these questions are covered by the Housing Act 1988 and the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987. Your agreement with the tenant will normally be a form of Assured Tenancy. This ‘assures’ both tenant and landlord of the right to occupy for a specified time only – at the end of which the tenant is obliged to leave if given notice to do so. You must give at least two months’ notice and the tenant must give at least one month.

 

Will my rental income be taxed?

 

UK residents are liable for standard rate tax under the Taxes Management Act 1970 Section 79 but there are a number of worthwhile allowances that can include mortgage interest, insurance premiums, maintenance during the tenancy and a managing agent’s fees. A depreciation/wear and tear allowance of 10% of the rental is available for furnished accommodation.

 

What if I live abroad?


The best thing for an overseas landlord is an exemption certificate from the Inland Revenue - otherwise we must make quarterly payments of 22% of the rent collected less expenses. To cover these payments we will hold 22% of your rent, reconciling the balance to you each quarter. At the end of the year we will send to you, or your accountant, or both, a certificate showing the tax already paid. More information is on HM Customs & Revenue website.

 

What if I want to sell the property?
This is best done when the property is empty - although the process could start near the end of the tenancy. Before you instruct an estate agent, let us know first as we may be able to introduce a potential buyer to you, at no cost, from among the landlords we deal with. This could even remove the need to ask tenants to leave as most investors would welcome quality tenants already in place!

 

 

 


Montrose Properties covering the following areas in South Manchester: Didsbury, Withington, Fallowfield, Chorlton, Rusholme, Manchester City Centre, Heaton Moor, Heaton Mersey and Stockport. We have been established since 1981 and pride ourselves on an enviable reputation for our service both to tenants and landlords. Our office is conveniently located in West Didsbury, Manchester, UK with ample parking and on the corner of Clyde Road – one of the most popular addresses in Didsbury!

 


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