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Buy-to-let property consultants



Tenant management:
 
 - Inventory
 - Utility, council tax & other bills
 - Tenant referencing
 - Contract signing & legal paperwork
 - Maintenance
 - Renewal management
 - Rent level management

Utility, Council tax and other bills

It is essential that Buy2LetExpert manages all bills carefully. The bills should be assigned to the tenants the moment a contract starts. This process forms part of the inventory but there are some other issues:

  • Council Tax. Councils vary, but there is often an opportunity to gain an exemption from the payment of Council tax if building works is being executed. Such an exemption would not be applied for just painting, re carpeting, cleaning and the like. To obtain an exemption the property must be completely unfurnished (including beds). The Council should be invited to inspect the property to confirm the claim and the application for this exemption should be made in writing the moment works start which will probably be the same moment the old tenant leaves.

    Clearly regardless of the exemption, it makes sense to execute property repairs, redecoration and improvement as quickly as possible, reducing voids to an absolute minimum. If the works do involve building works, apply for the exemption but keep within the rules which are a bit complex. Buy2LetExpert can advise with more details which may vary from council to council
     
  • Utilities. Ensure water, gas and electricity are all either registered with a tenant or the landlord the moment there is a change. Metre readings should be taken as and when these changes occur. Tenants can choose any supplier they wish (without the landlordís consent). Consequently, when a tenant moves on the suppliers must be identified. Phone any of the utility companies and they will usually help provide the existing supplier as they want the new account! Once the existing suppliers are established give all readings and changeover details in writing. Water is sometimes provided and charged per volume used and sometimes on a fixed charge regardless of usage volumes. If there is a water metre take the reading (even if not registered).
     
  • Other Bills. Tenants may often leave bills unpaid (sometimes unintentionally). Buy2LetExpert always insist on returning deposits by post and therefore having a forwarding address. That way any unpaid bills can be dealt with. It is very important that bills to old tenants are not ignored. They should not be paid, but should first be forwarded by Buy2LetExpert to the old tenant. If final demands follow, the debtor should be contacted to avoid bailiffs visiting the property and annoying new incoming tenants. Bailiffs tend to knock very early in the morning and can be quite aggressive and may even attempt (illegally) to get inside the property!

Regardless of which bill is being dealt with above, Buy2letExpert will always, communicate in writing. This is very important. Any telephone calls should be noted and names taken. Years of experience have taught us of the importance of this especially when dealing with Councils and former state owned enterprises. Such organisations are so enormous that information is often 'lost' in a huge 'bureaucratic' machine. The client or his agent must take control of the communication otherwise confusion will definitely follow.

 

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Managing buy to let tenants

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the minimal investment

 

 

 

 

 

 

To contact us call: 020 7482 0300 or email