Over the past 16 years we have worked closely with our landlords to understand their requirements. As a result, our professional services are based around the following key principles
As a fully independent company, we have no incentives to sell ‘add on’ products and services. We have freedom of choice over our suppliers and are able to be flexible, as we have no parent company dictating our policies. We receive no paybacks from suppliers. Our income is derived solely from a percentage of the rent, and ad hoc services that we provide.
The vast majority of our landlords wish to maintain privacy concerning their business affairs. For this reason we do not display photographs of vacant properties in our windows, our web site can display only internal photos if requested. Our 'to let' or 'let by' boards are optional nor do we give out addresses of properties on lists to those who enquire.
As we have no links to external companies, we obtain written tenant references ourselves and information is held within our office. We do not use a referencing agent as in doing so we would have to agree that personal information concerning our landlords and their properties could be sold to undisclosed third parties for marketing purposes. In return for providing this information a fee would be provided – we believe this to be unethical.
Knowledge and experience
Of our 8 staff seven have been private tenants and four have been or are private landlords. All our staff are mature and professional. Our letting staff has over 30 years experience in contracts, property and residential lettings.
Any business venture including renting a property carries a risk. Our job is to minimise the risk for our Landlords.
- References – character, Landlord, CCJ, electoral roll, picture ID, accountants, employment and interview.
- Correct payments.
- Inspections– every 3/4 months.
- Maintain communication to both Landlords and tenants.
- Ensure that our staff all receive regular professional training especially that relating to legal updates.
- Realistic management of each situation…
The East Devon rental housing market is undersupplied with properties to let, therefore, it would be very easy to let quickly to the highest bidder. We maintain it is better for our Landlords to take the time to find a suitable tenant with sound references who will care for the property whilst paying a good market rent, than to accept the highest bidder who:
- a) may not be suitable in other ways.
- b) may not be able to maintain the rent payments longer term.
Rent Guarantee schemes
Although we have researched this we do not recommend these schemes for the following reasons:
- Rent is only guaranteed for the initial length of the agreement, most tenants stay longer than six months.
- We wish to conduct our own written reference checks where we often follow up with phone calls.
- If the correct tenant is found, rental guarantee should be unnecessary.
- We do not believe the normal simple yes/no tick box system to be as thorough and remain unimpressed with the reference requests sent to us by other agents which require a cursory 'yes' and 'no' tick box as an answer.
We do not aim to be the cheapest - we aim to be the best value. Our fees for Full Managed Service are fixed at 15% of gross rent received – 14% for landlords with 2 properties and 13% for 3 or more properties within a building. Fees for monthly rents in excess of £1,000 per month will be capped at £150 per month.