Having trouble finding reliable tradesmen ?

Being over charged for property maintenance ?

Getting hassle from your tenants for outstanding maintenance issues ?

Click Here to view our guide on how to switch to Hartswood.

Many Landlords choose an Estate or Letting Agent and then stay with them for years and years, tenancy after tenancy even if they are not delivering on their management service. For some, the perceived hassle of switching agents means they don’t even explore it and for others they simply don’t realise that they can switch the management of their property to another agent.

Like the monopoly created by the original big six energy companies this lack of switching power means many Landlords just continue with the same Estate or Letting Agent for years, paying over inflated fees and not receiving the level of service they should. This in turn has led to Agents becoming complacent safe in the knowledge that Landlords will not take their business elsewhere.

Not sure you need to switch ?

Here are 7 things you need to ask your agent.

Who is managing my property ?

Often with large Estate Agency Groups and Franchises your property can be managed by any number of people, many of whom have limited or no knowledge of you or your property.

At Hartswood we know how important it is to have continuity with property management and how an in-depth knowledge of both you and your property is essential. Your property would be managed by Andrew Hodgson & Stella Agricole two highly experienced and dedicated property managers. Andrew is the sole owner of the business and along with Stella they have a combined property management experience of over 40 years.

Click Here to view the team

When was my property last inspected ?

Many Agents purport to carrying out regular property inspections, but do you know when someone was last in your property ? Who carried out the inspection and do they have a full knowledge of the history of your property and all the works carried out. Do they know what to look out for and above all are they producing quality reports that put your mind a rest that your property is really being looked after. From our experience it is crucial that properties are regularly inspected to ensure they are maintained to a high standard.

At Hartswood we carry out an inspection every 5 months on all our managed properties producing a report for our landlords which highlight any required maintenance, comment on the overall condition of the property and include full colour photos giving you complete peace of mind.

Click Here to view a sample property inspection report.

When did you last increase my rent ?

Many agents are not proactive in achieving the best possible rents for their landlords. The market is constantly changing, and it is crucial that your agent keeps you up to date with accurate advice on market rents so that the appropriate rent can be negotiated with your tenant.

At Hartswood we carry out annual rent appraisals on all our managed properties and in conjunction with Zoopla we produce rent comparison reports for our Landlords so they can be sure they are keeping up to date with market trends and with the latest shifts in rental prices.

Click Here to view a sample rent comparison report.

How many tenants are living in my property & do I need a Licence ?

There may be two tenants named on the Tenancy Agreement, but do you really know how many people are staying at your property ?

Did you know there are now over thirty-five additional and selective licensing schemes operating in London? In some areas, you only need a licence for larger Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) whilst in other areas licensing has been extended to all house and flat shares occupied by 3 or more people. Some councils have extended licensing to all private rented homes occupied by a single family. The licensing arrangements are far from simple.

Failing to have the correct licence for your property can lead to criminal prosecution and a hefty fine, a civil penalty of up to £30,000, an order to repay up to 12 months rent and the inability to evict your tenants using a Section 21 Notice of Seeking Possession.

At Hartswood we ensure our Landlords obtain the correct licence for their property and guide them through the process so they are fully compliant.

When did you last check the Smoke & CO2 Alarms in my property ?

The Government introduced Amended Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations from 1st October 2022.

From this date onwards landlords must comply as follows:-

Firstly, ensure that at least one smoke alarm is equipped on each storey of their homes where there is a room used as living accommodation. This has been a legal requirement in the private rented sector since 2015.

Secondly, ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room used as living accommodation which contains a fixed combustion appliance (excluding gas cookers).

Thirdly, ensure that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are repaired or replaced once informed and found that they are faulty. If a Landlord does not comply with these regulations a fine of up to £5,000 can be imposed.

At Hartswood we ensure all our managed properties are fitted with the correct number of Smoke and CO2 Alarms.

How are you keeping up to date with legislation ?

Things moves fast in the world of Lettings is your agent keeping on top of the latest legislation.

At Hartswood we are proud to have attained several industry accreditations which help us ensure that our service is the best it can possibly be. We are members of ARLA Propertymark which means we meet higher industry standards than the law demands and strictly adhere to their regulations, ensuring that we only provide a first-class service and offer you the best possible advice. We are also members of The Property Ombudsman, TDS and backed by a Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme which guarantees your money is always protected.

Click here for more information: www.propertymark.co.uk/professional-standards