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Information for Landlords

Why use HMT?

  • Whether you are a new or existing landlord, the letting of your property can be a daunting and confusing process. Finding suitable tenants, rent collection and maintenance all need to be handled professionally and efficiently.
  • At HMT we understand that the letting and management of property revolves around people, those who own it, those that live in it, and those who manage it.
  • This is why HMT lettings and management have strived hard to ensure that we are 'putting the person back into property'.
  • HMT has over 20 years experience in letting property in and around Cheltenham and this experience provides a solid foundation for our successful lettings agency.
  • We ensure our landlords and tenants receive a friendly and professional service at all times. We go out of our way to thoroughly understand our client's individual needs and requirements.
  • HMT utilise numerous websites for our marketing, hold a substantial database of prospective tenants, and communicate on a regular basis with many local companies/employers and relocation agents.
  • We review our policies and procedures in line with current UK legislation to ensure that you, the landlord, receive the best possible service.
  • HMT will view and treat your properties as though they were our own. We ensure to the best of our ability that your properties are occupied, respected and maintained to a high standard.

Benefits of Using HMT

  • Over 20 years lettings & Management experience
  • in-depth knowledge of the Gloucestershire lettings industry
  • Free rental valuations and viewings
  • International and local marketing of your property
  • Thorough referencing and credit-checking
  • Regular property inspections
  • Collection of rents and deposits
  • Monthly statements and payments
  • Complete maintenance service
  • Comprehensive introduction service
  • Investment advice
  • 24hr emergency call out service

Services & Charges

  • 'Full management' - This service is ideal for the first time landlord, absent landlord, or for the landlord that wants the easy life. HMT will endeavour to ensure that the property is maintained, that your rent is paid on time, and that the rights of both tenants and landlords are respected and upheld.
  • 'Introduction service' - This gives you the same marketing, referencing and contracts service as our full management but does not cover the maintenance, rent collection and legal advantages of the fully managed package. This service best suits a handy DIY landlord who has the time and experience for the ongoing management of their own properties.
  • 'Additional services'
  • HMT offer a range of supplementary services that support a landlord in preparing their property for occupation. We also offer additional services that further enhance your property:
  • Portable appliance tests (PAT)
  • Visual wiring test
  • Gas Safety Inspections
  • Gas appliance servicing
  • 24/7 Emergency call out service (optional)
  • Insurance Claim administration (charged @ hourly rate)
  • Major refurbishments
  • Key cutting
  • And more........

20 Ways to becoming a successful landlord

  • HMT were recently asked to produce a simple guide for potential Landlords by Cotswold Life magazine, here is the fruit of our experience.
  • Seek advice: If you are new to the rental market, or are entering a new region, then have a word with local agents. They have lots of experience and can offer advice on investment properties and local trends.
  • Be realistic: Expecting a property to be let straight away at the full asking price to your ideal professional couple would be great, but not entirely realistic.
  • Be flexible: People are individual in tastes, needs and desires, and as such if you can be flexible in your approach to offers on your property, then you are likely to gain more respect from your tenants and ultimately hold onto them for longer periods.
  • Scan the market: Be aware of market trends and fluctuations, this will help you decide if you are justified in raising your rent, but don't be greedy.
  • Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself: It is all to easy to leave issues until the next set of tenants have gone, but this can lead to ill feeling and future problems.
  • Leave the property as you would wish to find it: As an agent I have seen many properties that we have been asked to market that really need cleaning. If the property is dirty at the start it will be dirty at the end.
  • Aim for long-term rental - not higher rental: Changing tenants takes time, money and effort. Try to keep your tenants for longer even if at a lower rent.
  • Go the whole hog: If you are going to paint the walls then paint the woodwork and ceilings as well. Half measures just highlight other problems.
  • Your taste is not the same as taste: Don't force your ideas of taste and design onto others who will probably have different ideas.
  • Minimal is king: Do not expect others to appreciate you latest attempt at copying 'changing rooms', keep it as simple and neutral as possible
  • Keep open the lines of communication: By keeping in touch with your tenants/agency on a regular basis you can ensure that problems are actioned quickly, and that unexpected issues are not unexpected.
  • Always keep an up to date inventory (Even in unfurnished properties): If all parties sign an agreement on the condition of the property then tenants will not be able to deny spilling red wine on the carpet.
  • Expect wear and tear: Rental properties will need updating more regularly than your own home. Accidents happen and things wear out, so be prepared to expect wear and tear.
  • Seek proper references: By ensuring you have referenced the tenants correctly you will be able, in the main, to avoid any unexpected problems.
  • A stitch in time saves nine: If a maintenance problem occurs then fix it immediately, by leaving the problem it will invariably turn from minor into major.
  • Don't walk a financial tightrope: Be realistic with your budgeting and how much return you expect on your investment. Markets change and sometimes for the worse, so ensure you are financially sensible.
  • Keep with the times: In this competitive market tenants expect heating, preferably gas central, they expect showers, and they also expect parking spaces.
  • If it is precious, don't leave it: Never leave items of sentimental value, what is a precious chair to you is just a seat to your tenant.
  • Ensure your contract is comprehensive: Off the shelf contracts will not necessarily give you the cover you may need. Saving money through buying off the shelf could lead to expensive problems at a later date. Seek advice!!
  • Speak to the professionals: Agencies are there to make life easy for you and to advise with problems. They will charge for their services, but can be invaluable when things don't go to plan.
  • Landlord obligations
  • As a responsible Landlord you have responsibilities and obligations, HMT Lettings & Management are able to assist you cover these and fulfil your duty of care to your tenants.
  • Statutory Safety Regulations - Gas safety certificates need to be renewed annually, failure to comply can result into a fine of £5,000 and/or 6 months imprisonment!
  • Electric/PAT inspections - For older properties it is advisable to carry out a visual wiring inspection. For portable electric goods over 2 yrs old, a portable appliance test is a duty of care, we can arrange this for you.
  • Furnishings - Since 1988 it has been compulsory for all soft furnishings in rented properties to comply with E.C. fire regulations - this means that all soft furnishings must have a label indicating their fire resistance attached to them.
  • HMO Regulations - If your property is used for multiple occupancy then you may well be subject to many new regulations and licensing conditions, prior to any tenancies being entered into, the following link gives further information: http://www.cheltenham.gov.uk/libraries/templates/ourservice.asp?URN=3881&FolderID=0
  • Routine repairs - You must ensure all routine repairs or emergencies are carried out to an appropriate standard and promptly actioned. HMT has its own team of trusted and reliable trades persons available for this.
  • Tax relief - Tax relief may be claimed against most costs incurred in the letting of your property, including agency fees. We are able offer taxation advice to landlords through our appointed accountant.
  • Overseas landlords (NRL1 forms) - Landlords spending longer than 6 months abroad are required to fill in a NRL1 form to be part of the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme. Your tax affairs need to be in order prior to leaving the country, this will negate the need to deduct 22% tax at source. We can provide necessary paperwork and advise further.
  • Utilities - The payment of utilities (gas, electric, water, council tax) are the responsibility of the tenant for the duration of their tenancy. As a landlord you must ensure that all accounts are up to date prior to the onset of the tenancy.
  • Mortgage - Permission must be obtained from your lender, most lenders will insist that you use a professional managing agent.
  • Insurance - We are able to offer information on a range of insurance packages available - rent protection, buildings, contents, accidental/malicious damage by a tenant.
  • Deposit protection - Due to the new legislation in operation from 6th April 2007, Landlords/Agencies must register with an appointed scheme to safeguard a tenants deposit. There are 3 options available and further information on this can be found at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit
  • It is the landlords responsibility to become familiar with this scheme unless they choose HMT's fully managed package whereby HMT will happily handle all issues regarding this matter.