We have already outlined some of the pitfalls that can await you. They are avoidable and we will now set out a brief explanation of the law as it affects you and the services that we offer.

For the uninitiated it seems that there is a mass of legislation Act after Act that has to be examined in detail, with dire consequences if not. First of all most legislation since the Housing Act 1988, began a massive overhaul of the way residential property is rented moved things very much in the landlords favour. The Act was in fact known as the landlord's charter.

The thinking behind the act was to free up for use property that owners were leaving empty because of the fact that once a tenancy had been created it became a protected tenancy which meant that it became virtually impossible to get the tenant out legally. This could have led to a Rachman type situation where violence and threats of violence could have been used to remove tenants.

It was also realised by legislators that Britain was moving towards a much more mobile housing situation where people neither wanted nor needed long term secure tenancies and it was with this in mind that the 1988 Act and subsequent ones gave tenants protection for much shorter periods with the right to automatically renew if both sides wished it.

The most used tenancy in residential housing is now the Assured Shorthold Tenancy which is usually of six or twelve months. Even though this is a simple and straightforward document before granting one there are number of steps that need to be taken. Mourne offers a series of service levels as follows.

Introduction only

  • Market the property
  • Show applicants around.
  • Take references.
  • Draw up a tenancy agreement.
  • Draw up an inventory.
  • Conduct the check in of the tenant.

Let and Rent Processing.

  • Take and protect the deposit. This might also be done under an introduction-only service.
  • Pass on all rents received in accordance with the agency agreement.
  • Send regular rental statements to the landlord.
  • Contact tenants the same day that a rent payment fails to arrive.
  • Account to HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) where necessary. This would be where the landlord lived abroad and includes serving member of the armed forces.

Some agency agreements will also include

  • Serving of notices to end the tenancy.
  • Checking tenants out of the property.

Let and Management.

  • This would include all of the above services plus acting on the landord's behalf in
  • Dealing with day to day repair and maintenance.
  • Arranging for the renewal of gas and electrical safety checks.
  • Transferring utility accounts to new tenants names.
  • Making periodic visits to the property.
  • Preparing a schedule of costs and damages at the end of the tenancy.
  • Negotiating between the parties regarding any dispute over damages.

In addition to these services an agent can.

  • Act for the landlord in obtaining possession.
  • Represent the landlord in court.
  • Overseeing refurbishment work.

As can be seen Mourne can offer a complete bespoke service. Whatever the level of management required, a contract can be drafted to cover it. All charges and fees will be negotiated on an individual basis.