Lettings Terms and Conditions of Business

Lettings Service

Initial tenancy set up charge

In the event that Property Maximise introduces a tenant who enters into an agreement to rent the landlord's property, a commission becomes payable to Property Maximise.

The Initial Commission fee is payable on the commencement of the tenancy.

The Initial Commission fee is payable for any tenant introduced to the property by Property Maximise whether or not the tenancy is finalised by Property Maximise.

Renewal commission

Property Maximise will endeavour to contact both the landlord and tenant before the end of the Initial Agreement to negotiate an extension of the tenancy, if so required.

In the event that the tenant renews, extends, holds-over and/or enters into a new agreement for which rental income is received, commission becomes payable to Property Maximise.

The Renewal Commission fee is due and payable on the commencement of each Renewal taking place.

Renewal Commission will be due in respect of Renewals where the original tenant remains in occupation. Where there is more than one tenant, Renewal Commission will be payable in full where any or all of them remain in occupation.

Renewal Commission will be due whether or not the renewal, extension, hold-over or new agreement with the tenant is negotiated by Property Maximise.

Renewal fee

We will deduct the Renewal Fee from the first rental payment of the Continuation Period.

Payment of initial and renewal fees

Where Property Maximise collects the rent, we will deduct the commission fee as follows:-

(a) we will deduct the Initial Commission fee from the first rental payment of the initial tenancy agreement; and (b) we will deduct the Renewal Commission fee from the first rental payment of any renewal, extension, hold-over or new agreement. If the fee exceeds the first rental payment, the balance will be deducted from subsequent rental payment(s).

Where Property Maximise does not collect the rent the commission must be paid by the Landlord directly to Property Maximise.

Tenancy agreement

Property Maximise will draw up a tenancy agreement, the cost of this is included in the initial fee.

Collection of rent

Property Maximise will collect rent in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

The landlord may direct Property Maximise to stop collecting the rent by giving one month's notice in writing to Property Maximise.

Where Property Maximise collects the rent, if the rent has not been paid five days after it falls due, Property Maximise will endeavour to notify the landlord at the earliest possible opportunity, and will attempt to obtain payment from the tenant by means of telephone calls and a series of written notices.

Transfer of money to the landlord

Once the tenancy has started and we are in receipt of cleared funds from the tenant, we aim to transfer any money due to you within three working days.

Due to unforeseen circumstances in some cases, it may take up to ten working days to process the payment. We are not responsible for any bank charges that you incur as a result of delays in payment.

Where you provide us with UK bank details, we use the BACS system to make payments to your account and do not charge for this service. Where we are required to make payment by alternative methods (Telegraphic Transfer, CHAPS, or cheque) we will pass on any costs incurred in doing this to the Landlord.

References

Where the initial term of the letting is for a period six months or more, Property Maximise will obtain references from prospective tenants.

Agency

We will ask you for written confirmation of your instructions to proceed with a letting. Upon receipt of such confirmation, we will sign the tenancy agreement and exchange contracts on your behalf.

However, by instructing Property Maximise as your agent, in circumstances where you have confirmed verbally that you wish to proceed with a letting, and for example we cannot obtain written confirmation or need to proceed quickly, you authorise Property Maximise to sign any of the necessary documentation on your behalf.

Electronic documentation

Contracts which have been signed electronically (whether by fax, email or website authentication) are binding and admissible in evidence. For convenience, we may ask you or any prospective tenants to sign documents electronically.

Inventory and check-in

Unless otherwise instructed, Property Maximise will arrange for an independent contractor to draw up an inventory of your property's fixtures, fittings and contents, and compile a check-in report at the start of each tenancy. The cost of these will be the responsibility of the landlord.

Property Maximise does not accept liability for losses resulting from any errors or omissions within any inventory, check-in or check-out documents that are produced by a third party.

Check-out

Where instructed, we will arrange for the tenant to be checked out against the initial inventory report at the end of the tenancy and send you a copy of the report.

LEGAL, HEALTH & SAFTEY OBLIGATIONS 

Deposit

Once the holding deposit and/or any other monies paid towards taking up the tenancy are paid by the tenant, the money becomes non refundable to the tenant and will be forfeit as liquidated damages to Property Maximise to cover the cost of any wasted time, administration time / work, loss of rent etc. This is in the event that, the tenant does not take up with tenancy either by the tenants own fault or if the Landlord or Agency do not grant the tenancy.
Property Maximise will deduct their charges accordingly from the monies paid and forward the remainder of the monies onto the landlord.

The deposit will be held in accordance with the terms of the tenancy agreement.

Under the terms of our Assured Short hold Tenancy agreement, the deposit will be held in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 and the provisions of the deposit protection scheme operated by Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com). Under this scheme, undisputed deposits must be released to the tenant within ten days of termination of the tenancy. Property Maximise takes no responsibility for the failure of a deposit being registered where held by the landlord or an alternative appointed agent.

For all non Assured Short hold Tenancies, Property Maximise will obtain and hold as stakeholder a deposit from the tenant against unpaid rent or bills, dilapidations and any other costs or losses incurred as a result of any breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement by the tenant. Property Maximise excludes liability in relation to loss caused by the insolvency of a financial institution which holds deposits in its contracts with landlords and tenants.

In the event that you, the Landlord, hold the deposit you warrant that you will protect the deposit in line with legal requirements and that you will be responsible for all fees and charges associated with obtaining membership to an authorised scheme (where required) and protecting the deposit itself. You further agree that you will fully indemnify Property Maximise against any claim by the tenant howsoever arising, as a result of your holding the deposit. You will be required to provide proof of your membership of an authorised scheme.

The gas safety (installation & use) regulations 1998

Under the above regulations, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure that all gas appliances and the fixed installation are maintained in good order and checked for safety at least every 12 months by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

If Property Maximise is not provided with a valid certificate prior to the commencement of the tenancy, we reserve the right to appoint a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect all gas appliances and their installations and carry out any remedial works where necessary. The cost incurred noted in Property Maximise fee scheduled will be charged to the Landlord.

If the tenant is remaining in occupation beyond the expiry of the original certificate and Property Maximise has not received a replacement valid certificate 14 days before the expiry of that original certificate, we reserve the right to appoint a Gas Safe registered engineer to inspect all gas appliances and their installations and carry out any remedial works where necessary. The cost incurred noted in Property Maximise fee schedule will be charged to the Landlord.

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020

The landlord is legally responsible for ensuring that the electrical installation and all appliances within the property are maintained in good order and have a valid safety certificate, checked by an appropriate registered engineer.

If Property Maximise is not provided with a valid certificate prior to the commencement of the tenancy, we reserve the right to appoint an appropriate registered engineer to make the necessary checks and carry out any remedial works where necessary. The cost incurred noted in Property Maximise fee schedule will be charged to the Landlord.

Where the tenant is remaining in occupation beyond the expiry of the original certificate and Property Maximise has not received a replacement valid certificate 14 days before the expiry of that original certificate, we reserve the right to appoint an appropriate registered engineer to make the necessary checks and carry out any remedial works where necessary. The cost incurred noted in Property Maximise fee schedule will be charged to the Landlord.

The smoke and carbon monoxide alarm (England) regulations 2015

The Landlord is legally responsible for installing and maintaining working smoke alarms on every floor of the property as well as carbon monoxide alarms in any room with a solid fuel combustion appliance. The Landlord is also responsible for ensuring that each alarm is in working order at the start of the tenancy and that all checks are documented.

Furniture and furnishings (fire) (safety) regulations 1988 and (amendment) 1993

The landlord warrants that he/she is fully aware of the terms and conditions of the above Regulations including any subsequent amendments or replacement Regulations (hereafter referred to as the Regulations). The landlord declares that all furniture presently in the property or to be included in a property to which this agreement applies, complies in all respects with the Regulations.

The landlord further warrants that any furniture purchased for the property after the date of this agreement will also comply with the Regulations for the duration of the tenancy and any Renewals.

Energy performance certificate (EPC)

All buildings in the private rented sector require an EPC. This certificate will remain valid for ten years. Landlords are required by law to obtain and make available a copy of the EPC, free of charge, to prospective tenants at the earliest opportunity and must provide the person who takes up the tenancy with a copy.

Risk assessment for Legionnaires ’ disease

In order to comply with the Health and Safety Executive’s Code of Practice landlords are strongly advised to carry out a risk assessment at their premises prior to letting especially if there are open water tanks, cooling systems or a swimming pool.  We request that a copy of any written risk assessment is provided upon instruction. By signing these Terms of Business the landlord acknowledges his responsibility for the safety of the tenant at the premises.

Indemnity

The landlord undertakes to keep Property Maximise fully and effectively indemnified in respect of any claim, demand, liability, cost, expense or prosecution which may arise due to the failure of the landlord to comply fully with the terms of all the above Regulations, including any subsequent amendments thereto or replacement Regulations.

The landlord agrees to indemnify Property Maximise as agent against any costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on us, provided they were incurred on the landlord's behalf in pursuit of our normal duties.

Landlords resident outside the UK

The Non-Resident Landlords Scheme is a scheme operated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for taxing the UK rental income of non-resident landlords. The scheme requires UK lettings agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent collected. You are considered to be non-resident if your usual place of abode is outside the UK, or you are absent from the UK for a period of more than six months.

You can apply to HMRC for approval to receive rents without tax being deducted. If your application is successful then once we have received written confirmation of their decision we will pay you the rent without deducting tax. Even though the rent may be paid to you without tax being deducted, it remains liable to UK tax and you must include it on your tax return.

Where a non-resident landlord does not have approval from HMRC, we charge £155.00 for submitting quarterly returns and an annual return. We complete the annual return and send you a certificate showing the amount of tax that we have paid on your behalf. No interest is paid to landlords on tax retentions held by Property Maximise.

Property Maximise must be provided with a UK residential address for service. If we are not provided with a UK residential address then we are obliged to assume that a landlord is non-resident and we will operate the provisions of the scheme.

Where we do not deduct tax which should have been deducted under the scheme we are entitled to recover this money from you at a later date, along with any other costs that are imposed on us by HMRC.

Landlords who are resident outside the UK are not entitled to hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.

Licenses

It is important to be aware that each local authority operates its own licensing system and some may require the landlord to hold a residential rental licence before they can let out their property. If you are required to have a licence and do not hold one the penalties can be significant. We therefore recommend that you check directly with your local council to ascertain whether licensing will apply, exactly what is required and to see if there are any specific restrictions such as a limit on the number of people permitted to occupy the premises.

MANAGED SERVICE

Management service

The Management Service includes all the provisions and terms of the Lettings Service in addition to those set out below.

Our fee for the Management Service during the period of the initial tenancy agreement is outlined in this terms and conditions documents.

The Management Service fee is taken monthly in advance. The minimum period of our appointment to manage the property is six months where Property Maximise is instructed to manage from the beginning of the tenancy. Where Property Maximise is instructed to start managing the property mid-tenancy our minimum period of appointment is six months or to the end of the tenancy whichever is shorter.

The management agreement can be terminated after this minimum period by either party giving one month's notice to the other, such notice not to expire before the end of the minimum period. Should the Landlord decide to keep the tenant introduced by Property Maximise an termination fee equal to three months of rent will be payable to Property Maximise.

Transfer of utilities

Where provided with the necessary information, such as names of suppliers and utility account numbers, Property Maximise will notify existing service providers and the local authority of the tenant's liability (if appropriate) for payment of the services and council tax during the tenancy.

The utility companies and the local authority should send the relevant forms to the new occupier(s) to be completed and signed and it remains the tenants' responsibility to ensure that a new account is opened in their name. Property Maximise cannot be held liable if services are disconnected or are not transferred by the utility companies.

At the end of the tenancy, we will contact the service companies and request transfer of responsibility for the service accounts. Property Maximise cannot be held liable should the service companies cut off the services for whatever reason.

Short lets

Unless otherwise agreed in writing, it is the landlord's responsibility to pay for all utility bills including gas, electricity, water and council tax. It is the tenant's responsibility to pay for any telecommunication services.

Key-holding service

We require a set of keys in order to be able to manage your property effectively. These will be held locally in our secure system and made available to our approved suppliers or any other party authorised by you.

Repairs and maintenance

We will attend to the day-to-day minor repairs and maintenance of the property and its contents.

We will contact you for permission to proceed if the cost of the work exceeds £250 (or other amount to be agreed in writing).

If requested, we can obtain estimates for consideration by the landlord for any major repairs or maintenance over £500 and submit them for approval prior to the commencement of the work.

If the cost of any work exceeds £700 an administration charge of 10% of the invoice will be made.

Emergencies

In emergencies and where we consider it necessary, we will act to protect the landlord's interests without consultation.

Management inspections

We will undertake an agreed number of inspections of the property each year. It must be understood that this inspection can only provide a superficial examination and is not intended to be a structural survey or inventory check. We cannot accept responsibility for hidden or latent defects.

Check-out and deposit

We will send you a copy of the check-out report together with recommendations for deductions that should be made from the deposit. In respect of deposits held for ASTs, you must finalise any further deductions with us within ten days of termination of the tenancy so that we can meet our obligations under the Housing Act 2004 and the provisions of the deposit protection scheme operated by mydeposits.co.uk which require you and us as your agent to return any undisputed deposit amount to the tenant within ten days of termination of the tenancy. Should you fail to finalise deductions with us within ten days, we reserve the right to release some or all of the deposit to the tenant.

Property Maximise will not accept responsibility for the failure of any item of claim which is a result of your failure to provide the necessary information to us within the requisite time.

Property Maximise will not accept any liability for unsuccessful deposit claims.

Management while the property is vacant

During void periods, we will continue to manage the property, however, cannot be held liable for any loss and/or damage arising from fire, flood or theft. If the landlord requires supplies to be turned off or disconnected during this period, Property Maximise must receive instructions in writing and will arrange for the required contractor to attend at the landlord's expense. The landlord is also advised to contact his/her insurance company should the property be empty for longer than 30 days.

Dealing with third parties

Property Maximise will liaise where necessary with the landlord's accountants, solicitors, superior landlords, managing agents and mortgagees.

Property Maximise will share your personal information with the relevant utility companies and local councils associated to the rental property.

Insurance

Activities relating to the arrangement and administration of insurance are governed by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. As a result, we are unable to arrange insurance on your behalf, to notify your insurer of claims or to complete documentation relating to those claims.

Multiple properties.

The terms and conditions laid out in this agreement will also apply to any subsequent properties or any other properties where the signing party is acting as the Landlord.

Previous terms of business

The terms and conditions laid out in this agreement will override any other previous terms of business that have been agreed to by the signing party.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Permissions and consents

The landlord warrants that consent to let from his/her mortgagees has been obtained, and

Where he/she is a lessee, the lease extends beyond the term that he/she proposes to let and that any necessary consents have been obtained, and

He/she has notified his/her insurance company of his/her intention to let and has obtained their agreement to extend the insurance cover on the property and its contents to cover the changed circumstances, and

Where he/she is a joint owner, he/she has ensured that all the owners are named in the tenancy agreement and that he/she is authorised to give instructions on their behalf.

Tenant purchases the property

If a tenant, that we have introduced, purchases the property either during their tenancy or within 6 months of last occupying the property, in either his/her own name or in the name of someone they have nominated to purchase the property on their behalf, then commission payment of 1% of the purchase price will be due and payable to us

Commission and interest

Any commission, interest or other income earned by Property Maximise while carrying out our duties as agent for the letting and/or management of the property, for example by referrals to solicitors, tenant fees, EPC providers, contractors or inventory clerks, will be retained by Property Maximise.

Outstanding fees

The landlord agrees that, where any of Property Maximise fees and/or commission charges remain outstanding for more than seven days, Property Maximise may use any sums obtained or held on the landlord's behalf to pay the outstanding sums, including rental payments on this or any other property on which Property Maximise is instructed.

Interest

Property Maximise fees are payable on demand, as and when they fall due. Property Maximise reserves the right to charge interest on any amounts outstanding 28 days after the fees are first demanded. Interest will be charged from the date the fees become due at the annual rate of 2% above the Bank of England's base rate.

Unpaid fees

Any fees that are unpaid by the Landlord for more 28 days will be passed to a debt recovery specialist. Any extra costs incurred for to recover the unpaid fees will also become the Landlords responsibility to pay. All accounts, without exception, will be subject to a surcharge of 15% plus vat to cover our costs in recovery. These accounts will also be subject to any legal costs incurred in obtaining settlement. 

Keys

Where you provide us with a set of keys (or authorise us to use keys held by another agent) we may make further copies to facilitate viewings.

Tenants normally require one set of keys for each occupant of the property (with a minimum of two sets). Where we are managing the property, we will hold a set of keys at the local office. Where we are not provided with sufficient sets to allow us to do this, we may cut additional sets and will make a charge for this service based on the type of keys required.

Property Maximise secure key tag system ensures that third parties cannot identify which property a set of keys belongs to. Therefore, in the event that keys are lost or unaccounted for, Property Maximise liability in respect of such keys and/or any locks is strictly limited to the cost of cutting a new set of keys.

Right to rent in the UK

Right to rent in the UK – Documentation and Working Visa As from 1st February 2016, under the Immigration Act 2014, it is the landlord’s responsibility to ensure that all tenants have the right to rent in the UK by making and keeping a copy of passports for all tenants and evidence of their immigration status (biometric residence permit). Property Maximise will undertake tenant checks to the best of our ability but we cannot accept liability for any subsequent issues which arise either directly or indirectly from our actions in this respect

Legal proceedings

Property Maximise is not responsible for any legal steps for the recovery of rent or repossession of the property. Appearances before any Court or Tribunal will be by special arrangement and the fee for any such attendance will be £400.00 per day, or part thereof. Property Maximise will not accept service of legal proceedings on the landlord's behalf.

Disclaimer

Property Maximise will carry out all services with reasonable care and skill. However, we are unable to guarantee the suitability of tenants, timely rental payments or vacant possession at the end of a tenancy and cannot be held liable by the landlord for such events.

Jurisdiction

The High Court and the County Courts of England and Wales shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action or proceedings in respect of this agreement.

Data protection and privacy policy

Property Maximise is registered under the Data Protection Act 1998 and we undertake to comply with the Act in all our dealings with your personal data. We will keep your personal information secure.

Anti-Money laundering regulations

Property Maximise is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. As a result we will need to ask you for suitable identification and will be unable to proceed with any work on your behalf if we are unable to obtain this from you.

Amendments

Property Maximise may change or add to the terms of this agreement. We will notify you if any such change will affect the service that we offer you.

Entire agreement and variations

Property Maximise intends to rely upon the written terms set out in these terms and conditions. You are reminded again to read them very carefully. If you require any changes, please make sure you ask for these to be put in writing. In that way, we can avoid any problems surrounding what Property Maximise and the landlord are each expected to do. If you want to make any changes to this agreement, please discuss them with the manager of the branch you are dealing with and make sure that they are put in writing and agreed in writing.

Multiple agencies

If you are marketing your property with more than one agency, you are obliged to give notice to all parties when an initial holding deposit is taken. Your property should be taken off the market during this time with all agencies, so please be certain of your intentions to proceed before accepting the initial payment, as costs will be incurred, for which you will be liable if you withdraw from the transaction.

In the event that an applicant/s views a property with more than one agency, you will be liable to pay the letting fee to Property Maximise, if the tenant was introduced via our agency initially, either from our advertising, mailing, telephone marketing, appointment booked via our lettings office, or via a current tenant previously introduced by Property Maximise. 

In the event that an applicant/s wishes to negotiate a tenancy with an agency who did not conduct the original viewing at the property. If an offer has been negotiated by Property Maximise and agreed with all parties to the point where a non-refundable deposit is taken to secure the property then you are liable to pay the letting fee in full to us. Please ensure that you understand your liability for payment of fees, prior to accepting a tenant through an agency who did not introduce them to the property or negotiate the terms.

Housing benefit

Where the tenant is in receipt of Housing Benefit payments, you indemnify Property Maximise against any requirement to refund Housing Benefit to the council.

Paper statements 

Should the Landlord request paper statement instead of electronic copies there will be a charge of £2.50p per statement issued.

Cancelation

You may have the right to cancel this contract under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 within 14 calendar days from the date upon which it was signed. Notice of Cancellation MUST BE IN WRITING and be sent to direct to our address Property Maximise, Lowton Business Park, Newton Road, Lowton, WA3 2AN or by email to info@propertymaximise.co.uk

Any Notice of Cancellation is deemed served on the day that it is delivered, posted or sent.

If you have given us your written agreement to market your property and you cancel within the cancelation period you may be required to pay our commission fees if we have introduced a tenant to your property prior to your serving a Notice of Cancellation or carried out any administration work towards letting the property.

Terminating the Managed Service

Should the landlord wish to terminate the Managed service, a charge equivalent to three month’s rent will apply, so long as one of the original tenants or licensees introduced by the agent to the landlord is still residing in the property.

The landlord is required to give one full rental months notice, to the agency before the contract can be terminated. 

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