General condition of property

In order to let the property quickly and at the best possible rental value, it is essential that the property is presented in a good, clean and tidy manner. Properties are best viewed after any decoration or refurbishment is completed. Neutral colours are more favourable and all personal items should be removed. We recommend that the property is professionally cleaned; if carpets are not new they should be professionally cleaned also.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition

A detailed and accurate Inventory and Schedule of Condition is essential for any letting, since it records everything that is in the property at the commencement of a tenancy, and its condition. Tenants are required to check and sign a copy of the inventory; this is the basis of the end-of-tenancy inspection. Even an unfurnished property has a substantial inventory, as the condition of floor coverings and paintwork in each room is included.

Keys

The Landlord must supply three sets of keys to the property. One set of keys per tenant will be supplied at the commencement of the tenancy plus a set retained by us for access in an emergency and for inspections.

Mail

It is a condition of the tenancy agreement that tenants make arrangements for the re-directing of mail. Tenants are not required to receive and store mail on behalf of the Landlord.

Consent to Let

If the Landlord has a mortgage, consent must be obtained from the mortgage lender. If the property is leasehold the lease may require consent from the Landlord prior to sub-letting.

Taxation

Rental income is subject to UK income tax in all cases. Landlords residing in the UK are responsible themselves for the declaring of rental income to the Inland Revenue. A Landlord classified as a Non-Resident who is residing overseas should submit form NRL1 to H M Revenue and Customs to obtain clearance for rents to be received gross. Failure to get this clearance will result in Lemontree being obliged to deduct tax from the rental income to cover potential tax liability and forward it quarterly to the Inland Revenue. Non-resident Landlords may apply for a Certificate of Exemption giving approval to receive the gross rental income without tax deduction.

Legal Proceedings

Should a problem arise with a breach of the tenancy agreement, Lemontree will endeavour to establish the cause of the problem and resolve it as quickly as possible. If the matter cannot be resolved and the breach continues, the Landlord will be advised. If legal action is required, Lemontree will offer assistance and relevant documentation in the event of any breach of the tenancy agreement, but the Landlord will be responsible for instructing their own solicitor and the paying of any costs incurred in the proceedings. Likewise, assistance will be offered but the Landlord will need to seek independent advice regarding any action the Landlord my wish to take under Section 8 or related issues.

Tenants’ Rights

Tenants do have rights to “possess and enjoy the premises during the tenancy without any interruption from the Landlord”. Should a Landlord wish to gain access to the property during a tenancy, they must contact Lemontree and we will give the tenants seven days’ written notice. If a Landlord enters a tenanted property without the tenant’s consent and without giving prior notice, they will be trespassing and, in effect, be breaking and entering. They may even be liable for damages under the Housing Act 1988.

Inspections

The first inspection will be made 3 months after the commencement.  A verbal or written report will be forwarded to both Landlord and Tenant. The main purpose of inspections is to confirm that the property is being adequately maintained and Lemontree will take appropriate action before a problem develops if necessary. Also, tenants take considerably more care of the property when the agent is regularly visiting the property. Please note that our responsibility to manage and inspect a property (unless otherwise agreed) exists only from the date a letting commences until vacation of the property by the tenant – not from the date of instruction to seek a tenant.

Rent

As a member of ARLA/Propertymark, our accounting complies fully with their Codes of Practice. If we are collecting the rent it is demanded in advance on a monthly basis. After deductions of fees and any expenses due, the balance will be paid directly into the Landlord’s bank account at the end of every month. A monthly statement of account will be sent to the Landlord. Rents quoted are to include insurance premiums for buildings and Landlord’s contents and any other charges or taxes levied in respect of the property apart from utility services such as gas, electricity, water charges and council tax.

Rent arrears

If rent is received late or becomes in arrears, letters will be issued to the tenant requesting payment. The first letter will be sent 7 – 9 working days and, if necessary, again at 14 – 16 from the due date. If no solution or explanation has been made and the arrears still remain after 21 – 28 days, a final reminder will be sent advising the tenant that legal action may be taken. At this time, instruction would be required from the Landlord on how to proceed.

Utilities and Council Tax

Council Tax applies whilst the property is let and the tenant is responsible for this. On fully managed properties, on behalf of the Landlord, Lemontree will notify the utility companies at the beginning of every tenancy the start meter reads and the local authority regarding the Council Tax liability.

Deposit

As from 6th April 2007, deposits from assured shorthold tenancy agreement must be protected in a government-authorised tenancy deposit scheme. Landlords failing to comply can lose their right to regain possession of their property at the end of a fixed term and may also be fined three times the amount of the deposit. The Deposit is held against dilapidations on the property and is collected from the tenant at the start of a tenancy. Lemontree register this with and forward it to The Tenant Deposit Protection Service for the duration of the tenancy. The deposit is equivalent to 6 weeks rent. A final inventory and condition check will be made at the end of tenancy to ensure all obligations due from the tenant under the Tenancy Agreement have been fulfilled. Tenants are obliged under the lease to keep the property in good condition but allowance must be made for normal “wear and tear”.

The scheme demands additional clauses to be added to the tenancy agreement and rules apply to the receiving, registering and return of the deposit and an independent arbitration service is provided should a dispute arise.

Tenancy Agreement

Tenancy Agreements will be signed by all tenants 18 or over who will be occupying the property prior to taking possession of it. Lemontree will sign the agreement on behalf of the Landlord (if written authority is given from the Landlord).

Obtaining Possession / Rent Review

In accordance with the Conditions of Engagement, clear written notice must be given if possession is required.

Lemontree are excellent agents and we never have any problems with their management of our property. They are very helpful and provide a full service, arranging for work when required and organising insurance and ground rent payments on our behalf.

Jackie, Landlord

It is just so nice to have found a firm that are so professional, well organised and able to deliver a first class service in such a friendly manner. Thanks again and keep up the excellent work Beth and team.

Roland, Landlord

We definitely will recommend Lemontree when we have a chance. Thank you for being so helpful and supportive when dealing with our tenancy.

Darius, Tenant

This was our first time letting a property and we looked at a number of letting agents before deciding on Lemontree. We were impressed with their professional approach and it's clear Beth is passionate about her business. The tenants were excellent and the management of the property was first class.

Pete, Landlord

Many thanks for looking after my properties – I really do appreciate the excellent way you all manage them.

Norman, Landlord

From getting the house back on 15th October, refurbishing it and letting it by the 25th November, your work has been excellent.

Michael, Landlord

It was a pleasure dealing with Lemontree – you were all very accommodating and helpful during my tenancy. I would certainly recommend your agency to family and friends. Keep up the good work.

Cecille, Tenant

Being rather preoccupied with my wife in hospital, it's great knowing you are looking after everything on my behalf. You always go above and beyond, and having confidence in my agent is the peace of mind I need.

Philip, Landlord

Thank you for all that you have done. We could not have asked for a smoother transaction. We are so pleased that we decided to put our property in your very capable hands.

Janet, Landlord

Being a cautious person by nature, I can be rather cynical. But Lemontree have been extremely helpful and professional. It has been a pleasure dealing with you during my tenancy.

Harry, Tenant