Landlord's Guide

Pace are professional, ARLA licenced, Sunday Times awarded, property agent specialists operating since 1994, providing a reliable and efficient lettings and management service for landlords and property investors.

Visit our welcoming and highly visible offices in Southend and you will find a convenient, competitive and highly comprehensive property solution – we are open 7 days a week and evenings.

As a family-run firm, we pride ourselves in delivering a flexible, personalised service and offer at all times, a standard of individual care and professionalism which you will find second to none – a reflection, we believe, of why so many landlords trust their investments to Pace.

OUR COMMITMENT TO YOU

Why Landlords Choose Pace?

We are industry-qualified and professionally equipped to negotiate the very best rental returns for your property. You need look no further for highly competitive terms and clear, concise guidance in the varied and often complex areas of landlord compliance.

We stay ahead of the field by combining traditional values such as honesty, fairness and respect, with the very latest training and technologies to deliver a cutting edge service. You can be confident that we will swiftly find you suitable tenants, maximising your investment from the outset.

You will receive regular updates throughout. Your dedicated property manager will get to know you, your property and your tenant – not only to fully identify and meet your requirements, but to exceed your expectations.

We are proud of our fully qualified, highly trained staff who are local market and industry experts. Their knowledge, drive and professionalism ensure your property is proactively looked after and your investment is protected.

But don’t just take our word for it, take a look at some of the many testimonials from landlords who trust the successful management of their properties to Pace; as well as the awards we have won for our lettings business. They are delighted with the standard of care and professionalism we provide and are more than happy to say so. We hope to warmly welcome you on board to find out for yourself.

Click here for further details of our fixed price lettings fees.

Pace is a member of the Safeagent Scheme

This is run by a recognised industry body to provide accreditation and/or regulation. It is completely independent from Pace and they do not act on behalf of, or have a duty of care to us. In other words, our participation is solely to benefit the landlord.


Aren’t all mortgage companies the same?

Far from it… check out the short video below that explains how Zing are different from most high street mortgage lenders such as banks and building societies…

Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll probably need to arrange a mortgage to finance the purchase of your new home.

Zing Mortgages work with Pace and can help you with this part of the property buying process.

We understand that organising a mortgage can be a daunting prospect. There are different industry terms and interest rates, paperwork to complete and a lot of financial jargon.

Zing Mortgages is a local company that gives professional and independent mortgage advice to Pace customers.

Finding the right mortgage is essential, which is why it is important to seek professional advice before you make a decision. We are always happy to call you if you would like an initial, no obligation chat.


What to do next?

Discover some great new deals on mortgages at our mortgage microsite!

  • Discover more about the Zing Mortgages “Help to Buy Scheme”
  • Choose a great mortgage deal that’s right for you
  • Find out about different mortgage types
  • Learn more about what really makes a good mortgage rate.
Want to find out more? Zing!

Important

  • Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
  • There will be a fee for mortgage advice.
  • The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances.
  • The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is £399.

Specialist insurance for landlords

Letting agents southend

The majority of landlords in the UK are exposed to unnecessary risk because they don’t have adequate insurance. HomeLet’s insurance covers not only your building, but can provide contents cover, protection against your tenant defaulting on rent, or 90 day cover for empty property. They tailor their solutions whether your property is furnished or not.

Rent guarantee
£199 for 6 months / £249 for 12 months

Our Rent Guarantee offers peace of mind when it comes to the protection of your monthly rental payments. Pace purchase an insurance policy, which we are the policyholder of, and you the client have an interest in our policy. You will receive your full monthly rent for up to six months from the initial date of the rental arrears along with £50,000 of legal expenses and eviction costs. Once possession has been regained of your property and while it remains vacant you will receive 50% of the rent paid for up to two months.

– No excess on our rent protection cover
– Contact us now for further details!

Comprehensive buildings insurance

HomeLet’s comprehensive buildings insurance not only protects you against all the things you would expect, but it’s also there to help with a lot more besides, including 90 day cover when your property is empty and loss of rent and re-letting costs.  If you have got more than one property why not take out our Landlord’s Portfolio Insurance?  You could save up to 45% compared to some policies and you’ll only have one renewal date to worry about.

Contents cover for rented properties

Whether your property is let fully-furnished or you’ve only left white-goods, carpets and curtains, you still need insurance.  In fact, as a landlord you need cover in case the tenant or one of your employees has an accident at your property such as tripping on a carpet or burning themselves on a faulty cooker. HomeLet provides all the cover you may need.

Contents insurance, It’s really quick and easy to get covered – Just click here

Pace Property Lettings and Management Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Barbon Insurance Group Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance distribution. Registered office address: Hestia House, Edgewest Road, Lincoln, LN6 7EL.

Here we give an overview of some important factors that landlords need to look at and consider along with actions to take, regulations to adhere to and procedures to implement in our tenanted properties and blocks to maintain and ensure the safety of our tenants.

Have you checked it?

Although it is unconfirmed, there is great speculation and comment that the cladding of Grenfell Tower was the main cause and source of the devastating fire which spread so quickly. The government is urging local authorities and social housing providers, landlords, privately owned and managed residential blocks throughout England, that safety checks must be carried out on buildings as a matter of urgency.

It is necessary to identify whether any panels used in new build or refurbishment of housing stock are clad with product made of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM).

Not just about cladding!

Which Legislation relates to fire safety for landlords?

  • Housing Act 2004 (Housing Health and safety Rating System)
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005
  • Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998
  • Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994
  • The Furniture and Furnishings Act 1988
  • Risk Assessment

If you have any concerns about which legislation covers fire safety and applies to you as a landlord, read more in the RLA Fire Safety Guide.

So what are a landlord’s obligations?

Privately rented accommodation must meet certain safety obligations under the law. This includes making sure that all gas and any electrical appliances provided, are safe to use and in good working order.

  • Gas appliances must be checked by a registered Gas Safe engineer every year
  • Electrical appliances must carry the British Safety Standard sign
  • Furnishings must be fire resistant and meet safety regulations
  • Landlords must provide safety certificates so that tenants can see when gas and electrical appliances were last checked
  • Under the 2004 Housing Act, you must ensure that there are adequate escape routes in the property

Electrical Safety

Although there are no specific laws and regulations for electrical safety as there is for gas safety, under a residential tenancy, it is the landlord’s responsibility and implied obligation to ensure that all electrical appliances provided are kept in safe and in good working order when the tenancy begins.

Any defect in electrical installation which causes damage to personal property belonging to a tenant or resident, or even worse, resulting in death or injury to a tenant or resident may result in the landlord being liable to pay damages in respect of the person injured or killed.

PAT testing

What to Test and When

  • Refrigerators/Washing Machines/Electrical Fires – Every 4 years
  • Portable Equipment – table lamps, fans, kettles, toasters, vacuum cleaners – Every 2 years

For further information on electrical safety, see the RLA guide.

Houses in Multiple Occupation

All electrical lighting, space heating or water appliances must be maintained and in good and proper working order. There is an obligation under the HMO Management Regulations to carry out a five yearly electrical safety check by a competent electrician. The local authority is entitled to demand to see this report.

Gas Safety

A landlord is obliged to ensure that all gas appliances and gas installations are in a safe condition. There are regulations which control the safety of gas appliances and all works must be carried out by Registered ‘Gas Safe’ Engineers. Tenants must also be given a copy of the properties Annual Safety Check certificate.

Any new installations e.g. boilers, water heaters, warm air heaters, gas fires and flued cookers must comply with Building Regulation, as well as the Gas Safety Regulations.

The occupier has various responsibilities relating to gas safety too, but these fall on the owner where the occupier is away and all landlords are responsible in relation to dangerous situations, whether the property is occupied or not.

For further info on gas safety: RLA Guide to Gas Safety

Fire Safety for Furniture and Furnishings

All furniture and furnishings supplied by the landlord or managing agent must comply with the ‘Fire Safety Regulations for Furnishings and Furniture’ and meet current fire resistance requirements. These set levels of fire resistance to domestic upholstered furniture, furnishings and other products (which contain upholstery) and are to ensure proper fire resistance be maintained to meet the relevant requirements regarding ignition and fire safety.

Landlord fire safety is enforced by local training standards and are also requirements imposed in relation to furniture in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

For more information on furniture in your rental properties, read here

Check your White Goods!

There are unconfirmed reports that a faulty fridge was to blame for the start of the fire at Grenfell Tower. It is the responsibility of the landlord to check that electrical goods are in safe working order.

Follow these tips from Charlie Pugsley, head of Fire Investigation for London Fire Brigade:

  • Make sure all appliances are registered with the manufacturer
  • Check your appliances against the recall list
  • Visually check your appliances – you don’t need to be an electrician to see if wires are damaged or a control panel is broken.
  • Tell your tenants to flag up any unusual noises or smells and get them checked out.
  • Don’t leave fridges or freezers in communal areas such as hallways

Did you know?

That all private landlords must ensure the fire safety of their tenants as well as offer protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Failure to comply with the new regulation could result in a £5000 fine.

Landlords are now required to:

  • Fit at least one smoke alarm on each floor of the property
  • Fit a carbon monoxide detector in rooms containing a solid fuel appliance
  • Check that the alarms are working at the start of every new tenancy.

This useful leaflet may be worth downloading: Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms Leaflet

Chimney fire safety!

Those properties with open fires and stoves in use, should ensure that their annual chimney inspection and sweep is carried out, to check the condition and safety of the flue and to have an up-to-date safety certificate issued. This also ensures that the build-up of soot, tar, creosote, birds’ nests and other blockages are removed – as they are all combustible and can result in a chimney fire! If you do not have a valid Sweeping Certificate, your insurance can be void!

Fire Safety Helpful Tips

So, what else can you do?

  • Provide a fire blanket in the kitchen to allow the occupier to tackle a fire if is safe to do so.
  • Ensure there is a protected and safe means of escape from the property, and that the occupiers can escape from the building without the use of a key.
  • Escape windows can provide a second, emergency escape from the first floor.
  • Ensure that the area immediately adjacent to the cooker is free from flammable materials such as curtains around a window, or wall units.
  • Ensure that fitted appliances and equipment that present a possible source of ignition should be correctly installed and maintained.

Provide an Evacuation Strategy!

Ensure that the procedures for escape are clearly defined, displayed and understood by residents and that they are well communicated and informed.

If you have any worries or concerns about fire safety in your rental properties, or for further information about fire safety for landlords and tenants, please do get in touch with us today.

Essex Fire Service also provides an informative online leaflet for landlords and tenants on fire safety, which can be found here.

If you wish to discuss any element of your properties fire safety planning, please contact Pace now.

Thinking of letting property in Southend On Sea?

If you’re thinking of letting a property in or around Southend On Sea, why not give Pace a call? Our team know the area inside and out, and will be able to help you sell your property at the right price, as quickly as possible.

Contact Pace

The Pace local area guide to Southend and the surrounding areas

Pace has prepared a number of local guides to the greater Southend On Sea area. These guides are intended to help prospective tenants, buyers and landlords looking to either rent, buy or invest in property in the following areas: