Landlord & Tenant Services: Property Ownership, Lanlords, Leasing & Rental
Prince Krofa and Sons offers services to landlords and tenants looking for peace of mind. Here, we explain some of what we can offer during the course of leasing and rental.
Types of property ownership
The percentage population living in rented accommodation is increasing year on year, with renting fast becoming the norm in urban areas of the country. However, very few people still know their property ownership rights, or really what a tenancy actually is.
The most obvious difference in land ownership rights is between “freehold”, where the property and the land is owned, and “leasehold”, where the property is and the land use is owned by someone else for a specific period of time, before it reverts back to the freeholder. In addition, with the addition of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme by the UK government in 2007, both freeholders and leaseholders on a 99-year fixed-term lease can let out properties to another tenant on an “assured shorthold tenancy”, usually lasting for 12 months, although some can last up to three years.
Once a property, either a house or single flat, is leased, the freeholder still owns the property, but the leaseholder owns the right to use it during the tenancy agreement, so the freeholder cannot enter the property without permission of the leaseholder.
Why would a landlord or a tenant want to contact a surveyor?
Landlords and tenants may end up having to foot the bill for unforeseen repairs and alterations to a property, which could be down to uncertainties in the lease terms, miscommunication, neglect or failure to agree on assignment of responsibility and onus. This can also apply to commercial property owners (click here to view the sectors we work in).
Surveys carried out before, during and after the tenancy agreement is in place can help identify potential repairs, plan for dilapidations, and reassure both parties that one half of the agreement will not unduly try to make the other shoulder the cost of repairs.
If you are a landlord, PKS can help you maximise the potential of your property, and if you are a tenant, we can work with solicitors to offer clear, professional advice on the terms of your lease.
What we offer
Our services to landlords and tenants include:
Dilapidations assessments, surveys and reports
Schedules of condition / inventory
Licenses for alteration
PKS are dedicated to offering landlords and tenants the best services and advice at every stage in the rental process.
Beforehand, we can advise on lease agreements to ensure they contain appropriate repairing covenants. This will ensure the landlord can obtain the most benefit from let areas of the property, and the tenant will not be unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to negotiating repairs costs.
During the letting, we can work with the tenant on a schedule of condition survey, which can be established as the basis for any future claims for dilapidations. This will give both parties the best possible picture of the existing state of the property.
During the tenancy, we can prepare schedules of dilapidation for the landlord, and handle negotiations with the tenant to establish the cost of carrying out these works, providing both parties with all necessary information on rights and lease terms. We can also undertake periodic inspections of the property to ensure all alterations are in line with the lease agreement, and that the tenant is getting the best value for money, whilst making sure both parties are staying on top of repairing covenants before the tenancy agreement expires.
Finally, at the termination of the lease, we can examine the quality of dilapidation to advise the landlord on future refurbishment and redevelopment, and handle negotiations of outgoing repairs costs for the tenant.
PKS may be working particularly in the interest of one party on certain terms, depending on the circumstances. However, during negotiations, we will disclose this information to both parties, and will never share sensitive information, as we take client confidentiality very seriously.
Advice for Landlords and Tenants
Certain documents must be provided by a freeholder upon arrival of a leaseholder by law. These include:
The Energy Performance Certificate, which must be updated ever 10 years,
The Gas Safety Certificate, which is renewed every year,
An Electrical Condition Report, obtained by a survey of the electrics either before the tenant moves in or every 5 years if the tenant’s lease extends beyond that.
Professional cleaning should not be footed by the tenant if the property was not professionally cleaned before the start of the lease agreement.
The landlord should not charge a tenant for “normal wear and tear” outside a schedule of dilapidations, and any claims for repair costs must be backed up in evidence by both parties, otherwise a landlord’s deductions are unlawful.
In our next article on this subject, we will be demystifying the Schedule of Condition and Inventory report.