Advice for landlords


• Rental valuation

• Advertising via internet & local press. Circulation of details to prospective tenants via mailing list. Weekly circulation to schools, colleges, corporate companies and hospitals

• Supply ‘TO LET’ board to property

• Accompanied viewing with prospective tenants

• Implement full credit and referencing service

• Draw up tenancy agreements in line with the current Housing Act

• Collect one months rent in advance together with dilapidation’s deposit

• Arrange for the transfer of services to the tenant & preparation of inventory on check-in

• Collect rent per calendar month, 4 weekly in the case of housing benefit and credit your bank account direct – issue monthly statements. All rents transferred by BACS

• Carry out quarterly property inspections.

• Arrange for necessary repairs to a maximum of £100.00 – except in the case of an emergency. Estimates will be obtained and submitted for your approval in respect of works or redecoration, renewal or repair likely to cost more than £100.

• Carry out a final inspection at the tenancy termination and arrange if necessary for the property to be prepared for the new tenant out of the previous tenant’s dilapidation’s deposit.

FEES: On request


• Rental valuation

• Advertising via internet & local press. Circulation of details to prospective tenants via mailing list. Weekly circulation to schools, colleges, corporate companies and hospitals

• Supply ‘TO LET’ board to property

• Accompanied viewing with prospective tenants

• Implement full credit and referencing service

• Draw up tenancy agreements in line with the current Housing Act

• Collect one months rent in advance together with dilapidation’s deposit

• Arrange for the transfer of services to the tenant & preparation of inventory on check-in


• Rental guarantee schemes

• Landlords buildings and contents insurances

• Legal protection scheme

• Sale of property to tenants/investors

• Property maintenance repairs/refurbishment

• Investment property acquisition


Finding the right tenant for the property is crucial. We begin by establishing the type of tenant you wish for your property and any special conditions that you may wish to impose.

We then match this to prospective tenants who must complete an application form from which we obtain references as applicable. Only after references have been confirmed will we proceed with a tenancy.

It is our recommendation that landlords meet prospective tenants before a letting is confirmed.


An initial assessment of the property is carried out and we indicate what we believe to be a realistic rent. Prospective tenants usually accept this figure but there may need to be a little room for negotiation.

Professional tenants – Payment is due every calendar month in advance starting at the commencement of the tenancy. We advise tenants to pay rent by standing order. If payment is made by cheque we must allow time for bank clearance before forwarding payment to the landlord.

Housing Benefit Claimants – the local council makes Payment direct to our company. The initial payment may take 6 – 8 weeks minimum and is then paid 4 weekly in arrears. If the tenant has to make a contribution to the rent, this will be collected fortnightly or monthly to suit the tenant but in line with payments to the landlord.

The Local Authority has the right to a refund if at a later stage if it is found that the tenant was not entitled to claim for a period of the tenancy. In the event that a repayment is due or paid we will be entitled to such sums from you.


A deposit is held from all tenants equivalent to one calendar month rent. Deposits are held as a safeguard against damages or unpaid rent. The deposit is refundable at the end of the tenancy only after the tenant has vacated the property and following successful final inspection and account payment.

The company holds the deposit on all properties in a non-interest bearing account – Searz Limited act as Stakeholder’.

TDSRA – The tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents has been developed to ensure that the deposits held are protected and that disputes about their return are resolved quickly inexpensively and impartially.

Under the scheme:

• Deposits will be protected during the tenancy

• Where there is no dispute at the end of tenancy deposits will be refunded promptly

• Where there is a dispute about the return of the deposit it will be dealt with fairly by the Independent Complaints Examiner (ICE)

ICE will make their decision quickly and the deposit will be paid out without unnecessary delay.

How are the deposits held and protected?

Searz Limited hold the deposits in a specific client account. A company called The Dispute Service (The dispute Service Limited) has been set up to ensure deposit protection.

What happens at the end of tenancy?

Searz Limited will repay or keep the deposit, according to their agreement with the tenant and the landlord. If there is a dispute we will allow 2 weeks to resolve it. After that time any of the parties – landlord agent or tenant – can approach the ICE. They will appoint an adjudicator to assist them in considering the evidence they provide, and will issue their decision within 10 working days of receiving all the necessary papers.

What happens to the deposit if there is a dispute?

Searz Limited will transfer the deposit to The Dispute Service Limited which administers an Assurance Fund, this enables the ICE to carry on with adjudication and to pay out the deposit even if the agent has not sent it to him. The Dispute Service Limited will pay out the deposit according to the instructions of the ICE following his award. If the agent has not sent the deposit The Dispute Service Limited will draw it from the Assurance Fund.

For further information contact:

The Dispute Service Limited, PO box 541 Amersham HP6 9ZR

tel 0845 226 7837

fax 01494 431 123



As a regulated and bonded Agent we Endeavour to provide a fair and equitable tenancy agreement and service to both our landlords and tenants, with this in mind all our tenancy agreements, where we are to hold the deposit during the term of the tenancy, include the following clauses: –

1] This tenancy is included in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents (TDSRA). The landlord and the tenant must Endeavour to notify the Member Firm that there is a dispute over the deposit, as soon as possible and within 28 days of the lawful end of the tenancy and the vacation of the property (it is strongly recommended that such notice be given in writing). The ICE reserves the right to decline to consider disputes which have arisen outside this timescale

2] If, after 10 working days following notification of a dispute and reasonable attempts in that time to resolve any differences of opinion, there remains an unresolved dispute between the landlord and the tenant over the allocation of the deposit it will (subject to note 4 below) be submitted to the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents for expert, impartial, third party adjudication. The landlord and the tenant agree to co-operate with his investigation.

3] Where the amount of dispute is over £5,000 the landlord and the tenant agree to submit to formal arbitration through the engagement of an arbitrator appointed by the ICE although, with the written agreement of both parties, the ICE may at his discretion accept the dispute for informal adjudication. The appointment of an arbitrator will incur an administration fee of £235 shared equally between the landlord and the tenant; the liability for any subsequent costs will be dependent upon the Award made by the arbitrator.

4] The statutory rights of either landlord or tenant to take legal action against the other remain unaffected.

We do not make any charge for access to this dispute resolution facility. There are no costs for the actual adjudication process although any dispute that is submitted for arbitration will incur an administration charge of £235 shared equally between the landlord and the tenant, or such sum as may from time to time be determined by the ICE. The liability for any subsequent costs will be dependent upon the Award made by the arbitrator.


The tenancy commences on the date shown on the lease. Prior to the tenant moving in, we will prepare an inventory of the contents of the property, and record the condition of the property and the contents. Meter readings will be taken. We will advise the gas electricity local council and water providers of the new tenant’s details.


All new tenancies commence as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. It is recommended that a period of six months is used initially.

If you do not want to renew the tenancy, you must inform us in writing by the third month and we will issue a statutory two months notice to be served in line with the original tenancy end date.

If you wish the tenancy to continue and the tenants agree to stay we will either:

  • renew the tenancy for an agreed period on the same terms;
  • the tenancy can run on a month-to-month basis and become ‘periodic’ until the tenants give one months notice in writing or the statutory two months notice is served.


When a tenancy ends we will meet with the tenant and you or your representative. Using the inventory we will check all items and record meter readings. We will obtain a forwarding address for the tenants. The deposit is refunded to the tenant when all parties are satisfied that the property has been returned in the same condition as at the commencement of tenancy -fair wear and tear allowing.

The tenant must be given an opportunity to rectify any problems if you have any issues. If the tenant does not rectify the problem we will make an agreed deduction from the deposit. Valid estimates must be obtained, indicating the exact cost of repair. If agreement is not reached between the parties then under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents (TDSRA) ICE adjudicators will be appointed.


All fully managed tenanted properties will be visited and inspected on a regular basis. The inspections allow us to confirm that the tenant is fulfilling obligations, is taking care of the property and is using it in an appropriate manner. If there any maintenance issues we will advise you accordingly. The visits assist us in getting to know the tenants further and help us advise you appropriately when a lease is up for renewal


When repairs are required we will contact you to advise the nature of the problem and offer a solution together with a contractor who can carry out the repair work. If a serious issue occurs (water burst/ flood/ fire etc) and we cannot contact you for some reason, we accept your authority to carry out repairs up to a cost of one month’s rent. This is a matter on which you have to accept our judgment.

As a Landlord you have a legal obligation* to the maintenance of the property. Tenants have rights also and may use the Environmental Health Department of the local authority should repairs not be attended to promptly. An enforcement order could include additional repairs and result in a significantly higher cost to you. Work not completed may even be carried out by the Authority, which is entitled then to add a substantial charge to your repair invoice.

*In section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985, it is implied as a covenant in the tenancy agreement that the landlord is:

a) To keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling (including its drains, gutters and external pipes) and

b) Keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwellings, for sanitation and for the supply of water, gas and electricity as well as those for space heating and hot water.


If there is a garden with the property it is advisable to provide suitable equipment and tools to enable the tenant to keep the grounds in good order.

If your gardens are of high maintenance or value you may prefer a contractor to attend to the upkeep. In this instance you must request the office to make suitable arrangements for you and agree a fixed price.


Landlords Gas Safety Certificate

It is a legal requirement that each gas fired appliance, central heating system and its pipe work should be inspected on an annual basis and a safety certificate issued. (This certificate or copy of must be kept with our files). We can arrange for this inspection to be carried out, or you can ask British gas or a private contractor to arrange these inspections, but do bear in mind that, for an inspection to comply, the person carrying out the inspection MUST BE CORGI REGISTERED.

If central heating systems break down the cost of repair can be substantial. For this reason we recommend a service contract. Several insurance schemes offer a range of policies, which cover the majority of systems, and allows you to spread the cost by monthly installments. We will record the policy details on our maintenance system and deal direct with the providers to resolve any maintenance issues with immediate effect.


As the landlord you have a duty to ensure that all electrical or mechanical equipment is safe and is repaired should it become faulty. Any soft furnishings (suites, beds etc) in the property must comply with fire regulations and display a kite mark for fire resistance. If not the furnishings must be removed from the property. We will check the suitability of all soft furnishings when carrying out the inventory preparation; any items, which do not comply, must be replaced immediately.


If the property is subject to a mortgage, you should inform the lender of your intention to let the property prior to commencement of tenancy. The lender may charge to cover administration costs, or may amend the terms of your mortgage.


As landlord, you are responsible for insuring the building and any of your contents left in the property, including carpets and furnishings. We can obtain competitive quotes for you if requested.


Income received from renting a property is subject to tax. If you have any queries you should contact your financial or tax advisor. Expenses incurred can be set against your tax liability, as can the interest paid on your mortgage (if MIRAS is removed or does not apply to the property).


A Landlord can apply for an exemption certificate from the Inland Revenue

When you are awarded an exemption registration we can forward all rent to you without deduction of tax. A fee of £295 per annum is charged for submitting accounts & correspondence to the Inland Revenue where exemption is not in place. An NRL1 will be provided at your request.


If you are concerned about your property when it is vacant we can arrange to make check up visits and report back to you. The charge is £25 + vat per visit.


We require two full sets of keys to the property. One set will be handed to the tenant on occupation; the other will be retained in our office for access/emergencies. If you wish to use or collect the keys at any time, you should bring proof of identification for security purposes.


The landlord will be responsible for taking any legal action necessary for rent recovery or any other matters relating to the tenancy and will be responsible for payment of all fees and costs.


If at any time after the commencement of the tenancy, unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged with the tenant or any associated party, the agent will be entitled to a commission of 1% of the sale price including fixtures and fittings, payable on completion.


Searz Limited or the tenants are not responsible for mail addressed to any other persons. You must re-direct your mail via the Post Office who will make a charge for their services. Searz Limited do not accept responsibility for re-direction of mail, or liability for lost or returned post, or indeed any misplaced post.


We are entitled to a fee of one calendar months rent plus VAT (which is a fee equal to our fee for the let only contract). We recover this during the first 10 months of the tenancy or if you terminate it earlier than that you will owe us the balance on termination. After we have recovered the fee which we would have received on a Let Only Contract our management fee is 10% of the rent payable.


You may bring the Management Contract to an end by one month’s notice provided fees referred to above are paid. We may bring this agreement to an end on giving one month’s notice but if we do you will only be liable to pay fees outstanding up to that date.


If an application to rent the property is received by Searz Limited and the property becomes unavailable due to withdrawal by the landlord, one months rent plus VAT will be payable by the landlord to us.


Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that tenants are suitable, Searz Limited act as introductory agents only and do not accept liability for any damage or loss caused to the landlord as a result of a tenant introduced by the company.

If a tenant is secured for the property, following our marketing and referencing, and the property becomes unavailable due to withdrawal by the landlord, one months rent plus vat will be charged to the landlord.

This service agreement must not be transferred or assigned.

Searz Limited act as sole agent.

In order to expedite matters we have your authority to sign Notices relating to tenancy matters and to sign Tenancy Agreements on your behalf.

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