FAQ - Landlords

  • Q. What makes a property easy to let/attractive to tenants?

    A. A regular demand of contemporary applicants is ‘modern building, neutral décor’. Thus, properties that are easy to let generally have consistent décor throughout and, for properties with more than one bedroom, a minimum of two bathrooms. By consistent décor, this means a single theme across all rooms, for example grey floors and white walls, with identical and well-fitting curtains in all rooms. Yellow walls in any room can quickly appear dated. The goal is to have a property be attractive to many applicants rather than a select few.

  • Q. What services do you offer in a management service?

    A. In addition to marketing the property, drafting agreements, and referencing (our basic letting service), a management service involves annual inspections of the property (at least twice per year), full arrangement of repairs and contractors, and a ‘24-hour answering’ service. Essentially, this is a ‘laissez-faire’ package (for the Landlord). With our management service, the landlord is removed from the day-to-day business of managing the property and arranging contractors. We keep the landlord advised as appropriate.

  • Q. What fees do you charge?

    A. Our fee for Letting Only is 10.00%. Letting & Management is 15.00%. These charges are ongoing for full tenancy length and all charges are plus VAT.

  • Q. How do you take your fees?

    A. When rent is paid monthly we take commission six months’ in advance from the first rent payment, and monthly thereafter from month seven onwards. If a tenancy agreement includes a break clause which is then activated, differences in commission will be fully accounted for.

  • Q. Do you charge extras or mark-up costs?

    A. No. We do not charge administration fees, nor do we mark-up contractor costs. The price we pay, is the price you pay. If an inventory costs £100.00 (inc VAT), this is what you will pay.

  • Q. What are the legal requirements on gas safety, electrical safety, energy performance, legionella?

    A.
    Gas Safety – Certificate to be renewed annually. Certificate to be provided to each new tenant at the start of the tenancy, and to existing tenants within 28 days of the test.

    Electrical Safety – From 1st July 2020, all new tenancies are required to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR). The certificate is valid for five years and must be provided to new tenants at or before the start of the tenancy. This requirement will be extended to cover all existing tenancies from April 2021.

    Energy Performance – All tenancies are required to have a valid Energy Performance Certificate. Since 1st April 2020, all tenancies (new and existing) must achieve a minimum energy efficient rating of E.

    Legionella - While there is no legal requirement for Legionella Risk Assessments, landlords do have a responsibility for the safety of their buildings. Most LRA certificates are valid for up to one to two years.

  • Q. How do you market the property?

    A. Our properties are marketed through the portals Zoopla and On The Market. We also list on Lonres, which is a private portal for London letting agents. Over the many years of our business (est. 1975), we have also established ongoing contacts with many major companies and embassies.

  • Q. What is your policy regarding repair costs?

    A. With management properties, we keep a maintenance float of £200.00 for minor repairs. Costs above this will be submitted for landlord approval, except in the case of emergencies (gas leak, burst pipes, etc) where arrangements will be made immediately, and costs deducted from the rent.

Should you require any further information, please contact John Birch either by phone or email.

Birch & Co


2 Queen Anne’s Gate Buildings, 22 Dartmouth Street, London, SW1H 9BP.
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7222 1975

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