We provide a full and comprehensive service to both Local and Open Market landlords, from initial advice on the condition of the property and whether improvements would be economically advisable, through to final inspections of the condition at the termination of the lease.
In between, there are a whole host of services, ranging from letting only or management only, but all of which are designed to make a landlord’s property investment as easy as possible, minimising potential problems while maximising both the rental return and the capital growth.
With falling returns from many other forms of investment, the benefits of property ownership are becoming easier to identify. We act for over 120 landlords and have over 340 units of accommodation under management, and would be pleased to discuss how we could help you with lettings and/or management.
For full details, of how we can help please contact us on 01481 721757. You can also look at our guide below which highlights the important points you need to remember when letting your property and provides a checklist of things to do before your tenants move in. Likewise, we provide rental guidelines for tenants to ensure they treat the property with the appropriate diligence.
Important Points For Landlords
Electrical, Gas and Oil
- You are responsible for ensuring that the electrical wiring and gas installations meet with current regulations. If you are unsure that they do, please take professional advice. It is advisable to take out a service contract in your own name to have gas or oil boilers maintained regularly each year.
- If your property has oil central heating, ensure the tank is full at the commencement of the tenancy. Please also ensure that tenants will be able to check how much oil is in the tank (ie either a working gauge on the tank or an Oil Watchman) as they are required to leave it full when they vacate.
- Ensure operating instructions for heating and hot water systems are provided.
- Landlords are required to have a gas safety check undertaken annually, and also when new tenants move in, to check all gas appliances and flues in the property. (Leaflets explaining this requirement are available from the Heath & Safety Executive at Commerce & Employment Department).
- It is your responsibility as Landlord to ensure that your property meets current Fire Safety Regulations. If you have any queries speak to the Guernsey Fire Brigade.
Advise the following, obtain final readings where appropriate and provide details of tenants for accounts.
- Guernsey Electricity
- Gas Company
- Guernsey Water
- Parish Constables
- States Sewage Department (request pit to be emptied).
If you are currently occupying the property, please ensure that the services are advised of your forwarding address in order that final accounts can be sent to you. If you have a tenant, please ensure that they provide the services with a forwarding address for final accounts to be sent to them. If there will be an interim period when the property will be empty, ensure that services are transferred into your name as landlord.
- Landline providers do not accept instructions from the landlord so ensure the tenants are aware they need to arrange this.
- You are responsible for payment of the Tax on Rateable Value and you will need to contact the Cadastre Committee with your address.
- Landlords are responsible for buildings insurance and will need to inform your insurance company that your property will be tenanted.
- It is the tenant’s responsibility to insure their personal belongings.
Swoffers are able to provide our own standard lease, which has been drawn up by an advocate. The cost of this lease is £350 and is paid in equal shares by the Landlord and the Tenant. If your property is located within a development that has communal parts the Development Schedule will need to be attached to the Lease. Should you prefer to use an advocate to prepare your lease, Swoffers would advise you to instruct him/her to prepare a draft lease if you do not already have one as they often take four weeks to prepare and are not legally binding until they are signed by both parties. Should you wish to use an advocate it would be helpful if Swoffers could have an indication of cost at the outset as tenants are usually responsible for half the Lease fees and need to budget for them.
Checklist – Ready Your Home for Letting
- The property should be cleaned throughout.
- Flooring vacuumed and washed / shampooed as appropriate.
- Wall, skirtings, window sills, light fittings and switches dusted and wiped.
- Furniture dusted or cleaned.
- For working fireplaces, ensure the chimney is swept.
Windows and doors
- All windows and doors, should be cleaned inside and out and have all locks and fastenings in working order. Windows should be checked to ensure that they open and close. Keys should be provided for all doors and windows.
Lighting and appliances
- All light fittings should be working and fitted with bulbs.
- Manuals/operating instructions should be provided for all appliances, which must be cleaned and in good working order.
Kitchen & Utility
- Clean units, worktops and tiles.
- Ensure sinks are clean and draining freely.
- Cooker and cooker hood/extractor should be clean and free of grease. Change filters if necessary.
- Empty and clean fridges, freezers and dishwashers and leave, in working order, switched off with door open.
- Washing machines and tumble driers should have filters cleaned.
- Clean all sanitary ware, including plugs and wastes, ensure all drain properly.
- Extractor fans to be clean and working.
We recommend that you carefully check the condition of any seals around the bath and shower units as broken seals can result in considerable damage being caused to the property.
Garage / Outbuildings
- Clean and leave free of rubbish.
- Ensure gutters and drains are not blocked.
- Leave garden tidy relative to the time of year. Mow lawns and clear any garden waste.
- Check outside light fittings etc are in working order.
- Check all rubbish and recycling has been disposed off and dustbins left empty.
Make note of any existing marks or damage
- Finally, check for stains and burn marks on soft furnishings and carpets/flooring and note any minor damage to paintwork/walls caused by furniture removal or where picture hooks/nails have been removed.