Hands Off Portfolio Management

The obvious benefits of being a landlord and the advantages of buy to let are the reason so many people see property as a better alternative to a pension, giving them more control with an asset they could understand. Becoming a landlord however mostly meant buying near to where you lived which made the whole process a bit of a lottery – after all, we can’t all live in a property hotspot! This situation has been made more complicated by the steep rises in price that have occurred in London and the South East, not only taking buy to let property beyond the reach of all but the very wealthy, but also driving down yields to often unattractive levels.

The good news is that the market is evolving fast with many investors waking up to the fact that buy to let property can best be described as ‘income producing units’ with the higher the yield the better. Actually we are currently in a once in a lifetime era where we can borrow at such a low rate that the income from rent can produce an amazing geared return provided the yield is high enough.

This has meant for many the need to look further afield than their back yard, often the best rental hotspots are far from London and the South East. The trouble is that most people lack the time, confidence and contacts to go out and research, analyse and evaluate propositions all over the country, but we do and this is how our comprehensive end to end property investment service started to evolve.

We are now in a position to source the best rental properties for our clients nationwide and to create for them high performing hands free investments which we manage on their behalf with one central point of contact and the peace of mind of our unique primary tenancy rent guarantee.

Our comprehensive nationwide management service is not just available to our Investments clients, it’s also available for any landlord with properties in multiple locations who is looking to streamline their management and get more time to focus on enjoying their investments not managing them.

Primary Tenancy™
It is also true that as the private rental market expands, landlords are faced with ever increasing legislation, regulations and obligations. One of the key benefits a good agent offers its landlords is to simplify the process of letting your property and ensure you comply with all the rules. With our Primary Tenancy™, Choices goes one step further and offers landlords the ultimate in simplicity and peace of mind.

Instead of acting just as your agent, with a Primary Tenancy™ Choices becomes your tenant and we sublet your property for a profit rather than a commission. By becoming your tenant we are providing you, our Landlord, with more privacy, protection and peace of mind.

For example we are not obliged to hand your contact details to our sub tenants and in the event of a problem with our sub tenants we can undertake enforcement action against them without your involvement. Even better we offer this option at no cost to you!

Advanced Rent Option
When you rent out a home you traditionally receive your rent monthly. With Choices ‘Advanced Rent Option’ we will pay your rent up to one year in advance. There is no direct cost for the service and provided you pay our normal un-discounted Management fees there’s nothing more to pay.

For an additional charge of 3% we offer a guarantee on the rent so even if our tenant doesn’t pay us you won’t have to make a repayment. The only thing we don’t cover is void periods but even then you won’t need to pay us back if we keep managing your property because we will recoup any shortfall from future rents.

In order to qualify for the Advanced Rent Option all you need to do is let us manage your property and agree to pay our normal fees and charges.

Getting all your rent upfront for a year has many potential benefits. There is the peace of mind of knowing you can pay your mortgage on time even if the tenant pays late. There is also the flexibility and freedom of being able to use the money now rather than having to wait. What you use the money for is up to you – it could be to invest in another property, pay for a wedding, go on a fantastic holiday, do home improvements or buy a new car; the list goes on as far as your imagination takes it.

Remember that the Advanced Rent Option is not a loan, therefore there is no complicated extra paperwork to complete, just our normal lettings agreement. Because it’s not a loan the Advanced Rent Option doesn’t depend on your credit rating either, so there is no need to worry about credit searches or that your credit rating will be affected in any way.

We are often asked how we can make the Advanced Rent Option available to our Landlords. The answer is that over the years we have built up some cash reserves which we use to offer this facility. As a company we don’t have unlimited reserves so the Advanced Rent Option is always subject to limited availability and available at our discretion but generally it’s always available and if not you shouldn’t have to wait long to get it. The other reason we can offer the Advanced Rent Option is our Primary Tenancy™ business model which provides a host of additional benefits to our landlords and tenants.

As a company the word Choices encapsulates our ethos and our aim is to provide our clients with the maximum amount of freedom and peace of mind possible. We understand and recognise the importance of looking after our clients greatest assets and we take the responsibility entrusted to us seriously, diligently and respectfully.

Our Advanced Rent Option is simply another way in which we can help our landlords enjoy the freedom and peace of mind which is after all, for most of us, the biggest reason for owning rental property in the first place.

All the terms and conditions of the Advanced Rent Option are available on request.

Landlord’s Rent Guarantee
As part of our normal terms and conditions we arrange a three month rent protection and legal expenses guarantee. Payment of the premium commences cover for that tenancy, renewal premiums will be charged automatically annually without notice and termination will require notice in writing – a minimum of one month before renewal. This would repay up to three months lost rent, plus the cost of legal expenses (currently up to £1,000) incurred in the process of evicting the tenant and protects the deposit in full for claims of dilapidations and repairs. A copy of the terms of the rent guarantee is in this pack and please read the terms carefully. This is highly recommended and if you examine the cost of, say, a property with rent of £1,000pcm, the cost of a rent guarantee is £360.00 per annum including vat. Technically you could then claim for up to £3,000 in rental arrears, plus up to £1,000 in legal costs and still have the deposit of £1,500 available for any dilapidations caused, worth therefore up to £5,500.

Landlord Rescue Services
We realize that many landlords who let privately, or who go through bad agents, often get themselves into appalling situations. Very often they turn to local solicitors who charge exorbitant fees and who themselves lack the experience to get the job done efficiently.

Even if you have the money to sort it out, removing your tenants can be a costly stressful business but if you are short of money it can be much, much worse. We hear of landlords all the time without the cash to pay solicitors fees, or even if they do, they don’t have the cash to put their property back into let-able condition.

Even, assuming you have evicted your problem tenants and paid for repairs, you are still faced with finding new tenants and what is to stop the whole business starting all over again? No wonder so many landlords get disheartened and sell their properties, ending their dreams of financial freedom and independence. It doesn’t have to be that way. With our help we can put you back on track.

So whether you are interested in starting out and knowing how we can help you build a portfolio from scratch, or you are an established landlord looking for a better management solution, our nationwide management service is what you are looking for.

For more information about our national asset management service, without obligation, please complete your details below



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LANDLORD FEES 

IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015 C.15 PART 3 CHAPTER 3 CHOICES HEREWITH CONFIRM THAT THE FOLLOWING FEES MAY BE APPLICABLE TO A LANDLORD WHEN CHOICES ARE ACTING AS AGENT IN THE LETTING OF A PROPERTY: 

Fees: Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the following Standard Letting and Management Fees will apply to all tenancies

Special Offer fees

These apply to “full management” where the property is offered through Choices for a minimum period of Eighteen months on our standard terms and full Rent Guarantee. If these conditions are broken Choices reserve the right to recharge the landlord based on our standard fees plus rent guarantee discount.

Month 1- 5% x six  months rent plus

Rent Guarantee: Nil charge 6 months

Month 7 -10% x 12 months rent + 5% x one months rent. Rent Guarantee 3% x 12 months rent.

Months 8-18 – 5% per month

Month 19 – As per our standard terms i.e. 12%  x Annual rent + 3% per month plus Rent Guarantee renewal at 3% of annual rent.

All the above fees attract vat at the prevailing rate as appropriate. A quote including vat can be provided on request.

Letting and rent collection Fee.

Our fee of 12% + vat of the yearly rent is payable in advance and on each anniversary where a tenant introduced by Choices occupies the property or any other property owned by the Landlord and is non refundable.  Should the tenant(s) leave within the chargeable year, Choices will endeavor to find a new tenant(s) without further charge to the Landlord (other that any partial fee applying to any increased rent, or admin charges).  Landlords will receive a fee credit for any void period experienced provided the property remains with Choices.  Where Choices do not collect the rent an invoice will be raised for fees due and payment is due within 7 days of that invoice. Interest and charges may apply for late payment.

Property Management; an additional 3% + vat of the gross rental due, payable monthly in advance.

“Full Management” is taken to mean all the above services

Potential Additional fees/costs

Preparation of Tenancy Agreement, or checking and arranging signature of the Landlord’s own Agreement at beginning of tenancy, including tenant’s references: £195.00 inc vat.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition (all prices below are inclusive of vat) will be carried out by Choices :

Unfurnished Properties 0-2 Bedrooms               £150.00

Unfurnished Properties 3-4 Bedrooms               £210.00

Unfurnished Properties 5+ Bedrooms  (POA)   £240.00 minimum

Unfurnished Check In                                         £95.00

Furnished Properties 0-2 Bedrooms               £175.00

Furnished Properties 3-4 Bedrooms               £250.00

Furnished Properties 5+ Bedrooms  (POA)   £350.00 minimum

Furnished Check In                                             £135.00

Out Inventory                                                       £125.00

Updated Inventory                                              £95.00

Final Out Inventory Report                               £125.00

Inspections (extra to Contract)                          £55.00

Administration charge for Tenancy Agreement renewals, whether fixed or periodic £135.00 inc vat. Pre-Tenancy Referencing at £90 inc vat per reference. Company referencing at £150.00 inc vat each as applicable.

Rent Guarantee: Rent discount of 3% of 12 months rent deducted annually in advance. Terms and conditions on request.

Gas Safety, EPC, Smoke and CO Test and other statutory requirements will be carried out and charged to the Landlord at Choices’ standard rate prevailing at the time, POA.

Other Appropriate charges:  Charges may include, but are not limited to; insurance claims, redirecting mail, supervision major renovations, overseas telephone calls/ faxes, tax service and dealing with Statutory and Lenders Notices. Registering Deposit £45.00 inc vat.  Rent Reviews:  Where this results in an increased rent, an additional charge equal to one months increase plus vat with a minimum £60.00 inc vat. Tenancy Renewal £95.00 inc vat.

Charges may be levied for any work required in evicting tenants or pursuing arrears of rent in Court where the landlord has not chosen the fully managed service (POA). These may be able to be claimed from the tenant.

All charges are subject to review at the discretion of Choices and may be increased on one month’s written notice.   All fees will be collected from the rent as they become due and a statement sent.

Client Money Protection is provided by Safeagent – 01242 581712 – https://safeagents.co.uk/
Client Redress Scheme is provided by The Property Ombudsman – 01722 333306 – https://www.tpos.co.uk/
Choices are members of The Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS)– 0330 303 0030 –  https://www.depositprotection.com/ and Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) – 0300 037 1000 – https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/

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TENANCY FEES

IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSUMER RIGHTS ACT 2015 C.15 PART 3 CHAPTER 3 CHOICES HEREWITH CONFIRM THAT THE FOLLOWING FEES MAY BE APPLICABLE TO A TENANT WHEN CHOICES ARE ACTING AS AGENT IN THE LETTING OF A PROPERTY:

All charges are shown inc vat

Tenancies which commenced before 1st June 2019 and are not renewed after that date, or until 31st May 2020 the following fees may still be charged.

During the tenancy the following fees may apply as appropriate (inc VAT)

Tenancy Renewal Fee (each tenancy renewal)                £95

Late payment fees (each occasion)                                  £35 (court fees may apply)

Check out Fee (end of tenancy – one off)                         £95

Early Release Fee (if applicable one off)                         £500

Eviction fees (vary) example Section 21 eviction           £600 (court fees may apply)

Non registration of Utility Services (if applicable one off)  £130

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In accordance with the Tenant Fee Act 2019, permitted payments for tenancies commencing on or after 1st June 2019 are as follows:

Before the tenancy starts and payable to Choices:
Holding Deposit: 1 week’s rent
Deposit: Up to 5 weeks rent

During the tenancy payable to Choices:

i) RENT or premium rent
ii) Breach of agreement default fee
iii) Interest on rent payments when it falls more than 15 days in arrears at the rate of 4% above the BOE base rate.
iv) Reasonable costs for any request to change the terms of the tenancy (e.g. change or adding occupier)
v) Legal and court fees as awarded by the Court
vi) Early termination fee £60.00 including vat (if requested by the tenant)
vii) Payment for lost keys

During the tenancy payable to the Provider:

i) Payments in respect to Council Tax, TV licence, phone, broadband or TV services, utilities as agreed.

Other Permitted Payments: Any other permitted payments, not included above, under the relevant legislation including contractual damages.

Tenant protection: The Choices Group of Companies are members of Safeagent, which is a client money protection scheme, and also a member of The Property Ombudsman Scheme (TPO), which is a redress scheme. You can find out more details on our website or by contacting us directly.

Client Money Protection is provided by Safeagent – 01242 581712 – https://safeagents.co.uk/
Client Redress Scheme is provided by The Property Ombudsman – 01722 333306 – https://www.tpos.co.uk/
Deposit Protection Scheme – 0330 303 0030 –  https://www.depositprotection.com/
Tenancy Deposit Scheme – 0300 037 1000 – https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/