The team at Bardens Estates has many years experience letting and managing property. We have a very simple charging structure, and don't have up front fees for any of our landlord service options. For example our full management service is just 9% of the monthly rent, and we don't charge for marketing or tenancy set up costs. We also don't charge tenants for referencing - we cover these costs ourselves. Marketing properties without referencing costs gives us a competitive advantage over other letting agents, and often means that we let our properties more quickly, minimising voids. We have never charged tenant fees, so there has been no change to our landlord charges since the tenant fee ban came into force.
We will market your property on all the main property portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. We are also active on social media and promote our properties on both Twitter and Facebook (we have thousands of followers on both).
We then thoroughly vet our tenants by conducting credit and reference checks, We also speak to employers and previous landlords, and conduct Right To Rent checks to make sure the tenants are right for you.
Once all the necessary pre tenancy steps and paperwork have been completed, including managing the deposit and the tenancy agreement, we will check your tenants in to your property.
Bardens Estates is a licensed member of both the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), and the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA). We are also a member of The Property Ombudsman regulated by the Office of Fair Trading.
To find out more about the landlord services that we offer, please contact us at the Bardens Tunbridge Wells office:
Landlord Service Options
Bardens Tenant Find - Low Fixed Fee of Just £570 INCLUDING VAT
This includes the key steps needed to find a tenant and to start a tenancy. The day to day management of the property and tenant is then down to you. The fee is fixed no matter what the monthly rent, so a property with a monthly rent of £750 and a property with a monthly rent of £1000 both incur the same low fixed fee of £570 including VAT
The service includes:
- Marketing your property on the major portals including Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket. Promoting the property on the Bardens website and on social media.
- Agent accompanied viewings
- Thorough tenant referencing and credit check including checking with employers and previous landlords
- Preparing Tenancy Agreement and other key paperwork
- Protecting the deposit in a government scheme like the Deposit Protection Service.
- Tenant check in.
Rent Collection Service - 7.8% INCLUDING VAT
This includes the tenant finding service above, but adds the collection of monthly rent payments. You still manage the property on a day to day basis. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the monthly rent, so a property letting for £850 will incur a rent collection charge of £66.30 including VAT. A property letting for a monthly rent of £900 will incur a monthly management charge of £70.20 including VAT
The service includes:
- Tenant Finding Service (details above), plus:
- Collection of monthly rent
- Monthly rent statements
- Chasing tenant arrears and serving of appropriate notices if required
- Debt control and recovery
- Annual rent review
As an example if the monthly rent is £1000, the rent collection service fee would be £78 per month INCLUDING VAT.
Bardens Full Property Management - 9% INCLUDING VAT
This is our most comprehensive service package and includes all the service stages in the Tenant Finding and Rent Collection Services, plus we deal with the day to day management of the property. The fee is calculated as a percentage of the monthly rent and includes VAT. A property achieving a monthly rent of £1000 will incur a management charge of £90 including VAT. A property achieving a monthly rent of £1500 will incur a management charge of £135 including VAT
The service includes:
- Tenant Finding and Rent Collection Services (details above) plus:
- Taking utility meter readings at the beginning and end of the tenancy
- Notify utility companies of change of tenants
- Enforcement of Tenancy Agreement terms
- Arranging property maintenance and repairs with our trusted local tradesmen
- Routine property visits
- Serve notices if required
- Holding of property keys
- Annual HMRC return if required
- Tenant check-out and inventory reconciliation
As an example, if the monthly rent is £1000, rent Bardens Full Property Management fee would be £90 per month INCLUDING VAT.
Landlord Rent Guarantee with Legal Cover Option (poa):
The Bardens Rent Guarantee and Legal Cover option gives peace of mind to landlords who want to protect their income. We are very confident in our tenant checking process, but sometimes tenants' situation changes and this can lead to missed rent payments. The Bardens Rent Guarantee option includes:
- Nil Excess - pays all arrears back to initial default
- Rent payable until vacant possession is obtained, NO TIME LIMIT
- Cover limit of £2,500 pcm (but higher levels of protection are available on request)
- Total claims limit of £50,000
- Upon accepting a claim the insurers will seek repossession of the property
- Full legal expenses covered in gaining vacant possession of the property following notice expiry
Please contact the lettings team for details.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of our landlord fees (all fees include VAT):
|Independent Inventory fee – varies depending on property size||£ poa|
|Energy Performance Certificate||£85|
|Optional Legionella risk assessment||£150|
|HMO license application – initial application||£180|
|HMO license application – renewal of tenancy||£ 96|
|Arrangement fee for works over £750||12% of invoice total|
|Court Attendance||£36/hr + expenses|
|Same day bank transfer (overseas accounts)||£36|
Are you going to charge landlords more following the tenant fee ban?
No! We have never charged tenant fees, so the tenant fee ban has not had any impact on the fees that we charge our landlords.
Bardens zero tenant referencing fee sounds great for tenants but how does it benefit me?
At Bardens we conduct a thorough referencing check on our prospective tenants. We check tenants can meet our affordability criteria, and we will also conduct Right To Rent checks and we get references from previous landlords too. We believe that letting agents should pay for tenant referencing, so unlike most of our competitors we cover the cost of the referencing ourselves. This helps our landlords let their properties more quickly as tenants are often keen to let through Bardens.
What minimum criteria do Bardens tenants need to meet to secure a property?
- We would need to see evidence of the tenants ability to meet an affordability calculation of 30 x the monthly rent. For example if the rent for the property is £800 pcm, then the tenant would need to demonstrate combined income of (30 x £800) = £24,000 p.a.
- The tenant must be able to evidence their income source; this can be through evidence from their employer, pension provider, accountant, military allowance confirmation etc.
- The tenant must not have an adverse credit history within the past 3 years (e.g. County Court Judgements (CCJs), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), Outstanding debts that are overdue or in arrears).
- If the tenant is currently renting we will require a satisfactory landlord reference.
- We will need to obtain a satisfactory credit agency score for the tenant.
- For corporate lets, most established PLC / Ltd companies or large organisations will meet our criteria providing three years trading records are available at companies house and satisfactory accountants references are forthcoming.
Who needs to be referenced?
All occupants aged over 18 years must be named on the Tenancy Agreement. Each Tenant will be referenced for an equal share of the total rent payable for the property.
What about the Right To Rent Act?
The Right to Rent Act states we must see a copy of all occupiers passports and Visa’s if applicable in person, within 28 days of the start of the tenancy. We require all tenants bring these originals to BEL to be copied before the start of the tenancy. For more details see www.gov.uk/government/news/right-to-rent-checks-what-they-mean-for-you
How much deposit can I request?
The landlord can request a deposit that is up to the equivalent of 5 weeks rent.
What happens to the deposit after the tenant pays it to you?
The deposit will be held in a government backed scheme like the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) for safe keeping. The scheme protects the deposit for the duration of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy no money will be paid to you unless the tenant agrees to the payment.
Do I need to pay for insurance?
The Landlord is normally responsible for the buildings insurance. The tenant will be responsible for their own contents insurance.
As I am going to let my property do I need to tell my mortgage lender?
Yes. Your mortgage company will need to give you permission to let your property. There are special buy-to-let mortgage products available for investors looking to buy a buy-to-let.
What rent should I charge?
We can carry out a lettings valuation on your property for you, free of charge, so that you will know what a reasonable rent level would be. We are also well placed to talk about the general lettings environment and the types of property that are seeing the strong tenant demand.
Do I need an EPC?
Yes. An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is a legal requirement before a property is let, and is valid for 10 years.
Do I need a Gas Safety Record (GSR)?
Yes, and it needs to be checked every 12 months. A Gas Safe Register engineer will need to test all gas appliances like boilers and gas fires, to make sure that they are in safe working order.
Do I need to get my electrical appliances tested?
You are required to check that any electrical devices within the property are safe for use. We recommend an Installation Survey or Portable Appliance Test (PAT) so that you can be sure that your property is safe.
What are the rules on leaving furniture and furnishings in the property?
You must ensure that all furniture and furnishings display fire safety labels in a prominent position.
Do I need an inventory?
A detailed list of the contents and condition of your property before a tenant moves in, can be very important if there is a dispute with the tenant at the end of the tenancy. We recommend getting an independent inventory clerk to carry out the inventory as this will further strengthen your position if there is a dispute with the tenant. We can arrange for the inventory to be carried out by a competitively priced inventory firm that we recommend.
What happens at Check-In?
A member of the Bardens team will be present at the agreed time to check the property, take the meter readings and hand over the keys. If the Tenant (or his representative) has not been present at the check-in, then it must be accepted that the Schedule of Condition is binding. Any discrepancies should be brought to Bardens notice within 7 days.
What happens at Check-Out?
All possessions must be removed from the property and the house and garden. We require tenants to carry out a professional clean at the end of their tenancy at their own cost. A member of the Bardens team will be present to check the property, take the meter readings and hand over the keys. If the Tenant (or his representative) has not been present at the check-out, then it must be accepted that the Schedule of Condition is binding. Any discrepancies should be brought to Bardens notice within 7 days.
Who is responsible for paying utilities and Council Tax?
Gas, oil, water, electricity, council tax and TV licence are not included in the rent and are the Tenants responsibility. The Tenant may not change the supplier for gas, electricity, water or telephone without prior written consent from the Landlord. Such permission cannot be unreasonably withheld.
What are the rules about keeping a pet at the property?
No animals (including caged animals) birds or reptiles may be kept on the premises without written permission from the Agent and/or Landlord. Such permission cannot be unreasonably withheld. House, carpet and curtains must be professionally cleaned at the end of the Tenancy – sight of invoices will be required at check out.
How often do you carry our maintenance visits?
Where Bardens are managing the property the maintenance visits will usually be made quarterly. Additional maintenance visits maybe necessary and we will give at least 24 hrs notice unless in an emergency.
Can I enter the property during the tenancy?
Yes, but only if you give the appropriate notice. We recommend at least 48 hours notice in writing.
How is my rental income paid to me?
If you sign up for the Rent Collection or Fully Managed Services, we will collect the rent for you from the tenant by standing order or direct debit. We will then transfer the money to your designated bank account minus our fees and any costs like maintenance work charges.
Can the tenant decorate the property or make changes?
A tenant can only decorate or make changes to the property with the express written permission of the landlord.
Who is responsible for repairs to the property?
As landlord, you are responsible for maintaining the property in a good state of repair, either directly or through us. If your tenant does damage to the property they are expected to cover the cost of any repairs.
I’ve decided to sell my property. Can I sell the property with the tenants in situ? What is your sole agency sales commission?
Yes, you can sell your property with or without the tenants in situ. Investors looking for buy-to-lets are often happy to take properties on with tenants already as it can help to reduce the risk of a long void. Please speak to a member of the Bardens team about our property sales service and our competitive fees.