It’s been a busy year for us at Sulets. With a number of changes to our services now taking place, we thought it would be a good idea to update you on what is coming next.
New Faces at Sulets
Since our last update we have had a number of new members of staff in some key roles, all to support the increasing development of the business.
To see our new members of staff, please visit our Meet the Team page.
More and more landlords have taken advantage of the benefits of our Premium Service over the last year with over 50% of our landlords opting to join us at this level.
This unique offer means that once your property is let, you lease your property to Sulets directly and we take full responsibility for everything. This means the rent comes directly from us, on time, every time.
We know our landlords find the guaranteed rent so attractive, so starting this year, we will now be trailing a three year contract.
This will enable us to take all the worry and stress away for three whole years, and there’s no need for concern about letting your property, you can put your feet up and Sulets will make sure you receive the rent.
Available from the next academic year (2019/2020) the rate of the Premium Service will be £13 per person, per week, with no VAT. This slight increase reflects the increased running costs of the scheme.
• Guaranteed rent
• Tenant sourcing
• £500 discretionary maintenance float
• Opening clean and six periodic cleans
• All certificates during period of let (excludes HMO cert)
Changes to floats
This means that we are able to authorise work immediately using the funds held in the float, without having to collect funds prior to starting work.
We are keen to ensure we can maintain this responsive and smooth service, yet some works come in a little over the previous amount (£200 per float). So, in order to ensure your tenants are happy and your property is in the very best condition we have increased the amount held in the float to £300.
Of course, if for any reason you cease to rent with Sulets, the amount will be returned to you.
Major redevelopment at the University of Leicester campus
The University of Leicester has recently begun a major refurbishment of the Percy Gee building, s part of this Sulets will have a new premises on the first floor opposite a new café.
Until the work is complete, we are on the second floor of Percy Gee sharing office space with a University department called Here for U.
The redevelopment is an exciting project which will make the building much more popular and will give Sulets more exposure and footfall. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months.
The Importance of Safety Certificates
Most landlords will be well aware of the requirement for an annual gas safety check, but there are an increasing number of additional checks that need to be performed to ensure that houses for rent are safe.
As part of our compliance processes we constantly monitor all properties to ensure that the correct certificates are in place all of the time.
Impact for landlords: Whilst it comes at a cost these new checks are helpful in making sure you are protected if anything happens. The correct certification can provide actual proof that the property is managed and maintained safely.
Impact for Sulets: It is also essential that comprehensive certification is in place for Sulets. The risk that we are not compliant can be very serious; not only a risk of criminal liability and damage to our reputation, but in the worst case we could face claims of corporate manslaughter.
What does this mean for me?
As per the current arrangement, new properties joining our Premium Service will need to already have the required certification in place. Sulets will then complete all certificates using its regular contractors.
Sulets Managed Service
Sulets will complete all certificates using its regular contractors with the cost passed on to the landlord.
The certificates remain the responsibility of the landlord and are provided at the landlords own expense. However, where a certificate is expiring and there is less than 14 days before expiration; Sulets will instruct its own contractors to complete the certificate. The cost will then be passed on to the landlord to ensure everyone is protected.
Attention let only landlords!
Recently, some tenants have paid their rent to us on the Sulets website instead of directly to their landlord. When this happens, card processing and bank charges then have to be passed back to landlords at a rate of £25 plus VAT, so it is really important to be clear with tenants about how to pay.
If you are a let only landlord, please make sure that your tenants know to pay their rent directly to you to avoid extra charges.
The tenancy agreement specifically states payment should go directly to the landlord and we also remind tenants by email before the first payment is due, so there should be no reason for them to claim that they did not know this!
Changes to HMO Licensing from 1st October 2018
The Housing Act 2004 introduced the licensing of certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Licensable HMOs are currently any property with five bedrooms over three storeys.
New changes will see mandatory licensing extended to cover all higher-risk HMOs from 1st October 2018. As of this date the three storey rule will be removed, so all properties of five or more bedrooms will need to have a HMO License.
Please call Emma Fox on 0116 366 482 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss this in further detail.
I’d like to close by thanking you again for your continued business and with best wishes for the forthcoming letting year.