ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents: Terms and Conditions

Definitions

In this document:

1. The Vendor/Landlord/Landlord means all those persons who own the property, who shall be liable jointly and severally to pay the fees.
2. The document headed ASmiths Estate & Letting Agency Agreement and the conditions set out there in constitute the contract between the Vendor/Landlord/Landlord and ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents. Any additional terms will be incorporated within a separate letter addressed to the Vendor/Landlord or the Vendor/Landlord’s agents.
Term and Termination
1. In circumstances where ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents have agreed with the Vendor/Landlord a specified term for the duration of the agreement between them, which is set out in ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents Agreement, or has been confirmed by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents in writing, that agreement will continue at the end of the agreed period until/unless cancelled by either party in writing.
2. If there is no such term agreed, either party may terminate the agreement on giving not less than 14 days written notice to the other.
3. Notice of Right to Cancel: You have the right to cancel this contract within 14 days of the date shown. After this date the contract will be effective. Should you wish to cancel this contract ASmiths will cancel the marketing of your property from 14 days after termination of contract has been received in writing.
Fees
1. Fees are payable to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents on the total sale price of the property, which shall be deemed to include any additional sum agreed for carpets, curtains, fixtures and fittings.
2. The Vendor/Landlord becomes liable to pay commission to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents on the occurrence of any of the events set out below when payment becomes due on the date of completion of the sale of the property. For the avoidance of doubt if any contracts are exchanged which are conditional and any conditions are not fulfilled such that completion of the property does not take place, then no commission is due to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents.
3. ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents reserves the right to charge interest on overdue commission (both before and after judgment) at the rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate as varied from time to time.
4. All fees and expenses will be subject to VAT (when payable) at the prevailing rate.
Energy Performance Certificate
1. Government legislation requires sellers/landlords to commission an EPC prior to marketing. ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents offer various options, the details and costs of which will be discussed and agreed in advance and then confirmed in writing at the point of instruction.
Marketing Expenses
1. Responsibility for marketing costs where applicable (e.g. special advertising brochures, professional photography, national advertising etc.) and other expenses will always be pre-agreed with the Vendor/Landlord with an estimate of costs given and confirmed in writing. Where it is agreed that the Vendor/Landlord will pay for these additional costs and expenses they will be payable in advance of any such orders being placed.
Sole Agency
1. This means that the Vendor/Landlord appoints ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents as the only agent for the sale/let of the property.
2. The Vendor/Landlord shall pay to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents the sole agency commission (being the sole agency percentage specified in ASmiths Estate & Letting Agent’s Agreement, of the total sale price of the property, or such other percentage or sum as may be agreed and confirmed in writing by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents) if contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged (whether during the period of the sole agency agreement or at any time thereafter) with a buyer who was first introduced to the purchase, during the period of the sole agency by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents or another agency within 6 months of the date instruction ended. If no other agent is involved this time limit extends to 2 years.
Multiple Agency
1. This means that the Vendor/Landlord is free to enter into separate agreements for the sale or let of the property with more than one agent.
2. The Vendor/Landlord shall pay to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents the multiple agency commission (being the multiple agency percentage specified in ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents Agreement of the total sale price of the property, or such other percentage or sum as may be agreed and confirmed in writing by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents) if contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged (whether during the period of the multiple agency agreement or at any time thereafter) with a buyer first introduced to the purchase by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents.
Joint Sole Agency
1. This means that the Vendor/Landlord appoints ASmiths Estate & Letting Agentsand one other named joint sole agent to act in conjunction with one another for the sale of the property.
2. The Vendor/Landlord shall pay to ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents the joint sole agency commission (being the joint sole agency percentage specified in ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents Agreement of the total sale price of the property, or such other percentage or sum as may be agreed and confirmed in writing by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents) if contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged (whether during the period of the joint sole agency agreement or at any time thereafter) with a buyer first introduced to the purchase by ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents, the named joint sole agent or any other agent during the period of the joint sole agency.
Dual Fee Liability
There may be a dual fee liability if:
1. Another agent had previously been instructed to sell the same property on a sole agency, joint sole agency, or sole selling rights basis; or
2. Another agent is instructed during or after the period of an agreed sole agency, joint sole agency or sole selling rights basis with ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents.
Statutory Obligations/Codes Of Practice
1. ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents comply strictly with the provisions of the Estate Agents Act 1979, the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991, the Codes of Practice of the Property Ombudsman (TPO).
2. ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents are required to disclose to prospective buyers any connection that the Vendor/Landlord may have with ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents or any member of ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents staff so that all parties to any transactions are aware of possible conflicts of interest. The Vendor/Landlord must inform ASmiths Estate & Letting Agentsif any such connection exists.
3. Money Laundering Regulations (2007): In accordance with the regulations we are required to confirm the identity of all sellers and Landlords. As we are unable to market the property without this confirmation, we reserve the right to withdraw the property from the market 7 days after the day of instruction if we do not receive formal proof of identification.
4. Property Misdescriptions Act (1991): It is a legal requirement that your property is presented accurately and in a way that will not mislead. You therefore agree to check the sales particulars and advertising descriptions and notify ASmiths immediately of any inaccuracies. You must also confirm any information provided by you is true and supply documentary evidence to substantiate any claims.
5. Data Protection Act (1998): We will act as a data controller relevant to the details that you provide during the marketing/rental of the property. Where we will pass details on your behalf to other related specific service providers who have agreed not to pass on your details to any other third party companies or sole agents, but will offer services related to prospects including estate agency, financial services, surveys, conveyancing and professional home management services.

Sales Particulars
On receipt of instructions from the Vendor/Landlord, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will prepare sales particulars of the property which will be forwarded to the Vendor/Landlord for checking and signing off. The Vendor/Landlord is required to ensure that these particulars are accurate and in no way misleading as ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will not be held responsible for any misleading advertisement/sales particulars as per the terms of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.
For Sale Board
With the consent of the Vendor/Landlord, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will erect a ‘For Sale’ board outside the property. It may be an offence for more than one agent’s board to be displayed and the Vendor/Landlord agrees that no other board is erected.
Agency Services
In addition to the sale of property, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents offer a wide range of property related services which may be offered to the Vendor/Landlord and/or to prospective buyers and from which ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents may receive fee income and commission.
General Terms (Landlords)
We strongly advise you to take our Rental Protection Insurance, which will protect you financially in the event that the tenant defaults on rent payments. If you choose not to take the cover, we will endeavour to recover the rent arrears on your behalf through our in house procedures. We will issue 2 letters at no cost. If payment is still not forthcoming at this point we will charge £5 (plus VAT) for each letter subsequently sent. If court papers are issued you will be required to place us in sufficient funds to cover the court fees, plus an administration charge of £100 (plus VAT) will be charged to you. This can be recovered from your Tenant within your claim.

Interest accrued on funds held by the Agent before the Agent will retain transfer to the Landlords account.

The Agent has authority to remove furniture or furnishings, electrical appliances or gas appliances, which do not comply with current safety regulations and to replace at the Landlords expense with a reasonable equivalent if required.

The Agent has the authority to erect a ‘To Let’ sign (subject to restrictions imposed by statute or by the freeholder).

Upon the signing of this agreement the Landlord has authorised the Agent to act in the name of the Landlord in connection with the following – To attend all insurance claims relating to the property or any tenancy thereof. To initiate all work that might be reasonably required ensuring that the appliances in the property comply with the Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998 (The cost of such work to be reasonability of the Landlord). To instruct a solicitor to commence legal proceedings, in the name of the Landlord should the tenant be in breach of the tenancy agreement. The cost of such proceedings, as charged by the acting solicitor or debt collecting agent to be the responsibility of the Landlord unless covered by Rental Protection & Legal costs.

Either party has the right to terminate this agreement if the others shall be in material breach of its obligations under the agreement and shall fail to remedy such breach within 28 days notice of the breach received by the other party. In the event of the Landlord wishing to terminate this agreement in order to take over management of the property, then 3 months notice will be required in writing together with an administration fee of £100 (plus VAT) which is payable through the tenants final monthly rental payment. In the event of transferring the management to another agency, then the same will apply.

Where the work is undertaken at the expense of the Landlord and where the Landlord is required to provide payment, the Agent may debit rental income to settle accounts in the Landlords name and can charge any shortfall to the Landlord directly. In the event of repairs exceeding the rental amount then the Landlord must provide additional funds to the Agent in order for the invoice to be paid.

Tenants Deposits & Rental Payments. As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government is introducing tenancy deposit protection for all assured short hold tenancies (ASTs) in England & Wales where a deposit is taken. From 6th April 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have to be protected within 14 days of receipt by the Landlord. To protect your interests we have joined the Deposit Protection Service (DPS). The DPS is the Government approved custodial tenancy deposit protection scheme. The DPS will safeguard the deposit throughout the period of the tenancy and repay the funds to the appropriate parties in accordance with their instructions at the end of the tenancy period. In the event of disputes, an independent and free Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service will aim to resolve any disputes quickly and without the need for court action. All rental payments will be obtained on behalf of the landlord through our separate landlord/client money account at Barclays Bank, 7 Market Pl, Nuneaton CV11 4EB, unless the landlord authorises receipt of deposits and rental payments to an alternative account.

No guarantee can be given that a particular telephone number or utility supplier can be retained at the property.

Once we find a tenant for your property who makes an offer which you accept, subject to references and subject to contract, and you later withdraw from the proposed lettings for reasons other than references, then we will charge an abortive fee based on the equivalent of six months letting commission subject to a minimum fee of £200 (plus VAT) to cover costs of any administration carried out.

The Agent reserves the right to assign its rights and or obligations under this agreement.

ASmiths Lettings accept no responsibility for damage caused to the property by the tenant and accept no responsibility for work undertaken by tradesmen introduced to Landlords by ASmiths, its partners or associated companies.

In the event of a managed/let & rent property being sold to a tenant in situ by the Landlord, then a fee of 1% of the sales fee (plus VAT minimum £795.00) will be payable to ASmiths upon exchange of contracts. If at any time unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged with a purchaser introduced by us in our agency period, or with a purchaser introduced by another agent during that period. Our fees of 1% standard agency rate along with any VAT at the prevailing rate together with any additional costs agreed, must be discharged without deductions by the solicitor or conveyancer on or immediately after the date set for completion of the sale and by signing this agreement you hereby irrevocably authorise the solicitor or conveyancer to do so. Should your account not be paid within 7 days of completion, any discount will become void and our charges will revert to our standard agency rate of 1.25% (+VAT). Administration charges of £150.00, plus any additional costs and interest will also be added at a rate of 5% above the Bank of England base rate from the date of completion.

Landlords Responsibilities
It is the sole responsibility of the Landlord to obtain written consent to let form the lender/freeholder. When you sign the contract with ASmiths, you are confirming that you have the right to instruct us to let the property. We may require sight of any confirmation from a lender consenting to the letting.

Advise the insurer of the building and contents of the intention to let and to maintain full insurance cover.

If a property managed by us is sold you must arrange for any new owner to sign a new management agreement with us before we will release you from any ongoing obligations under this agreement with a tenant in situ.

Visit the Property during void periods between tenancies. During the winter months, take appropriate precautions to protect the property against damage. Precautions may include the draining down of any central heating or water supply system or the continuous running of the central heating system. Where such action is taken the expense shall be met by the Landlord.

Arrange for temporary disconnection of any telephone service on vacation and accept any reconnection charges on return to the property.

Give notice to the Agent of his/her intention to regain possession of the property. This notice must be in writing and must be given in sufficient time (minimum 3 months) for the correct termination notice to be served to the tenant (2 months).

Promptly pay the Agents fees and charges as detailed in this agreement for the full duration of the Tenancy and any periodic or fixed continuations.

Comply with The Furniture & Furnishing (Fire) (Safety) Regulations Act 1988. It is an offence to supply certain furniture in the course of a business unless it complies with what are called the ‘Cigarette, Match and Ignitability Test’. The regulations cover, in general terms, all upholstered furniture, loose fittings, permanent or loose covers. The regulations do not cover any furniture, which has been manufactured before 1st January 1950. The regulations now apply to all let property. The recommended way to check whether furniture complies is to look for labels attached to the furniture. If the furniture no longer has these, you must establish when and where the furniture was bought. Contact the shop/manufacturer and whether the furniture complies. If you are unable to establish whether the furniture complies, you must replace the relevant furniture. It is illegal to let a property with furniture, which does not comply with these regulations.

Comply with The Gas Safety (Installation & Use) Regulations 1998. On any person who owns a gas appliance in premises let by him to ensure that such appliance is maintained in a safe condition to prevent risk of injury to any person, and ensure that such appliance is checked and that an appropriate certificate is issued for safety at intervals of not more than 12 months by any person approved. (An approved person is a Gas Safe Register contractor who is registered to carry out domestic work.)
To also give such a certificate to the Tenant at the commencement of the tenancy.

Comply with The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994. The above regulations impose an obligation on the Landlord to ensure that the earthing and insulation of all electrical appliances in the property are safe. Cabling, fuses and plugs should also be inspected and replaced where necessary with the correct rating for that particular appliance.

Comply with The Building Regulations 1991. These regulations require that all properties built since June 1992 must be fitted with mains operated interlinked smoke detectors/alarms on each floor. Properties built before that date do not have such a statutory requirement, but we recommend that you should consider the installation of smoke alarms in your property.

Comply with the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations (L8) for the control of legionella bacteria in water systems with reference to the technical guidance in HSG274 part 2, paragraphs 2.138 to 2.146 from HSG274, which is applicable to residential properties.

Arrange the production of an Energy Performance Certificate.

Ensure that an adequate mail redirection system is in place. All post that is addressed to the Landlord is the responsibility of the Landlord

Indemnity

The Landlord agrees that no liability shall be attached to the Agent against any costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on the Agent under this Agreement.

Tenants Information & Fees

Initial Advice

Having found your new home, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will bring to your attention all the costs associated with your rental and will fully discuss the lettings process with you. This is important so that there are no misunderstandings later.

Securing the Property
Once the terms have been discussed with you and it has been established that you are happy to proceed, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will ask you for a non-refundable fee of £99.00 per adult (over 18 years of age) to carry out a credit & reference check; this is a demonstration of your intent to proceed with the rental of the property, subject to contract. Please note that this will be allocated to provide payment to our affiliated credit & reference agency (details supplied on request). This is non-refundable in the event that you do not proceed or are unable to provide satisfactory credit & reference checks.
References
Before any Tenancy Agreement can be signed, satisfactory references are required. Please ask for further details about the reference procedure. There is a non-refundable referencing fee of £99.00 payable for each Tenant (Adult).
Administration Fees
Once your offer is accepted and satisfactory references have been obtained, an administration charge of £100 (plus VAT) is required.
There is usually a check-out charge applicable too. Due to the variety of sizes and complexities that includes whether the property is furnished or unfurnished, the charges for this do vary. The exact charge will be made available at the earliest opportunity and before any payment is taken. All additional fees (if any) will be detailed when an application for a rental property is taken.
If a guarantor is required, an administration charge of £50.00 (plus VAT) is required.
If, after terms have been agreed, further alterations have to be made to the Tenancy Agreement, a further charge of £25.00 (plus VAT) is applicable.
Security Deposit
In addition to the fees and first month’s rent we require a security deposit which is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent. In some cases the deposit may be higher particularly if you intend to have pets in the property.
This deposit will be held in the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) under the custodial scheme and the DPS will forward a unique identity number to you which will be valid for the duration of the Tenancy.
Renewals
If you decide to renew your Tenancy and the Landlord agrees there will be an annual administration fee of £50.00 (plus VAT).

Moving in Payments
All payments can be made by bank transfer (BACS or CHAPS), debit card or credit card (subject to surcharge), bankers draft or cash by prior notice. All payments by cash or debit/credit card are required at least 7 days prior to the agreed check in date.
Rent Payments
All rent payments are paid by a standing order mandate or BACS transfer to our Client Money Account at Barclays Bank, 7 Market Pl, Nuneaton CV11 4EB or to the Landlords bank account, whichever is applicable at the time.
Please note that an administration charge of £25.00 plus VAT will be payable if notice has to be sent to you regarding any late rental payments.
Tenant Changeover
If during the course of the Tenancy a change of Tenant is required then an administration fee of £125 (plus VAT) will be required.
Insurance
Landlords will have insurance in place for their own possession and the building itself however, this will not cover your personal belongings. Please ensure that you have adequate insurance cover in place for the start of your new Tenancy.

ASmiths Estate and Letting Agents
Tel: 024 76 326 414 / 024 76 375 145

Email: info@asmiths.co.uk
Web: www.asmiths.co.uk
Facebook: facebook.com/ASmiths.co.uk

Office: Creaton House, Freer Street, Attleborough, Nuneaton, CV11 4PR