When choosing a property to rent, it is advisable to instruct an established and accredited letting agent able to provide a professional service which complies with present legislation
Arkade Property is: Registered with the Property Ombudsman An accredited member of NALS (National Approved Letting Scheme) A registered member of Mydeposits An accredited member of Safe Agent These organisations ensure that as Letting Agents, we comply with defined service standards having Professional Indemnity Insurance in place, Client Money Protection cover, access to Tenancy Deposit Protection, and have a customer complaint procedure.
Once you have chosen a property to rent, you will need to complete a referencing form and pay an administration fee which is non-refundable. In some cases we will require a holding deposit to be paid. The holding deposit will be refunded in full if the landlord decides not to proceed with letting the property, however the holding deposit will not be refunded if you decide not to proceed.
Arkade Property is regulated under the UK Money Laundering Legislation, hence we require a copy of tenants passports or driving licence (with photo) and a copy of a recent utility bill. We will discuss alternative forms of identification with tenants who can’t provide these documents.
These are obtained by an independent referencing agency. In some cases (such as students lettings) a guarantor will be required who will also need to complete a referencing form and pay a fee.
You (and the guarantor if needed) will be required to sign the Tenancy Agreement prior to beginning the tenancy. If you have any queries regarding the terms of the Tenancy as set out in the agreement, you can contact our office and/or seek legal advice from your solicitor. Most tenancies are ASTs (Assured Shorthold Tenancies), where the rent is under £100,000 per year and/or the tenant is an individual and not a company. The minimum term for a let is 6 months but some tenants/landlords will prefer 12 months minimum.
Deposit and rent
A five week deposit to be paid in advance is required for most tenancies, however, sometimes the deposit may be higher depending on references. The rent is paid monthly in advance, however, some tenants prefer to pay the rent quarterly or 6 monthly in advance.
Under current legislation, the deposit must be registered either by us or by your landlord and details of the registration will be sent to you. The deposit is held in a separate account until the end of the tenancy against dilapidations, it cannot be offset against the last month’s rent.
Anti Money Laundering Policy
Arkade Property Limited is committed to ensuring that it has adequate controls to counter money laundering activities and terrorist financing activities, in line with the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017. Risk assessments will be carried out within our policies and procedures to help prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
This risk based approach is where we assess the risk of customer’s laundering money through our business activities. Although we accepted that the majority of our customers will not launder money, we must identify criteria that would indicate a higher risk of money laundering. An example of this is where we do not meet the client face-to-face at any point during the transaction.
As part of mitigating the risk Arkade Property Limited recognises that it is essential for all staff to receive training in anti money laundering legislation and as such all staff are trained to understand the company’s responsibilities and how to identify risk. Each member of staff is also provided with a copy of this Money Laundering Policy as a reminder of their responsibilities and where/how to report suspicious circumstances.
Our nominated Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MRLO) is Sybilla Rose, whose responsibility is to receive internal reports. Our MRLO is then responsible for making a decision as to whether further due diligence is needed or a report should be made to The National Crime Agency. If it is decided that a report must be made it is the responsibility of our MRLO to file the report with The National Crime Agency (NCA).
Adherence to the “Due Diligence” identification procedures on every occasion will mitigate the risks of the business being used to launder money or fund terrorism. We recognise that under the regulatory guidance we can do this by either taking paper documentation or running an appropriate electronic Anti Money Laundering check.
The regulations identify that “Due Diligence” should be carried out on our “Client” and are required because we deal with one off transactions of €15000 or more. The customer we must identify is the beneficiary of the transaction, identified as anyone who owns or controls 25% or more of the property. Therefore, all (Vendors/ Landlords) will be subject to an Anti Money Laundering check. Should the check be unsuccessful we will then seek further identification through approved documentation. Should a face to face meeting not take place or the transaction be one that is identified as high risk by the company then the check will be run through on “High Risk” which will check the client more thoroughly. Again, should this not be successful further identification will be sought through approved documentation.
This policy and our procedures will be reviewed annually to ensure they adequately reflect the risk of money laundering to the company. Where the client is identified by electronic means it is done so to the following guidelines which are stipulated on the regulatory guidance.
Verifying an individual’s identity electronically.
If we verify an individual’s identity electronically, we should do so from two separate online sources or a use a service provider that does so. This check must use data from multiple sources collected over period of time or incorporate checks that assess the strength of the information supplier. An electronic check from a single source (for example, a single check against the electoral roll) isn’t enough on its own to provide satisfactory evidence of identity.
An electronic record check establishes that an individual exists, not that our customer is that individual. We should therefore verify key facts that only the customer may know to establish who they say they are.
Where we have been unsuccessful in identifying the client electronically, we will collect documents in line with the following which is stipulated by the regulatory guidance.
A government issued document with the customer’s full name and photo with either the customer’s date of birth or residential address such as:
- Valid passport
- Valid photo card driving licence
- National identity card
- Firearms certificate
A government issued document (without a photo) which includes the customer’s full name and supported by secondary evidence:
- Old style driving licence
- Recent evidence of entitlement to state or local authority-funded benefit such as housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension, tax credits
Supported by secondary evidence such as:
- A utility bill
- Bank or building society statement
- Most recent mortgage statement from a recognised lender
For customers other than private individuals
For customers who are not private individuals, such as corporate customers and private companies, the business must obtain information that is relevant e.g. company registration number, registered address and evidence that the individuals have the authority to act for the company – a search at Companies House will reveal details of directors and the Company Secretary. If subsequently we identify a person who has control of/owns 25% or more the business, we will take steps to identify those individuals.
Suspicious Activity Reporting.
WARNING: We will report all suspicious activity to The National Crime Agency (NCA)
Arkade Property Fees & Requirements
We advertise in the local press, the internet and will place a board at the property if appropriate to ensure the maximum coverage possible. We have our own website www.arkadeproperty.co.uk and we subscribe to all of the major sales and lettings web sites including Rightmove, On The Market, and Zoopla.
All viewings are accompanied by a representative from Arkade Property who will provide feedback where necessary.
Tenant Selection and References
Once a prospective tenant has had an offer accepted, they will have to complete a referencing form. We send the form to an external referencing company, who take three to four days to send us back a report and conclusion as to whether the tenant is suitable for letting.
Subject to obtaining acceptable references, we will then make the necessary arrangements for the letting to commence.
Tenancy Agreement and Inventory
We would advise you to let the property on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). The statutory minimum period for this type of agreement is 6 months and there is no maximum term.
In some cases we might propose letting the tenancy as a “Company Let”. This is sometimes necessary if a company wishes to rent the property for its employees. (A company is prohibited by law from renting on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy)
We have implemented a system where by the members of staff are able to produce a high quality, professional inventory on behalf of our landlords. The charges for a 'Fully Managed' landlord is £40 + VAT and a 'Let Only' landlord £80 + VAT. If you would like to see a copy of the type of inventories we produce we would be more than happy to show you.
Rent and Deposit
At the time the tenants move into the property, they will be required to pay a security deposit representing one and a half months rent but we may ask for more depending on the reference report. The tenants will also be required to pay rent in advance.
The deposit must be registered with a government approved Tenants Deposit Scheme according to present legislation.
Where the deposit is held by the Landlord, Arkade Property is unable to forward the deposit to the Landlord until we have received documentary evidence that the Landlord has registered the deposit with the Tenants Deposit Scheme as is required by law
By law we are required to have an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) for all our properties, we need to have a copy of the EPC to be able to market the property. If you do not have one we have an external company that will produce one for you, this certificate lasts for ten years.
If your property contains gas we require a copy of the gas certificate for our records. We have a fully qualified CORGI registered contractor if you need a certificate for your property. The gas safety needs to be done on an annual basis.
Electrical safety certificates are recommended, though this is not a legal requirement we would suggest that a pat test should be done in the property. On most occasions they need to be done very five years or on occasion annually depending on the appliance.