The Urpad Group provide sales, lettings and property management across all regions of England and Wales. Urpad has undergone a significant re-brand recently but the company has been in existence since 2010. Growing out of lettings referrals from sales clients, Urpad has developed a distinctive ability to provide quality service to its clients whether they are corporate or privately owned assets.
Urpad has used a Nationwide network of partner agents via a ‘blitz strategy’ pioneered by Andrew Dillon where multiple agents vie for the lets creating competition on every listing. With ambitions to have branded offices through the spine of the UK, we opened Urpad Sales and Lettings in Bristol in 2021 which covers sales and lettings across all areas of Bristol and surrounding areas giving further competition to our partners in these areas and working in the best interest of our clients.
Terms of business
We would be delighted to work with you, and whilst we try and make it as simple as possible there is a raft of compliance documentation that we need along with our terms of business in order to act professionally and in your best interests. To ensure we have been due diligent and to protect both ourselves and our landlords from various legislation we need to ensure we have:
- Proof of identity – a passport is ideal, but if this isn’t available an unexpired driving licence and a birth certificate is fine
- Proof of ownership (for the property to be rented) – a land registry title document dated within the last 3 months is ideal, or a completion statement from a solicitor or a mortgage statement dated within the last 3 months is fine
- Proof of home address – a land registry title document dated within the last 3 months or a tenancy agreement is ideal, or a utility bill; bank statement; mortgage statement dated within the last 3 months or a completion statement from a solicitor is fine
To see an example copy of our terms of business please click below. If you have any questions prior to instructing us to act for you please do not hesitate to call us on 0117 427 0011.
Assured shorthold tenancy agreements
An AST provides the foundation for the relationship between the landlord and tenant defining what each responsibility is to the other and confirming the manner in which the relationship can be brought to an end. Whilst an AST can be as short as a day and can be spoken rather than written, it is best practice currently to have a written version of no less than 6 months.
The contract types in Wales are changing in December 2022 where tenants will become ‘contract holders’. If you have a property in Wales and you want more specific information on the changes under the Renting Homes (Wales) Act please call us to discuss it in more detail. You can see an example AST by clicking below.
Importance of having an inventory, periodic inspections and a checkout report
One of the most crucial aspects of renting your property to a tenant is doing all you can to ensure the property is kept in good condition. In order to know what condition the property was in when handed over to the tenant it is imperative to have an independent company carry out an inventory, sometimes known as schedule of condition.
Whilst it isn’t a legal requirement it is impossible to make any claims for damages or cleaning at the end of the tenancy without an inventory being undertaken. Our partners who provide the inventory service to us use some of the latest software to produce a complete visual report of the condition of the property including photos and description of each object, wall, floor, window, fixture, fitting and so on. A 3 bed house will require in the region of 600 photos to be taken.
During the tenancy, you will want to know that the tenant is looking after the property in a manner that is acceptable. Whilst we cannot dictate how tenants live, there are certain terms within the AST (see above item – Assure shorthold tenancy agreements) that need to be adhered to and if they are not then gathering evidence may be key. Our periodic inspection reports provide an overview of the condition and can be used in conjunction with a checkout report if required to make a claim against the deposit held.
At the end of the tenancy agreement when the tenants have moved out you will want to be able to check that the property has been left in an acceptable condition taking fair wear and tear in to account. In order to do this efficiently, our partners are able to make an instant comparison between the condition at the start of the tenancy and the condition at the end. We take in to account fair wear and tear but charge the outgoing tenants for any works required that fall outside of that, not including betterment. More details can be found on the mydeposits website.
Bond deposit legislation
Every landlord and agent must put a tenants deposit in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme (TDP) if the property is rented on an assured shorthold tenancy that started after 6 April 2007. In England and Wales the deposit can be registered with a number of schemes including mydeposits which we use.
The purpose of the deposit is to give the landlord a degree of security against damages but is not intended to be used as the last months rent. More information can be found on the government website. The importance of the property inspections comes in to focus when making a claim from the deposit.
To adhere to the rules of the various schemes there is a strict time limit on when deposit returns must be negotiated and completed and having accurate reports is paramount to the process. It is important to also note that an amendment to the legislation recently means that the maximum cash deposit that can be taken is the equivalent to 5 weeks rent of the property and pet deposits or key deposits that go over and above the 5 weeks are now outlawed.
Zero deposit options
The topic of bond deposit legislation leads nicely on to one of the industry’s hottest topics right now – zero deposit. Essentially an insurance product purchased by the tenant with no cost to the landlord at all in place of a traditional cash deposit.
Our chosen partner is Reposit who are leading the way in providing a higher monetary value on all its zero deposits than is allowable under the current legislation. Reposit will cover the equivalent of 8 weeks rent as opposed to the statutory 5 weeks rent and as the tenants are still liable for any deduction – Reposit pay the bill and pursue the tenant separately – tenants are less likely to leave the property in a poor condition than those who pay a traditional cash deposit.
Take up from tenants is high and by reducing the cost of moving in to a property, it is increasing the competition on properties and allowing us to maintain our market leading low void periods. Dispute resolution is fast and secure as Reposit are both regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. We offer the Reposit Zero Deposit scheme on all of our managed properties.
Rent guarantee insurance
Continuing the insurance theme, Urpad work with one of the largest Rent Guarantee providers in the country in offering an affordable policy to negate the risk of non-paying tenants. LetAlliance are one of the most trusted providers for landlord orientated insurance in the UK and provide us with a Rent Guarantee policy that not only pays the rent but covers the cost of evicting the tenant and will pay a portion of the void period whilst we find new tenants for you.
Evictions are a hot topic in the media with many charities lobbying the government to change the rules on how long it takes to remove a tenant from a property but this is generally for non-fault situations. Any tenants situation can change quickly and whilst our record for having to go all the way to eviction due to rent arrears is low, in part due to the quality of the tenants we find, it can be a very expensive mistake to look past an insurance product that provides exceptional cover at a reasonable price.