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Renting out your property

Important information on Residential Lettings, Information for Tenants, Letting Charges, Deposit Scheme & Relocating to London. For any further information don’t hesitate to call us Knightsbridge Office t: 0207-596-6999, Marble Arch Office t: 0207-724-3100.


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Residential Lettings

Plaza Estates first property rentals' office was opened in 1972 when we identified a need for a more considered approach to the market. With rental departments in all our branches, we are now one of the largest and most successful independent rental agencies in central London. A fact reinforced by our awards from within the industry. Plaza Estates is a Licensed ARLA Agent and our clients' monies are bonded and insured.

Our offices cover central London's best addresses, handling properties from studio apartments to ambassadorial mansions at rentals from £350 to £20,000 per week.

The Lettings department in each branch is headed by a highly experienced manager. All offices and departments are linked by a sophisticated computer network, providing staff with instant access to detailed information on applicants, landlords and the status of every tenancy. The rentals offices are supported by a team of accountants and tax personnel, together with a dedicated property management department. Clients' varied queries can normally be answered instantly by a member of staff who can access all the information required at the touch of a button.

We are in regular contact with the world's international blue chip companies and embassies which regularly relocate their employees to central London, mainly from abroad. Many of our contacts have been closely established and some maintained for over twenty five years.

We pride ourselves on the high percentage of referred business. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Information for Tenants/ Charges

Rent: Usually payable quarterly or calendar monthly in advance. Cleared funds to be received by the due date.  Please ask for a standing order form if this method of payment is preferred.  Rent is exclusive of charges for telephone, gas, electricity, council tax and in most cases water rates, heating and hot water.

Term: The minimum term for long lets is six months and generally properties are let on an annual basis. General and business release clauses are inserted into contracts by negotiation.

Holding Deposit: One week’s rent. This is to reserve a property. Please note this will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s)) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and/or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Deposit (per tenancy): Rent under £50,000 per year = Five weeks rent. Rent of £50,000 or over per year = Six weeks’ rent. This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy. The deposits are usually held by Plaza Estates as stakeholder. Monies will be refunded after the termination of the tenancy once both parties have agreed any dilapidation charges which will be deducted accordingly. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS.) www.tenancydepositscheme.com.  

Utilities: Plaza Estates will notify the utility companies of the transfer of accounts with meter readings if applicable. We will also notify the local authority with regard to council tax. Tenants must liaise directly with British telecom, cable, satellite providers. Any burglar alarm charges will be the responsibility of the tenant.

TV Licence: The Tenant is responsible for paying the licence fee for any television set in the property during the tenancy.

Inventory: It is usual for an independent inventory clerk to be appointed to record the condition of the property at the commencement and termination of the tenancy.

Default Fees: For AST’s we will charge 3% above the Bank of England base rate on any rents paid more than 14 days late. We will also charge tenants reasonable costs to cover replacement of lost keys/security devices.

References:  We will require references on any prospective Tenant (and any Guarantor), usually from a UK bank or building society, an employer or personal referee and where possible one from a previous Landlord or Landlords' Agent. Banks usually make a nominal charge to the customer for referencing.

Company Let Fees: A charge will be made of £264 including VAT per tenancy (not per individual) for the tenancy agreement and referencing process if it is handled by us. A charge of £132 including VAT will be made to a tenant for renewal agreements. Inventory charges are made at cost. End of tenancy works arranged on behalf of the tenant by our managing department will attract a handling fee of 12% inclusive of VAT. Please note that all properties, unless stated, are available on a fully furnished long let basis. Please telephone for further information on properties new to the market. We subscribe to an agent multiple listing site enabling us to carry out a broad market search for you. Our negotiators will be pleased to be of assistance.

Please advise us if you have a pet or if there is anything that is of particular importance to you. Should you have a query regarding any aspect of renting a property, please speak to one of our staff.

Letting Your Property/ Charges

Should you be considering letting your property we would be pleased to advise you on a current market appraisal and to answer any queries you may have about letting property. A full copy of our Terms and Conditions of Business is available upon request. There is no charge made for the initial consultation and appraisal. Each lettings department is run by a manager and the Lettings Director has over 30 years of experience and a team of negotiators eager to offer a new property to the applicants they have registered. Once we are instructed, properties are advertised on the internet as well as in the leading property magazines. Our PR department will endeavour to obtain editorial coverage in the national and local press. We subscribe to many property portal sites and search engines to ensure the property has maximum exposure 24 hours a day worldwide.
Our membership of Prestige MLS brings an exciting new dimension to our European marketing and international exposure.

SCHEDULE OF FEES AND COMMISSION
This Schedule shows all fees and charges of Plaza Estates prior to the start of the Tenancy and during the Tenancy that may be charged to the Landlord.

Letting, rent collection and renewal service for tenancies of 3 months or more (inclusive of applying for consents, key holding, notification of utility companies, rent statements to Landlord and/or accountant, negotiating dilapidations at the end of tenancy): 11% + VAT (13.2%)

Letting and renewal service for tenancies 3 months or less: 15% + VAT (18%)

Management, letting and renewal service: 16% + VAT (19.2%)

Management only service: 6% + VAT (7.2%)

Preparing and negotiating Tenancy Agreement (includes Tenancy Deposit Scheme memberships and deposit registration/certification): £264 inc VAT
Preparing and negotiating renewal documents (includes TDS membership and re-certification): £132 inc VAT

Decorating, refurbishment service: 10% of the cost of works + VAT (12%)

Purchasing items on behalf of landlord (managed tenancies): 10% of the cost of item (if over £200) + VAT (12%)

Withdrawal of instructions/abortive charges advertising costs/photography as incurred, time related costs as appropriate

Submission of evidence to TDS for Landlord: £300 inc VAT

Attending formal proceedings: £240 per hour inc VAT

Payments by CHAPS: £25

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme

The Housing Act 2004 made provision for both the protection of tenancy deposits and a resolution of disputes arising over their return. From 6th April 2007 all deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be held under a scheme authorised by the Government. This applies to new and renewed tenancies commencing after that date. There are three approved schemes available: The Deposit Protection Service, Tenancy Deposit Solutions and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS).

Landlords who do not comply with the legislation cannot regain possession of their property using the usual Section 21 Notice. Furthermore the tenant can apply for a court order requiring the landlord to repay the monies held or safeguard the deposit under the Custodial Scheme. The court will also order the Landlord to pay the tenant a fine of three times the value of the deposit.

Plaza Estates are full members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and offer this service to our clients without extra charge to them (unless there is a dispute when an administration fee is payable). The scheme has exacting requirements of procedures and set clauses in the tenancy agreements but generally works well although it has involved considerable work for us to ensure our Tenancy Agreements comply with the strict requirements stipulated by the Government and to ensure all tenancies are registered and certificates and information leaflets are given to each tenant. Tenancy details are re-registered on renewals and certificates are reissued. The arbitration service will only accept cases where it can be proved that every effort has been made by the parties to resolve the dispute first themselves. TDS website

Relocating to London

Plaza have been assisting people with their move to London for the last 40 years. We are happy to give relocation advice on the best areas to suit an individual’s needs and understand the differences and frustrations that can arise when moving to the UK.

Whether you are moving to London to take a business degree course or are an executive in the City with a large family, we are able to assist. We have worked extensively with international blue chip corporations and embassies looking after their staff housing needs. Our caring approach is offered to junior recruits in their first job, across to top level executives and Ambassadors. We are experts in the prime central areas of London and have a wide variety of properties available.

Many of our staff are multilingual or have lived overseas themselves, so can gently assist with cultural differences and offer solutions to some of the obstacles that appear. All our staff are experts on London living and will take pleasure in finding you the right home close to the amenities that suit you.

Why Us?

Q: Why should I appoint Plaza Estates?
A: Our sales and rental teams are able to ensure a co-ordinated a dynamic service by operating from two substantial branches. Each team is headed by a branch director ensuring that decisions can be made quickly and a wealth of expertise is on hand. We have an intelligent, caring approach and do our utmost to match the right tenant/applicant to the right property to achieve the best results.

Q: What contacts do you have?
A: Plaza Estates was established in 1972. Over those 40 years we have built up enviable contacts with HR departments of many international corporations, embassies, relocation and search agents together with extensive overseas contacts from the Middle East, Far East, Europe and America. Our staff are experienced and highly trained. Both rental and sales directors have been with the company each for more than 25 years. We are proud of the many recommendations and referrals we receive from tenants, landlords, applicants and vendors.

Q: What advertising and marketing exposure will my property have?
A: We pay for a professional photographer to visit your property in order to ensure high quality photographs. The property will be displayed on our website which is linked to many property portals including Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and OnTheMarket. As members of Prestige MLS we also benefit from referrals and exposure from a network of more than 60 European and American agents adding an international dimension to the marketing. We advertise extensively in the London property magazines every month and our PR department ensures that properties get editorial coverage wherever possible.

Q: How can I be assured of your professionalism and trust you with my property?
A: Plaza staff are carefully chosen for their professionalism as well as their sales skills. All staff are thoroughly trained and many have undertaken industry examinations. As long standing members of ARLA and NAEA we strive to maintain high standards of professionalism and follow a strict code of practice. We are bonded and insured and client funds and tenancy deposits are protected. We have professional indemnity insurance and are members of the Property Ombudsman. We are also members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and deposits are registered and administered accordingly. Senior staff regularly attend legal seminars to ensure that we are fully up to date with the changes in the law and able to give you the correct advice.

Q: How should I prepare my property for marketing?
A: We are happy to visit your property to give you advice and ideas on how to maximize the value and return on your property. For general rentals advice please see the rental section on our website Buying to Let which gives full information on how to present your property for letting. Our Property Management Department offer a comprehensive refurbishment service for landlords not wanting to be involved in arranging works themselves.

Q: I only want to pay for results!
A: You only pay if we sell your property and on rentals we deduct our commission by instalment from each rental payment received. If either party serve notice and the tenancy is brought to an end, commission will not have been paid to us too far ahead. We think this is a straight forward and fair arrangement. You just pay for what you get.

Client Money Protection

Membership of a Government Approved Client Money Protection (CMP) scheme becomes a legal requirement for all agents dealing with residential lettings across England from Monday 1 April. Agents must display a certificate confirming membership of an Approved CMP scheme both in branch and on the website. As a Propertymark Protected firm, our Client Money Handling Procedures are covered in ARLA's Conduct and Membership Rules. The Rules are available here.

Plaza Estates Client Money Protection Certificate Plaza Estates Client Money Protection Certificate