Information for landlords
Zest Residential is an award winning, independent lettings and property management company providing high levels of service for a fixed fee. We work only in the Milton Keynes and surrounding area, making us experts in the local letting market.
We provide both a tenant find/lettings service and a full management service. You can also take a tailored combination of services or even a single service on an individual basis. Where other agents calculate their fee as a percentage of the rent, we don’t – because we don’t think that’s fair to landlords. Our property management fees stay the same regardless of the size of the property:
£84 per month, including VAT and NO hidden costs
The day-to-day management work is the same whatever the rental value, so why should you pay more just because your property achieves a higher rent?
Our lettings service is equally good value, with tenant finding, tenancy agreement and VAT all included from just £354.
How we can help…
Save you money
On an average rental income of £1050, you’d save £504 every year in management fees alone against an agent charging the typical 10% plus VAT. The higher the rent, the more you save. Whatever the rent, our all-inclusive fee structure could still make you better off with us.
Market your property
With our lettings service, your property will be advertised on all the major online portals, plus a number of smaller ones. We’ll also contact anyone on our list who’s looking for a property like yours. We work hard to show your property at its best and so boost your chances of attracting the right people and getting the best possible rent. You’ll get detailed descriptions, photos taken with care, and viewings accompanied by one of our expert team. Our local knowledge is a huge help for prospective tenants, speeding up decisions.
Find you the right tenants
We have a thorough three-stage vetting process. First, we find out about prospective tenants’ circumstances and what they are looking for. If we think they could be suitable, we’ll then talk to you about whether you’d like us to take up references. If the answer’s yes, we undertake a full credit search and contact the person’s employer and current landlord (where relevant). If any problems come to light, you can choose either to say no or to go ahead, perhaps with special conditions attached – such as asking for a guarantor. We’ll explain the options.
Once you’ve made your choice, we collect the deposit and the first month’s rent and sort out the statutory paperwork. This includes issuing an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement and protecting the deposit. It’s a comprehensive approach that puts you in control and makes sure you are comfortable with the people living in your property.
Check tenants in and handle inventories
We accompany the tenant on moving in day and sort out all the admin. This includes advising utilities and council tax authorities and giving meter readings. To minimise the risk of any dispute at the end of the tenancy, our MD (a qualified member of the Association of Professional Inventory Providers), will prepare a detailed report on the condition of the property, including photographs. This is agreed and signed by the tenant.
Look after your property and keep your tenants happy in their home
Full maintenance support is available as a stand-alone service as well as being a core element of our property management service. We’re here for tenants whenever they need us to report maintenance issues. Our multilingual online repair reporting form makes it easy for people to tell us what’s wrong, and we also provide an emergency out of hours contact number. You can choose your own contractors, or ask us to send one of our team of reliable tradespeople round. All work is cleared with you first (unless it’s an emergency). You pay only what it costs – no added mark up from us. No £600 fee for changing a lightbulb!
Mid-term inspections allow us to pick up any unreported maintenance issues before they turn into expensive problems. They’re also a good opportunity to talk to tenants and strengthen relationships.
Collect the rent AND pay you promptly
Your rent will be in the bank on either the 10th, 20th or final day of the month, whichever comes first after we receive the rent. That’s in sharp contrast to those agents who hang on to your money for a full month. If you want rent apportioning to the beginning of the month, just ask. We’ve invested heavily in software systems, so we can keep your records secure and provide clear statements showing you exactly what’s happening.
End tenancies and check tenants out
When a tenant vacates the property, we’ll arrange to visit on the final day of the tenancy. During this, we’ll check the condition of the property against the original inventory, collect keys, and take final meter readings. Where work needs to be carried out, we negotiate with the tenant on your behalf and deduct costs from the deposit.
Should you want to end a tenancy, we’ll issue the statutory notices and liaise with the tenant for you. In the unlikely event of significant rent arrears or other breaches of the tenancy agreement, we’ll advise you of your options and guide you through the process.
Provide free rent protection insurance
Our management service includes six month’s rent protection insurance. You can then renew the policy on expiry for a relatively small cost in relation to the security it gives.
Help you meet your legal obligations as a landlord
Landlords face an ever-increasing burden of legislation. Our procedures take the routine elements off your hands, and we’re always happy to provide information and answer questions about wider issues.
Give you peace of mind that we'll work fairly on your behalf
As members of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) for Lettings scheme, we are committed to following best practice and to working in your interests at all times. If you ever feel we haven’t done this, you have access to the TPO’s binding dispute resolution service, which can ask us to pay you compensation.
Provide advice on insurance and buy-to-let mortgages
Whether you are just thinking of buying your first investment property or are ready to re-mortgage, our Financial Services Advisor can give you in-depth advice on the best deals.
Lettings service Cost
The standard “tenant find” service. Includes realistic appraisal of market rent achievable, advertising, accompanying prospective tenants on viewings, taking up references, organising the Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, collecting the first month’s rent and holding the deposit.
The cost is £354, including VAT, for a property with up to three bedrooms.
The cost is £454 including VAT for a property with four bedrooms or more (we take more photos, conduct longer viewings, receive more requests for second viewings and spend more time to find you the right tenants).
|Rightmove and Zoopla listings||Yes|
Management service Cost
Complete hands-off property management.
We’ll check tenants in and out, handle inventories, collect the rent, liaise with tenants, do a mid-term inspection, and organise gas safety checks plus any maintenance work.
|Debt control and recovery||Yes|
|Annual rent reviews||Yes|
|Property maintenance management -including 24 hour emergency contact||Yes|
|Rent and legal expense warranty||Yes|
Award winning service
When it comes to looking after you, your property and your tenants you can expect the highest levels of customer service. We invest heavily in our people and have developed systems to ensure nothing gets overlooked.
This obviously takes time but after only 6 years we’re delighted to have been honoured with two prestigious allAgents customer experience awards. Out of over forty agents we picked up the bronze award for the best overall letting agent in Milton Keynes 2015 as well as the gold award for our own postal code.
Oh and dont worry, now we’ve got a taste of success our goal is to raise standards even further, whilst maintaining the most competitive fixed fees in the city.
1The valuation visit
Your chance to get to know us as we visit your property, while we find out what you’re hoping to achieve, and give you a valuation. It takes about 30 minutes in total, and there’s no pressure on you to make an instant decision about working with us.
2Marketing your property
Let us know you want to go ahead, and we get to work. Our first task is to make a further visit for photos and detailed note-taking. This allows us to create comprehensive and attention-winning listings on Rightmove and Zoopla - the two main online platforms. There’s no need for you to be present for this second visit.
We also get in touch with any suitable tenants already on our database.
3Finding the right tenant
We screen enquiries against your criteria and our own standards to create a shortlist of potential tenants. We then accompany the shortlisted applicants on viewings. And as we show people round, we’re already starting to vet them and assess how suitable they might be.
Once we find a prospective tenant who seems a good fit, we talk to you and ask if you’re happy to go ahead with references. Our thorough referencing process then kicks in. You get a comprehensive package of checks including background checks, finance checks, credit history, and previous landlord checks. The process is done through Rentshield and normally completed within three days. You then get a report on the outcome, along with our recommendations.
4Moving the tenant in
Once you’ve decided to proceed, we handle all the arrangements for moving the tenant in. That includes agreeing dates with the tenant, preparing the tenancy agreement, taking the deposit, and lodging it in an approved deposit protection scheme. We confirm with you that the property is ready for letting, check on safety certificates and maintenance issues, and organise any work needed.
Shortly before the contract start date, we do a partial inventory, excluding photos, in preparation for the tenant’s arrival. On the day the contract starts, we show tenants round the house and explain details such as how to work the central heating and where to find the stop tap. At the same time, we take photos to complete the inventory and ask the tenants to check off the inventory items and sign the finished document. We also take meter readings and advise utility companies.
It’s a comprehensive process that takes care of all the legal, logistical and practical details for you.
The rent starts to arrive in your bank account monthly, and you can relax knowing your tenants and your property are in a safe pair of hands. We’re inspecting the property every three months, doing any rent chasing needed, taking those late night broken down boiler calls – so you don’t have to. And we sort out tenancy agreement renewals - at no extra charge.
Book your free valuation with Zest today
You're one step closer to receiving the best value property lettings service in Milton Keynes.
Call us on 01908 227737 or fill out your details in the form below and one of our agents will contact you to
arrange your free, no obligation valuation.