May
26

ACJ Propertijason pices has appointed Jason Whiteley as Client Liaison Manager. Jason has joined ACJ from Allen & Harris in Penarth , where he covered the lettings market in and around the Vale of Glamorgan for the past three years as Branch Manager.

Head of Lettings at ACJ, Sarah Plumley said “We are delighted to welcome Jason to the ACJ team. Jason has a wealth of experience in the local rental property market that I am sure our staff and customers will benefit from”.

Jason commented “I am thrilled to have joined ACJ and look forward to assisting landlords with their existing and potential investment properties in and around the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff.”

If you would like to speak to Jason about an investment property, please telephone 029 20 41 51 61.


Apr
25

Please note that we will be closed over the May Bank Holidays. If you have an emergency situation, please contact 02920 41 51 61 for instructions.


Apr
12

Happy Easter to all of our customers! Over the Easter period, please note our revised opening hours:

Good Friday April 14th – Closed

Saturday 15th April – open 9am until 4pm

Easter Monday 17th April – Closed

If you require any urgent assistance during this period, please contact the office on 029 20 41 51 61 for instructions. You may also find some useful information here http://acjproperties.com/information-for-current-tenants/

 

 


Jan
03

The legislation that introduced landlord and agent registration and licensing came into force on the 23 November 2015 and allowed one year for compliance.

The enforcement powers within the legislation have now been activated. This means that Rent Smart Wales and its Local Authority partners across Wales can now take action. Failure to comply with the legislation is now an offence.

Landlords who are not involved in setting up tenancies and managing their rental properties do not need a licence; however, they must use a licensed letting agent and register as a landlord. The registration fee is £33.50 for online applications.

Letting agents and Landlords who are involved in the day to day management of residential rental properties in Wales are required to complete a training course and obtain a licence to continue the management of a rental property in Wales. The landlord licence fee is £144 for online applications, plus the cost of the training course.

If you have not yet complied with the legislation by either registering and licensing as a landlord, or registering and using a licensed managing agent, you should not delay any further. Please visit https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/landlord/ for more information. If you have already registered but you are unsure if your current managing agent is licensed, you can check the register here https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/check-register/

Please note that there are several consequences of not complying with this legislation. These include:

  • Fixed Penalty Notices
  • Rent Repayment Orders
  • Rent Stopping Orders
  • Criminal Prosecutions and Fines
  • Unable to serve a Section 21 notice for possession of the property until full compliance with the legislation is achieved.

If you have anRSW Approved course logoy questions regarding Rent Smart Wales registration and licensing, please contact us at acj@acjproperties.com

or telephone 029 20 41 51 61


Dec
14

Merry Christmas to all of our customers! Over the Christmas period, please note our revised opening hours:

Thursday 22nd December 9am – 4pm

Friday 23rd December 10am – 4pm

Saturday 24th, Monday 26th and Tuesday 27th December – Closed

Wednesday 28th December– Fri 30th December, normal office hours (9am -5.30pm)

Saturday 31st December – Monday 2nd January – Closed

If you require any urgent assistance during the festive period, please contact the office on 029 20 41 51 61 for instructions. You may also find some useful information here http://acjproperties.com/information-for-current-tenants/

 

 


Nov
28

ACJ Properties have acquired a rented property portfolio from the recently closed Meadowvale Estate Agents in Penarth.

The previous owner of Meadowvale Estate Agents, Susan Burston, decided to close the business to allow her to focus on her other business interests, including running a Bed and Breakfast. Sue said “once I had made the decision to close the business, it was extremely important to me that my customers would be looked after by a fully licensed letting agent. Having had several discussions with Sarah at ACJ over the last few months, I am confident that customers will receive a very high standard of service and that ACJ are the best placed agent to continue the management of these properties.”

Sarah Plumley, Head of Lettings at ACJ commented, “We are delighted to have acquired this portfolio which fits with our strategy for growth in the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff. Customers of Meadowvale can be assured of our fully licensed status with Rent Smart Wales and we look forward to providing a great service to all landlords and tenants.“

If you have a lettings business for sale or would like to enquire about our services, please contact Sarah Plumley on 029 20 41 51 61.


Oct
14

There is just 6 weeks to go until the compulsory registration and licensing deadline for landlords and agents in Wales, called Rent Smart Wales. It has been confirmed that as of Thursday 13th October 2016, ACJ Properties is the only licensed letting agent based in the Vale of Glamorgan.

After the 23rd November 2016, it will become an offence to operate as a landlord or letting agent in Wales without a registration or licence. Landlords must ensure that the person or company they appoint to carry out letting and management work on their behalf is licensed.

ACJ manages properties throughout Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Landlords who select our managed service can be assured that all they need to do is register their property with Rent Smart Wales by the 23rd November 2016 and ACJ will take care of the rest.

For more information, please contact us at acj@acjproperties.com or visit http://acjproperties.com/landlords/


Sep
15

ACJ properties DSCN0820has appointed Sarah Plumley as Head of Lettings. Sarah has 12 years experience in the industry and joins ACJ from Peter Alan where she spent 3 years as the Lettings Operations Manager. Prior to this, Sarah ran an independent letting agency, Pinnacle Letting Agents. Sarah grew up in Penarth and will be based in the ACJ Penarth office, responsible for all lettings staff and the management of a large and growing property portfolio.

Anthony Jones, Director at ACJ stated that the current, very experienced lettings team will benefit enormously, as will our landlords and tenants from the fresh thinking and leadership that Sarah will provide. In response, Sarah commented “I am thrilled to be joining the team at ACJ and will be looking at how we can further enhance the already excellent service offered to landlords, tenants and investors. November 2016 will bring some of the most important changes seen in the industry, with the introduction of compulsory registration and licensing for all landlords and agents in Wales. I look forward to working with such a professional and experienced team on assisting landlords with this process.


Jan
18

Viewing a new property may seem like a daunting experience, particularly if you have previously had limited success. There are many questions you could ask, so it is crucial not to forget anything important. We’ve collated our top tips to help you ask the important questions when viewing a property to buy or rent.

 Buying

1. What is the location like?

shutterstock_314976638Little details, such as where the nearest corner shop is to buy a pint of milk, are important when assessing whether the location of the property is suitable for you. Ask about the safety of the neighbourhood and how good the transport links are.

 

2. How old is the boiler?

Finding out how old the boiler is can give you a rough idea whether any problems are likely to occur. It is also a good idea to ask when it was last serviced. If the central heating or hot water packs in, boilers can cost serious money to have fixed or replaced.

3. Can you try the taps?

Many people forget to test out the taps when viewing a property. This is important for testing the water pressure and seeing how long it takes to heat up. It will also give you an idea of how good the boiler is.

4. Can you try the doors and windows?

It is also a good idea to check whether the doors and windows are in good working order, especially UPVC windows with locks and other safety features.

5. How much will council tax/other utility bills set you back?

shutterstock_218929675Getting as much information as possible about utility costs will help you work out whether the property is affordable on your budget. It is also useful to know how much the council tax will set you back.

 

6. Have gas and electric checks been carried out recently?

Make sure the home has been thoroughly inspected. Ask for certificates of proof of gas and electrical inspection.

7. How much storage space is there?

Make sure you have a good look to see if there will be enough space for you to store everything you own. This is particularly important if you’re moving house to start a family – make sure there is enough storage for the extra belongings.

 

Renting

1. What appliances are included?

shutterstock_330397106Ask which appliances are included in the property. Make sure those that are included have been through a PAT (portable appliance testing) inspection and ask to see certificates.

 

2. Have there been checks for damp and mould?

Check ceilings, windows and walls for any signs of damp or mould. Any discolouring, for example, could indicate a leak. Make sure any issues like this are addressed as soon as possible, as mould can lead to health problems.

3. Are there fire safety procedures in place?

All lettings are legally required to have a fire extinguisher and safety blanket in the property. Check to see if smoke and monoxide alarms are installed and working, too.

4. Are the locks secure?

Safety is paramount and landlords should ensure doors have suitable locks that can be opened easily if there is a fire. Also check any back garden or alley areas to assess the safety of the building.

5. Are there enough electrical points?

Check if there are enough sockets for your needs. Also check where the broadband point is – this is important as Wi-Fi cannot always travel through walls, so a Wi-Fi booster may be required.

6. Can you decorate?

shutterstock_269308592Some landlords are happy for you to alter the rooms. Others may not like it if you stick a nail in the wall. Check with the landlord what changes you can and can’t make to the property.


Nov
02

Whether you are an experienced landlord or a first-timer, renting out your property can be a daunting prospect. To ease your worries we have compiled a few tips that will help you make sure you and your property are ‘rent ready’:

  • Complying with safety regulations

shutterstock_323751242It may seem obvious, but when renting out a home it is crucial you comply with health and safety regulations to make the home suitable and safe for others to live in – and this doesn’t just mean throwing out that open can of beans you left in the fridge. To make a property ‘tenant-proof’ you must ensure that materials and furniture are fire safe, and provide a fire alarm on each floor. It is also best practice to install a carbon monoxide alarm in rooms with a usable fireplace or wood burner, which is a legal requirement in England and is expected to be adopted in Wales soon. In addition, all equipment in the house must be safely installed and maintained by a Gas Safe engineer, who must annually check each appliance for gas safety. The electrical system and all electrical appliances must also be safe for new tenants.

  • Making sure all repairs are completed

All repairs should be carried out before any tenants move in, and ideally before any house viewings. As a landlord, you will be responsible for maintaining (and repairing) the property’s structure and exterior, all sanitary fittings such as sinks, pipes and drains, heating and hot water, and electrical wiring, as well as managing damage that is caused by repairs. If you fail to carry out these tasks, there is a risk your tenants may complain to the local council, especially if the house is not seen to be safe or fit to inhabit.

  • Deposits and other finances

Before letting our your property you must decide whether maintaining it will be financially viable. Statistics show the average rent price in South Wales is £687 per calendar month, and you must decide whether the amount of rent you charge will leave enough for the general up-keep of the property and still return a profit. One crucial financial cost to consider is insurance. Before renting out your property, you must contact your mortgage provider and make sure you are insured as a landlord. It is important you are aware the rental income will be taxed, and you might have to pay Class 2 National Insurance if the letting is classed as a business.

Remember, when tenants have been found and the deposit has been received, it is essential to put the deposit money into a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme to avoid prosecution or fines.

  • Letting through an agency or managing the property yourself

If you have decided to manage and let the property yourself, you must become registered in order to do so. From 23rd November in Wales, all private landlords are required to register with Rent Smart Wales and must obtain a license, which can be granted after relevant training.

If you decide to appoint an agency to manage your lettings, make sure the company you choose is a member of a professional body such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents). On average, between 10 and 13 per cent of the rental income will be taken as fees to cover admin and maintenance costs. A letting agent will do a market appraisal of the property, find suitable tenants and write a tenancy agreement for you and your tenants to approve.

  • Choosing and maintaining tenants

shutterstock_304374179Choosing tenants is of course the most important part of any rental process. You can directly search for tenants via websites such as Spare Room or Gumtree, or pay an agency to manage the process for you. It is important to run credit and reference checks on any prospective tenants to check they can be trusted to look after your property and pay rent on time.

Once you have approved people to live in your property, you can work with a letting agency or a solicitor to draft a contract (normally a six month assured shorthold tenancy agreement) setting out terms and conditions. In addition to normal legal requirements, you can also add reasonable stipulations such as ‘no pets’.

It’s important to be aware that with the latter type of tenancy agreement, tenants must give a month’s notice period either before or after the end of the fixed term agreement, whilst as a landlord, you must give a minimum of two months written notice to the same effect. This ensures you have enough time to replace them, and also manage processes such as the return of deposits.

We hope these tips have been helpful. For more information, call our ACJ Lettings team on 02920 41 51 61.