Information for renters
Here is some useful information for our renters about what to expect when they rent one of our houses, and links to useful resources.
What should I expect when renting a Smith Lettings house?
All of our properties are Victorian terraced houses in the sought after area in and around St Luke's in Maidstone, a brisk 10 minute walk to Maidstone East station and the shops, and easy access to the M20. Despite being so close to the town centre and M20, these are quiet residential areas with excellent schools within walking distance.
Our lettings process
We look for tenants who want to rent the house for the long-term. In return, we manage our houses with a lot of care and attention so that our tenants will be happy and stay living in the house.
As our houses are always in demand when they become available, please expect us to carry out basic screening for affordability and general suitability before we arrange a viewing. We complete full tenant referencing and credit checks after the viewings on our short-list of tenants who have confirmed they wish to rent the property .
We enter into Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements with our tenants of a minimum of one year at the start of the tenancy.
During the tenancy
So that our tenants receive a consistently high service service, Suzanne Smith manages all of the houses herself personally, instead of using an anonymous managing agent who probably doesn't even know the houses. This means that our tenants do not need to deal with a "middle person", a managing agent, but can speak directly to the person owns and cares about the house, and crucially, is the decision-maker. We always do a professional inventory at the start of a tenancy as that is fair all round.
Suzanne typically sets up a separate WhatsApp group with the tenants for each house so that it's easy to communicate without being intrusive. Things sometimes do go wrong, as with any property, and Suzanne has a network of trades people who can come to repair the problem if it is something that she cannot fix herself. Expect landlord checks every six months or so - these are important so we can spot issues before they become problems.
We take energy efficiency seriously, which is good for the planet and helps keep down energy costs, and have Google Nest Learning Thermostats installed as standard in all of our properties. This means you can control your heating settings remotely via an app, or even from the comfort of your bed!
We review the rent on an annual basis so the rent keeps pace with the local rental market, avoiding "catch up" shocks.
Suzanne is a Landlord Member of the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), which means that she has agreed not only to comply with all of the legal obligations on landlords such as an annual Gas Safety Report and boiler servicing, but that we will always be straight forward and honest to deal with, and keep the houses in good repair. This comes down to us treating our renters with respect, just as we would wish to be treated if we were renting a house. Here is a link to the NRLA's Code of Practice for more information: NRLA Code of Practice.
Here are some links to useful resources:
How to Rent Checklist for Renting : this is the latest version which was published by HM Government in December 2020. This document needs to be provided to all renters when they let a property
Parking: All of our houses are in areas with residential parking on the street. Here is the link for Maidstone Council Parking Permits: Maidstone BC Parking Permits
Council tax: Maidstone BC Council Tax
Schools: Search for schools using this link to the dedicated webpage on Kent County Council's website: KCC School Search
Power cuts: UK Power Networks Report Power Cut. Telephone: 0800 3163105