Residential Lettings and Management, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

mail@johncaveproperties.co.uk - 01242 261 679

The Landlords Guide

As an independent local business with over 25 year’s experience, John Cave & Co is dedicated solely to Lettings and Property Management.


Marketing & Advertising

The nature of today’s lettings market, has changed substantially. Whereas until recently local paper based advertising was the predominant method of sourcing suitable client Tenants, this emphasis has now largely changed in order to reflect the increasing dominance of the internet as a means of marketing in general and property to let in particular.

Accordingly, John Cave & Co subscribe to most of the well know national web portals such as Rightmove and in addition Yell.com. However we continue to maintain a presence in the local press, as well as listings in the Yellow Pages for both Lettings and separately for Property Management.

As such, all advertising costs are included in our Management and Letting Fees.

Tenant Selection

Although some may disagree, citing other more important areas, it is our experience that Tenant selection is probably the most critical part of the Letting process, defining the level of success of any particular lease. Put simply, although the referencing package itself is somewhat mechanical in nature, ultimately it is an individual’s experience in the business that makes the difference.

John Cave & Co have been in business since 1990 and as such combine experience with the latest Referencing techniques to ensure, where possible, that suitable and reliable Tenants are selected, including Credit checks and full written References from an individual’s Bank, Employer or (in the case of self-employed applicants) their Accountant. In addition, wherever possible, a previous Landlord will be contacted for a character reference, which in many ways is the most important and relevant reference.

Tenancy Agreement

All of our Tenancy Agreements, Prescribed Information and Notices comply with current Lettings legislation and are designed to fully protect your interests as the Landlord, whilst concurrently reflecting the associated needs and requirements of the Tenant.

Generally these will take the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy within the provisions of the Housing Act 1988 and as amended by the Housing Act 1996, although ultimately the precise form and terms of the Agreement will be determined by our discussion with you, the client Landlord, in advance of any Letting Instructions.

Schedule of Condition and Inventory of the Furniture and Effects

Prior to the commencement of any Tenancy, a Schedule of Condition and Inventory of the Furniture and Effects is prepared, which details all of the furniture and equipment in the property together with their condition and that of the properties decoration.

This fundamentally important document is agreed between us the Agent and the client Tenant at the start of the Tenancy and subsequently forms the basis for the resulting Check Out, when the Tenancy completes and accordingly, any dilapidations claim by you the client Landlord, via us as your Agent.

However, client Tenants are entitled to what is defined as ‘fair wear and tear’, but any missing or damaged items or for that matter unreasonable wear and tear, as deemed by us the Agent, will become deductable from the client Tenants Security Deposit.

Security Deposit

Before the commencement of any Lease, the client Tenant is required to pay a Dilapidations Deposit, normally the equivalent of five weeks rent. This deposit is held by us, as either the stakeholder or as your Agent in order to offset any legitimate claim for unreasonable dilapidations or damage, as defined in the above ‘Inventory’ paragraph.

However the implications of the new Tenant Deposit Regulations which came into force in April 2007 mean that, in the event that the client Tenant disputes this claim, then it is potentially possible that the claim will have to go to arbitration.

Further information on the Tenant Deposit Scheme is available by clicking on the link:-www.direct.gov.uk/en/TenancyDeposit/index.htm

Property Inspections

Management visits are actually undertaken with a dual purpose in mind. Although ostensibly to establish and monitor the condition of the property during the Tenancy, they also give a good indication of the Tenancy conduct and therefore, indirectly, how this is impacting on the properties ‘wear and tear’.

With this in mind John Cave & Co undertake regular inspections, both of a formal internal nature and informal external nature, in addition to following up any problems specifically reported to us by the client Tenants.

In this way the client Tenants are reminded of your interest in the property and as a consequence, enabling us to undertake any urgent small scale remedial action, thus preventing small problems becoming large ones.

However, in the event that we encounter more significant problems, such as a heating system failure or the like, then we will report to you, normally with a resolution and associated costing.

Maintenance and Repairs

Where practical John Cave & Co will ‘pre-inspect’ any reported defects and as such, having established the need for either routine maintenance or agreed instructions to carry out more major repairs, will normally instruct a relevant Contractor to undertake the work. As a rule of thumb, we have a core of very experienced Contractors who we use to undertake most of the more routine remedial work; however in the event that you have a preferred tradesman, then we will instruct accordingly.

General Insurance and Certain Safeguards

When Letting, Tenant ‘dedicated’ Insurance becomes a reality of life, with some aspects mandatory and other advisory.

  • Buildings and Contents – Very rarely do ‘high street policies’ cover Lettings in general and Contents in particular. Eitherway, it is absolutely imperative that you notify your Insurance Company of your Lettings intentions. In this event, John Cave & Co is able to arrange suitable Insurance, at very competitive cost, which reflects the needs and requirements of the Lettings market, including any vacant period which can cover both Buildings and Contents if required.
  • Legal Protection Insurance – Sadly in today’s Letting market an absolute must. We strongly recommend that all Landlords should invest in a Legal and Rent protection policy, as the cost associated with recovering possession of the property, albeit in the potentially unlikely event of serious default by the client Tenant, can be prohibitively high. Likewise, the subsequent recovery of rent arrears is almost always, by definition, a pointless and expensive exercise, if a defaulting client Tenant cannot pay. In real terms the cost of a basic policy is actually very inexpensive, especially when seen against the peace of mind it affords and can also be offset against any Tax implication. Infact we have now sourced an extremely flexible and so cost effective product, which rather than the traditional annual policy, can literally, be turned on and off at will. More details are available if required.
  • Client Funds Protection – All client funds held by John Cave & Co are in separate Client Accounts.
  • Professional Indemnity - John Cave & Co holds Professional Indemnity Insurance which affords you protection against any loss suffered as a result of our actions
  • As one of Cheltenham's longer established Agents, we are committed to best ethical practice and infact have only recently resigned from long standing membership of NFOPP (National Federation of Property Professionals) which is split into the NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) and ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents) Divisions in particular and the Property Ombudsman, as a consequence of significant dissatisfaction of all 3 organisations.
  • Legionella. A more recent introduction to the Health and Safety aspect of Property letting. Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to Tenants, Residents and Visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled. Normally there is no reason why you as the landlord should not carry out this risk assessment yourself because generally, residential accommodation with small domestic type water systems where the water turnover is high, is considered low risk. Notwithstanding, it is important, however, to keep the assessment under review periodically in case anything changes to the system.

Removal and Storage

We have negotiated preferential rates with "Safestore" (http://www.safestore.co.uk) who are a National Company with 90 Depots Nationwide, including Cheltenham (http://www.safestore.co.uk/storage/south_west/cheltenham/cheltenham.aspx). They have the experience and strength in depth to arrange an entire move or just Storage solutions, depending on individual requirements. They can also arrange preferential rates on van hire, if this is all you need.

Rent Remittance and Monthly Statement of Accounts

Rent is paid per calendar month in advance and normally remitted to your nominated account by BACS transfer by the middle of the month, once we are in receipt of cleared funds from the client Tenant.

To reflect this activity and in order to make the accounting process simple, we provide a detailed ‘Statement of Account’, monthly in arrears, which also therefore gives us the opportunity to report any expenditure to you in advance, so that you can manage your cash flow more effectively.

Tax Liability on Rental Property

The income from any property which is let in this country is liable to UK tax whether the Landlord is regarded as resident in this country for tax purposes or not.

  • UK based Landlords – If as a Landlord you are resident in this country, you will be directly responsible to the Inland Revenue for the payment of Income tax on the profit from Rental Income. Amongst a raft of allowable expenses which can be offset against this profit are insurance, maintenance contract payments, repairs (though not replacements), water rates (if paid by the landlord), mortgage interest, an allowance for wear and tear if the property is furnished (currently 10% net) and Agency fees (including VAT). In short, most expenses are allowable, other than your Capitol payment element of any Mortgage you may have on the property; however it is advisable to seek specialist advice, where appropriate
  • Overseas based Landlords – In the event that a Landlord spends longer than 6 months outside the UK, you will in all probability be classed by the Inland Revenue as ‘Non Resident’. In order therefore to avoid the need to deduct 22% of your rent at source, you will be required to join the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme by filling out an NRL1 form. However, once we have received notification from the Inland Revenue that your application has been approved, we will be able to pay the gross amount of net rent due.
  • HM Armed Forces and the Civil Service - The Non-resident Landlords Scheme applies to members of HM Armed Forces and other Crown Servants - for example, Diplomats - if the usual place of ‘abode’ is outside the UK and for more than six months. Therefore, treatment is no different from any other Non-resident Landlord, even though the employment duty is classed as ‘overseas’ but treated as ‘performed in the UK’ for the purpose of charging salaries to tax.
  • By way of clarification, it is the ‘usual place of abode’ and not ‘non-residence’ that determines whether a Landlord is within the scheme or not. In the case of individuals, whose absence from the UK is of 6 months duration or more will be designated as having a usual ‘place of abode’ outside the UK. It is therefore possible for a person to be resident in the UK yet, for the purposes of the scheme, to have a usual place of abode outside the UK.

    Detailed information on the Non Resident landlord Scheme is available direct from the Inland Revenue or by clicking on the link:-www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/nr_landlords.htm



Reputable Residential Property Lettings and Management specialists located in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

All material and opinions presented on this website are provided for information purposes only and are not intended to form part of any offer or contract. Further, our policies and practices may change at any time without notice. Details of all properties are provided from information received, and their accuracy cannot be guaranteed.