How can we help you?

Domestic Energy Assessors

Since 1st October 2008 new legislation requires that all rental properties placed on the market must have an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC. (This is not optional)

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) give landlords and tenants information on the energy efficiency of the property.

An EPC is only required for a property which is self-contained, and the certificate is valid for 10 years.

There are heavy fines for non- compliance both for the Landlord and for the Estate Agent. (£200 for the Landlord and £2,000 for the letting agent)

Colin Bibra utilises the services of a Domestic Energy Assessor who is qualified to produce the certificate; this can usually be carried out the same day.

Do you have one or would you like us to organise it for you?

Floorplan

A floorplan can increase the chance of selling a property, as it shows the layout of the rooms in relation to each other, thereby providing a sense of proportion that buyers can apply to the visualising of their belongings within the property.

It complements photos by enabling the seller to show the property and it's true potential, in terms of shape and square footage.

Buyers are 30% more likely to enquire about a property which shows a floorplan. Some potential buyers will actually ignore property details that do not contain one.

A floorplan can save time before and after a viewing, to assess suitability and to serve as an ‘aide-memoire’ after the viewing, to assess the ability to make structural alterations or buy equipment, therefore it is an important marketing tool for the seller.

Solicitor

Once you have agreed an offer on your house, you need to instruct a solicitor to handle the transfer of ownership of the property to you. This is a legal process and as such, requires solicitors who specialise in the field of conveyancing.

It may also be a requirement of the mortgage company that you must use the services of one of their panel of solicitors. (Otherwise, we can recommend a solicitor from our own panel of ‘tried and trusted’ local firms) The solicitor or conveyancer will:

Draw up a draft agreement called Terms of engagement, setting out its fees and deposits requiring payment before any legal work can commence; write to the seller’s solicitor requesting details of title ownership and standard forms; raise enquiries; check the lease length; conduct the ‘searches’ with the Local Authority and Environment Agency, to ensure there are not any major problems with the property; check that there are no plans to build a new motorway or other installation that may affect the value or enjoyment of your new home; check flood risk; assist in contract signing and transfer of deposit to the seller; oversee exchange of contracts and completion.

There may also be a need for legal advice if you are a landlord with a difficult tenant or other related issue that needs resolving. Our highly-trained and experienced staff within the branch are able to help with many generic landlord/tenant queries and pass you to a local solicitor if there is a requirement for further action.

Surveyors

For most of us, purchasing a property will be the most expensive investment we ever make and we need the reassurance that the property we buy is free from structural defects and in a good condition.

When purchasing a property, once an offer is accepted, it is prudent to book a house survey. There are 3 types of survey:

Condition report

This is a basic report, suitable for homes in good condition, where no advice is given.

Homebuyer’s report

This will identify issues such as subsidence or damp, but does not look at the outer structure of a house.

Full structural survey

Used with older houses or ones needing a good deal of work. This report provides advice regarding the type of repairs to be carried out and identifies possible, future problems.

Before you choose a surveyor, make sure you know which kind of survey you need and what you're expecting the surveyor to produce. This is likely to depend on what kind of home you're buying.

Surveyors also work on major renovations to a property.

If trying to get an accurate idea of what your project will cost and ensuring your builders stay within budget, a qualified surveyor is there to help.

We have a list of accredited, local surveyors we can recommend.

Mortgage and Financial Advisers

Many people have found the services of a financial adviser to be invaluable. They not only advise on the best mortgage for your needs but also offer advice on a wide range of other financial products, including protection, savings, investments and pensions.

Protection

This can include life cover to pay off the mortgage, critical illness cover if you become seriously ill and unable to work, private medical insurance for you and your family and house insurance to protect against fire or flood damage. This list is not exhaustive, but the right adviser can help you sort your insurance priorities in the event of the unforeseen happening.

Savings, Investments, Pensions

Choosing the right savings plan can be as simple as a low-interest, instant access savings account at your high street bank. Or it can be more complex savings products, such as Isa’s, personal pensions, unit trusts or corporate bonds. Whatever your needs, a qualified, independent adviser can help you and your family set and attain financial goals that can result in substantial savings over your lifetime.

Financial advisers must be registered and monitored by the Financial Conduct Authority and must pass a series of stringent examinations, so you can be sure you are talking to an expert.

Removal and Clearance

When you need to move home, you want to be sure your possessions are moved with care.

You will need to use a professional removal company with the highest standards who come highly recommended; a company that will make your house move or clearance as stress free as possible.

Make sure you use a company that offers a packing service and is covered by in- transit insurance and public liability insurance.

We have a list of companies we would be happy to recommend who can give you free, no obligation quotations and advice.

Damp and woodworm

There are times when a property is beset with problems such as damp or woodworm.

Dampness can be caused by a lack of ventilation, causing condensation and resulting in water build - up.

The solution for this would be to improve the ventilation by keeping a small window open.

In cases where woodworm is discovered, timber treatments offering guarantees are available.

Usually, a free of charge quotation is available resulting in a quotation.

There are companies specialising in Damp Proofing, Basement Waterproofing, Condensation Control and Woodworm that we can recommend.

DRY ROT

This is a form of wood decay caused by fungi that thrive in damp, humid conditions.

The wood, when decayed, is darker in appearance and is prone to crumbling.

It is vital to eradicate dry rot before it damages the fabric of a building.

Plaster and wall coverings should be removed and the area affected should be treated using a number of chemical-based treatments that are effective against the fungi that cause dry rot.

As one of the leading estate management companies in Ealing, we work with companies specialising in all areas of the containment and eradication of dry rot and other issues associated with damp and humidity.

BUILDERS AND DECORATORS

Anyone who has had building or decorating work done in their home will appreciate the value of choosing a reputable company who will do the work on time and to budget, whilst causing the minimum disruption to the day-to-day lives of you and your family.

Often, the best way to find builders and decorators is to obtain recommendations from people you know who have had a satisfactory experience.

Look for companies that offer free, written quotations, can give you testimonials from satisfied customers, have the necessary industry accreditation and who are members of professional bodies.

We work with local, industry-accredited builders and decorators who we can recommend.

Removal and Clearance

When you need to move home, you want to be sure your possessions are moved with care.

You will need to use a professional removal company with the highest standards who come highly recommended; a company that will make your house move or clearance as stress free as possible.

Make sure you use a company that offers a packing service and is covered by in- transit insurance and public liability insurance.

We have a list of companies we would be happy to recommend who can give you free, no obligation quotations and advice.

TAX ADVISERS ( see also ACCOUNTANCY AND AUDIT)

Effective tax planning is essential.

Mistakes or omissions can cost you money.

As a landlord, this can be a complex area, with various tax reliefs and allowances available that are subject to change with each successive Budget.

Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT) are areas needing consideration and expert guidance.

We work with local, accredited Tax Advisers who we are happy to recommend.

Legal Advisers

Once you have agreed an offer on your house, you need to instruct a solicitor to handle the transfer of ownership of the property to you. This is a legal process and as such, requires solicitors who specialise in the field of conveyancing.

It may also be a requirement of the mortgage company that you must use the services of one of their panel of solicitors. (Otherwise, we can recommend a solicitor from our own panel of ‘tried and trusted’ local firms)

The solicitor or conveyancer will:

Draw up a draft agreement called Terms of engagement, setting out its fees and deposits requiring payment before any legal work can commence; write to the seller’s solicitor requesting details of title ownership and standard forms; raise enquiries; check the lease length; conduct the ‘searches’ with the Local Authority and Environment Agency, to ensure there are not any major problems with the property; check that there are no plans to build a new motorway or other installation that may affect the value or enjoyment of your new home; check flood risk; assist in contract signing and transfer of deposit to the seller; oversee exchange of contracts and completion.

There may also be a need for legal advice if you are a landlord with a difficult tenant or other related issue that needs resolving. Our highly-trained and experienced staff within the branch are able to help with many generic landlord/tenant queries and pass you to a local solicitor if there is a requirement for further action.

GARDENING

Whether it's designing a landscaped garden or simply choosing trees and shrubs for your garden, a professional, qualified gardener can help.

Gardens are no longer an outside space for the children to play in; they are an extension of our interior, and a well-designed garden can increase the value of your property and can be a focal point for family and friends to gather…preferably around a pool or in a hot tub!

As estate managers, an important part of our service is to ensure the maintenance and appeal of our communal gardens and these are all kept to an extremely high standard.

We have a number of local, professional gardeners who can give you a free quotation.

ELECTRICIAN

The Electricity at Work Regulation covers electrical installations in the home.

The Electrical Safety Council encourages us to only use fully qualified, competent electricians. This can be verified by reference to the ElectricSafe Register.

We can recommend local, professional and qualified electricians for any project or repair, large or small.

GAS ENGINEERS

Landlords must ensure all gas appliances are checked for safety by a Gas Safe registered engineer before a tenancy commences. A copy of the annual maintenance check must also be given to the tenants within 28 days.

We can help you when it comes to choosing a local, fully qualified gas engineer.

Domestic Energy Assessors

Since 1st October 2008 new legislation requires that all rental properties placed on the market must have an Energy Performance Certificate or EPC. (This is not optional)

An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) give landlords and tenants information on the energy efficiency of the property.

An EPC is only required for a property which is self-contained, and the certificate is valid for 10 years.

There are heavy fines for non- compliance both for the Landlord and for the Estate Agent. (£200 for the Landlord and £2,000 for the letting agent)

Colin Bibra utilises the services of a Domestic Energy Assessor who is qualified to produce the certificate; this can usually be carried out the same day.

Do you have one or would you like us to organise it for you?

FLOORING AND CARPETS

Your choice of flooring can often transform a house into a home; using different types of flooring can create different areas and moods; carpets can make a bedroom feel cosy and inviting, whereas a beautiful stone , wood or hard-wearing laminate floor can denote an area of play or a space where the whole family can relax.

Whatever your preference, we can recommend specialists in flooring who will help and advise you.

REFERENCE CHECKING

At Colin Bibra Estate Agents, we are rigorous on your behalf in our referencing process for prospective tenants.

We use an independent referencing agency specialising in referencing for landlords. They conduct an impartial, thorough search of an applicant's credit history, previous landlord and employment details.

As an extra safeguard, we require payslips, bank statements and photo ID for our files. Work permits are also required where applicable.

Building & Contents insurance

As a private landlord, you have responsibilities to your tenants. The correct insurance policy can protect both of you if the worst should happen.

Areas of responsibility include maintenance and safety of:

  • Heating
  • Hot water
  • Electrical appliances
  • Gas safety checks
  • Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations

Your property represents an important asset for you as a landlord, therefore you need to know it's protected with specialist insurance in place. A domestic insurance policy will not provide adequate cover against loss of rent due to fire and flood, or damage to fixtures and fittings or glass and locks replacement or legal costs arising from disputes with tenants.

Also, your buy-to-let mortgage provider may insist that you have a landlord-specific policy in place.

Landlord’s Insurance comprises the following elements, some compulsory, others optional for added protection:

Buildings

This means the structure is protected against fire or flood damage.

Contents

If your property is let furnished, this will enable you to repair or replace damaged fixtures and fittings such as carpets, kitchen equipment and furniture.

Liability

This protects you against claims for injury sustained during an accident on your premises to tenants or visitors.

Home Emergency

This element can give you as a landlord the peace of mind that all call-outs are covered in response to emergency breakdowns to utilities or equipment including gas, electricity and water.

Legal Expense

Sometimes, legal disputes over unpaid rent or other disagreements means a landlord will need to engage the services of a solicitor.

Rent Guarantee

This covers a landlord against unpaid rent or void periods between tenancies.

Tenant Content Insurance

If you are renting your home, the landlord is not responsible for insuring your contents.

There are even policies aimed specifically at students in shared accommodation.

Block Insurance

This is the responsibility of the Freeholder of a Block and includes cover for garages, communal areas, car parks and gardens, as well as the building itself.

we work with specialists in Landlord and Commercial insurance of all types. They can advise you how best to protect your assets and personal effects.

INVENTORIES

The inventory is a record of the condition of the property and includes all items, fixtures, fittings and appliances and is accompanied by detailed photographs and descriptions.

The inventory serves as a dated record and can help in matters of dispute concerning the return of a tenant's deposit, where discrepancies can arise at the end of the tenancy. Where an independent inventory is not in existence, you as a landlord could lose out.

The inventory should be signed by both the tenants and the landlord. Photographic or video evidence is optional.

Quarterly inspections by landlord are advisable to ensure conditions are maintained.

We work with a number of independent, professional inventory companies for our managed properties and we are happy to recommend them to you.

STORAGE

There will be occasions when you will need to store the contents of your home, for the long or short- term.

You can be moving house, going to university/just returned from university, going travelling or refurbishing your home.

Services on offer to be considered before selecting your storage solution.

We can help you with secure, cost-effective solutions for large or small units.

PROFESSIONAL CLEANING

A good, reliable cleaning contractor can help when you are renting out your property, or just moved in to your new home, or for regular domestic cleaning.

End of tenancy professional cleaning is one of the important services they provide.

Our helpful and friendly staff can recommend local, professional cleaning companies to help you.

LIFT MAINTENANCE

A passenger lift must be easy to use, reliable, quick and safe for all users.

Maintaining passenger lifts within blocks of flats also has important Health and Safety implications for residents, visitors and maintenance personnel.

We only use accredited Lift Maintenance specialists who are fully insured to carry out preventative maintenance inspections and works and offer guarantees, where applicable.

Our Lift contractors also deal with servicing, repairs, breakdowns, modernisations and component upgrades. All works undertaken are designed to make a lift safe and accessible to passengers, to be eco- friendly, pleasing to the eye in its design and to prolong the life of the lift.

These functions are highly regulated and covered by a raft of Health and Safety legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act.

CLEANING/GARDENING

Whether it's designing a landscaped garden or simply choosing trees and shrubs for your garden, a professional, qualified gardener can help.

Gardens are no longer an outside space for the children to play in; they are an extension of our interior, and a well-designed garden can increase the value of your property and can be a focal point for family and friends to gather…preferably around a pool or in a hot tub!

As estate managers, an important part of our service is to ensure the maintenance and appeal of our communal gardens and these are all kept to an extremely high standard.

We have a team of local, professional gardeners who an give you a free quotation.

BLOCK AND ESTATE DECORATION

As Estate Managers, we ensure compliance with the maintenance and refurbishment requirements and timescales set out in the Head Lease of a Block. This sets out the schedule of works required, the frequency with which these must be executed and the procedures that must be adhered to in carrying out the works.

Periodically, work is carried out not just to improve and maintain the building, but to improve energy efficiency, leading to warmer flats and cheaper energy bills for residents.

Other work can include:

  • Other work can include:
  • Interior and Exterior Lighting in communal areas
  • Entry phone systems
  • Automatic doors
  • Satellite installation for communal use
  • Water pipes and guttering
  • Replacement windows and doors

We work closely with professional, reliable, local Decorators and building companies and would be happy to recommend them to you.

INSURANCE

As a private landlord, you have responsibilities to your tenants. The correct insurance policy can protect both of you if the worst should happen. Areas of responsibility include maintenance and safety of:

  • Heating
  • Hot water
  • Electrical appliances
  • Gas safety checks
  • Compliance with Fire Safety Regulations

Your property represents an important asset for you as a landlord, therefore you need to know it's protected with specialist insurance in place. A domestic insurance policy will not provide adequate cover against loss of rent due to fire and flood, or damage to fixtures and fittings or glass and locks replacement or legal costs arising from disputes with tenants.

Also, your buy-to-let mortgage provider may insist that you have a landlord-specific policy in place.

Landlord’s Insurance comprises the following elements, some compulsory, others optional for added protection:

Buildings

This means the structure is protected against fire or flood damage.

Contents

If your property is let furnished, this will enable you to repair or replace damaged fixtures and fittings such as carpets, kitchen equipment and furniture.

Liability

This protects you against claims for injury sustained during an accident on your premises to tenants or visitors.

Home Emergency

This element can give you as a landlord the peace of mind that all call-outs are covered in response to emergency breakdowns to utilities or equipment including gas, electricity and water.

Legal Expense

Sometimes, legal disputes over unpaid rent or other disagreements means a landlord will need to engage the services of a solicitor. This can be a costly business, so an optional feature on the policy can pay out, should you need legal assistance.

Rent Guarantee

This covers a landlord against unpaid rent or void periods between tenancies.

Tenant Content Insurance

If you are renting your home, the landlord is not responsible for insuring your contents. Contents insurance for the tenant provides cover for loss and damage, or theft of your household goods. Some policies can include tenant's liability cover to protect you in the event of accidentally damaging fixtures or items belonging to the landlord.

There are even policies aimed specifically at students in shared accommodation.

Block Insurance

This is the responsibility of the Freeholder of a Block and includes cover for garages, communal areas, car parks and gardens, as well as the building itself.

For more information, contact us.

we work with specialists in Landlord and Commercial insurance of all types.

They can advise you how best to protect your assets and personal effects.

Please call Oscar Valdez, Lettings Manager, to assess your requirements and direct you to one of our preferred partners for a free, no obligation quotation.

PARKING CONTROL

Colin Bibra Estate Management provides a parking enforcement service to its car parks.

Working with only the most reputable parking management companies who operate within strict industry guidelines, we help to ensure that only residents, their visitors and authorised contractors are able to use the car park facility.

With off-street parking at a premium, this is increasingly important and residents appreciate a quick and effective response from our parking contractors when they call us.

Our operators are members of the British Parking Association (Approved Operator Scheme) who must comply with a strict code of practice.

Wheel clamping and towing from private land is now illegal under The Protection of Freedom Act 2012 and parking control companies now issue parking control notices (PCNs) instead.

DRAIN MAINTENANCE

Our Estate Management team is responsible for ensuring that all drains and drainage systems at our blocks are clear and free-flowing.

Our experienced, friendly staff can give free, general information on any matter relating to drainage, including:

  • Flooding
  • Maintenance
  • Tree roots
  • Grease management
  • Drain surveys
  • Blockage

For more information on who to contact

ENTRY-PHONE

An entry-phone can replace the traditional security door lock and key, which can be costly if keys are lost or stolen or a person is no longer permitted entry.

Colin Bibra Estate Management ensures that all enter-phone systems at our blocks are installed and maintained to the highest standards by qualified engineers and that the system is carefully selected for quality, durability and reliability.

AERIAL/SATELLITE

Nowadays, communal satellite and aerial systems used by blocks of flats or multiple occupancies are key features for residents, allowing them access to non-terrestrial channels, via a single dish connected to individual dwellings.

As one of Ealing’s leading Lettings agent, one of the most frequently asked questions is ‘does the block have a communal satellite dish?’

Our estate management team has a service and repair agreement with local, reputable TV aerial and satellite installers, who use the latest technology to deliver a high quality, reliable signal to every flat in a block.

ACCOUNTANCY & AUDIT

Managing your tax affairs as a landlord with an investment property can be something of a minefield.

Legislation and HMRC rules are always changing and you need to keep one step ahead to avoid falling foul of the rules.

It is important, therefore, to choose accountants that are experienced in handling this specialised area.

We work with established, experienced, accountancy firms who can give you the guidance you need.

ACCOUNTANCY & AUDIT

Managing your tax affairs as a landlord with an investment property can be something of a minefield.

Legislation and HMRC rules are always changing and you need to keep one step ahead to avoid falling foul of the rules. It is important, therefore, to choose accountants that are experienced in handling this specialised area.

Did you know, Income and expenses must be declared by the landlord, even where a profit has not been made?

These must be recorded for inclusion in the self-assessment tax return, which your accountant can help you complete.

He or she will also prepare annual accounts regarding your buy-to-let property and provide tax planning and advice. Effective tax planning is essential.

Various tax reliefs are available, but are subject to change. For example, did you know tax relief is available against Property Management and Advertising costs, even Accountant’s fees! There is also an allowance for wear and tear on furnished lets. Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT are all dealt with by your accountant. All records should be kept for 6 years.

We work with established, experienced, accountancy firms who can give you the guidance you need.

BANKING

Service charges, rents, all must be compliant with money laundering regs via the various regulatory bodies we subscribe to.

HEALTH AND SAFETY

Our Estate and property management teams work tirelessly to identify and reduce any harmful situations or hazards relating to the safety of the blocks and properties we manage.

Our staff are all trained in Health and Safety legislation and our Lettings team can offer help and advice to landlords with meeting their obligations to their tenants.

BANKING

Service charges, rents, all must be compliant with money laundering regs via the various regulatory bodies we subscribe to

Colin Bibra

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