Let your property with us.

OUR PROMISE TO YOU:

Quality tenants

Maximum rent

Minimum void

London's Property Specialist since 1992

Local expertise

We know you want to work with an agent who truly understands your local rental market. That’s why Black Katz specialises in residential lettings and property management. Our local expertise is second to none.

Intensive marketing

We use an intensive marketing approach to showcase your property to all suitable tenants locally and, if necessary, throughout the entire Black Katz group.

Premium service

We offer free valuations, professional photography, free coverage on our website and other leading property portals such as Prime Location, Right Move, Zoopla, and many more. We work hard to keep any void periods to an absolute minimum.

Best results

The size and success of our service results in Black Katz letting on annual basis 2,000+ properties to approximately 4,000 tenants, generating a rental income in excess of £40million per annum for our landlords.

TESTIMONIALS

Helpful and competent

Black Katz act for us as letting and managing agents for 23 apartments. Black Katz staff are always very helpful and competent in the management department and I have an excellent working relationship with them, they contact me to advise of any repairs which need to be carried out and these are always done in a quick and professional manner.

- B McCaffrey

Peace of mind

Black Katz are efficient, effective and yet also provide value for money. They have given me peace of mind during various legislative tightening by the government. Their invoicing makes it easy to put together my tax return as well.

- A Jones

Workload significantly reduced

We appointed Black Katz to find and vet new tenants and manage our let properties in 2005, having owner managed for the previous nine years. Even now I wish we had appointed them earlier - repair costs are generally lower, and my required workload significantly reduced.

- R Corrie

Services & Fees

Our teams are exclusively dedicated to lettings and have a huge local market knowledge, providing you with a quick and efficient lettings service.

  • Visit your property and provide a free rental valuation.
  • Market your property through our chain of agencies and all major property portals for a maximum response.
  • Accompany all viewings.
  • Negotiate terms between prospective tenants and yourself. Landlord and tenant meetings can be arranged.
  • Ensure full references are taken up and checked, that all financial matters are handled on your behalf and contracts are prepared.
  • Monies collected, including the deposit
  • Statement prepared and submitted with monies
  • Each office has a full-time  Move In Manager solely dedicated to processing every tenancy.
  • Very competitive fees. We’ll even provide a “Commission Money Back Guarantee” should the tenants leave the property prior to the end of their tenancy. (Please ask for details.)
  • Reference compliance (please see Additional Charges below).

Our fees for a Lettings Only Service are 11% + VAT (13.2% inc VAT) of the monies receivable for the period of the agreement.

Additional Charges

  • Contract Fee £300+ VAT (£360 inc VAT) to prepare the Tenancy Agreement initial or renewal.
  • Landlord Referencing Fee - to cover the tenant referencing collection and suitability of work/ university, bank, previous landlord and guarantor if needed. There is no additional charge for referencing guarantors, just one charge per tenant. Charge of £55 + VAT (£66 inc VAT) per tenant. 
  • Right to Rent Fee of £35 + VAT (£42 inc VAT) per tenant to cover the process of carrying out the necessary checks before a tenant can occupy rented accommodation. 
  • Change of Tenant Referencing Fee - In the event of a change of tenant at renewal point or before the end of the tenancy, referencing and right-to-rent checks will need to be carried out on any replacement tenant. This is necessary to ensure that any tenant in your property is fully referenced in terms of suitability and passes the legal checks required by Right to Rent under the Immigration Act 2014.  We will therefore charge our standard Landlord Referencing Fee of £55 + VAT (£66 inc VAT) and Right to Rent Check Fee of £35 + VAT (£42 inc VAT) for each new applicant.

Everything included in our Lettings only service, plus:

  • Tenant check-in with full inventory
  • Registering of deposit
  • Rent collection
  • Payment of any outgoings
  • General repairs
  • Emergency repairs
  • Deal with all tenant enquiries
  • Tenant check-out with full inventory

Additional charges may apply.

Our fees for the Letting and Property Management are in addition to the Lettings Only Service. For UK-based landlords 6% + VAT (7.2% inc VAT) of the gross rent. For overseas landlords 7% + VAT (8.4% inc VAT) due to the additional time and costs involved. Management fees are payable monthly from the rent collected. Inventories are the responsibility of the landlord.

As an additional service, Property Management can protect the deposit on behalf of the landlord for peace of mind. Deposit Protection £50.00 + VAT (£60 inc VAT)

Find out more about out Property Management service.

Renewal Fees which are fair and active.

A)  Fair - Our Terms and Conditions have been developed to be fair to all parties. If the tenant leaves early we provide you with a refund, and if the tenant stays on, you provide us with a renewal.

B)  Active - Actively persuading the tenants to stay and actively negotiate the best terms for you.

Should the tenants, their family, friends or associates renew the lease on the property, either by the creation of a new tenancy or simply verbally by a periodic tenancy, our fee will be 11% + VAT (13.2% inc VAT) and for each subsequent year's renewal. We always play an "Active Role" in persuading the tenant(s) to stay and negotiating rent levels (we actively push for a rent increase), organising change of tenancy by collecting and checking references and organising new contracts where applicable. Rental increases on periodic tenancies will be dealt with under a Section 13 Notice. Commission refunds are only payable where Black Katz have been given 4 weeks opportunity to re-let the property - for the same term as the original contract - from the date of the tenants leaving.

Information & Legislation

Access up-to-date information on lettings and current changes in the law.

The following is for guidance only, Black Katz are not solicitors and as such do not provide legal advice.

What is an inventory?

An inventory is an essential document that provides a written record that details the fixtures and fittings of a property and their conditions, as well as the condition of the property itself. This should be created at the beginning of each new tenancy and updated at the end of each tenancy.

Why do we need an inventory? No inventory = No protection.

Since the introduction of the statutory Tenancy Deposit Scheme in April 2007, where a dispute arises over the deposit in relation to condition/contents of the property, it is vital to have a professional inventory that can be referred to and the matter resolved. One of the main features of the scheme is dispute resolution, whereupon the independent adjudicator will make his decision based on the documentation to examine – the inventory will play a major role in the decision.

Without an inventory the landlord effectively has no evidence to support his claim, making it hard to justifiably and successfully withhold monies where required. The inventory also works for the tenants by protecting their deposit from unjustifiable claims. All professional bodies from Safe Agent to Property Mark to NAEA, to RICS and the Department for Communities and Local government strongly urge professional inventories.

We are pleased to have links with one inventory company:

Target Inventories

Mob: 07812 372368
email: rachel@targetinventories.com

The schemes

Every private landlord in England and Wales letting private residential property is by law required to join one of three government-authorised tenancy deposit protection schemes if:

  • The tenancy is let under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
  • The deposit must be registered within 30 days of receipt and the tenants informed.
  • On your request Black Katz can register the deposits.

As we do not hold deposits, we would advise you, our landlord, to look into the schemes that are on offer. If you have any problems with this procedure, just contact the office that you have been dealing with and they will guide you through the whole process step by step.

However, if your property is managed by Black Katz Property Management, you do have the option for Black Katz to hold and register your deposit with MyDeposits.

The three schemes are:

MyDeposits - This insurance-based tenancy deposit protection scheme enables landlords to hold deposits. It is free to join the scheme with a deposit fee paid each time you register a deposit. The protection covers the duration of the tenancy and if the tenant(s) continues onto a Statutory Periodic Tenancy you need to inform MyDeposits. A new protection fee is needed at the start of every new fixed term AST agreement.

For more information, visit www.mydeposits.co.uk or call 0333 321 9401.

The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) - Custodial and Insured deposit protection scheme – The custodial deposit protection scheme is free to use and open to all landlords and Letting Agents. The service is funded entirely from the interest earned from deposits held. The insured deposit protection scheme has no registration or annual renewal fee but charges from £18.75 per deposit registered. The landlord retains the deposit and protection will be provided to the tenant(s) for the duration of the tenancy. Landlords and Letting Agents will be able to register and make transactions online. Paper forms will also be available should internet access be an issue. The scheme will be supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent dispute resolution service.

For more information, visit www.depositprotection.com or call 0330 303 0030.

The Dispute Service (TDS) is an insurance-backed deposit protection and dispute resolution scheme which was established in 2003 to provide dispute resolution and complaints handling for the lettings industry. The scheme enables letting agents and landlords to hold their deposits. There is no fee for joining this scheme but will cost from £18.50 to register a deposit.

For more information, visit www.thedisputeservice.co.uk or call 0300 037 1000.

If a deposit is not protected, the landlord is breaking the law. The landlord is unable to regain possession of the property using notice-only grounds for possession under the Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. The tenant can apply for a court order requiring the deposits to be protected, or for the prescribed information to be given to them.

If the court finds your landlord hasn’t protected your deposit, it can order the person holding the deposit to either:

  • repay it to the tenant
  • pay it into a custodial TDP scheme’s bank account within 14 days

The court may also order the landlord to pay you up to three times the deposit within 14 days of making the order.

You can also contact Natasha Eddy by email tash@blackkatz.com / 0207 284 3111.

Landlord Action was founded in 1999 as the first ever fixed-fee tenant eviction specialist, they revolutionised this area of legal practice. They act for landlords with problem tenant cases and are considered the authority in this field. They are regulated by The Solicitors Regulation Authority, with in house specialist solicitors and para legals in Landlord and Tenant Law. Landlord Action will not act for tenants, only landlords and property companies.

They run a free advice line to help landlords and property professionals understand their rights: The media call Landlord Action the ‘Landlord’s Friend’. 

www.landlordaction.co.uk

Tel: 020 8906 3838

Gas Safety: The law and how it effects you

With around 30 deaths per year from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by poorly installed or badly maintained gas appliances and flues, the GAS SAFETY (INSTALLATION AND USE) REGULATIONS 1998 (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is the governing legislation) demands that all landlords must maintain gas appliances in the property and the appliances must be inspected and passed annually by a Gas Safe qualified inspector. Failure to comply with the regulations carries a fine of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment of six months (or more).

The new Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector Regulations 2020 were made on the 18th March 2020 and apply to all new tenancies from 1st July 2020 and for all existing tenancies from 1st April 2021.

The Electrical Safety Regulations will require landlords to:

  • Have the electrical installations in their properties inspected and tested by a person who is qualified and competent, at least every five years.
  • Provide a copy of the report (known as the Electrical Installation Condition Report or EICR) to their Agent to present to tenants prior to moving in and to local authority if requested.
  • If the EICR requires investigative or remedial works, then landlords will have to carry these out.
  • Landlords should make every effort to abide by electrical safety regulations which came into force on 1 July 2020. There are provisions to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.

The Legislation states that from 1st October 2022:

ALL PROPERTIES occupied under a tenancy in the private rented sector, will require:

  • A smoke alarm to be fitted on every floor of the property where at least one room is used wholly or partially as accommodation*
  • A carbon monoxide (CO) alarm in any room of their properties used wholly or partly as living accommodation*, where a fixed combustion appliance is present. This mean that every property from the 1st of October 2022 must have a CO Alarm if they have a gas boiler / gas fire / fire place that the chimney has not been blocked off.  The CO alarms have to place on the wall or shelf head height 1 to 3 meters away from the boiler / fireplace etc. If the boiler is in the cupboard you will have to put one inside the cupboard and outside.  e.g. gas boiler / gas fire / fire place that the chimney has not been blocked off. 

 (* includes any bathrooms or lavatories)

At the start of every tenancy from the 1st of October 2022, proof that the CO Alarms and Smoke Alarms are tested on the first day of the tenancy will be required and this will be the landlord's responsibility.

The requirements will be enforced by local authorities who can impose a fine of up to £5,000.00 where a landlord fails to comply with a remedial notice.  

The Department for Communities and Local Government has issued the explanatory booklets below which you will find helpful in understanding the regulations.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarms-explanatory-booklet-for-landlords/the-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarm-england-regulations-2015-qa-booklet-for-the-private-rented-sector-landlords-and-tenants

UPDATE: Since 1 April 2020, landlords can no longer let or continue to let properties covered by the MEES Regulations if they have an EPC rating below E, unless they have a valid exemption in place.

If you are currently planning to let a property with an EPC rating on F or G, you need to improve the property's rating to E, or register an exemption, before you enter into a new tenancy.

If you are currently letting a property with an ECP rating F or G, and you haven't already taken action, you must improve the property's rating to E immediately, or register an exemption.

If your property is currently empty, and you are not planning to let it, you don't need to take any action to improve its rating until you decide to let it again.

All rental properties with a new tenancy in England and Wales are be required to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

A landlord needs to provide an EPC, which will be valid for ten years, to prospective tenants the first time you let or re-let your property.

What is an Energy Performance Certificate?

The Energy Performance Certificate tells you how efficient and environmentally friendly your property is. The energy efficiency is worked out on a scale of A-G - A being the most efficient and G being the least.

Part of the EPC is a recommendation report which will list the potential rating that your home could achieve, if you made changes. The report lists improvements that you could carry out and how this would change the energy and carbon emission rating of the property.

*You can use this information to help cut our fuel bills.
*Improve energy performances in your home.
*Help cut carbon emissions.

Who carries out the EPCs?

Energy Performance Certificate are carried out by a fully qualified Domestic Energy Assessor (DEAs). The assessor will visit your property and assess the age, construction and location. All the information will be fed into a computer, which will calculate ratings and generate a certificate. Either yourself or your letting agent can organise this for you. Each property will require an EPC which will last for 10 years.

How do I get one?

Either yourself or your letting agent can commission one from an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor (DEA). DEAs can be found in your local directories.

Rent

A refundable tenancy deposit (capped at five weeks’ rent if the yearly rent is less than £50,000 or capped at six weeks’ rent if the yearly rent is £50,000 or more).

A refundable holding deposit (capped at no more than one week’s rent).

The following ‘default’ fees, which must be written into the tenancy agreement:

i. Payments in the event of default for a lost key or security device only if such payments are reasonable and a landlord or letting agent on their behalf must be able to produce written evidence of the reasonable and properly incurred costs.

ii.Interest for late payment of rent (if the rent is unpaid for more than 14 days). The rate of interest must not exceed the rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate.

Utilities/Communication services/TV Licence / Council Tax (landlords or letting agents on their behalf must only charge the billed amount).

£50 fee for the landlord’s consent for a variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy agreement which is requested by the tenant (excluding renewals or varying the term of the tenancy). A landlord may be able to charge more if such costs are reasonable and have been properly incurred and written evidence (invoice or receipt) is produced to the tenant.

An early termination fee (in the event the tenant wishes to terminate early but not where the tenant is exercising a break clause). The termination fee must reflect the actual loss suffered by the landlord (for example, loss of rent the landlord would have received) or as a letting agent (referencing and marketing costs).

Deposits

From 1 June 2019, the level of tenancy deposit you can ask a tenant to pay is capped at a maximum of 5 weeks rent for the property is less than £50,000, and up to 6 weeks for the property is £50,000 or above. If you renew a contract after 1 June 2019, and the tenant paid more than the permitted deposit amount, you must repay any over payment.

Landlords or letting agents are prohibited from charging tenants any fees which are not permitted payments.

a. Letting fees cannot be passed on to a tenant and must be fronted entirely by the landlord. Letting fees include:

  • Viewing fees
  • Preparation of contracts
  • Inventories
  • Check In and Check Outs
  • Testing of Smoke Detectors
  • Tenancy Deposit Protection
  • Right to Rent Checks
  • Referencing
  • Administration Fees
  • Credit checks
  • Key collection

Landlords cannot charge a tenant for gardening or professional cleaning services (unless this is included in the rent).

Landlords cannot charge a higher deposit for pets but a pet rent can be charged.

The amount of a security and/or holding deposit which exceeds the caps referred to above is a prohibited payment.

Payments in the event of default (unless they are permitted payments), for example a fixed penalty charge for a missed appointment with a contractor.

Landlords or letting agents on their behalf are prohibited from charging increased rents for an initial period to offset the payments which are prohibited under the TFA 2019.

A breach of the fees ban is a civil offence with a financial penalty of up to £5,000.

Each breach of the ban will result in a separate fine. Successive breaches of the ban within five years (where a financial penalty has been issued or conviction secured in respect of the earlier breach) would be a criminal offence with an unlimited fine. The Enforcement Authority may impose a financial penalty of up to £30,000 as an alternative to criminal prosecution.

NB: Any financial penalty is on top of a requirement for landlords and letting agents to repay any Prohibited Payments or Holding Deposit received.

You cannot evict a tenant using the section 21 eviction procedure until you have repaid any unlawfully charged fees or returned an unlawfully retained holding deposit. All other rules around the application of the section 21 evictions procedure will continue to apply.

If you are uncertain as to whether a charge is permitted, you should consider contacting Citizens Advice or obtaining legal advice.

For more information go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tenant-fees-act-2019-guidance

What are the changes?

Licensing is broken up into 3 sections; mandatory licensing, additional licensing and selective area licensing which could be introduced by the LHA.

  • Mandatory Licensing Scheme - This applies to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) of three or more storeys occupied by five or more people, making up to two or more households.
  • Additional Licensing Scheme - This applies to all privately rented properties occupied by three or more people making up two or more households, regardless of the numbers of storeys in the property.
  • Selective Licensing Scheme - Please check with your local council to see if this applies to your property.

As the LHA can introduce additional licensing schemes and selective area licensing schemes, landlords will need to ensure that they keep up to date with the actions of their LHA.

What are the license requirements?

All licenses have provisions for anti-social behaviour by tenants which will ultimately be the responsibility of the landlords.

In addition to this, the license will specify how many tenants can reside at the property and the minimum facilities required including the number of toilets, baths, showers and kitchens etc, for the number of tenants and the property in order to fulfil the safety requirements.

What happens if the property does not meet the standards?

If the property fails to meet the minimum standards required, then the LHA may:

  • Grant a license subject to a provision being made about ensuring that extra facilities are supplied within a certain period.
  • Grant a license for a smaller number of occupants.
  • Refuse to grant a license until the standards have been met.

Are there any fees and how long does a license last?

Yes, there is a fee. The fees vary between LHAs as it is up to them to set the fees. They currently vary between £300 to £500, however it has been stated that one is quoting £1100. These licenses will be valid for five years however it may be possible to get a shorter license.

Are there any penalties?

It is a criminal offence to operate an HMO without a license and will be fined of up to £20,000. The tenants within your property may also apply for a rent repayment order whereby the tenant can apply for the landlord to repay all the rent paid whilst the property was run as an HMO without a license, up to a year’s back payment can be applied for. Another restriction is that while a landlord operates without a license he will be unable to serve a Section 21 to regain the property.

FAQs

We believe it’s vital that both landlords and tenants are aware of their legal rights and obligations. Here are some essential questions and answers.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided here is only our opinion and is written without liability to Black Katz whatsoever. For clarification of any issues we strongly advise that you contact your solicitor or local authority or visit the website www.gov.uk

When a tenancy ends it is normal practice for the landlord to carry out a check out of an inventory or at least an inspection of the property. Once this has occurred then the landlord can make any necessary deductions for damage to the property or furniture or for any outstanding utility bills or rent arrears. However, the landlord cannot make any deductions for normal wear and tear; he/she cannot withhold your deposit without providing you a written notice of why and what for. Should you disagree with the reasons or the landlord is not providing you with a reason, you should contact the tenancy deposit protection scheme that your deposit is protected with.

  • Repairing obligations to the structure and exterior of the property; heating and hot water installations, sinks and other sanitary installations.
  • Ensuring that all gas and electrical appliances are safe.
  • Ensuring that the furniture and furnishings within the property meet the fire safety standards.
  • Paying the rent in the agreed manner and taking proper care of the property.
  • Paying the utility bills for the property as agreed with the landlord, such as gas, electricity and telephone.
  • Paying council tax, water and sewerage charges as agreed by the Landlord.

NO. The legislation in place relating to the installation and maintenance of gas appliances (Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998) demands that all landlords must ensure that any gas appliances within their rental property is inspected and passed annually by a Gas Safe qualified engineer. Failure to comply with the regulation carries a fine of up to £5,000 and/or imprisonment of six months (or more). The landlord is responsible for keeping a record of all the safety checks and provide the tenants with a copy.

Depending on how the disrepair occurred in the first place then the tenant’s rights are as follows. The landlord is not responsible for the repairs arising from the damage caused by the tenant. If the damage was caused by the tenant, then the tenant would be responsible for paying and ensuring that the work is carried out. Apart from this, the tenant only has to do repairs if the terms in the Tenancy Agreement say so.

If the Tenant has tried on numerous occasions to get the landlord to carry out his repairing obligations and has no success then he can either:

  • sue the landlord in court.
  • seek help from the local authorities as they have powers to ensure that the landlord does the repairs.
  • or, in some circumstances, if the right procedure is followed, then the tenant could do the works and take the cost out of the rental payments. Tenants need to know that withholding rent would be in breach of their tenancy terms and the landlord could take action to repossess the property.

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