NALS (The National Approved Letting Scheme) is a Government backed accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents designed to give peace of mind to Landlords and Tenants in knowing that the firm they are dealing with provides clearly defined standards of customer service together with having in place the necessary insurance to protect clients' money plus a complaints procedure offering independent redress.
NALS PROVIDES OWNERS WITH THE ASSURANCE OF:
A professional, regulated service
An effective complaints redress system back by professional indemnity insurance
Client Money Protection Insurance cover
All NALS members have this insurance in place but the levels and scope of the cover may vary. Landlords should satisfy themselves as to the level of cover held by the member firm they deal with.
When you decide to let your property, employing a good agent to handle the letting for you can give you peace of mind. You can trust a good agent to protect your interests by dealing responsibly with the procedures involved in letting and subsequent management.
This means the tenancy should run smoothly. You can let a property under an assured shorthold tenancy which will allow you to get the property back empty, by giving formal notice, after the first six months of any tenancy has elapsed.
Agents who have been approved under the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) will provide a written agreement for managing your property, setting out the services they provide and what they will cost. You should agree the details before you employ them.
NALS – all approved agents have agreed to at least meet the following standards:
Before you let, the agent will:
Visit the property and give you advice on any action you need to take before you let the property. This includes any repairs and refurbishments that are needed to put it into a fit state for letting.
Give you advice on the level of rent you can expect.
Arrange for safety checks on gas and electrical services and appliances to be carried out, if you ask.
Explain your rights and responsibilities and the Tenant’s rights and responsibilities.
Give you advice on what action to take if the property is mortgaged.
Give you advice on insuring the building and contents and other insurance schemes which may be available to protect your interest and which are not normally covered in standard household policies where a Tenant is in residence.
Go with possible new Tenants to view unoccupied property.
Choose a Tenant in a way agreed with you, taking up references or checking the Tenant’s past rent payment record.
Arrange for the preparation of a schedule of the condition of the property and its contents for you, together with acceptance by the Tenant of a property so described.
Provide and fill in the Tenancy Agreement and either take a deposit to protect against possible damage or agree with you another sort of guarantee.
Transfer the bills for the services for which the Tenant will be responsible into the Tenant’s name.
During the tenancy, the agent will:
Collect the rent and pass it on to you every month or as otherwise agreed. The agent will keep a separate client’s account to hold all money and (except for Registered Social Landlords) belong to a client money protection scheme.
Give you a statement of account as often as agreed with you, usually monthly.
Visit the property periodically during the course of the tenancy as often as agreed with you (for example every three months) to check that it is being suitably looked after.
Arrange to have routine maintenance work carried out, up to a limit agreed with you. The agent will refer expenditure above that limit to you for approval.
Respond promptly to the Tenant’s enquiries.
Keep an eye on the rent payment record and take reasonable steps to prompt payment of any money owed.
Before the tenancy ends, the agent will:
Give you advice on your options, including reviewing the rent.
If you want to end the tenancy, the agent will:
Serve the correct notices on the Tenant.
Check the condition of the property and any contents and discuss any repairs with you before giving the deposit back or arranging for repairs.
Collect the key and make sure that the property is secure.
If you do not employ the agent to manage your property, only the sections of this service standard which are relevant to finding a Tenant and letting the property will apply