At SDL, we provide lettings support and systems that enable Estate and Lettings Agencies to outsource the majority of the time-consuming work that surrounds lettings management. We can help you to free up your time so you can concentrate on growing your business.
Our experience of lettings management has enabled us to tailor our support to the needs of estate and lettings agencies, guaranteeing a level of service and consistency that is difficult to match in house. In doing so, we have developed six key service solutions to give you the confidence you need to grow your business.
Outsourcing many of the lettings management processes gives you the freedom to spend more of your time growing your business by winning new instructions; adherence with legislation can be a full time job on its own.
Among the services we provide are:
- Rent Collection
- All client monies are handled at Head Office by the SDL Lettings team, who currently process over 4,000 transactions every month
- Deposit Disputes
- We manage any deposit dispute resolution on your behalf
- Statement Generation
- Statements will be branded with your business name
- Our service is designed to keep your tenancy renewals on track, ensuring you have the time you need to undertake property inspections and organise the renewal terms with the Landlord and Tenant
You will have a dedicated email and contact numbers for your Account Manager and we will keep you and your client informed on a regular basis
By providing valuable Management Information reports and access to live information on your portfolio, you will never lose sight of what drives the success of your business. Transparency is key in how we support you.
Our dedicated help-desk team are ARLA-qualified, and will ensure that your clients receive an unparalleled service.
- Our staff are ARLA qualified with lettings knowledge and experience
- You will have access to the Residential Landlord Association and ARLA helplines
- We will keep you updated with regards to any changes to relevant legislation
- We take responsibility for compliance in respect of work we undertake on your behalf
We will provide a full lettings property management system as part of our standard technology pack to help your business grow. It’s all part of the service.
The software we provide, powers both the sales and lettings aspects of your business. This software is fully integrated with the key property portals and online property maintenance software. Our systems will give you the ability to view real time updates on your portfolio.
By outsourcing certain components of your business, you will minimise your compliance risks, which could have excessive financial penalties.
Your business can retain its identity through our adoption of your brand in all communications sent on your behalf. We are more than happy to ‘white label’ our services for you.
- Phone calls answered with your company name
- Branded rental statements
- Emails sent from your business name
- Reducing your costs
A prime advantage of outsourcing is the reduction of business costs such as staff costs, recruitment costs and covering sickness and holidays.
Extend your services to your clients by offering someone to call to get the attention they require, even when your business is closed.
We know from experience that implementing this level of change to your business can be daunting and challenging – so we have designed a process that makes the whole experience as easy as possible for you and your clients.
- Fact Find
We complete an initial fact find to understand the detail of your client base, data and your existing processes.
- Data collation
Data collation is performed by our analysts; you are required to provide raw data and sign off to ensure accuracy.
We provide training for our software, key processes and procedures.
- Contact tenants
We contact your tenants to arrange new standing order forms, we will then take care of everything moving forward.
- Account Management
Your Account Manager will work closely with you to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
- Communicating the change
We provide you with template letters and emails to communicate the changes to your clients.
At SDL Lettings we work on scale within our centralised operation based in Nottingham and negotiate at a much higher level with all the service providers in the market place.
We have a set price per property, per month, which will depend on the average rent across your portfolio, the size of your portfolio, the services required and your location.
Private Rental Developments
We provide a range of solutions and support to Institutional Landlords and Investors to assist with projects in the Private Rental Sector. We can guide a PRS project through from inception to ongoing management, assisting with every stage of the process.
Our experienced team has a thorough understanding of the operational, financial and regulatory requirements of residential property management.
Our teams are totally focused on providing excellent customer service to both you and your tenants.
SDL Lettings provide rapid, responsive management, consultancy and support – where and when you need it most.
The end-to-end support SDL Lettings can offer includes:
We provide initial feedback on the suitability of any potential sites to avoid any major energy or time being wasted at the start of the project. Following positive feedback from ourselves and the contractor, a more detailed analysis will be undertaken which will explore the achievable rents, suggest an ideal mix of units and provide comparable and empirical evidence to support the proposition with the potential funders.
We will oversee and manage the marketing activities of the properties and developments, based on an amount agreed per property.
These activities are likely to include:
- The design, construction & maintenance of a dedicated website
- The creation & production of all marketing collateral (digital & printed)
- Walk through videos and photography
- Production & erection of site signage
- Site press launches and local PR activity
- Social media activity and ads (Facebook & Twitter)
- Listing properties on property portals, plus banner ads & premium listings where necessary
- Print advertisements
- Direct mail and email campaigns to existing/rented databases
- We will of course provide regular feedback on the success and impact of these activities throughout the duration of the project.
- Letting the properties
We will employ a third party agent to manage the tenant-find, referencing and check-in processes. Wherever possible, we would utilise our own franchise network; CENTURY 21 UK. The Agents’ activity will be managed and overseen centrally to ensure they are performing to our required service levels. These Agents are also responsible for the initial vetting of the potential tenants; a process which can overseen by the Client and ourselves. Their activities include:
- Accompanying viewings of any available units and show homes (where available)
- Ensuring all relevant information is gathered from the potential tenants to help make an informed decision on suitability
- Provide us with a copy of the tenants’ application to allow us to vet and approve subject to passing pre-defined credit search/score criteria
- Undertake the supervision of the lease signing and confirm the terms of the let (an electronic format can be produced by us to allow electronic signing ensuring a copy is always held by us centrally)
- Production of an electronic inventory of the property prior to the tenant taking residence
- The release of keys and an induction to the property
- Secure storage of two sets of spare keys in the Agents’ local office for emergencies and maintenance
- Regular mid-term inspections during the lifetime of the tenancy
- Check-out inspections at the end of tenancies to assess if tenants deposit should be released and/or contested
The overall management of the tenancies and properties is the responsibility of the Customer Service team based at our Head Offices in Nottingham. All members of this Team are either ARLA qualified or in the process of obtaining the ARLA certification and are therefore able to handle a full range of tenant enquiries quickly and efficiently.
The team operates Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm and on Saturdays, 9:00am – 1:00pm. Outside of these office hours, the calls are transferred to a 24/7 emergency support helpline that has the authority and ability to handle any emergency enquiries.
This team are responsible for:
- Collection of first month’s rent and deposit from the accepted applicants
- Logging deposit with a deposit protection scheme
- Ensuring the landlord is kept fully updated and protected on all legislation requirements, both at a national and Local Government level
- Handling everyday tenant queries which are received via phone or email to the Head Office, including maintenance requests, lease changes or changes to the properties
- The instruction and management of any tenant maintenance requests , including gaining approval of costs from the landlord where applicable
- Management of leases, renewals and processing annual rent increases
- Arranging and managing the renewal of legal safety inspections, including Gas, EPCs, PAT tests and Electrical Safety Inspections
- Managing arrears, including the initial contact with tenants to confirm the issue, the process of chasing payments, negotiating payment plans (where applicable) and communicating any progression to the landlord
- Preparing eviction notices ready to be served to the tenant (where applicable) and the information required if the process needs to be escalated to court action Any fees incurred in the legal eviction of a tenant will not be covered in our standard management fees
- Processing rent payments to the landlord and providing supporting documentation, such as copies of invoices
- Production of bespoke Management Information, for example, Lettings Reports, Investment
- Reports, Transaction Reports, Daily Dashboards and Executive Summaries
- Project & account management
This encompasses the overarching management of the project and ensures everyone is kept fully informed at all stages.
Our key responsibilities include:
- The co-ordination of the build schedule
- We liaise with the Employer’s Agent and the Builder regarding the delivery schedule and monitor the 42, 21 and 14 day notices
- Should there be any changes to the build schedule, we will help the contractor focus on the more urgent cases
- We manage and oversee the requirements of Day 0 (when the properties switch from the contractor’s responsibility to the Landlord’s)
- We ensure the units are adequately insured
- We collect all the keys to the properties
- We collect and store all the relevant individual property data, for example the EPCs, Gas Safe Certificates, Electrical Certificates, all warranty details, meter readings, Partial
- Possession details and final snagging lists
- We monitor and assist with specification and detailing changes
- We liaise with key suppliers, such as boiler and appliance providers, to ensure warranties are in place and are sufficient for our needs
- We keep marketing literature up to date to reflect any changes to the specification of the properties
- We undergo rent reviews to ensure the minimum rents in the plan are achieved and look for opportunities to increase listing base rents where possible
- We control the final tenant approval process to ensure all tenants meet and match the Landlord’s letting criteria
- Our client management procedures provide the Landlord with a single point of contact for the management of the overall portfolio
For more information on PRS and build-to-rent, please contact Paul Staley.