Oscar Knight
Oscar Knight

020 3909 0888

property@oscarknight.co.uk

Our Services

Letting only Service

With a booming property market in London, finding tenants is relatively easy. Finding good quality tenants, however, is much harder.
That’s where we at Oscar Knight focus our attention – making sure that the people we find to rent your property will respect it like their own, pay a good rent, and do so on time.
What’s more, there are no hidden fees – the price we quote is the price you pay.

This is what we’ll do for you, as part of our letting-only service.

Expert Photography

The old saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’ is increasingly true as people become more and more visually orientated.

But good photography – really good photography – takes skill, which is why all our properties are photographed by a professional who takes his time to ensure that the lighting and angles are right, to bring out your property’s best features.

Expert Photography

Big on the Internet

These days virtually all tenants find their property via the internet. Very few go ‘shopping’ from one agent’s office to another, and even fewer look in the newspapers. So we have cut out the expense of high-street offices and newspaper ads (both of which are only there to ‘impress’ landlords, not to find tenants) – and translate the savings into lower client fees.

Instead, we market your property on all the biggest property websites.

We’ll also promote your property via social media, which is particularly important for younger tenants, and media-savvy Londoners!

On average we take just 8 days to find tenants.

Quality Tenants

Finding good quality tenants takes hassle away from renting property – for us as well as landlords. Good tenants are more likely to look after your property, pay rent regularly and fully and stay for a long time. All of which means good income, reduced maintenance and lower voids.

Consequently we take this part of the job extremely seriously, using a ‘belt-and-braces’ approach to finding good quality tenants.

We accompany all viewings
We always accompany tenants on a viewing so we can get a feel for what sort of tenants they’d make, as well as provide accurate, timely feedback to you afterwards.

Thorough referencing procedure
Credit referencing requires expertise of a specialist tenant-checking agency, which is why we employ the award-winning FCC Paragon

We also double-check everything we get back from FCC Paragon, and then give it a good old-fashioned sense-check – we have a good nose for things that don’t stack up!

From all applicants we ask for:

  • a reference (status enquiry) from their bank or an ‘Equifax’ credit search
  • 6 months’ bank statements so we can check their income and that rent has been paid fully and on time
  • reference from a previous landlord (or if they have not rented previously recently, we will usually ask for a guarantor or higher deposit)
  • passport or UK driving licence
  • copy of visa where applicable
  • an employer’s reference, or

if in new employment:

  • a guarantor or previous employment references

if self-employed:

  • most recent business accounts or request an accountant’s reference, or a guarantor where there is no accounts history

if a student:

  • a letter from their college or university to confirm they’re a student
  • a guarantor to guarantee the rent will be paid

Note: this is only a general guide. Occasionally we vary these stipulations – either at our discretion, or at the request of the landlord – to ensure that a proper, but fair, check is made to verify the suitability of applicants for your property.

Deposits
From most tenants we ask for a deposit equivalent to six weeks’ rent. However, if the tenants are students, we ask for the equivalent of eight weeks.

From overseas students we ask for six months’ rent in advance, as well as the eight weeks’ deposit.

These deposit measures ensures there are sufficient monies at the end of the tenancy should they not look after the property appropriately.

Tenant-approval meeting
We can also arrange for you to meet any prospective tenants if you wish, so you can verify for yourself that you’re happy with the people we’ve found. If, for any reason, you would prefer us to keep looking, we will politely decline those applicants and offer you some alternatives.

We look after the tenants
Finally, we believe that happy tenants make good tenants, which is why we make sure we do all we can to respond to tenants’ queries and needs as soon as we can, and as fairly as we can.

If you’d like more information about our tenant vetting service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thorough Check-In

Once tenants have been found and have passed our strict referencing checks, we’ll

Prepare an inventory
We’ll ask an independent specialist to prepare an Inventory and Schedule of Condition. This acts as an important ‘snapshot’ of your property before your tenants move in, and can be useful if there are disputes about its condition when they move out.

Show your tenants round
We will meet your new tenants on the day they move in to show them round and obtain their signed agreement of the Inventory and Schedule of Condition.

We’ll also make sure they know how everything works – ensuring nothing is left to chance.

No Hidden Fees

We understand that one of the things that irritate landlords is a constant string of unforeseen fees! With Oscar Knight, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. No additional ‘agreement fee’, fees for drawing up the tenancy, check in/out fees, inventory fees, overseas admin fees – they’re all included in our simple fee structure:

  • Managed properties: 14.4% (12% + VAT) plus £200 float for minor maintenance
  • Let only: 9.6% (8% + VAT)

Any other optional extras are listed here:

Letting only service Property Management service
Arrange energy performance certificate (EPC) optional: £84 inc vat
Professional photography & floorplan
Extensive marketing on our own website, on Rightmove, Zoopla & Primelocation
Accompany viewings
Provide regular feedback
Informal, no-obligation “meet the tenants” approval meeting
Extensive reference checks including affordability & credit checks & credit score
Prepare tenancy agreement
Take advance rent & deposit
Prepare inventory
Check-in tenant
Gas safety check
Standing order set up for rental payments, Direct card debit for managed properties
Gas, electricity, water & council tax notified
Register tenant’s deposit optional at £30 inc vat (we will do this automatically for you if we don’t receive confirmation from you that you have done so)
Review rent annually
Ongoing customer support
Collect rent – pay you by BACS
Monthly e-statements
Handle any maintenance and repairs
Manage repairs with tenants and contractors
Administer overseas tax (NRL Scheme)
Arrange annual gas checks Reminder sent to landlord £84 inc vat
Deal with Block Management companies on your behalf; pay service charges, ground rent
Dedicated management team is the only point of contact for tenants
Regular property inspections using thorough 50-point check-list
End of tenancy check out

Renewal fees
Unlike some agents, we’re upfront about our costs for renewing a tenancy (when existing tenants decide to stay beyond the initial term of the tenancy).

And unlike some agents, who charge the initial rental fee all over again, we charge just 3.6% (3% + VAT).

Example: a tenancy of £1000pcm, renewed for 12 months, costs just £360 + VAT = £432.

Property Management Service

Like most of our landlords, you'll have peace of mind in the knowledge that someone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to handle any property maintenance or emergency issues which may arise. This is especially important if you are too busy or live too far away to deal with such issues yourself. Either way, knowing that you won’t get a call at 3am about a plumbing problem is a wonderful thing.  
 
We take our responsibilities to our landlords seriously. As a property company offering a professional service, we work hard to ensure we retain reliable, happy tenants who pay rent regularly, and respect your property. A part of this means looking after their needs.

Your dedicated property manager

Clea and Alesha

Meet Clea and Alesha, our property management team. Clea and Alesha will make sure your property is well-looked after. They will also make sure your tenants are familiar with everything there is to know about your property, while handling any day-to-day issues. Clea and Alesha are experienced at resolving any complex issues that may arise.  

We’ve established a network of trusted local contractors who, because of the volume of work we supply them, carry out any work promptly, to a high-quality standard, and for a fair fee.

Before the Tenancy

Before the tenancy begins, we will:

Ensure your property is legal
Make sure that your property complies with all the relevant safety regulations and advise you if action is required to meet the legal standards.

Prepare an inventory
We’ll ask an independent specialist to prepare an Inventory and Schedule of Condition. This acts as an important ‘snapshot’ of your property before your tenants move in, and can be useful if there are disputes about its condition when the move out.

Familiarise your tenants with the property
We will meet your new tenants on the day they move in to show them round and obtain their signed agreement of the Inventory and Schedule of Condition.
We’ll also make sure they know how everything works – ensuring nothing is left to chance.

During the Tenancy

During the tenancy we’ll:

Collect the rent
Each month we’ll collect the rent on your behalf, chasing the tenants if necessary, and pass them onto you by bank transfer the same day. Every month we’ll also send you a statement by email. Because we collect our fee from you at the start of the tenancy, 100% of the rent is passed to you each month.

Look after your property
We’ll be on-call 24/7 to handle any problems or questions your tenants may have, and manage any repairs that are necessary, using our trusted local contractors.

We hold a £200 repair float on your behalf, enabling us to carry out any minor repairs straight away without bothering you, whilst ensuring your tenants are looked after properly (happy tenants make good tenants, remember!)

If a job will cost more than £200 we seek your authorisation before works commence.

Conduct regular inspections
We’ll also carry out regular property inspections using a thorough 50-point check-list, and send you a written report on you property’s condition.

Arrange annual gas-safety checks
If your tenants stay beyond a year, by law the property must have a gas-safety check each year. We will arrange this for you, and advise you accordingly of any remedial action that needs to be taken to ensure compliance. Our gas contractors charge £84 inc vat.

Provide on-going advice
Of course, you’ll find us on hand to handle any questions you may have regarding your letting, and will update you on any legislation that’s new or changed.

Before the end of the Tenancy

Towards the end of the tenancy we’ll ascertain from you and your tenants whether you would like to renew the tenancy.

If both are happy to renew, we’ll

  • review your tenants’ rent, and try to negotiate an appropriate increase
  • issue a tenancy renewal
  • arrange for gas safety inspection to be carried out
  • arrange a property inspection to see if there are any maintenance issues needing attention.

If you require possession of your property, we’ll

  • issue a Section 21 notice to terminate your contract with the tenants

At the end of the Tenancy



At the end of the tenancy we’ll:

  • complete a thorough check-out inspection as an independent view on any damages or dilapidations
  • oversee the return of deposits, and liaise with the tenants and/or tenancy deposit scheme as necessary
  • arrange any cleaning or maintenance and check it afterwards
  • advise on furnishing and refurbishment services in between tenancies.
  • advise of repairs that may be essential or otherwise following the tenants’ departure.

No Hidden Fees

We understand that one of the things that irritate landlords is a constant string of unforeseen fees! With Oscar Knight, the fees we quote are the fees you pay. No additional ‘agreement fee’, fees for drawing up the tenancy, check in/out fees, inventory fees, overseas admin fees – they’re all included in our simple fee structure:

  • Managed properties: 14.4% (12% + VAT) plus £200 float for minor maintenance
  • Let only: 9.6% (8% + VAT)

Any other optional extras are listed here:

Letting only service Property Management service
Arrange energy performance certificate (EPC) optional: £84 inc vat
Professional photography & floorplan
Extensive marketing on our own website, on Rightmove, Zoopla & Primelocation
Accompany viewings
Provide regular feedback
Informal, no-obligation “meet the tenants” approval meeting
Extensive reference checks including affordability & credit checks & credit score
Prepare tenancy agreement
Take advance rent & deposit
Prepare inventory
Check-in tenant
Gas safety check
Standing order set up for rental payments, Direct card debit for managed properties
Gas, electricity, water & council tax notified
Register tenant’s deposit optional at £30 inc vat (we will do this automatically for you if we don’t receive confirmation from you that you have done so)
Review rent annually
Ongoing customer support
Collect rent – pay you by BACS
Monthly e-statements
Handle any maintenance and repairs
Manage repairs with tenants and contractors
Administer overseas tax (NRL Scheme)
Arrange annual gas checks Reminder sent to landlord £84 inc vat
Deal with Block Management companies on your behalf; pay service charges, ground rent
Dedicated management team is the only point of contact for tenants
Regular property inspections using thorough 50-point check-list
End of tenancy check out

Renewal fees
Unlike some agents, we’re upfront about our costs for renewing a tenancy (when existing tenants decide to stay beyond the initial term of the tenancy).

And unlike some agents, who charge the initial rental fee all over again, we charge just 3.6% (3% + VAT).

Example: a tenancy of £1000pcm, renewed for 12 months, costs just £360 + VAT = £432.

Interior Design & Refurbishment

We offer a complete refurbishment service for properties in Putney, Wandsworth, Wimbledon and Battersea making sure that your investment potential is maximised. This is particularly valuable for landlords who are too distant or busy to manage the project themselves.

Our experienced team will manage every aspect of your refurbishment project, from the big concepts to the fine details, using our tried and trusted contractors and suppliers, ensuring your project is completed on time and on budget, keeping the void period to a minimum.

Equally importantly, because of our expertise in lettings, we’re able to ensure that the work that’s carried out is appropriate for a rental property, to ensure that your investment delivers the maximum returns.

Please speak to us if you’d like to know more.

Some of our recent work...

Osborne House

We took over management of an apartment in Osborne House, Wimbledon after another agent had failed to increase the rental income for four years. What’s more we understand that they had been somewhat dilatory with maintenance, causing the tenants in turn to be less than enthusiastic in looking after it – ending up with a downward spiral of dilapidation...

So when we took over management of the flat, we completely refurbished it including specifying and installing two new bathrooms and kitchen (right down to the last teaspoon) and new carpeting, decoration and a furniture pack that included everything from the sofas and tables right down to the last lampshade and cushion.

The place, though we say it ourselves, looked fantastic! And prospective tenants must have agreed because we achieved a 34% increase in rental income when the property came back onto the market, and let it within just three days. Better still, we added over £100k to the property’s sale value.

All of which resulted in very happy clients indeed!

Keswick Road

We were asked by the owner of a two-bedroom, split level apartment in Keswick House, London SW15 to refurbish the flat, following many years of letting during which it had become increasingly ‘tired’. What’s more, the bathroom required configuring as only a 4-foot tenant could stand in the bath! Consequently, it had been on the sales market for a number of weeks without an offer.

We put together a quote, using our tried and trusted contractors, to remove everything in the bathroom right down to the last tile, as well as remove a wall to extend the bathroom and re-instate a new stud-wall.

New bathware was then installed and fitted, and the remainder of the flat was repainted and recarpeted. The whole job took just 2 weeks to complete. It went back on the market, and went under offer within two weeks at £20,000 more than its original valuation. A happy client resulted!

Furniture Packs

We're in contact with interior design companies who can completely furnish a property within days of ordering. They offer pre-defined packages which include assembling and installing the furniture, and even putting up pictures; or they can tailor a package to suit your needs. Please contact us for a quote.

Alternatively if you simply need to replace the odd item, such as a tired mattress or sofa, we’d be happy to help here too.

Investors

As experienced letting agents, we’re well placed to advise landlords, or prospective ones, on the ins and outs of buying property for rental purposes, such as which types of property might be most suitable, which locations might offer the best capital and income returns, and what tenants in each location might be looking for.

We’re also able to help with selecting and negotiating on property purchases.

Please speak to us if you’d like to know more.

Buy to Let Guide

Buy-to-let is a popular form of investment, offering the potential for capital growth as well as a monthly income.

Here’s our guide to some of the considerations:

Property Type

It is crucial that you thoroughly research the area in which you are considering. Specific questions to be answered include:

  • is there demand for a particular type of property in that area?
  • what sort of tenants find the area attractive, and what are they looking for?
  • how can I make a property appeal to them, and more so than others in the area?
  • what has happened to property values in the area in the past year?

With the experience we have at Oscar Knight we are well placed to advise on the above questions, should you be considering a buy-to-let property in Putney, Wimbledon, Southfields, Wandsworth, Battersea or other areas of South West London.

Location Location Location

The old adage holds true! As a general rule, focusing on the location first is a good starting point for any property investment decision. Things whose proximity to be considered are:

  • schools and parks, if your property is likely to appeal to families
  • bars, restaurants and shops, if you property is likely to appeal to singles or couples
  • train and tube stations and bus stops

It is also worth considering what the area feels like. Does it feel ‘up-and-coming’? Are there new shops opening up? Are there new developments or shopping facilities in the pipeline? Does it have nice cafes, bars and shops? Does it feel a pleasant place to spend time?

All of which will give you a guide to how your investment might perform over the coming years.

Need more information?

If you require more information about buy-to-let, please speak to us.

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Letting Fee Information

The asking rent does not include letting fees. Our standard administration fee (which covers general administration and preparation of paperwork) is £xxx (£xxx+VAT). A security deposit, usually equivalent to six weeks rent, is also payable.

Depending on your circumstances and the property you select, one or more of the following may also be charged to you upfront;

Fees may be charged on a per person or per property basis, please call us on 020 3909 0888