Franchise security

My Tenant’s In Arrears – What Can I Do?

One of the hazards of becoming a landlord is the potential for a tenant to fall into arrears on their rent payments.  This can happen even to the best tenants following a redundancy or sudden illness for example.

If this does happen, there are steps that you as a landlord can take to recover the monies owing to you:-

Keep a record of payments : Ensure you know exactly what payments have been made to date.  If the tenancy has been let on a joint lease remember that all tenants named on the agreement are equally liable for the rent.

Contact your tenant in writing : If you can’t get your tenant to respond to telephone calls or e-mails and the rent still hasn’t been paid, you will need to issue a formal demand for the outstanding rent arrears, ideally by recorded delivery or by hand.  Ask for all outstanding rent payments to be made and for an assurance that all future payments will be made in a timely manner.  You may also wish to warn them that you will take legal action if you do not receive a response.

Contact the guarantor :  Some tenants have guarantors.  If this is the case for your tenant, you will need to contact the guarantor advising them of the situation, normally after 14 days of not hearing from your tenant.  In many cases, the arrears are quickly paid following this approach.

Possession of property : After 21 days, you should send a further letter warning of pending legal action to your tenant.  Remember to include the guarantor in this correspondence if applicable. Under the terms of the Housing Act 1988 you can take action to claim possession of your property if your tenant is two months or more in arrears.  At this stage you can also serve what is called a ‘Section 8’ notice which informs your tenant of your intention to take court action if no payment is received within 14 days.

Court action is often a last resort for landlords who are experiencing problems with rent arrears.

At Redstones we also understand from speaking to our clients that a non-paying tenant is one of their biggest concerns.  For this reason, we offer our unique Redstones Platinum Total Care Service. For landlords who opt for this service, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that rent payments on made on time.  Furthermore, we cover the legal costs incurred if you are forced to take action to obtain possession of your property.  As part of this service, we will continue to cover the monthly rental amount for up to five months, allowing you ample time to obtain possession of your property.

For more information on the unique property management services offered by Redstones, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Redstones Branded Car

Redstones Franchise – What Exactly Is On Offer?

At Redstones, we understand that investing in a franchise brand is a big decision. In a series of four blogs, we will aim to cover some of the questions raised most frequently. In today’s blog, we look at what a Redstones lettings agency has to offer and why it gives you the edge over your competition.

The Redstones franchise

When investing in a franchise with Redstones, you are investing in a lettings agency. Once established, our franchisees do expand into other areas, such as residential sales.  The only exception we consider on the franchise launch is for franchisees with prior experience in the estate agency business.

What makes Redstones different?

When setting up Redstones, I understood from having been a landlord myself, that the key to success is offering high levels of customer service, coupled with flexibility.  For example, some landlords want an ‘introduction only’ service, while others prefer to reduce their potential stress levels and place everything in our hands using the Redstones Platinum Total Care package.

Letting agents generally sometimes have a poor reputation for customer service. For that reason we offer an exclusive ‘Switch Agent’ facility.  This enables dissatisfied landlords to easily switch to Redstones and enables you as the franchisee to win more business.

Taking advantage of technology

As a web-based agency, we pride ourselves on being different.  Our franchisees soon discover that our state-of-the-art systems ensure the ‘back office’ service matches the ‘front end’.

While carrying out your research, you will also probably notice that we have a significant online presence which puts the majority of our competitors in the shade.  This is the result of our highly focused SEO (search engine optimisation) and ‘pay-per-click’ strategy which allows us to offer the very latest in technology to our landlords, tenants and vendors (and to you, the franchisee!)

When our franchisees are ready to move into residential sales we also offer the very latest in online 3D floor plans and walk through technology.

What’s more, we also offer an online property auction service as an extra string to your business bow!

With Redstones, you can be confident that you have access to all of the latest start-of-the-art systems available to stand out from the crowd.  Our unique business model means you can operate a full service lettings agency from an office, rather than a high street location, with a significant reduction in your business costs.

What size will my territory be?

Each Redstones franchisee is allocated an exclusive territory for the duration of the franchise agreement (a five year term).

Compared to other lettings franchises, our territories are typically larger.  Each one encompasses approximately 100,000 homes with a total population of around 250,000.

That’s not all that makes us different.  In setting up our franchise network, we worked closely with mapping specialists to ensure that all of our franchise territories offer equally attractive revenue opportunities. In fact, we guarantee that each one offers a good balance of property types and demographic profiles.

Your success is our success!

To explore the opportunities available as a Redstones franchisee contact Manjit Virdi today.

Remember, we’re here to help.

Redstones Buyers

Obligations To Your Tenants : 7 Things Every Landlord Needs To Know

When it comes to letting a property, there are a few basic rules that every landlord must legally comply with.  Here, we have summarised the main points that every landlord needs to know when it comes to their obligations.

As a landlord:-

You must always give notice if wanting to visit a tenant.  While you are entitled to reasonable access as a landlord, if you wish to visit your property for an inspection or repairs, you are required to give the tenant adequate notice.  Landlords must respect the privacy of their tenants and cannot turn up unannounced.

You must protect the tenant’s deposit.  This should be paid into a government approved deposit protection scheme, ie, The Deposit Protection Service.  At the end of the tenancy agreement it is always returned to the tenant, unless the tenant is in arrears with their rent or there is damage to the property.

You are responsible for specific repairs. These include all repairs to the property’s exterior or its structure, such as the roof, guttering, drains, walls and so on.  You are also responsible for keeping the water, gas and electricity supply both safe and in working order.  Some landlords also offer garden maintenance but generally the tenant will be responsible for this and minor jobs such as maintaining the standard of the interior décor.

You must comply with health and safety standards which includes:-

  • Providing a gas safety certificate for the property and ensuring any necessary work is carried out.
  • Ensuring that any furniture supplied meets fire safety standards.
  • Ensure all electrical items are safe to use.
  • Meeting all fire safety standards.

Some landlords now fit their properties with carbon monoxide detectors, as well as smoke detectors.

You must follow rent rules.  By law you must inform your tenants when and how the rent should be paid, for example, by cash or cheque or into a specific bank account.  You can only increase the rent on your property in specific circumstances.  This is normally clearly detailed in the terms of the tenancy agreement.

You must provide your tenant with a UK address: Even if letting your property through a lettings agency, your tenant must be provided with your name and a UK based contact address.  This is a legal requirement for all tenancies.

You must provide a full inventory to the tenant : This again is a legal requirement as part of the tenancy agreement, which details all fixtures and fittings provided with the property on commencement of the tenancy.

At Redstones, we understand that your legal obligations may seem daunting to a first time landlord.  The good news is that when you work with us, we deal with all of these issues for you.  That way, you can relax, knowing your property is in the hands of a reputable lettings agent.  We offer a range of services to suit your requirements from an ‘introduction only’ service to our unique Redstones Platinum Total Care Service.  For more information on how we can help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Let Redstones Take the Strain of Property Management

Property Management : Let Redstones Take The Strain!

Whether you are a full time landlord or only let one or two properties as an additional income stream to your regular job, a reputable lettings agent can help you with your property management.  If you have an empty property it’s important to act fast and source a reliable tenant to maximise the return on your investment.

Redstones can help you with this.

What we need from you

Very simply, we ask for the following from our landlords when we assume responsibility for letting your property.

  • The name and address of the legal owners of the property.  Tenants must be provided with this information, together with a UK address and contact number.
  • The details of the bank account which the rent will be paid into.
  • Access to a ‘float’ for repair work to be carried out.  We will agree a limit to this float and the types of repairs that you allow us to authorise in advance.
  • Details of any special cover with regard to your gas, electric and water contracts which may include emergency cover.
  • A copy of the energy performance certificate for your property.
  • Your gas safety certificate.
  • Access to the property for viewings.
Redstones Property Management

Redstones Property Management

How Redstones can help

In addition to providing assistance with the areas mentioned above, we offer the following services to our landlords:-

Accurate property valuation which takes into account current market conditions and demand to achieve the optimum rental yield.

Intensive marketing exposure through our online full colour brochures. Your property is also featured on the top websites, such as Rightmove, Primelocation, Zoopla, Findaproperty, Redstones and many more.

Accompanied viewings which we agree with you in advance.

Fully referenced tenants to ensure that your rent payments are made on time.  Once the tenant’s references are approved we proceed to the next stage in the lettings process.

A comprehensive lettings service, which includes collecting the rent, handling all the administration details, ensuring your tenancy agreement meets legal requirements and covering all urgent issues which may arise during the tenancy.  We are able to draw up all relevant paperwork and maintain close contact with your tenant while formal documents are being prepared.

A photographic digital inventory illustrating the contents and condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy.  We can also provide a written inventory if required.

Collection of the deposit and the first month’s rent.  Where appropriate the deposit will be placed in a deposit protection scheme.

Transfer responsibility for the payment of your utility and council tax bills into the tenant’s name once up-to-date meter readings have been taken.

Handover of the keys to your tenant once the tenancy agreement has been signed by both parties.

These are just some of the areas in which Redstones can assist in the management of your property.  For more information and to learn why Redstones is your lettings agent of choice, please contact Manjit Virdi who will be happy to answer your questions.

Redstones Property Experts Logo

Redstones Property Franchise: Your Financial Questions Answered

Before investing in a franchise, it is essential to gain an understanding of your financial commitments, together with the potential return on your investment.  Here, we have attempted to cover the most common questions we are asked at Redstones. 

How much is your franchisee fee and what is included?

The total initial investment in a Redstones franchise is approximately £20,000.  This figure includes a franchise fee of £11,995, comprehensive training in all aspects of running the business, equipment, software, marketing support, car livery, your own micro-site and the provision of ‘To Let’ boards.  This takes you all the way through to your business launch.

Can you help with funding?

We can refer you to the major franchise banks who we work closely with to assist our franchisees in their funding requirements.

What additional expenditure is necessary?

The only additional expenditure is a vehicle deposit together with working capital. The amount of working capital required depends on your personal situation.

Are there any ongoing fees?

There is a management fee of 8% plus a marketing fee of 2% of your total sales. These ongoing fees are invested back into the support we offer to you as a franchisee. In addition, we invest significantly in the marketing and development of the Redstones brand on a national basis.

What makes you different?

In comparison to other lettings franchises, the investment required for a Redstones franchise is not only competitive but offers reduced running costs (and subsequently higher profits).  In contrast to typical lettings agencies, Redstones franchisees can work from an office covering an entire region or area which offers the greatest potential for growth.  We consider it to be a more intelligent business model.

Of course, if you are based in a central location which enjoys high footfall levels, it may be worthwhile setting up a high street office. In these cases we offer the option to operate this business model as well.

We pride ourselves in offering our franchisees outstanding value for their investment and a territory comprising around 100,000 households.

How much profit will I make on my franchise?

As a Redstones franchisee, the level of profit you can earn will depend on a variety of factors, such as how efficiently you run your business and the amount of time you spend marketing your services. Earnings are also influenced by local factors such as average rental values in your area and the local competition.

When investing in any franchise, it is essential that you carry out your own due diligence before making a decision.

Can I sell my business at the end of my franchise agreement? 

Yes, you can either renew or sell your business at the end of your franchise agreement with Redstones.  Ultimately, you are building a valuable asset by investing in a Redstones franchise.

If you require further details on any aspects of the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Manjit Virdi, who will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Redstones Property Franchise

Meet The Franchise Director – Chris Gillam

Prontaprint was Europe’s largest chain of franchised business centres and, at its peak, had almost  300 franchises in the UK. I joined as Sales & Marketing Manager and was appointed to the Board as Sales & Operations Director in 1990 and soon after was promoted again to the role of Franchise Sales Director. I carried full responsibility for the recruitment effort, including re-sales and was part of a management buyout in 1996 that resulted in a successful exit in 1999.

CG Library pic

I ran the National Franchise Exhibition in 1999 and developed a thorough understanding of the wide range of different recruitment strategies used by the various franchisors attending the exhibitions.

Mail Boxes Etc. have over 140 stores in the UK and I’ve recruited most of their franchisees. MBE operates under master licence and trades from high street based outlets that sell a range of business services to consumers and SME’s and I retain a non-executive financial interest in the business.

I have been a member of the British Franchise Associations Policy Board.

I have a wide general knowledge of franchising, including legal, property lease matters, and a strong focus on franchise recruitment.

I have considerable operational experience……I have conducted many franchise feasibility projects and have been involved with several new franchise launches over the years and have a wide circle of professional contacts that include many within the  legal and banking sectors.

Redstones Residential Sales

9 Signs Of A Successful Franchisee

For potential entrepreneurs or anyone currently employed considering the idea of going into business the options can sometimes be overwhelming.  I’m often asked what it takes to be a successful business owner with Redstones. In my experience, the following traits are common to the majority of successful franchisees:-

Ability to follow a system that works : A franchisee is happy following a proven system to build a successful business.  If you are an overly independent character who likes to experiment with different ways of running a business, franchising may not be the best option.

Self motivated : You like to focus on meeting your goals and working effectively to achieve the result you need.  You constantly evaluate your progress and performance to ensure you are meeting your own high standards and are keen to take on board to the advice of others, such as your franchisor’s business development managers.

Thinking big : You are always looking at the bigger picture, even when you’re working long hours to get your business up and running. You are confident it will pay off in the long term.  You focus on your long-term potential for your business, knowing that the actions you take today all represent steps along the path to take you there.

The glass is always half-full : You’re a born optimist, always looking for the positive in every situation You learn from your mistakes rather than dwelling on them, aiming to create solutions to each challenge you encounter.

Leadership skills : Ideally you possess a combination of life and business skills.  In running a franchise like Redstones, you will need to manage and lead your own team as well as encourage and motivate your staff with your outstanding communication skills.  Industry specific experience isn’t essential as all of our franchisees undergo a comprehensive training programme to equip them with the skills to build a successful business.

Excellent people skills : As the owner of a Redstones franchise you are on the front line, dealing with tenants, buyers and property owners on a daily basis.  An ability to build and maintain relationships with potential clients is vital to your long-term success.

Resilience : Starting your own business is an exciting yet challenging time.  A high level of resilience will ensure you overcome any early hurdles, keep any setbacks in perspective and continue to build on your successes.

Financial management : As a business owner you must have access to the financial investment essential to any franchisee agreement.  Furthermore, when running your own franchise – as with any business – careful financial and cashflow management is essential.  Your franchisor will work with you to ensure you achieve both your short and long-term financial objectives.

Investing in a franchise is not for everyone but offers an ideal opportunity for an ambitious individual to build a successful business.  If you recognise yourself in the above mentioned traits and you would like to learn more about becoming part our successful network at Redstones, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk

Or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.