Forefront offer competitive and comprehensive letting and property management services in and around Swindon, South Cerney and Cirencester. Our services give landlords real choice without the financial pain of High Street Letting Agents.
Do you have a property to let in Swindon? Are you looking for help with finding and screening suitable tenants? Perhaps you want the peace of mind and convenience of a comprehensive efficient letting and property management service that takes care of everything? Whatever level of support you need; Forefront can provide the service that is right for you.
Our lettings agents in Swindon have more than 20 years’ experience of letting properties in and around Swindon, South Cerney and Cirencester. Our Clients range from private landlords with one rental property to Buy-To-Let Investment Landlords with extensive property portfolios.
Our friendly and helpful investment team are on hand to help answer any questions you may have whether you are a first time Investor or an experienced Investor wanting to keep on top of changes in legislation.
All our services can be tailored to suit your individual needs and we will provide a written quotation with absolutely no obligation.
We understand becoming a Landlord for the first time can be a daunting experience so we offer support and advice on all aspects of letting your investment property.
Please take a look through our website for a step by step guide to what’s involved when letting Swindon property. We have included information on your legal obligations and practical matters as well as an overview of all the services we offer.
So whether you are thinking of letting your property for the first time or you’re an experienced landlord looking to improve the letting service you receive, please get in touch with our letting agents in and around Swindon to discuss your requirements.
Packages to Suit You
Forefront offers Landlords a choice of 4 different levels of service. The package you chose will depend on how hands-on you want to be, the level of responsibility you are prepared to accept and the time and energy you have available to manage your property investment and Tenancy.
50% of 1st months' rent + VAT
75% of 1st months' rent + VAT
£300 to find a Tenant, then 6% of the rent due per month + VAT
£300 to find a Tenant, then 9% of the rent due per month + VAT
Choose our Fully Managed Letting Service and all you have to do is sit back and enjoy a return on your investment. Your dedicated property manager will take care of everything and keep you fully informed.
Once you've let your property, the work doesn’t stop there. Today’s tenants can be quite demanding, expecting maximum value for their rental. Whether it is fridge failure or a leaking shower, you can be sure any tenant will want a swift repair, however inconvenient the timing may be for you. This is why our landlords value our full property management services as we look after any repairs and Tenancy issues for you. For your peace of mind, a member of our property management team will visit the property regularly and organise any maintenance and safety compliance checks, assuring you that your property remains in sound condition and your legal obligations are met.
You will be asigned your own Property Manager who will look after every aspect of the property let and property issues, throughout the life of the Tenancy. Our landlords tell us they appreciate the continuity and accountability of a single point of contact.
If you would like to know more about full property management services available in Swindon, South Cerney and Cirencester contact Forefront.
Current Agent not living up to their promises? Not seeing the results you were hoping for?
There are so many reasons to swap to Forefront.
Our great value letting services bring outstanding results without you losing out on first class customer service or leaving you out of pocket.
With over 20 years of local market knowledge and experience in letting property in and around Swindon, South Cerney and Cirencester, plus a strong focus on delivering a personal service you will be in safe hands with Forefront.
Why swap to Forefront Lettings Agency?
With Forefront’s four tiered service levels you can chose the right level of service for you, which means you don’t have to pay for a service you don’t need.
Forefront will manage the entire switching process for you to ensure a smooth transition – especially important if you have a Tenant in situ.
You will be swapping to a Letting Agent who caps the number of rental property they manage – this ensures Forefront can offer a personal focused service to both Landlords and Tenants – important given the responsibilities of being a Property Investor.
Forefront can assist you in finding your first or next property investment – regardless of the selling Agent – it’s all part of our supportive helpful service.
Please read some of our testimonials and reviews to find out what our satisfied Landlords have to say about us.
So whatever the reason, if you‘re ready to work with a letting agent who knows the local area, with over 20 years experience navigating the Swindon property market, get in touch, where a member of out lettings team can talk you through making the switch to Forefront.
Please find below some of the most common questions asked by Landlords prior to putting their property on the market.
If there is something we’ve missed or you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly and professional team.
What is the difference between letting your property through Forefront and a traditional High Street Estate Agent/Letting Agent?
The only difference is that we don’t have expensive high street offices and as such can offer value for money compared to traditional high street Agents who come with a hefty price tag!
Plus, with our multi-levels of service, you only need to pay for the service you need as one option doesn’t always fit all.
Internet estate agents charge the same amount as you but cover the whole country! How do you keep your fees so low and remain local?
In many ways we are set up like an internet Estate Agent and as such our fees reflect this. We don’t have expensive high street offices but have remained local by simply coming off the high street. Unlike internet agents who then target the whole country we concentrate on the local market. We have utilised technology to offer a fast and effective service with minimal overheads which we reflect in our low fee structure. In effect we have positioned ourselves in between the traditional expensive high street Estate Agent and the Internet Agent giving our customers the best of both worlds.
Which areas do you cover?
We cover Swindon, South Cerney, Cirencester and surrounding towns and villages in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
How effective are you at letting houses online?
Over the years we have been trading we have let and managed over 200 properties! Our extensive and targeted marketing continuously provides outstanding and proven results. We advertise on all of the major property portals, as well as on our own user friendly responsive website.
Your first option requires an upfront fee, what’s your incentive to let my property once you've got my money and what happens if I change my mind?
Our reputation depends on your satisfaction and great results. We wouldn’t still be in business today if we didn’t actually let any houses! We’re only as good as our last success and we hope you would want to come back to us in the future and recommend us to your friends and family.
With regards to changing your mind - As your property has already been advertised and we have incurred costs, we cannot refund the upfront fee.
Will you value my property for me?
Yes, we will bring comparable properties that have recently let in your area so we can firm up an asking price. Our experienced valuers will provide you with an accurate and realistic market value.
Will you put my property onto the market on the same day?
Yes. Because we are transparent with our fees you can choose the option you want to take and we will do all the work to market your property on the same day. Plus, the technology we use means we can have properties on the market very quickly.
I don't know which service to choose. Which is the most popular?
Our Fully Managed Service is the most popular as this ensures Landlords are on top of all their legal obligations and their tenancies are run smoothly with minimal time investment required by the Landlord.
If you can’t decide, you can always choose our “Tenant Find Service” and increase the level of service we provide at any time.
Do you vet potential viewers?
When you instruct Forefront as your Letting Agent, we'll ask you a series of questions regarding who you will and won’t accept. We will make sure potential viewers meet your criteria.
How long does it take for my property to be online and how long do you market it for?
Your property can be advertised almost immediately, once you’ve instructed us. Our expert team can create floorplans and take professional images quickly and efficiently and upload them straight to our website and portals like Rightmove and Zoopla in next to no time. We then market the property until we have found a Tenant.
What's the first step if I decide to sell my property through Forefront and how quickly can you visit?
The first step is to get in touch with us by either calling or filling in our contact form. We will then arrange to visit you and your property at a time to suit you and take all the details needed to market your property. As your local letting agent, we can often come out to see you the same day, should you require.
Our knowledge of the local rental market, coupled with a tailored approach to advertising, will help you set an achievable rent and find the right Tenant.
We can give you advice on preparing your property to go onto the market as well as anything else to do with being a Landlord. We are happy to chat with you over the phone as every property and scenario if different.
We don’t ask for anything for this service as we are happy to help even if you aren’t currently signed with Forefront. All we ask for in return is that you recommend or consider swapping to Forefront in the future.
We have also listed the main points to consider when looking to let your Swindon property.
We offer an independent assessment of your property by one of our trained and experienced lettings team. This is free of charge and with absolutely no obligation.
On visiting the property, our letting agents will also provide informed advice on any work required to meet regulatory requirements, as well as other actions you may need to take before you let your property, including necessary repairs and refurbishments.
It is important that you set a rent that is competitively priced, fair and achievable. Using our extensive knowledge of the local rental market, we will assess how much your property could achieve in the current climate. Our rental valuation will take into consideration the location, size, standard and condition of the property and whether it will be let furnished, part furnished or unfurnished.
At Forefront we use the very latest technology and proven marketing techniques to advertise our rental properties.
We advertise your property to let on all the major property portals including Rightmove and Zoopla. We're a local online agent, this means that our website has been designed and written with the the local marketplace in mind. Our site is 'responsive', meaning user experience is never confined by the size of the screen; whether someone is viewing your property listing on a smartphone, desktop or tablet the site will adjust to the users' screen. This gives your rental property the highest possible online exposure, whichever device your potential tenant chooses to use.
High quality, professional photographs and floor plans are fundamental in order to present your property in the best possible way. We take the time to capture the best picture of each room to show off its best features. Our floor plans are included within our fee as we feel they are an essential tool to help attract the high quality tenants.
Using a number of marketing techniques, we work hard to ensure the property you have to let gets maximum exposure. Our online marketing activity includes social media through our Facebook pages and twitter account and we also advertise via local magazines, radio and ‘To Let’ boards.
We tailor our marketing approach to the type of tenant you're looking for, in order to attract genuine interest. Once instructed one of the first things we do is to match a property with a list of waiting tenants and send them your property details by email.
Securing The Most Suitable Tenant
As a Landlord, you need peace of mind that the right tenants will be living and looking after your property. All potential tenants on our rental database are pre-qualified by us before viewings, to ensure they are suitable.
All property viewings are accompanied and conducted when needed by a fully trained member of our lettings team and we provide prompt and honest feedback. We will keep you up-to-date on progress and will let you know as soon as someone applies for your property.
We conduct tenant referencing, Immigration and credit checks on your behalf using a specialist Referencing Agency. This vetting service process is a critical step to securing a reliable Tenant for you.
Our experienced Letting agents will provide you with the latest information and guidance to ensure you meet all your legal obligations as a Landlord.
Energy Performance Certificate
All properties for rent must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before any marketing or viewings can take place. An EPC rates energy efficiency and its environmental impact and is valid for 10 years for rental properties. A copy of the EPC must be made available to tenants before entering into a tenancy agreement. If you want do not have an EPC for your property, Forefront can arrange an inspection for you.
Under the Gas Safety (installation and use) Regulations 1998, Landlords have a legal obligation to make sure all gas pipework, appliances, fittings and flues are safe to use and maintained in a safe condition. Every gas appliance and flu must be tested for gas safety every 12 months. A gas safety record must be provided to existing Tenants within 28 days of the annual safety check, or to new Tenants before they move in, and you must keep copies yourself for two years. All installation, maintenance and safety checks must be carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. We can arrange this for you.
Furniture and Furnishings (fire) (Safety) (Amendments) Regulations 2010
Upholstered furniture and soft furnishings supplied in a rented property must comply with current regulations. This includes, but is not limited to, bed frames, mattresses, headboards, sofa beds, pillows, cushions, seat pads and any garden furniture that may be used indoors. Items which comply will have suitable permanent label attached. All non-compliant items must be removed before a Tenant moves in. Bedding, carpets, curtains and any furniture made before 1950 are exempt.
Landlords are required to ensure that the electrical installation in a rented property is safe when Tenants move in and maintained in safe condition. Although not a legal requirement, it is strongly recommended that you have the property inspected and tested by a registered electrician every 5 years and arrange Portable Appliance Testing (PAT Test) once a year to ensure electrical appliances are safe and fit for purpose.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Since October 2015 new regulations require Landlords to install smoke alarms on every floor of their rental property and test them at the start of every Tenancy and to install carbon monoxide alarms in high risk rooms such as those where a solid fuel heating system or boiler is installed.
Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHRS)
If your property is rented out, your local council may decide to do an HHSRS inspection. Inspectors look at 29 health and safety areas.
Consent to Let
If your property is mortgaged, you must obtain written consent to let from your mortgage lender. If it is leasehold, your lease may require written consent from your Landlord before you can sub-let.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMO)
If your property is let to at least three tenants who share toilet, bathroom, or kitchen facilities but are not from one household or family – sometimes called a ‘house share’ – it is a House in Multiple Occupancy (HMO). Depending on the size of the property, the number of tenants and the area, you are likely to need an HMO licence from your local council plus an HHSRS inspection. We can advise you of this.
Landlords are required by law to take out buildings insurance for rental properties. We advise our landlords to also consider contents insurance and policies to cover rent guarantee and legal expenses.
Our professional letting service ensures everything is in place for a smooth and trouble-free start to renting out your property.
This is a legally binding agreement, setting out the rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant. Most residential property is let on an Assured Shorthold tenancy (AST) for an initial fixed term of 6 or 12 months. We can advise on all the options available to help you make an informed decision on the areas of responsibility, conditions of tenancy, how and when the rent will be reviewed and notice terms. We will prepare all the paperwork and draw up a comprehensive legal document for signing.
If we are fully managing your tenancy and rental property for you, then the Tenancy Agreement will include those activities we will be responsible for on your behalf.
Inventory/Schedule of Condition
All inventories produced by Forefront on behalf of Landlords contain a full written description of your property, its contents and schedule of condition inside and out including the walls, flooring and all fixtures, fittings and furnishings provided with photographic evidence. This provides crucial legal reference in case of any discrepancy or claim against the tenant’s deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Utilities and Council Tax
Usually it is the tenant’s responsibility to pay utility bills and council tax. We can organise all meter readings so that the transfer of water rates, gas, electricity, telephone, TV licence and council tax accounts can be transferred to the tenant. Landlords are responsible for closing off their accounts in-between tenancies and settling any bills covering this time.
A deposit is paid by the tenant at the start of the tenancy to safeguard against damage. Since April 2007, all new Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be regulated with a government-backed Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme within 30 days of receipt of the deposit. If we are not providing this service for you then you would need to register the deposit with a TDP scheme yourself. Landlords should be aware that there are significant penalties for failing to comply with Deposit Protection requirements.
We normally collect a deposit from the tenant which is equal to one month’s rent. Forefront is registered with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) which means your tenant’s deposit will be held by the DPS for the duration of the tenancy. We will register deposits on your behalf and liaise with their dispute service should the need arise at the end of a tenancy. We will also provide your tenant with the name and contact details of the DPS and its dispute resolution service which is a legal requirement.
You should provide at least one set of keys for each tenant. Where Forefront will be managing the property for you, we will also require a full set which will be coded for security purposes.
Where a Landlord has taken Forefront’s Full Lettings Management Service we take care of your property, Tenancy arrangements, Tenant and your Landlord duties throughout the Tenancy.
Forefront offers a Rent Collection Service on its own or as part of its Fully Managed Letting Service for busy Landlords. We collect rent monthly unless the Tenancy Agreement specifies otherwise. Occasionally Tenants may experience financial difficulties and our rent collection service includes chasing any late payments. We will notify you at the earliest opportunity of any rent arrears. You can protect against loss of rental income with an insurance policy. We can suggest one if you wish.
We pay rent to Landlords monthly by BACS (net of our fees and any disbursements, bills and income tax if appropriate) and provide monthly income and expenditure records.
Rental income and Taxation
As a Landlord you are responsible for assessing your own tax for rent received. Below is some basic guidance on taxation matters relevant to Landlords; however, we would always recommend you seek independent financial advice from an accountant on tax matters.
1. Income Tax
Rental income is liable to tax, although a number of expenditures items can be offset against rental profit. You would also need to pay Class 2 National insurance if the work you do counts as running a property business.
Our management fees are deductible from your rental profit.
2. Overseas landlords
Under the Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) Scheme, your Letting Agent will need to deduct tax from the rental income and pay the tax directly to HM Revenue & Customs. If you choose not to use a Lettings Agent to collect rent, then your Tenant will be legally responsible for collecting and paying the tax to HMRC. Alternatively, Landlords living overseas can apply for approval to receive rental income with no tax deducted. Full details of the NRL Scheme are available from HMRC.
Inspections, maintenance and repairs
The practicalities of being a Landlord can be very time-consuming. With our full property management services, Forefront take care of all the day to day management and upkeep of your rental property so you don’t need to worry.
We will carry out regular routine inspections – usually quarterly – at a mutually convenient time agreed with the tenant. This will involve visual inspections, assessing any wear and tear, and organising maintenance and compliance checks. If we identify any problems we will advise you and, dependant on our agreement with you, we can arrange for repairs and any work to be done on the property and pay for this out of the rent received. We have a network of reliable and trustworthy contractors we can call on to deal with routine repairs or emergencies at very competitive rates.
Tenancy renewals, reviews and notices
Forefront will handle all Tenancy renewals, including rental reviews for you. If you decide to increase the rent, we will issue the relevant notice informing your Tenants. If you wish to end a Tenancy, we will serve notice to your Tenants in line with all legal process and timing requirements and manage all the end of Tenancy administration.
End of tenancy checks and deposit returns
At the end of a Tenancy the Landlord should ensure the property is in a good, clean condition before the Tenant checks out, take back the keys and formally take possession of the property. Assuming there are no issues and all the paperwork is completed, utility companies notified and you have a forwarding address for the Tenant, the Landlord should return the Tenants deposit. This is all included as part of the Forefronts' full property management service.
No Landlord wants a vacant property. If a tenancy is not renewed, we offer landlords who take our managed letting service an automatic property appraisal, rental valuation and remarketing service until we find a new tenant.
What do our landlords think?
Read testimonials from some of our landlords to find out what they think about our service.
Forefront have been my letting agent for several years, and I have always found the staff helpful, friendly and quick to respond to any concerns I may have as a landlord. In the time that we've worked together, I have never had an issue finding good clients for my property.
Paul, landlord of 1 Knole Close, Priory Vale
Having tried another agent to let my property I turned to Tristan at Forefront. After a short appointment I handed over the letting to Tristan and his team. Regular updates and simple practices on Forefront behalf saw the property rented in under a week. Ever since then I have trusted the team at Forefront with the property.
Stuart Morgan, landlord of 50 Brunswick Street, Old Town
After months of trying to sell we thought we would look at renting the house. Less than 72 hours after considering the idea the house was rented. It was so simple and a better service than I get from another agent who rents another property for me.
Giles Smith, landlord of 88 Shrivenham Road, Town Centre
I was not sure where to find a good letting company when I wanted to let my house for the first time. I met with a very professional gentleman from Forefront who knew exactly what I was looking for. They deal with any problems that arise at the property very quickly and effectively. They give regular feedback from interim reports and are easily contactable even out of working hours. I have been with Forefront for two year snow and hope to be with them for a long time to come.
Mr Limbu, landlord of 17 Risingham Mead, Westlea
The setup process was very straightforward and Forefront dealt with my new tenant so I didn’t need to worry about anything. Forefront will manage any repairs for you if required but is also happy to let the landlord control this which suits me better.
Kavey, landlord of 9 Bradshaw Court, Hayden End
Using Forefront to manage my property has been a great choice. Having used different agents in the past I am relieved to have found Forefront who are friendly, professional and utterly reliable. I couldn't ask for anything more from a property manager. I am kept informed at all times, any necessary work is carried out to a very high standard, and I know I can call upon Forefront at any time. I am completely reassured that my apartment is in safe hands.
Kate, landlord of 9 Vistula Crescent, Haydon End