Tenant Guide

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You have found a property to rent. So what happens next? This guide will provide you with all the information and advice you need to clinch the deal and become a tenant.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Referencing Procedure

As soon as a suitable property has been found and you have put down a holding deposit we will initiate the referencing process. You will be required to complete online reference application forms. We utilise the services of a credit-referencing agency to take up these references, here is an example of just a few of the references sought:

  • Confirmation of employment, salary confirmation.
  • Personal & Photographic identification (passport or driving licence).
  • Previous Landlord references.
  • Students (Guarantor or proof or funding).
  • Self-Employed (Accountants references, 6 months’ bank statements, trading details etc)

Holding Deposit

A holding deposit will be required before we remove the property from the market and cease viewings. This holding deposit acts to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be deducted from the total balance due upon move in and prior to signing the contract (i.e. Balance due=First months’ rent + Six week security deposit+ Admin fess –Holding deposit). Should the tenant withdraw from the proposed letting, through no fault of the landlord or the agent, all or a proportion of the 'Holding Deposit' will be retained in order to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full). None of the Holding Deposit will be retained should the Tenant's withdrawal be due to a breach of the proposed letting agreement by the landlord or managing agent.


The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property:


For example:

  • Cancel any advertising for the letting
  • Tell other applicants that the tenancy has been taken subject to satisfactory references
  • Prepare a letting agreement
  • Take up references
  • Carry out credit checks
  • Take steps to fufil any tenant specific requests
  • Prepare a cleaner and/or Inventory clerk

Administration/ Reference Applications

All administration/reference fees are due upon the creation of a legally binding tenancy agreement.


An administration fee covering preparation of the tenancy documentation and any other contract/administrative paperwork is £300 inc VAT per tenancy, £500.00 plus VAT in respect of a Company Let, and £50.00 + VAT per applicant per reference application.


Should a guarantor be required then a further £50.00 + VAT payment per guarantor for referencing will be required.


PLEASE NOTE THAT SHOULD YOUR REFERENCE APPLICATIONS BE UNSUCCESSFUL THEN THE REFERENCE FEE/S IS NON REFUNDABLE.

It is imperative that you disclose all relevant facts that may adversely affect your reference outcome, prior to entering into the above. It may save you money.

Tenancy Agreement

Both the Landlord and tenant/s will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to the tenancy commencing, the agreement outlines both tenant and landlord obligations. On occasion the landlord will request that we, as the managing agent, sign on his or her behalf.


Generally, most tenancies run for a period of twelve months, we will contact you two months before the end of the tenancy to see whether you wish to renew your agreement for a further period and will liaise with the landlord to organise the documentation. It is important you note that the agreement is made between landlord and tenant; we act for the landlord only.


By legal requirement we will issue you with a sample template agreement which we ask you read very carefully, should any questions arise regarding this legal document we advise you to seek independent legal advice.

Payment

Once a moving date has been agreed and references have all been approved by the landlord, the tenancy agreement will need to be signed by all parties and the initial monies in full will become due less any holding deposit previously paid:
This is made up of the following:

 

  • Deposit normally equal to six weeks rent.
  • The first months’ rent in advance. (rent is worked out on a per calendar month basis), which is, if you are not  aware;  the weekly rent, multiplied by 52 weeks and divided by twelve months to give the per calendar month rental figure.

 

The above monies need to be in a cleared form before the tenancy is able to commence, payment by means of either a banker’s draft, cash or paid directly into our client bank account and showing as cleared.

Managed Properties

We do get instructed to fully manage some of our landlord’s properties, if this is the case, with your tenancy we will inform you prior to your tenancy commencing. If we are managing then any faults with appliances or problems within the property will need to be reported to us and we will deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an ongoing problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any problems you feel need attention in a timely manner.

Rental Payment

Rental payments are always made by standing order from the tenants’ bank account to the landlord’s bank account, with the exception of managed properties whereby the rental payment is made to us. Payment of rent should come from one single account regardless of the number of tenants.

Notice to end a tenancy

To terminate your tenancy subject to term, you will normally be required to give us at least two month notice in writing of your intention to leave, unless otherwise specified in your specific tenancy agreement.

Insurance

The responsibility for your belongings are down to you, you must ensure you have adequate contents insurance, the landlord accepts no responsibility and cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to tenants possessions.

Inventory

A well-prepared inventory and check-in report protects landlords and tenants alike, providing an accurate description of the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy. The inventory firm we engage, along with the standard report and pictures, will augment the inventory with video recording to provide added peace of mind that the property is captured as accurately as possible.


The condition of the property and its contents at the end of the tenancy is then compared back to this report in the form of a check-out report. The inventory clerk will also provide an opinion on whether any damage that has arisen during the tenancy is attributable to the tenants, to ‘fair wear and tear’ or to the landlord as required maintenance.


It is in a landlord’s interest to ensure that inventories are prepared for properties that they own. In the worst case scenario, should you end up in court, the judge will tend to look more favourably on an impartial, unbiased inventory prepared by a third party unconnected to either the landlord or the tenants. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided. Similarly it is of benefit to the tenant to have an accurate check-in and check-out report to ensure there are no unfair claims against their deposit. Accordingly, and by general consensus in the industry, landlords pay for the check-in inventory and tenants pay for the check-out inventory. Please note you will be required to pay for the check-out inventory in advance at the same time as payment of the balance due is made and prior to move in.

Deposit Returns

When your tenancy ends, an inspection of the property will be carried out by the same independent inventory company. Assuming there are no issues with the condition of the property at check-out relative to check-in your deposit will be returned to you once you have provided us with proof of final bill payment and confirmation that all utility accounts relating to your stay at the property have been closed.

Tenants’ obligations

The responsibility for the property lies with the tenant during the period of tenancy; always ensure that the property is fully secured and that during the winter months steps are taken to prevent freezing of the water and heating system.

Property Inspection

If we are instructed as managing agents for your property, we will carry out quarterly inspections to assess the condition of the property and that everything is being kept in a satisfactory condition. We will always arrange this with you at a mutually convenient time.

Council Tax & Utilities

It is the tenant’s responsibility to inform the utility companies of their occupation of the property at the commencement of the tenancy, and to pay council tax to the local authority. Students, who may be exempt from the payment of council tax, are responsible for informing the Local Authority of this.

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