Information for Tenants
Tenancy Application & References
Once an offer has been accepted on a property, references will be required by the landlord. Generally, references are required from your employer, previous landlord, and bank. Your bank will charge a nominal fee, usually somewhere between £12 to £15. If time is short, we may ask you instead to supply us with copies of your most recent 3 months’ bank account statements. We may use a referencing agency to carry out credit checks, in which case you will be required to complete and sign an application form authorising access, for which. You will be required to pay the referencing fee, which is non refundable, and charged per tenant being referenced. All information obtained is kept strictly confidential between us and the landlord, and not passed on to third parties.
A payment from you (a holding deposit) will be required to show your commitment when you have your offer to rent a property accepted. This is usually the greater of one week’s rent or £500.00. This payment is non-refundable should you withdraw your offer, but will be returned to you net of any referencing costs should the landlord decide not to proceed with the tenancy. Please note that this money does not constitute a tenancy but is required as proof of your serious intention to proceed.
Security Deposit – Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs)
Before your tenancy commences you will be required to pay a security deposit (typically between one and two months’ rent), your first month’s rent, and our administration fee of £100.00 plus VAT. The deposit is either placed with the Deposit Protection Service (the only government accredited custodial deposit protection scheme) or kept in a segregated client account and insured with MyDeposits.
The deposit is held against any damages or expenses arising during your tenancy and will not be released until after you vacate the property, all rent has been paid up to date and we have written confirmation of any costs from the landlord and agreement from you. You will be given full details on how your deposit is protected and how it will be returned to you shortly after we receive your deposit, but further information can be found at www.depositprotectionservice.com and www.mydeposits.co.uk.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
Since 6th April 2007 legislation concerning tenancy deposits requires all AST deposits to either be placed in a custodial deposit scheme, or be protected by a government authorised insurance scheme.
- The schemes:
- Encourage tenants and landlords to make a clear agreement about the condition of the property, its furnishings and fittings at the commencement of the tenancy
- Make any disputes easier to solve and provide arbitration free of charge where no agreement can be reached
- Make it very difficult for landlords to withhold tenant deposit money unfairly
Inventory and Schedule of Condition
We encourage landlords to arrange a professional inventory and schedule of condition of the property, detailing the contents, furniture, fittings and effects, which is then checked with you at the commencement of the tenancy, and again when you move out. Usually the landlord pays for the inventory to be checked at the commencement of the tenancy, and you will be required to pay for the inventory to be checked when you move out.
It is important that you take care in agreeing the Inventory and Schedule of Condition at the start of the tenancy, as it will form the basis for any claim for damages by your landlord at the end of the tenancy. If there are any errors on the Inventory List and Schedule of Condition, these should be recorded and advised as soon as possible.
All rent is payable in advance by standing order, and payments should be set up for 4 days before your rent due date to allow time for bank clearance.
Should you experience any financial problems during the course of the tenancy it is essential that you contact us immediately.
These are clearly set out in your tenancy agreement. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately, and vital that any water leaks reported without delay, as you could be held liable for any damage. The property must be fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time, and keys should not be left in locks where they are visible from outside. During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of the water and heating systems, for example by leaving the heating and hot water to come on by setting the timer for a few hours each day.
You will be advised at the start of the tenancy if we are instructed by the landlord to manage the property, or if the landlord will be taking care of all maintenance issues. If the landlord is managing the property himself, or has appointed someone other than ourselves to manage the property on his behalf, then you will be given their contact details so that you can contact them directly regarding any maintenance concerns that arise during the tenancy. Should you have any difficulty contacting your landlord, and the matter is urgent, we recommend that you contact us for advice. If we are managing your property on behalf of the landlord, all maintenance matters should be referred to us.
Renewing your tenancy
Approximately three months before your tenancy is due to expire, we will contact you to find out if you intend to renew your tenancy, or if you plan to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy. Should you choose to renew, we will draw up a new tenancy agreement, and the administration cost of this is shared equally between the landlord and the tenant. Currently this is £50.00 plus VAT.