Tenants Guide and Fees

To the New Tenant registered we send the below guide :

TENANT GUIDE

 

  • Referencing Procedure

  • Holding Deposit

  • Tenancy Agreement

  • Payment

  • Managed Properties

  • Rental Payment

  • Notice to end a tenancy

  • Inventory

  • Deposit Returns

  • Tenants' obligations

  • Property Inspection

  • Council Tax & Utilities

  • How to rent (www.gov.uk)

  • Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

Referencing Procedure


As soon as a suitable property has been found, you will need to complete reference application forms. We utilise the services of a credit-referencing agency to take up the following 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, trading details etc).

Holding Deposit

A holding deposit of one week rent (not subject to VAT) will be required.

This is in order to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be deducted from the first months rent due, 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.

PLEASE NOTE THAT SHOULD YOUR REFERENCE APPLICATIONS BE UNSUCCESSFUL, THEN FEES/DEPOSITS PAID TO US ARE 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.

Generally, most tenancies run for a period of twelve months, we will contact you at 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 we receive your holding deposit, we would commence reference check and balance of monies due latest 7 days before after holding deposit was received.

Referencing and contracts should be signed by the date.

If an extension is required, that should be agreed between the agent and tenant.

Should referencing, contract and payment not be made at the end of this period, the property could go back on the market for a re-let and tenant(s) would lose their holding deposit.

 

Payments due as follows:

  • Deposit is a maximum of 5 weeks rent (less 1 week holding deposit paid);

  • The first month's 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 a bank transfer made 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.

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.

Notice to end a tenancy

To terminate your tenancy subject to term, you will normally be required to give us at least one 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 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.

Normally an inventory of the property condition, furniture and fittings and effects will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The tenancy is checked and agreed between the tenant and the landlord at the tenancy commencement.

Deposit Returns

When your tenancy ends, an inspection of the property will be carried out, either by the landlord or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord.

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.

Wherever applicable VAT will be charged at the current VAT rate.

 

In brief, under the new Tenant Fees Act 2019 and transitional arrangements until last May 2020, tenant fees are generally no longer chargeable particularly for AST, but there are a couple of exceptions like i.e. change of sharer and corporate lets.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

The following charges are payable or potentially payable by a tenant:

 

Holding deposit - A maximum of one week's rent

 

Security deposit - Five weeks rent, rising to six weeks rent when the annual rent is in excess of £50,000

 

Rent and Utility bills - Payable as outlined in the Tenancy Agreement Unpaid rent - Interest at 3% above the Bank of England base rate, as outlined in the Tenancy Agreement

 

Lost Keys - Tenants are liable for the cost of replacing any lost keys or security device, including a change of lock or replacement of device if required

 

Amendments of Tenancy Agreement at Tenant's Request - A minimum of £50 per change which could increase depending on the level of work required to carry out the amendment. A change to a tenancy could include:

  • Permission for pets to be kept in the property;

  • A change of sharer in a joint tenancy;

  • Permission to sub-let;

  • Permission for a business to be run from the property.


 

Early Surrender of the AST at Tenant's Request - Should a tenant need to surrender the tenancy early and the Landlord agrees to re-let the property, the liability for the payment of rent will end once a new tenant is found and takes up occupation. However, the tenant will still need to cover the Landlord's costs in surrendering the tenancy and re-letting the property.

Non-AST

For any individual tenant not renting a property under an Assured Shorthold 

 

Tenancy the following charges are also payable:

 

Tenancy Administration charge – 1 week rent per tenancy (this covers tenant referencing)

 

Reference charge - £60 per guarantor

 

Check-out charge - £140 for 1 bed plus £15 per additional room and bathroom.

Renewal charge - £170 per renewal

 

If a tenant decides to rent a property through us in the name of a business or company the tenancy administration and reference charge will be £350 or 1 week rent (which is more) for a new tenancy and £150 for every renewal.


All prices are inclusive of VAT.