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Tenant FAQs

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Tenant FAQs

How can I be the first to know about new properties?

New properties come to the market daily.  To ‘Find the one’ check our website ‘Find the one’  or set up an alert on Localmove, OnTheMarket or Rightmove.  As demand for properties generally exceeds the supply, you must act quickly when you see a property that you would like to make your home. 

How do I get a viewing appointment quickly?

The best properties usually get snapped up straight away. Complete the ‘Request a viewing’ on our website once you've found a suitable property or send your viewing request from one of the portals.  Before confirming a viewing appointment, we need to know a bit more about you, so we ask you to also complete a ‘Passport to view’

How can I get the property I want?

We understand that searching for the perfect rental property to make your home can be a frustrating and disappointing process.  The best guidance we can give is-

  1. check that you meet the affordability criteria (all our property adverts state the ‘Minimum Yearly Income’ required to pass referencing)
  2. tell us about any adverse credit you have (adverse credit will not necessarily prevent you from renting a property provided it is disclosed). Check ‘Credit Karma’
  3. be prepared in advance with all the supporting documents you will need to make an application.  Why not check out our ‘APPLICATION TO RENT A PROPERTY’ which includes an Individual Application Checklist.  Some of the documents you will need to provide are for the ‘Right to Rent’ checks all lettings agents need to make.  Please contact our Applications Team for guidance
How do I apply for a property?

You need to have viewed the property first.  As the level of tenant demand is nearly always greater than the number of properties available, it’s very important that you apply as soon as you have made your decision.  Everything you need to know about applying for a property and information on what happens at each stage in the process is contained within our ‘APPLICATION TO RENT A PROPERTY’

My partner will not be moving to the UK until after I move in, can I still apply?

Yes.  However, you would both need to complete an Individual Application and we would make all the necessary checks and take up references before a tenancy is created.  On your partner’s arrival in the UK, they would need to present themselves at our offices to allow us to verify our ‘Right to Rent checks.  Until that time, the tenancy agreement would be in your name only. 

Do I need to tell my current landlord I intend to move out?

Yes.  It is essential that you contact your current landlord and agree with them the date on which your current tenancy will end.  You cannot apply for another property unless you know when your financial commitment for your current property ends. 

Do your properties take pets?

We act for individual landlords and it‘s the landlord‘s decision whether they will permit your pet. We ask you to give us details of your pets in the ‘Passport to view‘.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

We can only talk to your landlord about your interest in renting their property once we have fully completed applications from all adults who will be living at the property.   Once we establish that the applications are viable, we liaise with the landlord and take their instructions.  How quickly we can let you know is subject to the landlord’s availability.  However, we will keep you informed throughout the process. 

When will I get my keys?

When you apply for a property, our Applications Team will discuss a target tenancy start date with you and your landlord.  However, the actual start date cannot be agreed until acceptable references are back.  This often depends on how quickly your employer (or accountant if you are self-employed) responds.  It’s a good idea to let them know to expect a reference request. We understand the importance of knowing when you are actually moving and our Applications Team will be in regular contact with you throughout the application process.  

How much do I need to pay before I get my keys?

You do not need to pay any fees to us, but you will need to pay the first month’s rent and a security deposit of 5 week’s rent.  The deposit you need to pay is noted on the various advertising portals.  A fifth of your deposit (20%) is a holding deposit which you need to pay before we take up references.  The balance of the deposit and the first month’s rent is due nearer your key pick up date.  However, our Applications team will guide you through the entire application process.  Please also see our ‘Scale of Charges to Tenants’ for details of fees which may arise as part of your tenancy.

What happens with my deposit?

We protect your deposit under the government scheme The Tenancy Deposit Scheme www.tenancydepositscheme.com.  We also undertake a detailed written and photographic inventory of the property before you get the keys.  At the end of your tenancy, we carry out a thorough check-out inspection by reference to the inventory thereby ensuring that any deposit negotiations are based on irrefutable facts.    We allow for fair wear and tear in line with how long you have lived at the property.  If there is any excess wear and tear, we advise you and agree a deduction from your deposit.  Most tenants get their deposit back in full.  The check-out inspection normally takes place within 24 hours of the legal end of your tenancy and we return your deposit to you as soon as possible after any negotiations. 

How do I pay my rent?

All rent must be paid by bank transfer.  We recommend that you set up a standing order for this.  As rent is due in advance, you will pay your first month’s rent to us before you get your keys, and your second month’s rent onwards will be due on the same date in the month as your tenancy start date (for example, if your tenancy starts 18 January, subsequent rents will be due on 18 February, 18 March and so on).  Our Applications Team will provide you with all the necessary details before your tenancy starts. 

What do I need to budget for as well as my rent?

You are responsible for the utility bills, council tax, broadband etc bills for the duration of your tenancy.  Although we will advise the utility companies and the council that you have moved in, you also need to contact them yourself to get your own accounts set up.  Where the property you are renting is an apartment, the landlord is responsible of the service charges made by the management company. 

Do I need to have any insurance?

Your landlord needs to insure the building but you would need to insure your personal possessions.  We strongly recommend that any Tenant’s Insurance policy you take out also includes cover for accidental damage to the landlord’s property (for example, an iron burn or red wine stain on a carpet).  Our Applications Team can help you with this.

What happens when something goes wrong at the property?

Occasionally things can go wrong or break down, but we make it really easy for you to report your issue.  Our online ‘Report a repair’ facility allows you to report your issue 24/7 and there’s helpful guidance on there of some basics check you can make first which could actually resolve things.  Why not check it out?  ‘Report a repair’

Reports are actioned throughout every working day.   Each matter is allocated a level of priority and we let you know which contractor will be attending.  Whilst our contractors will try to take your personal diary commitments into account, it’s important to appreciate that most contractors need access on weekdays between 8am and 5pm.

Tradesmen may need access on other occasions to ensure your health and safety (for example, to carry out gas or electric safety certifications) but you will be given plenty of advance notice about these visits.

Our ‘Welcome to your new home’ booklet provides helpful information about the property including emergency number for utilities

Does the landlord do the garden?

As a condition of your tenancy, you are expected to maintain the garden including cutting the grass, weeding, light pruning and keeping hedges trimmed.  However, your landlord, is required to take responsibility to maintain trees, carry out heavier and higher pruning, and look after fences. If you are in any doubt about how much you need to do in the garden at your home, please contact our Property Management Team.

Will the landlord let me decorate?

Your landlord would have to give their permission first.  Our Property Management Team would need an email from you giving some details of your request (for example, repainting the small bedroom in neutral colours).  We would liaise with your landlord and, if they agree, we then email back, documenting the scope of work they have approved. No work should ever be undertaken at a property without first asking for permission. 

Am I allowed to have a water meter?

If your tenancy agreement is for over 6 months and you are the account holder with the water company, you will be permitted to have a water meter installed at the property. However, you should contact our Property Management Team first and we will advise your landlord.

Am I allowed to have a smart meter?

If you are the account holder with the utility company, you will be permitted to have a smart meter installed at the property.  However, you should contact our Property Management Team first and we will advise your landlord.

Am I allowed to switch utility providers?

Yes, but you must notify us of the date you switch and give us the name of the new provider by contacting our Property Management Team.

Do you or the landlord ever visit the property?

Where we manage the property, as part of our service to the landlord, we inspect the property twice a year.  We contact you well in advance of the inspection due date.  Our visit takes around 10/15 minutes and is designed to enable us to confirm to your landlord that their property is being looked after.  There is no need for you to be at home for the inspection if we have a set of Agent keys for the property.  You have our assurance that the property will be secured before we leave. 
For landlord-managed properties your landlord will contact you directly.

What do I need to do if I want to stay on at the property?

Every tenancy is set up for an initial fixed term.  Often this is for an initial 12 months.  Where we manage the property, our Renewals Team will contact both you and your tenant well in advance of the expiry of the fixed term to find out whether you both want the let to continue.  Opting for a new fixed term gives you the security of a roof over your head for a further fixed period at a guaranteed rent.  If the landlord does not wish to offer another fixed period (for example, because they wish to put the property up for sale) notice will be served on you. Our Renewals Team will guide you, as necessary.

Are you regulated in any way?

Yes.  We are ARLA agents.  Being part of the Association of Residential Lettings Agents means that you can take comfort in knowing that we are professional agent working to the highest industry standards.  Additionally, all letting agents are required to be a member of a Redress Scheme and to have Client Money Protection.  We belong to The Property Ombudsman Ltd and Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme.  In relation to tenant deposits, we protect your deposit under the under the government approved scheme TDS www.tenancydepositscheme.com.

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