TENANT’S GUIDE TO RENTING:
IMPORTANT DOCUMENT TO READ:
IDENTIFICATION: When making an application to rent a property we will require some form of identification such as a Driving Licence/Passport/Utility Bill or Council Tax Bill Employers letters.
APPLICATION TO RENT AND REFERENCES: After viewing a property, which you agree you wish to rent, we will require you to complete an application form in order that references can be taken up on behalf of our Client. We use an Independent Credit/ Referencing Company, the cost of which is £75 including VAT per application. For International Referencing the cost is £95 plus VAT and is non–refundable. We will also require a holding sum (the administration fee) of £250 including VAT. However, should a tenancy not commence due to unacceptable references or the Tenant withdraws, or 7 days elapse between acceptance and the proposed start up date then this payment is non-returnable.
GUARANTORS: In some cases a Guarantor is required to guarantee the rent payments. If this is the case, we will require the person nominated to complete a separate reference form, the cost of which is £35 inclusive of VAT, to be paid by the Tenant/s. The Guarantor will also need to call into this Office on the day the tenancy commences, to sign the Legally Binding Guarantor Indemnity form together with both copies of the tenancy agreement.
START UP COSTS: Once reference/credit checks have been received, we will obtain instructions from our Client to proceed and agree a start date. At that time, an administration fee (the holding sum) of £250 including VAT will need be paid to cover the cost of producing the Tenancy Agreements, together with the Inventory and Schedule of Condition at the start of any tenancy. At the end of the tenancy an Inventory check out cost of £60 including VAT will be charged, which may cost more depending on the size of the property. It is difficult to quote an exact figure in this document, as it depends on the size of the property you are intending to rent and the contents therein.
PAYMENTS: Payments must be made in cash/bank transfer/Chaps/Backs or by Visa/Mastercard. If a card is used a 3% charge will be made on top of the amount to be paid.
DEPOSIT: When the tenancy commences, you will need to pay a sum, which is held, normally between one month and one and a half calendar month’s rent. (However, in some cases a larger amount is required). This sum is held by us as Stakeholders, in our separate Client’s Bank Account to conform to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme or the Deposit Protection Scheme (Custodial) under the Housing Act 2004. We are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for regulated agents. We will endeavour to negotiate between the Landlord and the Tenant if at the end of any tenancy damaged has been caused to the property. However, if we cannot reach agreement between the parties within a 14 day period, we will send the disputed amount to The Dispute Service Ltd at P O Box 541 – Amersham – Berks HP6 6ZR (08452 267837) and the Tenant agrees to abide by the Arbitrators decision or will need to take action through the Courts to recover the disputed amount. There is no interest accruing to the Tenant on money held. The sum retained is returnable at the end of the tenancy subject to any damage/dilapidations/unpaid rent/costs plus inventory check out fee etc. In some cases, we are prepared to consider a Local Authority Damage Deposit and other Schemes of a similar nature. Should we receive a request from a third party for a reference to be provided on an existing Tenant, and then you will be charged £35 including VAT for this service.
INVENTORY CHECK OUT: At the end of your tenancy and after the keys have been returned to this office, the inventory check out will be carried out using the inventory and schedule of condition, which was sent to you when you first moved in to check and return to this office with any amendments. As previous stated a charge of £60 including VAT will be charged but this could cost more depending on the size of the property.
After taking fair wear and tear into account and discussing the matter with the landlord, the deposit or balance of deposit will be returned, less the inventory check out charge of £60 including VAT on an unfurnished property. This figure will increase on furnished properties.
PETS: If you submit an application to rent and you wish to have a pet at the property, you must inform us when you hand in your application forms, as we will need to take Client’s instructions.
In some cases Landlords may consider allowing a Tenant to have a pet but if permission is granted, then an additional £100 including VAT will need to be paid prior to the tenancy commencing to enable the Landlord to have the carpets professionally cleaned and fumigated at the end of the tenancy. Any damage caused by a pet will be deemed to be the responsibility of the Tenant and any pet would be expected to be treated with the appropriate Flea treatment as recommended by a Vet on a regular basis.
RENT PAYMENTS: If we are involved in the Management, rent is paid directly to us on or before the rent day and this can be paid by standing order, cash /cheque or by Credit card/Visa/Mastercard. Should we only have been asked to introduce Tenants, on a Let only basis, then rent payments are to be made directly to the Landlord. If you are entitled to Housing Benefit then we will assist you in completing the Pre-Tenancy Determination Form, and the various Housing Benefit Forms. In all cases the Tenant is responsible for the full rent due each month.
Our Clients have regular commitments to make in respect of mortgage payments etc., and rely on rent being paid on time. Should you experience any problems with rent payments during the tenancy then it is vitally important that you contact this office immediately. We will have no hesitation in obtaining possession of the property you occupy if rent is not paid and will proceed to obtain a County Court Judgement against you for the rent, plus costs with the various implications involved. This would obviously make it very difficult for you to rent another property and affect your Credit worthiness.
CONTENTS INSURANCE: We recommend that all Tenants take out Contents Insurance not only to cover your own possessions but also to cover any damage to the Landlord’s items. The Tenant should provide the Landlord or his Agent with a copy of the Insurance Certificate.
TENANCY AGREEMENT: A legally binding Assured Shorthold Tenancy is drawn up between you and the Landlord, normally for a minimum fixed period of 6 months. This could be extended or renewed for a further period on the anniversary date with agreement reached between the parties. If there is a Guarantor then they will also be expected to call in at that time to sign the Guarantor Indemnity paperwork and both copies of the Tenancy agreement. This document is signed in our Office and would be prepared for signature after midday. At that time you will need to pay the first month’s rent/and sum retained and the keys of the property will be released to you, (see Payments heading). A copy of the Tenancy Agreement will be forwarded onto you and any other interested parties during the course of the following week.
SERVICES: Prior to the start date we will arrange to take meter readings where appropriate and write to the Utility Companies informing them that you are responsible for these charges from the start date of the tenancy when we are involved in the management of the property, otherwise you will need to make contact with each of the utility companies where we are only involved in letting the property.
REPAIRS: When we are involved in the Management of a property the Tenant is responsible for notifying our office immediately of any repairs that need to be carried out. We will then instruct one of our Contractors to contact you to arrange an appointment to call and either carry out the work or provide and estimate. If it is found that any repair work is needed due to damage or negligence then it will be your responsibility to settle the account from the Contractor. Likewise, if an appointment is made for a Contractor to call or one of our Representatives, and this is not kept by you, then a minimum charge of £30 including VAT will be made, which you will be responsible to pay.
Should you not understand any of the Clauses outlined above then you should discuss the matter with a member of our Staff or take advice from The citizens Advice Bureau/ Solicitor or Legal Advisor.
If you wish to make a complaint to the firm of David Seymour/Mason Harris Ltd then this should be put in writing and addressed to the Managing Director. (2/14)