We will usually have a good selection of properties available for you to view. We offer flexible viewing times and are open 6 days a week. You will need to register your details and criteria with our branch before we are able to book you in any appointments. You can do this online, in branch or over the telephone.
A reservation fee equivalent of 1 weeks rent (not subject to VAT) will be required once you have found a property you like and an offer has been accepted. This is in order to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The 'reservation fee' will be held by us and deducted from the first month’s 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 'reservation fee' will be retained in order to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full).
None of the 'reservation fee' 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 'reservation fee' shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord or agent to take further action, confident in the knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property.
• 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
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)
From 1st June 2019 letting agents in England will only be able to make permitted payments to tenants. Permitted payments as defined under the legislation only include the following:
1. The rent.
2. Refundable tenancy deposit – capped at no more than five week’s rent where the annual rent is less than £50,000 or 6 weeks’ where the total rent is £50,000 or above.
3. Refundable holding deposit – capped at no more than one week’s rent.
4. Payments to change the tenancy – where requested by the tenant capped at £50 (or reasonable costs if higher).
5. Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy – where requested by the tenant. This must not exceed the financial loss that a landlord may suffer, or reasonable costs that have been incurred by the landlord’s agent resulting from an agreement for the tenant to leave early.
6. Payments for utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax.
7. Default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of lost key/security devices, where required, under a tenancy agreement – default fees can only apply when this has been written into the tenancy agreement and covers late payment of rent, a lost key or security device. The amount of default fee is limited to 3% over the Bank of England base rate for each
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, unless otherwise agreed at offer stage. We will usually contact you within two months of 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.
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 reservation fee previously paid.
This is made up of the following:
Deposit normally equal to five weeks rent.
The first month’s rent in advance.
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.
We are often instructed to manage the property on the landlord’s behalf. 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. We will deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an on going problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any problems you feel need attention as soon as possible.
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.
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.
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 month’s steps are taken to prevent freezing of the water and heating system. It is the tenant’s responsibility to insure their own belongings.
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.
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, as per your statutory obligations. Your notice should coincide with the rent due date.
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. Deposits will be returned within 14 working days of the end of your tenancy.