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We understand that there are often questions that come to mind when preparing to rent a property, sometimes these questions arise after you have viewed your potential new home or even after your tenancy has commenced.
Below we offer answers to some of the most asked questions that tenants raise with us.
WHY DO I NEED TO PROVIDE REFERENCES?
As we are acting on behalf of Landlords that have placed their trust in us, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we only offer properties to suitable tenants who can demonstrate affordability and stability. We have a professional duty to check your identity and eligibility to rent a property in the UK.
WHY WOULD YOU ASK FOR A GUARANTOR?
It is not unusual for a Landlord to ask for a Guarantor to be provided. This could be because your income may not be sufficient to pass an affordability check without bonuses or overtime that is not guaranteed, or if you have previous credit issues. It should not be concerning to you.
WHY DO YOU ASK FOR A TENANCY DEPOSIT?
We ask you to pay a Tenancy deposit as a form of security to the Landlord against any damage that may be caused during you tenancy or if you have failed to pay your full rent upon departure.
TENANCY DEPOSIT PROTECTION SCHEME
As members of the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme operated by My Deposits, you can be assured that your tenancy deposit will be registered and protected in full compliance with regulations. We pride ourselves on the small number of deposit issues arising at the end of our tenancies and work hard to ensure a fair apportionment where issues do arise.
All of our tenants are provided with a guidance leaflet ‘What is the Tenancy Deposit Scheme?’ supplied by the scheme operator, this can also be downloaded, further information is available from the scheme provider.
Whilst we have no responsibility to ensure you as a tenant insure your own property, we always advise that it is good practice to have sound contents insurance cover.
As a tenant, where you are occupying someone else’s property we do insist that you take out insurance providing cover for accidental cover for any Landlord’s contents at the property. This provides you with the assurance that an unforeseen accident (such as spilled glass of wine staining a Landlord’s carpet) will be covered for replacement, saving any implications on your tenancy deposit.
Specialist insurance for tenants is available at small cost from a number of providers, please call us for further information.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR HOME
All tenants have obligations and responsibilities that they should adhere to. However there are some simple steps to looking after your home which will not only help you comply with these obligations but also increase your likelihood of reducing issues when you come to hand back the property at the end of your tenancy.
GETTING TO KNOW YOUR HOME
Make sure when you move in, you know where your meters and stopcocks are and familiarise yourself with any specific property features such as, alarm systems, electrical consumer units, heating controls etc. We will normally explain these to you when you move in, but if you need assistance we are always happy to help.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR HOME
There are some simple things that a tenant can do to take care of the property, reporting any issues or problems promptly enables us to deal with repairs before they become significant.
If you wish to engage services for tasks such as cleaning, gardening, appliances cleaning during or at the end of your tenancy we can recommend suppliers who understand the standards required and are happy to provide individual quotations.
When you take over a property, you will need to speak to the utility suppliers and arrange transfer of accounts into your name. We will of course provide you with the name of existing suppliers and meter readings.
You are welcome to change suppliers at any time during your tenancy; all we ask is that you tell us who the new suppliers are so that we know who to talk to when you move on. We are often asked how much it costs to run a home, whilst we can supply you with a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) showing the energy efficiency of the home, we cannot advise on actual running costs as these will depend on supplier tariffs and individual family usage.
Please note that under the terms of your Tenancy Agreement, you are responsible for all utility charges and council tax for the full duration of your tenancy term, unless otherwise agreed. You will be asked to pay these even if you move from the property before the tenancy has officially ended. When moving you should give the utility supplier and Local Authority your end of tenancy date even though this may not be your actual moving date.
WHAT IF MY HOME NEEDS REPAIR?
If you discover problems or faults with your home, please talk to us as soon as possible. We can then evaluate what is required and with Landlord approval arrange repairs. Pease don’t leave things to deteriorate as this may lead to increased damage and cost and you may be asked to contribute to the repair cost.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A TENANT?
Your responsibilities are defined in your Tenancy Agreement. This is a legally binding contract between you and your Landlord. Your Landlord has obligations too.
CAN YOU OR MY LANDLORD COME INTO MY HOME?
Of course we want you to enjoy your home without disturbance or interference. However because we have to look after the property for the Landlord we will need to visit to carry out inspections and undertake repairs. When access is required we will always provide you with as much notice as we can (and not less than 24 hours), unless it is a genuine emergency. Please note that in the case of repairs, our staff will be carrying out numerous jobs each day of various durations, we cannot always therefore give you a specific time for a visit, although we will always try and confirm an am or pm slot.
WHAT ABOUT RENEWING MY TENANCY?
When signing a tenancy agreement you are committing to a legal contract to take the property for the duration of the tenancy. As such, you will be responsible for the rent and bills as detailed until the tenancy end date. When the end of your initial tenancy period approaches you will be offered a new contract (typically for 12 or 6 months duration), renewals are subject to a good payment record, satisfactory tenancy conduct and landlord agreement. Sometimes landlords will allow their tenants to remain on the original or prior renewal tenancy contract running month to month however, this depends on each landlord’s individual requirements. Under the conditions of all our tenancy agreements at least two months’ notice in writing is required, on a rent day. This must be done at the end of any given tenancy period or renewal even if you are running month to month. It is always best to check with us when you first think of even potentially giving notice in order to avoid any contractual misunderstandings.
WHAT IF I WANT TO LEAVE EARLY?
It is important to understand that when you sign a tenancy agreement, you agree and commit yourself for the full tenancy term. Where particular circumstances mean you need to leave early then you should talk to your property manager as soon as possible. Your property manager may be able to agree with the landlord that the property should be re-marketed and new tenants found however, this is entirely at the discretion of each individual landlord. You will remain responsible for the property and financial commitments, including administration charges incurred by us until such time as the property is re-let or the tenancy reaches a natural end.
For any further queries please contact a member of our staff.
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