Renting Guide

Here is a handy guide with some of the most commonly asked questions about renting a property.

Q: Who pays the Estate Agent?
A: The landlord is responsible for paying the estate agents fees and costs. The tenant is responsible for paying an administration fee and reference fee.

Q: When I find a place how long is it before I can move in?
A: Typically it takes a week or so to sort out the necessary paperwork although in exceptional cases this can be done even quicker.

Q: What about references?
A: To protect our clients interests we will want to take up comprehensive references. We do this using a “One Stop” referencing system.

You will be required to fill in an application form which we will then fax through to the credit referencing agency who will make all the necessary enquiries on our behalf. We usually get the replies within 2 working days.

You will be asked to pay an up front, non-returnable fee of £50.00 per person for the referencing process. This must be paid in cash. Plus £100.00 administrative fee.

Q: How much money will I need?
A: You will need to pay a deposit (usually equivalent to one month’s rent), one month’s rent in advance, and stamp duty costs (if applicable). We will need to be in possession of cleared funds before the keys to the property are handed over.

Q: What about pets?
A: Pets are generally excluded, but exceptions can be made with the written consent of the landlord.

Q: What about the garden?
A: Please remember that if you are renting a house and unless otherwise stated you will be responsible for maintaining the garden.

If at the end of the tenancy the garden is not in good order the landlord may deduct the cost of bringing it back to standard from the deposit.

We can put you in touch with gardeners who can help in this matter if required.

Q: How do I pay?
A: The deposit, first month’s rent should be paid In cash or by bankers draft/building society cheque.

If paid by personal cheque, ten days will be needed to clear it before possession can be granted, alternatively the cheque can be express cleared at the tenants cost.

The subsequent rental payments are made by standing order, the authority for which must be completed at the time the tenancy agreement is signed.

Q: How much is the deposit and what is it for?
A: This is normally equivalent to one month’s rent (in some cases the deposit can be greater or less). Current legislation states that all deposits taken must be safeguarded.

We are a member of the Tenancy Deposits Scheme, so, your deposit will be held under the terms of the scheme. This assures both landlord and tenant that the deposit monies are safe.

Remember that the deposit is held until the end of the tenancy and cannot be used as the last months rent.

Provided you ensure that the property is handed back in clean and substantially the same condition as it was when you took occupation there should be little delay in returning the deposit at the end of a tenancy. We can arrange (at your expense) for cleaners and gardeners to help you if required.

If there is any dispute at the end of the tenancy it will be handled by the TDS.

Q: What about insurance?
A: It is your responsibility and in your interest to insure your own possessions and to provide accidental damage insurance against the landlord’s furniture and effects, in particular, carpets, curtains, lounge suites etc.

The landlord has the responsibility to insure the building. If you are in any doubt we can provide details of specialised policies at favourable premiums especially designed for tenants.

Q: What furniture will I need?
A: If a property is unfurnished it will normally have carpets and curtains, and a cooker, but you will need to provide all other furnishings.

If the property is furnished it will usually include all the basic furniture and fittings required including fridge and cooker, however it will not usually include a TV and may not include a washing machine.

Q: What is the Inventory for?
A: An inventory is prepared at the commencement to record and note the condition of all items of furniture and fittings which are included.

At the end of the term it is used as a checklist to establish whether or not any retention should be made from the deposit as compensation for any breakages, losses or damages which have occurred.

Q: What about the gas, electric, water and telephone?
A: It is your responsibility to pay for the use of gas, electricity, water and the telephone including the standing charges.

Q: How do I ensure utilities and services are continued?
A: Once the tenancy agreement has been signed. However it is your responsibility to ensure an account has been opened in your name.

You may be required to pay a deposit or agree to a payment plan if you have not previously been a customer.

If taking over a telephone line, you will need to contact BT Sales (dial 150). If the line has been disconnected prior to you contacting BT, you will be required to pay a reconnection charge.

Q: What about the Council Tax?
A: It is your responsibility to inform the appropriate authorities and to pay the Council Tax for the period you occupy the property.

Q: What about service charges?
A: The landlord is usually responsible for the service charges (if payable) unless agreed otherwise.

Q: How long does a tenancy normally last?
A: Normally for a minimum period of six months and a maximum of one year. At the end of the term, you can, subject to the agreement of the landlord, enter into a new tenancy for a further period of between 6 months and 1 year.

Q: What if I go away?
A: The property is your responsibility whilst you are away and you need to take all reasonable precautions, for example ensuring that all doors and windows are secured, the alarm, if any, is set and that papers, milk etc are cancelled.

During the winter you will need to take all reasonable precautions against freezing and bursts. This will include leaving heating to run 24 hours a day at a low level.

If you are going to be away for more than 2 or 3 days it is advisable to let us, or if we are not managing the property during the tenancy, the landlord know.

Who pays for what?

Here is a summary of who's responsibility it is to pay for which items:

Tenant

- Referencing fee
- Administration fee
- Deposit and first months rent
- Rent
- Gas
- Electricity
- Telephone
- Council tax
- Accidental damage cover for contents
- Check-out
- Water charges

 




Landlord

- Buildings Insurance
- Estate Agents fees
- Service Charge
- Tenancy agreement
- Check-in
- General maintenance