A TENANT’S GUIDE FOR RESIDENTIAL LETTINGS
Property Sisters have compiled the following guide for use by prospective Tenants. Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to telephone our office on 020 3745 7456.
We are a member of the ARLA Propertymark
Our membership number is: M00004105
We are a member of The Property Ombudsman Redress Scheme
Our membership number is: D12776
The Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document between the Tenant and Landlord that states the Property address, date and length of term, amount of rental and rights and responsibilities of both parties.
Prior to the commencement of the Tenancy, we are required by the Landlord to take up suitable references requesting confirmation of the Tenant’s ability to meet the commitment in question.
Most applicants must complete a Tenant Assessment Application Form. For this service, we use a company called Vouch Referencing who are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). This is a comprehensive assessment for which there is no charge for the tenants.
In the event of an individual/company acting as Guarantor of the Tenant the above references rules also apply.
Sometimes, we are asked to undertake the traditional referencing process and may ask for letters of reference from employers, previous Landlords and a financial corporation such as Bank or Building Society.
Once an offer has been agreed, subject-to-contract and references, it is normal practice for us to request a holding deposit of one weeks’ rent in respect of the proposed tenancy. At this stage, this deposit does not constitute a formal tenancy for the property, nor does it secure the accommodation.
Should the Applicant/s withdraw from the transaction prior to completion of a formal tenancy, the holding deposit or part of it may be retained.
Should the Landlord decide not to proceed with the tenancy, then the holding deposit will be refunded to the Applicant/s in full.
The Holding Deposit can be applied towards the first month’s rent with the consent of the tenant, or other relevant person, otherwise it must be returned to the tenant (or other relevant person).
A security deposit, usually equal to five weeks’ rent, will be held for the duration of the tenancy by either the Landlord or the Agent against any damage, dilapidations, missing items, etc., or cleaning required at the property. For all Assured Shorthold tenancies starting from 6th April 2007, Deposits will be held in line with current legislation issued by the Government, Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS). Property Sisters is a member of The Dispute Service and are legally entitled to hold deposits in accordance with the terms and conditions of the scheme. We do not charge to register your deposit. This deposit cannot be used as rent.
Further information is available at www.depositprotection.com or www.arla.co.uk. After the Inventory check at the end of the Tenancy, and provided the property has been left in the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, the deposit will be returned, as per the Tenancy Agreement conditions.
Before you move into a property we require cleared funds for the first payment of rent and security deposit. The rent is negotiated prior to the start of a tenancy and is usually equivalent to a calendar month’s rent but sometimes is negotiated on a quarterly or six monthly basis. Please allow seven working days for the clearance of a personal cheque. Forms of accepted cleared funds are:- cash, traveller’s cheques, bankers draft and direct bank transfer.
The Tenant will be required to transfer the gas, electricity, telephone and the water utility bills and associated documentation into his/her name, and it is his/her responsibility to ensure that all relevant application forms have been completed and deposits paid.
Please contact British Telecom on 0800 800150 or by dialling 150 and quoting the telephone number you are taking over and they will advise you on how to apply for the service.
Please contact the Electricity Supply Enquiry Line on 0845 60000102 and they will advise you of your supplier. They will ask for the address and postcode and possibly the meter number.
Please contact Transco on 0870 6081524 and they will advise you of your supplier. They will ask for the address and postcode and possibly the meter number.
Please contact Thames Water on 0845 9200888 and again their accounts department will advise you how to take over the service.
An Inventory will be provided by the Landlord at the start of the tenancy to be checked in either by himself or by an independent Inventory Clerk on his/her behalf. At the end of the tenancy, the Inventory will be checked out by an independent Inventory Clerk and the cost of the check-out will be borne by the Landlord. In the event that the property has not been handed back in a satisfactory condition and, therefore, requires further cleaning, repairs or works undertaken after the tenancy has ended, and an Inventory has to be re-done, then this cost will also be borne by the Landlord.
It is the Tenant’s responsibility to pay Council Tax due for the period of the tenancy. We will provide details of the local council and the Tenant should contact them directly to take over payment of this tax.
It is the Tenant’s responsibility to ensure that there is a current TV licence relevant to the property during the term of the tenancy.
It is the Landlord’s responsibility to insure the property and its contents as stated in the Inventory. It is the Tenant’s responsibility to insure any contents brought into the property.
The keys to the property will be handed over at the commencement of the Tenancy. All keys should be handed back at the end of the Tenancy, including any spares that may have been made. Failure to do so will result in changed locks, for which the tenant will be charged.
Towards the expiration of the initial Agreement, the Tenant will be contacted to establish if a further term of tenancy is required. If both Landlord and Tenant wish to extend the tenancy, we will prepare the necessary documentation for signature. There will be no charge for this.
END OF THE TENANCY
At the end of the tenancy the Tenant should leave the property clean and tidy and in the condition it was in at the start of the tenancy, as detailed in the Inventory. If furniture has been moved, please ensure that it is moved back to where it was originally located.
The Tenant must contact the Utility Companies to finalise the accounts and provide the Agent with a forwarding address and bank details for the return of any deposit/monies.
Please provide Property Sisters with a copy of your utility bills (i.e. gas, electricity, water and phone) or a list providing the suppliers’ names and their contact numbers, in order that this information may be passed on to the next Tenant.
If Property Sisters is managing the property, then please contact us with any queries and we will deal with these. If we are not managing the property, the Tenant should contact the Landlord. However, we will do our best to help with any problems that may arise.