Information For Tenants
Once you have found the property you wish to rent there is an administrative process that needs to followed, this information should help you understand what is required before you can move in.
Holding Deposit – equivalent to one weeks rent
To secure the property you will need to pay the sum equivalent to one weeks rent, this enables us to take the property off the market whilst referencing is completed. This reservation fee will be automatically transferred over to your deposit at the commencement of your tenancy.
The referencing is undertaken by an independent company (Rent4Sure) and is required to ensure that you are a suitable tenant and to assess your ability to pay your rent, this will include a credit check, identification and banking details, references from previous landlords and details of your employment history. The normal criteria is that tenants should earn at least 2.5 times the annual rental in earnings before tax. Please note all occupants over the age of 18 may be required to be referenced and the total earnings can be shared between all tenants if required. If your earnings are not sufficient to cover the rent or if you have had previous credit issues we will ask you for a guarantor, this must be someone who lives in England or Wales and can cover your rental commitment in the event of a default.
Should you require a guarantor they will be contractually liable, both financially and legally, should you fail to pay your rent.
Once your referencing is complete, and found to be acceptable, an Assured Tenancy Agreement will be drawn up between you and the landlord. It is essential that you read this contract carefully, as the clauses are legally binding and enforceable. If you do not understand any of the clauses please ask us to clarify or consult a solicitor before signing. The Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement must be signed by all tenants prior to commencement of the tenancy.
Before you can move into the property the following monies will need to be paid:
- The first month’s rent. If you wish to pay on a certain day of the month this can be arranged with the Landlords consent by paying one month’s rent and any extra days calculated on a daily basis.
- Your deposit is the equivalent of five weeks rent which will be held by Ashdown Lettings & Property Management Ltd or your Landlord and registered with My Deposits or by your Landlord in the Government Scheme for as long as you remain the tenant of that property. The deposit is held against your obligations under the Tenancy Agreement.
- The Deposit will either be protected by Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited (TDSL) in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of TDSL. The Terms and Conditions and ADR Rules governing the protection of the Deposit, including the repayment process, can be found at mydeposits.co.uk or the Government Custodial Scheme, The Deposit Protection Service (DPS). The Terms and Conditions can be found at www.depositprotection.com
- These initial payments can be made in by bank transfer or cheque. If you wish to pay by personal cheque, payment must be received at least seven working days before the tenancy is due to commence. Unfortunately we cannot take card payments.
No keys will be released until all funds are cleared, and keys must be collected from the office, by appointment, within normal working hours.
Paying your rent
You will be asked to sign a Standing Order instructing your Bank to pay your rent on the due date or alternatively if you have online banking you can set this up yourself. The Standing Order will be signed when you sign your Tenancy Agreement.
If we have not received your rent on the due date, you will be sent a text/e-mail reminding you. If the rent remains unpaid after 7 days you will be sent a formal rent demand letter. You should immediately contact the office should you have any difficulty in paying your rent so that the Landlord can be informed of when payment can be expected.
An independent inventory of the contents, including condition, of the property will be taken on the day you take possession, and you will be given a copy of this document.
It is important that you check this inventory thoroughly before signing and returning to the office. We will send you a copy of the inventory which you should keep in a safe place with your tenancy agreement. You will need to refer to it at the end of your tenancy, as the inventory can often be the key in deciding how much of your deposit is returned to you at the end of your agreement.
You will have to check and make sure that all items are found and replaced in the order, room by room, as listed in the inventory. If you do not do this you will be charged for the extra time spent by the inspector, checking the inventory at the end of your tenancy.
The inventory will be used to decide whether damage, loss or breakage has occurred during your tenancy. The property will also be checked for cleanliness.
At the end of the tenancy you will be contacted by the independent inventory clerk to arrange the check out and given the opportunity to attend.
The tenant is responsible for paying for the services used such as – electricity, gas, oil, water, sewerage rates, council tax, telephone and TV licences, if applicable.
Loss or damage to your possessions is not included in your Landlords insurance policy. Please ensure that you have adequate insurance cover for your possessions and for your liability for the Landlords property.
To prevent damp air from condensing on surfaces including stored clothes, it is essential to ventilate the rooms by opening windows at least a few inches. Hot water, boiling kettles and showers create damp air. The first sign of condensation is water running down the glass on the inside of your windows. The next sign is the appearance of a black area in the corners of windows. The next sign is the appearance in the corners of windows and walls. The black areas can be cleaned off but if left, redecoration may be necessary and the cost of this work will be your responsibility.
We carry out routine inspections on all of our properties that are under full management.
Your first inspection will take place within two months after the start of your tenancy and every 16 weeks thereafter. You will be notified of upcoming inspection dates the week prior to the date.
Inspections can be carried out on a key held by us or by appointment if you wish to be present. If you wish to have inspections carried out by appointments you must call directly after receiving the letter and arrange a day and time or it will be assumed that entry by a key will be acceptable.
The purpose of an inspection is both to check that the property is being kept in good order and to see whether repairs are necessary. If the repairs are your responsibility, you will be notified and they must be completed within fourteen days.
If you cannot deal with the repairs you must let us know immediately and we can arrange for a quotation from one of our many trusted contractors, who will carry out the repairs and the cost will be debited to your account. If the repairs are the Landlords responsibility, you will be notified when the work will be carried out.
Emergencies and General Maintenance
In the event of the breakdown of any equipment or urgent repairs being necessary, you must notify our office immediately.
One of our trusted tradesmen, from our database of contractors, will then be asked to carry out the work. It is not necessary for you to be present, as with your agreement our contractors will be issued with a key to the property to carry out the works.
Your tenancy agreement
Once both you and your Landlord sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, you are legally committed to the term of lease agreed (minimum six months).
If for some unfortunate reason you find you cannot continue staying at the property, you must inform us immediately, confirming in writing that you wish to break the existing tenancy.
We will consult with the Landlord to ask if we can advertise for new tenants. Once new tenants are found you will have to pay your Landlords re-letting fees, and any rent due until the property is re-let, even if you no longer occupy the property.
If your Landlord re-occupies or the property is still un-let at your original termination date then your liability to pay any further rent ceases at that time.
To terminate your tenancy, you must give us at least 1 months’ notice in writing during the initial term of the Agreement and this notice must expire on the last day of the fixed term of the initial Agreement. If the initial Agreement is extended by your landlord you will be required to give 2 months’ notice when you do decide to leave the property. Again, notice must be given to expire on the last day of the fixed term of the agreement.
Extending your tenancy
Your tenancy will be for a fixed period of time. If you wish to continue renting after your termination date for a further six months or longer, it is important that you inform us in writing before the end of the tenancy period or when prompted by a letter from us.
If you are undecided whether to take a further fixed term you can apply for an extension. Your Landlord will consider your request provided that you have not already been served two months’ notice, your rent account is not in arrears and the property has been kept in good order. You will be advised accordingly.
If both you and your Landlord agree to an extension, the existing tenancy agreement will “roll on” month by month, however the tenant must still serve us with two months’ written notice and the Landlord must serve two months’ notice under the Housing Act 1998 to the tenant.
Ending your tenancy
The period of notice required will be set out in your tenancy agreement and you must abide by this if you intend to leave. Once you have stated your intention to end your tenancy we will then advise you on the timescales and procedures that need to be put in place.
On the day, or very soon after you vacate the property a full check out an independent inspection will be carried out. This will be a full check of the inventory for any missing items, damage or dilapidation’s which you are responsible for. The cost will be debited against your deposit for any repairs, replacements or cleaning required to restore the property to its original condition.
At this time utility readings will be taken and sent to the companies for the final accounts to be prepared any bill with monies due will be sent to you at your forwarding address for immediate settlement.
If you vacate the property before the end of the tenancy, you will remain responsible for the utilities and paying the rent until the check-out date. You must hand over all the keys you hold for the property and, if you haven’t already done so, remove all your possessions. If all keys are not returned the locks will be changed and the cost of the new locks debited from your deposit.
After your check out and when we are satisfied that all utility accounts have been settled and any damage has been made good and missing items replaced or compensated for, the balance of your deposit will be refunded.
Your Landlords will honour their obligations in respect of your property through their Agents Ashdown Lettings & Property Management Ltd In turn we expect you to honour your obligations. You are taking a tenancy of a property, to which your landlord has given considerable thought, care and attention in setting up in order to provide a good standard of accommodation. Please respect the property accordingly and treat it as though it were your own home.