Information for tenants to let
What do I have to pay to the Agent?
You should not pay introductory fees, but there will be certain costs for you to cover, for setup fees, including the preparation of the tenancy agreement, and taking up references.
What money do I need to find at the beginning?
Normally at least the first months rent in advance and the equivalent of a month to six weeks rent to be held as a deposit against damage and dilapidation’s (and the setup fees noted above).
What information will I need to supply?
The address of referees for the Agent to write and confirm your ability to meet the rental commitment. These will normally include you bank or building society, employer, previous landlords or for some, your solicitor and/or accountant.
What is a tenancy agreement?
It is a legally binding document between you and the land lord, applicable only to you and the property you are renting, that states the amount of rent, the length of the tenancy, your rights and responsibilities. Your agreement will probably be an Assured or an Assured Short hold tenancy under the Housing Act 1988. For bona fide companies and/or rental values over £25,000 a year, the agreement will be drawn up under a contract law..
What is a holding deposit? Do I get it back?
Holding deposits – usually a nominal amount – can be required when you make an offer on a property. If, for any reason, you decide not to go ahead by an agreed date, the holding deposit will be retained against setup fees already incurred. If the landlord decides not to proceed, then the holding deposit will be returned. Paying a holding deposit in no way obliges either party to enter into the tenancy.
What must I do at the end of a tenancy?
Ensure you fulfill your obligations stated in the tenancy agreement to leave the property in the condition it was in at the start, or deductions will be made from your deposit. These will include through cleaning and all linen, used or not, freshly laundered. If you have moved furniture, return it to where you found it at the time of inventory.
How long is a typical let?
Most agents require it to be a minimum of six months and rarely write a tenancy agreement for longer than a year.
How long does it all take?
Normally, seven to ten working days to take up and confirm references, clear your cheque covering the first rent period and the deposit, arrange for inventories and the transfer of utility accounts into your name. No professional agent can allow you possession before all this has been done.
What are my responsibilities?
Your responsibilities should be clearly stated in your tenancy agreement, which you should read carefully before you sign. If you have any doubt you should not hesitate to ask the agent. It is the duty for a professional agent to ensure that anyone entitled to rely on them is offered correct advice.
What happens if I want to stay on? Leave early?
Tenancies are frequently renewed, and Agents often agree terms for renewal at the beginning, and include them in the tenancy agreement. If you are likely to leave before the end of the original term agreed, you must negotiate break clauses to be written into the agreement. If not, you will remain responsible for the rent until the end of the term agreed, unless a new and satisfactory tenant can be found.
Who has been holding my deposit?
The agent will lodge your deposit in a deposit protection scheme(DPS). You will be provided with paperwork explaining the scheme were your deposit will be held. Shortly after your deposit is lodged you will receive a pin number direct from the DPS with instructions of how to claim your deposit back at the end of your tenancy.
What else do I have to pay for?
The tenant pays the utility bills, such as gas, electricity, and telephone during the course of the tenancy, TV license, etc; and the Council Tax applicable to the property.
How do I get my deposit back?
Provided that the property is satisfactory on the final check out and no arrears on your rental account you apply direct to the DPS who will in turn email the agent to ensure that the rent account was clear and that there was no damage or cleaning required. Deposits can not be offset against the last rental due.