Residential Tenant

Information Pack

 

 

Lettings and Property Management Head Office

 

12 High Street

Higham Ferrers

Northamptonshire

NN10 8BL

 

01933 311121

 

lettings@charlesorlebar.co.uk

 

www.charlesorlebar.co.uk

 

Letting and managing property throughout the East Midlands area

 

Member of the following professional trade bodies

 

 

           
 
   
 
   
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Contents

 

Client Money Protection

Page 3

Our Letting Process

 

            What is a Tenancy

Page 3

            Timeline of Events

Page 3

Pre-Tenancy

 

            Reservation of a property

Page 3

            DSS and Housing Benefits

Page 3

            Pets

Page 3

            Guarantors

Page 4

RESERVATION Of The Property

 

            Holding Deposit

Page 4

            Right To Rent

Page 4

            Licensees

Page 4

            Satellite/cable, Telephone & Broadband

Page 4

            Keys

Page 4

            Condition report and Inventory

Page 4

            Tenancy Deposit

Page 5

            Deposit rent & Protection benefits

EXCHANGE – “Signing Tenancy”

Page 5

 

            Tenancy Agreement

Page 5

            Monies required for Completion “Check In”

Page 5

COMPLETION – “Check In”

 

            Payment of Rent and arrears

Page 6

            Insurance

Page 6

            Utilities

Page 6

            Extensions, amendments and Renewals

Page 6

            Periodic inspections – Managed Tenancies only

Page 6

            Maintenance – Managed Tenancies only

Page 6

Check Out

 

            Managing agent reference

Page 7

Summary of costs for taking a tenancy

 

            Charges

            

Page 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Client Money Protection

As a professional business and member of PropertyMark ARLA we maintain an insurance policy that is designed to protect you and your landlord against misappropriation of any monies we handle on your behalf.  This protection is vital to you and is only available to fully audited Letting Agents.

 

Our Letting Process

 

What is a Tenancy

In simple terms – the landlord (owner of the property) retains the ownership of the property but gives consent with conditions for you to occupy and live there in return for a payment of rent.  The Landlord and Tenants act and its various revisions provides the instruments of statute that make up the basic tenancy agreement stating the obligations upon both the landlord and tenant to each other, therein the grounds for enforcement when one party is in breach of the agreement.

 

Taking on a tenancy requires consideration and understanding of your responsibilities.  We will be happy to discuss this with you in detail should you choose to take on one of our properties.

 

Throughout your dealing with us we will be acting for the landlord as “Landlords Agent”.  This is not unique to us as all letting agent act in this manner.  Depending on our terms of engagement we provide three levels of service to the landlord:

 

Tenant Find – we find a tenant for a landlord and they then manage the property and take the rent directly.

 

Tenant Find and Rent demand – as above but we then collect the rent, manage the arrears and collection process.

 

Tenancy Management – This includes all of the above plus management of the property and any maintenance.

 

Timeline of events governing your application process

 

  • Undergo tenant interview process and present all required documentation in support of your application
  • Reference and access suitability and credibility of all tenants and guarantors
  • Secure Landlords AcceptanceIssue Tenancy documents to the tenant for Signature
  • Exchange on Signature and Confirm Check In date, time and location
  • Monies received
  • Certify and prepare the property
  • Check In - Completion

Pre-Tenancy

The following pages will answer the many questions you may have about the procedure involved in renting a property.  Please ensure you read through this document as it will help you to make an informed decision.

 

Having viewed a property and decided that you would like to make an application, we will invite you in for a tenant interview whereby all parties would need to attend with the relevant documents required to support your application. It is at this meeting that we would make a preliminary assessment of your suitability to let the property.

 

Once this process has been completed and the landlord has agreed to proceed, full references will be taken on all applicants.  All persons over the age of 18 years of age, who will reside at the property, will undergo references and be deemed to be a tenant or included on the tenancy agreement as a named occupier, depending on their circumstances and the wishes of the landlord. A Right to Rent check will be required for all occupiers aged 18 years and over.

 

The cost of Referencing is covered by the landlord and therefore it matters that the information you provide is truthful and accurate.  Should references be refused as a result of any material fact omitted by the tenant, the property will be re-marketed, and your Holding Deposit will be not refunded.

 

DSS, Housing Benefit & Universal Credit

Not all landlords can accept tenants who are supported by the DSS (Social Security payments).  The principle reason often relates to the conditions of the mortgage lender, as a result of the authorities right to recover any rent paid in the event of a fraudulent benefit claim.  Where a landlord will accept DSS or benefit payments a guarantor will be required.

 

Pets

Not all landlords accept pets.  Should you have a pet we will need to know the type, age and number in order to advise the landlord to gain their consent. 

 

With the change in Law that restricts the maximum value of any tenancy deposit to Five Weeks Rent Value, Landlords now insist on a monthly pet premium which represents an increase in the rent. 

 

Typical Pet Premiums start at £25 per month per pet and is payable for the term of tenancy irrespective of the pet being in occupancy for the full term.

 

Guarantors

A suitable guarantor may be required to support a tenancy for various reasons.  Typically, on grounds of affordability, status and age.  A guarantor is liable for unpaid rent and damages associated with the tenancy for as long as the Tenants are in tenancy.  Requirements for an acceptable guarantor are that they need to be a homeowner, over the age of 18, in full time employment, have a clean credit history and be a UK resident.

 

Reservation of The Property

 

A Holding Deposit that represents One Weeks Rent Value is required to secure the property for a maximum period of 15 Calendar days as stipulated by law.   This statutory period can be extended by mutual agreement as there are typically instances where this is required – i.e. Tenant in occupation at the time of reservation.

 

This is subject to the signing of our “Reservation Form” and its associated terms and conditions.  This will require your signature.  If you are successful in your referencing these Monies will contribute to your first month’s rent.

 

This deposit will not be returned if:

 

1          The tenant notifies the landlord or letting agent before the deadline for agreement that they have decided not to enter into a tenancy agreement.

2          The tenant fails a Right to Rent check regardless of when the deposit was accepted.

3          The tenant provides false or misleading information to the landlord or letting agent, which the landlord is reasonably entitled to consider in deciding whether to grant the tenancy because this materially affects their suitability to rent the property.

4          The tenant fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement.

 

References typically take approximately one week to be completed.  Any extension to this period is typically caused by employers and/or your previous landlord/managing agent not acting promptly.  Given the holding period restriction it is vital that you make a point of personally pursuing these replies. 

 

Right to Rent Checks 

Law requires that every tenant and licensee must undergo a formal “Right to Rent” check.  This involves an ID Check and Immigration Status Check.  This applies to all age groups and may have to be repeated mid tenancy as children turn 18 years of age or any visa has time related limitations. This check must be carried out in person, within 28 days of the start date of the tenancy, therefore a second visit to the office may be required.

 

Additional occupants under licenses

In certain circumstances, additional occupants over 18 years of age can occupy the tenanted property under a license; typically, non-working teenage children of the tenant family.

 

Satellites, tv aerials, telephone and broadband

Typically, the property is provided without any of these services.  Please do not assume that there is a service just because they have a phone socket, dish or aerial.  Any installation or connection will require the landlords consent and any costs associated are payable by you the tenant.

 

Keys

Only one front door key per tenant is available for each of our properties.  Should you require further keys please advise us well before you take the property on so that the keys can be cut and tested in good time.

 

Condition report and inventory

The law changed as from 6th April 2007 requiring that all tenancy deposits are held as part of a regulated scheme.  These deposit schemes require the condition report and/or inventory to be part of the legal documentation of your tenancy.

 

Prior to moving a tenant into a property, we carry out an Inventory and Condition Report.  This is for the benefit of both you and the landlord.  It represents a statement of condition and an inventory of items included within the tenancy at the point that you initiated tenancy.  All subsequent periodic inspections and the all-important check out are judged against this document.  This is as important a document for you as it is for the landlord therefore it is in your interest that you go through it and sign it to confirm you have done so.

 

If you have subsequent amendments or added details these must be provided within 7 days after the start of tenancy.

 

The report details the cleanliness, condition and inventory room by room of appliances, flooring, walls, ceilings and any fixtures and fittings.  It will also have an image of all keys provided.  This is then updated on inspection and finalised on Check Out.  Photographs are included and maybe updated and added on inspection. 

 

On check in we will run through the report with you and ask you to sign it.  It is in your own interest to make sure the property is maintained and returned in the condition as provided, as any cost incurred to re-instate the property to an acceptable standard will be deducted from your deposit money and if there is insufficient funds you will be required to make up the shortfall.

 

The reports that we undertake are provided by a fully professional and qualified inventory clerk.  A member of PropertyMark ARLA or AIIC the recognized professional industrial standard for these very important documents.

 

TENANCY DEPOSIT

 

Deposit Value:  5 Weeks Rent Value

 

The deposit is your money and is recognised as such in law.  Should you choose to rent from one of our managed landlords your deposit money is registered with either the custodial service provided by “The Deposit Protection Service” or “The Dispute Service”.   On occasion we may use the TDS Insured scheme, in this instance the deposit is held by us in a non-interest-bearing account.  Any deposit is held to the landlord’s order as a bond to secure the return of the property in the condition it was let to you. 

 

Should you choose to rent from an un-managed landlord (who undertake their own rent collection and maintenance) your deposit will be held by a deposit scheme that the private landlord has registered with. We will advise you prior to your check in as to which scheme is being used and who will be holding your deposit funds. This information will also be included in your tenancy agreement. As tenant, you have no rights to impose which scheme is used.

 

Exchange – “SIGNING TENANCY”

 

Once the landlord signs off your references, we will publish the tenancy agreement to you for signature.  This is typically sent electronically for digital signatory to all parties, one after the other.

 

Tenancy agreement (AST)

The AST a legal document and binds you to legal obligations and liabilities should you be in breach of its terms.  It is therefore very important you understand what you are signing.  The only information missing will be detail relating to the specific property and your tenancy, the landlord and any extraordinary conditions.  Such additional detail will be advised to you at the Interview.

 

 

However, any guarantor will need to attend our offices to Wet Sign the Guarantor Deed to comply with current legislation.

 

All tenants, any guarantor and the landlord will be committed to the tenancy on signing.

 

You will need to pay the remaining Rent and Deposit due before you move in.

 

Monies required for Check-In

 

1 X RENT and 1 X DEPOSIT less holding deposit

Prior to moving in to a property we will confirm the check in date and time in writing together with associated documents for your review and a breakdown of monies required.  We will require cleared funds for all check- in monies. 

 

BANK TRANSFER is the only acceptable means of payment prior to check in for Rent and Deposit funds.

 

PLEASE NOTE Bank Transfers must be presented 3 days prior to the date of check-in. 

 

Cash, card payments, bankers’ drafts, personal or building society cheques as a means of payment are not acceptable.

 

PLEASE NOTE:  Failing of funds to clear will result in a delay in completion and the tenancy being in default and charges applying accordingly.

 

Completion – “CHECK IN”

 

We will have agreed a day and time within working hours Monday to Friday to meet you (the Tenant) at the property to hand over the keys.  We will have been in receipt of your Check in Funds

 

The check-in procedure will cover familiarisation with the heating system, locating the utility meters and the final test of any Fire Alarms.

 

Should you be late there is a good chance your check-in will be re-scheduled to another day.  This would put the tenancy in to default and attract associated charges.

 

Tenancy

 

Payment of rent and arrears

All rent beyond your first period rent is paid to us by standing order or bank transfer and requires you to set this up with your bank.  We do not collect the monies direct form your account.  It is your responsibility to follow this through to make sure that your bank has accepted your request and put the order in place to provide cleared funds in our account within the timescale stated below.

 

Due to the individual nature of each bank and their clearing systems we require your monthly rent to be presented as cleared funds before your rent is due, commonly known as your anniversary date.  In order to ensure that you are not put in arrears by the banking system consideration for clearance over bank holidays and weekends will require the standing order to be set to collect from your account no later than 5 working days in advance of this date. 

 

We strongly advise that you monitor your payments as banks typically advise you after they have not been able to honor the payment, leaving you little time to protect your rent going into arrears.  Just as they will typically charge you for failed payments, arrears attract “Default Charges” too as outlined below:  The moment your rent has failed to clear before midnight on your anniversary date your account will be in arrears. 

 

Insurance

It is in your best interest that you take out “Tenants Contents Insurance” to protect your possessions and to cover you in the event of any accidental damage to the landlords property and fittings.  Our referencing supplier can quote you accordingly. 

 

Utilities

We will provide you with a list of utility providers for which you will be responsible for contacting and opening the new utility accounts in your own names.  Please remember that all utilities providers will need the meter number as well as the reading to avoid confusion with others.

 

Some of our properties may have manual payment meters meaning that you have to keep topping up the meter.   Typically, this happens when the occupier has failed to pay their quarterly bill.  Sadly, only the occupier is able to change these meters back and we may not be aware of the change until the property has been rendered back to us.

 

Extensions, amendments and renewal of your tenancy

Your first tenancy with our landlord will typically be for a minimum of 12 months with a 6-month break clause.  Assuming you have conducted your part of the tenancy and maintained the property appropriately, in most cases landlords will invite you to renew your tenancy for a longer fixed period.  In some cases, landlords may allow the tenancy to become periodic beyond the initial fixed term.  This means that there is no fixed term and the tenancy rolls forward on a monthly basis under the existing terms of which you are already signed into.

 

Should you wish to make amendments during the period of your tenancy an administration charge will be applied for each event.

 

Periodic Inspections – Managed Tenancies Only

Every 6 months during tenancy of a fully managed property we will arrange to visit and inspect the property on behalf of the landlord.  Typical first inspection in Month 3 and the second in Month 9.  These appointments are published by email through our system and invites you to attend or authorise us to use the key we hold.

 

Maintenance – Managed Tenancies Only

Any non-emergency maintenance is to be reported online via our “Fixflo” System that allows you to monitor and interact with any works and allows an efficient audited approach to managing works associated with your tenanted property.

 

On Check-In you will be sent a welcome email to our system inviting you to create a login and therein access the property’s maintenance dashboard.

 

Naturally, if you have an emergency, do what is needed first then call us!

 

CHECK-OUT – (Guidance published on notice)

A final inspection is done once you have moved out and is used to judge against the condition report and interim inspections.  It is therefore very important that the property is returned thoroughly cleaned and free from odour.  Typically, carpets should be vacuumed and shampooed, windows, all cupboards and any included furnishings should be cleaned.  Should ovens and white goods be included in the tenancy these must be very thoroughly cleaned and free from grease and residue.  Areas that are quite often overlooked are extractor fan housings and spaces to the rear of removed appliances.  We can recommend various professional cleaners should you prefer. 

 

Amongst other dilapidations such as breakages, missing items and untidy gardens; it is the standard of cleanliness that can also fail a check out.  The property is to be left as it was given to you – as per the condition report.  As your tenancy will have ended you will not have the option to attend to these issues yourself after check out.  The landlord will address these issues and claim any costs from your deposit or yourself if there is an insufficient deposit fund.

 

All paperwork relating to the property and appliance manuals, gas safety certificates etc. should remain in the property after check out.

You are responsible for contacting the local authority and utility providers to inform them of final meter readings and date of vacation.  You will remain responsible for any bills that are incurred should you fail to notify the appropriate providers upon your vacation.  

 

Subject to a satisfactory final inspection, resolution of any findings and demonstration of settled utility accounts.  Your deposit monies will be returned within 14 days.  Forwarding addresses and phone number will be required to send on the deposit.  This cheque payment can only be addressed to the tenant or tenants if they have a joint account.  If it is required that the 100% of the deposit cheque is to be paid to just one of the tenants or a third party, then a letter of consent is required from all tenants in order for this to happen.

 

Managing agent reference

Having rented from us you may in the future look to rent from another agent or landlord; or require borrowings.  A reference as to your conduct of your tenancy with us will typically be requested from us as managing agent.  It is therefore crucial that if you choose to enter into a tenancy you are able to pay the rent, as failure to do so will count against your credit rating when applying for borrowings or a new tenancy with another agent or landlord.  The third party making the reference request of you will be charged accordingly.

 

 

 

 

CHARGES TO TENANTS

NOTE:  ALL CHARGES ARE INCLUSIVE OF VAT UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

 

MID AND POST TENANCY CHARGES

Variation of Contract (tenant’s Request):  To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

£50.00

per agreed variation

Change of Sharer (Tenant’s Request):  To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions, new tenant referencing and Right-to-Rent checks, deposit registration as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

£50 per replacement tenant or any reasonable costs if higher

Lost Security Items:  Tenants are liable to the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s).  If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant.  If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge of £15 per hour (inc. VAT) for the time taken replacing lost key(s) or other security device(s).

Subject to event

TENANCY DEFAULT CHARGES

Early Termination (Tenant’s Request):  Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early; they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property as well as all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy.  These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the remaining full tenancy term. 

 

IMPORTANT - A landlord has absolutely no obligation to agree to an early termination.  Typically, if a release is offered it will be on their terms.

Variable

Arrears Charges - Interest at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from Rent Due Date until paid in order to pursue nonpayment of rent.  Please Note:  This will not be levied until the rent is more than 14 days in arrears.

Daily charge of 3% above bank of England base rate

Is a licenced member of ARLA.

Client Money Protection (CMP) is provided by: ARLA

Independent Redress provided by: TPOS

Click here for more information
 

 

CONTACT US

Higham | 01933 311121
higham@charlesorlebar.co.uk

Rushden | 01933 313600
rushden@charlesorlebar.co.uk

Associated Park Lane Office | 0203 3688173

ABOUT US

We are a local and knowledgeable estate agency firm in Northamptonshire and North Bedfordshire with offices in Rushden, Higham Ferrers and London. We are enthusiastic, proactive and very trustworthy.

FOLLOW US


2018 © Charles Orlebar Estate Agents Ltd. All rights reserved. Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy

Charles Orlebar Estate Agents. Registered in England.  Company No: 4707738.  Registered Office Address: 23, Cottingham Way, Thrapston, Northamptonshire, NN14 4PL.