Information for Tenants
With so many years experience, we have pretty much seen and heard it all. Here is a selection of the most common questions and our answers to them. If you can't find the answer you need, then contact us
Tenants are liable to pay an administration fee, which covers the costs of referencing and drawing up of the tenancy agreement. The costs payable vary based on the level of rent payable. The admin fee is non-refundable if we are unable to obtain satisfactory references or if you withdraw your application.
Are tenants entitled to know the name and address of their landlord?
Yes, there are two or three bits of law covering this and it is a criminal offence for an agent (or whoever is collecting the rent) to fail to provide, without reasonable excuse, this information within 21 days of formal written request by the tenants.
A bond will be payable on all properties and will be required to be paid before the tenancy starts.
Equivalent to one month’s rent plus £75
Equivalent to one month’s rent plus £125
All bonds are protected in the tenancy deposit scheme. More information can be obtained from www.tds.gb.com
How is a tenancy terminated?
The law around ending a tenancy is relatively straightforward as long as the right timescales and procedures are followed, along with the use of the correct format of notice. The timescales, procedures and format will vary dependent upon the type, and the status of the tenancy at the time you wish to end the tenancy. We will be able to provide guidance.
Golden rules for landlords and tenants
• Read important documents such as tenancy agreements and terms of business carefully; never sign anything you don't understand; ask questions; and seek advice.
• Don't have unreasonable or unrealistic expectations. If in doubt about what to do, or about your obligations or responsibilities in any particular circumstances – communicate and clarify.
• Confirm important issues in writing – always keep a copy.
Once you choose the right property, you will be asked to complete an online application form in order for us to carry out a full reference check on you.
This will include a credit history, employment reference and if applicable a current landlord reference. We will not start the referencing process until the appropriate admin fee is paid.
Repairs and Maintenance Issues
A tenant has an implied covenant to act in a “tenant-like manner”.
Broadly, that means to report disrepair promptly; to take reasonable steps to ensure that neither the tenant nor guests damage the property, its fixtures and fittings; to do the minor day to day things any home-occupier would normally do e.g. replace light bulbs, fit a new battery in a smoke or CO2 detector, tighten an odd screw which has come loose on a door handle etc.; to keep the property reasonably warm and aired to help prevent condensation or freezing of pipes; to leave the property secure when absent from it; to keep the garden and other areas reasonably tidy and free from rubbish.
Once we receive payment of your admin fee you will be given a draft copy of the tenancy agreement, which you should read carefully prior to singing for the property, as the tenancy agreement is a legally binding document.
Fees apply to all rental properties for the referencing process and tenancy agreement administration. These fees are payable in addition to the first month’s rent and bond and will be payable before the tenancy starts.
You will be required to pay £100 as a holding deposit from the fees listed below in order to start the referencing process.
Rent up to and including: Charge inclusive of VAT
£0 - £350pcm £132.00
£351 - £500 £162.00
£501 – £650 £192.00
£651 - £750 £222.00
£751 - £850 £252.00
£851 - £999 £282.00
What about an inventory/schedule of condition?
This is an absolutely essential document that provides a written benchmark, which should be amended, updated and recreated before the beginning of each new tenancy. A properly constructed inventory or schedule of condition details the fixtures and fittings and describes their condition and that of the property generally.
The landlord is responsible for the costs of preparing and checking the inventory; such costs should be seen as a necessary investment that helps protect the interests of both landlord and tenant.
What about renewals and extensions of a tenancy?
This is a very common situation and the ARLA agent will normally negotiate between the parties and prepare the necessary formal documentation for a replacement tenancy or fixed term extension. Additional charges will apply.
If no further fixed term is created to follow on from the end-date of original term, and assuming notice to end the tenancy has not been served, the tenancy can simply hold over as a “periodic tenancy” e.g. rolling on with basically the same terms and conditions and in line with how the rent is due to be paid. This is usually monthly.
What happens if either party (landlord or tenant) unexpectedly want to end an existing tenancy early?
There are only limited ways in which this can happen; the landlord cannot make the tenants move out, nor can the tenants lawfully walk away from their obligations to fulfil the contract. Either party might request of the other that a formal “surrender” of the tenancy be allowed. It would then be up to the parties to agree the terms and conditions of such a surrender. This might include some financial compensation for inconvenience or costs incurred.
What is a 'break clause'?
This is a clause sometimes inserted in a fixed term tenancy, typically if the initial fixed term is for a year or more. A break clause will usually be worded in such a way as to allow either the landlord or tenant to give a specified period of written notice at any stage on or after a particular date or period of the tenancy, thus terminating the tenancy earlier than the end of the original fixed term.
What is a 'tenancy agreement'?
A tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant that sets out both the legal and contractual responsibilities and obligations of the two parties.
It should be written in plain and intelligible language (no unnecessary jargon!) and its terms and clauses should be fair and balanced, taking account of the respective positions of the parties and should not mislead about legal rights and responsibilities.
Landlord and tenant should take care to individually negotiate any particular terms or conditions that are important to them or especially relevant to the particular let or property.