Whilst the tenant ultimately has a contractual relationship with the landlord and not the agent, Belvoir Basingstoke takes seriously its relationship with the tenant.
The tenant is always dealt with courteously and Belvoir Basingstoke goes to great lengths to ensure that the tenant is made fully aware of his responsibilities and liabilities.
Recognising that the rent paid by tenants often represents a significant sum of money, Belvoir realises that the tenant has expectations, especially with regard to the state of a property at check-in, the speed of response to maintenance issues etc.
Rest assured, Belvoir Basingstoke offers everything that a tenant would fairly expect of a professional agent. And in a number of significant areas, it offers more.
A tenant is effectively being appraised at every turn in the application process to ensure that a tenant is appropriate for a tenancy. Why not take the opportunity to ask those sometimes awkward questions of Belvoir? For example: What happens to an applicant's holding fee if it all goes wrong?
Belvoir Basingstoke has nothing to hide and willingly explain all policies.
Belvoir Basingstoke takes the treatment of tenants very seriously.
Recognising that application fees, deposits and rent are relatively significant sums, Belvoir is careful to ensure that a tenant's circumstances are appropriate for a tenancy and that a tenant's money is looked after at all times.
SAFE - Safe Agent Fully Endorsed - is a mark denoting firms that protect money belonging to landlords and tenants through client money protection schemes. Read more about SAFE.
Tenants often make decisions according to cost but it is important that tenants consider the safety of their money. Regulated firms maintain and operate separate designated client accounts where tenant monies are held completely separate from the operating funds of the firm.
If an agent cannot provide you with the assurance of knowing they are covered by a clients money protection scheme, the question you should really ask is; why not?
Belvoir Basingstoke was one of the first agents to become a SAFE agent and is voluntarily part of the NALS client money protection scheme, details of which may be found here.
The National Approved Lettings Scheme is an accreditation scheme for lettings and management agents. If offers peace of mind to landlords and tenants in knowing that they are dealing with a firm which agrees to meet defined standards of service. It has in place the necessary insurances to protect clients' money plus a customer complaints procedure offering independent redress. For more details, click here.
Tenancy deposit protection (TDP) schemes guarantee that tenants will get their deposits back at the end of a tenancy, if they meet the terms of the tenancy agreement and do not damage the property. Landlords must protect their tenants' deposits using a TDP scheme if they have let the property on an assured shorthold tenancy (AST) which started on or after 6th April 2007.
Belvoir uses the DPS and further details may be found here.
The only prices shown in our property adverts are the calendar monthly rental costs of the properties. Tenancy application charges and other fees will apply but may vary according to a customer's circumstances and the size of the property.
The fees listed below are payable for services provided by Belvoir in respect of an application and tenancy:-
Tenancy Fee (covers up to and including 2 tenant applicants) £420.00 including VAT
This is a one-off fee to be paid in advance following receipt of instruction by the Landlord to accept an application following viewing of the property. The property will remain on the market and available to other applicants until payment of this fee has been received.
This fee is to pay for the following services and is not open to negotiation or ‘cherry-picking’:-
- Ensuring that the Landlord is the owner and has permission and authority to let the property
- Providing details and information on the property and answering questions regarding the tenancy
- Providing guidance on requirements for referencing checks to establish suitability to view the property for a potential applicant
- Accompanied viewing of the property
- Recording of applicant's details and discussing/negotiating the terms of a proposed tenancy with the Landlord
- Provision of documents to comply with De-Regulation Act
- Providing written confirmation of the terms of the tenancy as agreed with the Landlord
- Providing written guidance and instructions on further actions/dates to achieve the agreed tenancy commencement date
- Setting-up of reference-check application
- Payment of out-sourced reference checking
- Copying and processing Right-to-Rent documentation
- Payment of out-sourced Right-to-Rent checks
- General correspondence and progressing of application to enable agreed move-in date to be met
- Share of cost of preparation of conveyancing and accompanying documentation
- Receiving, processing and lodging deposit payment
- Providing accompanied check-in
- Notifying utility providers of opening meter readings and tenant details
- Notifying Local Authority of commencement of tenancy for Council Tax
- During tenancy providing answers to questions regarding the contract terms
- Providing guidance on preparing for handing the property back at the end of the tenancy
- Check-out inspection and report
- Providing references, if requested, for future tenancy application
Upon payment of the Tenancy Fee the property will be deemed as ‘under offer’ and reserved against the offer terms accepted by the Landlord. Whilst ‘under offer’ the property will not be shown to any other interested parties and no other application will be accepted.
No part of the Tenancy Fee is a ‘holding deposit’ and therefore will not be credited in whole or in part against the rent or the deposit.
If after payment of the Tenancy Fee an applicant decides not to proceed, or cannot proceed in accordance with the terms of the original offer, or do not pass the reference checks (including ‘Right to Rent’) then the Tenancy Fee will be refunded as follows:-
- £320 in total will be refunded if referencing checks have commenced or if the application cannot proceed due to failure of the application due to not meeting the minimum pass level for income or previous-landlord reference or the Right-to-Rent checks.
- £210 in total if credit checks have been completed but applicant fails to achieve a positive credit check due to undeclared or inaccurately declared County Court Judgement(s), or an undeclared Bankruptcy Order or Individual Voluntary Arrangement
- £75 in total will be refunded if an application is withdrawn once the draft tenancy agreement has been emailed to applicant
- £Nil will be refunded if application cancelled within 2 days of the tenancy commencement date
Any refunds will be made to the card or bank account from where the tenancy fee was originally received.
If, however, the Landlord withdraws before commencement of the tenancy other than for the reasons stated above, the Tenancy Fee will be refunded in full but no other monies will be paid as compensation for any costs or losses incurred or for any inconvenience caused.
Other fees (if applicable) are as follows:-
- Agency Fee per each additional tenant applicant £210.00 including VAT
- Agency Fee for each Guarantor applicant £210.00 including VAT
- Agency Fee for Company Let application £420.00 including VAT
Please note that should tenant request a new fixed term once the initial fixed term of the tenancy contract has expired the following fee will be payable to cover re-referencing and the drawing up of a new agreement subject to the agreement of the Landlord:-
Renewal Fee (per property) £90.00 including VAT
Payment of the deposit and the initial rental payment is required before the tenancy will be permitted to commence. The payment of those sums MUST be cleared funds in our bank account at the very latest the day before the tenancy starts. In order for funds to clear, electronic ‘same-day’ payments must be made a minimum of 2 working days before the tenancy starts. Standard electronic payments must be made a minimum of 4 working days beforehand and payment by debit or credit card must be made 1 week in advance.
Please be advised that the tenancy will NOT be permitted to commence until funds are cleared.
Payment can be made by electronic bank transfer, debit card or credit card. Credit card payments incur a surcharge of 3.6% including VAT of the transaction value.
We are unable to accept payment by American Express or Diners Club cards or by cheque or in cash.
Future rental payments are due on the day of the month that the tenancy originally commenced and are to be paid by Standing Order in time for the funds to be cleared in our account on the rent-due date (we recommend that Standing Orders be set up at least 3 days prior to the rent-due date). Rents are always payable in advance.
The deposit will be a sum equivalent to one and a half month’s rent unless stated otherwise at time of offer. We will lodge the deposit in the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) Custodial Scheme unless advised to the contrary at time of offer.
If a pet or pets are to be kept at the property then the deposit will be increased by £250 per pet.
Charges may be levied for failure to comply with certain tenancy obligations as follows:
- £25 including VAT (total for all those named as Tenant) for each letter or email that Belvoir, acting reasonably, has to send to the Tenant concerning breaches of the tenancy agreement, for example, late payment or non-payment of rent.
- £20 including VAT (total for all those named as Tenant) for any payment presented to Belvoir’s bank but returned, refused or re-presented by the bank for any reason. This fee will be payable for each presentation which fails.
- Once the tenancy has commenced, should a tenant serve notice to end a tenancy and subsequently rescind that notice after a new tenant has been found and referenced, the tenant will be liable to repay £420 including VAT (as a total for all those named as tenant) plus any ‘additional tenant’ and/or Guarantors’ fees as applicable.
- Should a tenant request an early release from a tenancy, if the Landlord agrees, the tenant will be liable for any out of pocket expenses incurred by the landlord. An allowance will be made for the time remaining on the tenancy. Fees will include a re-marketing fee and an inventory fee, both of which may vary. Re-marketing fees are typically 60% including VAT of a month’s rent and inventory fees are typically £150 including VAT for a 1 bed property, £180 including VAT for a 2 bed property, £200 including VAT for a 3 bed property and £250 including VAT for a 4 bedroom property. A tenant remain in contract and the tenancy obligations will continue, including paying the rent and utility costs, up to and including the day before a new tenancy commences and the tenant will be required to have vacated the property no less than 5 days before the new tenancy commences in order to allow time for a check-out inspection, any cleaning/repairs/maintenance that may be required and time for the preparation of a new inventory.
Should a tenant seek a change to a term or clause of the tenancy agreement after the tenancy has commenced (for example a change of tenant or occupant), this may be subject to an administration fee. The fee will be advised at the time and will be dependent upon the nature of the change and the work anticipated to be incurred in effecting the change. Any changes will be subject to permission of the Landlord.
Belvoir Basingstoke is a member of the Property Ombudsman (TPO) for Lettings Redress Scheme under membership number D03414. For detail of the scheme please visit the TPO website:- www.tpos.co.uk
Belvoir Basingstoke has Client Money Protection and is a SafeAgent.
Up until very recently, tenants were encouraged to advise us of maintenance issues by telephone or by email. We have, however, now launched an app for all tenants which they may download onto their mobile, tablet or p.c.
If you are a tenant, you can contact us for details of the app if you have changed mobile, tablet or desktop.
There are a number of major benefits of this app:
- All reports made are timed and dated to provide a useful and necessary timeline.
- What constitutes an emergency is defined and “good-to-know” response times are provided once a submission has been made.
- Some of the functionality of the app appears in different languages, so helping in the clarification of issues with tenants whose first language is not English.
- Useful pointers are provided at the time of making the report. Is there power to the appliance? Has the filter been checked? Are the neighbours’ lights also not working? etc. This saves no end of time and will save unnecessary and expensive call-outs by engineers.
- Tenants are encouraged to upload images of the issue, to help in the initial diagnosis.
- Emergencies are still dealt with by telephone and, outside of office hours, tenants are encouraged to call emergency contractors.
OUT OF HOURS EMERGENCIES ONLY: During other hours, if the problem is an emergency, tenants are requested to call an appropriate company to deal with the problem. Please note, however, that if it is determined that a problem is not a true emergency, then the tenant will be expected to pay the cost of the call-out.
GAS: If you smell gas or detect a gas leak call the National Gas Emergency service on 0800 111 999
WATER: If you believe the leak is dangerous, or is causing damage, please call the 24-hour Leakline service, on 0333 000 3330.