Carefully read through all of the following before proceeding with an application.
- Tenants Fee Schedule
- Right to rent
- Proof of address
- Landlord approval
- Reference checks
- Adverse credit history
- Landlord reference
- Costs associated with your tenancy
- Initial payments
- On-going payments
- Access during your tenancy
- Property inspections
- Emergency maintenance
- Cleaning, condensation mould, drains, garden
- Changes to the property
- Changes to your circumstances
- End of tenancy
- Communication with us
Only or main residence:
Most of our properties are let on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) and, therefore, it must be your only or main residence. If this is not the case you must advise us immediately as it may affect our ability to let a particular property to you. (Properties with mortgages often have to be let on an AST)
Please note an AST does not allow you to rent a property on behalf of someone else.
The tenancy agreement:
A tenancy is a contract between you and a Landlord under terms specified in the agreement. A sample copy of an agreement will be issued to you prior to commencing the referencing process. You should read it as it will inform you of your contractual obligations. Only proceed with an application if you are willing to abide by these obligations.
You will be required to undergo and to satisfy reference checks. After referencing is complete but prior to the tenancy commencing, a draft copy of the tenancy-specific agreement, will be issued to you for your information. All parties to the agreement (including guarantors if applicable) will be jointly and severally liable for rent and will accept responsibility for any breach of the tenancy agreement.
Only those named as a Tenant or Permitted Occupier are permitted to live at the property. You may not permit anyone else to live in the property without the prior written consent of your landlord.
You must advise us if you have pets as this may determine whether you are able to rent the property or not. You may not have pets without a landlord’s prior written consent. You are not able to smoke inside any properties let by us.
All arrangements and representations made are subject to contract and a formal written tenancy agreement being signed by both Landlord and Tenant.
In addition to paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following payments permitted under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Before the tenancy starts (payable to Belvoir ‘the Agent’)
Holding Deposit: Equal to 1 week’s rent
Deposit: Equal to 5 week's rent
During the tenancy (payable to 'the Agent')
Payment of interest for the late payment of rent at a rate of 3% above Bank of Englands base rate for each day that the payment has been outstanding
During the tenancy if permitted and applicable
Payments to change the tenancy (once it has commenced), when requested by the tenant - £50 (including VAT), or reasonable costs incurred if higher
Utilities – gas, electricity, water and sewerage
Communications – telephone and broadband
Installation of cable/satellite
Subscription to cable/satellite supplier
Other permitted payments
Any other permitted payments, not included above, for breaches of contract or under the relevant legislation including contractual damages. These may include reasonable costs or losses incurred for loss of keys, security devices and changes to the tenancy agreement or early termination, if the Landlord agrees they can be made, up to the permitted limits. Each breach of contract will incur a charge of £36.00 inc VAT.
Tenant Fees for pre 1st June 2019 tenancies
Explanation of our tenant fees permitted under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 transitional provisions, where fees are written into existing tenancy agreements. These apply to all tenancy agreements granted or signed and executed before 31st May 2019, and can be charged up until 31st May 2020’
Referencing fee, set up fee and contribution to the tenancy agreement for 1 adult applicant.
£480.00 inc VAT
Each additional adult applicant
£120.00 inc VAT
Check out fee
£96.00 inc VAT
£540.00 inc VAT
£120.00 inc VAT
Changing any terms that have already been agreed (e.g tenancy start date)
£30.00 inc VAT
Undertaking Right to Rent review checks where a time limit has been established
£42.00 inc VAT
Should your tenancy be renewed you will required to contribute towards the renewal charges
£102.00 inc VAT
Permitted Occupier fee
£120.00 inc VAT
Pet Licence Fee, per pet
£120.00 inc VAT
Amendment fee (updating of tenancy agreement etc)
£30.00 inc VAT
Future Landlord reference
£24.00 inc VAT
Out of hours service (If agent is called out to property)
£60.00 inc VAT per hour
Failed appointment (Aborted Visit etc)
£42.00 inc VAT
Refunding over paid rent
£30.00 inc VAT
Supplying a written reference to a third party
£42.00 inc VAT
Allocating deposit money to additional accounts (per account)
£30.00 inc VAT
Bounced cheque charge
£30.00 inc VAT
Instruction to a contractor and supervision of works noted as tenants responsibility following tenancy check out
£36.00 inc VAT
Rent Arrears reminder letter
£48.00 inc VAT
Right to Rent checks are a legal requirement and are required for anyone aged 18 or over who will live at the property at any time during the term of the tenancy.
You must provide us with the identity of anyone who will be living at the property, together with their age. Proof of a Right to Rent must be made available to us. Your application cannot proceed until we have seen such proof.
Any single document from the following list is acceptable as proof of Right to Rent:
- A passport (current or expired) showing that the holder is a British Citizen, or a citizen of the UK and Colonies having the ‘right of abode’ in the UK.
- A passport or national identity card (current or expired) showing that the holder is a national of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
- A registration certificate or document (current or expired) certifying or indicating permanent residence issued by the Home Office, to a national of the European Economic Area country or Switzerland.
- A ‘permanent’ residence, ‘indefinite leave to remain’, ‘indefinite leave to enter’, or ‘no time limit’ card issued by the Home Office (current or expired), to a non-EEA national who is a family member of an EEA or Swiss national.
- A biometric ‘residence permit’ card (current or expired) issued by the Home Office to the holder indicating that the person named has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.
- A passport or other ‘travel document’ (current or expired’ endorsed to show that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ‘no time limit’ on their stay in the UK.
- A current immigration status document issued by the Home Office to the holder with a valid endorsement indicating that the holder is either ‘exempt from immigration control’, has ‘indefinite’ leave in the UK, has the ‘right of abode’ in the UK, or has ’no time limit’ on their stay in the UK
If you have a time-limited Right to Rent status, this will be checked again either just before the document expiry date or 12 months from the initial check date, whichever is later. We are required by law to report to the Home Office any occupier without a Right to Rent, with expired Right to Rent or fake documents.
In addition to any documents provided for Right to Rent checks, you must provide 2 forms of Proof of Address other than evidence being used as proof of ID for Right to Rent. Both forms of Proof of Address must be dated within 3 months from date of application unless you are using an annual bill as proof where it must be dated within 12 months of the application.
The items below are acceptable but must be the original documents – not copies:
- Utility bill or mobile phone bill.
- Full or Provisional new style driving licence.
- Letter from employer, on headed paper, confirming applicant’s home address.
- Bank/Building Society Statement.
- Most recent mortgage statement.
- Current Local Authority Tax bill.
- Local Authority rent card or tenancy agreement.
- House or motor insurance certificate.
- State pension or Benefit notification letter.
- Credit Card Statement.
- Criminal Records Bureau Certificate.
- TV Licence.
- Student Loan Award Letter.
- Sky Bill.
- Inland Revenue Tax notification letter.
We will scan documents provided and will retain for the duration of the tenancy and for 6 years thereafter.
Before a formal application can proceed, we provide our landlords with information to enable them to make a decision in principal. This is subject to satisfactory references.
The information required varies, but the sort of things we'll need to know about may well include some or all of the following:
- Names of anyone who will live at the property, including children and dependants.
- Contact details (email address, mobile number).
- Reason(s) for wanting to rent the property (e.g. existing rental property being sold).
- Employment status (e.g. full time, self- employed, etc.).
- Affordability status (i.e. amount and source of income.
- Whether or not you have any adverse credit history.
- Whether or not you have paid rent on time in the past.
- Whether or not you smoke.
- Details of any pets.
- Requested tenancy start date.
- · Anticipated length of tenancy required.
A landlord’s decision will be based upon this information.
If we proceed with your application, you will be required to pay a holding deposit in order to reserve the property for you against an agreed tenancy start date. The holding deposit imposes specific terms and time-related actions required of you in order for the tenancy to commence on the agreed start date. Your holding deposit is at risk if you do not comply with those requirements.
Please note that the property will remain available until the holding deposit has been paid and the monies have cleared.
On receipt of your holding deposit, reference checks will be carried out and the tenancy will only be permitted to go ahead if suitable references are received. You will need to complete an online application.
Such checks relate to your credit status, employment status and income in order to assess your ability to afford the rent. If applicable, a reference from a previous landlord will also be needed.
You will not be charged for the reference checks, however, your holding deposit will be at risk if you do not complete the on-line application form within 72 hours of receiving it and the property may be re-marketed.
Failure to declare any adverse credit may result in your application for tenancy being refused and you will lose your holding deposit.
County Court Judgements (CCJ’s):
You will be asked to declare on the application form any current, pending or historic judgements.
If you have:
- Multiple CCJ’s.
- A CCJ that is not “satisfied”.
- A CCJ that is “Satisfied”, but more than £5000 cumulative in value.
Your application will be declined and you will lose your holding deposit.
If you have:
- A CCJ that is “satisfied” and less than £5000 in value.
With the landlord’s consent, your application might be accepted, but a UK based Guarantor will be required. If you know that you are going to need a guarantor, please ensure that you declare it and that you have a guarantor willing to be referenced and credit-checked in the same manner as you. The guarantor must be able to demonstrate an income of 36 x the monthly rent. If you are unable to provide such a guarantor, please do not apply since you will lose your holding deposit.
Any Guarantor that has any form of adverse credit on their credit file will be declined, your application will fail and you will lose your holding fee.
- A CCJ that is “satisfied” and less than £300 in value.
With the landlord’s consent, your application might be accepted. If you know that you have a CCJ for less than £300, please ensure that you declare it. If you do not, your application cannot proceed and you will lose your holding deposit.
Bankruptcy Orders/Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVA)/Trust Deed:
If you have:
- An IVA that was “satisfied” at least 12 months ago.
With the Landlord’s consent, your application may proceed, but a UK based guarantor will be required. If you know that you are going to need a guarantor, please ensure that you declare it and that you have a guarantor willing to be referenced and credit-checked in the same manner as you. The guarantor must be able to demonstrate an income of 36 x the monthly rent. If you are unable to provide such a guarantor, please do not apply since you will lose your holding deposit.
Any Guarantor that has any form of adverse credit on their credit file will be declined, your application will fail and you will lose your holding fee.
- An IVA which remains “unsatisfied” or has been “satisfied”, but only within the last 12 months
Your application will be declined and you will lose your holding deposit.
Your annual income (or combined income in the case of joint tenants) must be at least 30 x the monthly rental amount. E.g. A monthly rent of £895 requires an income of £26,850 (£895 x 30).
For employed applicants your current employer will be contacted to obtain the following information:
- Start date of employment.
- Job title.
- Whether or not the position is permanent, and will continue for the duration of the tenancy.
- Whether the job is full time or part time.
- Confirmation of salary.
Examples of acceptable referees:
- Line managers (named).
- Department heads (named).·
- Payroll / HR managers (named).
Confirm in advance that the person whose details are being given as a referee, is available (not away on leave or business) and prepared to provide a reference. You should give your authority for the information to be released to our referencing and insurance brokers, Let Alliance.
Failure to do so could result in your referee not giving or a delay in providing a reference. Failure to obtain a satisfactory employer’s reference within a reasonable timescale may result in your application for tenancy being refused and you will lose your holding deposit.
Haven’t yet started your new job?
If your income will come from a new post, but you have yet to start, Let Alliance will obtain a reference from your future employer. If they are unwilling to provide a reference, you will be asked for a copy of your contract. If such a post is subject to pre-employment checks or has no fixed start date, your application may be declined and you may lose your holding deposit.
You must have been self-employed for 2 years or more. In order to confirm income Let Alliance will need to have sight of one of the following:
- CIS Vouchers – two years’ records. Vouchers issued to those working within the construction industry, this is a voucher showing the income received and the tax paid on earnings
- SA302 – last two years. HMRC Self-Assessment tax calculation document
- SA100 – last 2 years. HMRC tax return form, usually issued to tax payers in April each year, after the tax year end.
- Chartered Accountant’s reference – income for last two / three years. If you have been self-employed for less than two years but have earnings in excess of £50,000, verification of one year’s income might be accepted.
If you fall into one of the following categories please speak with us before formally applying to rent the property or paying a holding deposit:
- Your work is temporary or you have a fixed term contract expiring before the end of the proposed tenancy.
- You are paid by an employment agency.
- You are employed on a zero-hours contract.
- You are employed by a family business.
- You are a listed director of a company.
- You are unemployed or in receipt of Housing Benefits.
This may affect your ability to rent pass referencing.
If you have substantial savings or income from other means, please speak with us at the earliest opportunity so that we can clarify what evidence is required to substantiate your position.
Proof of pension payments will be required, through a pension statement, bank statements or a P60. Private pensions, state pensions and pension credits can all be taken into consideration for a retired applicant.
Your current landlord must certify the following information:
- The current monthly rent amount.
- Tenancy start and end dates.
- Any issues with late payments / non-payment of rent.
- Whether you have caused any damage to the property.
- Whether they would decline a new application from you.
In the event that your landlord answers YES to questions 3, 4 or 5, your application will be declined and you will lose your holding deposit. You would be well advised to check with your current landlord prior to making an application.
If you will continue to be responsible for an existing tenancy after the start date of a tenancy with us, you may not pass referencing and your holding deposit may be at risk. Speak with us if you need to clarify this.
This will be agreed with you prior to formal application. Payment terms and details relating to increases will be in the tenancy agreement.
- A refundable security deposit:
This is capped at no more than five weeks’ rent for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy where the rent is under £50,000 per year.
This is a landlord’s security for the performance of any of your obligations, or the discharge of any liability arising under or in connection with the tenancy. It will be lodged with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) Custodial Scheme unless advised to the contrary at time of offer. For details of the scheme please visit the DPS website www.depositprotection.com
It is refundable in full in the event that your tenancy ends following correct notice having been served, a formal check-out having been completed, and there are no dilapidations, damages, cleaning issues or rent arrears. You must also not have been in breach of your tenancy agreement in any way.
A Nil Deposit Scheme (not available for overseas applicants or applicants whose sole income is derived from benefits) may be available as an alternative if the landlord has given his agreement to this alternative. Where this option is offered it is managed by Let Alliance and details can be provided on request.
- A refundable holding deposit:
This is capped at no more than one week’s rent for Assured Shorthold Tenancies.
This enables both you and the landlord to demonstrate commitment to entering into a tenancy agreement on terms agreed whilst reference checks are undertaken. It forms part of a binding conditional contract between you and the landlord. These terms and conditions will only come in to effect once cleared funds are received by us and the property may remain available to others until then.
Under this contract, you agree to provide honest representations as to your income, tenancy history and references, and to enter into the tenancy subject to satisfactory fulfilment of all pre-tenancy checks. The property will not be offered to another party while a holding deposit is held by us.
You should not proceed with paying a holding deposit if you cannot satisfy the referencing checks detailed above or are not willing to enter into a tenancy agreement, a sample of which has been provided to you.
The holding deposit will be refunded where the landlord decides not to rent the property or an agreement is not reached before the ‘deadline for agreement’ where you are not at fault. The holding deposit will be credited against your first month’s rent.
The ‘deadline for agreement’ for both parties in law is 15 days after the holding deposit has been received (unless otherwise agreed in writing). With us, the deadline is generally the tenancy start date. Please ensure that you are happy with this date prior to signing the agreement as your holding deposit may be at risk.
The holding deposit will be retained if:
- You provide false or misleading information which reasonably affects the decision to let the property to you (i.e. calls into question your suitability as a tenant and can include your behaviour in providing the false or misleading information).
- You fail a Right to Rent check.
- You withdraw from the proposed agreement (decide not to rent).
- You fail to take all reasonable steps to enter an agreement (i.e. responding to reasonable requests for information required to progress the agreement) when the landlord has done so.
- The tenancy does not start by the deadline for agreement as a result of your inaction.
- 1st month’s rent.
- Refundable tenancy deposit.
These are required before the tenancy starts. We will let you know in good time how much to pay and when.
Payments must be made by electronic bank transfer and must be in our bank account two working days before the tenancy starts. To save last-minute concerns over its safe arrival, we suggest that electronic payments are made no less than 4 working days beforehand.
A tenancy cannot start until funds are cleared.
Monthly rent must be paid in advance by standing order. It is your responsibility to arrange the standing order with your bank. We will provide you with our account details in order that you can make arrangements. Please allow 4 working days for payments to clear.
We do not take rent by direct debit. You must instruct your bank to pay us. You must also remember to cancel your standing order after you have vacated.
An Inventory will be prepared a few days before you move in. This document will contain a written and visual condition report of the property, its fixtures and fittings. It will describe the state of cleanliness and the location of utility meters and shut-off valves, switches and stopcock for the mains utilities into the property.
You are obliged to return the property at the end of the tenancy in the same state and condition as described in the Inventory. An allowance for fair wear and tear will be made. Your Landlord may make a claim against your deposit for dilapidations, missing or broken items, the costs associated with removing items left behind by you, cleaning issues, gardening works, etc
It will be issued at check-in and you should check its contents before moving any furniture or belongings in. You will be permitted a maximum of 7 days to check the inventory, and note any differences. On or before the 7th day you must return a signed copy for your comments to be considered. If not returned within 7 days you will be deemed to have accepted it in its entirety and no later challenge will be entertained.
At check-in, we will take meter readings and you will be given the opportunity to verify the readings. We will notify utility companies and provide them with the meter readings and your name and contact details. You will then be responsible for utility bills from those readings until the end of your tenancy.
If you wish to change supplier, you must not do so until you have received correspondence from the existing supplier addressed specifically to you. (Not “the occupier”) This can take several weeks. We are unable to assist in reconciling accounts if you attempt to change prior to the utility company having written to you personally. We have examples where this has taken many months to sort out.
We will notify the local authority of the start of your tenancy in order to register you for Council Tax. You will be responsible for paying this from the tenancy start date and the local authority will write to you to direct.
At the end of the tenancy we will take closing meter readings and will notify the utility companies of the end of your tenancy. We will also notify the local authority of the end of your tenancy. You will be responsible for paying utilities up to the closing meter readings and council tax up to the tenancy end date. Under no circumstances are you to inform the utility companies or council of the end of your tenancy. This can also create many weeks of account reconciliation and we are unable to assist if a problem is caused by your eagerness to inform utility companies or the local authority.
Occasionally the utility companies will ask for your previous address. In proceeding with an application you are giving us your consent to pass on this information.
We are unable to assist with setting up any other services at the property such as telephone, broadband, satellite, cable etc. Should you require these facilities then you must make arrangements. Do not register these services at the property address before the tenancy start date as you are not legally entitled to use the address until you are the tenant. You might also inadvertently end up being responsible for someone else’s bills. We cannot become involved in reconciliation of such accounts where it is caused by you having made arrangements in advance.
Where we manage a property, there will be occasions during the tenancy when we will need to access the property. For example:
- Property inspections (Generally 6 monthly, more frequently if necessary).
- A yearly gas safety check.
- Viewings for new tenants (during your notice period).
- Viewings for prospective purchasers (at any time during the tenancy).
We respect your right to peaceful enjoyment of your home and (emergencies excepted) will only enter the property if:
- You have given verbal or written authorisation to enter.
- You have been given 24 hours written notice to view the state and condition of the property.
Under normal circumstances, entry will be made at reasonable hours of the daytime. You are reminded of your contractual obligations for such access.
Your cooperation with such visits is essential to a smooth-running tenancy. If you would rather be present, then please advise us.
We do not carry out unannounced visits. You will be notified of inspections by email, usually a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. You will then receive an SMS reminder, nearer the time.
Our inspectors carry out inspections in the morning and carry out a number of them on any given day. The time taken on an inspection can be affected by issues found during a visit and therefore it is difficult to give a precise arrival time.
Your cooperation will be appreciated in permitting access on the day and, unless you contact us in advance to make alternative arrangements, our inspector will visit the property and will let themselves in using our keys.
We are happy to accommodate changes to the date of the visit if it is inconvenient. Please contact us and give us as much notice as possible if you ever need to rearrange.
The purpose of these visits is to look for any obvious maintenance issues or breach of tenancy. Such inspections are conducted by a member of our team, experienced and trained for such visits. The inspection will usually be a 10-15 minute walk through of the property – not a detailed inventory check – but we do ask that the property is in a clean and tidy condition, with all rooms accessible, in order that they may be quickly and efficiently viewed.
Personal belongings will not be moved and there will be no prying inside wardrobes, chests of drawers, etc. However, our inspector will look in cupboards that contain hot water cylinders or pipework, so that we can spot obvious signs of corrosion or water leaks. Please ensure these areas are sufficiently clear so that pipework may be seen.
Photographs are taken of any specific issues so that your landlord may be better informed. Otherwise, no photographs are taken inside the property, but general external photographs may be taken.
A written report will be sent to you and your landlord within a day or two of the visit. The report will highlight any issues requiring attention and will identify who is responsible for action that may be required.
You will be obliged to promptly report any repairs or maintenance that may be required. You must take reasonable action to mitigate the effect of the problem, for example by turning the water off at the stopcock in the event of a water leak.
If the tenancy is managed by us you must report any issues by using our maintenance app – details of which will be provided to you at check-in. Do not wait for a visit to report any maintenance issues.
If it is managed by the landlord you will be given his contact details at the start of the tenancy and you should report any repairs or maintenance issues direct to him.
Our maintenance department operates Monday to Friday, 0900hrs-1730hrs. The maintenance department does not operate at weekends or bank holidays.
If we manage the tenancy, unless it is an emergency, we need authorisation from your landlord before arrangements can be made for any works. We aim to contact your landlord on the same day that an issue is reported.
Depending on the nature of the issue, it can take a number of days before it can be rectified. Timing can be affected by a number of possible factors: contacting your landlord, availability of contractors, diagnostic visits required, quotation preparation, ordering and delivery of parts, etc.
We always resolve issues as swiftly as possible in order to minimise inconvenience for you and to prevent further deterioration to the property. Whilst waiting for a repair may prove annoying or inconvenient, repairs can often take a number of days to arrange.
If you experience a maintenance problem out of hours and it is not an emergency as defined in the next section, you must use the Maintenance App to notify our maintenance team. Such issues will be attended to on the next working day during normal hours.
Under normal circumstances blocked or slow-draining waste pipes inside the property will be your responsibility to clear even if you have to arrange and pay for the services of a contractor to clear them. If you have just moved in, however, then the landlord may be responsible.
You are responsible for arranging and paying for replacement ‘consumable’ items such as shower hoses and heads, light bulbs, toilet seats, smoke alarm batteries, shower curtains, etc.
Some landlords have British Gas Homecare or a similar service to provide cover for repairing gas boilers, heating and plumbing etc. This can sometimes include the annual gas safety check.
If such cover is in place you will be advised of this at the start of your tenancy. At check-in, you will be given the policy number and contact details for the scheme so that you can contact the provider in the event of a breakdown of an appliance or system in the property that is covered by such a scheme. You may also be called upon to make the arrangements for the annual gas safety check.
Such cover is a benefit to you in that you can contact the scheme provider 24/7, 365 days a year if a breakdown or fault occurs. However, you will be required to make the appointment for the engineer to visit and to ensure that you (or your representative) will be at home to provide access on the day.
We are unable to attend on your behalf. You are responsible for arranging an appointment and access, even if that means taking time off work.
You must not, except in an out-of-hours emergency, instruct any contractor to carry out any works to the property without prior approval of the landlord or us.
A maintenance emergency is deemed to be an issue that if not attended to immediately would:
- Cause personal injury.
- Carry a risk of further serious damage to the property.
- Cause damage to an adjoining property.
- Prevent the property from being secured e.g. failure of a door-lock.
If you encounter an out of hours emergency, you will need to contact an appropriate 24/7 local emergency contractor and make arrangements for them to attend. You will need to pay the contractor (often over the phone before they will come out). You will then be reimbursed on presentation of a valid invoice for a reasonable amount if incurred for a legitimate emergency call-out by a local emergency contractor.
Gas leaks 0800 111 999
Your landlord insures the building and his contents. You need to insure your own possessions and we suggest you cover against accidental damage to the landlord’s possessions. Let Alliance can provide you with a no-obligation quotation for tenant insurance upon completion of your reference application.
The landlord may repair or replace an appliance that has broken down, but it can take a number of days for a fault to be repaired or replacement organised. The landlord and we are unable to accept responsibility for any consequential loss, for example food in a fridge-freezer, and you are therefore advised to take out your own insurance to cover you for such events.
19. Cleaning, condensation mould, drains, gardens:
Under the terms of the tenancy agreement you have a responsibility to keep the property and contents clean and tidy and in good, tenantable condition and decorative order. Your responsibilities while at the property are listed in the tenancy agreement, however, the following are indicative of your responsibilities:
- Making sure that limescale is cleaned away from all sinks, baths, showerheads etc. Hampshire is a hard water area and limescale can quickly build up. You will need to carry out regular cleaning to prevent damage.
- Ensuring that the property is well ventilated and appropriately heated to prevent condensation and black mould or mildew occurring. If black mould speckles begin to occur you should immediately treat the mould and wipe it away to prevent it growing and spreading. You should consider if it is your actions that may be causing excessive moisture in the property such as drying clothes over radiators or not opening windows to let steam from bathing and cooking escape. Sealant around baths and sinks will become blackened by mildew if the sealant is not cleaned regularly. In our experience, a tenant’s life-style is often a contributory factor.
- Often a tenant will complain that the opening of a window allows heat to escape unnecessarily. In our experience, fully opening a window to the front and the back of a property for two minutes after cooking or showering and first thing in the morning will allow for a complete change of air and rapidly reduces moisture in the property. This is usually far more effective than opening "trickle vents" fitted to windows. The property heats up again quite quickly.
- Keeping toilets, drains and sinks unblocked. In the majority of cases, blockages or slow draining pipework are caused by miss-use. Fat being poured down kitchen sinks, wet wipes or toilet wipes flushed down toilets, hair accumulating in plug holes are all common causes for which you will be responsible.
- Keeping the garden properly cultivated according to the season and free from weeds, in a neat and tidy manner with lawns regularly mown and edged and shrubs and trees pruned. You may wish to employ the services of a specialist gardening contractor if you are unsure of any aspect of garden maintenance for example pruning of shrubs or trimming of hedges.
Please seek the landlord’s written approval for any alterations you wish to make to the property. For example:
- Installation of hooks for hanging mirrors and pictures.
- Installation of satellite dish.
- Installation of cable services.
- Any redecoration works.
- Any alterations to the garden.
- Change of locks.
- Change of floor-coverings.
- Temporary removal or disposal of any of your landlord’s belongings.
The granting of consent for such works will probably be upon condition that you agree to remove and make good such installations at the end of the tenancy or that the works are carried out by a competent tradesman and carried out to minimum standards.
Your security deposit will be at risk if you do not get prior consent and adhere to any conditions imposed.
21 Changes to your circumstances
If your circumstances change during the tenancy, you must inform us immediately if the tenancy is managed by us or, alternatively, the landlord if he manages it himself.
- You become a recipient of housing benefits. This may affect the manner in which rent is paid.
- You receive a criminal conviction. This may have an effect upon your landlord’s insurance.
- You change your name by deed poll or marriage.
- You change your email address.
- You change your telephone number.
If you think that we might need to know something, please contact us to discuss.
End of Tenancy
In order for you to bring the tenancy to an end, you will need to serve your landlord with at least 1 month’s written notice and this notice must expire the day before your rent is due. If we manage the tenancy, then this notice needs to be delivered to us.
If you moved in on 15th of the month, then under normal circumstances, your rent due date will be 15th of each month and, therefore, your notice must expire on 14th. It may be that you have agreed that you rent due date is different so that for example your wages are received before your rent is due. Under these circumstances, your rent due date will no longer tie in with the date that you moved in.
It’s a good idea to clarify with us prior to making any plans and actually serving notice.
Please note that if you do not serve notice, your tenancy continues. You cannot simply turn up at the end of the fixed period and hand your keys back. You are always obliged to serve notice.
Occasionally, a landlord will serve notice on you. If this is the case, it will usually also expire the day before your rent is due, but he will have to serve you with 2 months’ notice. Whilst you are obliged to stay until the end of the notice period, very often a landlord will take a sympathetic view on your circumstances and it may be that he will agree to you leaving early. Speak with us if we manage the tenancy and we will try and negotiate a mutually acceptable date for ending your tenancy.
You will be issued with check-out guidelines which will serve as a reminder of your obligations to return the property in inventory condition (allowances will be made for fair wear and tear). In short:
- Ensure that the property is cleaned thoroughly.
- Pay particular regard to ovens, hobs, extractors, w.c’s, shower cubicles and baths.
- Remove all your belongings.
- Return all the landlord’s belongings to where they were when the inventory was drawn up.
- Leave rubbish only in wheelie-bins and ensure that only recycling is in the recycling bin.
- Leave the garden in good order. Mow the lawns, trim hedges, weed borders etc.
- If you have kept a pet, ensure that the garden is clear of pet faeces.
- If you have kept a pet, then carpets and soft-furnishings will need to be treated for fleas.
- Leave fridge and freezer doors open having cleaned and turned them off.
- Turn off immersion heaters.
- Leave the property secure. Lock all doors and windows.
- Return all keys and security devices to our offices.
- Make arrangements for the re-direction of your mail.
A formal check-out will be conducted by one of our team and you will be invited to attend.
Once the tenancy has formally ended and you have handed keys back, you will not be able to return to the property.
A copy of the check-out report will be sent to both you and your landlord. You will also receive a spreadsheet detailing any possible costs or claims against your deposit.
If you agree to any deductions, then the balance of your deposit will be returned to you and we will take care of any issues (generally cleaning) that may be required. You will not be expected to assist in this regard.
In the event that you disagree with any proposed deductions and we are unable to arrive at a satisfactory agreement, then the claim will dealt with by The DPS Alternative Dispute Resolution service. So far as they are concerned, the deposit is yours and the onus of proving any deduction lies with the landlord. The uncontested portion of the deposit will be returned whilst the deal with the claim.
They will require evidence and on the landlord’s behalf, we will submit: the tenancy agreement which outlines your obligations to return the property in good order, the inventory which describes the original condition, the check-out report which shows how the property was left, together with invoices or estimates for any works required.
This process can take a number of weeks to complete, but in our experience, it is a transparent and fair system and prevents a landlord from making unfair deductions from your deposit.
Please bear in mind that throughout this process, we are acting on your landlord’s instructions. We will always encourage a landlord to attempt to deduct only what is appropriate, but we are obliged to work to his instructions.
We will generally contact you by email giving so that we have evidence of any discussions. This benefits both you and your landlord. We may also telephone or send SMS messages for less important matters.
Nowadays, we rarely send letters by post. If, however, you would rather correspond by letter, please ensure that we are made aware.
If you ever serve notice by post, for example when you write to tell us that you intend to end your tenancy, please ensure that you retain “proof of posting” which is available from all post-offices. If we do not receive it, you will need to be able to prove that it was sent. It is not advisable to simply post a letter as you will have no proof that you sent it.
If you send an email, we suggest that you request a read receipt.
In the event that we have to serve notice on you, we will either hand-deliver with a witness, or send by post with proof of posting. We will always attempt to call you in order to warn you and usually send an email as well.
We communicate in a polite and respectful way and we ask that tenants reciprocate.
On occasions we may have to present you with bad news. No matter how frustrating this may prove, aggressive or abusive behaviour of any description will not be tolerated.
If you feel that you are getting nowhere quickly with something and if it seems to you that the person with whom you are dealing is not listening or fully understanding your position, then please make a note of the name of the individual with whom you are dealing and email firstname.lastname@example.org
This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often, but we fully understand how quickly things can escalate and get out of hand. In our experience, it’s far better to stand back, and calmly approach the matter anew with someone else.
Depending upon the complexity of the problem, it may take a while for one of the directors to fully investigate, but you will receive a call or email in response and you’ll be provided with an idea of how long you can expect to wait for a proper response.
We do have a complaints process and we will send you details in the unlikely event that we cannot resolve your complaint.
We are members 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
We have Client Money Protection (CMP) insurance through the Safeagent Scheme (Safeagent) and we are a SafeAgent.
Belvoir Portsmouth & Waterlooville are members of the ARLA Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme. To see our certificate please click here.
Belvoir Portsmouth & Waterlooville are members of The Property Ombudsman, which is a redress scheme.