INFORMATION FOR TENANTS
Welcome to Vickery Lettings
Before your tenancy application can be considered you will need to pay us a Holding Deposit to reserve the property while reference checks are made and the Tenancy Agreement is prepared.
The Holding Deposit is equivalent to one week’s rent.
NOTE: The property will continue to be marketed until the Holding Deposit is received.
You will not be asked to pay any fees or charges in connection with your application for a tenancy.
On receipt of the Holding Deposit both parties have 14 working days to enter into the Tenancy Agreement and you will be advised, in writing, of the Deadline for Agreement date. Any change or extension to this date will be notified in writing.
Your Holding Deposit will be retained if you:
• Provide us with false or misleading information when deciding to let you the property;
• Fail a Right to Rent check;
• Withdraw from the property, or
• Fail to take all reasonable steps to enter into a Tenancy Agreement, and, we and the landlord have made all reasonable steps to do so.
Reasons for retaining a Holding Deposit will be provided in writing within 7 days of the decision not to proceed with the tenancy.
Your Holding Deposit will be refunded to you, within 7 days, if:
• The landlord withdraws from the proposed agreement;
• The Deadline for Agreement passes without a tenancy having been entered.
Should you accept a tenancy with our landlord your Holding Deposit will be credited to the first month’s rent due under that tenancy.
REFERENCES & RIGHT TO RENT CHECKS
We require all tenants to be referenced – you will not be asked to pay for your references.
We will ask Homelet to carry out a reference on you before you move into your new home. You will be asked to fill out an application form and sign a declaration to give your consent.
All references include a credit search - Homelet will check:
• Up to two credit bureaus for any adverse credit history, such as bankruptcy, County Court Judgments (CCJs) and court decrees;
• If you have any previous names and addresses which you may not have disclosed;
• Whether there is any undisclosed credit history which is linked to your current and most recent homes, and
• Any bank account details you provide are for a genuine back account.
Please let us know if you are aware of anything that may affect the outcome of the references, such as County Court Judgements (CCJs). Failure to disclose information that results in failed references will result in your holding deposit being retained by us.
Right to Rent Checks
Vickery and the landlord have a legal obligation to ensure that all adult occupants demonstrate a valid Right to Rent prior to the tenancy start date. Right to Rent checks will be undertaken by Homelet.
To enable us to undertake the necessary Right to Rent checks we will need to see:
• Passports for all proposed tenants over 18 years of age;
• Driving licence, utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill as proof of address.
We must see sight of your original documents. We will take copies of the original documents and record when the check is completed.
We will conduct follow up checks at the appropriate time (e.g. repeat the check when a tenant's visa expires). If follow up checks reveal that an occupant in a rental property no longer has a valid Right to Rent then Vickery and the landlord must report that person to the Home Office.
Prior to the start of the tenancy the following Initial Monies are payable:
1. First month’s rent less the Holding Deposit
2. Security Deposit – equal to 5 weeks’ rent
The Security Deposit is held by the Deposit Protection Service for the duration of the tenancy, to cover dilapidations and/or outstanding accounts which may occur at the termination of the tenancy. Your Security Deposit is returned at the conclusion of the tenancy once dilapidation charges/outstanding amounts have been agreed and deducted, if necessary.
Zero Deposit Guarantee – equal to 1 week’s rent
This option is only available if offered by the landlord and agreed by you. For more information please visit www.zerodeposit.com
INITIAL MONIES MUST BE PAID BY BANKERS DRAFT OR BANK TRANSFER AND SHOULD BE MADE PAYABLE TO VICKERY & COMPANY LTD.
FUTURE RENTAL PAYMENTS
We require all payments of rent to be paid by standing order and reach the landlord’s account on the date it is due. You are also liable for all bills at the property including council tax, television licence and telephone. If the property is occupied by persons who do not form a single household, then the landlord may be responsible for the Council Tax and in this case the amount due will be added to the monthly rental. You should also arrange your own insurance to cover the contents in your new home.
REMEMBER to read your tenancy agreement
Many tenants assume all assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreements are and the same – they aren’t – read them!!! Please read the small print too, to ensure you fully understand your rights, responsibilities and any restrictions that may apply.
Vickery are members of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) www.arla.co.uk and The Property Ombudsman www.tpos.co.uk
KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES
Who is responsible? We have listened to our tenants and have shared some of the most common queries that you may find useful:
• Window cleaning - It is the tenant/s responsibility to ensure their home is kept clean and tidy. This includes cleaning the windows unless otherwise agreed with the landlord before the tenancy commences.
• Changing light bulbs - Tenants are responsible for changing the light bulbs and leaving the property with the same working light bulbs as when they moved in.
• Smoke & carbon monoxide alarms - Despite landlords having a duty of care to ensure smoke alarms are working in properties, where batteries can be replaced easily the tenant should do as soon as the warning alarm sounds. Tenants should also test the smoke alarms on a weekly basis and report any concerns to the letting agent or landlord immediately.
• Rodent issues - Tenants often believe that mice and rat infestations are down to the landlord to control – this is often not the case. In many instances, the tenant is more than likely to be responsible for managing the rodent situation, which may include paying for a professional to visit the property.
• Condensation - Many damp issues are caused by condensation, which is often a result of lifestyle. For example, every time we cook, hang washing inside, have a shower or even boil a kettle, we create lots of moisture. In addition, the more people there are in a property, the more moisture will be produced. In a well-insulated home moisture will be unable to escape and condensation forms. This can quickly lead to damp and mould.
Some easy ways to keep condensation under control are to open windows, dry washing outside and make sure the property is heated evenly. If this doesn’t work speak either to us if we manage the property or the landlord if not – ignoring the issue may result in damage to the property’s structure.
• Garden and lawn maintenance - Tenants are responsible for maintaining the gardens and cutting the grass. A landlord will be within his/her rights to contact the tenant if the grass and gardens are not maintained appropriately. In the summer months this may mean cutting lawns 1-2 times per week.
• Replacement keys when lost – We will provide two sets of keys when you move into the property - if keys are lost it is your responsibility to deal with this. A landlord has the right to demand the tenant pays for locks to be changed if keys are frequently lost as this is deemed as a security risk.
• Insurance - The landlord’s insurance policy will not cover your possessions. You should hold adequate insurance to protect against accidental damage caused to the landlord’s fixtures and fittings as detailed in the Check-in Inventory and Schedule of Condition. You should also consider the need for insurance to cover your own personal possessions
• Meter Readings - Please ensure that the check-in clerk or landlord take meter readings with you on the day the tenancy starts. Ideally, you should sign to confirm these meter readings are accurate.
• Changing decoration – You should ensure that you have the landlord’s written consent – letter, e-mail or fax detailing their approval for any changes you may wish to make.
• Going away? - If you are going away particular during winter months you should set the central heating on a low or normal setting to maintain a temperature of approximately 60°F (15°C) and consider leaving the loft hatch open to stop pipes from freezing. If your property has electric panel heaters please do not switch these off at the wall, as this can flatten the integral battery and you may be held liable for the cost of replacing it. Use the thermostat or on/off switch on the side of the heater instead. On returning to the property after a period of absence tenants should run all taps for at least two minutes.
• Communication – Most landlords are keen to assist with the maintenance and upkeep of their property and want you to stay in the property long-term rather than move on after the first six months. So please make sure that you report any faults - if you don’t report a small leak, which eventually leads to significant water damage you could be responsible and liable for repairs! Reliable and honest tenants are hugely favoured by landlords and you will often find they are more than willing to invest in the property to keep such tenants in their property for as long as possible.
SHOULD YOU HAVE ANY QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL OFFICE