Guidance for Tenants

Property Rental Service in Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Wiltshire & Hampshire

Any fees that are outstanding at the end of the tenancy will be deducted from your Security Deposit. If you have any questions about our fees, please ask a member of staff.

Fees Before You Move In

Holding Deposit

Equal to one weeks rent (See terms and conditions in securing the property section).

Security Deposit

Equal to five weeks rent.

Fees During Your Tenancy

Early Termination Fees

To pay the Agent for the landlord's reasonable costs if the tenant wishes to surrender their tenancy early at the tenants request and the landlord as agreed to find a suitable tenant. The charges are as follows and are inclusive of VAT:-

  • £108.00 New tenancy agreement
  • £100.00 New schedule of condition
  • £100.00 Tenancy reference fees
  • £50.00 Re-Marketing costs

Total costs: £358.00

Alterations to the tenancy agreement

To pay the Agent the sum of £50.00 inclusive of VAT when the tenant requests a variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy.

Keys

In the event that any keys have been lost, pay to the agent their reasonable costs for replacement.

Finding a property to rent

When looking for the ideal property to rent you may want to consider the following:

  • Your budget, how much would you like to pay per month? Remember to budget for utilities and council tax.
  • How long do you need to rent the property for? Will it be long term or a short term stop gap? When do you need to move in?
  • Is the garden suitable and who will be responsible for the maintenance of the garden?
  • Does the size of the property suit your requirements? If you are looking for an unfurnished property will your furniture fit?
  • Does the property have broadband, good mobile phone reception for your network, cable/satellite dish, adequate sockets, telephone and TV aerial points?
  • Energy Efficiency: Landlords are now required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). It contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs and recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to E.
  • How to reduce energy use and save money. An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to E.

Securing a Property

The best properties tend to go quickly. Be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Photo identification (such as a driving licence or passport).
  • Evidence of your current address (such as a utility bill).
  • Deposit funds of five weeks rent.
  • Holding Deposit of one weeks rent (see condition in our application form).
  • Be ready to sign a tenancy application form.
  • If you need a guarantor, get this set up in good time.
  • Referencing: criteria may include the following: We will contact any Landlord you have had within the last 3 years. Confirmation of earnings. A credit check – this will allow them to see if you have a good history of paying your bills. Your bank details – including bank name, account number and sort-code. Details of your employment – your employer, job title, payroll number, salary, previous employer, etc.
  • Deposit: Once the full deposit is paid, the property is then secured. The deposit will be held by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). The deposit is held against any non payment of rent or damages to the property over and above fair wear and tear.
  • Tenancy Agreement: A tenancy agreement is a contract between you and the landlord, setting out the terms and conditions of the tenancy and the rights and obligations the landlord and the tenant have to each other and the property.
  • Insurance: It is the job of the Landlord to insure the bricks and mortar of the property, but your Landlord won’t insure your personal belongings.

Moving In

Your keys will be available for you to collect at our local branch, and for you to sign the Schedule of Condition.

Meter readings will be taken at the property at the commencement of your tenancy and we will as letting agents notify all utility providers. This does not include TV licence, telephone or broadband which is your responsibility.

Schedule of Condition and Inventory

The Schedule of Condition and Inventory is the document which is used to accurately record the condition and contents of the property at the time of moving in. It will be used again when checking the property at the end of the tenancy. When you move into a property, you should either annotate the schedule of condition with any comments you feel necessary to record at that time, or write a comments sheet with your observations. The document must be checked carefully to minimise the risk of any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Renewing Your Tenancy

Staying

If you decide to stay at the property and it is possible for you to do so, we will negotiate the terms of the extension with both you and the landlord.

Moving Out

  • The Landlord may wish to terminate the tenancy, in which case we will serve the appropriate notice on their behalf.
  • If you wish to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, you will need to serve one calendar months notice to end on the same expiry day in the month.
  • The property will need to be cleaned to a standard commensurate with the condition of the property at the commencement of the tenancy.
  • The garden will need to be tidied and grass cut.
  • All personal belongings will need to be removed and keys returned to the agent, landlord or inventory clerk.

Your Responsibilities

Your obligations are fully set out in your tenancy agreement but will usually include:

  1. Pay the rent
  2. Keep the property clean and tidy
  3. Don't change the fabric of the property without permission
  4. Abide by the Tenancy Agreement
  5. To behave in a tenant-like manner - i.e no nuisance, noise, disruptive behaviour etc.

Contractors

If you would like any contacts for cleaners or gardeners who can assist you during your tenancy, we would be pleased to assist you.

Repairs

If you are aware of a matter requiring urgent attention, contact us at the earliest opportunity and we will arrange for contractors to attend. You have a responsibility as a tenant to report any problems promptly to avoid the increase in any cost of repair.

Legionella

Legionella is a disease that can be caught by inhaling small droplets of water from stale or stagnant water that has been allowed to grow. It is rare in a dwelling that is lived in permanently but it is important for you to manage the risks during your tenancy.

  • Advise the letting agent or landlord if the hot water system is not working, making sure that the stored water is above 60 Celsius. Please note that this does not apply to combination boilers
  • Ensure showerheads are regularly cleaned and disinfected
  • When arriving home from a holiday to flush through the system. This would include running of showers, taps and WCs. Particular attention should also be made to hot tubs and Jacuzzi baths

Damp and Mould

Some homes can become damp which can cause mould to grow on walls, furniture and rot window frames. Most damp is caused by condensation, although some is caused by leaking pipes, rain seeping in or rising damp.

Condensation occurs mainly during cold weather. It does not leave a tidemark like other causes of damp often do. Proper steps need to be taken to deal with condensation but there are some measures you can take right away:

  • Wipe down the windows and sills every morning

Produce less moisture:

  • Cover pans of boiling water while cooking
  • Put washing outside to dry, or put in the bathroom with the door closed and the window open or extractor fan on. Do not dry clothes on radiators

Ventilate:

  • Keep some windows ajar, all the time if possible or particularly when someone is in the room. More ventilation is needed when cooking, washing up, bathing and drying clothes
  • Heat the property a little more. In cold weather, the best way to avoid condensation is to keep low background heating on all day
  • Dehumidifiers will help dry out damp in newly built houses

Manage Mould:

  • Treat the mould already in the property. If the basic problem is dealt with, mould should not reappear
  • To kill and remove the mould, wipe down with a fungicidal wash
  • Shampoo carpets. Brushing or vacuum cleaning can disturb mould and increase the risk of respiratory problems

Asbestos

It is the Landlord's responsibility to ensure that the letting agent is informed of any asbestos fixtures or fittings within the property or outbuildings included in the tenancy agreement, however it is the tenant's responsibility to inform the agent if the asbestos has been disturbed.

  • The Landlord may wish to terminate the tenancy, in which case we will serve the appropriate notice on their behalf
  • If you wish to terminate the tenancy at the end of the fixed term, you will need to serve one calendar months' notice to end on the same expiry day in the month
  • Remember to leave the property in good condition when you leave to ensure you get your full deposit returned. Refer to your copy of the Schedule of Condition and Inventory to check that the property is up to standard
  • The property will need to have a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, walls and any furniture that may be included in the tenancy
  • The garden will need to be tidied and grass cut
  • All personal belongings will need to be removed and keys returned to the agent, landlord or inventory clerk

Emergencies

If you have an emergency (i.e. threat to life or damage to the property) please call property management on 01305 236237 option 1. Please note this is not a 24 hour service.

If you have an out of hours emergency, please see our Out of Hours Contacts & Information (PDF) for a full list of contractors.

In the event of a suspected gas leak, please contact either the contractor named above or TRANSCO on 0800 111999.

Routine Property Visits

Your landlord will want to schedule regular visits to the property to ensure it is being kept in good order. These visits may be carried out by the agent or Landlord.

The first inspection will normally be carried out within the first 3 months after you move in and every six months periodically thereafter. The visits are an important way of ensuring your happiness and comfort at the property and also ensuring any points of concern that might affect the return of your deposit at the end of the tenancy can be raised and addressed at the earliest opportunity.

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