for tenants renting a property
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GOOD REASONS TO RENT AT THE MOMENT
SEE THEM HERE
and Assured Shorthold Tenancies: A guide for tenants
probably need to read this booklet if you are renting, or thinking of renting,
a domestic property and the letting began on or after 15 January 1989.This booklet
does not deal with agricultural lettings, or lettings by housing associations,
local authorities or other social landlords. This booklet explain the most important
features of tenants' and landlords' rights and responsibilities but it is only
a general guide from Communities and Local Government - Find
out More Here
information is given for general guidance only and should therefore not be relied
on. It has been prepared by an experienced letting agent operating in the UK market.
sure you have details ready of who is going to provide your references (for example,
employers, previous landlord or agent, bank account etc) It is normal these days
that if you are renting via an Agents that they will use a Credit Search Company.
They will normally make a charge per applicant for this search.
Search Companies normally work on 30 X rent. e.g. rental of £650 pcm X 30 = £19,500
(applicant must earn this amount per annum – if not a guarantor might have to
be used) * The credit search company reserves the right to charge for a Guarantor’s
reference in addition and this will be charged out at the normal applicant rate.
you are paying a 'reservation' or 'holding' deposit whilst your application for
a tenancy is processed, make sure you get a receipt and a Holding Deposit Agreement
from the Agent that sets out the terms of this initial deposit and any circumstances
under which you may or may not get your money back.
is usually paid a calendar month in advance. The first payment will be made by
bankers draft/building society cheque (not a personal one) and or Part Cash.
of money laundering regulations most Agents are only able to accept a maximum
of £500 in cash. Subsequent payments are normally made by standing order or the
Agent or Landlord. If the payment of rent is late, interest is payable as shown
in the Tenancy Agreement.
& INVENTORY(SEE ALSO IVENTORIES IN THE
deposit equivalent to approximately 6 weeks rent will normally be required to
settle any claim for dilapidations, or any other breach of the tenancy agreement,
which may arise, during the tenancy or at the termination of the tenancy. The
deposit will be held by the Agents or the Landlord. If the Landlord is holding
it, you should ensure that it is held in a separate bank account, as it is your
money and not the Landlord’s.
sure that you are present to check the inventory when you move in and out of the
property so that you can agree to any amendments. We recommend that you keep a
signed copy of both the checking in and checking out inventory. This document
will form the basis of any compensations claimed against you by the landlord.
the Agents have received acceptable references after consultation with the Landlord,
a Tenancy Agreement will be prepared for the Tenant’s signature. The cost. Release
Clauses are not normally incorporated in a Tenancy Agreement so if you want a
Release Clause, you must agree this before you sign up.
Before you arrange
a date and time to sign the tenancy agreement, make sure that you (all tenants)
have seen a copy and read it through, so that everyone understands their obligations.
Ask questions to clarify anything that you are unclear on. All tenants must sign
the tenancy agreement before they can move in. ONCE YOU HAVE SIGNED...
Keep all your documents (such as insurance policy, copy of tenancy agreement and
inventory) together in a file. Keep this file in a safe place
It is normally a condition of the
Tenancy that the services (i.e. electricity, gas and telephone) are transferred
into the Tenant’s name for the duration of the Tenancy. If you require the telephone
service you will need to contact British Telecom or service provider direct. In
some instances, a deposit may be requested from the relevant Companies
A common problem in any house where there is gas or oil central heating and the
radiators are filled with water are air locks. This means the radiator is not
heating up properly. Before phoning the Landlord or Letting Agent, try bleeding
the radiator first. This is the process of letting air out. To do this you must
switch off the boiler so the pump is not working. Use a radiator key (if there
is not one at the property they can be purchased at the local hardware store)
and unscrew the valve with the key that is normally located at one of the two
ends.Hold a rag or tissue under the keys bacause as soon as the air has gone water
will come out so it must be screwed up quickly. The water is normally black from
being inside the central heating system and so take care when there are carpets
below. In the majority of cases this should solve the problem.
tips for cold weather from Thames Water Here
COUNCIL TAX/WATER CHARGES/TV LICENSE
Tenants will normally be
responsible for the payment of the Council Tax for the property they are renting
and will pay this direct to the Local Authority. They must also advise the Local
Authority when they move in/out of a rented property.
Leaflets on Council Tax should be available from the Registration Officer at the
Council together with information on rebates etc. A 25% discount is usually available
on Council Tax for single occupancy. It is the responsibility of the tenant to
pay for a TV License in respect of the property they are renting. In most cases
water charges are now paid for by Tenants in renting a property
- Water Industry Act 1991 – Information about water meters for home movers.
1989, most new homes built in England and Wales have had a water meter installed.
In addition to this, many water company customers previously on a non-metered
supply have opted for water meter.
1st April 2002 companies like Three Valleys Water Plc in England have
been installing water meters when a property is sold. From the 1st
January 2005 this company will also be installing meters when a property is rented
government act covering this is under S1444B of the Water Industry Act 1991.
TENANTS CONTENTS INSURANCE (For Further information CLICK
Tenants should consider taking out insurance for their
own possessions, as this is not the Landlords responsibility. You can
also arrange this yourself on line by CLICKING
HERE. Because of the Regulations on the sales of Landlords & Tenants
insurance policies no advice can be given and you must contact Letsure, Homelet
or any other provider for advice on policies.
STAMP DUTY ON TENANCY AGREEMENTS
From the 1st December 2003, Stamp
Duty has been abolished and replaced with Stamp Duty Land Tax. The starting point
for this is £125,000. This means that the vast majority of Tenancy Agreements
will not attract SDLT.
sure that you are provided with a Landlords Gas Safety certificate (See
Gas Safety in Rental Properties) and if you are renting a furnished
property that the furniture has fire safety labels on it (arm chairs, beds, cushions
etc) and that a note is made on the inventory to that effect. The Landlord must
also make sure that electrical wiring and appliances are safe.
Energy Performance Certificates for
rental property in England and Wales start 1st October 2008...more information
Many agents belong to professional organisations:
- ARLA (Association
of Residential Letting Agents)
(National Approved Letting scheme)
(National Association of Estate Agents) or
(Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)
agent will have certain obligations but these may vary from simply letting the
property to letting and managing the property.
out what the agent's responsibilities are. If they are simply responsible for
letting the building, find out who is responsible for managing/ maintaining the
The agent will make regular checks on the property. Arrange
a mutually convenient time for these checks and make a note of it.
Landlords will allow 2 or more tenants to share a property, but the flowing must
All tenants must understand the commitment they are entering into
and MUST remain at the property for the duration of the rental agreement.
There can be NO assignment of a Lease under most types of Contract, however if
one of the tenants wishes to leave and a replacement tenant is found, a new Agreement
will have to be prepared to include the replacement tenant (subject to the Landlord’s
prior approval) and the costs of the new agreement, including the Landlord’s share,
will be the tenant’s responsibility.
Credit search references will also have to be taken up on all new Tenants
All parties to the agreement must sign the Contract prior to moving in. If one
of the prospective tenants cannot sign prior to moving in THEN NO ONE CAN MOVE
IN UNTIL EVERYONE HAS SIGNED. (A new agreement will not be prepared if the tenancy
is delayed by one or more of the tenants not signing on time, unless of course,
the tenants are prepared to pay for a new agreement and they would have to pay
the Landlord’s costs in addition).
It is the practice for Landlords or their Agents to accept the monthly rental
by ONE Standing Order payment from the Tenants and we would suggest you set up
a “House Bank Account” to cover this and any other outgoings for the property
A ROOM IN A ROPERTY - Where the Landlord lives More
people have decided to let out a room in their own property as a way of helping
with morgage costs . HM Revenue and Customs allows the owner occupier a tax-free
income of up to £4,250 from letting rooms in your home.
lodger can occupy a single room or an entire floor of your home. However, the
scheme does not apply if your home is converted into separate flats that you rent
out. In this case you will need to declare your rental income to HM Revenue &
Customs (HMRC) and pay tax in the normal way. Nor does the scheme apply if you
let unfurnished accommodation in your home.
Landlord does not have to be a home owner and can choose to take advantage of
the Rent a Room scheme, regardless of whether they are a home owner or are renting
their home. However, if you are renting, you should check whether your lease allows
you to take in a lodger and ask your Landlord this.
Agreements for being a Resident Landlord
you have found a property it is best to get the Landlord tp make out a tenancy
agreement with them. You do not need to fill in any special forms, but it is best
that you make an agreement in writing. This will help you if there are any problems
later. There are some basics which should be included in your agreement
- How much
notice you must give the Landlord
much notice the Tenant should give to the Landlord
How long is the tenancy is for
rooms are being let
facilities are being shared
How much the rent will be paid
the rent include bills? e.g electricity, gas, telephone, internet, water, Council
tax and even food.
When the rent is due
How should rent be paid (cash, cheque, standing order, direct debit etc.)
Is the deposit payable when the tenant moves in and when it will be returned and
how it will be held by the Landlord
the Landlord and the tenant should sign the agreement.
GOOD REASONS TO RENT AT THE MOMENT
FLEXABILITY TO MOVE WHEN YOU WANT
NO LONG TERM COMMITTMENTS
NO HIDDEN MAINTENANCE COSTS
4. NO EXPENSIVE LEGAL FEES
YOU WON'T MAKE EXPENSIVE MISTAKES BY MOVING TO THE WRONG AREA AND NOT BEING ABLE
TO MOVE AGAIN
6. NO CHAINS INVOLVED - YOU CAN NORMALLY MOVE INTO A RENTED PROPERTY WITHIN A
NUMBER OF DAYS
NO CONCERNS ABOUT FLUCTUATING HOUSE PRICES
SHORT OR LONG TERM LETS AVAILABLE
WHEN YOU RENT FURNISHED YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO OUT BUYING FURNITURE, IT HAS BEEN
DONE FOR YOU
NO D.I.Y. IN YOUR FREE TIME
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