123 Estate Agent Tenant Guide
We are committed to acting professionally and practically when communicating with our tenants.
We are committed to supporting equality and diversity and respect the needs of all our tenants. We will not discriminate against any person on the grounds of race, colour, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status or age.
Trust is an important part of estate agency and we want to send a clear message to our clients and customers that we are a professional company acting ethically at all times. We are compliant with the following governing bodies: TPO (The Property Ombudsman) CMP (Client Money Protection)
Making an Offer
When making an offer make it clear in writing any actions or conditions you wish to request in order for the landlord to make an informed decision.
Once your offer has been accepted we will require you to provide us with one proof of identity and one proof of residence, which can be selected from the list below. You should either provide us the original documents for copying; or provide us with copies certified by a solicitor as genuine.
List A: Proof of Identity
National Identity Card
Full Driving Licence
List B: Proof of Residence
Council Tax bill
Credit or Charge Card Statement
123 Estate Agent will provide you with a specimen copy of the proposed Tenancy Agreement. You should read this document carefully to ensure that you are familiar with the obligations that you intend to enter. Once the Tenancy Agreement is signed you will be bound by those obligations therefore if you are unsure of any of the content you should take independent legal advice from a solicitor or the Citizens Advice Bureau (“CAB”). The Tenancy Agreement signed between the Landlord and the Tenant contains the rights and responsibilities of each party during the Tenancy. The Landlord and the Tenant will be responsible for carrying out the promises they made in that Agreement.
Holding Deposit equivalent to 1 week’s rent. This is to reserve a property:
Example £1000 per calendar month rent = £230.76 holding deposit
(Credited toward initial rent on commencement of tenancy)
(Please Note: This will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s)) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing). Deductions to cover reasonable disbursements or losses incurred by the landlord if the tenant does not proceed or fails reference checks).
Once an offer has been accepted and we receive the holding deposit we will pass your information to Van Mildert to carry out credit, work and previous landlords checks.
How long does the referencing take?
The referencing process is usually completed within 10 working days, however responses depend on your employer and previous/current landlord. You can assist the process by advising your employer/HR department and previous/current landlord that they are due to hear from us and to reply at their earliest convenience.
Guarantors (if required)
You may be asked to supply a guarantor. The guarantor will be referenced, and will only be acceptable if deemed suitable. The guarantor will be a party to the Tenancy Agreement and will guarantee and meet the obligations of the Tenant, during the whole period of the Tenancy if the Tenant does not do so. The guarantor will jointly and severally liable with the Tenant which means that the guarantor may have to pay full costs of any breach of the Tenancy Agreement including all rent arrears. A draft copy of the tenancy agreement will be provided to the guarantor to read, each page will then be initialled by the guarantor for confirmation the obligations outlined in this Agreement are understood.
Right to Rent
Landlords who let private property in England, or take in lodgers could be liable for a civil penalty if they enter into a tenancy agreement involving an illegal migrant. If a landlord makes the checks and retains copies as required they will have a statutory excuse against such a penalty. Landlords and agents should apply the right to rent checks in a fair, justifiable and consistent manner, regardless as to whether they believe the prospective tenant to be British, settled or a person with limited permission to be in the UK.
Please see the governments web site for further information on what documents are accepted.
Deposit and Rent in Advance
Deposit will be 5 week’s rent
Example £1000 per calendar month rent = £1,153.84 deposit
Rent in advance will be 4 week’s rent
Example £1000 per calendar month rent = £1,000.00 rent
Before you move into a property an inventory will probably be carried out, which is paid for by your landlord. This is carried out by an inventory clerk who is a trained professional and experienced at carrying out inventories of rental properties. The purpose of the inventory is to:
Detail the condition and contents of the property.
Give the landlord a record to help determine if any charges are required against your deposit at the end of your tenancy.
Inventory can be conducted either by the inventory clerk meeting you at the property to ‘check you in’ or, if you prefer, the clerk can carry out the inventory without you present. If you are not available or choose not to attend the check in, a copy of the report will be sent to you. You then have 7 days to notify us of any comments. Please read the inventory carefully, it will be assumed that you are in agreement with the inventory clerk’s report unless you advise us within the 7 day period that you are not.
Documents to be provided to tenant
Energy Performance Certificate
How to Rent Guide Click to see guide
Gas Safety Certificate
Deposit scheme information
Electrical Safety Report (from 1st July 2020 for new tenancies)
We will provide you with one set of keys for each person named on the tenancy agreement .
123 Estate Agent will keep one set of master keys for management, emergencies or gaining access to the property Lost keys/fobs and lock changes.
If you lose or damage any keys you must pay for their replacement. This could include the maintenance set of keys and the lock change – Your tenancy agreement does not allow you to change the lock(s) without our prior permission.
Tenancy deposit protection
By law for an assured shorthold tenancy we have to ensure your tenancy deposit is held in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This was introduced by the UK Government to ensure that deposits paid by tenants are protected and that any disputes about their return are dealt with quickly, inexpensively and impartially. 123 Estate Agent is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Service. More information on TDS can be found at https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com/ Once your tenancy deposit has been received and protected you will receive a certificate of registration within 30 days.
Utilities and Council Tax
In accordance with the terms of the Tenancy Agreement, the payment of Council Tax, Gas, Electricity, Water Rates & Telephone (unless specifically stated otherwise by the Landlord) become your responsibility the day you move into the property. It will be necessary to inform the respective authorities that you are taking occupation. (Please note that no responsibility will be taken by 123 Estate Agent for the supply of the above utilities, if prior contact has not been made by you).
If you have not had an account in your own name with the utility companies, they will usually require you to complete the necessary application forms and in some instances, may require a deposit. With B.T, there is usually a change of user fee, providing the line has not been completely disconnected.
The landlord is responsible for the insurance of the building and any of the properties contents as detailed in the inventory, but it is your responsibility to take out additional contents insurance to cover your own possessions. Your insurance is to cover not only loss or damage in the event of fire, but also against burglary, water damage, or all other insurable risks.
It must be emphasised that the landlords’ policy does not cover, in any circumstances, damage to personal belongings. It is also prudent for you to consider obtaining cover for accidental damage, which is again not covered under the landlord’s policy.
Interest will be charged at a rate of 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from the Rent Due Date until paid. Fees apply once rent is more than 14 days in arrears.
Lost Keys &/or Security Devices
Tenants are liable for the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) and/or security device(s). If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the Tenant, Landlord and any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the Tenant.
Variation of Contract – Tenant Request
If Tenants request a change or variation of their contract, the Tenant will pay a fee of £50.00 per variation to cover the costs of the preparation and execution of new legal documents.
Change of Sharer
If Tenants request a change of Sharer, the Tenant will reimburse the landlord for all reasonable costs incurred in relation to the change requested. The costs will include: New Tenant referencing, right to rent checks, deposit registration and the preparation and execution of new legal documents.
Early Termination Fees
In the event that a tenant should require to terminate their tenancy early, other than as facilitated under the terms of the tenancy agreement, and should their landlord agree to release the tenant from the contract subject to securing a new tenant, the landlord will be liable to pay 123 Estate Agent Lettings fees for the additional work of re-letting the property, which the landlord is entitled to recover from the tenant.
The fees would include the following costs:
Cost of the Preparation of Tenancy documents for the new tenancy;
Cost of referencing new Tenant/s;
Cost of registration of new Tenant’s Deposit with the Landlord`s chosen tenancy deposit scheme;
Cost of the inventory check-in for the new tenant;
Re-letting commission charged to the landlord, if applicable.
Please refer to landlord fees page. Landlord Fees
Other charges in addition to the above that are applicable to tenants where required under a tenancy agreement: Rent, payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence, council tax.
How can we serve notice?
If you want advice about serving notice you should check your tenancy agreement for further information or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you enter into a Tenancy Agreement jointly with another person(s) you will both be bound by the promises that you have made. However, that does not mean that you will only be responsible for your share of the rent, or your share of the promises made. Joint and several liability means that the Landlord could hold either of you to account for any failure by you or your co-tenant to comply with the obligations of the Tenancy Agreement whether or not you have kept your part of the bargain, which mean that each person could be asked to pay the full rent arrears or other costs and losses that are outstanding. Your responsibility for meeting all expectations of the Tenancy Agreement will continue until the Agreement is brought to an end at the termination of the Tenancy by the Landlord or the Tenants giving written notice. Leaving during the fixed term, or any extension of it will not bring your responsibility (and legal liability) to an end.
The Tenancy Term
You cannot end the Tenancy early unless the Landlord agrees. If the Landlord does agree you must accept any reasonable conditions that the Landlord might apply. If in breach of the tenancy agreement you leave the property before the end of the fixed term you remain liable for the rent, all the other obligations of the tenancy and the security of the property until the end of the fixed term, or another person enters into a new tenancy (with the Landlord’s consent) whichever is the earlier.
If your Tenancy becomes a periodic you will be required to give one months notice in writing at the beginning of your rental period (rent due date). The notice must reach the Landlord or us (as specified within the Tenancy Agreement) before the rent due date to be valid. If you fail to allow time for the notice to be served upon us or the Landlord you may have to pay additional rent. You will be liable for all obligations of the Tenancy Agreement during the notice period.
If you Tenancy Agreement contains a break clause this will only be enforceable if all persons forming the Tenant give notice. One person forming the Tenant cannot give notice during a fixed term to end his or her responsibilities for the Tenancy.
End of Tenancy
Prior to the end of the Tenancy we will write to both you and your Landlord asking if you wish to continue the Tenancy for a further fixed term or as a periodic tenancy. If we receive the instructions that he wishes to renew then we will approach you to find out if you wish to remain in the property. You will be informed of the terms required by the landlord and you will need to make a firm decision in good time so that any new Tenancy Agreement can be prepared signed by the parties to it prior to the renewal date.
If either party do not wish to extend the tenancy and the Tenancy is an AST, a Notice may be served upon you at least 2 months before the end of your Tenancy or a lesser period for a Non Housing Act Tenancy advising you of the date that you will be due to leave. If you do not comply with Notice possession proceedings will be taken against you. You will be liable for all legal costs incurred.
You can not give notice to end your Tenancy during the fixed term unless there is a break clause included in the Tenancy Agreement. Even if you leave the property early your obligations remain until the Tenancy ends or the property is re-let (if your Landlord chooses to do so) whichever is earlier.
If the Tenancy becomes periodic you must give one period’s notice in writing at the beginning of a rent period.
Prior to the end of the Tenancy you must prepare the property. By the last day of your Tenancy you must have removed all your personal belongings from the property; leave the garden (if applicable) in good condition with the borders wedded and the grass cut; and the clean the property. You can not go back to the property after the end of the Tenancy to carry out cleaning or gardening. If the property is not left clean or the garden is untidy you may be charged for carrying out work. This money will be deducted from the deposit.
Change of Circumstances
If your circumstances change during the Tenancy and/or if you start to receive housing benefits you should inform your Landlord and Agent immediately.