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TENANTS GUIDE

Once you see a property advertised you like, telephone or e-mail our office to arrange a viewing (see Contact Us)

After your viewing, if you would like to take the property, we will ask some basic details about yourself and your status and propose you to the landlord.

If the Landlord is in agreement, we will begin the securement process. If the property is being withdrawn for 3 weeks or less before the proposed move-in date, we will ask that the agency fees be paid. If the timescale is greater than 3 weeks, we will normally request an amount equivalent to the first month’s rent be paid.

We will prepare a Good faith document to be signed, agree a move-in date (subject to contract and completed paperwork) and take the initial monies.

The property will then be withdrawn from the market.

The next stage is Referencing
For your application, the following information will be required.
Employers (or Accountants details if you are self-employed)
Current Landlord/letting agent details
Current and previous addresses
Salary details
Copy of current passport
National Insurance Number (if applicable)

It is imperative that any circumstances that may affect the referencing, i.e bad credit, CCJ’s, Bankruptcy etc be brought to our attention immediately and prior to referencing. Monies are not refunded should you fail the referencing due to non-disclosure of known adverse credit history.

Guarantor

If you require a guarantor, the person needs to be a UK based citizen and have a verified income or be a UK homeowner (proof will be needed) They will need to complete a reference application form. We will need for them to sign a Guarantee document and this has to be held on file at least 2 weeks before move-in date. If this is not on file, the move-in will not take place. Please advise any guarantor of the information they are expected to disclose (see referencing above).

Lead Tenant

In order to comply with our obligations under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) a Lead Tenant will need to be nominated. In the event of a deposit dispute at the end of a tenancy, the deposit scheme will only deal with one person, the Lead Tenant. The Lead Tenant will have the responsibility to log on to the TDS providers website, confirm the amounts and enter each tenant’s bank details for deposit return. It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT that the Lead Tenant nominated is contactable at the end of the tenancy and seen as the most responsible person by any group of tenants.

Joint and Several Liability

All Tenants named on the Tenancy Agreement are considered ‘jointly and severally liable’ for the obligations of the tenancy. This means that each tenant is fully responsible for all the conditions of the agreement, including paying the full rent and any damages, both individually and collectively with the other tenants, not just their share. We would strongly recommend that a joint ‘house’ bank account is set up and the rent due is paid in full each month in one transaction so that no tenants fall behind on payment, which can penalize the others.

Tenancy Agreement

This is the contract between Landlord and Tenant(s) agreeing the terms of the tenancy. All signatures will be required on the agreement at least one week before commencement of tenancy. Please read the agreement thoroughly as soon as possible and bring to our immediate attention any questions or requested amendments, these cannot be facilitated on move-in day.

Please also be aware of the different clauses contained within, especially those concerning subjects such as noise. It is very important to remember to be respectful to neighbours, to enjoy the neighbourhood your home is located, they often have elderly and young families close by that can be affected by adverse noise disturbance.

Pets

Are not permitted in properties, unless the landlord has given permission. A larger deposit or fumigation at end of tenancy may be charged for.

Security Deposit

By law your deposit must be registered with a government-approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This will mean that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to a tenants deposit and will also provide an independent resolution if any dispute arises between tenant and landlord.

At the commencement of the tenancy, we will advise you with which Tenancy Deposit Scheme your deposit has been lodged with. This can be carried out by either ourselves or the landlord. If it is us, your deposit will be with the company DPS. www.depositprotection.com

When you leave the property, an Inventory clerk will attend the property to carry out a ‘check out’ comparing the condition of the property and any contents, to the inventory made at the start of the tenancy.

If there are no damages or rent arrears, your deposit will be returned within 10 days.

If the Check-out identifies any damages to the property or its fixtures and fittings, your landlord may choose to claim the amount necessary to rectify any works needed. If this is the case, the Lead Tenant will receive by email within 10 days, a written break-down of any charges proposed. Should there be any proposed charges to the deposit based on the check-out, the Landlord or ourselves will in the first instance negotiate on the matter.

If agreement is not reached, DPS will act as an independent arbiter.
As detailed in Lead Tenant section, only the nominated person can speak for any group, both to ourselves and the DPS, we unfortunately cannot speak to other tenants or guarantors on any dispute matters, as only the Lead Tenant has the authority to reclaim the deposit.

Utility bills

The utility providers will be notified by ourselves of each tenants name, date tenancy commenced and meter readings where applicable (managed properties only). The details of your providers can be found on your Property Information sheets (for Managed properties) which will be given to you at commencement of tenancy. We recommend that you make contact with the providers to check your details are correct. It is strongly recommended that a ‘house’ bank account be set up in order for all tenants to contribute their share towards the bills. At the end of the tenancy, if there are any outstanding amounts, the utility providers are given the tenants forwarding addresses.

Insurance

The landlord will have in place suitable Buildings insurance. This however will not normally cover the Tenants contents and belongings. It is advisable for tenants to consider taking out an insurance policy to cover their possessions and possible accidental damage to the landlord’s property.

Standing Order

It is a requirement of our landlords that all rent is to be paid by Standing order. This needs to be set up on or before move-in date. If this is not possible, please advise in the first instance. It can take up to 3 working days for monies to be transferred between accounts so therefore you should set up the rent payment to leave your account 3 days before due date.

Inventory/schedule of Condition

The Inventory/schedule of condition of the property, its contents, fittings and effects will be prepared by a third party. This will be checked and agreed with you at the commencement of your tenancy as part of the Check-in process (managed properties only) with a member of GK Whites. It is important that you take care in agreeing the accuracy of this document as it will form the basis of any damages claim by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy, the Landlord will usually instruct for a Check-out to take place. An Inventory clerk will attend the property the day after the tenancy finishes and prepare a report against the original inventory.

House Visits

As part of our Managed service to landlords, we will carry out interim property inspections. The purpose of these is to ascertain the condition of the property, its cleanliness, garden maintenance and the way in which the tenancy is being conducted generally. These appointments are booked in advance at convenient times. It is recommended that you are present to bring anything to our attention, it is however not essential.

Change of sharer

If a tenants circumstances change during the fixed term tenancy, it may be possible to facilitate a ‘change of sharer’ The tenant wishing to surrender their tenancy early will need to notify us in writing as to the reason. The landlord will be advised, if they are in agreement AND there is more than 6 months remaining of the tenancy we will begin the process.* Please note, it is not possible if less than 6 months remain on the tenancy term.

The outgoing and remaining tenants(s) will all need to be in agreement and will need to source a suitable replacement. We will prepare documents for signature agreeing the basis of change over. The new tenant will need to undertake the exact same process as at commencement of the tenancy, be referenced and fulfil the same suitable criteria.

Once the replacement tenant is found and the relevant £300 fee paid, we will undertake the referencing process and draw up the new documentation for signature. Once everything is signed and all monies are paid, the outgoing tenant will be released from their obligations and the new tenant may move in.

It is important to realize that no formal check –out can take place to record the condition of the property or its furnishings so the new and remaining tenants must be aware that there will not be any deductions from the outgoing tenants deposit unless it is agreed and we are notified in writing prior to the return of their deposit.

We do not have any involvement in any settlement of utility bills, it is therefore down to incoming and existing tenants to establish whether the outgoing tenant owes any contribution.

It is very important to remember, that until or unless a suitable replacement is found, each tenant on the signed Tenancy Agreement will continue to be responsible for their obligations, namely the condition of the property and the rental payments.

The above is to guide and answer a lot of the questions you may have, but please feel free to contact us on info@gkwhites.co.uk or pop into our offices if we can be of any further help and assistance.

GK Whites Estate Agents are members of The Property Ombudsman
We do not have client money protection cover
All deposits taken on Managed Properties are transferred to the Custodial Tenancy Deposit Scheme administered by DPS

Enjoy your home and please bring to our immediate attention any concerns you ever have during your tenancy.