Tenants Help

Our Step by Step guidance for tenants highlights your responsibilities as a tenant and guides you through your tenancy to the point where you may wish to submit notice. 

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Recently Moved In

  • graphic_tenants-help-step1-imageIt is advisable to remind yourself of your responsibilities as a tenant by reading your tenancy agreement thoroughly.
  • It is advisable to check that your bills are all set up in your name after a week to 10 days. Whilst we do inform the utility companies of your occupancy and opening meter reads, you will need to decide what tariff meets your requirements and you will need to claim for single person allowance to the council if applicable as this is not something that we are able to assist you with.
  • Cross check your inventory and make sure that you tell us (or your landlord directly if managed by them) of any discrepancies. If you do nothing, your inventory is deemed as accepted after seven days of your move in date.
  • Make sure before the next rent payment date that your standing order has been actioned by your bank.
  • Obtain a TV Licence.
  • Consider contents insurance for items belonging to you – furniture, clothing or personal possessions. The landlords insurance will not cover your items.

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  • graphic_tenants-step2-imageRent – Make sure your rent and all utilities are paid on time and in accordance with your tenancy agreement. If you don’t you could lose your home because you have broken your tenancy agreement.
  • Increase in rent – Your landlord can increase your rent as set out in your tenancy agreement or by agreement. This is conducted annually on the anniversary rent date.
  • Responsibilities – Look after the property as though it is your own – you will need permission from the landlord to decorate or attempt any repairs. Small items such as light bulb replacement, checking and replacing the smoke alarm batteries, keeping the garden maintained (where not serviced by a garden contract) are your responsibility as the tenant. Refer to your tenancy agreement for specifics.
  • Repairs – Report repairs, damage or defect to the agent/landlord as soon as possible. Be flexible to allow workmen to come in to the property. There will be a risk to your deposit if a minor repair turns into a major repair because you did not report it or allow access.
  • Inspections – If the property is managed by ourselves, we will conduct regular property inspections to make sure that the property is being maintained. The required notice will be given and the inspection is for the benefit of tenants and landlords which will make for a successful tenancy.
  • Neighbours – Be considerate to the neighbours.
  • Changes to occupants – Do not take in a lodger or sub-let the property without landlord consent and always keep your agent/landlord advised of potential changes to occupants.
  • Communication – Communicate with your agent/landlord – if you have a problem whether this is a repair issue or financial difficulties, letting the landlord/agent know about the problem can often help.
  • Meters and Stop Cocks – Make sure you know where the meters, fuse box and the stop cock are located.
  • Boiler – Make sure you know how to operate the boiler, and other appliances. Common reporting of no heat is often due to low pressure on the boiler which can be topped up easily by following the manufacturer’s instructions which can be downloaded from the internet.
  • Test – Regularly test the smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide monitors (if applicable) at least once a month.
  • Access – The landlord, agent or contractor or anyone else wishing to gain access to the property must give the tenant 24 hours’ notice unless you have granted permission otherwise. They cannot walk in whenever they like. If it is an emergency situation then this does not apply (for example: water coming through the ceiling and you are on holiday).
  • Notice – It is a legal requirement for landlords to give you proper notice if they want you to leave. Normally the landlord must allow any fixed period of the tenancy to have expired, and they must have given at least two months’ notice. You must give the landlord/agent one months’ notice in writing to leave as per your tenancy agreement.
  • Insurance – The landlord must insure the building to cover the cost of any damage from flood or fire.
  • Safety – The landlord must arrange an annual gas safety certificate for any gas appliances and this must be conducted by a Gas Safe Engineer.
  • Maintenance – The landlord must maintain the structure and exterior of the property and deal with any problems with water, electricity and gas supply.
  • Smoking – Smoking is strictly forbidden in all properties.
  • Going away – You must inform your agent/landlord if you are going away for a period longer than 14 days as this could affect their insurance policy.
  • Keys – Keys are signed out to you at move in and all sets should be kept securely – do not give your keys to anyone else and make sure you secure the property at all times.

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Renewal Info & Notice

graphic_tenants-help-step3-imageI/we want to stay I/we want to move out – what do I do?

*** Tenancy agreements are a legal document and usually all named on the agreement are ‘jointly and severally liable’ for all the rent and bills. This means that if any of the listed tenants do not pay their share, the other tenants  can be pursued for the whole of any payments due. This also applies if any of the tenants leave the property without informing the landlord/agent. ***

  • I/we want to stay – If the landlord agrees you have one of two options:-
    • You can renew your tenancy for a further six or twelve months for a small charge. This gives you the security of knowing that you are in the property for a further fixed term of six or twelve months. 
    • If you are undecided and would prefer a periodic tenancy, the current tenancy would continue on a month to month rolling basis until either you or the landlord gives the required notice in writing. This gives you the flexibility if you are thinking of moving on, but not the security of knowing that you are in a fixed term at the property.

Should the Landlord specifically request a periodic tenancy, the tenancy will then continue on a month to month basis until either you or the landlord gives the required notice to terminate in writing. Both you and the landlord can give notice at any time. You must give one month’s notice but the Landlord must give you at least two months’ notice. All terms and conditions remain the same and there will be a rent review at each anniversary.

  • I/we want to move out
    • As long as you are in the final month of your fixed term tenancy, or on a periodic tenancy, you must give one month’s notice in writing to the Agent/Landlord.
    • If you are wishing to leave your property but you are still in a fixed term tenancy, your landlord must agree in writing to release you otherwise they are perfectly entitled to charge you for rent and utilities for the duration of your fixed term tenancy agreement. There are strict early release procedures and these must be adhered to with landlord consent. You cannot just move out of a property if you have signed a fixed term agreement.
  • We’ve split up/my partner/friend wants to move out, what do we do?

Whilst it is a common occurrence, each tenant must be mindful of their legal responsibilities and some issues need to be addressed BEFORE either party can be released.

  • All tenants need to write to the landlord/agent stating that they all wish this change to happen and that they are happy for the deposit protection to reflect the changes.
  • The landlord/agent must give permission in writing for the change and give consideration that the remaining occupant (if they are staying in the property on their own) can afford the rent. Up to date references may be required.
  • The deposit protection must reflect the current occupiers and therefore the deposit protection may have to be released to the landlord/agent to then re-register the deposit in the new occupants’ names. The lead tenant has the responsibility of arranging this.
  • Any new person wishing to move into the property (if applicable) must complete an application form and go through the usual reference checks for which there is a fee.
  • A new tenancy agreement must be drawn up subject to the above procedure and this will incur an administration fee.

Should one party disagree then the current tenancy agreement remains in place and each tenant remains jointly and severally liable for the duration of the tenancy.

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Moving Out

  • graphic_tenants-step5-imageYou must give the landlord/agent one months’ notice in writing to leave as per your tenancy agreement.
  • It is a legal requirement for landlords to give you proper notice if they want you to leave. Normally the landlord must allow any fixed period of the tenancy to have expired, and they must give at least two months’ notice.
  • Once we have received your notice to quit in writing, if managed by us and subject to the release date being verified in accordance with your tenancy agreement, we initiate our move out process and write to you to explain our check out procedures. Rent payments will be apportioned accordingly if you do not give notice on the rent date.
  • If instructed, we will begin to re-market the property and kindly ask that you are as flexible as possible in regard to us conducting viewings with prospective new tenants and as noted in your tenancy agreement. We will always give you the required notice.
  • On your vacation date (or soon after if a weekend date), if the property is managed by us, or we have been instructed by your landlord to conduct the check out, we will attend the property and check the original inventory to the condition of the property on your vacation. Should there be any discrepancies, we will discuss these with you soon after.
  • Subject to the property being handed back in a satisfactory condition with fair consideration to wear and tear, we will notify the utilities of the closing meter readings and release your deposit in accordance with the deposit scheme regulations.
  • All keys must be handed back to avoid locksmith costs being incurred.
  • Please make sure all rent payments have been met in full and that you inform us of your forwarding address.

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