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On Finding a Property

Landlords or letting agents may require a holding deposit from you on finding a property to secure the property for you. They will also wish to take up references on you before proceeding with the tenancy, which may include 3 months bank statements, employer’s reference, 3 months payslips, previous Landlord’s reference if applicable and in the case of students, proof of studies. It may be necessary for you to have to supply a Guarantor (who may also need to be referenced) if any of your reference replies are not satisfactory as security.

Subject to all references being accepted as satisfactory, occupation of the property can start to take place subject to the signing of the tenancy agreement and inventory. Should you decide not to proceed with the tenancy, i.e. you have a change of mind or your references prove to be unsatisfactory for what ever reason and your Landlord decides not to proceed, You may have to forfeit all or part of your holding deposit you paid depending on the terms and conditions of your payment.

Prior to your Occupation

Gas, electricity, water, telephone and the Local Council tax department must all be informed (if applicable) of your intended move, as in most cases these bills will be the responsibility of the tenant to pay. Arrangements to take over these services should be made at least ONE / TWO WEEKS before your occupation, so that everything is in order and ready for when you move in.

In some circumstances, certain utility companies may require a deposit from you if you are a new customer applying for the supply of service for the first time. Also, you need to remember to advise the Royal Mail to redirect your mail to your new address as well as your bank and employers.

Signing the Tenancy agreement, Inventory and Rental payments

You should be given the opportunity to read and understand the tenancy agreement before signing it. This will take place on or before the commencement date of the tenancy at a pre-arranged time. On signing the tenancy agreement, the Landlord or agent will normally collect from you the first month’s rental in advance plus a security deposit / bond.

This initial payment is usually made either by BUILDING SOCIETY CHEQUE, BANKERS DRAFT, BANK TRANSFER OR BY CASH, which have to be cleared funds. (Personal cheques are usually not accepted, as they are not considered as cleared funds).

The deposit / bond taken, will be held against possible breakage’s or damage caused by you during the tenancy and for any other breaches of your tenancy terms and condition, such as unpaid rent or unpaid bills. The deposit / bond will only be returned to you, subject to everything being left in a satisfactory condition at the property at the end of the tenancy.

The Landlord or agent will set up with you how to pay your future rent. This may be by cheque, cash, standing order or direct debit. If the rental is paid monthly, the rent due date will be the same date of the tenancy commencement date for each month.

Whatever type of accommodation you are moving into, it is important that you see the inventory for the property by the day of occupation. It will become your responsibility to make sure it is accurate before signing and to note any alterations regarding discrepancies and omissions from it.

The inventory is a legal document and puts the responsibility on to you as the tenant to look after the items listed on it. It should list all the items of the property left by the Landlord for your use during the tenancy, such as furniture, furnishings and overall cleanliness and condition of the property when you moved in. Should you damage, break or not clean the property when you move out at the end of the tenancy, the Landlord can charge you from your deposit / bond to have it put right. (Reasonable fair wear and tear can be taken into consideration).

Once your tenancy has commenced

Any queries or problems you may encounter during the term of the tenancy or any repairs or maintenance that needs to be carried out should be directed to your Landlord or agent as soon as possible, if it falls under their responsibility.

You may also find that the Landlord or agent may wish to carry out property visits of the property whilst you are a tenant every few months or so to check on the condition of the property and how you are looking after it. This is quite normal and a mutually convenient appointment should be made with you prior to any visits of this nature.

You may at certain times be asked to allow access to representative of the Landlord for the purpose of any property maintenance or repairs that the property may require and is the responsibility of the Landlord.

When your tenancy expires

Before vacating the property you should check that any breakages or items damaged during the tenancy are replaced or fixed by you before the final check by the Landlord and that the property is cleaned and left tidy.

On the expiry of the tenancy, a final inspection will be carried out of the property by the Landlord or Landlord's agent against the inventory you initially signed. This is to confirm that the property has been left in a satisfactory condition as mentioned, and that there are no breakages or damage to the property.

The Landlord will be entitled to any deductions from your deposit for any breach of your tenancy obligations or excess wear and tear and damage to the property. If there are no dilapidation's or deductions the Landlord or agent should return your deposit / bond soon after you vacate the property.

Important Do’s and Don’ts

• Make sure you have checked your inventory.
• Advise the relevant utilities of your intended move into rented accommodation.
• Give up all keys that are in your possession at the end of the tenancy.
• Ensure that your rent reaches the Landlord or Landlord's agent by the due date.
• Advise Royal Mail, your bank and employers of your move.
• Advise your Landlord or agent immediately of any maintenance problems and repairs.
• Always ask if you are in doubt.

Don’t

• Alter the terms and conditions of your tenancy agreement.
• Move out or leave the property vacant for a long period of time without advising your Landlord or agent.
• Do not use your deposit, as your last month’s rent.
• Do not take in 'paying guests' or sublet the property.
• Do not re-decorate or carry out maintenance, repairs / renewals without contacting your Landlord first.
• Do not refuse reasonable access to your Landlord or a representative and / or tradesmen.

Tenants Protection Schemes

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies; but not other kinds of tenancies.

Alongside the Tenancy Deposit Scheme there will be alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to resolve disputes.

Landlords will be obliged to join a statutory tenancy deposit scheme, if they take deposits from their tenants. The idea is that this will safeguard deposits.

The legislation, which came into force on 6 April 2007, aims to ensure that tenants who have paid a deposit to a landlord or letting agent and are entitled to receive all or part of it back at the end of that tenancy, actually do so.

Return of Deposit

In order for the tenant(s) to have their deposit returned, the property must be delivered in the same condition as it was given (excepting fair wear & tear) + furniture/curtains/white goods must be left in good condition + proof that all bills have been paid + a forwarding address is required.

The deposit will only be returned to the tenant(s) in full provided that ALL of the afore mentioned criteria have been met.

Failure to do so will result in the deposit being retained by the landlord/agent until such time the proof has been given. This is the tenant(s) responsibility to ensure that the required proof is given, not the landlord/agent.

If there are any disputes regarding damage to property/furniture/etc or unpaid bills then the landlord/agent will attempt to settle the dispute amicably.

If in the event that no amicable resolution is made within 14 days, then the dispute will be referred to the arbitration service of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme that the landlord/agent subscribes to.

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