What will I need to rent a house through Goundrys Estate Agents?
If you want to apply for a property you have seen through Goundrys lettings then you will be likely tol need to provide the following:
Satisfactory references - we may run a credit check on applicants, contact employers to confirm income and position held, contact previous landlords/agents to check your rental history.
Identification - We will require you to visit our office with your passport or other acceptable documents to carry out immigration checks as required by law. Please ask a member of staff what documents you may require.
Cleared Funds - If you are a successful applicant then we will require a deposit equivalent to 5 weeks rent as a security deposit and 1 month’s rent in advance, these must be paid in cleared funds prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Cleared funds will be cash or monies that have cleared in our client account.
What are my responsibilities as a tenant?
As the tenant of a property you have certain responsibilities and are expected to treat the property in a certain manner as set out by law, this includes:
1. Pay rent
You will be expected to pay the specified rent by the date specified in your agreement. This will most likely be on a monthly basis in advance.
2. Report maintenance issues
You will be expected to report any maintenance issues at the property promptly to the landlord so that they can act upon them. Issues that are not reported can cause long term damage to the property if not rectified and you have a legal obligation to report them.
3. Undertake routine maintenance
You will be responsible for undertaking routine maintenance such as changing light bulbs, changing smoke alarm batteries, clearing gutters and for keeping the property in a ‘tenant like manner’ (clean and reasonably maintained). This includes the outside areas of the property. You will also be expected to repair any problems that have been caused by you (through neglect, misuse or by accident).
4. Pay utilities
You will be expected to pay for the use of the utilities (gas, water, electricity, oil, council tax, telephone etc.) whilst you reside at the property.
Why do I need to pay a deposit and what happens to it?
A security deposit is taken at the beginning of the tenancy to cover damages and dilapidations at the property during the tenancy. This deposit is equal to 5 weeks rent as standard on all properties rented through Goundrys Lettings. Your tenancy agreement will have some guidance on what can be claimed from your deposit.
The deposit is protected via an approved government scheme as required by law, the scheme we use is the deposit protection service (www.depositprotection.com). The deposit is held in an account for the duration of the tenancy.
You will be able to set up an account where you can update your details and manage the deposit process when you leave online.
How do I apply for a Property?
In order to apply to rent a property you will need the following:
1. Application form
You will need to complete one application per applicant aged 18 or over. Information required on your application will include bank details to run a credit search, previous landlord details and employment details so make sure you have these available and let any referees you have put down know that they will be contacted for a reference as this is likely to speed up the process. Please contact the office for an application form.
2. Holding Deposit
Once your offer has been accepted by the landlord and you have completed your application form you will be required to pay the holding deposit equivalent to 1 weeks rent. Where the application is successful this will be offset against the initial rent.
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).
3. Photographic ID
We will need you to visit our office with your passport to enable us to carry out immigration checks that are required by law (a copy will not suffice). If you do not have a passport you can use a Driving License and birth certificate. If you do not have any of these documents then please speak to a staff member to see which documents you can use.
What period of tenancy do I have to take?
You will be required to sign an Assured Short hold Tenancy Agreement for a minimum of 6 months. In exceptional circumstances shorter leases or other lease types may be available. If you would like to enquire about a shorter lease then our staff will be more than happy to help.
What happens if I want to stay longer?
At the landlord’s discretion the lease may be renewed for a further fixed term (typically 6 or 12 month’s) or may lapse into a statutory periodic agreement that continues to run indefinitely on the same terms as the initial agreement until either party serves the required written notice.
How do I get my deposit back?
In order to get your deposit back it will need to be agreed by both you and the landlord/agent. A final inspection or ‘check-out’ of the property will take place once the tenancy has finished determining whether or not there has been any damages or dilapidations to the property. If there are then these will be advised to the tenant.
You will need to know your Deposit account log in details in order to get your deposit back so it is very important you keep these in a safe place for the duration of your tenancy. If you have lost these don’t panic! You can contact the Deposit Protection Service who will help you access your account.
If you disagree with the claims made against your deposit then you will be invited to discuss this with your agent/landlord in order to come to an agreeable decision. If no agreement can be reached between both parties, the DPS adjudication process will be followed in which both parties are given the chance to provide evidence for their case and an independent body will make the decision. This decision will be final.
How do I pay my rent?
If we are managing the property then your rent will need to be paid by standing order into our client account. You will be provided with a standing order mandate form at the beginning of the tenancy with which you will need to fill out with your bank details, sign and give to your bank.
If your landlord is managing the property then the initial payment will be made to us and any further rental payments will be made to your landlord whose bank details will have been provided for you.
Do I have to undertake any repairs?
You will be required to undertake routine maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs, changing smoke alarm batteries, clearing gutters and maintaining the outside areas (including weeding gardens/patios and mowing lawns) and to keep the property in a ‘tenant-like manner’. This means that the tenant must take reasonable care of the property and undertake small jobs and repairs.
What happens if I have an emergency out of office hours?
If you have an emergency out of hours then please contact one of the following:
Dave Goundry 07791557204
Emma Ward 07476131221
Andy Goundry 07496025568
If no one answers please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Please refer to your tenant information pack for examples of what would be classed as an out of hour’s emergency and also this pack includes contact information for a plumber and electrician.
Please note, whilst we try and be available as often as possible this is not a 24 hour service.
When can I get the keys to my new property?
You will not be able to have the keys to the property until the day of the tenancy commencement. All the relevant paperwork must be signed by all parties to the agreement (e.g. The Tenancy Agreement, Deposit Forms etc.) and the required monies for move in must have been received in cleared funds. We will meet you at the property or office to hand over the keys and go through any relevant information you may require whilst residing at the property. If you are unsure where you should meet then please contact the office.
What other expenses should I expect other than my rent?
Unless it has been otherwise negotiated you will be responsible to pay all utility bills that relate to the property. These are likely to include council tax, water, gas/oil and electricity usage. You will also need to pay your TV licence (if you have a TV) and any phone or internet bills you may have.
What is fair wear and tear?
The law defines fair wear and tear as "reasonable use of the premises by the tenant and the ordinary operation of natural forces." This refers to the twin forces of time and normal daily habits. Walking across a carpet from door to dining table, for example, will exert a wearing effect during the length of a year which is perfectly natural.
It is a legal tenet that a landlord cannot expect to have old replaced with new at a tenant's expense. An allowance for fair wear and tear must be made when considering compensation for damage.
The law also prevents a landlord from replacing old items with new and charging the tenant for the privilege. This is called betterment.
Common Sense and experience will be used to determine fair wear and tear and things such as the quality of the supplied item, it’s age, the condition of it before the tenancy and at the end of the tenancy will be considered when deciding on what is fair wear and tear and what isn’t.
Can the Landlord enter the property without my permission?
A landlord or their agent may only enter the property with a minimum of 24 hours written notice. A landlord or agent that enters a property without the permission of the tenant or without giving the required written notice could potentially be classed as harassment.
There are certain circumstances in which a landlord, agent or appointed contractor may enter the property without this. These are usually in emergency situations and are extremely rare; please refer to your tenancy agreement for more information on when a landlord, agent or contractor can enter without prior notice or permission.