FAQSo as to assist prospective tenants and landlords we have included a list of questions we are frequently asked. If your particular question is not addressed below please don't hesitate to contact us.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Full Management and Introduction Only?
With our Full Management Service we undertake and deal with all matters during the course of the tenancy, we are the point of call for your tenants. We deal with the initial advertising and marketing of the property, arranging viewings, referencing prospective tenants, preparing tenancy documents, preparation of inventories, the collection of monthly rentals and electronically crediting to the Landlords designated bank account. Inspection visits are carried out on a periodic basis and any maintenance issues are promptly dealt with by our in-house property services department.
Our Introductory Service includes the initial services outlined above up until the signing of tenancy documents and collection of the deposit and the first month’s rent. All matters relating to a tenancy thereafter, and the collection of monthly rents, will be the responsibility of the Landlord.
What is a Tenancy Agreement?
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract between a landlord and tenant that sets out both the legal and contractual responsibilities and obligations of the two parties. It should be written in plain, intelligible language and with no unnecessary jargon. Its terms and clauses should be fair and balanced and any individually negotiated terms should be clearly stated.
What is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy?
The most common form of tenancy agreement used is an ‘Assured Shorthold’ (an AST) under the 1988 Housing Act (amended 1996). This type of tenancy offers the most flexibility to both landlord and tenant; has straightforward notice procedures for bringing the tenancy to an end.
What happens if the Tenant doesn’t move out after the end of a tenancy?
First, try to establish quickly the reasons why. However, if a tenant does not move out after a tenancy has been lawfully terminated then the landlord can apply to the Courts for a possession order. Under the Accelerated Possession Procedure (which can be used where the tenancy was an Assured Shorthold), the process is usually fairly quick and inexpensive.
If a notice to vacate is not entertained by the tenant, Consider It Done is experienced in dealing with Court Procedures and can offer Legal Expenses Cover for Landlords peace of mind.
Can any other forms of tenancy be used?
If certain specific conditions are met relating to the proposed letting, a 'contractual' non-housing act tenancy must be created. An example of this would be what is commonly referred to as a Company Let where the tenant is a bona fide registered company, another would be where the annual rent equates to over £25,000, another is the premises is not going to be used as a main and principle home or a 'Pied-a-Terre', finally if the Landlord is resident and the tenants occupy part of the Landlord’s property.
Consider It Done can advise what tenancy agreement should be used if any queries arise.
Who is responsible for council tax, water rates and other utilities?
A tenant becomes liable for payment of council tax, water rates, gas and electricity charges, and TV licence and telecom costs. Some rents may include some or all of the utilities and charges, if so, what is included will be clearly stated within the tenancy agreement.
Upon signing a tenancy agreement we inform all the utility companies and provide meter readings. We also contact the local authority and advise them of the tenants occupation date.
What referencing and credit checking facilities are available?
We employ the services of the credit agency Homelet. Homelet is the market leader in providing services and products to letting agents. They offer us a broad range of tenant referencing products to assist us in selecting the right tenants for the right tenancies.
Tenants are responsible for paying a referencing fee, which enables us to complete the necessary checks.
What about an inventory and schedule of condition?
This is an absolutely essential document that provides a written benchmark at the start of every new tenancy. The document is amended, updated and recreated before the beginning of each new tenancy. A properly constructed Inventory and Schedule of Condition details the fixtures and fittings and describes their condition and that of the property generally.
It is a document that helps protect the interests of both landlord and tenant. It is a document that is created by a member of our staff and a copy will be provided to both parties at the start of every tenancy. Any agreed amendments may be noted within the first 7 days of any new tenancy.
What about the tenancy deposit?
It is quite a common requirement for a deposit to be equivalent to between four to eight weeks rent and is required to be held during the tenancy against the satisfactory performance by the tenant of all the obligations under the tenancy agreement; but mainly, those relating to the cleanliness and condition of the property.
Under legislation, which came into effect on 6 April 2007, any landlord or agent who takes a deposit from a tenant(s) for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy must safeguard it in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
Consider It Done is a member of a Tenancy Deposit Scheme run by an independent organisation called Tenancy Deposit Solutions. This means that at the end of the tenancy, in the event of an unresolved dispute over the allocation of the deposit, it can be referred to the scheme for a prompt, independent, third party adjudication, thus providing a resolution, which is fair to both landlord and tenant.