Terms & Conditions for Tenants

Stevens & Carter Lettings have produced this guide to inform tenants of the procedures and requirements relating to a typical tenancy. It is important that you read it carefully so as not to delay the securing of a property.


Tenancy Application/References

When a suitable property to rent has been found ALL persons over the age of eighteen will complete an Application Form and will be named in the Tenancy Agreement. We will take up references using a credit reference company, on behalf of our client, the Landlord, for which there will be a charge of £60 plus vat. This payment is required when you submit your application and is non-refundable should your application be unsuccessful or withdrawn. Please note that this money in advance does not constitute a tenancy or offer of a tenancy but is required as proof of your serious intention to proceed. It is possible that other applicants may be referenced simultaneously for the same property.

Guarantors

A guarantor will be required for an individual tenant who is on benefits or does not cover his/her rental share.

Signing Contracts/ Tenancy Agreement

The tenancy agreement must be signed by all tenant and, until this has taken place, no contractual agreement, offer or obligation is deemed to exist. Contracts will have to be signed prior to moving into a property by all tenants over the age of eighteen. A charge of £150 plus vat is made for the preparation of the original agreement and covers the administration fee for the check- in and check-out and also the fee for the inventory that we provide to protect the interests of the tenant and their deposit.

Security Deposit

Before your tenancy commences you will be required to pay a security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent in most cases. This is held against any damages or expenses arising during your tenancy.

With affect from 6th April 2007 all new tenancy deposits must be protected in a Government authorised scheme. Any new deposits taken by Stevens & Carter Lettings will be protected by The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS). For more information please visit www.depositprotection.com

When do you sign and what do you pay?

Once acceptable references have been received and approved, a date will be agreed for the commencement of your tenancy. It is essential that you sign the agreement and pay the ‘initial money’ in advance of this date.

The ‘initial money’ consists of:-

  • First month’s rent in advance
  • Security Deposit - One months rent plus pet deposit if applicable
  • Reference Fee - £72 inc vat per person
  • Tenancy Agreement Fee - £180.00 inc vat

The first month’s rent and the security deposit must be paid in cleared funds eg: by electronic transfer or cash.

Please note that throughout the tenancy, tenants are obliged to pay additional charges for renewal of tenancy agreements and re referencing should there be a change of circumstances or for landlord insurance renewal.

Method of Payment / Rental Payments

On the date of occupation the balance is to paid in cleared funds. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT CHEQUES.

When the landlord has instructed Stevens & Carter as agent to collect the rent each month, we will appoint a lead tenant and a standing order facility will be set up for the total amount of the rental on that property and a receipt will be given. Please note that all standing order payments should be made 3 days prior to your rent due date to allow for clearance.

Should you experience any financial problems during the course of the tenancy it is essential that you contact us straight away.

Inventory and Schedule of Condition

An Inventory and Schedule of Condition of the property, its contents, furniture, fittings and effects will normally have been prepared. This will be checked and agreed with you at the commencement of your tenancy; please note that the fee for this is included in the Tenancy Agreement fee. (See above)

It is important that you take care in agreeing the Inventory and Schedule of Condition at this stage as it will form the basis of any claim for damages, by your landlord, at the end of your tenancy. In your own interests we strongly recommend that you are present at both the check-in and check-out.

Tenants Obligations

You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during any tenancy. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately and the property is fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time.

During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of the water and heating systems.

In leasehold properties, mainly flats and maisonettes, the tenant will be bound by the rules and regulations affecting all residents within the block contained in the head lease.

The Agent’s Obligations

The obligations of Stevens & Carter Lettings will vary depending on which of the following services we provide for the Landlord:

  • Find Only basis (purely let the property)
  • Let and Rent Collection only
  • Full Management

You will be advised which of the above apply prior to your tenancy commencing.

Property Visits

All properties managed by us will subject to regular three monthly visits. The purpose of these is to check the condition of the property, its cleanliness, garden maintenance and the way in which the tenancy is being conducted generally. A mutual agreeable appointment will always be made in advance with the tenant. * Should you fail to be present at the agreed time a charge of £20 will be levied.

Frost Damage

Frost damage is a risk to all properties left empty during the winter periods due to possible pipe bursts and flooding. You are required to take reasonable precautions to prevent frost damage if you are away from the property for anything other than a very short period. Such precautions might include leaving the heating on (and turned down to a low setting), and opening the loft access hatch to allow warm air to circulate into the attic space. If you are away for more extended period, then you should contact Stevens & Carter Lettings or the landlord regarding more permanent arrangements such as turning of the mains water supply or draining down the heating system. Failure to carry out these precautions could make you liable for any damage caused as you will breach your obligation to occupy the property in a ‘tenant like’ manner.

Insurance

As tenant(s), you will be responsible for the safe keeping of the property and its contents and unless otherwise advised, you will be responsible for insuring the contents of the property and the safekeeping of your own valuables and effects. Should you require insurance, please speak to a member of the lettings team for advice.

Repairs

Tenants are requested to bring any disrepair, damage or defect in the premises to the attention of the agent as soon as possible. The landlord has a legal responsibility to maintain the fabric and services of the building.

Smoke Detectors

You may find that smoke detectors and similar safety devices have been fitted in your property. Where this is the case, please ensure that you check all such devices on moving into the property and familiarise yourself with their operation (most smoke detectors have a test button to check batteries and the unit are operating correctly) and report any problems to your agent. Thereafter, you should check the devices at regular intervals and you will be responsible for replacement of any batteries that they may require.

Television Aerials

You are reminded that a television licence is required in order to use a television at the property and the tenant would be responsible for this cost.

Damp and Condensation

Damp can be a problem in houses where there are many occupants and the property is not adequately ventilated. You should ensure that any extractor fans are left connected and are properly used. It is also important to open windows as necessary to encourage an adequate flow of fresh air through the property after bathing or showering in order to allow damp air a chance to escape. The hanging of washing and wet clothes will also create large amounts of damp air and again, it will be important to provide adequate ventilation in such circumstances.

The presence of mould or dark spots or stains, especially in bathrooms and other wet areas, is a common sign of inadequate ventilation, and it is important to prevent further spread at an early stage before severe and irreversible staining takes place. Mould and similar stains should be removed by wiping the affected areas with a fungicide or mild bleach in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, but do test on a small area first. If the problem persists, then you should inform us.

Utilities

It is important that once you have signed a Tenancy Agreement the gas, electric and water companies are contacted. We will contact these companies in the first instance but we suggest that you take your own meter readings at the start and end of tenancies for your records.

Television Licence

You are responsible for the television licence regardless of whether or not a television is provided by the Landlord.

Council Tax

It is the tenant’s responsibility to pay the Council Tax direct to the local authority.

Burglary

Should the property be burgled during the tenancy you should contact the Police and Stevens & Carter Lettings straight away.