The right tenant...
First Contact: Whichever service you choose, we know the key to any successful let is securing for both us and you the right tenant for your property. Prior to arranging any viewing, we will look to conduct an initial telephone interview with any prospective tenant to establish their working and family status, following which we will decide whether they are likely to fit the particular criteria you have given us at the stage of our appointment as your agent.
Viewing: Where we have conducted the viewing, prompt and honest feedback will be given, however if you, as the landlord have decided to carryout viewings, one of our team will contact you in order to gauge your own thoughts as to the suitability of the individual(s), as a tenant of your property. Where a prospective tenant has indicated their wishes to be considered as the tenant we will consider the feedback from the viewing and in most instances speak with you as the landlord before offering them the opportunity to become your tenant. They will need to complete an application for us, take up references and a credit check using a reputable specialist third party referencing agency. At this time a ‘Holding Deposit’ will be taken being the equivalent of 1 x weeks rent, until the referencing process has been completed. There are strict guidelines to us retaining this if the tenancy does not proceed.
Once the references are completed, we will contact you again to discuss the outcome and provided you are willing to accept them as your tenant, we will formally offer them the tenancy and agree with you a moving in date. There may be instances where a tenant may be considered acceptable with a guarantor or the rent is paid in full in advance for the initial term and on such occasions we would speak with you about this. In such instances, the guarantor would also have to be referenced and sign the tenancy documentation.
The next stage, the tenancy documentation & moving your tenant in.
Tenancy Agreement & Documentation
This is a legally binding agreement, setting out the terms of the letting including the rights and obligations of both you as the landlord and the tenant who will be living in your property.
Most residential property is let by way of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) for an initial term usually 6 months with the rent payable monthly in advance. The agreement can either be renewed following expiry of the initial term of more often than not allowed to continue on under the same terms but reverting to what is known as a periodic agreement, usually running monthly.
A draft copy agreement can be provided upon request and we will advise you on each party’s responsibilities under the agreement. Please do ask questions if in any doubt about the legal aspects of the agreement and we will endeavour to assist. Once the terms are established and agreed, the tenancy will be drawn up by Leonards and usually signed by us as on your behalf, as your appointed agent, which also incorporates the tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme agreement. In order to be affective having regard to service of certain notices, the tenant will also be issued with certain other documents as part of the agreement including the EPC, valid Landlords Gas Safety Certificate, together with the appropriate (TDP) advisory leaflet and the governments ‘How to rent The checklist for renting in England, click here for more information. The tenancy agreement and associated documentation will be retained on your file unless you are managing the property, in which case it will be sent to you.
Inventory & Condition Schedule
This document will detail the general condition to both the interior and exterior of the property, including fixtures and any furnishings included with the letting and is meant to give a fair representation of the condition of the property upon commencement of the tenancy.
This provides crucial evidence in case of any dispute upon vacation by the tenant at the end of the agreement. You must be aware that ‘fair wear and tear are excepted’ where your property has been let out and it is always advisable to budget for higher than average, maintenance costs and redecorations. The schedule will be undertaken just prior to the commencement of the letting and will also detail service meter readings where these can be obtained. It is essential that service supplies are connected and the heating and hot water system is turned on in order for the condition schedule to be taken.
It is also a good idea to leave within a sleeved folder any instruction manuals for the heating system or appliances included in the letting, these will be recorded as part of the inventory. For properties under our Fully Managed Service, these are available free of charge by contacting our office. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms will also be tested at this time and any deficiencies reported to you, together with any requirement for, or updating of the Legionella Risk Assessment.
Ideally, you should provide us with two full sets (for the tenant) and we recommend you retain at least one set where you are managing the letting and property.
If the property is under our Fully Managed Service, please provide us with three sets of keys, these will be coded for security purposes within our own key system. We can arrange for duplicate keys to be cut for which there will be a charge.
Utility Services & Council Tax
Meter readings will be taken (where possible) and the service providers will be informed of the meter readings and given the new details of the incoming tenant.
Where the property is under our Let Only Service your details will be passed on to the utility providers for settlement of any outstanding charges. If under our Fully Managed Service any outstanding charges will be settled from the first month’s rent. Please be aware, as a landlord, you will become liable for Council Tax charges immediately following the expiry of your previous tenancy agreement.