Information For Tenants
We treat all our tenants fairly and with respect.
We strive to address any issues that occur quickly and without drama or fuss. We also realise problems do arise but its how they are rectified by tenant, agent and landlord that makes a smooth and lasting tenancy.
Finding a property
As a tenant it is vital that you choose a landlord and letting agent that you can trust. The Property shop operate under strict standards of professional and ethical practice with complete transparency so you can avoid unwelcome fees or legal hiccups throughout your tenancy.
Narrow your search
When you start the search for your ideal home it is worth considering your requirements:
- Think about the location you'd like to live in
- Consider your 'must have' list- what do you really want?
- What's your budget? Would you pay more for the right property?
- How long do you need the accommodation for? Is it a stop gap or a long term solution?
- When would you like to move in? Work backwards and start your search around six to eight weeks before this
- Our top tip: Budget carefully - allow for council tax and the cost of all utilities, which you'll normally have to pay for.
Whether you have begun your search online or in the office of your letting agent, once you have found one or more properties which meet your requirements, start viewing.
Securing a property
The rental market moves much faster than the sales market so if you see the perfect property, you may have to act quickly to secure it. We recommend always being prepared with the relevant documents such as a form of identification and confirmation of your address.
You will also need to provide proof of your "Right to Rent" under the immigration act.
Credit and reference checks
You will be asked to provide £120 which pays for initial references. You will have to supply us your personal details including a valid email address and mobile telephone number then our independent reference company will contact you. References are usually completed within 5 days.
- Three years' address history
- Landlord details for any property rented in the last three years
- Confirmation of earnings per annum
- No adverse credit in the form of a county court judgment, bankruptcy order or similar
- If you're self-employed, either an accounts reference or to provide evidence of the last three years' tax return
Once the deposit is paid in full, the property is secured. This deposit is held as the landlord's cover for any excessive damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.
If The Property Shop is managing the property on behalf of the landlord, the deposit will be registered with the DPS. However, if the landlord manages the property themselves, we'll inform you what deposit scheme the landlord will be using and the terms and conditions of that scheme will form part of your Tenancy Agreement.
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord are adhered to. All relevant parties will be asked to sign this document, which agrees the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant. This may include such responsibilities as; you must tell your landlord if you are going away for longer than 14 days, you must not use the property as a business etc.
NB. The date on which the contract starts will become your rent's due date. You're unable to change this at a later stage, so please do bear it in mind when you reserve a property.
Safety regulations and insurance
If you chose a professional lettings agency such as The Property Shop, it is our duty to keep up-to-date with the latest lettings industry legislation. That means we can advise all our landlords on their legal responsibilities for keeping their tenants safe from harm, by making sure their property and its contents (if furnished) meet the UK's legal safety standards.
Tenants often overlook the need to take out contents insurance when renting a property.
Moving in Day
Prior to moving in you will need to provide:
- First month's rent.
- Deposit- equal to one month's rent.
- Remaining Administration fee - £210 inclusive of VAT
- Future rent payments will be made monthly and taken by standing order in advance – you will need to contact you bank to set this up with bank details supplied
With your references, paperwork and payments complete, it's time to move in!
Your keys will usually be provided at your check in appointment from one of our members of staff.
Remember it’s your responsibility to inform your utilities provider and the local council of your move.
The inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of the property at the point that you move in. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign retaining one copy for your own records.
The property you are renting is a large investment for your landlord, so it’s only right that a member of The Property Shop will arrange to visit you at the property and check that everything is in order, usually only a couple of times a year. Of course, if anything breaks down or needs repairing then we or your landlord will visit the property in order to ensure the property remains in good condition for you to live in.
Your Property Manager
If your property is professionally managed by us, you will have a mobile telephone number to call where you can contact your designated Property Manager, who will be your main point of contact during the course of your tenancy. They will advise you on any maintenance issues and if action is needed either by yourself or the landlord- depending on whether the issue is a long term fault or through 'wear-and-tear'.
The Next Step
Once you are nearing the end of your tenancy period you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out (remembering to give two months' notice in writing).
a. Staying put
If you do want to renew the tenancy, we will liaise with you directly and send you all the necessary paperwork to complete. If your circumstances have changed, some new checks may be needed, but this will be advised on at the time.
Our top tip: Remember the landlord at this stage will be within his/her rights to serve notice on your tenancy if they need the property back or there have been any persistent issues.
b. Moving out
If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, we'll arrange a check out (carried out on the last day of your tenancy) to ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition - at this point, you'll hand back the keys. If the landlord manages the property, you'll need to liaise with them directly in order to arrange a time and date to meet there, complete a check out and hand the keys back.
After serving your notice you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good condition in order for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. If there are no deductions or disputes and all the necessary forms are filled out correctly by you and by the landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days after the deposit release agreements have been received.
Accepting normal wear-and-tear, if the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, getting your deposit back should be no problem.
Here's what to do next:
- Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, cooking appliances, windows, walls and furniture (if necessary hire a professional cleaner)
- If it's your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish
- Return all of the keys
- Remove all of your personal belongings
NB. Remember you are contracted to supply an invoice for the professional cleaning of the carpets and cooking appliances when you leave, this is to ensure that the property receives a professional clean in the places which receive the most ware and will of been done prior to you moving in.
If you need any help either before after your tenancy call us and we'll be happy to help.
Charges For Tenants
We charge £330 per property to set up a Tenancy.
- Unlike other estate agents, when letting a property we charge one fee for the property rather than per tenant which we feel is a much fairer way. Once you have decided to rent one of our properties, we ask for a non-refundable payment of £120. This secures the property for a period of 7 days and covers the cost to The Property Shop (Swindon) Ltd of applying for references and submitting on line credit and affordability checks. The remainder of the administration fee - £210 is payable when the references are successfully completed and covers the cost of preparing a Schedule of Condition report and detailed Inventory which protects both tenant and landlord when the time comes for the property to be vacated.
- Should a guarantor be required there is an extra cost of £120 which covers the cost of the references for the guarantor and drawing up the extra guarantor document.
Charges whilst at the property
- After the initial fixed term Tenancy Agreement has expired and you wish to remain at the property for a minimum of 6 months we can provide another fixed term Tenancy Agreement. Our costs in association with this are £90.
- Should a Tenant break their Tenancy Agreement and the Agent or the Landlord is required to write a letter or Notice asking for remedy the Tenant will be charged £30 per item.
We do not charge Tenants any other fees and all our fees are inclusive of VAT.