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Residential Sales,   Lettings,  Investments & Developments

Tenants Guide

 

Rent with confidence!

We are a licensed ARLA Agent
  

  
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) is the only professional body that is solely concerned with the self-regulation of letting agents and since 1981 has been actively promoting the highest standards across every aspect of residential lettings and management in the Private Rented Sector.

ARLA is viewed by government, consumer groups, academics, think tanks and the media as the leading voice in the industry. ARLA members are seen as being at the forefront of the Private Rented Sector, ready, willing and able to comply with existing and anticipated government legislation. ARLA members successfully create, on average, over a quarter of a million new tenancies a year as well as arranging the renewal or extension of thousands more of existing tenancies every month.

What does this mean?

ARLA leads the industry in setting and regulating the highest standards in the industry and demands certain levels of professionalism and commitment to customer service from its membership.

Members are required to work within a robust Code of Practice, which covers the key stages in letting and managing a property. There are comprehensive membership byelaws which include compliance with issues such as the handling and accounting for clients' money; the mandatory ARLA client money protection scheme; professional indemnity insurance; dealing with complaints and disciplinary procedures.

Members are  also required to employ a minimum of at least one member of staff, in any office, who holds a suitable industry qualification, recognised by the Association.

Members are kept up-to-date with changes in legislation and are provided with wide-range training and guidance to help them understand and interpret all aspects of letting and managing a property. Make sure you search for a regulated ARLA letting agent when searching for your next rental home.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Fully furnished? Unfurnished? What's the difference?

Properties are let with different levels of furnishings. Broadly speaking, unfurnished means you can expect carpets, curtains and white goods only. Fully furnished includes sitting room furniture, a dining table and chairs, beds, etc, and, sometimes other household bits and pieces. Harris and Company will issue you with a list showing what the property includes.

 How long from choosing a property to moving in?

Once you have made your choice, allow 7-14 days before you move in. This allows time for references and the preparation of the property although the timescale can be much shorter. However, it may be that the previous tenant has yet to move out, in which case more time may be required. Harris and Company will keep you informed along the way.

How much money do I need to move into a property?

Before your tenancy begins we need to receive your first month's rent, security deposit and tenancy reference/administration fees in cleared funds, such as a bankers' draft or a building society cheque. Personal cheques can only be used if they are paid seven days in advance, in order to clear. You will be given details in writing before taking up the tenancy.

Are there any fees to pay?

A  sensible one-off  reference/administration fee is payable when you have decided to proceed with the property of your choice. This fee covers the referencing and administration of your application. Please contact us personally for details.

Who do you contact for references?

It is in everyone's interests to ensure that you can comfortably afford the rent on your chosen property. Harris and Company  use  Homelet credit referencing  which includes verification of employment, past addresses, bank references, previous landlords referencing, credit history etc. Sometimes a guarantor may be required. Our lettings team are on hand with any questions you may have.

When might I need a Guarantor?

If your financial reference is weak for any reason, we could ask for a guarantor to support your tenancy. This is a serious commitment, as the guarantor will be as responsible as the tenant for all monies due and obligations agreed for the tenancy. Guarantors need to have strong financial references to show that they will not suffer hardship should they be called upon to pay on your behalf.

How do I pay my rent?

Rent is paid each calendar month (eg: Rent @ £350 per week x 52 = £18,200/12 = £1516.66 pcm) in advance by standing order/direct debit from your bank. This is set up to be withdrawn from your account three days before your rent day so that it arrives on the due date. This is a worry-free way of ensuring you never fall behind in your rental payments.The last thing we want is for you to fall into arrears.

Who pays the Council tax and other bills?

You do! We will let the companies know that you are moving in and you will be responsible for opening an account in your name. We will agree the meter readings with you at check in and at check out, so that there is no confusion over liabilities.

Council Tax Concessions

• If the property is occupied by full time students only, they will be exempt from Council Tax. The Local Authority must
be contacted advising them of this and will require written evidence from each full time student;

• A single occupier will eligible for a 25% discount.

How binding is the Tenancy Agreement that I enter into?

The  agreement is an  Assured  Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which is a legal and binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the agreed term. If your circumstances should change for any reason during your tenancy, it is a good idea to tell us as soon as possible.

What about Pets?

There is  a clause in our tenancy agreements in line with the large majority of Landlords that forbids pets. In the circumstances that you cannot live without the family cat, dog or hamster then please let us know and we will do our utmost to find you a suitable property to let that has no pet restrictions.

Do I need  contents insurance?

We would recommend that your contents are insured, as the landlord's insurance covers the actual property/goods, but not your possessions.

How much is the deposit and will I get it back?

This is a sum equal to six weeks rent. So a rent of £1841.66 pcm will require a deposit of £2550. This is held in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) for Regulated Agents (TDSRA).

It guarantees protection of the deposit; and a fair, independent and expert assessment and settlement of any disputes, if any, over its return at the end of a tenancy.

 

 

 

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