Hopefully below will help to answer some queries you might still have.
Can I comfortably afford the rent on top of the deposit and running costs?
Make sure you have done sums, included all one off and on-going costs and have checked and double checked them.
How much is the rent and what is included?
Hackney & Leigh advertise the full rent and will explain clearly what it includes.
When is it due and how would I be expected to pay?
Hackney & Leigh we will ask you to set up a standing order to pay each month on the rent day which will usually be the same date each month as the first date of the tenancy.
How much deposit is required? Will it be protected and where?
You may be asked to pay a deposit which can vary between agents and properties. There are regulations concerning the registration and protection of deposits which must be observed. Hackney & Leigh will always ask for a deposit – usually one month’s rent plus £100 – sometimes more. All our deposits are registered and protected under the Tenancy Deposits Scheme Regulations using ‘mydeposits’.
Visit the mydeposits website for more information.
How would the landlord be entitled to deduct any money from the deposit?
Your obligations under the tenancy are made clear in the Tenancy Agreement. Deductions will be made in agreement with you after the final inspection has been made, in the light of any damages or breaches of the terms of your agreement. If you do not agree to the proposed deductions you will be able to use the Dispute Resolution Service under the Deposit Protection Regulations.
You will usually be offered an ‘Assured Shorthold Tenancy’ for a fixed term, possibly 6 months or a year. Hackney & Leigh will usually prepare the initial tenancy for a fixed term of 6 months. After that if the owner is willing and you wish to stay on, either a new fixed term will be agreed or the tenancy may ‘roll over’ on a periodic tenancy. We will ask you in good time, what your preference is.
What other bills are there and what are you liable to pay for?
Fees are usually payable for referencing and setting up the tenancy but these will vary between different letting agents and landlords and for different properties. You should always ask for details of all costs you will be expected to pay. At Hackney & Leigh full details of costs will be given to you. At the time you apply for one of our properties, you will be asked for a reservation fee which will be used to secure the property for you pending references. If you are successful, this will be credited to you later. If you are not successful, this will be retained as an administration fee.
You will also be asked to pay for a share of setting up the agreement. If you are in any doubt, you should ask for clarification and shouldn’t sign anything until you are happy with the information you have been given. If necessary seek independent advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice Bureau.During your tenancy you will be responsible for paying the Council Tax on the property and for any ‘utilities’ consumption (Water/Gas/Electricity/Phone/Broadband/Sky etc). You should also insure the landlord’s fittings against damage by you and consider insuring your own contents.
What about repairs and maintenance?
Landlords are responsible for maintaining and keeping the fabric of their property (ie the main structure) and the main services – gas water and electricity supplies, the hot water and heating but you as tenant will be responsible if any damage is caused by you or your guests and visitors. You should remember that although the property belongs to someone else, it will be your home and the costs of running it will be yours. The landlord will not pay for replacing light bulbs or other breakages! If there is a garden, it should be clearly established at the start who is responsible for its upkeep. If you are expected to do it, appropriate tools should come with the property: for example if there is a lawn, a mower should be provided. You should also find out what to do if a problem arises. Speak to the Letting Agent or if you deal with a landlord direct, put it in writing.
Hackney & Leigh take their responsibilities for safety very seriously and you may rest assured that all our properties have a valid wiring certificate as well as appropriate gas and electrical appliance tests. You can ask to see these if you wish and we will give you a copy together with your other documentation at the start of your tenancy. If you are renting from someone else, you might like to check!