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Why should I rent from an agent?
Standards across the residential market can vary substantially from landlord to landlord, and it’s difficult to know in advance what your new landlord is going to be like. At the moment, there are no national review sites to help you decide which landlord to work with and often people make a choice based on the property rather than how good the landlord is.
Using an agent will help make sure that your experience is up to standard and will give you the reassurance that there is a professional on hand.
Are you a registered agent?
Agents in England are not required to be registered, however you should always look for agents who are members of professional trade bodies to ensure you get the best service.
We proud ourselves to be member of The Property Ombudsman scheme (Membership No D11619) and Member of London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.
The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme provides a free, fair and independent service to protect consumers from unfair practice, whereas LLAS is an educational organisations aims to recognise good practice and improve conditions in the private rented sector.
Do you charge agency fees?
No, from 1 June 2020, agency fees are banned.
The ban covers assured shorthold tenants, student lettings and lodgers living with a private landlord.
You can’t be charged for things like:
- credit and immigration checks
- renewing your tenancy when your fixed term contract ends
How much does the deposit cost and what happens with it?
The total cost of the deposit is equivalent to 4 weeks rent and will be paid prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Once the deposit is collected by us, we send it to the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS), which is a custodial scheme that keeps deposit money safe for tenants.They are authorised by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to provide tenancy deposit protection in England and Wales. At this point we do not have direct access to your deposit, and it will remain with DPS throughout your tenancy. For more information about this scheme, please read our blog post.
When do I get my deposit back?
The deposit refund request will be put through to DPS within 10 working days from your end of notice/tenancy agreement date. Once any deductions for damage or defaults have been established, you will be notified should we make any deductions for unpaid rent or damage caused by you or your guests to the property or furnishings. Deductions will not be made for general wear and tear on the property or furnishings. You will receive an email from DPS with your repayment ID. You will create a log-in to request your deposit back as it is held by them and we will not be able to pay the amount directly to you. Should you have any issues with claiming your deposit please contact DPS by phone on 0330 303 0030.
What is the reference check?
You’II be asked to give references to show you can afford the property, and will be a good tenant.
You’ll have to fill in a reference from online:
- your current landlord or previous landlords
- your employer – to show you have a job and it will continue
If you’re self-employed, you will need to give copies of your trading accounts and an accountant’s reference.
Our referencing process includes an affordability calculation. Your annual earnings (as an individual or as a couple) must be equal to or more than 2.5 times the annual rent. If you fall short of these figures, then you can introduce a guarantor under the condition that they are UK/EU based with annual earnings equal to or more than 3 times your annual rent as well as being a homeowner.
Do you accept students?
Yes we do. If you are student, you will be asked to provide a guarantor or to pay your rent in advance. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent if you don’t – you could ask your parents or someone else in your family to do this.
Why do I need to give my Proof of address/identity/visa?
From 1 February 2016, all private landlords and agents in England must check that new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property.Right to rent was introduced in the Immigration Act 2014 as part of the government’s reforms to build a fairer and more effective immigration system.
Acceptable documents for a proof of identity (ID) include: a valid passport, EEA member state identity card, current UK or EEA photo card driving licence, full old-style driving licence, photographic resignation cards for self-employed individuals in the construction industry CIS4, residence permit issued by the Home Office to EEA nationals on sight of own country passport, and national identity card bearing a photograph of the applicant.
Acceptable documents for proof of address include: a utility bill (gas, satellite television, landline phone bill) issued within the last 3 months, local authority council tax bill for the current council tax year, current UK driving licence, Bank, Building Society, council or housing associated rent card or tenancy agreement for the current year, HMRC self-assessment letters or tax demand dated within the current financial year, electoral register entry, NHS medical card or letter of confirmation for GP’s practice of registration with the surgery.
Documents we will not accept include, but are not limited to; provisional driving licence, mobile phone bills, and credit card statements.
It is important to note that you cannot use one form of identification for both name and address. For example, if you provide your driving licence as proof of your name you must provide another form of identification for your address, such as a utility bill.
Why does everything need to be paid before I can collect my keys?
The reason we charge rent before you move in is because our tenants pay in advance. When you make a payment, you are paying the upcoming period.
Where do I pick up my keys?
As I am sure you are aware, the impact of COVID-19 has affected the way many businesses usually operate. Knowing this, the procedure for collecting keys is slightly different now due to the measures we have taken in order to ensure that both clients and staff are kept as safe as possible.
Once you have completed the application process in full, you will be provided with a PIN to our office Key-Box located on the exterior of our building, which will contain your keys.
What amenities/appliances are included in the property?
All our properties are fully furnished with standard amenities, including bed, wardrobe or chest of drawers, fridge, cooker, washing machine, cutlery and cooking utensils, kettle and microwave.
Utilities, property taxes, and services paid by us include council tax, water, electricity, gas, and unlimited internet, and Television License.