FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We have split this section up into Landlords And tenants in order to try and answer some of the questions you may have or answer some questions you didn't even know you wanted to ask!

We like to help our customers whether you're a landlord or a tenant as much as possible, we do this by ensuring that we inform you of the what ifs, how to's and doing our utmost to impart as much information as possible,of course there may be some questions that you want answering if they're not here and you think they would be useful please email us at question@studentcircle.co.uk.

STUDENT SECTION

Here you will find that the FAQS for the student section is split up into two parts. Part one of the Student FAQS is all about searching for a house and how to choose your housemates. The second part is all about when you've found a house that you like with our friendly team here at Studentcircle Lettings and what to expect and what to do.

If you're unsure of anything and you cant find the answer drop us a call on 02476 510094 or an email here.

FINDING A HOUSE

Below you will find some basic hints and tips on how to search for a property and how we can help you.

All our properties are listed on our website and many leading online sites however if you need extra help please feel free to give us a call on 02476 5100 94 with your requirements. We’d like to know about you, your preferences and what you’d like in your student accommodation. We can help make recommendations and look to arrange a viewing for you and your housemates.

Rest assured we have several years of experience in student lettings and our friendly team is here to help answer all your questions, and we’re happy to talk to your parents too!

We understand that moving away from home can be a busy time for you and your family but we’re here to help you find, move-in and have an enjoyable stay while you’re studying at uni.

OUR GUIDE TO HOUSE HUNTING

Below you will find the Studentcircle Lettings Guide which cover varying areas from:

  • Finding a property
  • Choosing your housemates
  • How to choose a good letting agent?
  • Things to lookout for when searching for a house

In addition to some great hints and tips to help you find the house perfect for you.

We’ve put this guide together to help you through the amazing wonderful world of private rented student accommodation

There are several very important decisions that have to be made first.

  • Who to live with?
  • How much can you afford to pay?
  • Where to live?
  • What sort of property do you prefer?

Regrettably most students stagger through this process, learning as they go & suffering the consequences of their mistakes later on.

Don’t panic Help is at hand!

Most first time students moving from a parental home into rented accommodation will be in for shock, hopefully if you have spent your first year at university in residential halls you will at least of had time to adjust. However the private rental market is another ball game altogether!

Where should you begin?

  • Choosing your housemates.
  • Work out how much you can afford.
  • Choosing possible locations
  • Begin your search.
  • Viewing properties
  • Deciding on a property
  • Securing a property
  • Tenancy documents
  • Deposits
  • Regulations
  • Setting the house rules

Choosing your housemates.

If you have been living in University halls of residence for your first year the decision is easier; as you will have had time to make friends & discuss the matter between you all.

A word of caution – just because you are friends in the University bar it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can live in harmony.

After finding the first possible housemate involve them in the choice of further housemates.

Once you have decided on the entire household choose one person amongst you to take the lead & initiative to both find & arrange viewings of properties.

Work out how much you can afford.

Although University accommodation varies greatly according the location, the average rent is about £65.00 - £75 per week per person.

Payment of your rent has to be a priority, as once your tenancy agreement has been signed you are legally bound to pay rent even if you move out.

Remember that your utility bill will increase during the winter period [estimated at £8.00 - £20.00 pp per week extra]

  • Water rates can be paid monthly or quarterly
  • TV licence – shared property one licence for whole house / individual room tenancy each room should purchase a TV licence
  • Council tax – Full time students are exempt from paying Council Tax; although you must provide a copy of the student certificate from the University to the Local Authority.
  • Contents Insurance – Student properties are a gold mine for burglars - protect your property

Choosing possible locations

When considering your location, apart from obviously being close to the University – think about how far the property is from the night life, shops, transport & train station, think about how safe the area is? If youre unsure speak to your letting agent, they should be able to give you the low down on popular areas & locations.

Beginning your search

When you have decided on the above – Then the fun begins!

Letting Agents / Web sites / University Accommodation offices are the best places to start your search. Try to ascertain who are the principle Agents & web sites who deal with student properties within the area.

As in all professions, there are some unscrupulous ones; although these are few & far between.

So how do you know if a letting agencies is any good? Ask around? Check the internet for reviews

It is important to have a good selection of properties before making any decisions. Try to organise several days to view potential properties. Try to take notes & take photos to remind you.

Viewing properties

If possible ask the Letting agent to show several properties that fit your requirements on the same day. Try to give as much information as possible to enable the Agent to match your needs as closely as the market allows. Ask questions.

  • How long is the tenancy agreement?
  • How much deposit is required? [average requirement between 1 & 1 ½ times month’s rent]
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Does the property have an HMO licence?
  • Does the property have current gas certificate?

Things to look for:-

  • Is the property clean? [bearing in mind the fact that it is still be occupied]
  • Is there enough fridge space for the number in the household?
  • Check the age & condition of the boiler?
  • Does the property have a washing machine & drier?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the garden?
  • Check the overall condition of the exterior of the property?

Deciding on a property

Because demand is high regarding student properties, ensure that once you have decided on a property & you all agree that this is the one …………………. Act quickly to reserve it!

Securing a property

The Landlord will insist on some money upfront to reserve a property –

HOLDING DEPOSIT – This is normally non-refundable even if you change your mind! This will reserve the property whilst references, guarantor forms are sorted out.

If the landlord changes his mind prior to signing his is honour bound to refund the holding deposit. Note to the wise – Try to get the tenancy agreement signed asap Thus reserving your house legally.

Tenancy documents

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy [AST] agreement is normally used for most residential lets. This type of tenancy agreement ensures that the Landlord has the right to get their property back at the end of the lease. Remember that this is a legal document. Make sure that you read through the lease document thoroughly & check for any errors .You will normally be offered to renew the lease for another 12 months if desired. However the landlord will insist that a new lease is signed as soon as you have decided to renew.

Deposit

A deposit is required [normally the equivalent to 1 month’s rent] to safeguard against any damages, bills or rent arrears. If the property is left in a clean & acceptable state at the end of the tenancy; the deposit should be returned in full.

Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Since April 2007 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme came into effect [TDS] The TDS forces landlords to protect the tenants deposit with one of the registered schemes

At the end of the tenancy the deposit must be returned promptly or register a dispute with the authorised scheme. The scheme gives the tenants access to a dispute resolution service to mediate between landlord & tenants.

Inventories

An inventory is a document listing the condition & contents of the property [usually including photos] Take time to check this thoroughly & record any errors. The inventory will be used as a reference at the end of the lease to prove any damage etc.

Regulations & documentation

  • AST tenancy agreement
  • Valid Gas certificate
  • Electrical equipment should be supplied in a safe condition [Some landlords will have their properties tested by an electrical engineer] Electric certificate – although not legally required. Responsible landlords will carry out a visual check between tenancies.
  • Furniture & furnishings [Fire] Safety regulations 1988 – All furnishings should comply to the cigarette test. Most modern furniture displays a label to show that it complies [a triangle with a smoking cigarette] or label stating BS7177

Houses of multiple occupation

Since April 2006- Government legislation was introduced for mandatory licensing of houses of multiple occupation. HMO Definition 3or more storey property shared by 5 or more people from more than 2 families. The licence is issued by the local authority & has to meet minimum standards in terms of the number of laundry, cooking, showers, toilets & bathroom facilities. The landlord also has to show to the Local Authority that they are a competent & fit person to manage a property.

Harmonious living

Assuming that you have taken notice of the section above entitled choosing your housemates you will have a better chance of creating a happy household.

When trying to live harmoniously with 4 or 5 friends; certain things should be considered right from the start. Have a meeting with all the housemates when everyone has moved in to set down some general ground rules to avoid any problems later on. It is a good idea to set up a joint bank account & decide an amount that each tenant should deposit into the bank account to cover rent & bills.[Remember winter utility bills will be much higher]

Set up a standing order to the landlord or agents bank account each month for the rent. Set up standing orders for all household bills – gas, electric, water rates, TV licence & Internet provider.

There are specific companies that deal with students and spread the bills equally between everyone saving time and arguments .

Start an initial fund to pay for essential household items – toilet rolls, coffee, milk, sugar, cleaning products, light bulbs etc.

Ensure that all tenants understand the terms of the tenancy – date rent due, amount of rent to be paid as their share, length of the lease & their obligations

Try to ensure that everyone respects each other’s space, privacy & work ethics [quietness when needed]

Eating meals together is a good idea, creating a friendly atmosphere, cheaper food bills, recipe competiveness & times when everyone can air any grievances’ Everyone should share the cooking – Most people have one meal that they can cook well! A rota for cleaning or a cleaning day when everyone is available is also a good idea.

Potential idea - hire a cleaner for a few hours to clean communal area.

So remember….

  1. Pick your housemates carefully, especially if this is your first time renting shared accommodation. In most circumstances landlords will ask groups of students to sign a joint contract which will make you all responsible for each other's rent and any damage caused to the property.

 

  1. Decide where you want to live and what budget you can realistically afford. You may need to pay a deposit now and later a retainer to hold the property until September. Damage deposits should be held in a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme and your landlord is obliged to notify you with 14 days of the scheme in which the deposit has been secured. A retainer is a non refundable charge that some landlords charge but it does not usually give you any rights to live in your new home over the summer period.

 

  1. Don't rush in. The myth that you must have everything sorted by a certain date is exactly that – a myth! You can look for your new home at a time that suits you and there is always good quality accommodation available at the start of the next academic year.

 

  1. Have realistic expectations about where you want to live. There are very few large traditional houses located in the City Centre. The majority of accommodation available in the City Centre is found in the larger student development units with a limited number of one and two bedroom flats dispersed across the City. The choice of accommodation on the outskirts of the ring road are in a fairly large supply.
  • Choosing your housemates.
  • Work out how much you can afford.
  • Choosing possible locations
  • Begin your search.
  • Viewing properties
  • Deciding on a property
  • Securing a property
  • Tenancy documents
  • Deposits
  • Regulations
  • Setting the house rules

If you have been living in University halls of residence for your first year the decision is easier; as you will have had time to make friends & discuss the matter between you all.

A word of caution – just because you are friends in the University bar it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can live in harmony.

After finding the first possible housemate involve them in the choice of further housemates.

Once you have decided on the entire household choose one person amongst you to take the lead & initiative to both find & arrange viewings of properties.

Although University accommodation varies greatly according the location, the average rent is about £65.00 - £75 per week per person.

Payment of your rent has to be a priority, as once your tenancy agreement has been signed you are legally bound to pay rent even if you move out.

Remember that your utility bill will increase during the winter period [estimated at £8.00 - £20.00 pp per week extra]

  • Water rates can be paid monthly or quarterly
  • TV licence – shared property one licence for whole house / individual room tenancy each room should purchase a TV licence
  • Council tax – Full time students are exempt from paying Council Tax; although you must provide a copy of the student certificate from the University to the Local Authority.
  • Contents Insurance – Student properties are a gold mine for burglars thats why Studentcircle Lettings provide free contents insurance to most of our customers.

When considering your location, apart from obviously being close to the University – think about how far the property is from the night life, shops, transport & train station, think about how safe the area is? If you're unsure speak to your letting agent, they should be able to give you the low down on popular areas & locations.

When you have decided on the above – Then the fun begins!

Letting Agents / Web sites / University Accommodation offices are the best places to start your search. Try to ascertain who are the principle Agents & web sites who deal with student properties within the area.

As in all professions, there are some unscrupulous ones; although these are few & far between.

It is important to have a good selection of properties before making any decisions. Try to organise several days to view potential properties. Try to take notes & take photos to remind you.

If possible ask the Letting agent to show several properties that fit your requirements on the same day. Try to give as much information as possible to enable the Agent to match your needs as closely as the market allows. Ask questions.

  • How long is the tenancy agreement?
  • How much deposit is required? [average requirement between 1 & 1 ½ times month’s rent]
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Does the property have an HMO licence?
  • Does the property have current gas certificate?
  • Has the property got smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Is the property clean? [bearing in mind the fact that it is still be occupied]
  • Is there enough fridge space for the number in the household?
  • Check the age & condition of the boiler?
  • Does the property have a washing machine & drier?
  • Who is responsible for maintaining the garden?
  • Check the overall condition of the exterior of the property?

Because demand is high regarding student properties, ensure that once you have decided on a property & you all agree that this is the one. Act quickly to reserve it!

The Landlord will insist on some money upfront to reserve a property –

HOLDING DEPOSIT – This is normally non-refundable even if you change your mind! This will reserve the property whilst references, guarantor forms are sorted out.

If the landlord changes his mind prior to signing his is honour bound to refund the holding deposit.

Note to the wise – Try to get the tenancy agreement signed asap Thus reserving your house legally.

The Assured Shorthold Tenancy [AST] agreement is normally used for most residential lets. This type of tenancy agreement ensures that the Landlord has the right to get their property back at the end of the lease. Remember that this is a legal document. Make sure that you read through the lease document thoroughly & check for any errors .You will normally be offered to renew the lease for another 12 months if desired. However the landlord will insist that a new lease is signed as soon as you have decided to renew.

A deposit is required [normally the equivalent to 1 month’s rent] to safeguard against any damages, bills or rent arrears. If the property is left in a clean & acceptable state at the end of the tenancy; the deposit should be returned in full.

Since April 2007 the Tenancy Deposit Scheme came into effect [TDS] The TDS forces landlords to protect the tenants deposit with one of the registered schemes

At the end of the tenancy the deposit must be returned promptly or register a dispute with the authorised scheme. The scheme gives the tenants access to a dispute resolution service to mediate between landlord & tenants.

An inventory is a document listing the condition & contents of the property [usually including photos] Take time to check this thoroughly & record any errors. The inventory will be used as a reference at the end of the lease to prove any damage etc.

RESERVING A PROPERTY

Have you found a house with us and your interested on how to proceed? or do you have some questions about our process? if so you should find the answer in the section below.

You need to go to the ‘register here’ page, where you can create an login in to ‘myarea’ our online user interface, here you can register a few key details with us. Once you have registered our friendly team will be in touch by email to send you a welcome email to start your online application process.

Don’t worry, you have plenty of time to complete your application and to ask us ‘as many questions as you like' along the way! We normally reserve your chosen accommodation for 48 hours, however this can change upon demand and time of year so feel free to ask one of our representatives.

During this time it will allow you to complete the application process and thereafter to make payment to us. You need to arrange payment of your full deposit & admin fee within 7 days of receiving your application, and thereafter one months rent before you move in.

.

Studentcircle only ask for monies to cover your rent, deposit and £150 +VAT Administration fee.

Details about your property & monies are included within your welcome email.

We do not have separate fees for check-in, check-outs or referencing as this is included within your administration fee.

As a bonus we also throw in free tenant content insurance worth up to £83 per person and we don't just stop there we also include a keyfob which is a unique identifier to you, so if you do lose your keys it offers a £10 reward,this is paid by you but we have had a few cases where we have saved students having to get new locks and keys replaced as they were handed in to us which ended up saving them in excess of £150 in most instances.

The easiest method is to pay ‘Studentcircle Lettings LTD' is by online bank transfer or in branch by cashier (or pin). You can also pay by credit or debit card (we would like to share with you that there is a 2.75% service charge on all card transactions. International currency conversion fees may apply, so we advise you to check with your card provider).

Yes it’s quite possible that we will ask for a full reference to be carried out before you can move into a property. A reference check will be dependent on the property (and landlord whom we act on behalf of). We do not charge tenants for any referencing checks carried out!

This is a form that your guarantor with complete. A guarantor is someone who will act to guarantee your rent, such as a family member. We ask that your guarantor has resided within the UK for 3 or more years.

When you've expressed an interest in a property we will provide you with a welcome email which will have a sample tenancy agreement attached

please note: this is a sample lease only and does not need to be completed, it is only to show you the document that you will be signing.

If you need our assistance or clarification of any part of the application process please feel free to get in touch with us on 02475 5100 94, or you may email us at info@studentcircle.co.uk. with subject title ‘your name & my application’, or if you are calling from overseas we can arrange to speak with you on skype.

OUR COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

It’s a tough job keeping everyone happy, but we try very hard to keep both tenants and landlords smiling, we believe that happy students make happy landlords, hence Studentcircle! We very much hope that you are happy with the service received by us and welcome your comments and feedback.

We are also member of THE PROPERTY OMBUDSMAN SCHEME and have been for a number of years, please feel free to see our Studentcircle Lettings Customer Complaints Procedure area of our website.

LANDLORD SECTION

We have tried to think of all the questions you may have, of course some questions have been left out as a face to face or over the phone conversation would be required to assist and for us to know the full facts before making comment or giving advice.

We have two sections, that's made up of information for first time student landlords and the second part which is more information about legislation

if you're unsure of anything and you cant find the answer drop us a call on 02476 510094 or an email us here.

NEW LANDLORDS

Did you know that Studentcircle Lettings are looking to take on new landlords for both Student and Professional lets? We consider each landlord to constitute an integral part of our business and we are here to ensure that the process of letting your property is made clear and simple from the beginning and into the future. Experience has taught us of the correlation between the happiness of our students and that of our landlords, thus maintaining the satisfaction of both parties remains a core component of our businesses ethos.

Studentcircle Lettings are a team of professionals with passion for lettings, with over 8 years’ experience within the property industry and also having our own company portfolio we have strived to increase our brand awareness and also service levels to be one of the best Student lettings company in Coventry, but don’t take our word for it! Click Here to read some reviews from past and present customers.

We recognise that a number of the Lettings Agency are becoming woefully out-dated; inefficient use of the internet and other marketing technologies, coupled with poor levels of service has left the Industry unable to provide the high standards that people expect and demand today.

We provide a top level of quality to both the tenants and the Landlords, Our name and reputation is only as good as our people - and we never forget this. It is our ability to listen to people and needs that enable us to provide the right answers.

By building a relationship with each and every customer, we develop a clear understanding of their requirements and maintain a position of trust, essential when entering into a Tenancy Agreement. Studentcircle is aimed specifically at the student property market and we have optimised our branding and web presence to be at the forefront of lettings with in Coventry & Leicester, after all the Internet is the future - we have therefore used this media as the basis of our business, developing, concentrating & targeting on the student market.

Because we are a small firm, we are able to offer a personal and friendly Service, whilst at the same time maintaining a high standard of competence and professionalism.

Our fees are competitive and may be open to negotiation dependent on the level of Service required. We are particularly committed to investment Landlords and savings can be made on the smallest of portfolios.

Drawn from a continually updated register, all prospective Tenants require guarantor unless there international; students where we will take a month and a half’s rent.

As well as offering Eviction cover and Rent Guarantee within our management structures we also work with a number of companies who can offer a range of competitively priced insurance products designed especially for Landlords, providing extra security and peace of mind. These include:

Guaranteed Rental Insurance
Legal Expenses Cover
Contents Insurance
Buildings Insurance

For our initial meetings with you we will if necessary be pleased to visit your property outside normal office hours, at a time that is convenient to you, and thus fit in with your busy schedule.

PREPARATION OF THE PROPERTY

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We have found that a good relationship with Tenants is the key to a smooth-running tenancy. As Property Managers this relationship is our job, but it is important that the Tenants should feel comfortable in their temporary home, and that they are receiving value for their money. It follows therefore that a well presented and maintained property in a good decorative order will go towards this, whilst also achieving a higher rental. Tenants are also more inclined to treat such a property with greater respect.

Electrical, gas plumbing, waste, central heating and hot water systems must be safe, sound and in good working order. Repairs and maintenance are at the Landlords expense unless misuse can be established. “Interior decorations should be in good condition and preferably plain, light and neutral”

Your property can be let fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. Which of these is appropriate will depend on the type of property and local market conditions. We will be pleased to give you advice on whether to furnish or not and to what level. As a minimum you will need to provide decent quality carpets, curtains and light fittings. Remember that there will be wear and tear on the property and any items provided. We can help you furnish your property including carpeting and supplying beds and mattresses.

Personal possessions, ornaments, pictures, books etc. should be removed from the premises, especially those of real or sentimental value. Some items may be boxed, sealed and stored in the loft at the owner's risk. “All cupboards and shelf space should be left clear for the Tenant's own use”

Gardens should be left neat, tidy and rubbish free, with any lawns cut. Tenants are required to maintain the gardens to a reasonable standard, provided they are left the necessary tools. However, few Tenants are experienced gardeners, and if you value your garden, or if it is particularly large, you may wish us to arrange visits by our regular gardener.

At the commencement of the tenancy the property must be in a thoroughly clean condition, and at the end of each tenancy it is the Tenants' responsibility to leave the property in a similar condition. Where they fail to do so, cleaning will be arranged at their expense.

It is helpful if you leave information for the Tenant, e.g. on operating the central heating and hot water system, washing machine and alarm system, and the day refuse is collected etc. Keys you should provide one set of keys for each Tenant. Where we will be managing we will arrange to have duplicates cut as required.

HEALTH & SAFETY

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where you have signed our Full Management Agency Agreement, they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will need to ensure compliance.

We hope that the information covered in this guide will be of assistance to you. If there are any aspects of which you are unsure, please ask us. We look forward to being of assistance to you in the letting, or the letting and on going management of your property.

If you require any further information or if we can be of any further assistance please feel free to contact our friendly lettings team on 02476 510094.

There are several regulations relating to electrical installations, equipment and appliance safety, and these affect landlords and their agents in that they are 'supplying in the course of business'.

They include the Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets Regulations 1994, the 2005 Building Regulation - 'Part P, and British Standard BS1363 relating to plugs and sockets. Although with tenanted property there is currently no legal requirement for an electrical safety certificate (except in the case of all HMOs) it is now widely accepted in the letting industry that the only safe way to ensure safety, and to avoid the risk of being accused of neglecting your 'duty of care', or even of manslaughter is to arrange such an inspection and certificate.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 & 1993) provide that specified items supplied in the course of letting property must meet minimum #re resistance standards. The regulations apply to all upholstered furniture, beds, headboards and mattresses, sofa-beds, futons and other convertibles, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions, pillows and non-original covers for furniture. They do not apply to antique furniture or furniture made before 1950, bedcovers including Duvets, loose covers for mattresses, pillowcases, curtains, carpets or sleeping bags. Items which comply will have a suitable permanent label attached. Non-compliant items must be removed before a tenancy commences.

It is most important that an inventory of contents and schedule of condition be prepared, in order to avoid misunderstanding or dispute at the end of a tenancy. Without such safeguards, it will be impossible for the Landlord to prove any loss, damage, or significant deterioration of the property or contents.

In order to provide a complete Service, we will carry one out however we do suggest that you actually get a 3rd party company to carry one out to remian impartial however we can arrange for a 3rd party to carry out an inventory if you so require, we highly recommend that this is carried out.

NEW LEGISLATION HAS COME INTO EFFECT AND THIS SECTION IS BEING UPDATED

All properties built since June 1992 must have been fitted with mains powered smoke detector alarms from new.

Although there is no legislation requiring smoke alarms to be fitted in other ordinary tenanted properties, it is generally considered that the common law 'duty of care' means that Landlords and their Agents could be liable should a fire cause injury or damage in a tenanted property where smoke alarms are not fitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the Landlord fit at least one alarm on each "floor (in the hall and landing areas).

If your property is on 3 or more levels and let to 5 or more tenants comprising 2 or more households (i.e. not all of the same family) it will be subject to mandatory licensing by your local authority.

Whether mandatory licensing as above applies or not, if there are 3 or more tenants not all related in any property, it is still likely to be an HMO, and special Management rules apply. Ask your Letting Agent or local authority for details. Learn more here

The HHSRS provides an analysis of how hazardous a property is through assessment of 29 potential hazards found in housing. Landlords have to maintain their properties to provide a safe and healthy environment. The HHSRS is enforced by local authorities.

For further information visit click here

From 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme will be supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). Landlords and letting agents will be able to choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based Schemes.
Learn more here

If you the landlord decide to hold the deposit yourself, we will transfer it to you within 5 days of receiving it.

You must then register it with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme within a further 9 days if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you fail to do so the tenant can take legal action against you landlord in the County Court. The Court will make an order stating that you must pay the deposit back to the tenant or lodge it with the custodial scheme which is known as the Deposit Protection Scheme. In addition a further order will be made requiring you pay compensation to the tenant of an amount equal to three times the deposit.

You will be unable to serve a Section 21 Notice on your tenant until compliance with the above conditions and the Court will not grant you a possession order. We have no liability for any loss suffered if you fail to comply.

The DDA 2005 addresses the limitations of current legislation by extending disabled people's rights in respect of premises that are let or to be let, and common hold premises. Landlords and managers of let premises and premises that are to let will be required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. Under the new duties, provided certain conditions are met (for example, that a request has been made), landlords and managers of premises which are to let, or of premises which have already been let, must make reasonable adjustments, and a failure to do so will be unlawful unless it can be justified under the Act. Landlords will only have to make reasonable adjustments. And they will not have to remove or alter physical features of the premises.

From 1st October 2008 landlords in England and Wales offering property for rent will be required by law to provide prospective tenants with an Energy Performance Certificate for their property. In Scotland EPCs for rental properties will be required by January 2009. The certificates must be provided free either when (or before) any written information about the property is provided to prospective tenants or a viewing is conducted.

A new certificate will not be required on each let since, in the case of rental property, EPCs will be valid for 10 years. The requirement is being introduced to comply with the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) which applies to all property, including rented property. We can arrange an EPC inspection for our landlord clients upon request.

If you would like us to arrange this please contact us as costs vary on the time of year, from £55 - £100.

Under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 all gas appliances and flues in rented accommodation must be checked for safety within 12 months of being installed, and thereafter at least every 12 months by a competent engineer (e.g. a CORGI registered gas installer).

There is a duty to ensure that all gas appliances, flues and associated pipework are maintained in a safe condition at all times.

Full records must be kept for at least 2 years of the inspections of each appliance and flue, of any defects found and of any remedial action taken.

A copy of the safety certificate issued by the engineer must be given to each new tenant before their tenancy commences, or to each existing tenant within 28 days of the check being carried out.

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The following requirements are the responsibility of the owner (Landlord). Where you have signed our Full Management Agency Agreement, they are also our responsibility. Therefore where we are managing we will need to ensure compliance.

If your property is mortgaged, you should obtain your mortgagee's written consent to the letting. They may require additional clauses in the tenancy agreement of which you must inform us.

If you are a leaseholder, you should check the terms of your lease, and obtain any necessary written consent before letting.

You should ensure that you are suitably covered for letting under both your buildings and contents insurance. Failure to inform your insurers may invalidate your policies.

We can advise on:

  • Landlords Legal Protection
  • Rent Guarantee Cover
  • Landlords Contents and Buildings Insurance if required.

We recommend that you arrange for regular outgoings e.g. service charges, maintenance contracts etc. to be paid by standing order or direct debit. However where we are managing the property, by prior written agreement we may make payment of certain bills on your behalf, provided such bills are received in your name at our office, and that sufficient funds are held to your credit.

We will arrange for the transfer of Council Tax and utility accounts to the Tenant. Meter readings will be taken, allowing your closing gas and electricity accounts to be drawn up. All these matters we will handle for you, however British Telecom will require instructions directly from both the Landlord and the Tenant.

When resident in the UK, it is entirely the Landlords responsibility to inform the Revenue & Customs of rental income received, and to pay any tax due. Where the Landlord is resident outside the UK during a tenancy, he /she will require an exemption certificate from the Revenue & Customs before he can receive rental balances without deduction of tax. Where we are managing the property we will provide advice and assistance on applying for such exemption.

Most tenancies will automatically be Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), provided the rent is under £25,000 a year and the property is let to private individuals. Tenancies are usually granted for an initial fixed term of either 6 to 12 months. When the fixed term has expired the landlord is able to regain possession of the property provided he gives two months written notice to the tenant. In addition, if the tenant owes at least 2 months or 8 weeks rent on the property he can apply through the court to seek a possession order.

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The information contained on this page are intended solely to provide general guidance on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. The information is provided with the understanding that the authors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering any professional advice or services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for advice.

While Studentcircle makes every reasonable attempt to ensure that the information contained in this document has been obtained from reliable sources and to maintain the accuracy of the information of this website, Studentcircle cannot accept responsibility for any prejudice, loss or damage which may occur from use of the information.

All information in this document is provided, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited to warranties of performance and fitness for a particular purpose. Nothing herein shall to any extent substitute for the independent investigations and the sound judgement of the reader. Laws and regulations are continually changing, and can be interpreted only in light of particular factual situations