Once you have found a property and we have agreed terms between you and the landlord you will be required to pay a reservation fee of at 1 weeks rent. This holding deposit will be put towards your security deposit on the day you move in. We will then assist you with your referencing application forms, which can be completed on line. Once they are submitted the referencing company will carry out a credit check and contact your referees including your employer or accountant and previous landlord if applicable. Occupation of the property is subject to contract and subject to all references being satisfactory and all funds being received.
The legislation for England states that in addition to the asking rent, for assured shorthold tenancies agents are now only permitted to charge the following:
1. A refundable holding deposit - capped at no more than one week's rent. Belvoir will ask you to give us permission to use this towards the 5 weeks rent tenancy deposit, which is subject to satisfactory references.
A holding deposit can only be retained where a tenant; Provides false or misleading information which it is reasonable for a landlord or agent to take it into account (this can include the tenants action in providing it) in deciding to grant the tenancy (e.g. affects their suitability as a tenant), fails a Right to Rent check, withdraws from a property, fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement when a landlord or agent has done so.
2. A refundable tenancy deposit - capped at no more than five weeks' rent, or no more than six weeks' rent if the annual rent is £50,000 or more
3. Payments to change the tenancy (once it has commenced), when requested by the tenant - capped at £50 (including VAT), or reasonable costs incurred if higher
4. Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant - Government advice says that this can cover landlord costs associated with remarketing the property and referencing new tenants and any shortfall in rent up until a new tenant takes over.
5. Payments in respect of Utilities – gas, electricity, water and sewerage, Communications – telephone and broadband, Installation of cable/satellite, Subscription to cable/satellite supplier, Television licence and Council Tax
6.Payment of interest for the late payment of rent at a rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate.
7. Replacement of a lost key or security device, where required under a tenancy agreement up to the permitted limits as set by the Government.
Any charges made that are not in this list will be classed as unlawful prohibited payments. Additionally, agents cannot require tenants to pay for services, such as reference checking, through a third party.
For further information regarding what can and cannot be charged, we do urge you to read the act in full and to consult professional legal advice if in any doubt:
Please note that Belvoir is a member of the Safe Agent client money protection scheme, and also a member of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme. You can find out more details on our website or by contacting us directly.
The signing of the tenancy agreement will take place a few days before your moving in date so you have sufficient time to read the document and ask any questions. On the day of occupation, at a pre-arranged time you may be required to go to the property to meet our inventory clerk to go through the check-in process. The balance of any funds due must be paid on or before the start date of the tenancy. One months’ rent must be paid in advance, plus the balance of the deposit, equivalent to a month or month and a half rent (subject to the Landlords requirements). This initial payment can be made either in advance by BANK TRANSFER to our clients account or by DEBIT CARD PAYMENT. (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS, CASH OR PERSONAL CHEQUES).
The deposit will be held either by the landlord, and be protected by an Insurance-based tenancy deposit schemes, or lodged with the Deposit Protection Service in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit legislation effective from 6th April 2007. All further rental payments should be made by standing order and must be paid monthly and received by the Landlord or Brien Firmin Ltd by the due date. The deposit CANNOT be used as the last months' rent.
Gas, electricity and water companies, telecom and council tax offices must be notified of your intended move as these services are payable by the Tenant. PLEASE NOTE: In some circumstances the utility companies may require a deposit.
Once your tenancy has commenced a bi-annual property inspection will be carried out. You will be notified at least one week before to confirm the time and date of the inspection. If you should encounter any problems regarding the maintenance of the property you should contact the Maintenance Coordinator at our office or the Landlord direct if appropriate. All repairs and maintenance must be carried out with landlord approval.
Regulations require you to keep the property in a tenant like manner. Your obligations as tenants including those relating to repairs and maintenance are laid out in the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. Please feel free to request a copy of the standard agreement prior to the commencement of the tenancy.
When your contract is due to expire we will contact you two months prior to the expiry date. Should you require a new agreement both parties will have to agree new terms.
If the tenancy is not renewed and you leave the property a final inspection will be carried out. Utility companies must be notified of final meter readings and your forwarding address provided to the landlord. The property and its furnishings and fittings must be left in a clean and satisfactory condition in accordance with your tenancy agreement and the inventory.
PLEASE NOTE: The deposit is not returned to you on the day of departure. All deposits are dealt with in accordance with the relevant deposit protection scheme terms and conditions, details of which will be provided at the start of your tenancy. Copies are available on request.
Finally do not forget to advise the gas, electricity, water boards, telecom companies and council tax offices of your move, also remember to advise the Post Office, as we will not accept responsibility for forwarding or re-directing any mail.