Information for Prospective Tenants
The Application Process
Once you’ve found the property you’d like to call home and your application has been agreed in principle with the landlord we’ll ask for a holding deposit. This payment is taken to show your commitment to the property whilst references are taken and we progress the tenancy. The landlord may wish to continue marketing until the tenancy documents are complete. Any offer you make on a property is subject to contract, references, and cleared funds.
As part of your tenancy application referencing will be done. The reference provider will use the following calculation: monthly rent x 30. For example £1000 per calendar month rent x 30 means you’ll need an income of £30,000 gross per year. If this doesn’t work for your circumstances there are options we can discuss with you, such as paying some or all of the rent in advance, providing a guarantor and so on. You’ll need to tell us anything that might affect a landlord’s decision to let their property to you. If something becomes known, such as any false or misleading information, not given in error, or something not shared, which you should have reasonably told us, the landlord can decide they no longer wish to let their property to you. This would include things such as being on a short employment contract; not telling us about previous missed or late rent payments; declaring your income as too high, or giving any inaccurate information about employment. You must also let us know if you’ve ever had or currently have a County Court Judgement (CCJ) served against you. We’ve explained below how not telling us would affect any holding deposit.
Understanding the holding deposit
What you’ll pay will be the equivalent to one week’s rent for the property. For example, if the rental is £1000 per calendar month the holding deposit you’ll have to pay will be £1000 x 12 months / 52 weeks = £230.76. Once the holding deposit is received, the property may be taken off the market (unless otherwise agreed) and you, any guarantor and the landlord have a maximum of 15 days to complete and sign all tenancy paperwork. If agreed in writing by both parties this period can be reduced or extended. We call this the ‘holding period’. If by the end of the holding period you haven’t completed the tenancy the landlord can:
- Withdraw from the tenancy, and/or
- Remarket the property, and
- Keep your holding deposit, or
- Agree with you another date to complete the tenancy
What happens to your holding deposit?
If the tenancy successfully goes ahead the holding deposit paid will be put towards your deposit or first rents due, unless you advise us otherwise or a different agreement is reached.
If you decide you don’t want to go ahead for any reason, or if the tenancy can’t proceed because of any of the following the landlord, or we, can keep all of the holding deposit:
- Your application includes false or misleading information, which would affect the landlord’s decision to rent their property to you, unless you can prove that it was given in error
- You change your mind about going ahead with the tenancy and withdraw your application
- You, any guarantors or anyone acting on your behalf cause any delays to the tenancy being completed
- You, any guarantors or anyone acting on your behalf fail to take all reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy for example; you don’t provide information requested to support your application
- You fail any Right to Rent checks
We’ll write to the person who paid the deposit within seven days of the holding deposit expiring to let them know the reasons it will not be returned. If the landlord decides not to go ahead with the tenancy and none of the above applies we’ll repay the holding deposit to the person who made the payment within seven days of the date the landlord decides not to go ahead.
When you make an offer and we take a holding deposit on a property that is currently occupied
Where you enter into a tenancy agreement that is going to start at some time in the future this is often because the property is occupied by current tenants who are due to vacate before you are due to move in. Whilst we will not knowingly allow you to sign a tenancy agreement if we suspect the existing tenants are not going to vacate at the end of their tenancy, or if the property will not then be available for occupation (for example because of its condition or other major issue that means it cannot be immediately occupied) when paying your holding deposit, you also agree and accept that providing vacant possession or affording occupation of the property is outside our or the Landlord’s control. It is therefore agreed that the start of any tenancy is conditional upon us having vacant possession and the property being available for occupation on the tenancy start date. If we do not for whatever reason have vacant possession or cannot grant occupation on the date you are due to move in then the start of your tenancy will be delayed until we do, and neither we or the landlord will have any liability to you or any third party for any direct or indirect loss that you or they may suffer as a result of such delay. In such case we and the landlord will do all that we can be reasonably expected to do to get vacant possession or make the property available for occupation so that you can move in. If vacant possession of, or availability to occupy the property has not been achieved within seven days of the date you were due to move in then you may request to be released from the tenancy agreement and if vacant possession or availability of occupation has not been achieved within 28 days of the said tenancy start date the landlord may give notice to terminate and release the parties from the tenancy agreement. In either case all monies that you have paid for rent and/or deposit will be returned to you and such repayment will be the limit of our or the landlord’s obligation to you in relation to the tenancy agreement.
Housing Act Tenancies (AST)
In addition to paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following payments permitted under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
General Fees & Charges
Holding Deposit - Equivalent to one weeks’ rent
Deposit (annual rent less than £50,000) - Equivalent to five weeks’ rent
Deposit (annual rent £50,000 or more) - Equivalent to six weeks’ rent
Variation of tenancy agreement (specially negotiated clause agreed after the tenancy agreement is signed) -
Up to £50 per agreed variation, or any reasonable costs incurred if these are higher than £50
Change of sharer - Up to £50 per replacement tenant, or any reasonable costs incurred if these are higher than £50
Early termination - All costs, fees and charges incurred by the landlord for allowing early termination including the agents existing or re-letting fees, as well as all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.
Stamp Duty Land Tax - Payable on tenancies where the rent (for the whole time a tenant stays in the property) exceeds £125,000
Default Fees & Charges
Late, unpaid, returned rent payments - 3% above the base rate of Bank of England per annum, calculated daily
Lost keys - Any cost for the replacement of keys, fobs, security devices or associated items which have been lost, damaged or broken
During the Tenancy (payable to the provider) if permitted and applicable
Utilities - gas, electricity, water and sewerage
Communications - telephone and broadband
Installation of cable/satellite
Subscription to cable/satellite supplier
Other Permitted Payments
Any other permitted payments, not included above, under the relevant legislation including contractual damages
Non Housing Act Tenancies (NHA)
Tenant fees do not apply to tenants of assured shorthold tenancies, student accommodation or licences but may apply for other tenancy types. Please see below fees that can be charged for those tenancies not covered under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Tenancy paperwork - £300
Deed of guarantee - £120
Company reference checks - £120 per reference
Deposit - Usually equivalent to six weeks rent
Call out services (inc out of hours) - £60 per hour and/or the contractors invoice where your actions or lack of actions result in us or a contractor attending the property to remedy the situation
Late/unpaid/returned rent payments - £60 late payment charge and 3% above the base rate of Bank of England per annum, calculated daily
Change of sharer - £200
Additional sharer (at the same time) - £75
Renewal negotiation - £100 for each renewal. If additional referencing is required £45 per reference
Any tenancy agreement specially negotiated clauses agreed after the tenancy agreement has been signed - £100
Early termination (at landlords discretion) - All costs, fees and charges incurred by the landlord for allowing early termination including the agent’s existing or re-letting fee
Stamp Duty Land Tax - This tax is payable on tenancies where the rent exceeds £125,000
Client money protection (CMP): ARLA Propertymark - arla.co.uk
Redress scheme: The Property Ombudsman - tpos.co.uk