Why rent a property through Masons Chartered Surveyors Lettings department?
As a tenant it is important to ensure when renting a property you receive a quality service both prior to and during your tenancy. At Masons we strive to ensure tenants are provided with up to date and relevant information, competitive referencing and administration fees and, as bonded members of ARLA, RICS and TDS, you know we act within strict codes of conduct and your deposit money is protected.
We have produced this guide to inform Tenants of the procedures and requirements relating to a typical tenancy taken through us. If you are unsure, then please contact our office for further explanation prior to arranging any viewings.
When applying to rent a property through Masons there will be a tenants application fee of £40 incl VAT per person or married couple to cover all single and joint applications. For any additional tenants or guarantors there will be a further fee of £40 incl VAT.
If successful there is a further fee of £140 as the tenant contribution towards the drawing up of the tenancy agreement, notification of service utilities, and if compiled schedule of condition/inventory and associated check in. Also your deposit will be held in the TDS scheme on your behalf the which there is an annual fee payable of £20 payable on signing and on subsequent anniversaries of the tenancy. All these charges are inclusive of VAT. There are no additional; administration, check in fees or charges payable by tenants as a consequence of applying for or taking up a tenancy. Further details and information are attached to the Tenancy Application Form and for further clarification before arranging a viewing please contact the lettings team.
When a letting of a property has been agreed then all persons over the age of 18 will need to complete a Tenancy Application form and will be named in the Tenancy Agreement. We will then take up references on behalf of our clients, the Landlord, which usually will include a credit check, current employment details, previous landlord/letting agent and if self-employed; accounts and income details.
Tenancy Agreement: Prior to a Tenancy commencing you will normally be required to sign a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which is usually for a period of six or twelve months. A Tenancy Agreement will fully explain and detail the terms and conditions on which you are taking the Tenancy plus any other special conditions that relate to that specific property.
Security Deposit: Before the Tenancy commences you will be required to pay a security deposit. This deposit is held by Masons Chartered Surveyors as Stakeholder in the Masons Chartered Surveyors HSBC Louth Branch Client Account on behalf of the Landlord. No interest is payable to either party. The deposit is held against any damages or expenses arising during your tenancy and will not be released until you have vacated the property, all rent has been paid up to date and an end of tenancy inspection has been completed.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme and The Dispute Service: All deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Masons operate an insurance based scheme as members of ARLA and RICS, through The Dispute Service (TDS) and hold deposits as stakeholder on behalf of landlords and tenants. For more information visit the website www.tds.gb.com
Deposits and Non-Housing Act Tenancies: The majority of Tenancy Agreements are Assured Shorthold Tenancies within the Housing Act and therefore deposits are covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Deposits taken for Non Housing Act Tenancies i.e. Winter Let Agreement, High Rent Agreement or Company Let the deposits will not be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We as Agents will hold the deposit as Stakeholder and administer it in the normal way.
Rental Payments: The first month’s rent is payable in advance along with the deposit either by cash, Bankers Draft/transfer, debit card or cheque. If you are paying by personal cheque please allow at least 10 working days for clearance. All future rent is payable in advance by standing order either directly to the Landlords or our Client Account. Please note that all standing order payments should be made three days prior to your rent due date to allow for clearance. Payments can also be taken by debit card.
Schedule of Condition and Inventory: A Schedule of Condition/Inventory of the property will normally have been prepared. This will be provided to you at the commencement of the tenancy requiring you to check it agree it and sign it. It is important that you take care in agreeing the Schedule of Condition/Inventory at this stage, as it will form the basis of any claim for damages by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy.
Tenants Obligations: You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during any tenancy. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately and the property is fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time. During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of the water and heating systems. In addition, you will be liable to maintain the interior décor of the property to include carpets, and any fixtures and fittings that are included plus gardens and outside areas.
Our Obligations: will vary dependent on which of the following services we provide for the Landlord.
A. Let Only (no management)
B. Letting the property and receiving rent
C. Letting and fully managing the property
You will be notified which of the above services applies to your tenancy and provide you with details of who to contact.
Property Visits: All properties Fully Managed by us will be subject to regular visits. The purpose of these is to check the condition of the property and that you are conducting your tenancy in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement.
Utilities/Council Tax: Once you have signed a Tenancy Agreement you are usually liable for the service utility charges relating to that property to include gas, electricity, and water plus the council tax. The utility companies and local authority will have been notified of your impending occupation of the property along with appropriate meter readings. You may wish to check with the appropriate utility company to ensure that this has been set up. With regards to telephones, it is British Telecom’s policy to carry out a credit check on all potential customers before activating a line and therefore you will need to contact them directly.
Television Licence/Signal: You are responsible for the television licence regardless of whether or not a television is provided by the Landlord. Landlords cannot guarantee quality of signal or availability of signal at any let property.
Telephone Connections: Tenants will need to make their own investigations as to the availability of a suitable BT/Broadband connection at the let property and will be responsible for any connection costs.
Insurance: The Tenant is responsible for insuring their own personal effects and furnishings. It is important that as a tenant you are adequately protected and covered for any damage you may cause to landlords buildings or contents.