Tenant FAQ’s

Do Properties have a Sky Connection?…

Generally, all newer style flats and apartments would have a communal satellite dish with connections to the property. Tenants would need to subscribe to the respective service and have their receiver box.

In the case of houses and older style flats, this would be fitted if the previous tenant / owner had installed the dish / connection.

Can I Install my Own Satellite Dish?…

Generally Landlords of older style flats and houses don’t have a problem with this, however on newer build properties this may not be possible as Landlords are often prohibited from doing this under the terms of their lease agreement with the developer.

 

We do get a lot of questions about Internet connections, telephone lines and of course satellite dishes. To try and help answer many of those questions, we have listed the most frequently asked questions below:

Are there BT Lines Connected to the Properties?…

Generally speaking, most properties where tenants have lived before would have a telephone connection, unless it’s a new or nearly new property which hasn’t had a new line installed.

Can I Change Telephone / Internet Providers?…

Yes, we are more than happy for tenants to use which ever company they wish for their Internet / landline connections

What is a Tenancy Agreement?…

A tenancy agreement is a legal document between the Landlord and Tenant for the rental of a property and initially is for a fixed term, usually 6 or 12 months – such an agreement is what is known as an “Assured Short-hold Tenancy”.

Who Should be on the Tenancy Agreement?…

The tenancy agreement should be in the names of all tenants residing in the property over the age of 18.

What Happens at the end of the Tenancy Agreement?…

At the end of a tenancy agreement, there are usually 3 options:

a) The tenancy is extended for another fixed period (6 or 12 months)

b) The tenancy reverts to a Periodical Tenancy Agreement, which is a month by month agreement

c) Either the Tenant or Landlord decide to terminate the agreement

What Notice do I Need to give to end the Tenancy Agreement?…

To terminate a tenancy agreement, the Tenant must give a minimum of one months notice, but not to terminate during the fixed term period.

What if I need to Leave Before the end of the Tenancy?…

This is usually by negotiation with the Landlord and if there is agreement, then the Tenant would usually be expected to pay any costs that the Landlord would incur in finding a new tenant and the Tenant would be responsible for all rent payments up to the time when the new tenant moves into the property.

What if the Landlord wants to Terminate the Tenancy Agreement?…

The Landlord cannot terminate the tenancy early under normal conduct from the Tenant. However, should the tenant not pay the rent or is in breech of the tenancy agreement, then the Landlord may follow the appropriate action and issue a notice via the Courts to terminate the tenancy agreement.

Tenants Insurance…

When renting a property, it makes sense to protect against the unexpected…

As a tenant you are responsible for insuring your own possessions, but did you know that you are also liable for any damage you cause to your landlord’s buildings and contents?

To help tenants have a greater piece of mind, we can put you in touch with a specialist contents insurer, please ask for more information.

 

Pets…

Are Pets Allowed in Rental Properties?…

In the majority of cases, unfortunately not – many Landlords are unable to offer properties with pets. Sometimes there are restrictions on the Landlords lease. Occasionally, there are a few houses that become available where the owner would allow pets, but usually there would be a higher deposit payable.

Does this Cover all Pets?…

Some Landlords will turn a blind eye to small fish tanks or maybe a small bird, but nothing else.

 

 

 

Do all Rental Properties Have Parking?…

Unfortunately, not! Many City Centre (mainly one bedroom) apartments don’t have allocated parking, especially on the newly built developments. As a general rule of thumb, all houses would have parking either off road or on the street, but flats will vary according to where they are and what size.

How Do I Know if it has Parking?…

We always display on the description of the advert if a property has parking.

If the Property I like Doesn’t Have Parking, Where Can I get Local Parking From?…

This can often be a problem in all City Centres, but there are local car parks either operated by the local council or national car park operators such as NCP where you can buy permits for parking.

Alternatively, if you are living in a large development, its worth looking on the notice boards to see if anyone else who lives there is looking to rent their unused space out.

Inventories…

Inventories are detailed reports, with photographs of the condition of the property when a tenant either moves in or out of the rental premises.

In our opinion, these are essential for both Tenants and Landlord’s as it details the exact condition of the property and high-lights any existing problems or damage that maybe already at the property or have occurred during the tenancy period.

With the current legislation surrounding deposits, inventories will act as evidence of a properties condition and support any claim for damages.

With all managed properties through Lettings Direct, an inventory will be generated before the Tenant moves in to the property, however this may not always be the case where Landlords manage their own properties, therefore we always advise Tenants take to photographs when moving in if there isn’t a inventory in place.

We are able to offer both move-in and move-out inventory reports for Landlords regardless of the lettings service required.
Rent with Lettings Direct Southampton

Do we Accept Tenants who Claim Housing Benefits?…

All prospective tenants are means tested on affordability which is usually calculated as a multiple of the rent and then referenced by an external referencing agency. Provided the income criteria is met and there are no restrictions on the Landlords  by his insurance company or mortgage provider then most Landlords would be happy to consider applications.

Tenants - Rent with Lettings Direct

ARLA Memeber - Lettings DirectHolding Fees…

This is a deposit paid to reserve a property for the tenant whilst either the application is being processed or there is an amount of time between the tenant agreeing to take the property and when he or she actually is ready to move in.

The Holding Deposit is a fee paid which is equal to 1 x weeks rent and this amount is deducted from the final balance to pay when a tenant moves in to the property.

Once a holding deposit has been placed by a tenant, then that property is with-drawn from advertising and no other tenants are shown this property.

If for whatever reason the tenant decides to withdraw from proceeding with the property, then the holding deposit is used to pay any administration costs and the cost of re-advertising the property.

Rent with Lettings Direct Southampton

What is a Guarantor?…

A Guarantor is someone is responsible for the Tenants payment of rent should this not be paid, or if the Tenant causes damage to the property beyond the value of the deposit held.

Who Needs a Guarantor?…

Generally, any potential tenants under the age of 25 will require a guarantor. Applicants over 25 who have a lower income may also require a Guarantor.

What Does a Guarantor Need to do?…

A Guarantor will need to complete an application form and be credit referenced in the same way as a Tenant and also to sign an under-taking to be legally responsible for any none payment of rents or damages that the Tenant may incur.

Why does a Guarantor Need to be Credit Referenced?…

As the Guarantor will ultimately be responsible for the payments of the rent throughout the tenancy, then its essential that we ensure the Guarantor has a suitable income to substantiate any such payments.

What is a deposit?

A deposit or as it’s often called a bond is a premium paid by the Tenant to the Landlord to cover the cost of any damages or dilapidation that may occur during the tenancy agreement. If there are no damages to the property, then the deposit is returned in full to the tenant.

Who keeps the deposit?

By law, deposits received after April 2007 have to be registered in an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The idea of the scheme is to give the Tenant greater protection and to stop unnecessary deductions by some private Landlords.

How much is the deposit?

Deposits are capped under current legislation to an amount equal to 5 x weeks rent.

Deposit alternatives?

On a large number of our properties we are able to offer an alternative deposit scheme which saves tenants tying up large sums of money in the deposit. The alternative deposit scheme is offered by Blinc Referencing and they under-right the value of the deposit to the Landlord for a fee usually equaly to 1.4 x the weekly rent. Under the scheme, the tenant is still liable for the condition of the property.

When is it returned?

Within 10 working days of the end of the tenancy agreement

What can be deducted from my deposit?

We the exception of reasonable wear, the property should be left in the same condition as when the tenancy agreement commenced. Deductions can be made for any damages to the property, cleaning or replacements that are needed in order to re-instate the property to its original condition.

How do I know what damage has been caused?

All reputable Landlords and Letting Agents will produce an Inventory report prior to you moving into a property. The inventory, will list what’s in the property and the condition and will normally have photographic evidence. When you leave a property, it will be checked against the original inventory.

If I’m leaving the property and I have paid a deposit, do I have to pay the last month’s rent?

Yes, the rent and deposit are completely separate and the rent should be paid on the due date of every month.

How do I know my deposit has been registered?

Within 30 days of moving into a property, you should be issued with a certificate detailing which scheme your deposit has been registered under.

What if I’m not happy with any deductions?

The deposit scheme provider will act as an arbitrator between the Landlord and Tenant and look at the evidence and decide who is responsible for the costs and if they are fair deductions.

As part of our service to Landlord’s, we do have a duty of care to ensure all potential tenants are fully referenced in terms of their employment, credit history and dealings with previous Landlords. From a Landlord’s perspective a Letting Agent is only as good as the tenant they find. Therefore it is essential that we take every reasonable measure to ensure all applicants we put forward to a Landlord are going to be suitable for the property.

We will usually to take references from previous Landlord’s and current employers as well as doing a credit search to ascertain if there has been any adverse credit history or missed payments on any financial contracts that they may have.

We will also need to take proof of identity and proof of current address in the form of a council tax/utility bill,  and we would usually ask for copies of a driving license or passport, together with 2 recent utility bills addressed to your current residence. This is also used as part of the legal obligation we have to ensure all applicants have the right to rent within the UK

Another key element that we have to consider is affordability of the rent in conjunction of any other financial liabilities that you may have. We usually look for your income or joint income to exceed the rent by at least 2.5 times.

If you have any questions regarding credit referencing, then please feel free to email us at lettings@knightsporter.com

If you are worried about your credit file, you can access this from “Experian” who are a credit agency and hold credit files for the use of many financial organisations and referencing agents.

Do I have to pay my own Council Tax and Utilities?

  • The general rule of thumb is that the tenant would always pay for their own council tax and utilities especially if the property was a house or a more modern flat. The only exception to this is where the property is an older style house and it’s been divided into flats or studios by the Landlord and the Landlord hasn’t separated the supply of the respective utilities.

Do Students have to pay council tax?

  • In the majority of cases, Students are except from Council Tax.

How do I know what Council Tax banding the property is?

  • If we have been given this information by the Landlord, then we are more than happy to advise you of this. But if in doubt, its always worth checking with the local council who can advise on the banding and the council tax payable per year.

What companies supply the Utilities?

  • In the Southampton area, the water is supplied by Southern Water. As your probably aware, there are dozens of companies who supply Gas and Electric. and most Landlords are happy for Tenants to obtain the most competitive quotation.

Can I change the Utility Provider?

  • Yes, as long as permission is given by either the Landlord or ourselves, as we do need to know the suppliers, especially when your tenancy ends.

Are meter readings taken?

  • Yes, meter readings are always taken at the start and end of your tenancy agreement and these are notified to the utility provider so that they can charge you for the correct period and usage.

What if there is a Key Meter?

  • If the property you are renting has a key meter for the electricity or a card meter for the gas – these are pre-payment methods and can be topped up at most local shops.

Viewing’s can be booked in 3 different ways, either by Email or phone or online:

Telephone  – 02380 631940

Email – sales@https://knightsporter.com

What are your opening hours?

We are usually open during the following times:

Monday – Friday 8:45am – 6:00pm

Saturday 9:00am – 2:00pm

When can I view property?

We are happy to arrange a viewing at a time suitable for you and our last viewing’s are at 5.30pm during the week, 1.30pm on Saturdays.

How quickly can I view?

We will always try and arrange viewing’s as quickly as possible, but many Southampton properties we advertise will still have tenants living at the property and we do need to usually give them 24 hours’ notice. However if the property is empty and we hold the keys, then we are happy to arrange same-day viewing’s. Click here to view our available properties.

Can I make Advance Bookings?

We are constantly renting properties out, so it’s better just to make viewing’s a few days before, rather than longer to avoid disappointment.

Where do I meet you at viewing’s?

We can either meet you at our office and drive you to the viewing’s or we can meet you at the property.

What if I can’t make the viewing?

Just let us know as soon as possible before the viewing, as our diaries are often busy and we can then reallocate that time to another potential applicant.

One of the main reasons people chose a reputable letting agent to help find their next home is to ensure the property is of a certain standard and complies with the current legislation.

Residential Tenancy Agreements…

From the 1st June 2019 there are no agency fees payable for residential tenancy applications, renewals or check-outs. Any residential tenancy agreement that commenced prior to this date would still be liable for any contractual fees as detailed within the tenancy agreement.

Company Tenancy Agreements…

Under current legislation, company rental agreements are dealt with slightly differently and an administration fee is usually charged of £450 + VAT to cover the agency costs, which include:

  • Cost of viewing’s
  • Setting up the tenancy agreement
  • Securing of the tenancy deposit
  • Ensuring that every property is compliant with current legislation
  • Moving the tenant into the property
  • Move-in inventory

The Company Letting Agency fee is payable when the company reserves a property and this then allows us to process the application and obtain references etc. Renewal fees are paid when the tenancy is renewed and the Check-out fee is deducted from the deposit on termination of the tenancy.

 

What if I Need More Information About a Property I Have Seen?…

We try and put as much information regarding a property as we have available. But if you do have any specific questions then please email or phone our Southampton office.

When I’m Renting a Flat, do I Have to Pay Service Charges or Ground Rent?…

No, these are paid by the Landlord

Are There any Other Costs I have to Pay?…

In the majority of rental properties, Tenants do pay their own bills for council tax and utilities .
      

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