Lettings - FAQs
Does it matter whether the property is Fully Managed or Let Only?
If your chosen property is fully managed, then our in-house Property Managers will be your first point of contact for all maintenance and repair issues and we will act on behalf of the landlord. Let Only means that we find tenants for the property and arrange the paperwork, then the Landlord takes over the management and holds your deposit or pays it into a protected scheme. Most properties are fully managed and most of our Let Only clients are well-known to us. Your rights are protected either way.
What do you mean by furnished or unfurnished?
Each property is obviously different but generally speaking unfurnished means you can expect carpets, curtains and sometimes white goods only whilst furnished often includes all the essential furnishings required to move in straight away apart from minor kitchen equipment and bedding. City apartments or short term lets are usually more comprehensively furnished. We will supply you with an inventory showing exactly what is included with each property.
How binding is the Tenancy Agreement I enter into?
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the agreed term and you could be liable to legal action if you break the terms of the agreement. If your circumstances should change for any reason during your tenancy, we will approach the Landlord on your behalf and discuss the possible solutions but you should always assume at the outset that you will be committed for the duration of the Agreement.
How much are the application fees?
We will charge you a one-off Administration Fee when you apply for your chosen property and should you renew your tenancy after each agreed term, we will charge you a Renewal Fee. full details on fees.
Do I need insurance?
YES! You should consider taking out insurance against any damage you might accidentally cause to the Landlord's contents, buildings and fixtures and fittings. It's all too easy to drop the iron on the carpet or spill red wine. The Landlord covers the building and his own contents against normal perils such as fire, flood or theft but not yours. We can provide you with information on contents insurance( usually about £4.00 per week). Alternatively, you may choose your own insurance provider.
What about pets?
Most landlords are not keen on allowing pets but if you raise the issue at the outset we will gladly approach the Landlord on your behalf. Some Landlords will accept pets if you pay a higher deposit or prepay for a full house clean.
What references will you ask for?
In all cases we will ask for your address history so that we can carry out a search via a Credit Reference Agency. We will also approach your current Landlord or Agent (if you are renting) as well as obtaining a written reference from your Employer. If you are self-employed we will ask for your Accountants details and/or recent accounts. We have special provisions in place for Overseas Tenants. If you think your situation is unusual, just ask our staff.
When might I need a Guarantor?
If we feel your income is lower than that required for the rent in question or if you are returning to study for example, we could ask for a guarantor to support your tenancy. This is a serious commitment, as the guarantor will be as responsible as the tenant for all monies due and obligations agreed for the tenancy. Guarantors need to be earning sufficiently to cover both their own financial commitments as well as your rent and we will reference them in the same way as the actual Tenant. A Guarantor fee is payable.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
From 6 April 2007 all landlords must protect tenants' bonds by registering them with a Government approved scheme. Joining one of the schemes is mandatory and the penalties for non-compliance are considerable.
Where the property is managed by Acquire Properties
Landlords will notice very little difference and we will guide you through the new regulations and processes as the need arises.
Acquire Properties is a member of NALS (National approved lettings scheme), and is an approved member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), via membership of 'The Dispute Service Ltd'.
Deposits are held by the Agent as Stakeholder which means that agreement between Landlord and Tenant must be reached regarding any proposed deductions at the end of the tenancy. If deductions cannot be agreed amicably then the parties will be forced into arbitration via TDS.
Our comprehensive inventory and schedule of condition will greatly assist in settling disputes.
Any disputes that should arise will initially be handled by Acquire Properties.
Landlords can no longer hold the deposit themselves unless they are registered with an approved scheme in their own right.
Tenants have the right to know which scheme their deposit is registered with and we will issue them with all the information they need within the prescribed timescales thus protecting our Landlords from unnecessary legal action.
Tenants prefer to deal with a reputable managing agent in most cases as they know that their deposit will be protected properly at all times.
Where the Landlord manages the property themselves (Let Only Service)
Landlords have to join one of the three schemes approved by the Government in order to handle their own deposits.
Each scheme has it's own rules which bind the Landlord.
The Landlord then has 28 days from receiving the bond to advise the Tenant where the deposit is held and to issue the Prescribed Information as defined in the Housing Act 2004, which was updated in 2014.
If landlords use the custodial scheme then bonds must be paid over to that scheme within 28 days.
If landlords use the Insurance based schemes, they will have to pay a fee and/or premium.
Failure to comply fully will result in the Landlord being liable to a fine of three times the deposit amount, payable to the Tenant. In addition the Landlord may be ordered to repay the deposit to the Tenant with immediate effect and will lose the usual right to obtain possession under the Act
A tenancy will be offered to you subject to contract and more specifically, subject to the following conditions:
A fully completed application form has been submitted together with the appropriate fee.
Payment of non-refundable application Fee to reserve the property for a maximum of 14 days whilst references are being obtained. The landlord has accepted the offer.
A satisfactory search has been carried out by an independent credit referencing agency (details on request).
Satisfactory references have been obtained.
Once you have been provisionally accepted by the landlord (subject to references and contract) the Application Fee and Holding Fee (and Deposit if taken) become non-returnable unless the landlord withdraws the property due to their own unforeseen circumstances. If you choose to withdraw after acceptance, or undeclared adverse information is uncovered during referencing, then you will forfeit all fees (plus a reasonable proportion of the Deposit, if taken, which reflects the landlord's lost rent for the period between provisional acceptance and the date of rejection).
Please be aware that tenancies must be start no later than 14 days following the application date unless otherwise agreed in writing.
Before moving in to a property payment of the first months rent and deposit must be made by bank transfer or cash. Funds must be cleared before keys can be released. If in any doubt as to what is included within the let (i.e. furniture, appliances etc.) you should seek further clarification prior to submitting your application. You may be asked to provide a guarantor in some cases. Please note a guarantor fee of £50 per guarantor would then be payable.
The tenancy you are applying for is a fixed term. If after the expiry of a fixed term both parties wish to extend the tenancy, a fee will be payable for renewing or extending the tenancy agreement on each occasion, irrespective of the length of the extended period or the type of agreement.