New Tenants FAQ
Thank you for taking the time to look at our FAQ. Below we have compiled the most common questions and answers for new tenants. If you have any questions or would like more information about anything you see, please get in touch with our team or email us.
I’m not sure which property I want
We can help you find your ideal property. Each of our advisers know everything you might want to know about all of our properties and can do the searching for you. To do this we need to know as much as possible about your requirements. This includes your budget and the date by which you need to move etc. You can let us know all about your requirements by emailing us, by phone or by visiting us where a member of staff can assist you with your search. We can even send you property details by post, email or text.
What happens when I want to see a property?
Viewings can be conducted 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 5pm on Saturdays. You can book a viewing by phone or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will conduct the property viewing on behalf of the landlord and normally keep the keys so we can access the property to suit your availability. You should ensure that anyone likely to share in the decision views the property as well. After the viewing we need to know if you have any questions or if you are interested in renting the property.
I have seen the property I want. What happens next?
If the property is suitable for you do not delay your offer as it may be let to someone else the same day. When you make an offer you will need to pay us an administration fee to cover our tenant vetting costs. You will also receive an application form for each tenant and if necessary a guarantor application as well. These will need to be completed and returned to us ASAP to ensure that we can commence processing your application.
Do I have to pay any other fees/deposits?
Once your application forms have been returned and processed you be required to pay the months rent plus a deposit. At the date of check in. This must be cleared funds which means cleared cheque, bankers draft, internet BACS transfer or cash.
Do I have to supply references etc?
When we have received your completed application we will write to the contact information supplied on the form and obtain references to confirm your ability to meet the rental commitment.
When can I move in?
Once your application form has been processed, we will advise if there are any minor discrepancies and if further action is required, what that is. Once referrals have been completed you will be issued with your check in date which is usually within seven to fourteen days.
What happens during check in?
Check in takes place at our office on Stonegate Road. Any monies owing at this point will be collected and your tenancy agreement, inventory and other important documents issued and signed. Once completed you will receive the keys and any codes to the property ready for you to move in.
What is a tenancy agreement?
It is a legally binding document between you and the landlord, applicable only to you and the property you are renting that states the amount, the length of the tenancy, your rights and your responsibilities. Your agreement will most probably be an Assured Shorthold tenancy under the Housing Act as amended in 1996.
For bona fide companies and/or rental values over £25,000 a year, the agreement will be drawn up under contract law.
What are my responsibilities?
These should be clearly set out in your tenancy agreement, which you should read carefully before you sign. In general, tenants are required to keep the property in good condition and pay the rent by the monthly due date.
How long is a typical let?
All our tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements for a minimum period of six months. We do not do short term lets.
What happens if I want to stay longer or leave early?
Tenancies are frequently renewed and we usually prompt your decision two months before the end of your tenancy. All tenancies need to be renewed one month before the expiry of the current tenancy to stay on. Should you wish to vacate please contact us at the earliest opportunity so we can advise you the procedure for this.
What else do I have to pay?
The tenants pay for the utility bills such as gas, electric, water, telephone, cable, TV, internet and TV licence during the course of the tenancy aswell as council tax where applicable. If the property is new and has not had a telephone service before you may also need to pay to have these services.
What must I do at the end of the tenancy?
Ensure you fulfil your obligations stated in your tenancy agreement and leave the property in the condition it was in at the start or deductions will be made from your deposit. These will include thorough cleaning and all lined, used or not freshly laundered. If you have moved furniture, return it to where you found it at the time of the inventory.
How do I get my deposit back?
After an inventory check, condition inspection and final bill validation have been completed (provided there aren’t any missing items or damage) your deposit will be returned within 14 days after you leave the property. You cannot set your deposit against any rent payment due.
Who will hold my deposit?
Alan Cooke Sales and Lettings will retain your deposit in a designated clients account. This will ensure the safety of the money and that the correct amount be returned to you – or apportioned to the landlord if anything is missing or damaged. This is fully compliant with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
What is the difference between a fully managed property or introduction only?
If your property is fully let or managed, then the Alan Cooke Sales and Lettings team will be your first point of contact for all maintenance and repair issues and we will act on behalf of the landlord. Introduction only means that Alan Cooke Sales and Lettings finds the tenants for the landlord and arranges the paperwork, then the landlord takes over the management and in this scenario you would contact the landlord directly.
Fully furnished. Unfurnished. What is the difference?
Properties are let with different levels of furnishings, broadly speaking unfurnished means you can expect:
- Windows: Blinds or Curtains
- White Goods: Cooker, Microwave, Fridge/Freezer, Washing Machine
- Fully furnished would usually include:
- White Goods: Cooker, Microwave, Fridge/Freezer, Washing Machine.
- Furniture: Bed(s) and Wardrobes. Chairs and Sofa, Dining Room Kitchen Table and Chairs.
- Accessories: Utensils, Kettle, Toaster, Mattresses, Hoover etc.
- Windows: Blinds or Curtains
- It is always best to ask for a list of what will be left in the property to avoid confusion.
How binding is the agreement I enter into?
A tenancy agreement governs all rents, which is a legal and binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the agreed term and 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 it is recommended to speak to us as soon as possible.
How much are Alan Cooke’s fees?
We charge a one off administration fee which is payable to proceed with property of your choice. This fee covers our costs in the reference and administration of your application. For details of how much this will be please contact us or refer to your application form.
Do I need insurance?
Yes! Your contents need to be insured as the landlord’s insurance covers the actual property/goods, but not your possessions. We can help you arrange a specialist insurance policy which covers all your possessions. For details please speak to a member of the team.
What about pets?
Most landlords are not keen on pets and more often than not there will a clause forbidding pets, if you do have a pet then please let us know and we will do our utmost to find you a property where pets are accepted.
What about smoking?
In all cases our properties are no smoking properties
Who do you contact for references?
It is in everybody’s interest to ensure that you can comfortably afford the rent on your chosen property. We work in conjunction with respectable credit referencing companies to handle this on your behalf. The checks are as much as you’d expect, eg. Verification of employment, past addresses and so on. Sometimes a guarantor may be required and we are always on hand with any questions you may have.
When might I need a guarantor?
If your financial reference is weak for any reason, 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 for the tenancy. Guarantors need to have strong references to show that they will not suffer hardship should they be called upon to pay on your behalf.
Can’t find what you are looking for?
If you can not find an answer to a question you have hear – give us a call. With our extensive experience there isn’t much we don’t know about letting and one of the team will be delighted to help you.