An “agent” is simply someone who is not the Landlord, but is acting on the landlords behalf. Agents are rarely in favour with tenants, and this is because of a combination of unscrupulous behaviour by some letting agencies and a lack of understanding about the function and scope of letting agents.
Agents are not working for tenants, they work for the landlord. This does not mean that agents do not care about the concerns of tenants. On the contrary, a happy tenant makes everyone happy. It is however natural that different people perceive things differently to others and so misunderstandings and disagreements occur.
We feel that what can really minimise this outcome, is an emphasis on clarity, from the very beginning, honesty and a professional attitude toward the whole process of letting a property.
Before paying money to secure a property, you should be clear what the referencing criteria are, so as not to lose your referencing fees and the property. Tenants must receive a combined income of 2.5 times the rental income for the same period, i.e.: monthly salary 2.5 times the monthly rent. They must also have a reasonable credit score and no CCJ’s.
For some tenants who do not meet the referencing criteria, a guarantor can be accepted. A guarantor must have an income 3 times the rental income for the same period, i.e.: monthly salary 3 times the monthly rent. They must also have a reasonable credit score and no CCJ’s.
Funds paid initially to secure the property are non-refundable. This is because the purpose of taking money to secure a property, is for the prospective tenant to commit to renting the property, which is then removed from the market. If the tenant then reneges on this commitment, the agent and landlord have lost vital time and opportunity to find a suitable alternative tenant, spent time and money referencing and preparing the tenancy documents and making arrangements, and the landlord may also have lost rent during the process.
Once funds have been received to reserve the property referencing can begin. This will ordinarily consist of a credit check, employment or bank reference and landlord reference, if appropriate. With all parties co-operation, this process can be completed very quickly.
An inventory of the property will be made before move in and a date will be set to sign the Tenancy Agreement and other paperwork in the office. All tenants will need to sign the agreement and all money must be paid, before move in can be completed. You will also be required to provide some form of photo ID.
The inventory will need to be signed and returned with any amendments, within 7 days.
For managed properties, we will attend at a pre-arranged time and date to inspect the property. If all is in order, we will then liaise between the landlord and tenants on a potential Tenancy Renewal. If all parties agree, a renewal will be issued.
Upon termination of the agreement, by mutual consent or by the appropriate notice by landlord or tenant, a check out will be arranged, the report of which is the basis for any dilapidations.
Deposits are paid upon move in and are lodged with and arbitrated by the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) where there is a disagreement, but we will endeavour to mediate and manage the expectations of all to ensure a fair and straight forward experience.
We are registered with the DPS for the protection of your deposit, and of the landlord’s property.
There are other potential costs, such as replacement of lost keys, charges for notices issued, bank charges for bounced cheques and court or legal costs, but these are costs simply passed on to tenants when they occur, so we cannot know the specific figures in advance.