Tenants’ FAQs

Do you charge a letting agent’s fee?

We do not charge tenants any fees to take a property and only charge landlords a letting fee for our services.

Why do I need to be referenced?

Tenant referencing allows landlords to ensure that you are a good match for living in the rented property. Primarily, landlords want to know that you can afford to pay rent and look after the property. Therefore, they will run credit checks and get references from previous landlords and employers.

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is a trusted person who will cover your rent payments if you can’t pay. Having a guarantor before negotiating with the landlord or letting agent can help you secure the property. But it’s important to remember that your guarantor must also be referenced, be UK based and a homeowner.

How does a holding deposit work?

A holding deposit is a fee to secure the property you hope to rent and is equivalent to one week’s rent. The deposit is paid up-front and if all proceeds satisfactorily, is put towards the first month’s rent or security deposit.

Am I liable for the council tax and utilities?

Tenants are typically responsible for paying utility bills and council tax. The tenancy agreement should clearly state bills for which you are liable. In some cases, a landlord could decide to include all bills in the monthly rent payment. In this case, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to pay the bills.

What is an inspection?

Landlords have the right to inspect the rented property to check its condition and state of repair. However, the letting agent or property owner must give you at least 24 hours’ written notice and conduct it at a reasonable time of day. The agent will check for repair and maintenance issues and living conditions.

Can I give notice whenever I like?

You generally can’t give notice whenever you like when you want to end a tenancy. However, the amount of notice you give depends on the tenancy agreement.

With a fixed-term tenancy, there could be a break clause. However, if there is no break clause, you must stay for the length of the fixed term tenancy.

For a periodic tenancy — running from week to week — you typically must give at least four weeks’ notice to end the tenancy.

Who is responsible for maintaining the property?

Both landlord and tenant are responsible for maintaining a rented property. However, their responsibilities differ. Landlords must ensure the property is habitable, safe, structurally sound and that all utilities are available. Tenants usually must keep the property clean, use appliances correctly and prevent damage to the property.

I’m not happy with the inventory, it doesn’t seem accurate. What do I do?

If the tenancy inventory seems inaccurate, you should report this to the letting agent within seven days of receiving the report. You should provide evidence as to why you claim the inventory isn’t accurate. Additionally, you should inform the agency about property damage not included in the report.

What if I can’t pay my rent?

You should talk to the letting agency or landlord as soon as you realise you can’t pay rent. Getting in arrears with rent can lead to eviction, especially if you have been late with rent before. In many cases, the landlord could arrange a repayment plan to avoid eviction. It is also a good idea to visit your local citizen’s advice bureau.

What does "behaving in a tenant like manner" mean?

Your Tenancy Agreement will set out your responsibilities as plainly as possible. The landlord is expected to maintain the property to the best of their ability but they are not liable for repairing or maintaining items that the tenants have broken through negligence or by accident.

The phrase 'tenant-like manner' comes from the court case of Warren v Keen in 1953 and is still used in Tenancy Agreements to date. Lord Denning who presided advised that:-

“It can, I think, best be shown by some illustrations. The tenant must take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, when necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see that his family and guests do not damage it; and if they do, he must repair it. But apart from such things, if the house falls into disrepair through fair wear and tear or lapse of time or for any reason not caused by him, then the tenant is not liable to repair it”

Under case law, the tenant is expected to look after the property as though it were their own and to carry out small jobs around the property themselves or instruct the relevant contractor at their own cost if they are not able or comfortable in doing this themselves.

For clarity, these small jobs include (but are not necessarily limited to):-

  • Changing lightbulbs
  • Changing batteries in smoke detectors
  • Cleaning out filters in extractor fans and washing machines, condenser units on tumble dryers
  • Re-pressuring a combi-boiler having been given instructions on how to do so (we would implore you to use YouTube tutorials related to your boiler make and model where there is difficulty in following the manual)
  • Bleeding Radiators
  • Programming the heating system
  • Unblocking toilets and sinks
  • Keep grass cut and sweeping up fallen leaves
  • Taking care of pests such as ants and wasps during seasonal changes
  • Wiping away excess moisture from windows due to condensation

Where you instruct us to arrange for a contractor to visit your property and the contractor deems the callout a tenant’s responsibility the cost of that callout will be chargeable to you.

Book a valuation