TENANTS INFORMATION

Sandoes have the longest established residential property management service in Westbury.

This sector of our business was created over 30 years ago and remains professionally based.

The long- standing nature of our activity in this area and our professional foundations afford us a depth of experience, and expertise and unsurpassed legal and building knowledge that is unavailable elsewhere under one roof within the town.

We strive to ensure that all prospective tenants and tenants occupying our clients properties are afforded:-

  • High consideration
  • No discrimination
  • Complete Confidentiality (save when tenants wish us to supply a reference)
  • Due Consideration…...
But most importantly that they receive a friendly, fair and helpful service from us.

Our Service…

All lettings are based around the Term Assured Shorthold tenancy which is an agreement for a minimum period of 6 months and requires 2 months written notice to terminate by the landlord and 1 month by the tenant.

Whilst we can never be certain that a tenant will be able to lease premises for a much longer term than 6 months many of our clients are investors and we have tenants who have been in occupation for more than 10 years. Circumstances do however change but in many instances we can provide a good indication as to whether the agreement is likely to be of short or long term duration.

We provide an up to date list of available premises and endeavour to undertake viewings of these properties at a time convenient to prospective tenants.

The requirements of our clients in respect of these lettings can vary but these are detailed on this website.

You’ve found the right place…

Once you have identified a suitable property we ask you to complete a simple reference form and require payment of an administration fee of £120 + VAT(£30.00 + VAT each additional adult and £30.00 + VAT if guarantor is required). Unlike some other services completion of this form and payment of this fee actually reserves the property for you whilst we are processing your references and undertaking a credit check. This process usually takes around 2 weeks to complete and upon receipt of satisfactory references and a satisfactory credit check and our clients approval we then seek to agree with you a convenient date for you to take possession of your new home and we prepare the legal agreements.

Moving in…

At the point of grant of the tenancy we will require:-

1. One months advance rental.

2. A deposit equivalent to one months rental or £500 (whichever is the greater). This money is held in a dedicated client deposit account and is completely separate from our office account as required by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [ethically, this should occur whichever agent you rent through].

During the tenancy…

Rents can be paid in a variety of ways (cheque, cash, direct debit etc.) but please be aware that rentals are due on the due date and therefore if paying by cheque this needs to be received 4 days in advance of the rent payment date such that it clears on or before the due date.

We will also inspect the property periodically to check that you are meeting your obligations under the agreement and will provide suitable notice of our intention to attend in this respect.

Should there be any defects with the property we require you advise us as soon as these occur. We will with due urgency arrange for a contractor to attend and deal with the defect (the time scale will vary with the nature of the problem encountered).

Tenants Notice…

As mentioned earlier, tenants are required to provide one months notice of their intention to end the tenancy.This cannot take effect before the initial 6 month term (or any longer period stated within the agreement) has elapsed. You can serve notice after 5 months of a 6 month agreement to bring the tenancy to an end with one months notice thereafter. [Notices must be in writing to be effective].

At the end of the tenancy………….

We check the condition of the property. If the property has been maintained in good order and there are no outstanding rental arrears the deposit will be returned to you in full. Please note that “fair wear and tear” will be accepted and no monies will be retained in this respect.

After the tenancy…………….

On the assumption that you have complied with the terms of the tenancy we will have no hesitation in providing you with a good reference and indeed this will also apply in the event of minor breaches of covenant.

Please note that the initial payments due at the commencement of the tenancy must be made in the form of a building society cheque, bankers draft or cash .

Further advice…..

If you looking to rent or renting elsewhere already…

  • Initial Administration fees


    You will probably be aware that most agents charge an administration fee at the outset of the agreement. But you should check whether this is ‘reserves’ the property for you whilst credit checks and references are being sought.
  • In some instances Managing Agents have one property and secure fees from several prospective tenants at the same time. This is perhaps akin to a “lottery” as you can be far from sure that your investment in the fee will secure you a roof over your heads even if the credit checks and references are good. If you are told that even if you don’t get this property the check can be used for you elsewhere will understand that the credit check will become out of date very rapidly and another be required if your status is to be properly confirmed.

    If you are not the only prospective tenant being considered for the property you may be wasting both your time and money. Only the managing agents will benefit from charging for “an opportunity to be considered as a prospective tenant” (on the basis that the fee charged lies considerably in excess of the costs incurred (credit search, stationary and postage). The actual credit search itself costs a relatively modest sum and it does not seem fair to charge for “staff time” where multiple references and checks are being sought in respect of one property. If the balance of these costs is returned to the unsuccessful parties this seems fair but where the only beneficiaries from the conduct of this “lottery” are the managing agents it does not, but you will need to consider this matter for yourselves.

  • Registration Fees


    Registration fees are illegal. It is illegal for managing agents or a landlord to secure monies from prospective tenants so that they can be placed on their mailing lists.

    You should also not part with any money unless this is to process your application in respect of a specific property.

  • Deposits, Inventories and Schedules of Condition.


    Always make sure that you are happy that the inventory you sign properly reflects the condition of the property when you moved in and that you have been afforded the opportunity to properly check the true condition against the inventory (or schedule of condition). Be suspicious if you feel that you are being rushed to sign this document and make sure that you are aware of the existence of any requirement for the property to be cleaned by cleaning contractors at the end of the agreement. Ideally, ask the managing agent or landlord to walk you around the property with the inventory so that you can carefully check it there and then before you move any furniture in. If you have signed the document before you actually take possession the inventory may not be enforceable anyway and you can probably claim your full deposit back regardless.

    Ensure that if monies are withheld at the end of your tenancy that you secure a signed receipt from your landlord that your money has been withheld and the reasons why. All reputable firms of managing agents will be happy to secure this for you.

    Always ask where your deposit will be held. This money should be held in a bank account that is remote from the managing agent’s business account in a ‘client account’ such that it can be clearly identified as being your money and cannot be claimed by a bank or other beneficiary in the event that the managing agents are unavailable to confirm that this is money held on trust for you. You can ask for details of the relevant bank account and most reputable firms will be happy to provide this information.

    Also if the property is to be cleaned by a firm of cleaning contractors, or a single cleaner establish which company or individual will be undertaking the work and secure a telephone number or other contact information and demand a copy of the invoice for this work properly addressed in respect of the property.

    Should you be concerned that your landlords managing agent or landlord is withholding your deposit without good reason you should consider consulting with The Citizens Advice Bureau or seeking an initial consultation with a solicitor.

    General Note

    Managing agents who are members of The RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) ISVA (The Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers) and ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents), operate under strict codes of conduct designed to protect the interests of both Tenants and landlords.

    We hope that you will have found this short guide both useful and informative but if you do have any questions which it fails to address we would be pleased to provide you with further information and please do not hesitate to contact us in this respect.

 

© Copyright reserved Sandoes 2011
Smallbrook House, Edward Street, Westbury, Wiltshire BA13 3BQ Tel 01373 858505
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