Cooke & Co's Handy Letting Guide For Tenants
This is to be used as general guide as certain terms, conditions and legislation can change. It is very important to always read and understand your tenancy agreement and holding forms as these are legal documents that are relevant to you and your tenancy. If you are not sure about any aspect or cannot read please let us know and we will be happy to advise you. If you cannot understand written English then please bring somebody with you who can. Finally, if you are not sure about any aspect then please ask the advice of a solicitor or legal professional.
You've found a property what's next?
Once you have found a suitable property, you will need to reserve it so that it is no longer being actively marketed. To reserve your property, you will need to pay a non-refundable combined processing, holding and referencing fee, therefore it is important to make sure that you are fully satisfied with your choice of property and what features it has, as you will not get this fee back once you have signed and read the holding terms and paid the fee. This is non-refundable and is sent to the independent referencing company.
Holding the property
When you pay the holding fee you will be required to complete a tenant registration form/credit referencing form. This form will require you to provide detailed, honest information about yourself and or any guarantor as required. Failure to answer these questions fully and honestly will result in you failing referencing and not being able to proceed with the property. We must make you aware that referencing is carried out by an independent company that is not linked or owned by Cooke & Co and they do not pay us fees or commission of any type. The referencing depends on many aspects including your past history and credit decisions as well as income. Cooke & Co get a passed or failed result notification but are not party to specifics if you fail for any reason. Approximately 5% of clients in 2018 who applied for a tenancy failed the referencing process.
If you require additional guarantors or other tenants need to be referenced on top of the agreed tenants additional referencing fees may be required and these are outlined on our scale of fees. The property will then be held one week until the references have been taken up.
Once fees are paid we will then submit the credit reference to an external agency to conduct a detailed credit reference and check into your background. It may be necessary for you to supply a guarantor especially if the income required is close to the minimum required to take the tenancy outlined by one of our lettings team.
Extending the holding period
It is possible to hold the property for up to three further weeks at the rate of £50.00 per week with these extra payments going towards the rent in advance.These payment will be taken off the rent in advance on the day you sign the agreement and pay the balance. If you go over the time limit or change your mind then these holding amounts will be passed to the landlord without further notice.
Subject to all references being satisfactory and you passing the credit check, a date to move into the property will be set. Please note that should the tenancy not proceed due to default, your change of mind, bad references, or referencing failure your non-refundable fee will be forfeited.
The member of staff dealing with your property will provide you with a summary showing all payments that will need to be made with cleared funds before you can move into the property. If you are unclear about anything, please do not hesitate to ask for clarification.
Signing the tenancy agreement
The tenancy agreement must be signed on or before the date of occupation, you will be contacted to arrange an appointment for this. Please read the agreement carefully, make sure that you fully understand the implications. In addition, you must be able to read and speak English, if you cannot please bring someone who can translate for you. On the day you will usually pay, a minimum of one months rent in advance and a dilapidations deposit as specified on your initial documentation you signed when you held the property.
What methods do we accept for rent and deposit payments
The payments must be made by one of the following methods
- Credit/Debit card.
- Online electronic bank transfer (Must have cleared into our account before you can move in)
- We do not accept cheque payments of any description or coins over the value of £10.00.
- Secure Paypal online payments (subject to a charge of 3.75% on whole amount)
- Standing order from your bank (This can only be set up by you and you must set the payment date at least 2 days before the rent is due)
The deposit will be held against possible breakages, cleaning, breech of tenancy and unpaid bills at the rented property and will be returned, subject to everything being found satisfactory with 14 days of the tenancy ending. Cooke & Co are members of the TDS scheme. More information can be obtained from the TDS Website.
All rent payments must be paid on or before the rent due date on your agreement. If your are late paying rent then you may be subject to a late payment charge.
Standing Order Set Up
This is especially important when setting up standing orders as they take 3 days to reach our bank account. If you set up a standing order for the day the rent is due you may put yourself in arrears and incur late payment charges for us having to process and chase these arrears. If you are setting up a standing order ,please inform us and arrange it to be processed at least 3 days before the rent due day to allow it to clear into our bank account.
Things you should check prior to moving in
Here is a quick list of things to check off before moving into the property.
- Who supplies the services like gas and electricity?
- Are they connected?
- Are they key or card meter?
- Have I told everyone i'm moving?
- Have I got my deposit and rent in cleared funds?
- Have I made an appointment to sign up?
- Is my guarantor available to sign?
- Have I booked removals?
- Please notify the appropriate organisations of the new tenancy and provide your full details.
If you are moving from another property, please ensure that you contact Royal Mail to redirect your post to your new property as we cannot give access once you have moved out and we cannot forward post.
A detailed pictorial inspection/inventory will be carried out prior to your moving in, this will describe the condition of the property and any fixtures, fittings and contents.
A property inspection will be carried out at regular intervals in properties managed by Cooke & Co. A letter will be sent to you to notify you of the date and time. If you find that this is inconvenient, then you should contact the office and re arrange the appointment.
During the inspection you will have the opportunity to bring to our attention any defects that need to be rectified. After the inspection you will be notified if the property is being maintained to our standards. If the property does not meet our requirements, then you will be advised of the measures that you would be required to implement.
When maintenance work must be carried out at the property, a maintenance visit time will be arranged at a time suitable for the tenant and the contractor. You should allow up to 45 minutes for unexpected delays and traffic, if the contractor has not arrived by this time, please contact the office immediately.
We will then make enquiries as to the cause of the delay and advise when the contractor will be at your property. In the case of a maintenance visit arranged outside of office hours, you would be given a contact number for the contractor. The contractors we use are extremely busy, therefore it is important for the tenant to be available to provide access. If the contractor arrives within the allocated time and is unable to enter the property, then the tenant will be liable for any costs associated with an aborted visit.
Landlord manages his own property?
If your landlord is managing the property then you should contact your landlord directly. You will be required to allow access to your landlord or his/her representative(s), for the purpose of inspection and maintenance visits. We will inform you if we manage or not before you sign up.
At the end of the tenancy
A final inspection will be made of the property against the inventory and should the property be found in an unsatisfactory condition, or any breakages noted at the time of the final inspection, suitable deductions will be made from your deposit (excluding fair wear and tear).
Prior to the refund of the deposit, you will need to provide copies of your bills to show that the following have been paid to the last day of the tenancy. The deposit is held in the TDS scheme. More information can be obtained from their website.
- Electric and Gas bills
- Water bills.
- Council Tax bill.
- Telephone / Internet services bill.
On receipt of the above and subject to any deductions
arising from the final inspection, your deposit will be forwarded to your
nominated address, alternatively it can be collected from the office.