Finding A Tenant For Property To Rent In Stourbridge and Halesowen

Who will conduct viewings and do I need to be present?

Our experienced lettings consultants will be on hand to show people around your property and answer any questions the prospective tenants may have.
There is no need for you to be present at viewings. Provided you have given us a set of keys, we will complete viewings at times that are convenient to the current/future tenants then provide you with feedback afterwards.

What References do you need?

All prospective Tenants are interviewed before being considered. They will then undergo a thorough referencing process including requests for an employment reference or accountant’s reference for self employed tenants, previous Landlord reference, credit checks and a character reference. Where we believe there is a need we will also recommend a guarantor is sought

It has been reported that there has been a marked increase in fraudulent activity surrounding tenancy applications, with a small number of individuals applying for a tenancy with no intention of ever paying rent. Our thorough identity and credit checking is in place to help prevent this.

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

The Tenancy Agreement is the legally binding contract between you and the tenants. It sets out the rights both you and the Tenants have, such as the tenants’ right to live in the property for the agreed term and your right to receive rent for letting the property. The most important aspect of this agreement is that the landlord has the right to repossess the property at the end of the agreed term, although the tenant has the right to remain in the property for at least six months.
The most common type of tenancy agreement is an Assured Shorthand Tenancy (AST) which is protected by The Housing Act 1988 (as amended 1996).  In order to have an AST the following criteria must be reached:

  • • The tenant is an individual (not a company)
  • • The property is the tenant’s only or main home
  • • The landlord is not a resident landlord (living in the property)
  • • The rent does not exceed £100,000 per annum

A Tenancy will be prepared for all Tenants (if over 18) to sign before moving into the property. The Agreement will include comprehensive terms for the Tenants to adhere to. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy will be used, except in cases of a company let then the relevant company Agreement will be drafted

If an AST is granted, it is allowed to continue at the end of the tenancy, e.g. on a month to month basis, when it becomes a periodic tenancy
Legislation requires the tenant to allow the landlord or the landlord’s agent to have access to make repairs to the property throughout the tenancy term.  For the landlord, common law expects the landlord to give the tenant what is known as ‘quiet enjoyment’ of the property, which means that the landlord cannot interfere with the tenant’s occupation by frequently visiting and certainly not letting themselves in, without the tenant’s permission, except in the event of an emergency.  Legislation also requires the landlord to maintain and repair the structure of the property, the utilities and heating systems in a timely manner, when notified of issues.

 

What is an Inventory and Schedule of Condition

This is one of the most important documents for both the landlord and the tenant. It describes any contents of the property and their condition. It also details the condition of the property itself, such as how recently it has been decorated, any existing defects or damage, how clean the property is, its current state of repair and the condition of any garden areas. It will be used to compare with the checkout report on the day the tenant vacates.

The inventory will generally be prepared the day before the tenant moves in. Both the tenant and landlord or agent need to agree the exact condition of the contents of the property. The tenants will sign to confirm they have received their copy of the inventory and will need to advise us of any amendments within 7 days of its receipt. This helps to avoid any unnecessary disputes about any damage that may be caused by the tenant during the tenancy.

The Tenant’s deposit will be held against any damages or excess wear and tear shown against the inventory.

Security Deposit

Landlords are now required by law to register the security deposit with a government approved scheme within 30 days of the commencement of the tenancy. There are three schemes, The Deposit Protection Service (Custodial), Tenancy Deposit Solutions – Insurance Scheme (Stakeholder) and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Stakeholder).

The penalties for not registering the deposit with an approved scheme and informing the tenants are severe; Landlords will be unable to use a section 21 to regain possession under notice. The County Court has the power to order Landlords to repay the tenant the security deposit of up to THREE times the original value if the deposit has not been registered with one of the Approved schemes

As part of our Service we will register the Tenant’s security deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) and ensure the correct paperwork is in place. Prescribed information must be given to the tenant to explain where the money is being held, and the process for its return at the end of the tenancy, or what happens if there is a dispute over amounts to be retained

Please note that we take a deposit equivalent to one and one half months rent, we find that this stops the Tenant trying to use the deposit as the final month’s rent as they want the full amount back.

Keys

It is important to have several keys cut for the property so there are enough for each adult Tenant due to move into your property, plus a set for our Management Department (if applicable) for security and access if so required.

Transfer of Services

As part of our service we will notify the local services that your tenant has taken occupation. This will include electric and gas suppliers, council tax and water. The only service that we are not able to transfer for you is the telephone, as BT or cable providers will only deal with the subscriber and not with a third party.

Mail Redirection

The Post Office offers a service to redirect your mail, which we recommend you arrange prior to vacating the property for the term of the Tenancy. You should also inform your bank, employers and those friends and family who are likely to write to you and inform them of your new address.