Tenants FAQsThis page tries to answer the questions we are most often asked by tenants. If you have a question which is not answered here, please contact us and we'll do our best to answer it for you.
Why am I paying you an Agency Fee?
When will I get my deposit back?
How do I know my deposit will be safe?
How long does it take to check references?
How will I know if you manage the property?
What should I do if I do not think the property is of a good enough standard?
I have pets. Will this affect my chances of renting a property?
What if you do not have a suitable property on your website?
How will I know that the gas appliances are safe to use?
What do all the terms mean?
Joint & Several Liability
Why am I paying you an Agency Fee?Most letting agents will charge you a fee for finding a property. They cannot charge you a fee for registering or for a list of properties - that's illegal under the Accommodation Agencies Act 1963 and you should report any agent who attempts to make any such charge. However, agencies are not charities and do have many overheads to pay, so it is not unreasonable to expect to pay them a fee for using their knowledge and expertise if they find you somewhere to live. ^back to top^
When will I get my deposit back?If we manage the property, you should normally expect to get your deposit back between 14 and 28 days after moving out of a property. The reason for the delay is that it takes some time for the independent inventory clerk to produce the check-out inventory. We then have to cross-reference the check-out inventory against the check-in inventory, and calculate any charges which must be deducted for dilapidations or damages. Once the amount to be refunded has been calculated, we then issue a cheque through the post.
If we do not manage the property, the refund of your deposit is in the hands of the landlord and you should contact him or her directly. ^back to top^
How do I know my deposit will be safe?If your letting agent is a member of the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS) then they must have Client Money Protection cover as a condition of membership. This ensures that your deposit is safe. brpl are members of NALS and we do have Client Money Protection Cover - a copy of the paperwork is available on request. ^back to top^
How long does it take to check references?The answer to this one depends on whether we're checking the references, or the landlord is doing it. If the landlord is checking references then we have no control over how long the process will take and you will need to speak to the landlord directly about any queries. If we are checking your references, then once you have provided all the information we've requested to enable us to request references and credit checks, it shouldn't take more than a week or so to actually get an answer. However, some of these checks are done by external company on our behalf and occasionally do take longer. Please bear in mind that we have to wait for people to respond to reference requests and that you chasing us only takes our time away from being able to chase them! ^back to top^
How will I know if you manage the property?The property details shown on the site will state the rent, deposit and who manages the property, as follows:
- If the Landlord carries out his own referencing and agreements it will state "Terms: Landlord 100% dealing".
- If we are simply carrying out viewing, referencing and preparation of the tenancy etc, then it will show "Terms: The Landlord manages this property".
- Where we are managing the property or collecting rents you will see "Terms: We manage this property" or "Terms: We collect rents for this property". ^back to top^
What should I do if I do not think the property is of a good enough standard?We intend that our properties should be good quality for the rents asked. Obviously if the rent seems low then this could mean that the property may not have, for example, double glazing or central heating or may not have a shower. It should however still have good quality fixtures and fittings etc.
If you view a property and do not feel that it is of a good enough standard please tell us, particularly where we are not present for the viewing. We will take notice of your comments and discuss them with the landlord as appropriate. ^back to top^
I have pets. Will this affect my chances of renting a property?This will depend on the type of pet and the type of property. Obviously if you have a couple of large dogs then a top floor flat is not likely to allow them. Similarly, some purpose-built flats have restrictions on pets whether you are a tenant or owner-occupier. It is best to mention before viewing a property what sort of pets you have. We can then consult with the landlord. Although landlords are "traditionally opposed to pets" an increasing number can be persuaded to rent to pet lovers. You should realise however that landlords may ask for an increased deposit, or have special clauses inserted in the agreement regarding the pets. ^back to top^
What if you do not have a suitable property on your website?We may not have the right property for you at the time of your initial enquiry, so our site is updated daily (Monday to Friday). If you join our new property mailing list, the site will automatically advise you by email if a suitable property becomes available. This saves you the hassle of checking our site daily - just remember to check your emails!
Whether you are looking for a flat, a house or a room we can help. Also if the details of properties change, for example the landlord of a flat previously advertised as unfurnished decides he will furnish it, then the new information is emailed to those interested tenants. ^back to top^
How will I know that the gas appliances are safe to use?We will hold copies of the current appropriate safety certificates for each property on our website that has gas, and these may be seen on request once you have applied to rent the property. ^back to top^
What do all the terms mean?We've provided a short glossary of terms below, to try to demystify some of the terms used in letting property. Bear in mind that some of these terms are actually legal expressions and the explanations provided are only a guideline to their meanings. If you are unsure of any legal terms please consult a solicitor. ^back to top^
Agreement DateThe date the agreement starts and you become liable for the property, rent etc. This is the date used when you give or receive Notice; it is not always the same as the date you pay your rent. For example if your Agreement Date is the 18th then any notice to quit etc must be received by you or your landlord the day before i.e. the 17th ^back to top^
Check InA process carried out with the tenants as they move into the property and involves taking meter readings, checking the inventory and schedule of condition of the property, ensuring that keys fit, taps turn etc. ^back to top^
Check OutThe reverse of the check out procedure and this is when all keys must be returned. If keys are not returned then the agent/landlord is entitled to change the locks at your expense.
You can also help by ensuring that all items on the inventory are in the same location as when you moved in, and by cleaning the property and its contents. The agreement may specify that the home must be professionally cleaned before you move out - this means that you probably won't get away with just giving it the once over. You don't necessarily have to pay for a cleaner, but you will need to clean the carpets and spend a good deal of time making sure that all areas of the property are spotless and ready for someone else to move into.
If you have spilled something on the carpet it is advisable to get an expert carpet cleaner to attend to it. If the property has to be cleaned after you vacate the agent (or landlord) will be able to charge you for their costs in arranging this. Most agents will be happy to refer you to specialist companies who can clean carpets, remove stains etc - just ask for details. ^back to top^
Cleared FundsCleared funds are CASH, Building Society Cheques and Banker's Draft and are usually requested when paying an agency fee and the initial rent and deposit. Cleared funds are requested because personal cheques take so long to clear. ^back to top^
CORGIThis is the Council for Registered Gas Installers and registration is a legal requirement for business and self-employed people working on gas fittings or appliances. All gas safety certificates must be issued by a CORGI approved installer and show their registration number. ^back to top^
DepositSometimes called a bond, this is a sum of money paid to the landlord or agent when signing the tenancy agreement to cover any damages or dilapidations during the tenancy. If held by an agent it should be held in a separate client account. Normally interest is not payable on any deposit money. Money should not be deducted for fair wear and tear but for actual damage including breakages. There are many insurances available to tenants of furnished properties to cover accidental damages and thus protect the deposit. ^back to top^
Early ReleaseOccasionally tenants will need to leave early. Whatever the reason you are legally responsible for the property and the rent until the end of your Tenancy Agreement. If the landlord is re-letting the property then early release can be agreed on condition that a new tenant is found and that the landlord does not lose rent or incur additional costs as a result of you leaving early. Always talk to the landlord or agent as soon as you think you may need early release. ^back to top^
GuarantorA Guarantor is usually required for applicants who have less than a year's full time employment; have no income e.g. a student or have just returned to the UK. A Guarantor must live in the UK and be in full-time employment. The Guarantor will be referenced as if they were the applicant since they will be required to sign a legally binding document which would make them liable if the tenant fails to pay the rent or damages/dilapidations not covered by the deposit. This Guarantee will last for the term of the Tenancy Agreement. ^back to top^
InventoryAn inventory is a detailed description of the property, its contents and their condition. Where we manage the property, the inventory is prepared by an independent inventory clerk, the cost of this being borne equally by the Landlord and Tenants. The inventory should be checked as the tenants move in and any alterations initialled by the tenants and the landlord or the inventory clerk. ^back to top^
Joint & Several LiabilityThis means that you are individually and collectively responsible for all aspects of the property. If one of you doesn't pay your share of the rent, then by law the others will be liable for it and the landlord is within his rights to pursue all of you through the courts to recover the amount owed. ^back to top^
Letting AgentBest defined as the "Cilla Black of renting", the letting agent will advertise a property, reference the prospective tenants and draw up the tenancy agreement. Often the letting agent will take the first month's rent and the deposit. Once the tenancy agreement is signed that is the end of the letting agent's involvement and the tenants and landlord deal with each other direct. ^back to top^
Managing AgentThis can be a company (or an individual) who manages the property on behalf of your landlord. Notices, letters to and from your Landlord should be sent to the Managing Agent. They act in place of the landlord usually with his authority to take decisions for him. There will however be occasions when decisions must be referred to the landlord. ^back to top^
NoticeIf you wish to leave then you must give the agent/landlord sufficient notice. If your rent is paid monthly then you must give at least one month's notice. This notice must be received by the agent/landlord on or before the anniversary of the agreement. For instance if you moved into the property on the 18th then Notice must be received by the 17th day for you to leave on the 17th day of the following month. Should you wish to leave at the end of the month then you would still have to give notice by the 17th effectively giving notice of approximately six weeks.
If you have rented the property under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, there is usually a minimum term of 6 months. This means that you are committed to paying the rent for at least 6 months. Sometimes it is possible to negotiate an Early Release (see above for details) but you should not assume that this is guaranteed.
Please remember that although you can move out at any time after you have given the landlord (or agent) notice that you will be leaving (once the initial 6 month tenancy agreement has completed), you are still liable to pay the rent until the end of the notice period. ^back to top^
ReferencingLandlords who do their own referencing may ask for references from previous landlords, employers and even your bank. Where brpl are referencing you then we use an independent referencing company and each occupant over the age of 18 will have to be referenced. ^back to top^
Rent DateThis is the date when your rent must be received by your landlord or the managing agent. This is not necessarily your agreement date. Many tenants prefer to pay their rent shortly after they have been paid and this rarely matches the date they move into the property.
NB: This is not the date the money leaves your account, it's the date the money must be cleared into the landlord or agent's account. When setting up your standing order, remember that it takes between 4 and 10 days for funds to clear. ^back to top^
Rent PaymentsRent is payable on a set date each month, usually in advance and by single standing order, for the property you live in. ^back to top^
Standing OrderThis is an instruction from you to your bank to pay rent either to us, as managing agents, or your Landlord on a regular day each month. Only you can vary the amounts and payment days. This should not be confused with a Direct Debit where you do not control the amount of money withdrawn. ^back to top^
Tenancy AgreementA legal contract between the landlord and the tenant(s) setting out the terms and conditions of the rental. It should specify the amount of rent; the deposit paid and who holds it. The Tenancy Agreement sets out the Landlord and Tenants respective duties and rights, also stating which utilities the tenant is responsible for. All tenants who will be living in the property must sign the tenancy agreement. The Agreement is also signed by the Landlord (or the agent) with one copy being retained by the tenants and the other being retained by the landlord. Some agents prepare a third copy to be retained for their records. The Tenancy Agreement should also set out any financial costs that may be incurred by the tenant(s) for late payment, bounced cheques/standing orders etc. DO NOT SIGN A TENANCY AGREEMENT UNTIL YOU HAVE READ AND THOROUGHLY UNDERSTOOD IT.
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