What you need to know when renting through Stags
As a tenant it is important to ensure you receive a quality service both before and during your tenancy. At Stags we always provide tenants with up-to-date and relevant information, competitive referencing and administration fees and, as bonded members of ARLA, RICS and TDS, you can be sure that we act within strict codes of conduct and your deposit money is protected. With over 140 years of experience, Stags is expertly placed to match you to your perfect property.
Stags Residential Lettings department has produced this guide to inform tenants of the procedures and requirements relating to a typical tenancy taken through Stags. If you are unsure, then please contact your local Stags Lettings office for further explanation before arranging any viewings.
When applying to rent a property through Stags you will need to complete a tenancy application form for all occupiers over the age of 18. In addition, you must provide a copy of a current utility bill and a certified copy of your passport. If you do not have a valid passport you will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate and driving licence. If you are not in employment, confirmation of available funds will be required and this will then enable us to process the application as quickly as possible. If you are moving to this country from abroad we may require further proof of identification such as a work permit or visa.
At the point of processing your application, payment will be required and can be made by direct bank transfer, cash, debit card or by cheque (made payable to Stags). Payment by credit card will be subject to a 2% surcharge. The tenancy application fee covers referencing (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current or previous employers/landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms), arranging the tenancy and agreement and schedule of condition/inventory if compiled.
£216.00 (£180 + VAT) first applicant
£180.00 (£150 + VAT) each applicant thereafter
£132.00 (£110 + VAT) guarantor applicant fee
For full details of all tenant fees please refer to the tenant scale of fees sheet available in the useful downloads section.
Please ensure that you are fully aware of the letting terms and conditions in relation to the property you are applying for. You should have read the full letting details and be aware of any restrictions that may apply.
Following receipt of satisfactory references and agreement to the letting between landlord and tenant Stags will confirm the tenancy start date, term of agreement, conditions relating to the property and organise payment of rent and deposit. Before a tenancy commences, you will usually be required to sign a standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement, which is typically for a period of six or 12 months. A tenancy agreement will fully explain and detail the terms and conditions on which you are taking the tenancy plus any other special conditions that relate to that specific property. In addition, more detail will be provided within the Stags information for tenants which will accompany your tenancy agreement.
The first months' rent along with the deposit are due in cleared funds prior to the tenancy start date payable either by direct bank transfer, cash, debit card, bankers draft or cheque (made payable to Stags). All future rent is payable in advance by standing order either direct to the landlord or into Stags Client Trust Account.
Before the tenancy commences you will be required to pay a deposit. This deposit is held by Stags as stakeholder in the Stags HSBC Exeter High Street branch client trust account on behalf of the landlord. No interest is payable to either party. The deposit is held against any damages or expenses that might arise during your tenancy and will not be released until you have vacated the property, all rent has been paid up to date and an end of tenancy inspection has been completed.
All deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Stags operates an insurance-based scheme as a member of ARLA and RICS, through the Dispute Service (TDS) and holds deposits as stakeholder on behalf of landlords and tenants. For further information visit the website www.tds.gb.com
The majority of Tenancy Agreements are Assured Shorthold Tenancies within the Housing Act and therefore covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. However, deposits taken for Non Housing Act Tenancies including Winter Let Agreement, High Rent Agreement or a Company Let will not be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We as agents will hold the deposit as stakeholder and will look to administer it in the normal way.
When the landlord requires a schedule of condition and inventory, this will be provided to you at the start of the tenancy when you will be required you to check it, sign and return back to Stags within seven days. It is important that you take care in checking the schedule of condition and inventory at this stage, as it will form the basis of any claim for damages by your landlord at the end of the tenancy.
You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during any tenancy. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately and the property is fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time. During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of water and heating systems. In addition, you will be liable to maintain the interior décor of the property to include carpets and any fixtures and fittings that are included plus gardens and outside areas.
The obligations of Stags will vary depending on which of the following services we provide for the landlord:
A. Let Only (no management)
B. Letting the property and receiving rent
C. Letting and fully managing the property
You will be notified which of the above services applies to your tenancy and will be provided with details of who to contact.
All properties will be subject to regular visits. The purpose of these is to monitor the condition of the property and check that you are conducting your tenancy in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement. The visit also provides you with an opportunity to notify us of any issues or problems you are experiencing with the property.
Once you have signed a Tenancy Agreement you are usually liable for the service utility charges relating to that property to include gas, electricity, water and drainage plus the council tax. The utility companies and local authority will usually have been notified of your impending occupation along with appropriate meter readings. However, we would recommend that you check with the appropriate utility company to ensure that this has been set up correctly.
You are responsible for the television licence regardless of whether or not a television is provided by the landlord. Landlords cannot guarantee quality of signal or availability of signal at any property. With regard to telephones and broadband connections, tenants will need to make their own investigations as to the availability of a suitable telephone/broadband connection at the property and will be responsible for any connection costs.
The tenant is responsible for insuring their own personal items and furnishings. As a tenant it is important that you are adequately protected and covered for any damage you may cause to landlords buildings or contents. Insurance can help you to protect your deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Approximately three months before the end of the initial fixed tenancy, Stags will write to you asking for confirmation concerning your intentions and whether you would like to remain in the property and extend the tenancy for either a further fixed term or on a rolling statutory periodic basis. There will be a charge to cover the administration costs each time the agreement is renewed or extended.