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.
All occupiers over the age of 18 will need to complete a tenancy application form and will be named on the formal Tenancy Agreement. Upon agreeing a let we will then take up references on behalf of our clients, the Landlord, which usually will include a credit check, current employment details, previous Landlord/ Letting Agent and if self-employed accounts and income details.
In order to secure a property you will be required to pay a holding deposit, the equivalent of one weeks rent. The Holding Deposit will be repaid being off set against the first months rent following the completion of satisfactory referencing and when the tenancy agreement is entered into. The Holding Deposit will also be repaid in the event of the landlord withdrawing from the proposed let.
The Holding Deposit is non-refundable should you subsequently withdraw from your application or in the event of the following;
- You fail a Right to Rent check regardless of when the holding deposit was accepted.
- You provide false or misleading information which the landlord is reasonably entitled to consider in deciding whether to grant a tenancy because this materially affects the applicants suitability to rent the property.
- You notify the landlord or Stags before the deadline that you have decided not to enter into a tenancy agreement.
- You fail to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement.
Please refer to the Stags scale of tenant fees which outlines the fees you can expect to pay when renting a property through Stags. Further details and information are attached to the Stags tenancy application form and for further clarification before arranging a viewing please contact the letting office dealing with the property
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 tenancy and organise payment of rent and deposit. Prior to a tenancy commencing you will normally be required to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (a copy is available on request). 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 the specific property.
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 or debit card. All future rent is payable in advance by standing order either direct to the landlords nominated account or into Stags Lettings Client 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 arising 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 completed.
All deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Stags operate an insurance based scheme as members of ARLA and RICS, through the Dispute Service (TDS) and hold deposits as stakeholder on behalf of landlords and tenants. For further information visit the website www.tenancydepositscheme.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 i.e. 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.
Schedule of condition and inventory
When the landlord requires a schedule of condition and inventory, this will be provided to you at the commencement of the tenancy requiring you to check, sign and return back to Stags within 7 days. It is important that you take care in checking the Schedule of Condition/Inventory at this stage, as it will form the basis of any claim for damages by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy.
Your obligations are as detailed within the tenancy agreement. You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during the 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 garden 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 check the condition of the property and that you are conducting your tenancy in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement. The visit also provides you with an opportunity to notify 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 let property. With regard to telephones and broadband. Tenants will need to make their own investigations as to the availability of a suitable connection at the let property and will be responsible for any associated costs.
The Tenant is responsible for insuring their own personal effects and furnishings. It is important that as a tenant you are adequately protected and covered for any damage you may cause to landlords buildings, contents or fixtures and fittings. Liability insurance can help you to protect your deposit at the end of the tenancy
Approximately three months prior to the end of the fixed term 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.