TENANTS INFORMATION

Renting through VIKINGS

VIKINGS has been successfully letting properties in Felixstowe and surrounding areas for over 35 years.  All our staff are experienced and trained to provide the excellent level of service that we pride ourselves on. We are happy to help and assist you on your journey with any property requirements and guidance about renting with us, and our aim is to make it as clear and as transparent as possible throughout your tenancy with VIKINGS. 

Properties under management owned by a private landlord are, in the large majority of cases, either the landlord’s own private residence or have been purchased specifically as an investment for the rental market. Private landlords are generally seeking tenants for anything from a period of six months to several years, depending on the individual circumstances.

In each case, the owner/landlord will have instructed VIKINGS to act on their behalf on to source suitable tenants who will enjoy a mutually satisfactory occupancy of their property.

Prior to pursuing a property please take into consideration the following:-

Decide on your property requirements (e.g. location, number of bedrooms, parking, garden, location etc.) and the price bracket that is most comfortable for you.

Before viewing any of VIKINGS’ properties you will be required to complete an Expression of Interest Questionnaire.  It requires very basic information about all prospective occupant(s) of the property in question to see if you will be able to qualify for the property. This means we will take into account: sufficient income to support our affordability calculator; employment history; number of occupants; and whether you have pets that would be residing in the property. We would also be taking into account our landlord’s criteria.

We would take this opportunity to provide you with the following guidance notes relating to a proposed tenancy.

Having viewed the property and arrived at a decision to make an application to rent we require each applicant to complete a referencing application form, which will then be processed to verify the information provided.

The submission of the referencing application is not a guarantee of tenancy.  A final decision as to whether or not the tenancy can proceed will depend on the responses received and will be made in consultation with the landlord.

You will be required to provide personal details ranging from name and address to occupation and salary. You will be asked to provide financial and employer information as well as character referees. We can only agree to a tenancy subject to satisfactory replies from all referees. Our investigations will also include a search of the credit registers to establish your financial credibility, and will contact your previous landlord/agent if you were previously a tenant. These are routine procedures taken to protect all parties.

Should you have county court judgements registered against you it may not be possible to grant you a tenancy unless satisfactory evidence of the clearance of debt is produced prior to the commencement of the tenancy.

Should you be unable to provide satisfactory references or credit checks you may still be offered a tenancy subject to a satisfactory guarantor being provided.  The guarantor will need to provide satisfactory references and credit checks and will be expected to sign a form to guarantee your legal commitments in the tenancy, including payment of rent should you default.

Given satisfactory replies to enquiries you will be offered the tenancy of the property subject only to the terms of the tenancy agreement, the payment of the deposit, the agreed advanced rent and the landlord’s agreement that the tenancy can proceed.

To support your successful application you will need to provide two forms of identification and proof of residency.  These could be a birth certificate, full driving licence, full 10-year passport, ID card, new-style National Insurance card, BRP (Biometric Residents Permit), or a recent utility bill from your current address.

If you are a foreign national, it is essential that you provide proof of your residential status.

A security deposit is required for all tenancies and usually amounts to the equivalent of one month’s rent or a maximum of five weeks’ rent. This deposit is in addition to the advanced rent payment required.  In compliance with legislation, deposits will be protected by us under the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme).  Advance rent and deposit must be paid by bank transfer before the tenancy commences.

The deposit acts as security for the performance of your obligations as a tenant under the tenancy agreement. This deposit will be returned to you at the end of the tenancy without interest and subject to a deduction for damage or any other deductions that may be necessary to compensate the landlord for any breach of the tenancy agreement.

Please note that the same security deposit is required from tenants claiming housing benefit.  Should the property be covered by the Bond Board and you wish to apply for a Bond, we MUST have confirmation in writing that this has been agreed before the tenancy can commence.

The Inventory/Schedule of Condition given to you at the start of your tenancy will form the basis of assessment of the property’s condition at the end of the tenancy.  Fair wear and tear will obviously be taken into consideration.  Damages that occur will be charged to your account, as will invoices from contractors employed to undertake necessary repairs or replace any items.

 

You are responsible for the payment of all utilities (gas, water, electricity, etc) during the tenancy and for the payment of final bills. 

You are required by law to inform the Council Tax Registrar of your change of address and pay the appropriate council tax. 

Before you sign for a tenancy you will be given a copy of the tenancy agreement and any appropriate notices. Read these carefully and ask us questions if you are unsure of any point.

During the tenancy term you have the right to enjoy the property without interruption provided that you abide by the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement. However, we have an obligation under our contract with the landlord to inspect the property at regular intervals. We undertake to do this at approximately three-monthly intervals, but at more frequent intervals if deemed necessary. We will write to you to make a mutually convenient arrangement prior to such an appointment.

Inspection of the premises is primarily undertaken to ensure that you, as the tenant, are in all respects observing the conditions of the tenancy agreement, although this is not the only consideration of management. It further allows the opportunity for you to discuss with us any maintenance issues that you might be experiencing relating to the property and for us to consider repairs/decorations etc before they become a major concern. If, however, you experience any problems of maintenance or repair, do not wait for an inspection – please notify us immediately in order that appropriate action can be taken. We have a team of qualified tradespersons available to ensure that delays to repairs are minimised.

Rent should be paid to us by the due date each month. The preferred method of payment is by Standing Order, which should be set up three days in advance of the due date to allow for clearance through the banking system.

Where there are a number of occupiers sharing accommodation, each person is jointly and severally liable to pay the rent as tenant, and will pay the rent as a whole. Each tenant is jointly and severally responsible for the whole rent so that they are equally liable for the non-payment of rent by one of their co-tenants, should they fail to pay.

To end the tenancy you will need to give us written notice as per the terms of your tenancy agreement.  Preparations should be made to hand the property back to us on the due date.  This includes the reading of utilities meters and ensuring that the relevant authorities have your forwarding address for the payment of all invoices raised.  In no circumstances should you allow the authorities to disconnect supplies. Please be aware that you are responsible for all of the bills up to the end of your tenancy and not the day that you move out (if the two are different).

Inventory items should be placed in their respective rooms to facilitate easy checking during the handing over.  You should read carefully the inventory/Schedule of Condition; you should clean curtains, carpets, etc and generally prepare the property for the final inspection. Liaise with us and arrange a convenient time for handing over the premises. We can advise of local tradespeople who will be able to carry out all end of tenancy cleaning/preparation at a competitive rate.

Should we need to replace items on the inventory or clean the house (or any part of it) at the end of the tenancy – or if there has been breach of the tenancy agreement – the return of your deposit will be delayed until all items are valued and replaced/cleaned. In any case, we will aim to return your deposit within 28 working days.

Damage and breakage of the landlord’s fixtures, fittings and effects, lost inventory items, etc, which occur during the period of the tenancy will incur deductions from your deposit.  It is important, therefore, that you look after the property during the tenancy and take the utmost care to inspect the property and its fixtures and fittings at the beginning of the tenancy. An inventory/Schedule of Condition will be prepared prior to occupation and must be agreed by you at the outset.  

Once checking has been completed and deductions from your deposit agreed (if any), the deposit or balance of deposit will be returned to you.

These notes are intended to provide only an overview to assist you in understanding the obligations undertaken when you wish to rent a property from a private landlord. It is not the intention to give an authoritative interpretation of the law. We hope that you have found this useful.   Please do not hesitate to call, visit or email us at any stage prior to – or during – your tenancy if you wish to clarify any details.
Permitted payments

For properties in England, the Tenant Fees Act 2019 means that in addition to rent, lettings agents can only charge tenants (or anyone acting on the tenant’s behalf) the following permitted payments:

  1.  Deposits (a maximum deposit of 5 weeks’ rent for annual rent below £50,000, or 6 weeks’ rent for annual rental of £50,000 and above);
  2.  Payments to change a tenancy agreement, e.g. addition/removal of tenant, or name change (capped at £50 +VAT – or reasonably incurred costs, if higher);
  3.  Payments associated with early termination of a tenancy (capped at the landlord’s loss or the agent’s reasonably incurred costs);
  4.  Utilities, communication services, e.g. telephone, broadband, TV licence and council tax;
  5.  Interest payments for the late payment of rent (up to 3% above Bank of England’s annual percentage rate);
  6.  Reasonable costs for replacement of lost keys or other security devices;
  7.  Contractual damages in the event of the tenant’s default of a tenancy agreement; and
  8.  Any other permitted payments under the Tenant Fees Act 2019.
Tenant Protection

Vikings Estate Agents is a member of The Property Ombudsman, SafeAgent (which provides Client Money Protection Scheme) & the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme).

Current Certificates:

VIKINGS is committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible.  We will then respond in line with the timeframes set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).

What will happen next?

  • We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  • We will then investigate your complaint.  This will normally be dealt with by the Office Manager, who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you.  A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
  • If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
  • We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact The Property Ombudsman to request an independent review:

The Property Ombudsman Ltd
Milford House
43-45 Milford Street
SALISBURY
Wiltshire
SP1 2BP

01722 333 306
www.tpos.co.uk

Please note the following:

You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case.

The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaints procedure, before being submitted for an independent review.