Tenant FAQs

Tenant FAQs

As A Tenant, Do I Need Tenant’s Content Insurance?

The landlord is responsible for insurance covering the building and any furniture that it comes with. As a tenant, we’d recommend that you take out tenants contents insurance to insure your own possessions as these are not covered by the landlord’s insurance.

Do I Have To Rent A Property For A Certain Amount Of Time?

Yes, as a tenant, you are legally required to pay rent until the end of the tenancy agreement or any release clause agreed. A tenancy agreement is signed by both tenant and landlord and it is legally binding. Your landlord may agree to end the tenancy earlier, but you will be expected to cover the costs and financial losses incurred.

Do Landlords Allow Renting With Pets Or Children?

Although landlords do allow renting with pets or children, many choose to avoid doing so due to the risk of damage involved. Despite how cautious a tenant may be, a rented property with pets or children is more susceptible to damage.

Does A Tenant Or Landlord Pay For Utility Bills And Council Tax?

Details of which bills are to be paid for by the tenant will be listed in the tenancy agreement. For the most part, the tenant is responsible for bills such as gas, electricity and water, as well as council tax and the TV licence.

A tenant should always make sure that they notify TV Licensing of their new address. Without a licence the tenant risks prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000.

Found In A Tenancy Agreement, What Does The Term ‘Jointly And Severally’ Mean?

This term will appear in the tenancy agreement if there is more than one tenant renting the property. It means that all tenants must take responsibility, both individually and together. All tenants are, as a group, responsible for making sure the rules of the tenancy agreement are adhered to. For example, if one tenant fails to pay the rent, the other tenants are legally responsible for the shortfall in rent.

How Do I Renew My Contract After The First Year?

Our tenancy renewals team will contact both you and your landlord, usually three months before the end of the tenancy, to find out each parties plans. Any new tenancy contract will be subject to you agreeing new terms with your landlord.

How Do I Serve Notice To Vacate My Property?

You need to do this in line with the fixed term in your tenancy agreement. You must provide written notice to let your landlord know that you would like to end the tenancy agreement. If you have agreed a break clause in the fixed term agreement and want to use this, then you need to comply with those terms. We advise, referring to your tenancy contract.

If you go over the fixed term, you will need to give your landlord written notice. The minimum notice is usually one month however this could be longer. Details of this will be in your tenancy agreement.

How Much Is My Deposit And What Happens To It?

A tenancy deposit offers the landlord peace of mind, that when the tenancy ends the property will be left in good condition and you will have acted in line with the tenancy conditions. It is usually equivalent to six weeks rent.

At David Astburys we protect tenant deposits for Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST) with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), which is run by The Dispute Service Ltd. This is one of the Government approved schemes. However, sometimes a landlord will wish to take responsibility for protecting your deposit with this scheme or one of the others.

I Am Sharing A Property And Want To Leave During The Tenancy. Can I Just Get Someone To Take My Place?

No. As tenants you should act together, so the tenancy does not end until you all give the landlord back vacant possession of the property, under terms set out in the tenancy agreement – your landlord does not have to agree to alter these terms. Even if your landlord does agree that you can leave and find someone to take your place, it is not as easy as just changing a name on the existing tenancy agreement. The new tenant will need to be referenced, have new tenancy contracts signed by everyone staying on, the deposit paid and re-protected, and a new inventory will have to carried out. Your landlord will probably expect you to cover these costs, at least.

Landlords Often Ask For Non Smokers. As I Never Smoke Indoors Should I Classify Myself As A Smoker Or Non Smoker?

Some landlords will accept smoking outside the rented property but not inside. Other landlords insist that their rented property is only let to non-smokers. Although the tenant obligations are detailed in the tenancy agreement, if in doubt just ask your agent to clarify the landlords’ policy.

What Are The Obligations Of A Tenant?

Tenants and landlords both have rights and obligations. Some are set out explicitly in the tenancy agreement. The main things to be aware of are property repairs, use of the property and giving property access to the landlord.

Property repairs – a tenant will be responsible for any property repairs that are the fault of the tenant. The tenant is normally responsible for the interior condition of the property, but the tenancy agreement should be checked first as some landlords don’t allow tenants to redecorate. Tenants must pay for anything that is broken or damaged in the property during the tenancy. If the tenant does not pay for this at the time the landlord can deduct the cost from the tenancy deposit.

Use of the property – a tenant must use the property solely for residential purposes, not to run a business of any kind, as this may put the landlord in breach of local bye laws.

Property access for the landlord – the landlord will need to visit from time to time to carry out repairs and safety checks and will have a set of keys to the property but they should never use these without the tenant’s consent, except in an emergency. to check that the building is in good condition. A tenant must allow the landlord property access but the landlord should always let the tenants know first.

What Property Access Is Available To A Landlord When The Property Is Rented?

The landlord will need to visit the rented property from time to time to complete repairs and safety checks, and to check that the rented property is in good condition. A tenant must allow a landlord property access however, the landlord is required to let a tenant know in advance of a visit to the property. The landlord will have a set of keys to the property, but they should never use these without the tenant’s consent, except in an emergency.

What References Will I Require?

At David Astburys, we instruct a professional independent referencing agency on behalf of our landlords to carry out reference checks on all potential tenants and guarantors. The referencing agency will require you (and your guarantor if applicable) to complete an online application form. The agency, will check your credit history, employer and previous landlord references. If you are self-employed, you will need to provide audited accounts covering a period of 12 months. The referencing agency will then use this information to establish if you qualify for the tenancy.

What Will Happen If I Don’t Pay My Rent?

You could lose the property you are renting. When you sign your tenancy agreement, you are entering into a legally binding contract with your landlord, agreeing to pay the agreed amount of rent and on specific days. If you fail to make payments, you will be in breach of these terms. Your landlord may be able to serve notice asking you to move out on or after a particular date, or if you are more than two months’ in arrears the landlord may apply straight to the county court and request an order of possession of their property.

When Is My Deposit Returned To Me?

Once the inventory checkout has been completed you will need to agree with your landlord whether any deductions should be made from your deposit. Once we have written confirmation from you and the landlord agreeing the amount (if any), we will arrange for the payments to be made. This should be sent to you within 10 days of us receiving the final confirmation.