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Tenancy Advice

Getting started

Deciding to rent a property, is much like deciding to buy a property, it can be exciting and daunting in equal measures. We have put together a list of commonly asked questions which will help you from the start of your property search, right through to the end of your tenancy’

Please be honest with yourself and us from day one.

  • Set yourself a realistic monthly budget and make sure you include council tax and bills in addition to your rent.
  • Consider the type of property you’d like to live in.
  • Think about the location of the property, whether you need to be close to work, public transport routes or motorway access.
  • Consider the size and number of bedrooms you need.
  • Consider whether you require a furnished or unfurnished property.
  • Think about whether a parking space is essential and whether you’re prepared to pay a bit extra for secure parking.
  • Work out the earliest and latest dates by which you need to move in.
  • When do you want to move in to the property – if you are looking to move in July then we would suggest looking 4-6 weeks before.

Once you’ve agreed your essential criteria, either visit our property page or pop into one of our offices and talk to one of our lettings negotiators.

Before deciding to view a property, make sure you ask yourself these questions.

  • How much the rent is
  • How long the length of tenancy is
  • What date the property will be available from
  • What furniture is or isn’t supplied
  • Whether the landlord is planning to make any changes to the property
  • If there’s any parking and if so, whether there’s an extra charge for it
  • If there are any restrictions on the type of tenant
  • Exactly how much deposit is required

When you have all the answers to these questions, you’re ready to start booking viewings.

The amount you can afford to pay for rent is worked out according to a standard scale that takes into account your household income, so if there are two tenants, you will each be reference checked for affordability based on half of the rent.

Example: if your property is £500 PCM, multiply £500 * 30 = £15,000 annual salary required by tenant or combined tenants.

Most developments in Manchester do not accept pets and most tenancy agreements have a “no pets” clause, any tenant found to be breaking the rules will be considered to be in breach of the tenancy agreement and you could face warnings, repair costs and even eviction.

You should ALWAYS ask before moving  into the property if you can have a pet.

Once you have a shortlist of properties that you’d like to visit, we’ll arrange for a Julie Twist agent to accompany you on some viewings.

If you cannot get into Manchester then we can offer you a range of viewings from Skype, FaceTime or a Whatsapp video.

If you arrange to meet at the property, please make sure you know exactly where you’re going and allow plenty of time to get there. 

 

We will need to know a few things from you to put an offer forward to the landlord

  • How long you would like to take the property for 6 or 12 months 
  • What is your employment status, are you in full time employment, part time or a student. 
  • How many people would be living in the property
  • When you would be looking to move in to the property

Tell us straight away if;

  • You have a bad credit rating, are unemployed or employed part-time.
  • You are a student or have been in full-time employment for less than a year as you may require a guarantor, in which case your guarantor will need to sign your contract.

You would need to be able to provide.

  • An employment and Landlord Reference.
  • If using a guarantor they must be UK based for 12 months or more.

You will be required to have a guarantor if your earnings are not considered high enough for you to be able to pay your rent comfortably. This is often the case if you work part time, if you are a student, or if you’re looking to rent a property with a particularly high rental charge in comparison with your salary. 

Guarantors are normally parents or close family members, but can be anyone based in the UK  for more than 12 months and in full time employment  that agrees to stand for you.

A guarantor acts to “guarantee” the rent—in other words, if you fail to pay your rent, your guarantor will become responsible for footing the bill.

This is your checklist of what you’ll need to be able to provide us and the referencing company.

Photo ID: This can be a driving licence or passport (we will need to be able to see the original copy)
Non EU residents: We will need to see a copy of your visa
Proof of Address: an official letter like a bank statement or utility bill (a driving licence will be accepted but only where this has not been used as your Photo ID)

 

Ready to move in

Make sure that on moving-in day, you’re highly organised! This is your checklist of what you’ll need to have with you:

  • Photo ID: this can be a driving licence or passport (we will need to be able to see the original copy and for everyone who is on the tenancy agreement)
  • Non EU residents: we will need to see a copy of your visa
  • Proof of Address: an official letter like a bank statement or utility bill (a driving licence will be accepted but only where this has not been used as your Photo ID)
  • Payment of your 1st months rent and deposit needs to be paid a few days in advance in order to clear in our bank account in time.  

Remember to keep details of your Property Manager and/or Landlord safe in case of any problems during your tenancy.

When you pay a deposit your landlord or agent must protect it using a Government authorised Tenancy Deposit Scheme. This is to ensure you get all or part of your deposit back when you are entitled to it and any disputes will be easier to resolve.

Within 30 days of paying your deposit your landlord or agent is required to give you details about how your deposit is protected. This includes the contact details and policy number of the tenancy deposit scheme and what to do if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy, Please check all the details are correct on the certificate and let us know if anything is wrong.

After the tenancy ends the landlord or agent will be required to inform you of any proposed deductions within 10 working days of the tenancy ending.

An inventory is a document that provides an accurate written record of the condition and contents of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. 

We will provide you with a full detailed inventory for you to look over  and make any comments.

This must be returned within 48 hours of moving in. (You won’t be able to dispute the condition of the property later on if you do not return the updated inventory to us)

Also remember to get up to date meter readings and provide these to your utility supplier.

When you pay several months’ rent up front (which might be the case if you fall short on the reference checks in terms of affordability and cannot use a UK-based guarantor for some reason), one of two things happen to the money:

  1. It either stays in our client bank account and is paid out monthly to the landlord as normal
  2. The landlord receives the full sum in one go (this is only the case where the landlord can prove that s/he is financially solvent and is deemed at low risk of running into debt on his/her property account with us or running into mortgage arrears).

During the tenancy

When you sign a tenancy agreement, you are legally bound into a contract for a set length of time: normally 6 or 12 months, for example. For that period, you are responsible for rent payments on the property, regardless of whether you have a change in circumstances and wish to move out early.

However, sometimes things happen and the need to vacate a property can be unforeseen. In this situation, with the landlord’s agreement, a property can be re-advertised early for rental. If this is the case, then the current tenant will cease to be responsible for the rent once the new tenant moves into the property and a new lease commences.

This is to avoid there being any loss to the landlord. If a suitable new tenant cannot be found, you will remain responsible for paying the rent and associated bills until the tenancy expires. In other words, the period of “notice” depends on how quickly a new tenant can be found—and on the landlord’s agreement for the contract to be terminated before its end.

The tenant will also normally be responsible for paying a proportion of the landlord’s fees for that tenancy to ensure that the landlord does not face any unfair charges due to a tenant’s decision to leave.

Depending on the type of arrangement your landlord has with us, you may or may not be expected to deal with your landlord directly during your tenancy.

Where the tenancy is classified as “Let Only”, then the landlord will be responsible for sorting out all maintenance issues,collecting rent, inspections and any queries relating to the tenancy.

If this tenancy is “Managed”, then this means that the landlord pays us a fee to look after the tenancy. In this case, we will be your first point of contact with regards to any issues or questions that arise.

Managed Properties – If the property is managed by us then all non-emergency maintenance issues must be reported via the My PropertyFile App, we will keep you updated throughout the process via My PropertyFile.

 If the issue is an emergency, call 0161 834 8486, 24 hours a day.

Let Only Properties– If the property is Let only then you would need to contact your Landlord direct. 

  1. If your property is flooded or has a major leak that cannot be controlled.
  2. Break in – Contact the police first (we can only secure the property)
  3. No hot water
  4. No heating (only in cold months)
  5. No electricity (check the fuse box, the rest of the building and contact your supplier first)
  6. No water (check the stop tap, the rest of the building and contact the supplier first) 
  7. Dangerous/hazardous electricity or gas – (if you smell gas contact the gas board immediately)

If you’re in let only accommodation and your landlord is local, you might be lucky enough to be able to borrow a set from him or her.

For all managed properties, we hold a set of keys on site, so we can borrow  our set (a refundable deposit of £50 will be required) 

Of course, there can be times when you need keys and our office is shut or your landlord is unavailable to supply them. In such cases, you will be responsible for arranging and paying for a lock change, plus additional sets of keys for us and/or the landlord.

When trying to acquire new fobs, you will need to speak to the management company of your development to organise replacements directly. 

There are many causes of damp and condensation. Sometimes there are faults with the fabric of the property, which will need to be fixed at the landlord’s expense. In other cases, damp and condensation may be caused by the actions of the people living in the property.

Be mindful: drying washing in rooms with no windows open, failing to heat a property adequately and blocking air vents can all create problems, and the cost of repairs will come to you as the tenant if damage is caused through carelessness.

The most important thing if you notice a problem with damp and/or condensation, however, is to report it so that it can be assessed. These issues almost always worsen over time if the root cause is not addressed, which can lead to repairs taking longer and being more costly.

Damp and mould can cause health problems in the long term, so it’s best to have things looked at ASAP.

My tenancy is coming to an end

Your property manager will contact you to see what your intentions are before your tenancy ends.

We will contact your Landlord on your behalf to inform them of your decision 

If you decide to renew your tenancy then we will arrange a new tenancy agreement for you to sign, once agreed by your Landlord.

If you decide you’d like to move out, we will start to carry out viewings 4 weeks before you are due to move out. Should we have a viewing arranged, we will always give you 24 hours’ notice before we access your property.

When the time does come for you to move on, please make sure that you:

  • Return your keys to us on time or you will be charged additional rent.
  • Provide us with a forwarding address.
  • Remove any rubbish and clean the property thoroughly including carpets
  • Check through your inventory.
  • Put all furniture back where it was at the start of the tenancy (see your inventory).
  • Get meter readings and final bills.
  • Arrange a check out appointment with your property manager.
  • Let us have your bank details so we’re able to pay your deposit back.

Once you’ve left the property, we’ll check it over and if everything’s okay, you’ll receive notification of any deductions from your deposit within 10 working days after you have vacated, if there are any problems that have been found then the deposits team will be in touch to let you know. 

At the end of your tenancy, we will attend the property to go over the inventory that you signed when you moved in to make sure the property is clean, nothing is missing or no damage has been made.

We recommend you do the following to help minimise any deductions from the rent;

  • Check every item on the inventory is present and in the same place as it was when you moved in
  • Clean the property throughout
  • Clean all the windows inside and out
  •  Vacuum and mop all floors
  • Walls cleaned and repainted if necessary
  • Removal of all personal belongings, food rubbish and any furniture that you own.  
  • Curtains and blinds to be cleaned
  • Replace any light bulbs that have gone.
  • Any damage to the property needs to be rectified before you vacate.
  • Clean the carpets if necessary.
  • If you were provided with a mattress protector, make sure this is replaced with a new one.

A full report is then made and sent to the deposits team.