Tenant Information

Tenant Information

 Tenants Information Guide to Renting Property In Torbay

If you are currently seeking a property to rent in Torbay, check out our property listings page. If you have seen a property that you would like to view you can use the contact form on each of the individual property details pages to arrange a viewing or make an enquiry through our online  tenant registration form, or alternatively, you can give us a call on 01803 214888. To help you in your quest for your quality property, Harveys Property Management offer viewing 7 days a week including evenings. All our properties have been redecorated if necessary and cleaned to a very high standard, not normally associated with rental properties

 If you have a specific type of property in mind we can take details of your requirements and contact you should a suitable property become available.
Once you have viewed a property and decided to proceed with the letting we will start the process of arranging the tenancy agreement, deposits, references etc…

References

Our referencing procedure is easy and straightforward. You will need to fill out an online tenant application form before commencing with the tenancy. We will need to obtain satisfactory references. We may also use the services of an independent referencing agency to obtain and evaluate these references. Personal & photographic identification may also be required, such as a passport or driving licence.

If you agree some or all of the following documents may be requested by Harveys Property Management:

  • References from previous Landlords – you may be asked to give the details of where you have lived within the last three years.
  • A credit check – this will allow them to see if you have a good history of paying your bills.
  • Your bank details including bank name, account number and sort code.
  • Details of your employment including your employer, job title, payroll number, salary and previous employer.

In the event that the information highlights any potential of risk to the landlord you may be asked to provide a guarantor. A guarantor will be contractually liable both financially and legally should you fail to pay the rent during your tenancy or in the event of damage to the property.If a guarantor is needed they will need to fill out an online Guarantor Application Form

Be aware that should you fail any of the necessary checks you may not get your administrative fee back. Check with us before agreeing to hand over any cash or signing any forms.

The Tenancy Agreement

Once the terms have been agreed by both parties and satisfactory references received, the relevant documentation will need to be signed by you and the landlord.The tenancy agreement is a contract between you and the Landlord. It specifies certain rights to both you and the landlord such as your right to live in the home for the agreed term and your Landlord’s right to receive rent for letting the property.

Assured Shorthold Tenancies are the most common form of tenancy agreement and they set out the duties of both tenant and landlord. The most important aspect of the agreement is that the landlord has the right to repossess the property at the end of the agreed term. Despite its name, the agreement does not have to be short and can continue as long as both parties are happy to do so. There is no minimum term specified either although the renter has the right to remain in the property for at least six months.

If the fixed term is for three or more years however a deed must be drawn up and a solicitor employed to do so.

There are specific requirements linked to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy that include:

  • The tenant(s) must be an individual.
  • The property must be the main home of the occupant.
  • The property must be let as separate accommodation.
  • The landlord is obliged to provide the tenant with two months’ notice if they want to terminate the agreement.

The agreement will most likely contain the following information:

  • Your name, your landlord’s name and the address of the property which is being let.
  • The date the tenancy will commence.
  • The duration of the tenancy from the start to the agreed finish of the occupation.
  • The amount of rent payable, how often it should be paid when it should be paid and when it can be legally increased.
  • The agreement should also state what the payments are expected, including Council Tax, utilities, service charges.
  • What services your landlord will provide, such as maintenance of common areas.
  • The notice period which you and your landlord need to give each other if the tenancy is to be terminated.

Tenants Administration Fee

We ask that you pay this to cover the administration costs of preparing the tenancy documentation and costs of credit reference checks. The fee is usually submitted at the time of application. Should the application fail, or is withdrawn, the cost is non refundable.

Inventory & Schedule of Condition

Before the start of the tenancy, an inventory is prepared detailing the contents and condition of the property. You will be provided with a copy.

This is one of the most important documents in the renting process and can often be key in deciding how much of your deposit you get back at the end of your agreement. You should therefore be extremely thorough and give it your full attention while taking the necessary precautions to protect your interests.

How is the inventory prepared?

The inventory is a simple list detailing every item contained within the property and the condition each listed item is in on the day you move in. This may be prepared by us or by an independent inventory company. Either way you should go round the property with the  Harveys Property Management and agree the state of each item before signing anything.

If necessary take photographic evidence to give you extra protection and to avoid any unnecessary disagreement at a later stage. You will be expected to sign the inventory and initial every page.

When will the inventory be checked again?

It is not uncommon for  Harveys Property Management to schedule in regular three or 6 monthly inventory/property inspection checks at the property in order to assess any damage that may have occurred. . It is most common however for a final inventory check the day you are scheduled to move out.

Deposit & Rent

Prior to the commencing of the tenancy, we will require a deposit and the first rental payment, a month in advance normally . Your deposit will be protected by  My Deposits under the tenancy deposit protection scheme , which is a scheme accredited by the Government.
As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government has introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have had to be protected within 30 calendar days of receipt by the agent/landlord.
How the My Deposits  Scheme works?
  1. The tenant pays Harveys Property Management their deposit.
  2. Upon receipt of the deposit, My Deposits provides confirmation and details of the protection scheme to us and the tenant.
  3. When the tenancy comes to an end Harveys Property Management agree to repay the deposit usually within 28 days.
  4. In the case of any dispute, the My Deposit scheme offers alternative ways of resolving disputes which aim to be faster and cheaper than taking court action.
Your deposit cannot be used to pay your rent.

When can I move in?

Once the tenancy has been signed and rents & deposits have cleared, the tenancy can proceed. You can now collect the keys to your new home.

Can I have pets in my new home?

You must consult us prior to obtaining a pet.

What if I find any faults or repairs that need addressing?

If you find any problems with the property you are renting, you should contact us immediately using the online Tenant Maintenance / Repairs Form

Can I decorate the property?

You must consult us prior to carrying out any changes to the property.

Do I have to pay for Council Tax & Utility Bills?

As a tenant you will be responsible for any utility bills like water, gas, electric as well as council tax, unless there is a special arrangement with the property. You will also be responsible for a TV license at the property, if you watch TV without a license you risk being fined. Please check the tenancy agreement details.

Do I need insurance, as a tenant?

The landlord of the property is responsible for insuring the building and any furnishings that come with it. You will be responsible for insuring your own contents/personal possessions stored within the rented property.

Can I run a business from the property I rent?

No. You must use the property solely for residential purposes unless specifically agreed in advance, in writing.

As a tenant, what am I responsible for?

As a tenant, you are responsible for:
  • Prompt payment of the rent
  • Prompt payment of gas, telephone, electricity, council tax
  • Reporting any damages to the property or furnishings within the property as soon as possible
  • Taking general good care of the property
  • Respect the needs of your neighbours

What happens after my initial 6 months AST

So you’ve come to the end of your time at the property. You now have two options to consider: Extend the agreement or move out. Remember, you need to provide one months’ notice in writing to your landlord, stating either your intention to vacate the property or to ask permission to stay on beyond your initial agreement. Providing your landlord is happy with you and the condition of the house or flat, you’ll most likely be allowed to continue with your occupancy. If you decide to move out, then it’s worth putting in a bit of work to get the property up to scratch to maximise the chances of getting your full deposit back. As long as the condition of the property is the same as when you moved in (barring normal wear and tear) you’ll have no problem. Here is what you should do:

  • Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, walls and furniture.
  • If it’s your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish.
  • Return all of the keys to the Landlord.
  • Remove all of your personal belongings.
  • Be satisfied you’re leaving the property as you found it.

What is a Final Inventory Check ?

You’ll have the opportunity to run through the inventory checklist on the day of departure. It’s important that this job is done before you leave the property to avoid you being accountable for any damage that occurs after you’ve left. If there is any damage you should agree with the landlord the cost of repairing or replacing such items.

If an agreement cannot be reached as to the damage of particular items, which items have been damaged, or repair costs, then you should make sure you take photographs. Get your own repair cost estimates and write to the landlord with your findings and work towards a mutually agreeable solution.

If both you and the landlord are satisfied the property has been left in an acceptable state and you have made your final rental payment there should be no problem getting your deposit back.

Tenants Letting Process

Find a property that suits your criteria or contact our office to arrange a viewing at your convenience.
  1. Following your viewing should you wish to proceed, a referencing fee and holding deposit will be payable to reserve the property. You will be required to complete an online tenant application form.
  2. Following the acceptance of your referencing, you will be required to arrange an appointment to sign your tenancy agreement. At this appointment you will be required to pay your first month rent and deposit. Subject to the above being completed you will be provided with keys at the appointment.
  3. You will be issued with an inventory and schedule of conditions on the day you move in to your property, should there be any necessary amendments to the inventory you are able to contact our office within 5 days and we will attach this to the original inventory.