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Buckinghams Guide for Tenants

Our aim at Buckinghams is to assist you in finding your ideal rental property and making the move into your new home as easy as possible. This document is designed to be a step-by-step guide to the procedures and requirements relating to a typical tenancy.

The Offer

All offers are submitted to the Landlord for his/her consideration. Acceptance of an offer should not be construed as a Contract & is subject to contract and references.

Holding Fee

Once an offer has been agreed a Holding Fee equivalent to one week’s rent is required. Once received the property will be taken off the market. This sum is deducted from the first invoice monies (please note that this money paid in advance does not constitute a tenancy or offer of a tenancy but is required as proof of your serious intention to proceed).  If the Landlord withdraws from the transaction, the Holding Fee will be refunded to you.  The Holding Fee will not be refunded in any of the following circumstances:

  • Any of the tenants fail a Right to Rent check (it is found that they do not have a legal right to rent in England)
  • Any of the tenants provide false or misleading information
  • You decide not to enter into a tenancy agreement
  • You fail to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement

Tenant Application/Referencing/Proof of Identity

All persons over the age of eighteen will be required to produce two forms of identification; either a Passport, Driving Licence, or Birth Certificate plus recent bank statement or utility bill showing their current primary residential address.

Each applicant will be required to complete an online referencing form and will be assessed for an equal share of the total rent payable for the property.  Once the form is complete, our specialist tenant referencing company will contact your bank, employer/accountant, current landlord (if applicable) and will also complete a credit history check.

Deposit

A deposit is held by Buckinghams Ltd as Stakeholder in our client account. If your tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy the deposit amount will be as follows:

5 weeks rent if total annual rent is equal to or less than £50,000

6 weeks rent if total annual rent is more than £50,000

The deposit is held against any damages, cleaning, expenses or rent arrears arising during your tenancy and will not be released until after you vacate the property, keys have been returned to our office and an agreement has been reached between you and the landlord on any deductions. The Deposit is held under the terms of the Tenant Deposit Scheme (TDS), for which more information can be found at www.tds.gb.com.

If the tenancy is taken by a Company rather than an individually negotiated deposit will not be registered with the TDS but any dispute may be handled by the TDS on payment of a fee of £600 including VAT.

No interest is payable to either party.

Signing the Agreement

On the signing of the Tenancy Agreement by all Tenants, the initial monies should be paid by direct bank transfer.  Personal or company cheques will not be accepted unless a period of seven full working days is allowed to clear the banking system prior to the commencement of the tenancy.  All cheques must be made payable to Buckinghams Ltd.  Please note we do not have the facilities to accept cash or credit cards.

Inventory and check in/check out

An Inventory and Schedule of Condition of the property, its contents, furniture, fittings and effects will be prepared. This will be checked and agreed with you at the commencement of the tenancy.  It is important that you take care in agreeing the Inventory and Schedule of Condition at this stage as it will form the basis of any claim for damages/cleaning by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy.

At the end of the tenancy, the Inventory and Schedule of Condition will be checked again.  We strongly recommend that you are present at both the check in and check out. A full and detailed report is prepared, a copy is given to both the Tenant and the Landlord.

 

Rental Payments

All rent is payable in advance by standing order. Standing Order payments should leave your bank 3 days prior to your rent due date to allow for clearance at our bank.

Tenancy Agreement

Once references have been approved, the terms of the Tenancy Agreement will be finalised and documents prepared for both the Landlord and Tenant’s signatures. This is a legal document and you may wish to discuss this with a solicitor or legal advisor.

Renewal of the Tenancy

All tenancies, after the initial agreed upon period, may be extended for a further period, subject to contract and agreement by yourself and the Landlord.  Extended periods after the initial term are normally subject to an annual increase in rent usually in line with the increase percentage in the Retail Prices Index (RPI). This can include a minimum and maximum percentage but this would have been agreed and detailed in the Tenancy Agreement.

The Tenant and the Landlord each sign the Tenancy Agreement, and these are then executed and exchanged between the Parties on the Commencement of the Term.  Please note Buckinghams are not a Party to the Agreement.

It is important to note that each Tenant is jointly and severally liable meaning each is responsible for meeting all the terms and conditions set out in the Tenancy Agreement and are liable for each other’s commitments including the rent.

Generally, Buckinghams will contact the Landlord and the Tenant two to three months prior to the end of the Term to assess whether the Parties wish to renew the tenancy.  If a renewal is agreed a Memorandum of Renewal will be issued for both parties to sign.

Smokers

Unless otherwise stated, smoking is not permitted in a rental property.

Pets

If you have pets we ask that you check with us for any restrictions prior to viewing and proceeding with a property as we will need to obtain confirmation from the Landlord that they will accept pets.

 

Property Visits

All properties managed by Buckinghams are subject to regular visits.  The purpose of these is to check the condition of the property.  A mutually agreeable appointment will always be made in advance with the Tenants.

Maintenance Problems

If the property is managed by Buckinghams you will be given the details of our Property Manager including out of hours contact information.  If the property is managed by the Landlord you will be given their contact details.

Utilities and Council Tax

Tenants are responsible for all charges for the provision of gas, electricity, water, sewerage, telephone, Council Tax and Television Licence unless otherwise stated.  Meter readings will be given to the relevant companies after check in.

Special Conditions

All properties are offered and taken as seen.  If you have specific concerns or requirements then you must clarify these when making the initial offer, as we are unable to improve or alter a property after you have moved in, other than normal maintenance. Any such requests, if agreed by the Landlord, will be incorporated into the Tenancy Agreement under Special Conditions Clauses.

Stamp Duty

Liability for payment of the duty and submitting the relevant declaration form to the Inland Revenue is the responsibility of the Tenant.  To establish whether Duty is payable, please refer to the Inland Revenue website – www.hmrc.gov.uk.

Tenant’s Contents Insurance

The Tenant is responsible for insuring his/her own personal effects and furnishings.  The Landlord is responsible for Buildings Insurance and his/her own contents insurance.

 

In Addition...

Buckinghams have been covering Sales, Lettings and Property Management since 1991. Our directors are experts in these disciplines dating back as early as 1984.

Buckinghams Estate Agents
6 Station Approach, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 4DL

Email: hello@buckinghams.com
Telephone: 01344 845050

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