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BONNERS & BABINGTONS FEES AND TERMS FOR TENANTS

These terms and conditions apply to your application to rent a property through Bonners and Babingtons and constitute a binding legal contract. By signing this agreement, you agree to comply with the terms and conditions below. If you are unsure of your obligations under this agreement, then you are advised to take independent legal advice before signing.

HOW TO RENT GUIDE

The applicant is advised to read the Government ‘How to rent: checklist for renting in England’ which is available from the government website www.gov.uk. The guidance aims to help tenants renting property in England understand their rights and responsibilities when renting property and provides a checklist and more detailed information on each stage of the process. The applicant will be given a copy of the ‘How to rent: checklist for renting in England’ by the landlord or his agent where the tenancy proceeds in England.

SIGNING CONTRACTS

The letting contract or agreement must be signed by all parties and, until this has taken place, no tenancy exists. If any tenant is unable to sign the tenancy agreement on or before the start of the tenancy, then a letter must be obtained from that person giving another tenant authority to sign the documentation on their behalf. For the avoidance of doubt, these tenancy terms are subject to contract and nothing in this document should be seen as granting or promising to grant a tenancy to the applicant or anyone else.

REFERENCES

All applicants will be expected to provide references which are satisfactory to the landlord before any tenancy can be entered into.

Once a suitable property has been found for you, you will be asked to pay a holding deposit. The holding deposit is equal to 1 weeks rent and is payable as soon as the offer to rent the property has been agreed.

In some instances, a guarantor may be required. If this is the case the guarantor will be referenced, and credit searched in the same manner as the applicant.

Please be advised that to qualify, tenant’s (or guarantor’s) income must be 30 times the monthly rent of the property they are renting, or above

Please note;

If inaccurate information is provided which results in an adverse report being received from our referencing agents the application will be rejected and the holding deposit retained. If for any reason you decide not to proceed, any holding deposit will be retained by Bonners and Babingtons. If for any reason the property is withdrawn by the landlord, any holding deposit paid against the property will be returned to you

GUARANTORS

A guarantor will be required for any applicant who is unable to provide satisfactory credit references or has been employed for less than one year. The guarantor is usually a close associate or member of the applicant’s family who is of sufficient means to provide suitable financial guarantees. This person will be required to sign a legally binding document, which could make him/her liable for the applicant’s obligations under the tenancy agreement. This could make the guarantor liable for the rent for the full term of occupancy as well as the cost of any damage if the tenant breaches the terms of the tenancy.

MOVING IN

It is the applicant’s responsibility to arrange services (normally council tax, telephone, gas, electricity, television licence, satellite TV, internet and water). However, Bonners and Babingtons will inform energy suppliers and the local council on your behalf for tenancies that we manage or collect the rent. (We do this via our referencing partner who also offer an easy switch service for your utilities and Broadband supply).

For properties that are managed by the landlord and your rent is paid directly to them, it is advisable for you to confirm transfer of utilities directly with the utility companies themselves. At the end of the tenancy the utility companies must be informed, and final meter readings given to them.

You should also contact the telephone service provider for connection of your telephone service. Bonners and Babingtons cannot accept responsibility for any costs incurred with connection of supplies.

You should check carefully the condition of the property and its contents when you move in with respect to the inventory. The inventory is an important record which is used to assess any damage, dilapidation or losses during the tenancy – which may lead to deductions from the deposit being made at the end of the tenancy. If you find anything that is not in good order, then we ask you to report it to us within the first week of moving-in so that the problem can be put right or marked on the inventory. The property is let as seen at the time of viewing; and requests for extra furniture, appliances or redecoration will not normally be considered after the tenancy has been entered into. The property should be in clean condition, free from dust and damage, windows clean etc.

Subject to cleared funds, keys to the property will be handed to the tenant after the check in. A copy of the inventory will be forwarded to the landlord and the tenant within 3 working days.

RIGHT TO RENT CHECKS

The agent or landlord may be required by law to carry out immigration checks on any occupiers at the property. In these circumstances all occupiers who are authorised to live at the property, whether or not they are named on the tenancy agreement, will be required to provide the landlord with documentation to support their right to rent property in the UK prior to the tenancy being granted. (A copy of your passport or another suitable photo id). Where an occupier has a time limited right to rent the landlord or agent is required by law to carry out follow up checks on the occupier. Where the occupier cannot produce evidence that they have a right to rent property in the UK, the landlord or agent must make a report to the Home Office. Where the landlord or agent has received notice from the Home Office stating that one or more of the occupier(s) do not have a right to rent the property the landlord or agent may end the tenancy in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration Act 2014 (as amended).

METHOD OF PAYMENT

The balance (one month’s rent and deposit) is to be paid by bank transfer [funds to be cleared before the start date of the tenancy]. The holding deposit can be credited towards this first payment. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT PERSONAL CHEQUES OR CASH except by prior arrangement.

When the landlord has instructed Bonners and Babingtons as agent to collect the rent each month, we will appoint a lead tenant and a standing order facility will be set up for the total amount of rental on that property. It is important that you furnish us with your bank details before the occupation date.

TENANCY DEPOSIT

A tenancy deposit will be held either by Bonners and Babingtons (if the property is to be managed by ourselves) or the landlord as a security against any breach of the tenancy terms by the tenant (such as damage to the property or its contents, loss of rent or other unexpected costs). If held by Bonners and Babingtons the deposit is protected by: The Deposit Protection Service (Tenancy deposit scheme).

Details of the scheme and the dispute resolution provisions will be issued within 30 days of receipt of the deposit. The tenancy deposit is returnable at the expiration of the tenancy, subject to a final inspection and full inventory check. If any necessary cleaning, repairs or replacements are required following the tenancy, then the deposit will be refunded, less any remedial costs, within 10 days of reaching an agreement about the deductions to be made.

FROST DAMAGE

Frost damage is a risk to all houses left empty during the winter period due to possible pipe bursts and flooding. You are required to take reasonable precautions to prevent frost damage if you are away from the property for anything other than a very short period. Such precautions might include leaving the heating on (and turned down to a low setting), and opening the loft access hatch to allow warm air to circulate into the attic space. If you are away for a more extended period, then you should contact Bonners and Babingtons or the landlord regarding more permanent arrangements such as turning off the mains water supply or draining down the heating system. Failure to carry out these precautions could make you liable for any damage caused as you will be in breach of your obligation as a tenant to take good care of the property.

INSURANCE

As a tenant, you will be responsible for the safe-keeping of the property and its contents. You may wish to consider obtaining insurance for your own personal effects and for the contents and property belonging to the landlord which you have agreed to look after. Please speak to a member of the Bonners and Babingtons lettings team should you require further information.

REPAIRS

Tenants are requested to bring any disrepair, damage or defect in the premises to the attention of the agent as soon as possible. In the event of emergency repairs, please call our property maintenance team on 01844 354554. The landlord has a legal responsibility to maintain the fabric and services of the building (water supply, drains, heating and hot water etc.). Tenants should use the drains responsibly and not dispose of any inappropriate items down the toilet or sink which could cause the drains to block such as cooking fat, oil or grease, waste food, nappies, sanitary products, baby/hand wipes and cotton wool etc. The tenant will be responsible for the reasonable cost of unblocking any drains which become blocked due to the tenant’s misuse.

MAINTENANCE OF APPLIANCES

Any damage, breakdowns or other maintenance problems should be reported as soon as possible to Bonners and Babingtons. As tenant you are responsible for all appliances left in the property and should take good care of them. This will involve using any appliance in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or user manual and carrying out any minor maintenance that would be expected (e.g. cleaning or changing filters etc.)

The landlord will undertake to cover genuine breakdowns (ie not caused by misuse) and pay the related repair costs on appliances supplied by the landlord during the tenancy.

LEGIONNAIRE’S DISEASE

The potential risk of exposure to Legionella from most residential hot or cold water systems in the UK is very low, but the law requires that we alert tenants to these risks in any case. For most healthy people, the risk of developing Legionnaire’s disease in a typical well-maintained domestic setting is negligible. There is a higher risk of infection with older people and people with lowered immune systems, which can lead to severe pneumonia or other complications. In the domestic environment, risks of Legionella may increase where the property is unoccupied for a short period, or where water is being stored between 20°C and 50°C. In particular, tenants are advised to:

  • inform the landlord or agent if they believe the hot water temperature is below 50°C or the hot water tank/boiler is defective in any way
  • advise the landlord or agent if they believe that the cold water temperature is above 20°C
  • flush through little used outlets for 2 minutes once every week or two, or on return from a holiday
  • clean, disinfect and descale shower heads at least once every six months
  • notify the landlord or agent if they notice any debris or discolouration in the hot or cold water

SMOKE DETECTORS

You may find that smoke detectors and similar safety devices have been fitted in your property. Where this is the case, please ensure that you check all such devices on moving into the property and familiarise yourself with their operation (most smoke detectors have a test button to check batteries and the unit are operating correctly) and report any problems to your agent. Government Guidance recommends that the tenant should test alarms regularly to make sure they are in working order and arrange replacement of any batteries that may be required.

ALARMS

Where the property is alarmed using a security code, the tenant must not change the alarm code without obtaining prior written consent from the landlord or Bonners and Babingtons. Bonners and Babingtons need to hold alarm and similar security information for emergency, maintenance and inspection purposes; if any alteration is made to the code, you are requested to inform Bonners and Babingtons as soon as possible.

TELEVISION AERIALS

The tenant is responsible for maintaining in good repair the television aerials, satellite dishes or similar installations for use with any television at the property. You are also reminded that a television licence is required in order to use a television at the property and the tenant would be responsible for this cost.

DAMP AND CONDENSATION

Damp can be a problem in houses where there are many occupants and the property is not adequately ventilated. You should ensure that any extractor fans are left connected and are properly used. It is also important to open windows as necessary to encourage an adequate flow of fresh air through the property after bathing or showering in order to allow damp air a chance to escape. The hanging of washing and wet clothes will also create large amounts of damp air and again, it will be important to provide adequate ventilation in such circumstances.

The presence of mould or dark spots or stains, especially in bathrooms and other wet areas, is a common sign of inadequate ventilation, and it is important to prevent further spread at an early stage before severe and irreversible staining takes place. Mould and similar stains should be removed by wiping the affected areas with a fungicide or mild bleach in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions but do test on a small area first. If the problem persists, then you should inform us.

PESTS

Fortunately, with modern building and repair standards, we expect few tenants to be troubled by household pests during their tenancy. An infestation of any kind, be it ants, fungal attack, bedbugs, fleas or wasps makes a property unpleasant to live in and should be eradicated as soon as possible. Regular cleaning and vacuuming will help to prevent any such infestation taking hold, and you are expected to take care of the property in this way and keep a watchful eye for unwelcome visitors as part of your tenancy obligations. During the tenancy, the tenant is responsible for keeping the property free of any pests, and also for any damage that might occur as a result. You should inform the agent if you discover any pest infestation at the property.

GAS APPLIANCES

Gas Safety regulations apply to both landlords and tenants in rented property. In order to comply with the regulations, it is necessary:

  • that brown or sooty build-up on any gas appliance, or gas escape should be reported immediately to your letting agent AND your gas supplier. The number of the gas emergency service is 0800 111 999.
  • that ventilators installed in the premises for the correct operation of the gas appliance should not be blocked.
  • that safety checks be carried out every 12 months on any gas appliance in the property by a Gas Safe Register approved engineer. The tenant is required to allow entry with reasonable notice for this purpose. A copy of the gas safety record will be made available to tenants. A charge may be made for missed appointments

ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

For safety reasons, tenants are requested to visually inspect all electrical appliances on a regular basis. In use, cables and flexes can become frayed and casings broken. You should contact Bonners and Babingtons as soon as possible should any defect be discovered, or repair become necessary. Where electrical appliances are used outdoors (e.g. electrical lawnmowers etc.) they should only be used when connected to an RCD (Residual Current Device) protected mains supply. RCD units are available from most hardware stores and should be checked before use.

The tenant is responsible for keeping all electric lights in good working order and in particular to replace all fuses, bulbs, or fluorescent tubes, as and when necessary. Any replaceable or disposable filters, vacuum bags, or other consumable items in appliances and fittings should be replaced as reasonably required and at the end of the tenancy.

INSPECTIONS AND MAINTENANCE

If Bonners and Babingtons are managing the property, then regular inspections will be carried out, the first of which will be after the initial 3 months and then either 3 or 6 monthly thereafter. It may also be necessary for contractors to access the property to maintain and inspect electrical, gas and similar appliances, pipework and flues. You will of course be informed with as much notice as possible prior to these inspections. It is important that any access arrangements made in connection with inspections or appointments are honoured so that inspections can be carried out and contractors can carry out the work on the agreed day.

At the end of the tenancy, the tenant will be required to attend a check-out process which will be arranged by the landlord or his agent. The check-out process will comprise a full inspection of the property and contents and any items missing, damaged or otherwise in a different state to their condition at the start of the tenancy will be recorded. If the tenant or a chosen representative cannot attend the check-out without reasonable excuse, then the tenant may prejudice his opportunity to dispute or explain any deficiencies or defects discovered at checkout or take any immediate remedial action.

TERMINATION OF YOUR TENANCY

The tenancy agreement is a legal and binding contract for the set term that you have previously agreed and signed for.

Should you decide to leave the property either before or at the end of the tenancy period stated in the Agreement, you must notify us or your Landlord in writing, giving a minimum of two months’ notice on or before the rent due date prior to the end of the period. (This must be provided even in the case of a fixed term tenancy which is due to expire).

Please note: Should you vacate the property prior to the end of the contracted period, whether or not you give two month’s notice you will be liable for all rent payments due until the end of the contracted period, or until we are able to find a replacement tenant. You will also be liable for the landlord’s re-letting fee for the new tenancy.

If the landlord wishes to end the tenancy at or after six months, we will serve what is known as a Section 21 Notice (Prescribed Form 6A), which gives you two months’ notice before you have to vacate the property.

Should it not be possible to re-let the property immediately, you would be responsible for all rental, gas, electric, water and sewerage, council tax, television licence and telephone charges (if any) until the new tenants have taken up occupation of the property or until the original termination date of the agreement, whichever is sooner.

You must vacate the property on the last day of the tenancy. Either we, or your landlord will make an appointment for the inventory clerk to meet you at the property where they will take meter readings and take the keys. We will require a forwarding address and will contact you when we are ready to release the deposit. Where an inventory has been prepared everything listed in the document must be present. Allowances will be made for fair wear and tear. Any damages, breakages or extra cleaning required will be deducted from the security deposit.

COMPLAINTS

Where the tenant is unsatisfied with any service provided by the agent, the tenant should contact the agent in the first instance to try to resolve matters using the agent’s in-house complaints procedure. Details of the agent’s in-house complaints procedure and the redress scheme are available upon request from the agent.

DATA PROTECTION

In processing your tenancy application, we shall be required to process and store personal information on your behalf and liaise with credit referencing agencies and your landlord. We shall make every effort to keep such information safe and secure. Once you have moved into the property, it may occasionally be necessary to share contact information with trusted contractors (for example to arrange access for maintenance work), utility companies and other related parties. We will not divulge or pass on your details to any third party for marketing purposes without prior approval unless this is necessary to comply with a statutory obligation.

Where there are rent arrears or other charges remaining at the end of the tenancy, we reserve the right to pass on your details to a tracing agent or debt collection company to help recover the money owed. Leaving unpaid rent and other bills at the end of your tenancy may affect your credit rating, and your ability to obtain a new tenancy, or other credit facilities.

DECLARATION

I/We, the tenant(s), agree that my/our personal details may be shared with trusted third parties such as utility companies, maintenance contractors, credit and referencing agents and debt collection companies etc as necessary.

I/We confirm that the information provided on all application and referencing forms is true and correct. I/We have read and agree to these terms and conditions and have no objection to any information I/we have supplied being verified for the purpose of the tenancy by whatever means are deemed necessary.

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Bonners & Babingtons LTD. Registered in England. Company No: 7268600. Registered Office Address: 19 Station Road, Chinnor, Oxon, OX39 4PN. VAT Registration No: 995436468.    

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