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TENANTS – Frequently Asked Questions

What fees do I pay to the letting agent Jacob’s Ladder?

There are always going to be costs involved to cover credit, employment and previous landlord referencing, preparation of tenancy agreements and preparing the property inventory and condition schedule. We charge a non-refundable application fee of £150 for a single applicant, and a further £50 if there is a second applicant or a Guarantor is required. Once we have received this administration fee, we will hold the property for you during the application process. We will aim to complete this process and let you know whether or not you have been successful as swiftly as possible. All of our Terms of Business will be issued to you along with your Tenancy Application Form, so you are aware of any charges that may be due from the outset of your dealings with our company.

What references are required?

We will require details of your bank / building society account, confirmation from your employer of your salary and length of employment and the details of your current or previous landlord. We will also carry out a full credit reference on each applicant, so we will also require a copy of your photographic ID, such as your Passport or Driving Licence.

How long will the referencing process take?

We allow up to 7 days to confirm references, and to prepare the inventory and tenancy agreement. We endeavour to let you know as soon as possible once we have received all the relevant information and made our decision as to whether your application has been successful.

How much money will I need to pay before moving in?

In addition to the non-refundable tenancy application fee of £150, we will also require one month’s rent in advance together with one month’s rent plus £100 as the security deposit. These amounts will need to be paid in cleared funds prior to the commencement of any tenancy. The deposit will then be lodged on your behalf by ourselves with the Deposit Protection Service, one of the government approved deposit schemes (www.depositprotection.com).

How do I pay the rent on a monthly basis?

At the outset of your tenancy, we will ask you to complete a standing order mandate to give to your bank / building society. This will become active from month two of your tenancy.

What are my responsibilities once my tenancy period commences?

Your responsibilities will be clearly set out in the tenancy agreement we will issue you when your tenancy begins. We would strongly advise that you read through this document thoroughly before signing and ask a member of our team should you have any questions.

Essentially, the landlord is responsible for the general maintenance of the property and providing buildings insurance. For example, if the boiler fails, this will be repaired as part of the landlord’s responsibilities. The tenant is responsible for keeping the property secure and clean, and to pay for their own contents insurance, utility bills and council tax.

What kind of tenancy agreement will I be asked to sign?

You will be issued with an ‘Assured Short-hold Tenancy Agreement’ as introduced under the Housing Act as amended in 1996. This is a legally binding document between you and the landlord stating the address of the property, rent payable, length of the tenancy and outlining your rights and responsibilities. The tenancy will initially be offered for a period of six months, however subject to all things being in order during this initial period, the tenancy will be extended and a further 12 month tenancy agreement will be issued for your peace of mind.

What happens when my tenancy agreement is about to expire?

Long before your tenancy agreement is due to expire, we will have spoken to the landlord and ascertained whether or not you wish to remain in the property. Subject to all things being in order, we will issue a new tenancy agreement on behalf of the landlord, if not we will notify you that the tenancy is not to be renewed and negotiate for you to leave the property.

The landlord must always give at least two months written notice to terminate a tenancy, however many landlords are keen to establish long term relationships with good tenants. We will do all we can to promote good communication between both parties to ensure stress free negotiations.

What if my plans change and I wish to leave the property early?

Once a tenancy agreement is signed by both parties, you are legally bound for payment of the rent and payment of all utilities until the end of the tenancy period. Please speak to a member of our team should any change in circumstance arise so we can speak to the landlord on your behalf to best manage the situation.

What happens when my tenancy period is over?

Part of our role is to ensure that when your tenancy agreement has expired, all of your contractual obligations have been fulfilled. On behalf of the landlord, we will go through the property inventory and condition schedule that was completed when you moved in to ensure that the property is in the same condition as it was then. We will of course take into account general wear and tear, however deductions may be made from your deposit should this not be the case. We would advise you to make sure the property is thoroughly cleaned, including any appliances and that any gardens are clean, tidy and free from weeds.

How do I receive my deposit back?

Once we have completed the final inspection, provided there is no damage or missing items and we have received proof that all utility bills have been settled, we will arrange to have your deposit returned as soon as possible.