Do you accept housing benefit/DIGS/DLA?
At the moment we don’t have any landlords with houses where this is accepted sorry. Digs we can never accept, Dla is acceptable but other things need to be checked with individual clients. We do not currently have any landlords with empty houses who accept housing benefit payments due mainly to the manner in which these payments are made.
I have a CCJ/rent arrears/poor credit – will you still accept me as a tenant?
It would depend on the landlord of the house you were interested in but it is less likely you would be accepted, if you have a county court judgement this would be an issue. Often a credit check is not as bad as you might think but this is a small part of our application process. If adverse credit history is found after not being declared then you would almost certainly be declined.
Please note we refund the application fee if you are declined in any case. (unless you withdraw your application)
Do you accept pets?
Possibly although most landlords will say no some will accept pets subject to larger deposit and a pet consent being signed. It is not that we don’t like animals in fact the reverse is true but some people’s pets can damage properties and/or leave odours which are hard to eradicate when they have left. Pets such as small snakes/lizards or goldfish are almost certainly fine but rabbits. dogs, cats and similar sized animals will need written permission from the landlord.
If you have a particular house in mind please just ask and we can check with the landlord for you. Below is a copy of the pet consent we will ask you to sign this is not the document that will be used simply a copy of the details.
Tenancy Agreement dated................................
I refer to clause 4.5 in the above tenancy agreement, regarding the keeping of pets or animals in the Property and confirm, on behalf of the Landlord(s), that you may keep the following pet(s) on the Premises, subject to the following conditions:
1. ...........................................................................2. ...........................................................................
1. That you will be held responsible for the expense of professional cleaning of all fitted carpets in the property at the end of the tenancy. For the avoidance of doubt the use of
domestic carpet cleaner or Rug Doctor is not acceptable. A receipt from a professional carpet cleaner will be required showing all rooms that have been cleaned, the cost and date.
2.That you will also be held responsible for the expense of professional cleaning of all soft furnishings such as curtains, beds and fabric sofas with receipt required as above
3. That any damage whatsoever caused by the animal(s) is corrected at your expense on demandfrom the Landlord or his Agent and any damaged furniture/furnishings replaced by new furniture of like value and quality
4.That you will ensure that each animal and all rooms are treated regularly with a
recognised and appropriate flea deterrent eg Program, Frontline, Accord etc
5.That £75 of your damage deposit will be withheld up to 2 months after your vacation of the property as security against flea or similar pest infestation that may require fumigation or similar treatment
6.That the Landlord or his Agents reserve the right to revoke consent at any time
I/We,..................., acknowledge receipt of the above notice, of which this is a true copy and agree to abide by the terms and conditions contained therein.
Signed ........................................................................... Tenants
........................................................................... Landlord/Landlord's Agent
Will you accept any less than the advertised price?
Sometimes yes it would depend on many things and we would need to know some details about you and anyone who will live at the house with you etc. If you can let us know which house you like and how much you would like to offer we will contact the landlord for you. Please note whilst a small reduction might be possible silly offers will not be passed on to our clients.
If you are a current or previous tenant of ours the likelihood of getting a reduction is increased assuming everything has been conducted as it should be.
Can you tell me the council tax for a certain property?
Yes of course we can but if you follow the links below you should be able to find out quicker by checking online.
Current council tax banding can be found with a postcode here http://cti.voa.gov.uk/cti/inits.asp
Current Barrow Borough council tax charges can be found here http://www.barrowbc.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=998
Can you tell me what the other bills are for the house e.g. gas and electric?
Water charges move inline with the council tax (ratable value of the house) unless there is a water meter. But more info can be found here http://www.unitedutilities.com/Our-charges-2013-2014.aspx as far as we are aware all of our properties in Cumbria will come under united utilites for water.
Gas and electric depend on usage so we do not estimate these for you we can get you a copy of the Epc should you like. This Energy performance certificate will show the energy efficiency of the house and potential savings from certain measures. If you do decide to change supplier during the tenancy you must inform us please.
You will need a valid Tv license in the uk, but they will contact you very soon after you move in.
For broadband, phone and internet you would have to arrange your own supply but we will inform the council, gas, water and electric companies just after you move in.
Can I have a longer lease i.e. several years?
We only provide a maximum of two years, legally longer can be provided but you must bear in mind it is binding on both parties and thus if your circumstances change you would be tied in also. Many agents are stuck in the practise of simply offering 6 or 12 months but we are happy to provide a lease of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months subject to acceptance by the landlord.
Please note it is our standard practise to only offer a longer lease after an initial six month let however exceptions can be made and of course corporate leases or company lets can be arranged to accomodate a "break clause" if required.
Can you unfurnish a furnished property for me?
We can ask the landlord but usually if the house is furnished the landlord will be reluctant to move all the furniture, they may have nowhere to put it, may not want to do this and are unlikely to want to pay to have it done. All that said there is no harm in asking you don't need to apply just tell us some basic details about you and those whom are to live with you etc and we will ask our client for you.
How do I leave the tenancy early if I am tied in?
You cannot unless the landlord allows it which of course they are unlikely to do but we will certainly ask if you like. Usually we would re-advertise the house and then as and when a new tenant is found they can take over from you so for example if a new tenant moved in on the 6th September you only need to pay up to and including the 5th September. With council tax and water paid to that date and other items as per meter readings taken the day you depart.
This actually happens on a regular basis and we are more than happy to help you with this but you must ensure the house is in good condition and allow us to show the property to prospective new tenants. Please understand your obligation to pay the rent does not cease until a new lease is signed.
Why do you need to inspect the property during my tenancy?
This is a condition of the lease you have signed, it is done to ensure the house is being looked after and also to ensure there are no maintenance or other issues you may have missed yourself.
We hope to be as un-intrusive as possible and please understand it is more to check on the house than on you! We once found a lady with a small hole in her kitchen ceiling who told us “I was going to let you know it happened three weeks ago when I had a leak!”
We will email you the week before to ensure you know when we are coming and can accommodate things if you are for example on a night shift. You do not need to be present and we will use a key for access, in most cases it will be the same staff member who completes the check each time.
If you have any post for the landlord/previous tenants or maintenance to report please DO NOT wait for the inspection these are not to collect post or discuss maintenance issues. Please bring post into our office and contact us for any maintenance issues.
I don’t want to give you access to the property, can I say no?
No you must allow us or the landlord access, if you would like to arrange a more convenient time that is fine we aim for a 2 hr time slot within our office working hours Monday to Friday to make things more convenient. If you continually refuse access or leave a key in the door continually you will most likely be served notice and asked to depart the property.
We are happy to work with you if for example you have a cat that trys to sneak out but we must be able to complete our job.
Can I pay with cash or a cheque?
No sorry you cannot pay with cash or a cheque this is simply because we are charged by our bank so would have to pass these costs on. Cheques are not instant and we try to avoid holding any cash in the office. You can pay directly into our account free of charge but make sure you read the notes below.
You can pay for your application with cash or a debit card we do not accept cheques at all.
All rent must be paid into account number 13169734 sort code 01 00 61 but you must add a reference of (for example only) "34mystreetmyjones"
Will I be charged if my rent is late?
The lease allows us to charge a reasonable fee for reminders but our standard practise is to send a polite reminder, we may charge if you continually pay the rent late. A charge of £10.00 plus v.a.t. will be made but we are happy to say this is rarely required.
The most common mistake is when your standing order for the rent runs out! The standing order means you inform your bank to pay us, we do not take the rent via a direct debit. We would have asked for your bank details only in order to complete a credit check.
If when you move in you only want to set the standing order up for six months or twelve that is your decision but we suggest you pop a reminder in a diary or on your phone to set up another once this has run out if you are to stay. If your tenancy has finished and you have departed don't forget to cancel your standing order.
Do you have any houses that might be available soon that are not listed on Rightmove etc?
Why has my application been declined?
As per the condition of the application we do not disclose this mainly for the sake of reference providers. We will refund your application fee in full and wish you all the best but are unable to disclose the reasons for our decision.
Please note any refund will be made via a bacs payment and cannot be paid in cash.
Why do I have to pay a higher deposit?
Each deposit is at the landlord’s discretion and some feel a larger deposit gives them greater security against damage please understand both the landlord and as us agents very much hope no deduction is ever required.
If you are signing a "pet consent" then it is almost certain that a larger deposit will be required.
Please that all none company tenancies will have the deposit protected via The Deposit Protection service. (www.depositprotection.com)
What fees to you charge tenants and applicants?
Application Fee and Other Tenant Charges.
Please note we are letting agents not estate agents and we try to make our fees fair. With us you only pay for an application fee not an application fee then another “admin fee” we do not currently charge tenants to renew their leases unlike many estate agents.
Application fees of £150.00 (inc. VAT) per two tenants or one tenant and one guarantor.
Third/fourth applicants or guarantors when also two applicants £75.00 (inc .vat)
Existing Tenant £55.00 (£45.83 + VAT)
Existing Tenant & 1 other £125.00 (£104.17+VAT)
Self-employed /Company Application Fees £160.00 (£133.33 + VAT)
Deposit will be a minimum equivalent to one month’s rent or £400.00 whichever the greater and may be more for some properties.
Some landlord’s may ask for a holding fee but this is not standard practise and is down to each individual landlord and subject to negotiation.
There are no more additional fees to tenants for inventories, checking in/out, renewals or lease preparation etc We do not charge tenants to renew their leases this is free of charge.
What is the government how to rent guide?
This is the newly issued government advice for tenants please understand this is not specific to our agency or your lease and as such if you have any questions please feel free to ask us. We are happy to email you a copy of this document or you can collect a printed copy if you prefer. The advice is to read through this before renting a property on any assure shorthold tenancy just click on the link below.
Condensation in your home what can you do?
If you or indeed we have noticed signs of condensation in your house or flat we strongly suggest you read through the information below as this is an often misunderstood problem.
This info is designed to give a brief guide to the occurrence of condensation in your property, outlining the reasons why it may occur and stating actions which may reduce its effects. There may be serious, underlying reasons why this has appeared but more commonly simple steps to reduce moisture in the air will alleviate if not completely resolve the issue.
What is condensation?
Condensation forms because the moisture in the air can no longer be held as a vapour, so returns to liquid. This occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with cooler air or a cooler surface. ‘Dew point’ describes the temperature when air containing a given quantity of moisture vapour will condense onto that surface.
While condensation is obvious when it occurs on impermeable surfaces – most commonly window glass, cold-water pipes and ceramic tiles- it will also form on any surface which is at, or lower than, dew point. The presence of condensation on more absorbent surfaces (such as paint, plaster or wallpaper) becomes obvious when disruption, damage or mould growth forms on that surface.
Mould growth is a typical sign of chronic condensation and occurs as spores which are always present in the air. These spores find water (condensate) and organic material (dirt and grease) that support their life cycle. Mould is a significant health risk to asthmatics, anyone with other respiratory conditions, the very young and elderly people. The high humidity levels associated with condensation also enables house dust mites to flourish. The droppings from these microscopic creatures as well as mould spores can cause allergic reactions which are also linked to the onset of asthma.
For those concerned with condensation in buildings, the quantity of water vapour in the air and the temperature of surfaces within buildings are two key issues.
How to recognise condensation
The most common and typical signs of condensation to look out for are:
- Mould growth on walls, around external wall openings & areas of low air circulation/ poor ventilation.
- Misty wall surfaces:
- Water staining and streaking on walls particularly in bathrooms and kitchens
- Patches of damp with no obvious edges.
What action is required?
Double glazing and improved insulation means we have warmer homes, but unless a property is adequately ventilated, it can become damp. We ask all tenants to ensure that our properties are sufficiently ventilated by taking a few simple precautions stated below in order to avoid condensation and the build-up of damp.
BEDROOMS – Open bedroom windows when you go to bed at night: a 10mm gap will do. If it really is too cold to do this, wipe the condensation off the windows first thing in the morning, but please do not put the cloth you used on the radiator to dry as this will create more condensation.
SHOWER/BATHROOM – Ensure full use of extractor or ventilation fans. Where these are not provided, open a window after bathing or showering to give the steam and damp air a chance to escape. Wipe the windows, walls and mirrors to remove condensation (a microfiber cloth is the most efficient means of doing this) , and dry the shower tray or bath. Keep the door closed while the bathroom is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.
KITCHEN – When cooking, cover pans. Use extractor or ventilation fans where provided. If you do not have an automatic kettle, take care to ensure it is not left boiling. These precautions will help to reduce steam and therefore moisture in the air. Keep the door closed while the kitchen is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house.
LIVING AREAS – Where there are chimneys, do not block them up. If a wall appears to be damp, do not put furniture right up against it; allow some circulation of air.
GENERAL – Make sure that any ventilation bricks or openings in the building are not obstructed.
WINDOWS - Keep glass as clear of condensation as you can. Wipe away moisture that has formed using a soft cloth. Leave open any ‘trickle’ vents in double glazed units. Get into the habit of opening windows to keep the moisture content in the air down and to air the property whenever you can.
LAUNDRY – Avoid drying clothes on radiators or elsewhere inside this is a major source of the moisture and this water will only go into the air inside . Tumble dryers should be vented outside.
HEATING – Provide a reasonable level of heating (no less than 10oC in an unused area, or 16oC if in use); cold rooms are susceptible to condensation. Remember, the best way to heat a room and avoid condensation is to maintain a low level of warmth throughout the day rather than to turn the heating off while you are out and put it on at a high level when you return home.
PORTABLE HEATERS – Portable gas and paraffin heaters can create a significant amount of damp and condensation within properties. Please do not use this type of heater unless you have permission from your landlord or property manager.
Mildew may be removed from clothes by using a dry cleaning process…
Remove and kill mould by wiping the affected areas(s) with a fungicide which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number, precisely following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Do not disturb mould by vacuuming or brushing as this can give rise to respiratory complaints.
On a final note…
Ventilation and extractor fans are not prohibitively expensive to use, and used correctly can in fact save dilapidation expenses at the end of your tenancy.
If you believe there to be a need for an extractor fan or any similar piece of equipment in the property you are renting, please inform us.
We hope you have found this information useful and that it might help to resolve any issues concerning condensation and damp before they become a serious problem.
If you follow the advice the risk of mould and damp conditions should be kept to a minimum and possibility of deductions from your dilapidation deposit are less likely.
Where do I go for further information?
If you would like more information, you should try the following sources:
- Your local council
- The letting centre’s website at: www.letlink.co.uk
N.B. This sinformation is intended to assist landlords’ and tenants to understand the effects of the damp and condensation. For more details, you should refer to the sources stated above.
Please understand we want to help and are happy to talk further about his should you require. We can also supply some moisture traps to help absorb some of the moisture please just ask.
Term and conditions of our offers
We will shortly be advertising several offers for existing and new customers to benefit from. These will be advertised in various places and will each have a simple code that must be quoted when dealing with us.
Of course we have to have a few simple terms and conditions and they are as follows;-
- Only one offer per application (an application is the process of someone applying to rent a property through our agency)
- Voucher/offer code must be mentioned at point of payment for reduced application fee, requests made after the fee is paid cannot be agreed
- Only one “Recommend a friend” bonus to paid made per property application made
- “Recommend a friend offer” paid only on successful applicants and after the tenancy starts
- Payments made via bacs payment only, no cash/cheque payment alternative
- Does not apply to existing tenants who are moving home sorry (fee is already lowered)
- Does not apply to any pc lettings staff members
- Discounts and payments are inclusive of v.a.t.
- Pc lettings ltd reserve the right to remove this offer at any time
- Current offer applys to application fee only not landlord fees