As soon as a suitable property has been found, you will need to complete reference application forms. BM Property Agents utilise the services of Vouch to take up the following references as well as organising the switch over of utilities: –
- Confirmation of employment, salary confirmation
- Credit check
- Personal & Photographic identification (passport or driving licence)
- Previous Landlord references
- Students/ Housing Benefit (working guarantor and proof of funding)
A holding deposit will be required at the same time as the administration fee.
This is in order to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be deducted from the first months rent due, should the tenant withdraw from the proposed letting, through no fault of the landlord or the agent, all or a proportion of the ‘Holding Deposit’ will be retained in order to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full). None of the Holding Deposit will be retained should the Tenant’s withdrawal be due to a breach of the proposed letting agreement by the landlord or agent.
The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property:
- Cancel any advertising for the letting
- Tell other applicants that the tenancy has been taken subject to satisfactory references
- Prepare a letting agreement
- Take up references
- Carry out credit checks
All administration/reference fees are due at the start of the application process once the offer has been verbally agreed and will secure the property for you subject to satisfactory references being received on behalf of all applicable tenants.
Please note that should your reference applications be unsuccessful then the reference fee/s is non refundable.
It is imperative that you disclose all relevant facts that may adversely affect your reference outcome, prior to entering into the above. It may save you money.
Both the Landlord/agent and tenant/s will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to the tenancy commencing, the agreement outlines both tenant and landlord obligations.
Generally, most tenancies run for a period of six months, we will contact you at the end of the tenancy to see whether you wish to renew your agreement for a further period and will liaise with the landlord to organise the documentation. It is important you note that the agreement is made between landlord and tenant, we act for the landlord only.
By legal requirement we will issue you with a sample template agreement which we ask you read very carefully, should any questions arise regarding this legal document we advise you to seek independent legal advice.
Tenancy Deposit Protection
From 6 April 2007 when you pay a deposit for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, your landlord or agent must protect it using a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme. This is to ensure you get all or part of your deposit back when you are entitled to it and any disputes will be easier to resolve. Within 28 days of paying your deposit your landlord or agent is required to give you details about how your deposit is protected. This includes the contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme and what to do if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy. BM Property Agent will register any managed tenancy deposits with The Dispute Service (TDS).
Once a moving date has been agreed and references have all been approved by the landlord, the tenancy agreement will need to be signed by all parties and the initial monies in full will become due three days prior the the tenancy agreements commencement date, less any holding deposit previously paid:
This is made up of the following:
- Deposit normally equal to one months rent
- The first months rent in advance. (rent is worked out on a per calendar month basis)
The above monies need to be transferred to BM Property Agents Client Account so the tenancy is able to commence.
We do get instructed to fully manage some of our landlord’s properties, if this is the case, with your tenancy we will inform you prior to your tenancy commencing. If we are managing then any faults with appliances or problems within the property will need to be reported to us and we will deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an ongoing problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any problems you feel need attention.
Rental payments from the second month are always made by standing order from the tenants’ bank account to the landlord’s bank account, with the exception of managed properties whereby the rental payment is made to BM Property Agents Client Account.
A well-prepared inventory and check-in report protects landlords and tenants alike, providing an accurate description of the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy.
The condition of the property and its contents at the end of the tenancy is then compared back to this report in the form of a check-out report. The inventory clerk will also provide an opinion on whether any damage that has arisen during the tenancy is attributable to the tenants, to ‘fair wear and tear’ or to the landlord as required maintenance.
It is in a landlord’s interest to ensure that inventories are prepared for properties that they own. In the worst case scenario, should you end up in court, the judge will tend to look more favourably on an impartial, unbiased inventory prepared by a third party unconnected to either the landlord or the tenants. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.
Normally an inventory of the property condition, furniture and fittings and effects will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The tenancy is checked and agreed between the tenant and the agent at the tenancy commencement.
When your tenancy ends, an inspection of the property will be carried out, either by the landlord/ agent or by an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord or agent.
If we are instructed as managing agents for your property, we will carry out quarterly inspections to assess the condition of the property and that everything is being kept in a satisfactory condition. We will always arrange this with you at a mutually convenient time.
It is the tenant’s responsibility to inform the utility companies of their occupation of the property at the commencement of the tenancy, and to pay council tax to the local authority.
Wherever applicable VAT will be charged at the current VAT rate.