Recent Tenant posts on our Property FAQs blog:
- How do landlord and tenants make sure they have adequate contents insurance?
- What steps can landlords and tenants take to prevent burglary?
- Property Management Service- what do your Tenants think?
- Vermin- who is responsible?
- What are the key things I should ask/check when viewing a Property to Let?
- What if my Landlord/Agent does not address maintenance issues?
- Happy Birthday- base property specialists turns 7!
- How do you get your price right? Get your agent right!
- What’s in store for Property in 2011?
- Rentals go mental- where are all the London properties?
If you can’t find the answer to any of your questions here on the website, please get in touch! We’d be delighted to supply you with the answers you need to make informed decisions about your London property.
How much are your fees?
For full details of our fees, please visit our Tenant Fees page.
Why do I have to pay a Holding Deposit to secure a London tenancy?
In order to show genuine commitment to a property and for base to stop showing it to other prospective tenants you need to make a financial commitment. base will also incur expenses processing your application and undertaking admin and the costs for this must be covered should, in the unlikely event, the tenancy not proceed.
If a proposed tenancy on a property does not go ahead, do I get my Holding Deposit back?
If you choose to withdraw your offer on the property or you fail the tenancy referencing process and are unable to satisfy any further requirements made by base or the Landlord to compensate this then the Holding Deposit is non-refundable. If, for any reason, the Landlord or base has to withdraw the property then the Holding Deposit will be refunded in full less any references costs that have been incurred. In this instance we will happily supply you with a copy of any complete reference reports at this time.
What is base property specialists standard Security Deposit for London rental accommodation?
As with most London letting agents our standard Security Deposit is a minimum of 6 week’s rent. This is to cover possible rent arrears as well as damage to the property and other contractual liabilities of the tenants.
Do be aware, however, that should you owe the Landlord monies in excess of the Security Deposit you are contractually and legally obliged to meet these additional costs and, if necessary, these can be pursued through a small claims court.
Is my Tenancy Security Deposit safe?
Since 6th April 2007 strong legislation came into effect nationwide to ensure better protection for Tenants funds tied up in Security Deposits. Deposits now have to be registered with one of three nationwide schemes- TDS, DPS or TDSL.
Once registered, you will be provided with a certificate of registration and there are strict guidelines as to how this money must be handled. There are also strict guidelines in place now as to how much can be deducted from a deposit and why.
base are proud members of TDS (the Tenancy Deposit Scheme) and the vast majority of our deposits will be registered with us under this scheme. Wherever your deposit goes, you will be informed accordingly before the tenancy commences.
What is the typical length of a tenancy with base property specialists?
Our standard tenancy agreements are 12 months with no Break Clause option. This is usually preferred by both London Landlords and Tenants as it offers a certain amount of security without requiring an extended commitment by either party. We do have a unique ‘early termination clause’ in all our tenancy agreements however- just in case the unexpected happens.
When letting a London property do I have to keep the current utility providers?
No- it is your legal right to choose who you want but do please notify the Landlord or base if you change them.
In a joint tenancy how is the rent divided?
In an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy), which is the most common form of residential tenancy in the UK, there will be no legal allocation as to proportions of the rent. In the eyes of the law all Tenants are ‘jointly and severally liable for the full amount of rent’. This is to say that each individual tenant is responsible to ensure the full amount of rent is paid each and every month. Whilst you may choose to split the rent payments between you legally this is irrelevant.
Can I hang pictures, etc. on the walls in my let property?
This is really at the discretion of the Landlord. Most will permit this on the condition that you only hang a few items and picture hooks (rather than nails) are used. The use of blue-tac, sellotape or similar is usually strictly prohibited as this almost always damages the walls. At the end of the tenancy some will require these to be removed and any damage made good, others will simply ask you to leave the hooks in place. To be safe, ask before you do anything and make sure that you have consent in writing and you follow any instructions accompanying the consent. Unless advised otherwise, ensure you follow what is stated in your tenancy agreement.
Can a tenant change during a tenancy?
We permit this at base providing the Landlord has no objections. base must be notified, any incoming tenant will need to be referenced to ensure they are suitable and there will be an admin fee to pay for these and for the tenancy agreement to be updated. These costs are usually covered by the incoming party. However, you cannot simply change tenants without notifying base or your Landlord and following the applicable instructions. This is a breach of contract and can result in serious penalties.
How long will it take me to get my deposit back at the end of my tenancy?
This is really up to you- we like to return Security Deposits as quickly as possible. No deposits are returned until base or the Landlord has received proof that all final utility bills have been paid in full. The quicker we get these, the quicker we can return the deposit.
Should there be any proposed deductions this will also need to be agreed however any ‘undisputed’ funds can be returned once the final utility bills have been received showing that each account has been closed correctly and paid in full.
Do I need to get Insurance on my let property?
You are not required to by base, but in a busy City like London it is highly recommended. base have an affordable insurance product designed specifically for tenants that not only covers specific cover for your own possessions but also protects some of the Landlords too helping to protect your Security Deposit- for a free no obligation quote visit our insurance page. You are, of course, welcome to source your own insurance but do make sure that it is applicable for tenants.
What is the role of a let property Managing Agent?
The Managing Agent service is provided to the Landlord and not to the Tenant- a common misconception. As Managing Agents, base organise vetted & professional contractors when needed, monitor rental payments and visit the property several times a year to ensure it is being cared for on behalf of our London Landlords.
Obviously, what is nice for Tenants, is that (among other benefits) you have an office number, email and emergency mobile number so that you know you can contact us- any time day or night throughout the year- should maintenance issues arise. However, as a Tenant, it is your responsibility to ensure that you conduct basic checks before reporting issues- failure to do so may result in you incurring charges should a call out be deemed unnecessary. If you are not sure how something works, it is usually easy to find manuals, instructions, help, advice and discussions online. We are only to be contacted should you be unable to resolve an issue having used all reasonable endeavours to do so first- unless the matter is an emergency.