Tenants Terms and Conditions

We would like to provide clarity of the fees that may become payable during a tenancy you are looking to enter into. We believe you should understand these before you make any decision about a property.
Acceptance of any offer will be subject to contract, referencing and immigration checks. You will need to pay the Rent and Deposit that is due under the Tenancy.


Referencing and Right to Rent Checks

You will be asked to complete an application before referencing can be undertaken.  Every person, over the age of 18 that will be living at the property, must complete an application form.  You should also provide original photographic Identification (e.g. passport, National ID card, VISA, resident permit, driving licence) and Proof of Residence (e.g. original utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement all of which much be less than 3 months old).

You should be aware that the need for a guarantor may not become apparent until your referencing (including references for any joint tenants) has been completed. Where a guarantor is required they will need to complete an application form and provide photographic identification and proof of residence.

Referencing will cover a check against the credit file and public records of the individual, an Anti-Money Laundering check, confirmation of employment and salary details, confirmation of previous tenancy details, right to rent checks, reporting the results of all those checks to your prospective landlord to see if your application is acceptable.

Right to Rent Act 2014
Before you are granted a tenancy by your Letting Agency, you will have to demonstrate your eligibility under the Right to Rent Act 2014 to establish your immigration status and whether you are legally entitled to rent a property within the United Kingdom.

The Immigration Act applies to EVERYONE wishing to rent a property within the United Kingdom.  Whether you are a British national, from a member state of the European Union or from anywhere else in the world, the validation of your immigration status is required by law.

Tenant deposit

As of 1st June 2019 Landlords in England are limited to the equivalent of 5 weeks rent for new and renewed tenancies (or 6 weeks if the annual rent is £50,000 or more). This is calculated by dividing the annual rent by 52 and multiplying by 5 (or 6 if rent is £50,000 or more) and will be required to be paid at the start of the tenancy. This is subject to referencing.


Tenant Fees Act 2019

This Act permits certain fees and/or charges to be made, to the tenant, under the following circumstances:

PERMITTED PAYMENTS SCHEDULE – ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCIES

Holding Deposit (per tenancy) must be paid on application.  This is equivalent to one week’s rent.  This is to reserve a property. Please Note: This will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Security Deposit (per tenancy on rent under £50,000 per year)
This is equivalent to five weeks’ rent.  This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Security Deposit (per tenancy. Rent of £50,000 or over per year)
This is equivalent to six weeks’ rent.  This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Unpaid Rent
Interest at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from Rent Due Date until paid in order to pursue non-payment of rent. Please Note: This will not be levied until the rent is more than 14 days in arrears.

Lost Key(s) or other Security Device(s)
Tenants are liable to the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s). If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant. If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge of £15 per hour (inc. VAT) for the time taken replacing lost key(s) or other security device(s).

Variation of Contract (Tenant’s Request)
£50 (inc. VAT) per agreed variation.  This is to cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

Change of Sharer (Tenant’s Request)
£50 (inc. VAT) per replacement tenant or any reasonable costs incurred if higher.  This is to cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions, new tenant referencing and Right-to-Rent checks, deposit registration as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

Early Termination (Tenant’s Request)
Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early, they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property as well as all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.


Tenancy Terms
Please ensure that you are fully aware of the letting terms and conditions in relation to the property you are applying for. You should have read the full letting details and be aware of any restrictions that may apply.

Pets
Landlords do not normally allow pets.  Should you own a pet, please discuss this with us prior to submission of your application form.

Tenancy Agreement / Letting
Following receipt of satisfactory references and agreement to the letting between landlord and tenant Smart Homes will confirm the tenancy start date, term of agreement, conditions relating to the property and organise payment of rent and deposit. Prior to a tenancy commencing you will normally be required to sign a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which is usually for a period of six or twelve months. A Tenancy Agreement will fully explain and detail the terms and conditions on which you are taking the tenancy plus any other special conditions that relate to that specific property.

Rental Payments
The first months' rent along with the deposit are due in cleared funds prior to the tenancy start date, but after you have signed your part of the tenancy agreement, payable either by direct bank transfer or debit card. All future rent is payable in advance by standing order either direct to the landlord or into Smart Homes Client Account.

Deposit
Before the tenancy commences you will be required to pay a deposit. The deposit is held against any damages or expenses arising during your tenancy and will not be released until you have vacated the property, all rent has been paid up to date and an end of tenancy inspection completed.

All deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Smart Homes register the deposits with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS), who we hold funds for as stakeholder.  For further information visit the website www.tenancydepositscheme.com

Schedule of Condition and Inventory
When the landlord requires a schedule of condition and inventory, this will be provided to you at the commencement of the tenancy requiring you to check it and sign a copy in the office.  You will receive a duplicate copy requiring you to check the same at the property and return back to Smart Homes within 7 days with any alterations.  It is important that you take care in checking the Schedule of Condition/Inventory at this stage, as it will form the basis of any claim for damages by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy.

Tenants Obligations
You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during any tenancy. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately and the property is fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time. During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of water and heating systems. In addition, you will be liable to maintain the interior décor of the property to include carpets, and any fixtures and fittings that are included plus gardens and outside areas.

Property Visits
All managed properties will be subject to regular visits. The purpose of these is to check the condition of the property and that you are conducting your tenancy in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement. The visit also provides you with an opportunity to notify of any issues or problems you are experiencing with the property.

Utilities/Council Tax
Once you have signed a Tenancy Agreement you are usually liable for the service utility charges relating to that property to include gas, electricity, water and drainage plus the council tax. The utility companies and local authority will have been notified of your occupation along with appropriate meter readings, if the property is managed by Smart Homes. If the property is managed directly by the Landlord, you will need to contact these companies to let them know of your occupation. 

Television/Telephone & Broadband Connections
You are responsible for the television licence regardless of whether or not a television is provided by the Landlord. Landlords cannot guarantee quality of signal or availability of signal at any let property. With regard to telephones and broadband connections, tenants will need to make their own investigations as to the availability of a suitable telephone/broadband connection at the let property and will be responsible for any connection costs.

Tenancy Renewals
Approximately two months prior to the end of the initial fixed term Smart Homes will write to you asking for confirmation concerning your intentions and whether you would like to remain in the property and extend the tenancy for either a further fixed term or on a rolling Statutory Periodic basis.


Insurance
The Tenant is responsible for insuring their own personal effects and furnishings. It is important that as a tenant you are adequately protected and covered for any damage you may cause to landlords buildings or contents. Insurance can also help you to protect your deposit at the end of the tenancy.