Frequently Asked Questions - Tenants

FAQ-Tenants

Before the Tenancy

Once you want to take a property we will ask you to pay two weeks rent plus our admin fee to reserve the property. Once we receive a reservation fee we stop marketing the property and cancel any viewings for the next five days, during this time you should supply us with all the documents we need. If you need more than five days you need to inform the negotiator who showed you the property. Reservation fees are only refundable if your prospective landlord decides not to rent the property.

Most agencies mention “referencing” to new tenants. We carry out referencing checks to ensure that you can afford the rent, and are suitable to rent our properties. To do this we need:

  • Proof of ID – Driver’s License or Passport
  • A reference from your previous landlord
  • Proof of income – three months of bank statements/pay slips and a letter from your employer confirming your current job situation
  • Proof of address – utility bills, bank statements, etc, from your current address

It is your responsibility to make sure that you are registered with utility companies. We will require final bills before we refund your deposit.

We usually advertise weekly rents, to work out the monthly rent simply multiply the weekly amount by 52 and divide by 12.

We credit check our tenants to ensure that they can pay the rent. Some of our tenants don’t earn enough to cover the rent (normally students) so we need a guarantor. A guarantor is another person (usually a parent) who is prepared to sign the contract with you, and undertake all of your responsibilities towards the rent and the property if you don’t.

Under the Housing Act 2004 all deposits taken to secure a deposit must be registered with a licensed TDS scheme. Tenancy Deposit Schemes exist to ensure that your deposit is protected and administered fairly. At the end of your tenancy, if we make any deductions from your deposit that you feel are unfair, you can request that the TDS arbitrate the decision.

During the Tenancy

We only accept rent by standing order. When you sign up we will give you our account details, all you need to do is contact your bank to set up a standing order, this can be done online, over the phone, or by visiting your local branch. You must put the tenancy code given to you when you sign your tenancy; otherwise we will not be able to identify and allocate your rent payments.
In exceptional cases we will accept debit or credit card payment over the phone or online. Unfortunately we incur a 2.5% charge for credit card payments, and 1% charge for cash payments, which we have to pass on to you if you pay by these methods.

If you rent is due on the first of the month, then we should have the money in our account on the first of the month. Most payment methods take three days to clear so try to make sure you’re allowing enough time for your payment to reach us by the date it’s due.

Although we are flexible if it happens once, there will be £25 late payment charge if it continues to be a problem.

If there is a maintenance issue please inform our maintenance manager’s contact details are:

Office – 020 7033 0311 ext 24

Mobile -  07815 694 581

Email - maintenance@homefinders.net

For emergencies repairs outside of office hours, you need to call the head office and where further information on how to report the problem can be found on our phone system.

Usually our contractors book appointments with tenants directly, if that’s not convenient and you agree they can gain access with our keys. In certain circumstances (for example, Gas Safe certificates) we have a requirement to carry out repairs in order to be legally able to continue renting your property. If we are unable to contact you to arrange access then we will contact you, provide notice of access, and provide the contractors with keys.

At the end of the Tenancy

If you have a one year agreement you cannot break the agreement unless agreed by the landlord as well. If you want to move out at the end of tenancy, you can tell us when we contact you to find out if you want to renew your agreement. You have to tell us a month before the end of tenancy that you wish to end the contract. If you don’t want to renew for a full 12 months we can usually arrange for the contract to be extended by a few months, you just need to give us a minimum of one month’s notice of your knew exit date.

If you break the agreement, unless agreed with the landlord, you will be responsible for the full rent until we find a new tenant. You will also incur a cancelation penalty equal to 10% of the rent for the remaining period. If there is a genuine change of circumstance and you need to move out it is always best to get the landlords agreement. In most cases if we find a new tenant and there is no break in rent payments our landlords are happy to accommodate this.

You will need to contact your bank to stop the standing order after the last month’s payment.

You must hand the keys to our inspection officer at the end of your check out, if it is convenient, you can return them to the head office.

As long as the flat or house is in the same condition as you took it, except fair wear and tear, we will refund the deposit in full except the check out fee, which is set out in your tenancy agreement.

Under the Housing Act 2004 all deposits taken to secure a deposit must be registered with a licensed TDS scheme. Tenancy Deposit Schemes exist to ensure that your deposit is protected and administered fairly. At the end of your tenancy, if we make any deductions from your deposit that you feel are unfair, you can request that the TDS arbitrate the decision.

At the end of your tenancy we will arrange a check out inspection, the condition of your property will be compared to the inventory provided at check in. Assuming there are no deductions to be made and your final utility bills have been paid, we aim to release your deposit within 7 days. If there are deductions to be made and we need to get quotes or if you dispute the deductions and the TDS scheme we register your deposit with arbitrate, then this can take longer.

We will contact you within the last four months of your tenancy to find out if you want to renew your contract. This allows us several months to resolve any requests that you or your landlord have regarding the new agreement. We don’t renew tenancies where there are/have been rent arrears, substantive complaints about anti-social behaviour, or where the property is not being looked after.

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