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So the time has come for you to look at your first or next rental property and you are reading this with a view to potentially becoming one of our tenants. Firstly let us welcome you with open arms to our business and culture and secondly let us please allay any fears or misconceptions you may have about lettings agencies.
We're not daft; we know that you're buying into the property, its price, location and size. We know that it’s likely our online presence on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla brought us together and for tenants looking to rent, the agency the property is listed with can be a necessary evil.
We also know that the greatest from of advertising or marketing is reputation and word of mouth, with this in mind we try and make the relationship we build with our applicants and tenants as good as possible.
You never know, our next tenants could be the landlords or investors of the future. read more >
As an independently run business, the people that own the business also work here, we are not part of a franchise or chain and are committed to offering a personal and friendly service, not just to the tenants in our managed houses but also to those we meet briefly for the let-only properties.
From the moment you pick up the phone and respond to our advertising through to the end of your tenancy and the return of your deposit we will treat you as equals, with respect and in timely fashion.
Our tenants are the lifeblood to our business and what helps us grow. Every system we have developed and procedure we use is not just to make our lives easier but also to also improve communication and keep information flowing.
We have completely paperless and robust systems in place to not only make a tenants experience with us simple and hassle free but also lays out to landlords the expectations with regards to for example maintenance, acceptable time frames for repairs and also unscheduled visitors.
By focusing on efficiency of service delivery we can keep our costs reasonable, transparent and fair. We only charge a flat fee for new tenancies and don't hide extra charges in the small print, all out fees are available on the web-site and clear from the start of the application process.
With many years collective experience our team is trained to handle each enquiry individually, to ask questions and find out exactly what the tenant is looking for. We don't like doing viewings for the sake of them and we're certain that house hunting tenants would rather not have their time wasted.
By prequalifying every enquiry we make sure we are only showing properties that exactly match your criteria.
Our in house maintenance team is set up to deal with issues promptly as we know a minor issue can soon be a major issue if not dealt with correctly.
We either offer our landlords a let-only or fully managed service, for let only once you move in you pay your rent to the landlord and they become your main point of contact, for managed properties we will be your contact throughout the tenancy.
If you are a tenant looking for accommodation take a look at the additional information below and contact us today to discuss our availability, for those on the go, use the form on the contact us page to leave your number and one of the team will call you back ASAP.
If you are interested in joining our property mailing list you can register as an applicant, to do this please enter your details on the form below:
Once you are registered as an applicant we can match you to our database of available properties, you will also be matched to any new properties that come to the market. The details of those that meet your criteria will be emailed to you and from this we can arrange a viewing of any that you are interested in.
Please note, you will not be able to register as an applicant without a valid and unique email address and mobile phone number.
All our available properties are marketed extensively online using our own web site, portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla as well as selected properties being shown on social media such as Facebook and twitter. If you are a pre registered applicant you will also be sent details of new properties coming to the market.
When you see a property you like you can make an enquiry by calling the office, by emailing or using the enquiry button on the relevant web-site.
If you have not previously registered we will pre qualify your enquiry and make sure you meet the criteria for that property. When we are satisfied you are suitable for the property we will book in the viewing at a time convenient for both parties.
Once the viewing is booked in you will receive an email with the confirmation and full property address. You will also receive a text message reminder on the day.
Due to frequent 'no-show' appointments we require all applicants to call the office to confirm attendance on the day, if the viewing is not confirmed we will assume that the viewer no longer wishes to attend.
When a viewing is booked in you will receive a confirmation by email, you will also receive a text message reminder on the day – please be reminded that we need to confirm the viewing on the day of the viewing, if this isn’t not done we will assume you no longer wish to view, pleas remember to call on the day to confirm your attendance.
Upon viewing a property, making an offer and agreeing terms with the landlord the application process can begin. We use a third party company called Goodlord that manage the whole process up to the point of moving in.
The process starts by admin staff creating the details of the tenancy within Goodlord and adding the basic tenants details such as full names, email addresses and mobile number. Each tenant will then receive an email to create their Goodlord account. The landlord will also be emailed an offer letter detailing all the terms of the application.
Tenants will be asked to pay the relevant application fees (non-refundable) and also the holding fee of £200 per tenancy, they will be asked to sign to agree to the terms of the tenancy.
All properties will remain on the market and available to other applicants up to the point of them signing the terms of the tenancy and paying the admin fees and holding deposits, this will take the property off the market for 2 days allowing time for the full details needed for the references to be submitted.
Applicants will have 7 days in total to complete their references, respond to any additional requests from the referencing company and for their referees to provide the references, after 7 days the property will go back on the market. Applicants will still be given the opportunity to complete their references and enter into the tenancy.
If the references have not been completed and a move in date agreed by 15 days after the signing of the terms of the tenancy, the application will be failed on the grounds that the applicant has not taken reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy agreement and the application will be cancelled.
Holding fees will be forfeit if the applicant backs out of the application, the references fail due to false or misleading information being provided or if the applicant does not take reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy. If we decline the application or it doesn’t meet the criteria the holding fee will be returned. Full details are included in the terms of the tenancy.
Applicants should be aware that to pass the referencing they must earn at least 2.5x the monthly rent per month, guarantors must earn 3 x the monthly rent and be a UK homeowner.
Tenants will receive by email a copy of the current 'How to rent guide', EPC and gas safety certificate in accordance with the De-Regulation Act 2015.
The tenants will then fill in all the application details to include ID, employment details, current landlord details, proof of address and bank statements.
Once the application is submitted it will then be sent to the Goodlord referencing team who will complete the references, credit check and right to rent status. Upon completion Goodlord will send us a report with recommendations and may advise requesting a guarantor.
Once the referencing reports have been compiled and the application verified and passed by the staff we will be able to agree the move in date with the applicant and send the AST for signature.
At this point the remainder of the deposit and the first months will be due, again payable through the Goodlord system. The AST is signed electronically by the tenants, then by the landlord. Each party will receive a copy by email.
Tenants are asked to set up the on going rent payments by standing order and once we receive confirmation we will authorise keys for release.
A guarantor is a UK based property owner that signs an agreement agreeing to cover any short falls in rent and cover the cost of any repairs should the deposit not cover the damage.
We will generally ask for a guarantor if advised by Goodlord in the referencing report but also at the start of the application if any of the following apply:
Guarantors are added within the Goodlord system, the applicants supply their contact details and the guarantors are then sent a link to submit all their information. Very much like a tenant application the affordability will be assessed and a credit search complete before a report is sent back to the admin team.
Before we check you into the property we will compile and email to you for electronic signature a copy of the inventory for your property. We will also test the smoke alarms and prepare your keys/fobs/door codes.
A member of the team will issue you with the moving in, induction booklet and will go through the key points, they will also make sure you are set up with the ‘Property File’ app so you can report maintenance and manage your tenancy from a smart phone or computer.
Deposits are protected with the DPS custodial scheme, once they are received the money will be transferred to the DPS and the deposit protected, you will receive an email from the DPS with a copy of the deposit certificate and also the deposit repayment ID you will need at the end of the tenancy to request the return of the deposit.
Rents are always due on the 1st of every month and paid in advance, some tenants coming from overseas or with no recent credit history in the UK may be asked to pay 3/6 months in advance.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties we advise to get in touch with the accounts team at the earliest opportunity.
All maintenance needs to be reported via the 'Property File' app, a link will be emailed during the application process. Functions of the app allow tenants to take a photo of the issue and give a brief outline. The request will go straight into our property management software and create a job, which can easily be allocated to our contractors. A member of staff may need to call to go through the details of the request just to make sure it’s not an easy fix or to take more details. For more complicated issues a member of staff may need to visit with a contractor to investigate the request.
In the unlikely event that a tenant/applicant wishes to make a complaint, this can be done in writing by completing this form:
The complaint will be acknowledged within 7 days and a response will be made within 28 days.
If the response to the complaint is not satisfactory then it can be escalated to the redress scheme we are members of: The Property Ombudsman.
As you come towards the end of your fixed tenancy period you (we) will have 3 options:
(In most cases a rolling periodic contract at the end of the fixed period will be the best option. In some situations, for example, tenancies in more student focused areas where the tenancies run July to June or properties more susceptible to seasonal demands, we may insist on re-signing for a further fixed period.)
If you decide to end the tenancy either at the end of the fixed date or while periodic you can do so by handing in your notice, in writing by completing the following form
On or before the rent payment due date of the last month you intend on living there. If you serve notice after this date the notice will be taken for the end of the following month. Serving notice by email is acceptable but please make sure your email is acknowledged.
Here is the step-by-step guide to ending your tenancy and serving notice:
At the start of the tenancy, when the deposit is protected the tenant will receive an email with a copy of the deposit certificate, the email will also include a repayment ID.
The deposit is paid to and held by a third party company, the scheme we use is the DPS.
To request the return of the deposit the tenant can follow this link and start the process using the Deposit ID and Repayment ID.
The agent will then be able to authorise the return or request any deductions.
The deposit will be paid back to the bank account details supplied by the tenant.
The most effective way for a tenant to manage their on going tenancy is by using the 'Property File' app, it's free to download and works on most smart phones.
For those without smart phones, there is a desktop version that can be accessed by clicking HERE.
Once your application has been started on our property management software you will be send an email to set up your account.
Through the app you will be able to see when you’re rent is due, download receipts and statements as well as reporting maintenance and sending the office messages.
Watts and Co are pleased to have won the award for the Best Estate Agent for Customer Service and Experience in the LS4 postcode.