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Why use Blackshaws to rent

WE ARE GLAD THAT YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ONE OF OUR PROPERTIES. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, WE HAVE PREPARED THIS OVERVIEW OF OUR GUIDELINES USED IN PROCESSING ALL TENANCY APPLICATIONS. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS.

Helping you find the perfect property

Our staff are fully trained in assisting tenants to find properties to rent that will precisely meet their requirements. We maintain a database of properties available to rent and also of prospective tenants and what they want from their new home. As properties become available, our first action is to contact waiting tenants on the database, whose requirements match the property. Typically, properties to rent become available about 1-2 months before occupancy date, so where possible we advise tenants to start looking early.

Viewings

Having identified a potentially suitable property, we will arrange a viewing for you. Our viewing times for rental properties are between 9am-6.30pm mon-sat and 10am-2pm on Sunday. This is subject to the landlords or current tenant's permission. Every viewing is accompanied by a member of staff who will be able to give immediate advice and answer any questions that you may have.

We are an equal opportunities housing provider

It is our policy to let our properties in full compliance with anti-discrimination laws. We do not discriminate against any person because of their sex, race, colour, ethnic origin, age, marital or family status, physical disability or sexual orientation.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST)

The majority of tenancies we create take the form of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). This is a type or sub-group of an assured tenancy, but with the AST, the landlord has the right to recover the property at the end of the fixed term, assuming that the correct notices have been served on the tenant. An AST is the most common form of tenancy granted today and most tenancies automatically become one unless the landlord states otherwise.

It is important that you thoroughly read and understand all of the clauses contained within the tenancy agreement prior to commencement, as there are many obligations that you will be expected to understand and abide by contained within this contract (such as paying the rent and maintaining the property).

Tenancy length

Most tenancy agreements are for an initial fixed term of 6 or 12 months. However, for tenancies beginning in the summer, we suggest a fixed period of 8 or 9 months to avoid moving during the winter period.

After the early fixed term has ended and if both parties are agreed, then the tenancy will move to a periodic tenancy. This means that the tenancy will continue as before with the same terms and conditions as stated in the assured shorthold tenancy agreement but with a two months' notice period on either side. This notice must expire at the end of the period of the tenancy. Alternatively, we can agree a new fixed term of 6 or 12 months.

Valid photo identification and proof of address

In order for us to prove your identity you must be able to provide us with current photo identification, for example a passport or driver's licence. This must be an original identification document that we can copy and attach to your application. We also require proof of your current address in the form of a recent bank statement (within last 3 months), utility bill, tenancy agreement or driving licence.

Application and references

Having decided on a property, you will need to complete a written application form. At this time any details or requirements can be provisionally agreed, such as commencement date and duration of the initial fixed term.

All tenancy applications are evaluated in the same manner, and each adult applicant (over the age of 18 years) must willingly provide us with information, which will enable us to conduct references and a credit report. Any false or incomplete information will result in the denial of your application. We will verify the information provided on each tenancy application through our own screening process and with the assistance of an independent referencing company. To secure a property whilst references are carried out we require you to pay an administration fee as shown here.

Tenancy and administration costs

A non-refundable administration fee of £300+VAT is due, prior to the commencement of references. Any additional tenant or guarantor will be charged each at £50+VAT. This is not a registration charge.

Income

The total combined monthly gross income of all tenancy applicants in a given property must be roughly three times the monthly rent. Full-time students are welcome if the total applicants combined income is satisfactory or they have a guarantor subject to landlord criteria. You must provide proof of source of income if unemployed or one full years of accounts if self-employed.

Joint tenancies

It is important to remember that all adult tenants are joint and severally liable. This means that each tenant can be held accountable for the payment of all funds due, regardless of ability to pay. Contracts must be in the names and signed by all tenants over the age of 18 who will be residing in the property.

Credit history

You must be able to establish fiscal responsibility. If you have any unpaid debts, a pattern of late payment or County Court Judgements (CCJs) against you, then your application may be declined.

Rental history

Each applicant must be able to demonstrate a pattern of meeting their previous rental obligations, leaving prior properties in good condition if they have rented before. If you have ever been evicted for violating a lease, then your application may be declined.

Guarantors

If you do not meet one or more of the above criteria, you may be able to qualify for a tenancy if you have a third party who can guarantee your tenancy agreement. The guarantor must also pass the same application and screening process, must be a homeowner and reside in the UK for the length of the tenancy.

Additional tenants

Any proposed additional tenants must complete a tenancy application form and be approved through this same tenant-screening process prior to occupying the rental property.

Rent

This is due one month in advance paid in cleared funds prior to moving in. Subsequent rental payments are to be made by monthly standing order from one bank account.

Security deposit

A security deposit equivalent to one month's rent/six week rent is required prior to occupation. Where a pet is to reside in the property, you would be required to pay an additional pet deposit (subject to landlord’s acceptance of pets) Where Blackshaw Homes are managing the property then this will be transferred to the Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) within 14 days of the start of the tenancy and held by them until the tenancy ends. Please visit www.mydeposits.co.uk for additional information.

The deposit is held to cover any breakages, damage or other tenant liabilities. Where we are managing, at the end of the tenancy we will check the property thoroughly against the inventory and evaluate any damages and deductions due. Provided there are no disputes over unfair wear and tear, damage or dirt, rent outstanding or unpaid utility bills, the deposit will be returned to the tenant within 14 days of the end of the tenancy. Under no circumstances is the security deposit to be used as part or all of the last month's rent.

Council tax and utilities

Rental properties are usually granted on an exclusive basis. This means that all household expenses such as council tax, water and drainage, gas, heating, electricity, and telephone charges are all the responsibility of the tenant unless specifically stated otherwise in the tenancy agreement.

Television

Tenants must hold a present television licence if they own a television set. If moving within the UK this is movable from your last property, otherwise a licence can be obtained from the Post Office.

Commencement of tenancy

On commencement of tenancy all charges are due, including the security deposit and the first month's rent. The tenancy agreement and all relevant paperwork must be signed by all relevant parties before the tenancy can start.

Insurance

Landlords are required to insure the buildings and their own contents. Tenants must make their own measures for insuring their contents and possessions.

Inventory and check-in

Where instructed by the landlords we will carry out a full DVD inventory of the property prior to the commencement of the tenancy. This shows the contents and condition of the whole property. When we move a new tenant in, we provide a copy of the DVD and the occupant has five days to watch and review the DVD to make sure that you fully understand and appreciate the condition of the property. Tenants are responsible for the maintenance of the property for the duration of the tenancy and we expect you to hand back the property in the condition that it was handed to you.

Extension / renewal

Before the end of your fixed period, Blackshaw Homes will ask each tenant and landlord whether they wish to extend the tenancy. If both parties agree, then the tenancy will be extended on a periodic tenancy and continue on a month to month basis with a notice period of two months on either side. Alternatively, a new fixed term of 6 or 12 months can be agreed. An administration fee of £60+VAT is required as payment towards preparing all related documentation.

Notice

During the initial fixed term of the tenancy, a notice period of one month is required by any tenant. This notice can be issued on any day of the month and must end no earlier than the last day of the tenancy. During this fixed term, your landlord is required to give you two months' notice, issued on any day of the month and ending no earlier than the last day of the tenancy. All notices must be made in writing. Your tenancy agreement will state the name and address of to whom the notice is to be handed. As a general rule, if we are managing the property, the notice will be addressed to Blackshaw Homes and where we are not managing then the notice must go directly to your landlord.

Check-out

At the end of the tenancy, we issue tenants with guidance notes for moving out. Where we manage a property, we will personally check tenants out of the property using the INVENTORY prepared at the outset of the tenancy, for guidance. Tenants are responsible for the maintenance of the property for the duration of the tenancy and we expect you to hand back the property in the condition it was handed to you. An allowance for fair wear and tear will be made.

If you have any queries or questions about any of the above points, please feel free to contact the office and we will be happy to discuss these issues in further detail. Thank you.

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