Below are some frequently asked questions for potential or existing tenants.
What if there is more than one applicant interested in a property?
We will allow all applicants who fulfil the landlord’s brief to view the property. We will then report back to the landlord whom will make an informed decision about which tenant they would like to proceed with. It may be that all interested applicants are asked to give final rental offers by a set time. All offers will then be put forward to the landlord whom will make the final decision. Please note all decisions are ultimately the landlords and they will have final say.
Do you accept housing benefit tenants?
As an agency we are happy to deal with benefit tenants, however the decision is put to the landlord whom will make the final decision.
How quickly will I be able to move in?
That firstly depends on your personal situation. Are you currently living somewhere else? Do you have to give notice? Secondly it depends on the landlord and the property in question. There may still be a tenant in there waiting to move out, or the landlord may have some works to carry out prior to the commencement of the tenancy. Assuming that you are ready to move in straight away, and the property is also ready we can usually turn the paperwork around in 7-10 days. Obviously this is assuming that the references come back OK.
What if my credit reference comes back and is not satisfactory?
On this occasion we may ask for a guarantor. We will also let the landlord know about the poor credit rating and it will his decision whether to proceed with the tenancy or not.
Who will sort out the utilities for the property I am moving into?
You, as the tenant will be responsible for notifying the utility companies and the local council that you have moved into the property. You will also be required to give the utility companies any meter readings where applicable. You, as tenant will also be responsible for notifying the utility companies when you move out of the property.
What’s the best way to pay my rent?
We advise that rent is paid monthly by standing order. This should be paid on the same date each month and is usually the same date that the tenancy agreement started on. A standing order mandate can be found on the downloads page of our website. If for whatever reason you think you are going to have trouble paying your rent or think it may be late, you need to let us know at the Polecat office as soon as possible. At the end of the tenancy it will be your responsibility to stop the standing order with your bank.
What should I do if I have a problem during my tenancy?
Providing Polecat Properties is managing the property if something within the property is damaged or broken you need to let us know as soon as possible via phone or email or by using the ‘report a repair’ page on our website. Any other problems please contact us as soon as possible. If Polecat Properties are not managing the tenancy then we will have given you the contact details you need in order to report any problems. If you have mislaid these details please call in the office and we can let you have those details again.
If you suspect a gas or water leak you need to contact the gas board or the water board respectively as soon as possible
Can I leave my tenancy early?
The short answer is no. you will have signed a contractually binding contract. If you were to surrender the tenancy you could be asked to pay the remainder of the rent for the outstanding duration of the tenancy. However on occasion the landlord may agree to you just paying the rent until a new tenant is found. Some tenancy agreements may have a break clause in which case you may be able to leave your tenancy in accordance with any terms stipulated in your break clause.
How do I give notice that I want to leave my Property at the end of the tenancy?
Written notice is required should you want to vacate and, must be served in accordance with your lease agreement. Our standard agreement states that you must give 1 months notice prior to leaving at the end of your tenancy. Failure to give notice will mean that when your agreement expires you will automatically be moved onto a statutory periodic tenancy and you will need to still give a month’s notice.
What’s costs will I incur at the end of my tenancy?
That all depends on how the check out report compares to the check in report. Any discrepancies will have to be paid for by you, the tenant if they are not considered fair wear and tear. If the property has been professionally cleaned prior to the commencement of the tenancy, it is a good idea to have the property professionally cleaned prior to tenancy ending or you may have the cost for this deducted from your deposit.
How will my deposit be protected?
We protect all our deposits via MyDeposits which is an insurance based scheme. So as the agent we keep your deposit in a separate client account. Any interest accrued on the deposit is kept by Polecat Properties. At the end of the tenancy once the check-out has been completed the deposit will be returned to you (less any agreed deductions) with 10 days.
Can the landlord ask me to leave at any time?
No, the landlord like you is bound by the tenancy agreement. At the end of the agreement the landlord still has to give you two months’ notice to vacate. This is done by serving a section 21 notice. If on the last date of your tenancy you have had no notice by the landlord then you do not have to move out. If the landlord serves you notice on the last day of the agreement you will still have 2 months in which to vacate the property. If at the end of the tenancy, no new agreement is signed, then the tenancy turns into a statutory periodic and the landlord is required to give 2 months’ notice for you to leave.
However if during the tenancy you are in breach of the terms and conditions of the lease then the landlord may serve a section 8 notice and this can lead to a court ruling that you must vacate the property depending on the level of breach of the agreement.
Will my rent increase?
The landlord will not be able to increase the rent during the initial period (6 or 12 months). After the initial period a landlord is able to increase the rent providing the tenancy agreement contains information relating to the procedure for rent increase. The landlord must serve a section 13 notice and the correct notice period needs to be given. A rent increase is only allowed every 12 months. If for whatever reason you, the tenant deem the increase to be unfair then you can refer the rent to the rent assessment committee. However if you have signed a new agreement agreeing to the rent increase then you will no longer be able to refer the rent to the committee.