Tenant – Frequently Asked Questions
1. How will my application proceed?
Once you have decided on a property that you wish to apply for, you will need to pay a holding deposit which will be the equivalent of 1 week’s rent (calculated by multiplying the monthly rental by 12 and dividing by 52). The purpose of this holding deposit is to show goodwill between the landlord and you, to ‘demonstrate’ that both of you are committed to agreeing on a tenancy. As part of this goodwill the landlord agrees that the property will be taken off the market while your application is being processed.
2. What happens once I have paid my holding deposit?
Once the holding deposit has been paid and you have signed our application form, we will need to take up references for you. We use a preferred referencing agency who will carry out a credit check and take up income and landlord references to determine your suitability as a tenant. There is no charge for referencing.
When a tenant is unable to meet the required income or credit checks, the landlord may agree that the tenant has a guarantor to underwrite any rent or other liabilities that the tenant cannot meet. A guarantor will also need be referenced and credit checked and sign a ‘guarantee agreement.’
Once referencing forms have been submitted, it will take approximately 48 hours for a full report. However, this could take slightly longer if the agency has difficulty obtaining information. Please note that in order to pass the affordability checks that the agency carries out, you will need to be earning at least 2.5 times’ the annual rent in order to pass. (Please ask to see our affordability calculator.)
Further required information from you will involve documents to cover the following:
Identity: We will need to verify who you are.
Proof of Current Address:
Right to Rent: We are required by the Government to check on all prospective occupiers under the Immigration Act 2014 and the Immigration Act 2016. We will therefore require evidence that you have the right to reside in this country and, if that right is limited, how long it exists for.
The exact documentation we require will be made clear to you before we ask you to pay a holding deposit.
It is important to arrange for us to have the relevant information and paperwork promptly in order not to fail the agreement deadline date (see section below). Please make sure that you are able to provide us with all the necessary information within the time limit before you agree to that limit. If you believe that you cannot do this, please inform us and we will be happy to discuss a more suitable deadline.
Once we have received satisfactory references, we will draft a tenancy agreement between both parties.
3. If my application does not proceed, will my holding deposit be refunded?
The holding deposit will always be refunded to you unless:
The landlord accepts you as a tenant and you both agree that the money is to be used to put towards the first month’s rent or security deposit.
You provide us with false or misleading information regarding your circumstances, including, but not limited to, the information we need for reference purposes.
You fail the Right to Rent check.
You fail to assist and co-operate in the process which results in the ‘deadline for agreement’ being missed.
You withdraw your offer to take the property. If the holding deposit is being refunded, we will do so within 7 days of the decision, unless the money is being used for the initial rent/security deposit. If the holding deposit is not being refunded, we will write to you setting out the reasons within 7 days of the decision.
Please note that the following permitted tenant payments may apply during your tenancy:
Loss of keys: £25
Contract Variation: £50
Contract Termination: £50 (plus any reasonable Landlord costs, by prior agreement – this may include the landlord’s relet fee – up to £300 inc VAT as well as continuation of payment of rent and utility bills etc, up until the day before a new tenant can move in).
Late Rent: If rent is outstanding by 14 days or more, the landlord reserves the right to charge interest at 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate to the amount of rent that remains unpaid at the end of each day.
4. What is the security deposit and what happens to it?
Prior to the start of the tenancy, we will require a security deposit (in cleared funds – see below) that will be held against any damages or other default of the tenancy agreement. The deposit amount may vary but will not be more than the equivalent of five weeks’ rent for tenancies with a rental level of up to £50,000 per annum or the equivalent of six weeks’ rent for tenancies with a higher rental level. A week’s rent is calculated by dividing the annual rent by 52.
If the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) the law requires that your security deposit is protected in a government approved scheme. We use the authorised custodial body known as the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and we will forward your deposit, within 30 days to this scheme. You will be informed in writing as soon as this has taken place. You will also be provided with a copy of the Deposit Protection Service general terms and conditions describing how the scheme works. You will need to sign ‘Prescribed Information’ relating to your deposit which confirms receipt of these terms and conditions.
The Deposit Protection Service: The Pavilions, Bridgewater Road, Bristol, BS99 6AA Tel: 0844 4727 000
5. How and when is the first month’s rent paid?
The first month’s rent must be paid to us in cleared funds (see below) before the start of the tenancy, once your tenancy agreement has been signed. Cleared Funds- this means the money must be in our bank account and not subject to a confirmation that the funds could be transferred back or are not guaranteed. We will not be able to allow you to enter into a tenancy without all required rent and damage deposit having been received in full. Please note that we will be unable to accept a credit card payment for the rent or for the tenancy deposit.
6. What happens if I have pets?
If the landlord has agreed that you may keep pets at the property, you may be required to pay a surcharge on top of the monthly rent. You will have been notified of any additional costs regarding pets in the property details being advertised for the property that you have applied for.
7. When can I move in?
An inventory will be carried out at least two days prior to you checking into the property.
On your day of move-in, an appointment will be made for you to meet us at our office, where you will sign any out-standing paperwork and collect keys. You will receive an electronic copy of your inventory along with a deadline date to check and submit any comments you may wish to make (if you would prefer a hard copy, please let us know). The smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms where relevant will have already been checked by a member or our team, as well as the inventory clerk prior to your move-in, however, we will need you to check these again on arrival at the property. Instructions for this will be given.
The tenancy agreement will have already been sent to you to check through in advance and this will have been signed prior to the check-in and prior to your final balance payment. A hard copy of the Energy Performance Certificate, Gas Safety Certificate and How to Rent Guide will also be issued on the day of check-in.
8. Do I need tenant’s contents insurance?
Please be aware that the landlord’s insurance will not cover tenant’s goods. It is your responsibility to ensure that your own contents are insured. In addition, if your rental property was to become inhabitable, it is not the landlord’s responsibility to find you alternative accommodation, therefore you may wish to make sure that this is also covered in any policy you may take out.
9. How do I make future rental payments?
Rents are payable by standing order (unless alternative arrangements are agreed in advance) to our Micawber Lettings Client bank account (if we are managing the property) or your landlord’s bank account, monthly in advance. These payments should be set up as per your tenancy agreement, usually in line with the date that you moved in.
10. What about utilities?
Meter readings will be taken the day the day the inventory is carried out and we will arrange for the transfer of council tax and utility accounts on your behalf. Note that regards the telephone and broadband account, you will need to contact your preferred telecoms company directly, they will not allow us to transfer accounts for you.
11. What about data protection?
We confirm that we are registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and we comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations 2018 and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Full details of what data we collect, how we hold it, what we collect it for and who we share it with are contained in our Privacy Notice which is available to read on our website www.baconandco.co.uk. Please note that we may update this notice from time to time.
For the avoidance of doubt the information that we collect from you in order to process your application to rent a property is processed according to one of the three lawful bases: to fulfil a contractual requirement with you; to comply with our legal obligations: to pursue a legitimate interest of ourselves or any associated third party.
Any information we pass to a third party (such as the landlord or a referencing company) will be limited to that necessary for them to carry out their requirements. They will also be bound by the same considerations of confidentiality and security as we are.
If we wish to use any of this information for any other purpose or if we require further information from you for any other purpose we will only do so with your explicit consent which will be sought separately from this agreement and which can be withdrawn at any time.
Full details of your rights including access to your data, your right to request restriction of processing and your right to withdraw consent (where appropriate) are also available in our privacy notice.
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Speak to a member of our team by calling one of our offices, or send us a message using our enquiry form.