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Tenants FAQ's

Thank you for taking the time to have a look at our FAQ. Below we have compiled the most common questions and answers for new tenants.

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I'm not sure which property I want

We can help you find your ideal property. Each of our advisers knows everything you might want to know about all of our properties and can do the searching for you. To do this we need to know as much as possible about your requirements. This includes your budget and the date by which you need to move, etc. You can let us know all about your requirements by emailing us, by phone or by visiting us where a member of staff can assist you with your search.

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What happens when I want to see a property?

Viewings can be conducted 9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 1pm on Saturdays. You can book a viewing by phone. We will conduct the property viewing on behalf of the landlord and normally keep keys so we can access the property to suit your availability. You should also ensure that anyone likely to share in the decision views the property as well. After the viewing we need to know if you have any questions or if you are interested in renting the property.

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I have seen the property that I want. What happens next?

If the property is suitable for you, do not delay as it may be let to someone else the same day. You will need to pay us an administration fee to cover our tenant vetting costs. You will also receive an application form for each tenant and if required a Guarantor application form as well. These will need to be completed and returned to us ASAP to ensure we can commence processing your application without delay. Guidance Notes will be handed to you at the time.

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Do I have to pay any other fees/deposits?

Once your application forms have been returned and processed you will need to pay the first month's rent, plus a deposit at the date of check in. This must be in cleared funds which means Building Society cheque, bankers draft, internet BACS transfer. Cash for these payments are NOT accepted.

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When can I move in?

Once your application form has been processed, we will advise if there are any minor discrepancies and if further action is required, what that is. Once referrals have been completed you will be issued with your Memorandum of Intended Tenancy and the information contained therein will include your moving in date.

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What happens on this date?

Tenancy Agreement signing takes place at the HPM Estate & Letting Agents office only and NOT at the property. Any moneys owed at this point will be collected and your tenancy agreement, inventory and other important documents issued and signed. Once completed you will receive the keys and any codes to the property ready for you to move in. You cannot take up occupancy without all of the above completed.

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What is a tenancy agreement?

It is a legally binding document between you and the landlord, applicable only to you and the property you are renting that states the amount of rent, the length of the tenancy, your rights and responsibilities. Your agreement will most probably be an Assured Shorthold tenancy under the Housing Act as amended in 1996. For bona fide companies and/or rental values over £25,000 a year, the agreement will be drawn up under contract law. ie: excluded from the Housing Act.

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What are my responsibilities?

These will be clearly set out in your tenancy agreement, which you will read carefully before you sign. Tenants are required to keep the property in good condition and pay rent by the monthly due date.

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How long is a typical let?

All our tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements for a minimum period of 6 months, but can be longer and up to 3 years subject to negotiation.

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What happens if I want to stay longer or leave early?

Tenancies are frequently renewed and we normally prompt your decision 2 months before the end. All tenancies need to be renewed 1 month before the expiry of the current Tenancy to stay on. If you are likely to leave before the end of the original term agreed, you must negotiate break clauses to be written into the agreement. If not, you will remain responsible for the rent until the end of the term agreed. What else do I have to pay for? The tenant pays the utility bills such as gas, electricity, water, telephone, cable TV, internet and TV license during the course of the tenancy as well as the Council Tax applicable to the property. If the property is new and has not had telephone or internet services before - you may also need to pay to have the services.

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What must I do at the end of a tenancy?

Ensure you fulfil your obligations stated in the tenancy agreement to leave the property in the condition it was in at the start, or deductions will be made from your deposit. These will include thorough cleaning and all linen, used or not, freshly laundered. If you've moved furniture, return it to where you found it at the time of the inventory.

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How do I get my deposit back?

After an inventory check, condition inspection and final bill validation have been completed (provided there are no missing items or damage) your deposit will be returned within 10 days after you leave the property. You cannot set your deposit against any rent payment due.

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Who will hold my deposit?

HPM Estate & Letting Agents retain your deposit in a designated client's deposit account. This will ensure the safety of the money and that the correct amount will be returned to you - or apportioned to the landlord if anything is missing or damaged. This is fully compliant with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and The Association of Residential Letting Agents. ARLA. HPM Estate & Letting Agents are licensed ARLA members. www.arla.co.uk

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What is the difference between a fully managed property and Find-a-Tenant?

If your property is let fully managed, then HPM Estate & Letting Agents will be your first point of contact for all maintenance and repair issues and we will act on behalf of the landlord. Find-a-Tenant means that HPM Estate & Letting Agents find tenants for the property and arranges the paperwork, then the Landlord takes over the management and in this scenario you would contact the landlord direct.

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How binding is the tenancy agreement I enter into?

A Tenancy Agreement governs all rents, which is a legal and binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the agreed term and you could be liable to legal action if you break the terms of the agreement. If your circumstances should change for any reason during your tenancy, it is a good idea to tell us as soon as possible

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How much are your fees?

We charge a one-off administration fee which is payable when you have decided to proceed with the property of your choice. This fee covers our costs in the referencing and administration of your application. For details of how much this will be please contact us or refer to your Guidance Notes.

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Do I need insurance?

Yes! Your contents need to be insured, as the landlord's insurance covers the actual property/goods, but not your possessions. We can help you arrange a specialist insurance policy which covers all of your possessions. For details speak to a member of the team.

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What about pets?

Most landlords are not keen on pets and more often than not there will be a clause forbidding pets. If you do have pets please let us know and we will do our utmost to find you a property where pets are accepted.

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What about smoking?

In the majority of cases properties do not allow smokers and a there will be a clause forbidding smoking inside the property. If you do want a property you can smoke in please let us know and we will do our utmost to find you one where it is accepted.

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Who do you contact for references?

It is in everybody's interest to ensure that you can comfortably afford the rent on your chosen property. We work in conjunction with respectable credit referencing companies to handle this on your behalf. The checks are as much as you'd expect, e.g. verification of employment, past addresses and so on. Sometimes a guarantor may be required and we are always on hand with any questions you may have. Please refer once again to the Guidance Notes.

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When might I need a guarantor?

If your financial reference is weak for any reason, we could ask for a guarantor to support your tenancy. This is a serious commitment, as the guarantor will be as responsible as the tenant for all monies due and obligations agreed for the tenancy. Guarantors need to have strong financial references to show that they will not suffer hardship should they be called upon to pay on your behalf.