As a tenant, you need to have an up to date, signed tenancy agreement

This tenancy is known as an assured shorthold tenancy and it is an important legal document that details your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and the rights and responsibilities of your landlord. You should keep it in a safe place, as there may be a charge for any replacement tenancy agreements we must issue. This tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and your landlord and must be renewed, for a fee, at the end of each tenancy period. There is a charge of £60.00 (plus an additional £5.00 for every additional adult on the tenancy agreement) for tenancy renewals.

If there is anything about your tenancy agreement that you do not understand, please get in touch with a member of staff or seek advice from Citizen’s Advice Bureau or your Local Authority.

We are dedicated to providing a good quality of service to both you and your landlord. We do our best to ensure that you live in a secure, functional home in a safe environment free from anti-social behaviour. As such, we expect that you would also do your best to ensure your home is kept in the best possible state and that you treat your neighbours as you would want them to treat you, and report any problems you may be having to our property management team as soon as you become aware of them.

To help facilitate a smooth tenancy, we have listed the Dos and Don’ts of renting a home:

The Dos

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Pay your rent on time and in full. Any delays in payments may result in a £30.00 late charge being added to your rent account unless we are given a minimum warning of 24 hours before your rent is due to be paid.
Pay your gas, electricity, water bills and Council Tax. Unless by prior arrangement set out in your tenancy agreement, all bills are your responsibility to pay.
Get home contents insurance to protect your belongings. Your personal possessions are your own responsibility and we are under no obligation to replace or reimburse you for any items that are damaged/stolen.
You must live in your home from the start of your tenancy. You are responsible for the rent from the start of your tenancy. If you leave the premises vacant by your own choice, you will still need to pay for this period.
You must not give your home to anyone else. Even if you have already made arrangements with us to move out, you cannot hand over your property to anyone else. All new tenants must be vetted by this agency and, while we consider referrals, that by no means guarantees they will be accepted into the property.
Please let us know if your contact details, such as your mobile phone number or e-mail address, change. This is important in case we need to contact you due to an emergency; for example, if you have a burst pipe that needs to be tended to immediately.
The use of any drugs or paraphernalia in the property is strictly forbidden. We take any complaints of drug abuse seriously and, if found to be true, we will cooperate fully in any criminal investigation launched against you. Your tenancy will also be terminated, as it is a breach of the terms of your contract.
You must ask our permission before bringing a pet into your home. Not all properties are suitable for pets and your property may be restricted in the types of pets you may own.
Keep pets under control and clear up any mess. Any pets you own must not be causing damage to the property or its furnishings, and you must clean up any mess made on the premises frequently.
Keep your home and garden clean to reduce the risk of pest and vermin infestation. It is your responsibility to keep your home and garden well maintained and to be conscious of how your waste disposal can attract vermin (see our blog post Rats for more information). The cost for tending to an infestation will be payable by you unless investigations show the cause is outside your control.
You should try to be a good neighbour and keep good relations. We operate a no tolerance policy toward nuisance tenants and take any reports of anti-social behaviour seriously. Anti-social behaviour can be anything from playing music too loudly or too late at night to open aggression towards others. If our investigations show that you are instigating these behaviours, we will allow only one chance to correct your behaviour before beginning eviction proceedings. Conversely, if you are experiencing anti-social behaviour from your neighbours, we need to be notified immediately so that a documented timeline can be established as we deal with the complaint. See our What Is Anti-Social Behaviour? blog post for more information on what constitutes anti-social behaviour.

Safety and Security

Check electrical plugs and flexes regularly. If you notice anything unusual, you must notify us immediately so the cause can be investigated.
Test your smoke detector regularly. If you find the smoke detector is not working, you must replace the batteries. Only after replacing the batteries should you notify us if problems persist.
Take care if using candles in your home. It is of vital importance to be conscious of having an open flame in the home; accidents can happen to anyone and an unattended flame, no matter how small, can have serious repercussions that can result not only in the loss of your home, but also in the loss of life.
Allow us access for the yearly gas inspection. Your boiler is a vital part of your home that can also pose a danger if allowed to fall into disrepair. There have been documented cases of boilers exploding because of improper care, and a yearly inspection is how we monitor the condition of your boiler. It is so important, in fact, that the government has made it a legal requirement in the UK for a property to have an up to date gas safety certificate after an assessment carried out by a Corgi registered engineer.
Tell us if you are going to be away from your home for longer than 21 days. We can keep an eye on your property for you if you are going to be away for a while. We want to make sure that nothing happens to the property in your absence, such as a leak, that you might have otherwise been able to inform us of and that could cause massive damage both to the property and your belongings.
Keep your home safe. Please do not store any potentially hazardous items on the premises, even in outdoor storage facilities, such as flammable liquids. As a tenant, you have a duty of care to your landlord and your home to not endanger it in any way.

Upkeep

Tell us about any repairs that are needed. Any repairs for damage that is determined to have been caused by late notification may be payable by you. As a tenant, you have a responsibility to report any and all repair issues that need to be attended to by the agency.
Get our permission before doing any home improvements. While we appreciate your desire to improve your home during your tenancy, all improvements must first be approved by the owner of the property. We do not usually allow rooms, particularly communal rooms such as the living room, to be painted bright colours. Any DIY work around the home must also be approved and, in some cases, may be carried out by our own workmen.
Keep your home well ventilated to reduce condensation. We understand the urge to keep your home locked up and secure to keep out the cold weather, but your property must be ventilated even in winter to reduce the risk of condensation and mould growth. When cooking food or drying clothes in the home, the steam must be given an avenue to exit the property and not allow damp to collect on the walls and windows. Mould growth is a serious problem in UK homes and can lead to serious health effects, as well as being horrible to look at.

Other

Get our written permission if you want to run a business from your home. While we encourage your personal and financial growth, it is important for us to know if you plan to start a business that operates from your home. Certain homes are not suited for certain types of business, for insurance and practicality reasons, and it is something that must be discussed to determine the best way forward.
Report any tenancy or housing problems to us. As mentioned above, any problems caused by delays in notification are your responsibility to set right, if it is clear there was time to prevent further damage/problems.

Gardens and Outside Areas

Keep your garden clean, tidy and free from rubbish. A cluttered garden, or one with weeds and grass that have been allowed to grow unchecked, can be a host to all manner of potentially harmful creatures. Waste foods should be properly disposed of in sealed containers to prevent nuisance scavengers, such as foxes and rats, who can carry diseases transferable to humans. Unless by prior arrangement with the agent, maintaining outside areas is your responsibility.
Check with us before cutting down any trees. Some trees are protected by special orders or may be deemed unsafe to be cut down by non-professionals due to positioning or surrounding structures.
Supervise children on balconies, outside and in communal areas. Accidents can happen to anyone at any time; please do all that you can to ensure they do not happen to you or your family.
Check safety latches on windows and balconies are safe and secure. This is especially important if you have young children, but an important thing to check for older children and even adults as well. Not only does it make your home vulnerable to intruders if your windows and doors are not secure, but injuries can occur as well.

Communal Areas

Be considerate to other people when using all outside or communal areas, including inside stairwells and walkways. You must treat these areas as you would expect to find them. Do not leave rubbish or unattended personal belongings in communal areas and make efforts to keep these areas tidy for the benefit of all tenants. We have a strict policy for monitoring clutter and, if our requests to remove any unwanted items go ignored, we will remove the items for you regardless of value.

The Don’ts

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Don’t sublet your home. Your contract does not allow you permission to sublet your home to anyone. If you want to leave the property and want to recommend someone you know as a tenant, you may do this, but a recommendation does not guarantee they will meet the renting criteria and they may not be offered the property.
Don’t intentionally damage your home. Any damages that are discovered to come from negligent or intentional acts will be repairable at your cost and, depending on the severity, we may also choose to terminate your tenancy.
Don’t tamper, interfere with or alter the electrical or gas installations or meters in or serving the property. Any alterations to fittings and installations in your property must be carried out by a professional only. Alterations made without proper knowledge of the system can cause serious and sometimes irreparable damage to these installations and the costs for repairing them in those instances will fall upon you. If you believe some changes need to be made, you must contact the office and arrange for an engineer to visit the property and make an assessment. The professional opinion of the engineer will then be honoured.

Communal Areas

Don’t allow anyone who you do not know into your home, or into communal areas, such as entrance halls, stairways, and lifts. It is imperative to keep the property secure, for your safety and that of others. If you do not know someone and they can cannot produce any form of ID providing them with a valid reason to be on the premises, do not allow them entry. If they persist and will not leave, we would strongly recommend you alert the police and do not exit your home until they arrive.
Don’t smoke in enclosed spaces. It is illegal in the UK to smoke in enclosed areas and, as managing agents, we have a legal obligation to prevent smoking in such areas. If you fail to adhere to this law, we will assist in any legal action taken against you and your tenancy agreement may be terminated.
Don’t vandalise or leave rubbish (including discarded furniture and white goods). It is important to leave communal areas the way you would like them to be left for you, as communal areas are for the benefit and enjoyment of all tenants. If we are forced to remove rubbish on your behalf, you will be held accountable for the costs.
• Don’t block access points to the property or access to installations, such as boilers and plumbing, with furniture and personal possessions. There may be times during your tenancy where we might need to access the property in an emergency. In such times, access needs to be unimpeded and so you must keep clutter in your home to a reasonable amount and make sure these places are not blocked in a way that prevents investigation and problem resolution.

Behaviour

You should try to be a good neighbour and keep good relations. We operate a no tolerance policy toward nuisance tenants and take any reports of anti-social behaviour seriously. Anti-social behaviour can be anything from playing music too loudly or too late at night to open aggression towards others. If our investigations show that you are instigating these behaviours, we will allow only one chance to correct your behaviour before beginning eviction proceedings. Conversely, if you are experiencing anti-social behaviour from your neighbours, we need to be notified immediately so that a documented timeline can be established as we deal with the complaint. See our What Is Anti-Social Behaviour? blog post for more information on what constitutes anti-social behaviour.

Landlord’s Responsibilities

Our landlords want you to live in a home that feels secure, a home where you feel comfortable and content. They don’t want you to feel intimidated by anti-social behaviours, or like your home is falling apart. To make sure these things are realised, a landlord has a number of responsibilities to a tenant.

Their Responsibilities to You as a Tenant Are:

•  Make sure the structure and exterior of your home is maintained.
•  Make sure all fixtures and fittings for water, gas, electricity, space and water heating are maintained and in working order.
•  Periodically decorate the outside of your home and any shared areas.
•  Make sure that common entrances, halls, stairways, lifts, passageways and other communal areas are maintained.
•  Carry out repairs for which the landlords are responsible for, such as repairing or replacing fixtures and fittings owned.
•  Protect your deposit and arrange a refund at the end of the tenancy subject to any necessary deductions.
•  Carry out annual gas safety checks.
•  Carry out periodic tests as per statutory regulations for all electrical installations.
•  Our landlords comply with the 1998 Data Protection Act as amended from time to time. Our landlords can disclose personal information they hold about you to third parties if it is reasonable for us to do so in the course of their business. Examples of third parties we may need to make disclosure to are other landlords, the police or other public agencies.

If you feel our landlords have not kept to the terms of this agreement, you can use our Complaints Procedure to tell us. If you are still unhappy with the response, you can take advice from a Citizen’s Advice Bureau, law centre or solicitor. As a final step, you can contact an independent redress scheme.