Having viewed & selected a property with us, you may have some questions.
Q. What will you need from me?
A. Once you have viewed a property you wish to move in to, we make the following steps easy for you. To reserve your property and stop any other viewings, a non-refundable Holding Deposit is required which enables us to hold the Property for you, subject to contract and satisfactory references. The Holding Charge forms part of the Tenant Administration Fee and the remaining amount (combined of the Deposit, Rent and any remaining fees) is payable 5 days before signing the Tenancy Agreement. At this stage and subject to the Landlord's agreement, we will advise other applicants that the Property is under offer. If satisfactory progress has not been made after 5 working days, due to your delay, then we may re-market the Property. In order to successfully complete your application and prior to any Tenancy commencing, we will require proof of residency and proof of identity (photographic ID) for each Tenant. (Proof of identity can be passport, identity card or a driver's licence). If you smoke or have pets, please check the Landlord will accept you as a tenant, before making an application.
Q. What happens once I have applied?
A. We use a new state of the art online application service, which means that it is now even easier to apply for a property.
We will email you the link and password to your unique form, if you're experiencing difficulties you can call the referencing company on 0191 2682105. Students require a guarantor (unless you are a mature student erning 2.5x the rent) which means that a similar link to an on-line guarantor application will also be sent to that party (usually a parent or close friend or relative). We understand this process may take a little longer to complete. Failure to complete the forms in full at the outset will result in delay in processing. The information we obtain may be discussed and shown to the Landlord, so they can make a final decision on your application.
The referencing process is designed to get you moved in as quickly as possible. Credit checking is instant, and we usually find a reference only slows down if we are awaiting a reference from an employer, or landlord who has been unreachable. Please let them know we will be getting in touch as this always speeds everything up. If you have had any issues in the past with credit, bankruptcy or CCJs, we encourage you to be up front about it. Your information is treat with strict confidence. Abode and our landlords are fully aware it is a tough climate to work in at the moment. It is in our interests to get you moved in, and we have ways and means to move you in such as selecting and referencing a home-owning guarantor, or paying a higher deposit/more rent in advance, all subject to the landlord's agreement.
Please be advised that your income needs to be at least 2.5 times the monthly rent in order to comply with the referencing criteria. Different rules apply with Students, International and Housing Benefit applicants, so please discuss your situation with our admin team if you have any queries. Any detrimental or false credit information may adversely affect your application and you will forfeit your administration charge as it is non refundable.
Q. I have pets - do I need to declare them?
A. Yes. If the Landlord has given permission for pets to be kept at a Property, then an additional refundable sum may be due on your deposit.
This sum may vary according to the requirements of the Landlord and the number and size of the pets to be kept at the Property, so please call or email us. This figure will be confirmed to you in writing prior to Check in.
Q. What do I need to pay on signing the tenancy agreement?
A. This varies per property and is typically one month's rent plus the refundable damage deposit, plus the Tenant Administration charge (less the amount initially paid as Holding Fee). All monies are held in our protected Client account. No interest is received, or payable to the Tenant but funds are taken into account by the bank in calculation of our bank account charges. The Tenancy Deposit will be held in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (usually the DPS).
Q. How do I pay on check-in?
A. VISA / Mastercard / Solo / Maestro / Online Transfer / Cash / Cheque
Final payment must be received at least 5 days in advance of your check in unless bringing cash to the office (not recommended, for your safety). A personal Cheque is not acceptable on check in day. A personal cheque will need to be received 10 working days in advance. Cheques should be made payable to Abode Lettings.
Q. When can I collect the keys?
A. Preparation of an inventory will be carried out before or during your check in by ourselves or your landlord. Please contact our admin team to arrange a convenient appointment for all Tenants to visit the Newcastle office branch to collect keys and sign the Tenancy Agreement on the day the Tenancy commences. We must have in our possession cleared funds, a signed Tenancy Agreement, completed references, photographic ID, details of appropriate Contents Insurance (if required) and a completed Standing Order Mandate before we can hand keys over to you.
Q. I wish to extend my contract.
A. Should your Tenancy be renewed, there will be a small administration charge. Please contact our admin team for more details. The advantage of a new agreement is that there is another fixed term, thereby giving both the Landlord and the Tenant further security.
Q. What about insurance?
A. Tenants are advised to take out appropriate contents insurance, which includes third party cover for the Landlord, as specified in the Tenancy Agreement. Insurance should be in place as soon as the Tenancy commences. We offer specialist contents insurance cover for Tenants which includes third party cover for the Landlord's goods and recommend that Tenants complete the proposal form at the time of signing the Tenancy Agreement.
Q. What about utilities & council tax?
A. Abode endeavours to make the move-in process as easy as possible. This means that, if we manage the property, we are willing to notify Gas, Electric and Water companies as well as the local Council of your tenancy start date. Within 2 weeks you should have a welcome letter from each company, and the council instructing you on what happens next and there is a likelihood they will send you a Direct Debit mandate to pay for your usage. Direct Debit is recommended to avoid falling into arrears. We cannot deal with phone/broadband companies on your behalf unless bills are included in your rent. If you are moving into a property that does not have a telephone line connected then it will be your responsibility to pay the provider's connection fee plus any ongoing rental charges.
Q. How do I pay future rent?
A. Your rent in cleared funds is payable in advance and should reach our Client account (or your landlord's account if dealing with landlord direct) on the rent due date as specified in your Tenancy Agreement. (eg Tenancy commenced on the 1st day of the month then the rent due date is monthly every 1st day thereafter and funds should leave your account on or before the 1st). Rent is paid by Standing Order Mandate commanding your bank to pay the account of your landlord, or Abode - this will be made clear to you when signing the tenancy agreement if you are unsure. Rent should leave your account three days before it is due to enable it to reach our account on the due date. Standing Orders are your instructions to your bank to pay us. They cannot be cancelled or changed by us once they are set up. Please note: Notification of late payment of rent is charged at £25. Legal notices are charged at £50.
Q. What happens to my tenancy deposit?
A. If we are managing the Property, your Tenancy Deposit will be held as Stakeholder in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme, which means that it can be released as soon as both parties agree. (please refer to your Tenancy Agreement). If you are dealing with your landlord, the deposit will be transferred to the landlord for them to protect for you.
Contact details of the scheme:
The Deposit Protection Service
Or call the dedicated help line on 0844 4727 000.
Q. Nothing has happened for a few days. Who do I call for a progress report on my application?
A. We want to help you move in as quickly as possible. If there is a delay, this is normally down to incomplete referencing or unpaid rent & deposit.
For a progress report on your application or for any queries, please contact our admin team on:
- Tel: 0191 276 1111
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org