Reading Letting Agent, covering Berkshire | property to rent in Reading, Wokingham, Bracknell, Newbury, Basingstoke, Maidenhead & Lower Earley
 
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Why are references required?

Wpm use an independent company for references to check all applicants’ credit history and also a reference from a former landlord, current employer. These references are necessary for us to ensure that you have the means to pay the rent. We check your credit history to check whether you have had any court orders or CCJs against you in the past. The landlord reference is to help us ensure that you are a reliable tenant who pays on time and will not damage the property. You employer reference is to ensure that you are in the employment that you have stated on your application form. However if you have a bad credit history you may still be able to apply for the property, as long as you tell us beforehand. If you mislead us about your credit history then your application will automatically be rejected. However if you have a bad credit history you may still be able to apply for the property, as long as you tell us beforehand. If you mislead us about your credit history then your application will automatically be rejected.

I have been told that I need to pay an application fee when applying to take a property. What is this?

It is a fee taken from the applicant to ensure the property is reserved for them subject to contracts being accepted. This fee usually includes the cost(s) of referencing each adult who will be moving into the property, together with the administration cost(s) involved in preparing for the tenancy commencement.

Do I have to sign a lease with my landlord?

Yes, until the tenancy agreement is signed there is no contract between you and the landlord. If the tenancy does not go ahead as planned you cannot claim against the landlord or Wpm for your costs or out of pocket expenses.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

Yes, a security deposit is required in case of any of damage or dilapidation of the property during your tenancy. Deposits will be protected and usually placed in The Deposit Protection Service (DPS) is a tenancy deposit protection scheme accredited by the Government. It is provided free of charge, and funded entirely by the interest earned from deposits held in the scheme. See ww.depositprotection.com for more information.

Is my deposit refundable?

Your deposit will be held for the duration of the tenancy. At the end of the tenancy you will be checked out of your property and an assessment of damage / dilapidations if any will be made. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you have fulfilled the terms of the tenancy, left the property in accordance with the inventory and schedule of condition, followed the check out notes and ensured that you rent is paid up to date.

As a full-time student do I have to pay council tax?

A student does not have to pay council tax if they live in halls of residence or a house where all of the residents are students in full-time education. This is provided that all of the students in the house have supplied the council office with a copy of their tenancy agreement and student certificate.

What am I, as a tenant, responsible for?

As a tenant you are responsible for:
  • Prompt payment of rent.
  • Prompt payment of gas, electricity, telephone and internet bills if applicable.
  • Reporting any damages and repairs to the property as early as possible to your landlord.
  • Carrying out odd jobs in the property in a Tenant like manner such as changing light bulbs etc.
  • Repairing any damage caused by you at the property which includes unblocking a sink or toilet which has been blocked due to your misuse.

What is my landlord responsible for?

This largely depends on the level of service Wpm has been instructed for the property although your tenancy agreement is between you and your Landlord and therefore the Landlord must ensure that any promises made within this contract are fulfilled.

Fully Managed:

Your Landlord will have appointed Wpm to act for him regarding day to day matters. Therefore you should contact your Wpm on all occasions. They may need to get authorisation from your Landlord for certain requests, but they will then act in accordance with your Landlord's instructions.

Rent Receipt:

Your Landlord will have appointed Wpm to set up the tenancy and then to receive your rent on a regular basis. You should only contact Wpm you have queries regarding your rent. If you have any queries regarding day to day matters you should contact your Landlord.

Tenant Find:

Your Landlord will have appointed Wpm only to find him a Tenant for his property and sometimes to set up the tenancy agreement. Any queries or matters regarding the tenancy once you have moved into the property should be directed to your Landlord. Wpm will not be able to assist you.

What other costs will I have besides the rent?

These will vary but are most likely to include gas, electricity, telephone, water rates, council tax and contents insurance to cover your own possessions.

Who is responsible for the TV licence?

Both the landlord and tenant are liable and must ensure that the address has a valid TV licence. The responsibility on who has to pay for the licence is usually stated in the Tenancy Agreement. However if the landlord provides a television with the property then they would be expected to pay for the TV licence, particularly in any communal areas. But if a tenant wishes to watch TV in their own room or bring their own television into the property they are likely to be expected to pay the licence fee, each property is different and the tenancy agreement must be consulted for clarification.

What maintenance is the landlord required to complete?

Your Landlord has statutory obligations to maintain and repair certain areas and items in your property. Your Landlord must ensure that:
  • The gas appliances and pipe work at the property are safe and is obliged to have a qualified engineer to test these on an annual basis. You will be provided with a copy of this certificate which should indicate that all of the appliances and pipe work are safe.
  • The electrical appliances that they have supplied to you at the property are safe. They will require access to your property in order for a qualified engineer to conduct this check on an annual basis.
  • The structure of the building is maintained to include walls, drainpipes, guttering, roof and windows.
  • The hot water and heating are operational. If they should malfunction, then your Landlord is responsible for ensuring that it is fixed, once you have altered them, in the shortest time possible.
Your landlord is not responsible for repairing any damage that you have caused at the property - this is your responsibility.

What is classed as reasonable wear and tear?

Fair wear and tear is the normal deterioration of an item in normal use, however it is a landlord's decision on what is reasonable wear and tear and what is excessive dilapidation. Fair wear and tear is based on the length of the tenancy, the number and ages of the Tenants, the condition and ages of the items and the expected lifespan of these items. The condition of the property is noted down in the inventory prior to the tenancy beginning for reference of the original condition of items in question.

Can the landlord enter the property without my permission?

The answer to this is usually stated in the tenancy agreement. In most cases a landlord cannot enter the property without giving the tenant reasonable notice beforehand, usually no less than 24 hours. Please see your tenancy agreement for more details. However, in the event of an emergency which may affect the safety of the occupants or the property, it may be necessary to gain access without this notice.

Can my landlord increase my rent at anytime?

No, the tenancy agreement determines when and by how much your rent can be increased. If the agreement does not specify an amount or time, then the landlord must negotiate this with you. Neither the landlord nor the tenant can alter the original tenancy agreement without the other party's consent.

Can my landlord take my possessions if I fall behind on rent?

No. The Landlord can take certain action via the courts in order to take action against you for non payment of rent, but if you are occupying the property under an assured shorthold tenancy or a fixed term contract, your Landlord cannot enter and take your possessions from the property. If you fall behind with your rent it is always best that you contact your Landlord to discuss how you will ensure that any money due can be paid. Your Landlord is entitled to take action to regain possession of the property via the courts if you continue to not pay your rent.

Can I redecorate or make any other alterations to the property?

This will be stated in the tenancy agreement, but in most cases you cannot decorate or alter the property without the landlord or property owner’s consent.

How do I end my lease early?

When you enter into a tenancy agreement with your Landlord it will state how long this period is for. During this time neither you nor the Landlord can end the tenancy unless there have been breaches of the terms. If there is a break clause in place you may be able to end your tenancy early according to the terms of the break clause. You should refer to your tenancy agreement and discuss this with your Landlord. A fixed term lease give you security to occupy a property for a set period of time and you will be responsible for paying the rent for this sent period of time which was agreed at the commencement of the tenancy.

Can I stay longer than the agreed term of my tenancy?

Once the initial fixed term is coming to an end, it may be possible to continue the agreement for a further period of time by mutual agreement with the landlord concerned.

Can my landlord refuse to give me back my deposit?

If you have entered into a assured shorthold tenancy in England and Wales, then the return of the deposit is subject to tenancy deposit protection. The scheme which your Landlord has chosen will be able to provide you with information on the process for returning your deposit. These schemes provide an alternative dispute resolution process whereby an independent adjudicator will make a final decision on the disbursement of the deposit money.

Who can help me if I have problems with my landlord?

If your property is fully managed with Wpm then please contact us directly. However if your property is not fully managed then in all instances you must first discuss your complaint with your landlord and if necessary address this complaint in writing. If you are unhappy with the response you receive from your landlord then contact the Property Ombudsman.