USEFUL INFORMATION FOR TENANTS*

Here at Keppie Massie Residential we appreciate that our landlords properties are also our tenants homes and endeavour to help you through the process from viewing to move in, and beyond for our fully managed tenancies.

Listed below are a few frequently asked questions to assist you in the process, however if there is anything that you are unsure of or need to ask please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team on 0151 236 9660 or property@keppiemassie.com. We are happy to help.

How do I arrange a viewing?

Call the office on 0151 236 9660, email property@keppiemassie.com, contact us via www.keppie.massie.com/estateagency or though Rightmove or Zoopla

How do I apply for a property?

Call the office and complete the application form. Each adult over 18 who will be living in the property must be referenced and undergo checks under “Right to Rent” legislation whether or not their income is to be counted towards the rent.

Once reservation/referencing fees are paid each applicant will receive a secure link via email from UK Tenant Data to provide further information and allow the checks to be undertaken.

Current fees are listed here.

The application details will be put forward to the landlord for approval, once accepted we can proceed subject to references and contract.

How much income do I need to afford the rent?

Income criteria is generally that you need to be earning 30x the monthly rent per annum: on joint applications this would be 50% of that amount each (or combination thereof)

If you do not fit this criteria you may still apply with a guarantor.

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is a person who agrees to guarantee rent and other costs incurred by the tenant in the event of tenant default. They need to be a UK home owner of 3 years standing, still in residency and able to afford the rental payments. They need to be referenced separately and if self-employed must have 3 years accounts. A guarantor must read Guarantor Responsibilities in the full application pack before agreeing to proceed.

What information do I need to provide to apply?

You will need photographic ID (passport or driving licence) and proof of current home address.

None UK/EU citizens will also need to provide relevant visas/right to rent documentation/letters of acceptance from university or work place
For referencing you will be asked for income/employer details and undergo credit

How long before I can move in?

We require 5-7 days form the landlords acceptance of your application to deal with the relevant procedures. However, dependant on individual circumstances, this can take longer.

Where necessary the property will be cleared from the previous tenancy, any maintenance/repairs carried out, safety checks completed and then the property can be cleaned and made ready for occupation; then the inventory can be booked and a check in appointment arranged – we will contact the Lead Tenant to arrange a sign up appointment and send details of the initial monies to be paid.

Please note that all initial monies must be paid before the sign up can take place. These appointments take up to an hour, all applicants and your guarantor (of applicable) must be present.

Move in cannot be arranged unless all paperwork is in place and all monies received.
Do not make any moving arrangements until this appointment has been confirmed.

What is a Lead Tenant?

This is a nominated tenant within the group who will be our main contact; this person is usually the most responsible and reliable person within any group of sharers. The Lead Tenancy will be expected to relay important information from Keppie Massie Residential to the group.

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

The AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and the landlord. The AST will be prepared for you to sign as soon as successful referencing has taken place on each tenant (including guarantor if applicable) It is extremely important that you fully read your tenancy agreement, and should you have any questions relating to it, that you ask for clarification or seek independent advice before signing it. A copy of the tenancy will be issued to you (and your guarantor) for your records. NB further copies of the tenancy will be charged at £20 each.

Generally properties are rented for a period of 6 or 12 months, but the tenancy can be renewed after the initial period if both the landlord and tenant are happy to do so.

The tenancy agreement must be signed by all Tenants (and Guarantor) prior to occupation

Once the tenancy has commenced you have security of tenure for the fixed period, providing you are not in breach of the terms of the tenancy agreement. At the expiry of a fixed term tenancy the landlord can take possession of his property (in the case of an AST 2 months’ notice must first be served) unless it is agreed to extend or renew the tenancy. In the case of a Company Let the Tenancy Agreement must be signed by an authorised signatory of the company. We will require conformation of the signatory’s position within the company and of their authority to sign the tenancy agreement.

What is an inventory?

An inventory is prepared as an ‘as seen’ snapshot of the property and its contents as the time of inspection and is compiled as a fair, impartial and accurate record of the property’s internal condition and its contents. It is independently compiled to provide a report which both protects the property (for the Landlord) and the deposit (for the Tenant). The inventory will be provided to the tenant either in paper form or by email and tenants will have 7 days to submit any discrepancies to the inventory along with photographic evidence as such. Emails will suffice as reporting. The inventory will then be used as a comparison on check out. Current costs are listed here

What do I need to pay to move in?

Once referencing is completed and a move in date confirmed we will email your initial monies invoice to you – this generally will be first months’ rent, deposit and inventory fee, any variance to this due to individual circumstances will have been discussed with you prior and will be confirmed before payment. Funds must be cleared to our client account before keys can be released – please note that card payments can take 3-4 days to clear and payments from overseas accounts can take longer: if in doubt please check with your bank.

How many keys/fobs will I be issued with?

All keys, fobs and permits will be signed for at the check in appointment. There will be one front door key/fob per tenant with single keys provided, where applicable, for the following: rear door, post box, alley key, gate key etc. Where parking is provided and a permit is required you will be issued with the relevant fob/permit which covers one car park space only. It is your responsibility as tenant to ensure that you adhere to parking regulations and any infringement of the same, along with any resultant fines, will be entirely your responsibility.

If tenants lock themselves out they can call the office during working hours to collect a spare key (if available) to enable them you have a new one cut (at their own expense); a £25 deposit will be payable and the key must be returned within 24 hours. Out of hours you would need to call the emergency contractor on call and would be liable for his call out charge and also any resultant locksmith charges which will be payable on the day. Should a change of locks be necessary you must inform us immediately and provide us with a copy of the new key within 24 hours

Where is my deposit kept?

At the start of your tenancy you will be required to lodge a deposit against any potential damage and disrepair not due to fair wear and tear. Security deposits cannot be used to pay rent and interest is not payable on deposit monies.

As required by 2004 Housing Act all new deposits paid by a tenant for an AST must be safeguarded by a government authorised scheme, which also provides a dispute resolution scheme to deal quickly and fairly with any disagreements that may arise between landlord and tenants in regards to deposit claims. Client Money Protection insurance is provided by Propertymark

For all tenancies where we are instructed by the landlord to hold the deposit we shall do as stakeholder under the terms of the scheme and you will be provided with the details. Deposits are lodged with the Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com) within 14 days of receipt and protected by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (www.thedisputeservice.co.uk). Tenants will be informed of the lodgement and be issued with prescribed information and terms and conditions.

Where we are not instructed by the Landlord to hold the deposit (ie: a Let Only Tenancy) the landlord may lodge with his elected deposit scheme and inform you accordingly. The way your deposit is held with be detailed on your tenancy agreement.

Am I allowed pets at the property?

No pets are allowed without express written permission from the landlord. In the case of many apartment blocks pets are not allowed under the superior lease and the landlord cannot actually give permission. Keeping pets without permission is a breach of your tenancy agreement and you would be asked to leave accordingly.

Is smoking allowed in the property?

All of our properties are strictly no smoking, this includes (but not exclusive to) shisha pipes and vaping. Again this would be a breach of your tenancy agreement.

Am I allowed to have guests to stay?

Whilst it is expected that tenants may wish to have occasional guests to stay for short periods, please not that long periods or multiple guests may constitute a breach of your tenancy agreement.

How do I report a maintenance or repair issue?

Email property@keppiemassie.com or call the office on 0151 236 9660
If an emergency occurs out of hours call the office number and you will be provided with the contact number for the contractor on call. Please note that this is for genuine emergencies only and all routine repairs/maintenance should be reported next day as normal.

How do I change the date that I pay my rent?

Contact the office with the details, we can then contact the landlord on your behalf to consent to the request, then accounts can calculate what your next payments need to be to enact the adjustment.

What do I do if I experience problems paying my rent?

Please contact the office immediately. We have a far better chance of liaising with the landlord on your behalf, and requesting a payment plan to prevent you falling into arrears which may affect your tenancy, the sooner you talk to us the better.

How do I give notice if I wish to leave?

Notice is one month from rent due date. If you are on a 6 months contract then notice needs to be submitted by month 5 rent due date, on a 12 months contract at month 11. If you are on a rolling /periodic contract the 1 months’ notice from your rent due date. This needs to be in writing, email will suffice.

What is a check-out appointment?

This is a pre-arranged appointment generally with the inventory clerk or a member of KMR staff, although occasionally it may be with the landlord themselves. The property must be cleared of all your possessions, cleaned and ready for keys to be handed over – as per the exit guidance notes, which will be provided to you. All keys/fobs/parking permits must be returned on this appointment; you will be charged rent at a daily rate until all are returned or you confirm lost. In the case of loss you will be charged for replacements and, if necessary for security, to change the locks.

How is my deposit returned when I leave?

Deposits cover damage to the property or furniture, breakages, removal of landlord’s belongings, replacing missing items, rent arrears and any administration charges as associated with breaches to the tenancy agreement. It will also cover any cleaning costs required at the end of the tenancy if the property is not handed back in the same condition it was handed over – excepting acceptable wear and tear. Check out guidance notes will be provided to tenants and a check out appointment made where the ingoing inventory will be used in conjunction with the check-out report to assess if there are any allowable deductions from deposit. If not the deposit is returned in full and tenants will receive an email from the DPS with instruction on how to release their funds. Where deductions are being claimed report and costs are sent to both landlord and tenants; if they both agree then deposit release is applied on that basis.

What if there is a dispute over my deposit?

In the event of dispute we will negotiate between the parties and if no agreement can be made it will be escalated to the independent dispute service (www.thedisputeservce.co.uk) who will examine all the evidence (check in and check out reports, email trail etc) and their decision is binding on both parties.

Who’s best to contact if I have any further questions?

Please contact any member of the lettings team who will be more than happy to help you

*This guide is not intended to be a substitute for other professional or legal advice