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FAQs

Your most frequently asked questions

Whether you are an experienced renter or a first timer, you will have a lot of questions. We’ve worked with our principal managing agent, Touchstone, to compile a list of Frequently Asked Questions and to provide some guidance in response. We hope this will help to make your experience of renting with Picture Living as straightforward as possible but inevitably we can’t cover everything and, despite our best efforts, some of our answers may not be quite as clear as we hope! So please don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to your customer advisor if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for.

  • Affordability & payments
  • Sharers
  • Types of tenancy
  • Pets
  • Gardens
  • Making changes to the property
  • Repairs & maintenance
  • Emergencies
  • Permitted occupants
  • Insurance
  • Feedback & complaints
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Moving in & out
  • Health & safety
  • Council tax, Utilities & Bills
  • Keys & security
  • Deposits
  • Referencing & right to rent checks
  • Inventories & Inspections
  • Parking & cycle storage
  • Rubbish & recycling

Affordability & payments

01 What can I afford?

From both our points of view, it’s important to know you can afford your rent. We work on the basis that your combined household income needs to be at least 2.5 times the annual rent. This is just a guide, so it’s important you make your own calculation of what you can afford, based on your other commitments.

We may still consider your application even if your combined household income is less than that amount. However, we will require a guarantor to underwrite the commitments you will be making when you enter into the tenancy. We require the income of the guarantor to be at least 4 times the annual rent.

02 What will I have to pay and when?

We don’t charge referencing, administration or renewal fees or any costs in respect of inventories, check-ins or check-outs.

We don’t charge holding deposits. We take a fixed £500 as a security deposit (or 5 weeks’ rent where the weekly rent is less than £100). We will always ensure that your deposit is protected by a government-approved deposit protection scheme.

If you move in on or before the 15th of the month, your first rental payment (“the initial rent”) will cover the period from the start of your tenancy to the end of that calendar month. If you move in after the 15th of the month your initial rent will cover the period from the start of your tenancy to the end of the following calendar month.

Prior to moving in, you will need to pay the security deposit and the initial rent.

Thereafter rents are due on the 1st of the month by standing order.

03 What other costs will I be responsible for?

Our property will become your home for the duration of your stay. During this period, in addition to the rent, you will be responsible for all the other usual living costs including council tax, utilities, a television licence, phone & internet services.

We insure the building, but not the contents, so if you decide you want to take out home contents insurance this is also at your cost.

04 What happens if my circumstances change?

Whilst a fixed term tenancy is a legal contract, we recognise that there are sometimes circumstances beyond your control that mean that it is impossible for you to continue in the tenancy. If this is the case, please contact us at the earliest opportunity. We will work with you to either maintain the tenancy or seek a solution that is fair and equitable.

05 What happens if I can’t pay my rent?

Rent is due on the date advised in your tenancy agreement. If you think you’re going to have difficulty making the next rent payment, please get in touch with your credit control administrator as soon as possible. We will try to help you sustain your tenancy and, if any arrears of rent accumulate, to agree a suitable timeframe over which those arrears can be repaid.

Whatever the circumstances, we’d encourage you to speak to us – ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away and, ultimately, we will take legal action to recover possession of the property and obtain a money judgement in respect of any arrears if we can’t reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without the intervention of the courts.

06 Why have I had a rent increase?

Your rent will be reviewed on the anniversary of the start of your tenancy. Where rents for similar properties in the local market have increased, an increase in your rent may be sought. Our managing agents will write to you at least 4 weeks in advance of the anniversary date, advising what the new rent will be.

If you pay your rent by standing order, you will need to amend the standing order to reflect the increased rent.

Sharers

01 What about sharers?

We are happy to accommodate sharers and have adjusted some of our policies to make sharing easier.

Every sharer is individually referenced for their portion of the rent or on their joint income for the whole rent. Where a sharer has insufficient income, a guarantor can be provided.

Every sharer must be listed on the tenancy agreement; therefore, every tenant is jointly and severally liable for the rent.

We will take part-rent payments from each individual as long as, collectively, they meet the full rent. Likewise, we can split the deposit payment between sharers, and will seek to accommodate your requirements in terms of the registration and the return of the deposit.

02 What do we need to do if one of our sharers wants to move out?

We are happy to accommodate this and let your group find another sharer to join you. But the new sharer must be referenced and a new tenancy agreement or assignment issued, and the full rent must be met throughout. We do not insist on new fixed terms or charge any fees.

If a sharer wishes to remain in sole occupation after others leave, we are happy to accommodate this but you would need to be referenced for the full rent and sort out the deposit payment with your fellow tenants.

03 Can I start sharing the property with someone else?

We allow customers to start sharing, but any new sharers that want to move in must be fully referenced and a new tenancy agreement or assignment must be issued beforehand. We do not insist on new fixed terms or charge any fees.

Types of tenancy

01 What types of tenancy do you offer?

In England
We offer a range of Assured Shorthold Tenancies. Our standard tenancy is for 12 months fixed term. We also have options to rent for just 6 months or a 3-year term (less a day) with annual pre-agreed rent reviews. The latter option offers long-term security.

Standard Tenancy – The rent is set at the market rate and is reviewed every year. The tenancy is for 12 months with no break.

At the end of the fixed term your tenancy becomes periodic, which simply means that you can continue to stay in the property until you decide you want to leave. You will have to give 1 month’s notice.

Extended Tenancy – The rent is set at the market rate and increases 2.5% every year. The tenancy is for 36 months (less a day), but with the option for you to serve 1 month’s notice to end the tenancy at any time after the first 11 months.

At the end of the fixed term your tenancy becomes periodic unless you ask for a further fixed term. Periodic simply means that you can continue to stay in the property until you decide you want to leave. You will have to give 1 month’s notice.

Short Tenancy – The rent is set at market rate plus £25 per month. The tenancy is for 6 months with no break.

2 months before the end of your fixed term you will be asked if you want another tenancy. You will have the choice, subject to referencing, to continue on a Short Tenancy at current market rent plus £25 per month. Alternatively, you can convert to our Standard Tenancy or Extended Tenancy.

In Scotland
Our standard tenancy is a Private Residential Tenancy, drawn up in line with the Scottish Government’s Model Tenancy Agreement. This form of tenancy is open-ended. The rent is set at the market rate and is reviewed every year. You can leave at any time by serving 28 days’ notice.

02 Are your properties furnished?

The majority of our properties are let unfurnished.

Pets

01 Can I have a pet?

We know how important pets are to many of our renters and do our best to provide homes that are suitable for you and your pet.

Renters can keep small birds, small caged animals (such as hamsters) and fish without permission.

You must seek prior written consent should you wish to keep any other animals, including cats and dogs, at the property. Renters who wish to obtain an additional pet after moving into the property must first apply for permission in writing.

Pets are welcome on condition that you pick up after them and they do not prove a nuisance or cause distress to any of the other residents in the area. This includes excessive noise. Please keep dogs under control and on a lead in any public places, communal areas and walkways.

We’re sorry but if your pet becomes a nuisance or causes distress you will not be able to keep it at the home you rent.

02 What do you consider when assessing requests to keep a pet?

We will ask for proof that you are a responsible owner and that the pet is suitable for the home you are renting.

You will need to provide:

  1. a reference from your former landlord if you have rented with your pet previously;
  2. a completed information form for your pet, including contact details of your veterinary practice and a nominated person who will care for your pets in case of an emergency;
  3. confirmation from your veterinary practice that your pet has all relevant vaccinations up to date and is regularly treated for fleas and worms (as appropriate).

Generally speaking, we will allow dogs and cats in our houses. In flats, more consideration needs to be given to the size of the animal and the views of other residents. Typically, we will allow one house cat or one small dog, but may reject applications for more than one pet and for larger animals. In some flatted schemes, where we don’t own the freehold, we will also need to be aware of, and comply with, any rules laid down by the freeholder/managing agent.

03 Are there any additional costs for pet owners?

An additional pet rent of £25 per month is payable to cover any additional wear and tear to the property, garden or furnishings which may be caused by your pets. No additional pet rent is payable for small birds, small caged animals (such as hamsters) and fish.

You will also be asked to get the property professionally cleaned when you move out, ensuring that the carpets are treated for fleas and mites. As we want to be fair to the next renters in the property, we will ask for receipts from your cleaning company to confirm this has been done.

Gardens

01 Who is responsible for looking after the garden?

If your property has its own garden, you should maintain the garden to a high standard.  This includes, but is not restricted to, cutting the grass, weeding, maintaining hedges, shrubs and planting and keeping paths and patios clean and clear.

If you don’t look after the garden we will hire a professional gardener. You are likely to be recharged for any costs.

We are responsible for the maintenance of any communal landscaped areas around our apartment buildings.

Making changes to the property

01 Can I redecorate my home?

We want our renters to feel at home and you will be able to paint the property to your taste, if you decide that’s what you’d like.

However, if you want to redecorate you must get this agreed before you start. The decoration should be completed to a good standard, using quality materials. The decoration must be neutral and inoffensive, or you will be required to repaint in a neutral colour prior to vacating. The decoration must not interfere with or alter any fixtures or fittings in the property and appropriate measures should be taken to protect the rest of the property while you are decorating.

We’re sorry but we will not allow you to wallpaper or undertake alterations to the properties such as putting up shelves, and wall mounting items such as televisions or speakers.

02 What about hanging pictures?

You are allowed to hang pictures on the walls. However, it is your responsibility to make good any holes from picture hooks when you move out of the property. If you don’t do this, then we will deduct any costs to make good from your deposit.

03 Can I make changes to the garden?

You can make changes to and plant in your garden as long as you follow these conditions:

  • Do not damage or remove any trees with a tree preservation order on them.
  • Do not damage or remove any fencing that provides a border to the property.
  • Do not plant anything that will climb on the building.
  • Do not plant anything that is poisonous.
  • Do not plant anything that could impinge on neighbouring properties or interfere with the structure of the building or fencing.
  • Do not remove any paving.
  • Do not remove lawn.
  • Do not install ponds or permanent water features.

If you want to install any sort of structure, you will need to get our consent.

04 Can I have a satellite dish?

Satellite dishes cannot be installed on any properties that have a communal sky dish or have cable television wired into the properties.

Where there is no communal provision for satellite or cable television we will generally give permission for these to be installed and will provide a letter giving permission, subject to the following conditions being met:

  • Customers must ensure that they check with the local authority planning departments to ensure that they comply with planning.
  • The installation must not obstruct access for repairs, window cleaning or inspection.
  • The installation must not interfere with the view of any other customers.
  • Cabling must not damage the exterior of the building.
  • All equipment must be removed at the end of the tenancy and all installation and decoration made good.

Repairs & maintenance

01 Are all maintenance issues the landlord’s responsibility?

No. You are responsible for normal household maintenance.

If you live in one of our houses, that includes replacing light bulbs, cleaning windows, keeping all guttering and drains clear from leaves and blockages and any other tasks that are considered normal household management. If there is a garden, you must keep it in good seasonal order.

If you live in one of our flats, that still includes replacing light bulbs, cleaning the interior surface of all windows etc.

Generally, other problems are our responsibility (eg a faulty appliance, problems with your heating & hot water system etc). However, if the issue is not the result of fair wear and tear but is the result of damage which you or any of your visitors have caused, then we reserve the right to recharge you for the cost of any works.

02 How do I report a maintenance issue?

If you have a maintenance issue, please just contact us and we’ll do our best to resolve the problem as soon as we can. Maintenance issues can conveniently be reported through our Customer App, by telephone or by email.

You should have been provided with the name and contact details of your maintenance operative on move-in. They are there to help. If you can’t trace the details, please just use the central contact details shown at the foot of our website pages.

If you’re calling out-of-hours, your call will be taken by our out-of-hours call handlers. Unless your issue is an emergency, they will simply take all the details and refer them to our managing agents the next working morning. Your maintenance operative will then be in touch to progress matters with you.

03 How quickly will issues get sorted?

Our target response times for dealing with reported maintenance issues are set out below:

Emergency

There is a real risk of injury or major damage to the property, or the property is not secure.

Target Response Time: 24 hours

Non-emergency

Repairs need to be done asap, as the issue is causing major inconvenience to the customer, or to prevent immediate damage to the property, or because it might lead to a health or security problem. Includes all repairs to / replacement of appliances.

Target Response Time: 7 days

Routine

Non-urgent repairs that do not cause immediate inconvenience and are not dangerous to members of the household or the public.

Target Response Time: 14 days, unless to be included in a wider programme of work

04 Do I need to be at the property when the works are carried out?

Yes. Our contractors will call you to arrange a suitable time during normal working hours.

All of our contractors are required to send customers confirmation of their appointments via email or by text message. In the unfortunate event that the contractor is not able to arrive at the property at the appointed time, you should be advised of any failed or delayed appointments at least 1 hour before the appointment time, by telephone or text.

You will be invited to provide feedback on the completed works, via our Customer App, so that we know everything has been finished to your satisfaction.

05 What do I do if I can no longer make the appointment time I’ve arranged with the contractor?

Please contact the contractor or your maintenance operative giving as much notice as possible, so that the appointment can be re-arranged. In the event that our contractor arrives at the property but there is no one there to let them in, we reserve the right to charge a missed appointment fee.

06 Can I arrange any maintenance and deduct the costs from rent?

No. It’s important that we know about any issues with the property and that our accredited contractors carry out any repairs. Please refer all maintenance issues to us.

07 If I live in a flat, and spot issues with the building, the common parts (entrance door, entrance lobbies, lifts, stairs and landings) or other common areas (eg parking bays and any landscaped areas), how do I report them?

We have contracts in place to ensure all our blocks of flats are clean, safe and secure and that any external common areas are well-tended. However, it’s great to have extra eyes and ears on the ground to alert us to any issues. Please just contact your maintenance operative, should you spot something you think we ought to know about, and we’ll get on to it.

Emergencies

01 What should I do in the event of an emergency?

Please contact the emergency services, if required, following the guidance set out below. Then call your maintenance operative. If you can’t trace the details, please just use the central contact details shown at the foot of our website pages. If the incident occurs outside of office hours and there is damage that requires urgent attention, please call our out-of-hours call handlers on 01772 667182.

Water

In the case of a water or wastewater emergency, please isolate the water supply and call your maintenance operative.

Gas

If you smell gas or think you have a gas leak, please call the National Gas Service Emergency Line on 0800 111 999 to report a suspected gas leak and then contact your maintenance operative.

If you are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please contact your maintenance operative.

In the meantime:

  • Turn off all gas appliances
  • Do not smoke or use a naked flame
  • Do not turn electric switches on
  • Open doors and windows etc

Burglary

Please call the police. They’ll give you a crime reference number. If you have taken out home contents insurance, your insurer will need this when you contact them. Then call us. If damage has been caused to the property that requires urgent attention, please call our Emergency Helpline on 01772 667182

Permitted occupants

01 Who can stay in the property?

Only those adults who are listed on the tenancy can live in the property. ‘Live’ is defined as staying longer than two weeks.

All adults who wish to occupy the property therefore have to be listed on the tenancy agreement. Before anybody moves in or moves out, you must contact us first as we will need to update the tenancy agreement and any new tenants will have to be referenced. See also Sharers.

02 What about visitors?

Friends and family are welcome to visit for up to two weeks. If they’re going to be staying longer than that, please contact your customer advisor so we can discuss the situation.

03 What do I do when my child reaches 18?

Once your children become adults, if they remain at the property, they will need to be added to the tenancy agreement. Please contact your customer advisor so they can sort this out for you.

04 What do I do if I want to leave the property temporarily?

That’s fine but if you need to leave the property for more than 28 days, it is important that you notify us in writing.

05 Can I sub-let the property, for example with airbnb?

We do not permit sub-letting.

Insurance

01 Who insures my belongings?

You will need to arrange your own home contents insurance. We only insure the building.

Feedback & complaints

01 How do I complain if I’m not happy?

We want you to be fully satisfied with our service. Sometimes things don’t go to plan and when something does go wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, the team you usually deal with will try to resolve it that day, so please tell them in the first instance. Should they need some time to look into something, they will explain why and tell you how long it will take.

If you’re not happy with the response you receive from the team, please review our managing agent’s complaints procedure and follow the steps set out.

https://www.touchstoneresi.co.uk/complaints-procedure

Anti-social behaviour

01 What is anti-social behaviour?

Anti-social behaviour is a serious problem and we are aware of the havoc it can cause to people’s lives. We aim to deal with it thoroughly and effectively for all our customers and will do our best to take action against the perpetrators: the people who make life unpleasant for others.

This covers a wide range of activities and can include anything that interferes with your right to live peacefully in your home or actions that you carry out which stop others doing so.

Examples are:

  • Noise nuisance
  • Verbal abuse
  • Damage to property
  • Nuisance from vehicles
  • Pets causing a nuisance
  • Intimidation
  • Drug/alcoholic abuse
  • Rubbish, fly tipping and untidy gardens
  • Nuisance involving children or teenagers
  • Racial and other harassment

02 What can I do about anti-social behaviour?

First and foremost, you should look to resolve the problem yourself looking for a resolution that suits both parties. We would want to see evidence of this prior to any involvement by us.

If the activity is illegal or causing a public nuisance you should refer the matter to the police in the first instance, as they have the greater jurisdiction.

Where the issue involves another tenant of Picture Living, and we are asked to get involved, our managing agents will undertake an initial investigation to establish the facts, who is involved and who has been affected by the incident.

What we do next depends on the type of case and the information given to us. If it is clear who is responsible for the problem, we will contact the tenant to seek a resolution to the issue.

Matters that cannot be resolved easily or are of a serious nature will be further investigated and evidence will be sought which may include photographs, video or tape recordings of the incidents and statements from those involved. In some cases we will work with other agencies such as police, local council or social services so the most effective action is taken.

Ultimately in serious cases where warnings have been ignored and the nuisance has continued, therefore resulting in a breach of the tenancy, we will request notice is served. In this case an application will be made via solicitors to the county court for an order for possession of the property.

Moving in & out

01 Moving in

Once you’ve passed referencing (see Referencing & right to rent checks), then our managing agent will confirm the property is ready to occupy and will then be in touch to agree a move-in date.

They’ll calculate what you’ll need to pay prior to moving in (see Affordability & payments) and send all the tenancy documents through to you for signature.

Once we’ve received your move-in monies and all the signed paperwork, you’re good to go. We’ll let our letting agent know everything is in order and they can release the keys.

Once you arrive at your new home, before you get too comfortable, you will need to complete the inventory report we’ll have sent you (see Inventories). You must complete and return this to us within 7 days of moving in. If you don’t send your inventory report back, we’ll assume you are happy with the condition of the property and that it’s fairly represented in the report.

02 What do I need to do if I want to move out?

Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract; it is for a fixed initial term and you cannot give notice to vacate before the expiry date.

If your circumstances change and you need to vacate the property prior to the end of the fixed term, please contact your customer advisor at the earliest opportunity. We will work with you to either maintain the tenancy or seek a solution that is fair and equitable.

If you wish to vacate the property at the end of the fixed initial term, or at any point thereafter, you will need to give us one full month’s notice, in writing.

During this time, we may require access to accompany prospective tenants to view the property. If so, we will give you at least 24 hours’ notice. Your co-operation in allowing access is greatly appreciated.

03 What happens next?

Upon receipt of your notice letter, we will write to you to acknowledge your intended vacation. We will arrange for our inventory clerk to meet you at the property to carry out the check-out, verify the condition of the property and read the meters (see Inventories).

You will be required to return all sets of keys at this meeting; you will be charged on a daily basis until all keys and possession are surrendered. You must be ready to leave the property with the agent and all of your personal effects and your furniture must be removed.

04 When will my deposit be returned?

We will return your deposit within timescales set out by the relevant deposit protection scheme, subject to any agreed deductions in respect of dilapidations or rent arrears (see Deposits).

Health & safety

01 Fire safety

Flats

  • Please ensure that you read and make sure you understand the fire evacuation procedure, which will be displayed in the entrance lobby.
  • If you share a common entrance to your property with other residents, please keep this area, and any other shared areas at the property clean and tidy. That means no rubbish bags outside the doors, no unwanted mail left lying around and no other obstructions such as bicycles, pushchairs, furniture etc. This could be your escape route in the case of an emergency. If you experience problems of this sort at your block of flats, please let us know.
  • Fire doors are there for a reason. Yes, we know they can be irritating, but please do not leave them wedged open as any fire will spread much more rapidly. Again, if you see this happening at your block of flats, please let us know.
  • Please ensure any refuse/recycling is deposited in designated areas only.

Houses and flats

  • The smoke alarms in your property will have been checked before you move in, but we advise testing them once a week, just to check that everything’s still working as it should. If it doesn’t work, you should contact your maintenance operative as soon as possible.
  • Smoking is not permitted inside any of our properties at any time.

02 Gas

We are required by law to have all gas systems, appliances and flues checked at least every 12 months by a GAS SAFE registered engineer. You will be provided with a copy of the gas safety certificate provided by the inspecting engineer.

Please cooperate fully with contractors making appointments with you to carry out a gas safety inspection. It is in the interests of your own safety and welfare.

Council tax, Utilities & Bills

01 General Information

It is your responsibility as tenant to arrange for the transfer of utility and council tax accounts into your name and it is recommended that you contact the utility provider and council tax authority at least 3 days before moving into your new home to allow yourself sufficient time to set your accounts up, take meter readings and for any disconnected services to be reconnected.

Gas – If you need to find out who supplies gas to your new home, or your Meter Point Reference Number, contact the meter number helpline on 0870 608 1524.

Electricity – The electricity to your new home will be supplied (or in the process of transferring to) Scottish Power and will be on their renewable energy tariff. Scottish Power will match 100% of your electricity consumption to renewable energy certificates sourced directly from the Scottish Power Group’s own renewable generation, which will mean that the annual CO2 emissions under your tariff will be zero.”
Scottish Power can be contacted through www.scottishpower.co.uk/customer-services/moving-home

Water – To find out which company supplies your home just enter your postcode into the following webpage. www.water.org.uk/advice-for-customers/find-your-supplier/

02 Am I able to switch utility providers?

Yes, if you’re not happy with the price or service provision you may change provider, noting the following key points

  • Industry standards means there is a 28 day freeze on switching utility accounts from the date a property becomes void – therefore, you can only switch after that period expires.
  • If you have moved in after expiry of the freeze date, you can switch straight away.
  • You can only switch when you are in possession of the property.
  • You are ‘in contract’ with the current provider until switching can take place.
  • Switching takes approximately 21 days.
  • You can expect to settle at least one bill with the current provider.
  • If a switch can’t progress you should speak to both the new and existing supplier to find out about any next steps.

03 Phone & internet services

All of our properties have a variety of telephone and broadband connection options. Renters are free to contract with any of the available suppliers.

https://checker.ofcom.org.uk/en-gb/broadband-coverage

We are also working with a range of suppliers to expand the fibre network to our blocks.

Keys & security

01 General Information

Please help keep and your fellow tenants safe, and protect your possessions by:

  • Ensuring doors and windows are always closed and locked when you’re not in, and that any communal entrance doors are firmly shut on entry to / exit from the building.
  • Never keep your valuables on display at any time when your home is unoccupied.
  • Never let any strangers into your house – if we have sent anybody to the property you will always be notified in advance.

02 What do I do if I’ve lost my keys?

Each tenant will normally have been provided with a set of keys on move-in. If you lose your keys, you are responsible for the cost of replacement. In the first instance, please contact your managing agent as they may have a spare set from which new keys can be cut.

If a lock change is required as a result of you losing a key you will also be charged the cost of the lock change. If you occupy a flat in a block which has a common entrance door key you may also be charged the cost of providing all tenants in the block with new keys.

You must return the full complement of keys to the property at the end of the tenancy and you will be charged for the cost of any duplicate keys or lock changes required if you do not do this.

Deposits

01 What is a security deposit?

This is a sum of money paid by you as tenant to us as landlord, to be held for the term of the tenancy. It’s held to offset any loss we may suffer if you breach your obligations under the tenancy either during or at the end of the lease term.

For details on the security deposit you will need to pay prior to moving in, see Affordability & payments.

02 How do I know my deposit is safe?

During your tenancy, your security deposit will be registered with a government approved deposit protection scheme. You should receive a copy of your Deposit Protection Certificate shortly after moving in. If you haven’t received this, please contact your dedicated property manager as soon as possible.

We are not allowed to touch your deposit, or make any deductions against it, without your agreement.

03 How do I get my deposit back at the end of my tenancy?

We will the review the end-of-tenancy inventory report (see Inventories) to check that you haven’t caused any damage to the property beyond “fair wear and tear”. And we will check your rent account to make sure its up-to-date and there are no rent arrears.

Assuming there are no issues, then your deposit will be returned within the timescales set out by the relevant deposit protection scheme.

In the event that the end-of-tenancy inventory report has identified some damage, or there are rent arrears outstanding, we will contact you to seek your agreement to deduct an appropriate sum from your deposit before returning the balance, if any.

If we are not able to reach agreement, then our managing agents will advise you of the arbitration mechanisms available under the relevant government approved deposit protection scheme.

Referencing & right to rent checks

01 What is referencing?

Referencing is our way of finding out about you as a prospective tenant so we can make an informed decision on whether to rent you the property. We are trying to assess whether you can afford the rent, and are likely to pay the rent on time, treat the property with respect and not be a nuisance to neighbours or others.

02 What is the process?

Our managing agents will require you to complete an application form. We’ll also need photographic ID (passport or driving licence) and proof of address (utility bills and/or bank statements) covering the last three years, plus your bank details, to enable us to complete the referencing checks.

We’ll check to see you can afford the rent (see Affordability & payments) and then pass your application to a specialist referencing company. They will complete a full credit check and obtain a previous/current landlord’s reference and employment reference.

03 What happens if I don’t pass referencing?

Our managing agent will contact you to discuss your options or to advise that your application has been declined. It may be possible for you to provide a UK based guarantor and/or to agree advance payment. The guarantor will need to be referenced and have passed referencing before proceeding with the agreed move in.

04 What are right to rent checks?

All landlords are required by law to collect the approved forms of ID as prescribed by the Immigration Act 2014, in respect of all persons over 18 years old who will be residing at the property under an approved application. These checks are undertaken to confirm your immigration status and to ensure you have the right to rent in the UK.

Our appointed letting agent will talk you through what documents are required.

Inventories & Inspections

01 What is an inventory?

The inventory is an in-depth report on the property and any contents. Inventories are created for all types of rental property, from furnished and part-furnished through to unfurnished accommodation, and they list the furniture, fixtures and fittings in every room, along with a description of their condition.

02 Why is an inventory important?

The inventory is important because it’s an account of what everything looked like when you moved in.

You have a key part to play in the inventory process. We will send you the inventory report and ask you to carefully check through it during your first few days in the property. We hope our inventory clerks will have done a great job and the report will be a complete and accurate record of the condition of the property at the time you moved in. But if you think they’ve missed something, it’s important you let us know.

03 What happens when my tenancy comes to an end?

When you decide to move out, another formal inventory is drawn up. This end-of-tenancy report tends to be a lot more straightforward than the first one as it’s an update to the one that was drawn up when you moved in.

The first inventory is compared with the new end-of-tenancy inventory to see if there is any cause for us to make deductions for any damage you’ve caused during your occupation of the property. During this check, our inventory clerk will need to differentiate between what they consider “fair wear and tear” and damage that falls outside that category.

We recognise that you won’t be able to leave the property exactly as you found it. Carpets get worn and tiny scuffs and scrapes are to be expected. You won’t be charged for anything that can be put down to everyday use. But if some damage is flagged in the checkout report that isn’t being put down to wear and tear, we will look to recover those costs as a dilapidations charge against your deposit (see Deposits).

04 What are right to rent checks?

All landlords are required by law to collect the approved forms of ID as prescribed by the Immigration Act 2014, in respect of all persons over 18 years old who will be residing at the property under an approved application. These checks are undertaken to confirm your immigration status and to ensure you have the right to rent in the UK.

Our appointed letting agent will talk you through what documents are required.

05 Inspections

We want you to feel at ease in your home and will keep out of your way as much as we can.

But there may be occasions when we need to gain access, for example to check that our contractors have done a good job when carrying out a repair.

We’ll let you know if we do need to get in and give you plenty of notice. Your cooperation in helping with these visits is much appreciated.

Parking & cycle storage

01 Parking & cycle storage

Most of our properties come with car parking and some with garages. If you are unsure if you have an allocated space, please see your tenancy agreement for details or contact your customer advisor.

Most of our blocks of flats are provided with cycle storage, though this does vary from property to property. If you are uncertain where this is, please contact your customer adviser. Cycles should not be stored in communal corridors.

Rubbish & recycling

01 Rubbish & recycling

Refuse and recycling facilities vary from local authority to local authority. For further information please contact your local authority refuse department or your customer advisor.