THE APPLICATION PROCEDUREHow do I apply?
All parties who will be named on the Tenancy Agreement must view. If after viewing, you wish to make an application for one of our rental properties, then you will need to obtain an application form from us. Before we can proceed with an application, we will require:
- A completed application form for each person over the age of eighteen who will be living at the property.
- A referencing fee. We charge £100 for a single applicant, £150 for two applicants and a further £50 for any subsequent applicant.
- If you require a guarantor in support of your application, then we will need a completed Guarantor Application Form. There is a charge of £50 per guarantor.
- A reservation fee of £100. This will hold the property for a period of 14 days whilst your application is being processed. If you wish to hold the property for an extended period, then please let us know prior to applying so that we can notify the Landlord and in these circumstances we may ask for an increased reservation fee. Any reservation fee paid will be deducted from the monies due at move in.
- Two forms of identification for each person applying, one as proof of identity and the other as proof of address. Proof of identify can be a passport/driving licence/birth certificate/marriage certificate. Proof of current address can be a utility bill/bank statement/phone bill/credit card statement/polling card but this must be dated within the last three months.
- A signed and dated copy of this Guide to Renting.
How much do I need to earn?
As a guideline, our referencing agents work on an income to rent ratio of 2.5 (this is based on an annual income of £25,000 or less, if you earn in excess of £25,000 then the ratio will be decreased). An income to rent ratio means that your gross salary (before deductions) must be at least 2.5 times the rent. For example, if the monthly rent is £350 per month then you will need to earn at least £875 per month (£350 x 2.5) or £10,500 per year (£350 x 2.5 x 12). If you are unable to meet the above income to rent ratio, then we will discuss with you whether a guarantor can be provided or if you would be able to pay six months’ rent in advance as an alternative.
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor will be a person or persons contractually liable, both financially and legally, should you fail to pay the rent during your tenancy or in the event of damage to the property. Any guarantor that you put forward will be subject to our referencing procedure and will have to sign a Guarantor Agreement prior to commencement of the tenancy.
What happens during referencing?
We will submit the completed application form/s to a tenant referencing company who will then assess the following:
- Income - they will confirm that your income will be able to cover the rent, usually by contacting your employer.
- Credit Rating - they will check your credit history and credit score which will reveal any CCJ’s/bankruptcy orders.
- Previous Tenancies - if applicable, they will contact your previous landlord/s for confirmation that you have adhered to any previous tenancy agreements including making rental payments on time. In some circumstances, an additional fee may be payable by you for this information from the company providing it and we will notify you in those circumstances.
- Proof of Residency - they will verify your current address, which will include checking the electoral roll.
What if I change my mind?
If you withdraw from letting the property after referencing has started or do not disclose on the application form information which negatively impacts your application then any monies paid are non-refundable. Should the Landlord decide not to proceed with the letting through no fault of your own, then any monies paid will be refunded in full.
MOVING INWhat do you need from me prior to move in?
Before we are able to hand over keys for the property, we require:
- Signed Tenancy Agreement - We will prepare a six month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for your signature. A copy will be provided to you at the start of the tenancy.
- Signed Guarantor Agreement (if applicable)
- Completed Standing Order Form - Rental payments during the tenancy are to be made by standing order. We shall provide you with a standing order form which you will need to sign and complete details of the account from which your rent is to be paid.
- Monies Due - You will need to pay one full month’s rent in advance along with the deposit. This must be cleared funds (cash/bankers draft/card payment/bank transfer).
What happens on move in day?
You will be required to come to our office on your move in day to collect your Move In Pack. This will contain:
- Energy Performance Certificate - This report details the energy efficiency and environmental impact ratings of the property.
- Gas Safety Certificate (if gas supply at property) – This will confirm that all gas appliances have been checked by a suitably qualified person within the last 12 months.
- Electrical Certificate (if applicable) - These will confirm that a minimum of the portable electrical appliances at the property have been checked by a suitably qualified person during the recommended timeframe.
- Schedule of Condition (Austerberry Managed Only) - This will detail the condition of the property and its contents as well as noting meter readings. This will be used at the end of the tenancy to check the condition of the property and you will have seven days to notify us of any amendments that you feel necessary. If we do not hear from you within the seven day period, then it will be assumed that the Schedule of Condition is satisfactory to you.
- Landlord Contact Information (Landlord Managed Only) - You will be provided with the contact details for your Landlord who will be managing the property personally and should be contacted directly regarding all issues at the property after move in.
- If the property is going to be managed directly by the Landlord, then we will forward your deposit directly to the Landlord upon move in and it will be the Landlord’s responsibility to join an approved deposit scheme. In these circumstances, Austerberry accept no responsibility for the return of deposit monies at the end of your tenancy.
AUSTERBERRY MANAGED: AFTER MOVE INWhat happens to my deposit?
If Austerberry are going to be managing the property on behalf of the Landlord, then we will register your deposit with the Deposit Protection Scheme, a Government approved scheme and they will hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy. Further information on the Deposit Protection Scheme can be obtained by calling 0330 303 0030 or visiting www.depositprotection.com The Deposit Protection Scheme will confirm to you that the deposit has been registered with them.
What happens regarding transfer of the utilities?
We will write to all utility providers to let them know when you have moved into the property. However, you MUST contact the utility providers directly yourself to provide meter readings and ensure the transfer of the supply. Failure to do so could lead to the utilities being disconnected.
When will my rent payments be due?
We will start to collect your rent by standing order during the second month of your tenancy. The payment date will be the same date of the month that your tenancy agreement began e.g. if your tenancy agreement began on 4th May, then your first rental payment will be collected on 4th June.
If you wish to amend your payment date during your tenancy, then please contact us to see if this will be possible but please note that a charge may apply.
Please note that a standing order is an instruction set up with your bank to pay us the rent, therefore if you find that rent has not been taken out of your account, then you will need to contact your bank in the first instance to check the standing order has been set up correctly or enquire why payment was not made.
Will you be inspecting the property during my tenancy?
Property inspections will be undertaken during the tenancy. We will notify you in writing when this visit will take place. Please be aware that in accordance with the terms of your Tenancy Agreement, we are able to gain access to the property using our keys if you are unable to attend the inspection.
What happens at the end of the initial six month period?
We will contact you to enquire whether you will be vacating the property at the end of the six month period or if you wish to remain. If you do wish to remain then we will give you the option of either having a new Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement drawn up for a further six month period or to let the tenancy revert to a periodic tenancy. If you choose to renew for a further six month period and the Landlord is in agreement to this, then a renewal fee of £50 (including VAT) will be payable by you prior to the Agreement being drawn up.
I wish to end my tenancy. What do I need to do?
If you wish to vacate then in the first instance, please contact us by telephone. We can then advise on the notice period that is required under the terms of your tenancy. In the majority of situations, the following will apply:
- If you are still in a fixed term agreement, then you are still liable for all your obligations under that Agreement as well payment of the rent up until the end of the fixed term. If you are looking to vacate the property prior to the end of the fixed term, then please contact us in those circumstances to discuss.
- If you wish to vacate the property at the end of a fixed term agreement, then legally no notice is required but we would ask that you make us aware at least a month in advance in order that the deposit release can be dealt with promptly.
- If you remain in the property for even one day over a fixed term agreement and do not renew for a further fixed term, then your tenancy reverts to a periodic tenancy. In this instance, we will require from you one month’s notice. This must be provided in writing and this notice must begin on the same date of the month that your fixed term agreement started e.g. if your agreement started on the 4th, then you must give us notice on or before the 4th of a month. You would then be required to vacate by midnight of the 3rd day of the following month.
What do I need to do at the end of my tenancy?
When you vacate, we will expect to receive from you all keys to the property that were provided to you at the commencement of your tenancy. If any keys are missing, then you will be charged for replacement/new locks. You should also provide us with your forwarding address and contact details to assist with release of the deposit and we will also provide this to the utility providers so that they can forward you any final accounts which may be payable. You will need to ensure that the property is returned to the condition in which it was originally received and if there is a garden, this should be in good seasonal order (grass cut/weeds removed). We shall go to the property after you have vacated with a copy of the Schedule of Condition. We shall be looking to ensure all items in the property are in the locations that they were originally noted in and that the property is in the same condition. We will allow for wear and tear but if there has been any damage to the property or if any additional cleaning is required, then we shall seek to recover the costs of this from your deposit.
What about my deposit?
Following our check out inspection, we shall report to the Landlord to advise of the condition that the property has been left in. If the Landlord is satisfied with the condition of the property, then your deposit will be refunded in full.
If there are any issues arising following your vacation, then we shall make contact with you to discuss these in greater detail. Any deductions from the deposit will need to be agreed by both you and the Landlord and if agreement cannot be reached, then we shall refer the matter to the Deposit Protection Service for adjudication. Any amount of deposit not in dispute will be refunded to you but the remainder will be retained subject to adjudication.