Here you'll find information for tenants as well as details about fees and some useful advice. We're an approachable team and we're here for you, regardless of the wide variety of questions you may have, so if you can't find the information you need in this web site, please contact us and we'll do our very best to help.
Your tenancy agreement should always be in writing and signed by both you and the landlord as it documents the legal terms and conditions of the rent contract. At Crompton Estates we draw up a tenancy agreement clearly setting out each party’s rights and obligations before anyone rents the property. In addition, we have full-time staff members dedicated to lettings who liaise closely with both landlord and tenant to help ensure any issues or concerns are quickly addressed.
At a minimum, your Tenancy Agreement will include:
- The names of the landlord and tenant
- The property address
- The start and end date of the tenancy
- The deposit amount and how it will be protected
- The rental price and when and how it will be paid
- The rights and duties of both landlord and tenant
We will take the time to fully and clearly explain the terms of your tenancy agreement to you before you sign.
Both the landlord or letting agent and tenant(s) will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to the tenancy commencing, which outlines both tenant and landlord obligations.
Generally, most tenancies run for a period of six or twelve months, we will contact you two months prior to the end of the tenancy to see whether you wish to renew your agreement for a further period and will liaise with the landlord to organise the documentation.
Should any questions arise regarding this legal document we advise you to seek independent legal advice.
Types of tenancy agreement
There are different types of tenancy agreement, the most common being the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST). Your tenancy will be an AST if all of the criteria are met:
- Your tenancy started on or after 15th January 1989
- The property you rent is private
- The property is your main accommodation
- Your landlord does not live in the property
If you share the property with others, your tenancy will likely be a Joint and Several Liability Tenancy, meaning that you are all jointly and individually responsible for paying the rent. For instance, if one person falls behind in their rent, you are all responsible for paying it, or any arrears that arise because of it.
You can find more information about the different types of tenancy, as well as an example of a tenancy agreement on the Gov.uk website.
A well-prepared inventory and check-in report protects landlords and tenants alike, providing an accurate description of the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy.
The condition of the property and its contents at the end of the tenancy are then compared back to this report in the form of a check-out report. The inventory clerk will also provide an opinion on whether any damage which has arisen during the tenancy is attributable to the tenants, to ‘fair wear and tear’, or to the landlord as required maintenance.
It is in a landlord’s interest to ensure that inventories are prepared for properties that they own. In the worst-case scenario, should you end up in court, the judge will tend to look more favourably on an impartial, unbiased inventory prepared by a third party unconnected to either the landlord or the tenants. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.
Most private landlords and letting agents require a deposit to be paid by tenants before moving into a property, to ensure that upon vacating it will be returned in the same condition it was rented out in. The amount can vary, and is usually equivalent to six weeks rent.
The deposit must be held in a government backed Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme (TDS). There are also other types of deposit schemes. For more information visit Gov.uk.
Once the landlord or letting agent has received the deposit, they have to provide details of the TDS, including:
- The name and contact details of the TDS and its dispute resolution service
- How the deposit is protected (some schemes hold the deposit, and others insure it)
- Reasons they would make deductions from the deposit
- How to apply to get the deposit back
- The dispute process for deposits
Deductions can be made if damage beyond ‘reasonable wear and tear’ (the TDS will provide guidance on this) is sustained to the property, but they must be agreed by both parties (the landlord or letting agent and the tenant or tenants). If there is a dispute about deductions between the landlord or agent and the tenant, the deposit will be protected in the TDS scheme until the issue is resolved.
Fees and charges
At Crompton Estates we want to ensure that any fees we charge tenants are clear and transparent. Therefore please see the attached file for a detailed list of charges you will incur if you choose to rent a property through our company.
Your rights as a tenant
- To live in a safe and secure property which is in a good state of repair, including the structure and exterior of the property, drains and pipes, gutters, windows, sanitary installations (baths, basins, toilets and sinks) and gas, water and electric installations.
- To be treated fairly regardless of disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.
- Be protected from unfair eviction.
- Any problems with water, gas and electricity supply must be dealt with by the landlord or agent.
- General and emergency repairs must be carried out by the landlord, agent or their appointed person. This does not include repairs for damage caused by tenants.
- To live in the property undisturbed – the landlord or agent must provide at least 24 hours’ notice to visit the property, at a reasonable time of day, unless there is an emergency.
- The landlord must insure the property against fire, flooding and other risks included in a comprehensive insurance policy.
- The landlord must arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safety Engineer if there is a gas supply at the property.
- The landlord must provide the gas safety and energy performance certificates for the property.
- The landlord must ensure that any supplied furniture and furnishings are compliant with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) Safety Regulations 1998.
- The landlord may not change the locks without informing you and providing a new set of keys.
- To be given reasonable notice to vacate the property. This will depend on the length and type of the tenancy agreement, but should be contained within the tenancy agreement.
Security of tenure
Once you have signed a tenancy agreement you are protected and bound by its terms. This means that as long as you do not breach any of the terms, you will be able to remain in the property until the agreement expires.
Fixed rent costs
Rent costs are fixed for the term of your tenancy agreement – landlords are not usually able to increase the rent in this period. The exception to this is if the tenancy agreement allows for an increase, or if the tenant agrees to an increase.
Repairs and maintenance
The landlord is legally responsible for maintaining the structure and exterior of the property and the installations for supplying utilities. Responsibility for other repairs may be outlined in your tenancy agreement – if you are unsure, speak to your landlord or letting agent – but generally you will be responsible for minor, day-to-day maintenance such as unblocking the sink.
It is important to report problems with the property so that your landlord can only make the necessary repairs. If a problem you have not reported worsens over time or causes damage to the property, your landlord may be able to withhold some or all of your deposit in order to pay for the repair.
If you live in a block of flats, the landlord will be responsible for any associated building costs unless stipulated in your tenancy agreement. This could mean that services such as gardening and window cleaning could also be covered.
The responsibility for the property lies with the tenant during the period of tenancy. Always ensure that the property is fully secured and that during the winter months steps are taken to prevent freezing of the water and heating system.
- Pay the agreed rent on time, even if repairs are needed or there is a dispute with the landlord.
- Pay any utility bills not included in the rent, including TV licence (this usually depends on tenancy type).
- Not undertake and illegal activity on or within the grounds of the property.
- Look after the property and notify the landlord or agent of any issues or necessary repairs.
- Acquire permission from the landlord before carrying out any decoration or minor repairs.
- Insure any personal possessions.
- Do not sublet or take in a lodger, without the express, written permission of the landlord.
- Do not smoke inside the property, unless agreed in writing by the landlord.
- Do not keep pets at the property, unless agreed in writing by the landlord.
- Understand how to operate the boiler, heating and other appliances.
- Be aware of the location of the stop cock, fuse box and any meters.
- Regularly test any fire and smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Be flexible and allow the landlord, agent and appointed workmen or engineers access to the property when required, when 24 hours’ notice has been given, or there is an emergency.
- Be considerate to neighbours.
- Adhere to any rules and regulations of the building as a whole, if renting a flat in a block.
- Notify the landlord or agent if you are planning to be away from the property for longer than 14 days, as this may affect their insurance policy.
- Give the required amount of notice to vacate the property. Check the tenancy agreement for confirmation.
- Return the property in the state it was rented out in, notwithstanding fair wear and tear.