Binks Estate Agents advertise regularly in the local press and, of course, on our state-of-the-art website and on Rightmove and other portals. Details of all our rental properties are available at both offices in Chorleywood and Amersham. These will include floor plans, photographs, an EPC of the property.
You can visit us at one of our offices or call us and we can register you on our mailing list. You can also register your details on-line. We will advise you as soon as a property becomes available for rental and e-mail details of the property to you. We will need such details as name, home address, telephone numbers together with an e-mail address. We will also ask how many people are looking to move into the property and if there are any children, smokers or pets.
Once a property has been viewed and a choice is made, an offer should be put forward. Those details will be passed onto our client who will make the decision as to whether or not to proceed, subject to contract and satisfactory references.
The Lettings Process
If an offer to take a property is accepted, we will need to take full details of the individuals wishing to rent the property together with reference details. The reference information required will usually include employment details, bank details and previous Landlord or Managing Agent details. We do reserve the right to do credit checks if necessary. Once the references have been approved, the paperwork will normally be sent out to both Landlord and Tenant for approval and electronic signature.
Permitted Payments and Tenant Protection Information
In addition to paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following permitted payments. Under the Tenant Fees Act 2019, permitted payments for properties in England, in addition to rent, lettings agents can only charge tenants (or anyone acting on the tenant’s behalf) the following permitted payments:
• Holding deposits (a maximum of one week’s rent);
• Deposits (a maximum deposit of five weeks’ rent for annual rent below £50,000, or six weeks’ rent for annual rental of £50,000 and above);
• Payments to change a tenancy agreement e.g. change of sharer (capped at £50 or, if higher, any reasonable costs);
• Payments associated with early termination of a tenancy (capped at the landlord’s loss or the agent’s reasonably incurred costs);
• Where required, utilities (electricity, gas or other fuel, water, sewerage), communication services (telephone, internet, cable/satellite television), TV licence;
• Council tax (payable to the billing authority);
• Interest payments for the late payment of rent (up to 3% above Bank of England’s annual percentage rate);
• Reasonable costs for replacement of lost keys or other security devices;
• Contractual damages in the event of the tenant’s default of a tenancy agreement; and
• Any other permitted payments under the Tenant Fees Act 2019 and regulations applicable at the relevant time.
Tenant protection in addition to publishing relevant fees, lettings agents are also required to publish details of:
• the redress scheme they are a member of; and
• the name of the approved or designated Client Money Protection scheme they are a member of (if any).
Once all the necessary paperwork has been signed, references approved and completion monies collected, the tenant will meet the appointed Inventory Clerk at the previously agreed time, typically the commencement date of the tenancy but not before. The Inventory Clerk runs through a list of contents and a Schedule of Condition with the tenant. The Inventory Clerk will then hand the keys of the property over to the tenant and the tenant is free to move into the property. Depending on the size of property, the Check-In Process will normally take between one and two hours.
At the end of the Tenancy
At the end of the tenancy, the Inventory Clerk will re-visit the property at the mutually agreed time, with the tenant, and run through the list of contents and after having made an allowance for fair, wear and tear, compile a Check-Out Report. The meters to the gas, electricity and water (if applicable) are read and those are noted on the Check Out Report together with the tenant’s forwarding address. A copy of the Check-Out Report will then be forwarded to the tenant a few days later and any proposed dilapidations discussed and agreed between the parties. Once those have been agreed, we can give an instruction to the DPS to release the deposit monies to the tenant less any agreed. The tenant can then go on-line to the DPS to agree it.