Tenants' guide

Do I deal with Homextra, or the landlord directly?

  • You will be dealing with either Homextra or the landlord depending on the package the landlord has chosen.
  • In most of the cases, you will be dealing with one of our agents the entire process, from the viewing, to the signing of the Tenancy Agreement
  • However, if the landlord is carrying out their own viewings, when you enquire about a property, we will send your details to them. They'll then contact you directly to discuss the property and arrange a viewing.

How do I set up a viewing?

  • 1. Register here
  • 2. Search for a property
  • 3. Click the button to "Book a viewing" found on the property details page.
  • This will take you to My Area and automatically add the property to your Portfolio giving you the option to select a preferred viewing timeslot.

How do I make an application?

Reference Procedure. As soon as you've found a suitable property, you will need to complete reference application forms online. We utilise the services of a credit-referencing agency to take up the following references, here is an example of just a few of the references sought:
  • Confirmation of employment, salary confirmation.
  • Personal & Photographic identification (passport or driving licence).
  • Previous Landlord references.
  • Students (Guarantor or proof or funding).
  • Self-Employed (Accountants references, trading details etc)

Holding Deposit

  • A holding deposit will be required in order to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be deducted from the first months rent or deposit due.
  • Should the tenant withdraw from the proposed letting, through no fault of the landlord or the agent, all or a proportion of the 'Holding Deposit' will be retained in order to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full).
  • None of the Holding Deposit will be retained should the Tenant's withdrawal be due to a breach of the proposed letting agreement by the landlord or managing agent.
  • The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property:
  • Cancel any advertising for the letting
  • Tell other applicants that the tenancy has been taken subject to satisfactory references
  • Prepare a letting agreement
  • Take up references
  • Carry out credit checks

Tenancy Agreement

  • Both the Landlord and tenant/s will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to the tenancy commencing, the agreement outlines both tenant and landlord obligations.
  • Generally, most tenancies run for a period of twelve months, we will contact you at 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. It is important you note that the agreement is made between landlord and tenant, we act for the landlord only.
  • By legal requirement we will issue you with a sample template agreement which we ask you read very carefully, should any questions arise regarding this legal document we advise you to seek independent legal advice.

Payment

  • Once a moving date has been agreed and references have all been approved by the landlord, the tenancy agreement will need to be signed by all parties and the initial monies in full will become due less any holding deposit previously paid:
  • This is made up of the following:
  • Deposit normally equal to 4 to 6 weeks of rent (depending on the annual rent).
  • The first months rent in advance. (rent is worked out on a per calendar month basis), which is, if you are not aware; the weekly rent, multiplied by 52 weeks and divided by twelve months to give the per calendar month rental figure.
  • The above monies need to be in a cleared form before the tenancy is able to commence, payment by means of either a bankers draft, cash or paid directly into our client bank account and showing as cleared.

Rental Payment

  • Rent will be paid to either Homextra or the landlord directly, depending on whether we have been instructed to fully manage the property, or collect rent on the landlord's behalf.

Maintenance and repairs

  • We do get instructed to fully manage some of our landlord's properties, if this is the case, with your tenancy we will inform you prior to your tenancy commencing. If we are managing then any faults with appliances or problems within the property will need to be reported to us and we will deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an ongoing problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any problems you feel need attention.

Notice to end a tenancy

  • To terminate your tenancy subject to term, you will normally be required to give us at least one month notice in writing of your intention to leave, unless otherwise specified in your specific tenancy agreement.

Insurance

  • 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 is 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 that 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 tenant. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.
  • Normally an inventory of the property condition, furniture and fittings and effects will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The tenancy is checked and agreed between the tenant and the landlord at the tenancy commencement.

Inventory

  • 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 is 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 that 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 tenant. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.
  • Normally an inventory of the property condition, furniture and fittings and effects will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The tenancy is checked and agreed between the tenant and the landlord at the tenancy commencement.

Deposit returns

  • When your tenancy ends, an inspection of the property will be carried out, either by the landlord or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord.
  • The landlord may propose deductions to the deposit for cleaning, damages or unpaid rent (this is assessed by comparing the inventory check-in to the check-out) and provided you agree with this, the money will be returned to your account.
  • If you disagree with the proposed deductions, you should try and come to an agreement with the landlord. If this cannot be done, you will need to raise a dispute with the deposit protection service where an independent adjudicator will assess the evidence and decide how much of the deposit will go to your and/ or the landlord.

Tenants' obligations

  • 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.

Property Inspection

  • If we are instructed as managing agents for your property, we will carry out quarterly inspections to assess the condition of the property and that everything is being kept in a satisfactory condition. We will always arrange this with you at a mutually convenient time.

Council Tax & Utilities

  • It is the tenant's responsibility to inform the utility companies of their occupation of the property at the commencement of the tenancy, and to pay council tax to the local authority. Students, who may be exempt from the payment of council tax, are responsible for informing the Local Authority of this.
  • Wherever applicable VAT will be charged at the current VAT rate.
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