Renting a property can provide a good alternative to buying in many situations, for example, when moving to a new area, possibly with a new job, or leaving home for the first time.
We offer a wide range of rental properties from compact or luxury apartments to cottages or detached country homes. Search for availability and further details of application procedure via our website or by contacting Kassam and Co.
Before choosing a rental property
When you are viewing a new rental property, it is important to check several things. Everybody has their own priorities, however this checklist should help to jog your memory and ensure you’ve covered the basics:
- Doors and windows: Make sure they open and close properly.
- Heating: Gas central heating is the most cost-effective. Whatever system it is, make sure it’s good enough to warm the whole place. If it’s gas, check it’s passed it’s annual inspection by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
- Gas, electricity and water: Look at meters and check payment methods. Turn on the water to see if it works – is the water pressure strong or weak?
- Damp: Look out for dampness or mould. Check by doors and windows, inside cupboards, around heaters and on outside walls.
- Furniture: If it’s a furnished property, get an ‘inventory’ – a list of all the items included, and note the condition of items on the list.
- Peeling Paint: Avoid anywhere that needs a lot of repair work – this suggests an unreliable Landlord.
- Security: Check whether the home has good security – a burglar alarm, window locks, strong doors and so on. Has it got a smoke alarm?
- Outside: Check for problems with drains, gutters and the roof. Is there a garden to care for? Who is responsible for maintenance?
- Note anything that needs repair: If the Landlord agrees to make repairs, get it in writing.
What happens next?
At the start of your Tenancy
- Carefully read your Tenancy agreement: This is a legal contract drawn up by Kassam and Co that sets out your rights and responsibilities, and the rights and responsibilities of your Landlord. It says how much rent you should pay, what repairs the Landlord must do and the rules for when your tenancy comes to an end. Carefully read and make sure that you understand the Tenancy agreement before you sign it.
- Administrative deposit: After an offer has been accepted by a Landlord, it is normal for the prospective tenant to place a small deposit with Kassam and Co (normally the equivalent of one or two weeks rent) as a sign of their good intent. If the Tenancy goes ahead this administrative deposit will be deducted from the initial monies payable.
- References: Kassam and Co use a professional tenant referencing service to help confirm your ability to meet the rental commitment. It is always best to be honest when you complete the reference form as they are cross-referenced with other information sources.
- Initial payments: The initial payment will consist of the first instalment of rent, the deposit, one half of the cost of the Tenancy Agreement and any referencing/credit analysis charges.
- Inventory check-in: The inventory is a full and detailed report of the furniture, contents and state of repair of the property on the day that you move in. At the check in, make sure that you take readings of gas and electricity and check the boiler. Also, consider taking photos for evidence and to avoid any unnecessary disagreement at a later stage.
- We will advise you who will be responsible for the day to day management of the property and provide you with the relevant contact details.
- Services: You are responsible for the gas, electricity, water rates, telephone, TV licence and council tax for the duration of the Tenancy. You will need to contact the suppliers to transfer the accounts into your name. Where Kassam and Co are managing the property we will contact the utility companies (apart from British Telecom) on your behalf however you should also contact the suppliers to make sure this has been done.
- Payments: Rent is normally payable monthly or quarterly in advance to Kassam and Co.
Top tips for problem–free Tenancy
- Keep a copy of your tenancy agreement, inventory report, rent receipts and copies of any letters/emails you send or receive in a designated ‘Tenancy’ file folder and put it somewhere you can easily find it later.
- Never stop paying your rent, even if the Landlord is not complying with their side of the agreement (eg. by failing to do repairs) – you could end up being evicted if you do.
- Comply with the terms of your tenancy agreement. In particular, never make any alterations, keep a pet or let other people move in without asking us for permission first.
- We strongly recommend taking out home contents insurance. It will cover your belongings in case of theft, fires and natural disasters. The Landlord’s building insurance will not cover your things.
- If you are happy in the property and your tenancy agreement is coming to an end, consider asking for extension of Tenancy.
- Information and Terms & Conditions for Tenant
After an offer has been accepted by a Landlord, which will be subject to contract and receipt of satisfactory references, it is normal for the prospective Tenant to place with Kassam and Co a small deposit (normally the equivalent of one or two weeks rent) as a sign of their good intent. Should the Tenant decide not to proceed with the tenancy or if a satisfactory credit assessment and references are not obtained the Tenant will forfeit their deposit. Should the Landlord decide not to proceed the deposit will be refunded. If the tenancy goes ahead this administration deposit will be deducted from the initial monies payable.
Kassam and Co reserve the right to use a professional tenant referencing service to assess a potential Tenant and the cost of this would be for the Tenant’s account. A detailed reference analysis will cost each named individual Tenant £45.00 including VAT, if the Tenant is a Company the charge will be £60.00 including VAT. Each named Tenant will be required to complete an application form. The tenant referencing company will ask you for details of your employer, bank, previous Landlord and a character referee. For your information, your bank will normally make a charge for providing a reference, which they will deduct directly from your account. Your references may be shown to the Landlord or an interested party acting on their behalf. We also require proof of identity before the tenancy can commence and would ask you to provide us with a copy of your passport, driving licence or ID card with photograph.
Should a tenant request Kassam and Co to provide a reference for the purposes of renting another property, our administration fee to the tenant for this service is £30.00 including VAT which is payable on request.
The initial payment will consist of the first instalment of rent, the deposit, one half of the cost of the Tenancy Agreement and any referencing/credit analysis charges. Payment may be made by any of the following methods:
- Direct transfer of funds to our bank account (details on invoice by same day transfer (CHAPS), online banking or BACS etc.
- Bankers draft (payable to Kassam and Co)
- Personal cheque (payable to Kassam and Co) – please allow 7 working days to clear
- Due to the Money Laundering Regulations we are unable to accept payment in cash
- Kassam and Co must be in receipt of cleared funds in full settlement of the amount shown on the initial invoice before the start of the tenancy.
Rent: Normally payable monthly or quarterly in advance to Kassam and Co. Please note the monthly amount of rent payable is calculated as follows:
- Weekly rent x 52 divided by 12.
- Quarterly payments are calculated by multiplying the weekly rent by 13.
- Six monthly payments are calculated by multiplying the weekly rent by 26.
- If you are asked to pay to anyone else please check for possible tax implications. NB – please note that for short lets you may be required to make payment in advance for the full term of the tenancy.
Deposit: An amount equal to, not less than, six weeks rental is normally required. Kassam and Co are members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme which operates to safeguard your deposit and to ensure that any dispute over the return of the deposit after the tenancy has ended is resolved swiftly, inexpensively and impartially. Further details are available on its website www.tds.gb.com.
The cost of the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement is shared between the Landlord and the Tenant. The Tenant’s contribution to this will normally be £240.00 including VAT, providing the Landlord is using our services for the preparation of the Tenancy Agreement. Please note that the Agreement may be liable to Stamp Duty and that this is something for which you are responsible. Further information regarding any potential liability for Stamp Duty can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website www.hmrc.gov.uk.
Please note that after the initial payment is made we will ask you to set up a standing order for all future payments. If there is more than one of you living in the property and you are sharing the rent between you, we will ask you to pay the rent from one account only and for a standing order to be set up from this one account. Please note that this standing order must be set up to leave your account (or joint account) 3 working days before the rent due date in order for it to arrive on time.
Usually 52 weeks initially with any options for renewal and/or release clauses to be negotiated.
INVENTORY CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT
An inventory will normally be checked in at a pre-arranged time on the day the tenancy commences. It is strongly recommended that the Tenant is present both for the check-in and check-out to avoid any disputes at the end of the tenancy. The charge for the inventory check-out will be for your account.
The Tenant is responsible for the gas, electricity, water, telephone, TV licence and council tax bills for the duration of the tenancy. Either your Landlord or Kassam and Co will contact the utility companies (apart from British Telecom) on your behalf and will instruct them to transfer the accounts into your name at the start of the tenancy. However, you should also contact the suppliers to make sure this has been done. Please do not arrange for any of the utilities to be transferred to a different supplier without letting us know. British Telecom will not accept our instructions on your behalf so please call them on Freephone 150 to arrange to have the telephone service transferred into your name.
The Tenant is responsible for insuring their own contents and we strongly recommend that you do so by obtaining a quote through your own insurance broker.
EXTENSION OF TENANCY/CHANGE OF TENANT
If the Tenancy is extended beyond its original term, a charge of £120.00 including VAT will be payable by the Tenant for drawing up the necessary paperwork. If a Tenant in a shared property wishes to be replaced by a new Tenant during the tenancy (subject to the Landlord’s consent and receipt of satisfactory references) a charge of £240.00 including VAT will be payable by the Tenant for drawing up a new Tenancy Agreement or Deed of Assignment.
At the commencement of the tenancy we will advise you who will be responsible for the day to day management of the property (this is not always Kassam and Co) and provide you with the relevant contact details. Where we are not managing the property we are unable to arrange any repairs or maintenance on the Landlord’s behalf, nor can we control how quickly repairs will be carried out. Where we are managing the property it may be necessary in some instances for us to obtain the Landlord’s consent before arranging a repair.
Tariff of Tenant Charges
Kassam and Co want you to be aware of the circumstances where you may incur a fee or charge in relation to a tenancy arranged through us, including during the application process. This Tariff details the current fees and charges, which include VAT at 20%. The fees and charges shown are payable to, and will be invoiced by, us.
This document does not contain details of sums which may be payable to a landlord under a tenancy agreement. You must refer to the terms of the tenancy agreement for this information. It also does not contain details of other costs associated with renting a property, such as gas, electricity, water, telephone, TV licence, Council Tax, and contents insurance. These will all be your responsibility, however, not your landlord’s.
We reserve the right to amend the fees and charges in this Tariff to reflect changes in our operating costs. A copy of the up to date Tariff at any time can be obtained from www.kassamandco.co.uk. Where you have signed an Information and Terms & Conditions for Tenants Form no fees and charges in any amended Tariff will affect you unless the amendments are expressly permitted by that Form and have been notified to you.