Tenants' guide

Do I deal with Catford Investments or the landlord directly?

  • You will be dealing with either the Catford team or the landlord depending on the package the landlord has chosen.
  • In most of the cases, you will be dealing with one of our team members the entire process, from the viewing, to the signing of the Tenancy Agreement

How do I set up a viewing?

  • 1. Use our search tool and request to view
  • 2. Call our offices

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 before you view, this will be sent to you on receipt of your enquiry. 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)

Tenancy Agreement

  • Both the Landlord (or Agent on behalf of 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.
  • It is important you note that the agreement is made between landlord and tenant, we act for the landlord only.
  • 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
  • This is made up of the following:
  • Deposit normally equal to 4 weeks of rent (this can change dependant on requirements)
  • The first months rent in advance.
  • The above monies need to be in a cleared form before the tenancy is able to commence, payment by means of either debit card or paid directly into our client bank account and showing as cleared.

Rental Payment

  • Rent will be paid to either Catford 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.

Insurance

  • It is the landlords responsibility to insure the building, with contents insurance optional if the property is provided fully furnished
  • It is the tenants responsibility to insure their own contents during the tenancy, policies are also available to insure against damage/breaks during the tenancy, details available on request.

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.

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 checkout inventory 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 Arbitration, the scheme will tend to look more favourably on 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 agent, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The Inventory report 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 Catford team member dependant on the service provided to the landlord. This report is provided to all parties
  • 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 conclusion will be update to the protection scheme. All parties are obliged to confirm agreement directly with the protection scheme and funds are sent directly to accounts via the scheme.
  • If you disagree with the proposed deductions, you should try and come to an agreement with the landlord via the Catford team if the maintenance was managed during your tenancy. 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.

Tenant's 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 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

  • Ultimately 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. However as part of our management service to the landlord we may provide this service at the start of your tenancy, it remains your responsibility to ensure this has been carried out and payments to the relevant bodies has been set up correctly. 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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