As far as the tenancy is concerned the Landlord is responsible for insuring the building and any of their own contents included in the tenancy. The Landlord cannot be held responsible for any loss suffered by the Tenant; therefore the tenant should consider whether they wish to obtain contents insurance cover for their own furniture and effects at the property. If required, CP will be happy to arrange for a financial advisor to organise the appropriate insurance cover.
The insurances may be affected if the property is vacant for a consecutive period of 28 days; therefore if the Tenant is planning to be away from the property for that period of time, they must inform CP before they intend to leave the property; should any insurance be invalidated as a result, the tenant will be responsible for all damage that might occur at the property.
Utility Supplies and Services
As from the start of the tenancy CP will arrange for the cost of utility supplies and council tax to be transferred from the existing occupier to the Tenant. Should the Tenant wish to transfer any of the utilities to an alternative supplier or disconnect the supply altogether, they must obtain prior permission from CP. Unless the Landlord directs otherwise, at the end of the tenancy the utilities will be reinstated back to the original suppliers and the Tenant will be responsible for any costs or charges connected with the transfers.
The Tenant will also be responsible for the transfer and/or installation cost and subsequent reinstatement of any telecommunication services. At the end of the tenancy final meter readings will be agreed with the Tenant during the Check-Out and services subsequently transferred from the Tenant to the new user. Tenants are also requested to avoid any circumstances which are likely to give the utility companies a reason to disconnect supplies.
A deposit is payable by the Tenant to insure the Landlord against the risk of any dilapidations to the property or contents which occur as a result of the tenancy. The Landlord is only entitled to compensation when there is a lack of care or damage beyond fair wear and tear to the Landlord’s property or when additional cleaning is necessary in order to return it to the original condition.
For properties that are managed by CP, in line with legislation, CP will lodge the deposit with a Government approved scheme, which will hold the deposit as an independent stakeholder not representing either Landlord or Tenant (If the Tenancy Deposit Scheme [TDS] is used then CP will hold the deposit as an independent stakeholder.) Where a property is not managed by CP it is the Landlord’s obligation to protect the deposit and to supply ‘terms and conditions’ for whatever scheme is being used. Along with a lot of agents, most Landlords will use the Government approved scheme of deposit protection known as The Deposit Protection Service (DPS).
Full details will be given to the Tenant. The deposit cannot therefore be utilised for any other purpose such as outstanding rent and (unless CP advise otherwise) the deposit will remain in the same scheme throughout the tenancy. Subject to a deduction for the cost of any dilapidations, upon agreement of those deductions from both Landlord and Tenant, the balance of the deposit will be returned to the Tenant. Please be aware that where the tenancy is being taken by 2 or more people, any repayments due will, unless confirmed otherwise in writing, be made only to the ‘lead tenant’ (the first signatory on the Tenancy Agreement).
Whilst the vast majority of tenancies managed by CP end harmoniously, should a dispute arise over the justification or proportionality of a deduction which cannot be resolved, the matter will be passed over to the Scheme’s resolution service. The scheme’s resolution service will then consider the circumstances impartially and after due deliberation issue their ruling.
The three Government approved schemes are:
- Deposit Protection Service (DPS)
- Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)
A detailed inventory and schedule of condition (the cost of which is the responsibility of the Landlord) will be prepared by a representative of CP. For the benefit of transparency and impartiality CP endeavour to use independent specialists as representatives whenever possible. Immediately after the Tenancy Agreement has been signed and deposit and rent paid, the representative will present their reports to the Tenant for their approval (‘the Check-In’).
Please note that should the Tenant fail to appear for a prearranged appointment to Check-In, they will be liable for the additional costs incurred as a result of the aborted visit and in organising another inspection.
At the end of the tenancy, as per the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, the Tenant will return the keys to the managing agents office prior to 12 Noon on the final day (“The Check Out”). CP’s representative will attend the property to ascertain whether any dilapidations have occurred during the tenancy.
Prior to the Check-Out the tenant should ensure the property has been properly prepared and cleaned and items returned to the same position as they were listed in the latest inventory and “schedule of condition”. In practice, providing sufficient funds remain of the dilapidations deposit, any costs agreed to be outstanding are usually deducted before the final balance is returned to the tenant.
Repairs and Maintenance
The Landlord is responsible for ensuring that the property is maintained in good operational order throughout the tenancy and CP offers an out-of-hours 24/7 service for acute emergencies. Whenever a Tenant becomes aware of any maintenance/dilapidations issues they are asked to notify CP at the earliest opportunity and should they not do so they could be held at least partially responsible for any additional costs resulting from a delay. Once informed CP will relay the problem to the Landlord and implement their instructions in order to remedy the fault. Without CP’s permission in writing the Tenant must not carry out any changes to the property (including decorating) or engage a contractor to do so.
Any work carried out or is needed to be done to return it to its original condition, will be at the Tenant’s expense. Tenants should also be aware that they are responsible for the cost/replacement of any disposable items used in the course of every day living such as light bulbs, replacement batteries etc and for taking sensible precautions against frost damage. Also for ensuring that any smoke or carbon monoxide detectors at the property are checked regularly, batteries replenished when required and immediately reported to CP if not functioning correctly.
Whilst preserving the Tenant’s right to privacy as will be appreciated, CP needs to monitor the property periodically carrying out the first visit approximately 3 months from the date the Tenant took occupation. Providing no problems are revealed, further visits will be arranged at 6 monthly intervals. In addition to protecting the Landlord’s interests, the visits also provide an opportunity for the Tenant to discuss any problems they may be experiencing in their tenancy.
A particular day for a visit will be agreed with the Tenant in advance, however in most cases the exact time of arrival will need to be left open to make allowance for any unexpected delays which may occur at earlier appointments. CP reserves the right to use their management key to enter the property to carry out an inspection where a prior appointment has been made.