TENANTS

We Care About Our Tenants

For a start, our landlords know that a happy tenant is usually a good tenant. So we make sure our landlords are aware of what constitutes an acceptable environment (small repairs and good decoration being two important factors) and we will not handle properties where landlords do not comply with safety procedures. It is in their interest to get this right.

With our fully-managed properties, response to problems is swift and quarterly property visits (always booked in advance with you) ensure everything is in good working order.

Landlords have obligations, but so do tenants - so we make it easy for you to have a trouble-free tenancy. You'll find our Tenant's Welcome Pack really useful. What is more, we offer a great deal of support for the first-time tenant.

References

You will be asked to fill in an application form which will enables us to take up references from employers or accountants, bankers and your previous landlord and to conduct a credit check. Our charge for referencing and administration is 25% of one month's rent.

The Deposit

A holding deposit (taken while references are followed up) will be one third of the main deposit. This is not an extra charge and it becomes part of the main deposit once you sign the agreement.

Deposits are equal to one month's rent or six weeks' rent, if furnished. If rental is over 1,000 pcm, the deposit will be equal to six weeks' rent.

If Echo does not manage the property, your landlord will receive your deposit and hold it until the end of the tenancy. If we do manage the property, your deposit cheque is paid into a separate client account and held there until the end of your tenancy. It is refundable then, subject to the property being in the condition in which it was described in the inventory. To avoid any problems, a comprehensive inventory is carried out at the beginning and referred to at the end of the tenancy. This protects both you and the landlord and will be signed by both parties. Your deposit is held in the government approved Deposit Protection Service.

The Rent Payments

Payments are made by Standing Order on the date agreed in the tenancy agreement.

Rent is paid one month in advance, the first month being payable by banker's draft or cash before you occupy the property.

The Tenancy Agreement

Tenancy agreements are generally Assured Shorthold, for a minimum period of 6 months. They are renewable, if conditions have been adhered to.

Housing Benefit

We do not have a specific policy regarding Housing Benefit but some of our landlords will not accept Housing Benefit claimants, so please check with us.

Insurance

You are responsible for insuring the contents you take into the house. The landlord will insure the building.

Utilities

The tenant is responsible for paying services such as gas, electricity, water, sewage and council tax unless otherwise stated. All services will automatically be transferred to the tenant's name by us or by the landlord. Tenants must contact the telephone company directly and must also obtain their own TV licence.

Property Visits

These are made within the first fortnight and then at 3-monthly intervals and are an opportunity for you to talk over any problems. However, we would urge you to report any problems when they occur. A property visit will always be booked in advance with you.

Terminating The Tenancy

You will have to give two months' notice, to expire on the last day of the tenancy period. Your landlord must also do this if he wishes to take back his property. A tenancy can be extended on the same terms, by mutual consent, or by putting in place a new agreement.

Checking In And Checking Out

We agree a mutually convenient time for this process. At check-in, keys are only released on our having from you a signed tenancy agreement, a signed inventory and all monies paid (and cleared, where necessary).

For a trouble-free tenancy, it is important to understand all conditions and pay your rent on time. Each property comes with a Tenant's Welcome Pack for your convenience.

Fees

A one-off payment equal to 25% of the monthly rent is required by Echo Property.