Tenants FAQ

Tenants FAQ

Do you really not charge any application fees!

No we don't, some agents still seem to be advertising this but it is not legal. If you see agents advertising fees you can be sure the are not professionals. All private applications are free of charge we only charge an application fee for company lets.

Do you accept pets?

Possibly although most landlords will say no some will accept pets subject to a pet consent being signed and an increased rent. It is not that we don’t like animals in fact the opposite is true and all but two of the team are pet owners. Unfortunately pets can damage properties and/or leave odours which are hard to eradicate when they have left. Pets such as small snakes/lizards or goldfish are almost certainly fine but rabbits. dogs, cats and similar sized animals will need written permission from the landlord. If you have a particular house in mind please just ask and we can check with the landlord for you. Below is a copy of the pet consent we will ask you to sign this is not the document that will be used simply a copy of the details. ----------- Tenancy Agreement dated................................ Property:  .............................................................. Landlord(s)....................................................... Tenant(s):.......................................................... I refer to clause 4.5 in the above tenancy agreement, regarding the keeping of pets or animals in the Property and confirm, on behalf of the Landlord(s), that you may keep the following pet(s) on the Premises, subject to the following conditions: 1. ...........................................................................2. ........................................................................... 1. That you will be held responsible for the expense of professional cleaning of all fitted carpets in the property at the end of the tenancy. For the avoidance of doubt the use of domestic carpet cleaner or Rug Doctor is not acceptable. A receipt from a professional            carpet cleaner will be required showing all rooms that have been cleaned, the cost and date. 2.That you will also be held responsible for the expense of professional cleaning of all soft          furnishings such as curtains, beds and fabric sofas with receipt required as above 3. That any damage whatsoever caused by the animal(s) is corrected at your expense on demandfrom the Landlord or his Agent and any damaged furniture/furnishings replaced by new furniture of like value and quality 4.That you will ensure that each animal and all rooms are treated regularly with a recognised and appropriate flea deterrent eg Program, Frontline, Accord etc 5.That £75 of your damage deposit will be withheld up to 2 months after your vacation of the             property as security against flea or similar pest infestation that may require fumigation or                     similar treatment 6.That the Landlord or his Agents reserve the right to revoke consent at any time I/We,..................., acknowledge receipt of the above notice, of which this is a true copy and agree to abide by the terms and conditions contained therein. Signed  ...........................................................................  Tenants ...........................................................................  Landlord/Landlord's Agent Date ............................................................................ .............................

Major utility Emergency Contacts

Gas or carbon monoxide leak emergency call the National Gas Emergency Service 24 hours a day on 0800 111 999 (calls are recorded and may be monitored). Open your windows and doors to let air in, make sure all gas appliances are turned off and turn the gas off at the mains if possible. Do not turn lights on or off and avoid using other electrical switches and appliances as this could trigger an explosion. Do not smoke, light a match or any other naked flame.Do not try and investigate the problem or attempt to fix a leak or a faulty appliance. Power Cuts (electrical) and electrical emergencies Call 105 and/or visit http://www.powercut105.com/ Water and wastewater United utilities 0345 672 37 23 Issues with your individual house or apartment

In a genuine emergency you can contact someone to gain assistance. Please note that if the call out is not a genuine emergency then the cost will be passed on to you and that by using this service you understand and agree to this. If your landlord deals with their own maintenance (you will have been given their details already) you must try to contact them first.

Emergencies with gas appliances (fires, boilers and cookers) Joe Jaggar of Jagger Heating - 07743 125 268 Brian Morgan High Speed Gas & Plumbing Services- 07925 117 749 or 01229 823 855 Emergencies with guttering or roof leaks  Alex - Ads roofing 07949 872 587 Emergencies with electrical wiring, fuses or sockets (not appliances) Steve at S & G Electrical - 07906 554 512 General maintenance emergencies Ben Shepherd - Shepherd Letting Services 07737 689 842

I have a CCJ/rent arrears/poor credit – will you still accept me as a tenant?

It would depend on the landlord of the house you were interested in but it is less likely you would be accepted, if you have a county court judgement or an IVA this would be an issue. Often a credit check is not as bad as you might think but this is a small part of our application process. If adverse credit history is found after not being declared then you would almost certainly be declined.

Can you tell me the council tax for a certain property?

Yes of course we can but if you follow the links below you should be able to find out quicker by checking online. Current council tax banding can be found with a postcode here   http://cti.voa.gov.uk/cti/inits.asp Current Westmorland and Furness tax charges can be found here http://www.barrowbc.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=998

Can you tell me what the other bills are for the house e.g. gas and electric?

Water charges move inline with the council tax (ratable value of the house) unless there is a water meter. But more info can be found here http://www.unitedutilities.com/Our-charges-2013-2014.aspx  as far as we are aware all of our properties in Cumbria will come under united utilites for water. Gas and electric depend on usage so we do not estimate these for you we can get you a copy of the Epc should you like. This Energy performance certificate will show the energy efficiency of the house and potential savings from certain measures. If you do decide to change supplier during the tenancy you must inform us please. You will need a valid Tv license in the uk, but they will contact you very soon after you move in. For broadband, phone and internet you would have to arrange your own supply but we will inform the council, gas, water and electric companies just after you move in.

Can I have a longer lease i.e. several years?

We only provide a maximum of two years, legally longer can be provided but you must bear in mind it is binding on both parties and thus if your circumstances change you would be tied in also. Many agents are stuck in the practise of simply offering 6 or 12 months but we are happy to provide a lease of 9, 12, 18 or 24 months subject to acceptance by the landlord. Please note it is our standard practise to only offer a longer lease after an initial nine month let however exceptions can be made and of course corporate leases or company lets can be arranged to accommodate a "break clause" if required.

Can you unfurnish a furnished property for me?

We can ask the landlord but usually if the house is furnished the landlord will be reluctant to move all the furniture, they may have nowhere to put it, may not want to do this and are unlikely to want to pay to have it done. All that said there is no harm in asking you don't need to apply just tell us some basic details about you and those whom are to live with you etc and we will ask our client for you.

How do I leave the tenancy early if I am tied in?

You cannot unless the landlord allows it which of course they are unlikely to do but we will certainly ask. The usual compromise is that the landlord would require that we find someone to replace you and you pay the cost of this to them. We would re-advertise the house and then as and when a new tenant is found they can take over from you so for example if a new tenant moved in on the 6th September you only need to pay up to and including the 5th September.  With council tax and water paid to that date and other items as per meter readings taken the day you depart. This actually happens on a regular basis and we are more than happy to help you with this but you must ensure the house is in good condition and allow us to show the property to prospective new tenants. Please understand your obligation to pay the rent does not cease until a new lease is signed. The cost you will repay to the landlord is unlikely to be more than £210.00.

Why do you need to inspect the property during my tenancy?

This is a condition of the lease you have signed, it is done to ensure the house is being looked after and mainly to ensure there are no maintenance or other issues you may have missed yourself. We hope to be as un-intrusive as possible and please understand it is more to check on the house than on you! We will email you the week before to ensure you know when we are coming and can accommodate things if you are for example on a night shift. You do not need to be present and we will use a key for access, in most cases it will be the same staff member who completes the check each time. If you have any post for the landlord/previous tenants or maintenance to report please DO NOT wait for the inspection these are not to collect post or discuss maintenance issues. Please bring post into our office and contact us for any maintenance issues.

I don’t want to give you access to the property, can I say no?

No you must allow us or the landlord access, if you would like to arrange a more convenient time that is fine we aim for a 2 hr time slot within our office working hours Monday to Friday to make things more convenient. If you continually refuse access or leave a key in the door continually you will most likely be served notice and asked to depart the property. We are happy to work with you if for example you have a cat that trys to sneak out but we must be able to complete our job.

Can I pay with cash or a cheque?

No sorry you cannot pay with cash or a cheque this is simply because we are charged by our bank so would have to pass these costs on. Cheques are not instant and we try to avoid holding any cash in the office. You can pay directly into our account free of charge but make sure you read the notes below. All rent must be paid into the " pc lettings clients monies account "number 13169734 sort code 01 00 61 but you must add a reference of (for example only)  "34mystreetmyjones"

Will I be charged if my rent is late?

The lease allows us to charge a reasonable % but our standard practise is to send a polite reminder first, we may charge if you continually pay the rent late. The most common mistake is when your standing order for the rent runs out! The standing order means you inform your bank to pay us, we do not take the rent via a direct debit. We would have asked for your bank details only in order to complete a credit check. If you only want to set the standing order up for six or twelve months that is your decision but we suggest you pop a reminder in a diary or on your phone to set up another once this has run out if you are to stay. If your tenancy has finished and you have departed don't forget to cancel your standing order.

Do you have any houses that might be available soon that are not listed on Rightmove etc?

Yes we do please see this link to see a list of houses that will be available soon but are not yet fully advertised online. For more info please contact sophie@pclettings.com or just call 01229 83 1111.

Why has my application been declined?

As per the condition of the application we do not disclose this mainly for the sake of reference providers. Please understand it is not personal and the decision might not be ours.

What fees to you charge tenants and applicants?

Application Fee and Other Tenant Charges. There are no application fees for private tenants or applicants at all! If you need to end a tenancy early it is likely landlord will want you to cover the cost of creating a new tenancy is being £210.00. But this is only if they agree for you to end the tenancy early. Tenancy variations will be no more than £50.00 including v.a.t where allowed. Company Application Fees are payable at £160.00 (£133.33 + VAT) Deposit will be equivalent to 5 weeks rent.

What is the government how to rent guide?

This is the newly issued government advice for tenants please understand this is not specific to our agency or your lease and as such if you have any questions please feel free to ask us. We are happy to email you a copy of this document or you can collect a printed copy if you prefer. The advice is to read through this before renting a property on any assure shorthold tenancy just click on the link below. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent

Condensation in your home what can you do?

If you or indeed we have noticed signs of condensation in your house or flat we strongly suggest you read through the information below as this is an often misunderstood problem. This info is designed to give a brief guide to the occurrence of condensation in your property, outlining the reasons why it may occur and stating actions which may reduce its effects. There may be serious, underlying reasons why this has appeared but more commonly simple steps to reduce moisture in the air will alleviate if not completely resolve the issue. What is condensation? Condensation forms because the moisture in the air can no longer be held as a vapour, so returns to liquid. This occurs when warm moist air comes into contact with cooler air or a cooler surface. ‘Dew point’ describes the temperature when air containing a given quantity of moisture vapour will condense onto that surface. While condensation is obvious when it occurs on impermeable surfaces – most commonly window glass, cold-water pipes and ceramic tiles- it will also form on any surface which is at, or lower than, dew point. The presence of condensation on more absorbent surfaces (such as paint, plaster or wallpaper) becomes obvious when disruption, damage or mould growth forms on that surface. Mould growth is a typical sign of chronic condensation and occurs as spores which are always present in the air. These spores find water (condensate) and organic material (dirt and grease) that support their life cycle. Mould is a significant health risk to asthmatics, anyone with other respiratory conditions, the very young and elderly people. The high humidity levels associated with condensation also enables house dust mites to flourish. The droppings from these microscopic creatures as well as mould spores can cause allergic reactions which are also linked to the onset of asthma. For those concerned with condensation in buildings, the quantity of water vapour in the air and the temperature of surfaces within buildings are two key issues. How to recognise condensation The most common and typical signs of condensation to look out for are:
  • Mould growth on walls, around external wall openings & areas of low air circulation/ poor ventilation.
  • Misty wall surfaces:
  • Water staining and streaking on walls particularly in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Patches of damp with no obvious edges.
What action is required? Double glazing and improved insulation means we have warmer homes, but unless a property is adequately ventilated, it can become damp. We ask all tenants to ensure that our properties are sufficiently ventilated by taking a few simple precautions stated below in order to avoid condensation and the build-up of damp. BEDROOMS – Open bedroom windows when you go to bed at night: a 10mm gap will do. If it really is too cold to do this, wipe the condensation off the windows first thing in the morning, but please do not put the cloth you used on the radiator to dry as this will create more condensation. SHOWER/BATHROOM – Ensure full use of extractor or ventilation fans. Where these are not provided, open a window after bathing or showering to give the steam and damp air a chance to escape. Wipe the windows, walls and mirrors to remove condensation (a microfiber cloth is the most efficient means of doing this) , and dry the shower tray or bath. Keep the door closed while the bathroom is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house. KITCHEN – When cooking, cover pans. Use extractor or ventilation fans where provided. If you do not have an automatic kettle, take care to ensure it is not left boiling. These precautions will help to reduce steam and therefore moisture in the air. Keep the door closed while the kitchen is in use to prevent the steam escaping to other parts of the house. LIVING AREAS – Where there are chimneys, do not block them up. If a wall appears to be damp, do not put furniture right up against it; allow some circulation of air. GENERAL – Make sure that any ventilation bricks or openings in the building are not obstructed. WINDOWS - Keep glass as clear of condensation as you can. Wipe away moisture that has formed using a soft cloth. Leave open any ‘trickle’ vents in double glazed units. Get into the habit of opening windows to keep the moisture content in the air down and to air the property whenever you can. LAUNDRY – Avoid drying clothes on radiators or elsewhere inside this is a major source of the  moisture and this water will only go into the air inside . Tumble dryers should be vented outside. HEATING – Provide a reasonable level of heating (no less than 10oC in an unused area, or 16oC if in use); cold rooms are susceptible to condensation. Remember, the best way to heat a room and avoid condensation is to maintain a low level of warmth throughout the day rather than to turn the heating off while you are out and put it on at a high level when you return home. PORTABLE HEATERS – Portable gas and paraffin heaters can create a significant amount of damp and condensation within properties. Please do not use this type of heater unless you have permission from your landlord or property manager. Remedies Mildew may be removed from clothes by using a dry cleaning process… Remove and kill mould by wiping the affected areas(s) with a fungicide which carries a Health and Safety Executive approval number, precisely following the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not disturb mould by vacuuming or brushing as this can give rise to respiratory complaints. On a final note… Ventilation and extractor fans are not prohibitively expensive to use, and used correctly can in fact save dilapidation expenses at the end of your tenancy. If you believe there to be a need for an extractor fan or any similar piece of equipment in the property you are renting, please inform us. We hope you have found this information useful and that it might help to resolve any issues concerning condensation and damp before they become a serious problem. If you follow the advice the risk of mould and damp conditions should be kept to a minimum and possibility of deductions from your dilapidation deposit are less likely. Where do I go for further information? If you would like more information, you should try the following sources: N.B. This sinformation is intended to assist landlords’  and tenants to understand the effects of the damp and condensation. For more details, you should refer to the sources stated above. Please understand we want to help and are happy to talk further about his should you require. We can also supply some moisture traps to help absorb some of the moisture please just ask.
We have put a little detail in here as people often think we are just saying no or being snobby which is not the case. Our longest standing customer has been with us over 20 years and receives full housing benefit. The problem comes down to risk and the fact that most landlords see a tenant who is on housing benefit as a higher risk. As we have a higher than average standard of rented homes our landlords do tend to me more risk adverse than some others. With significant tax increases and other costs added to landlords in the last few years some cannot afford to be without rent and use us because we take great care over whom we grant tenancies to. Housing benefit as standard is now paid directly to the tenant and only if the rent is 8 weeks late or we can prove the tenant has poor financial management can we ask for it to be paid direct, neither of course being acceptable. Housing benefit is paid 4 weekly not monthly and paid in arrears. One condition of acceptance is that a landlord or indeed the agent has to pay back any "overpaid" rent up to four years after a tenant has left! This is not overpaid rent that is not due but benefits that the assessment team have decided is not due to the tenant. Because we do have a small number (6) tenants who get housing benefit any overpayments come out of their money and we have to replace the funds! This as an agent we feel is completely unfair. In the current (very busy) market it is common to receive 2,3 or 4 applications on a house. The landlords often then will prefer tenants in full time employment, those wanting longer term (not always) and those without pets. We have added this information to try and explain the reasons in more detail as we do understand how upsetting and frustrating the situation can be for tenants.

Customer Comments

We have used PC Lettings for many years... They offer a comprehensive service for both tenants and landlords. Well done PC lettings team!


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