Here at Lockwood Lettings and Management we have a very open and honest policy with our landlords and tenants in Ashford, we have a team of approachable letting agents who will take the time to answer any questions or queries you may have, but we have put together a list of our frequently asked questions.

If you have a query and want to speak to us directly or cannot find the answer to your question below then just drop us a line, we will be happy to answer your question and put your mind at rest.

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What Is The First Thing I Do When Looking For A Place To Rent in Ashford?

The first thing you need to do is figure out your budget. Look at your current outgoings such as memberships, car insurance, petrol, bills, food and going out and then take this off of your incomings (salary) and what you have left is the budget for your monthly rent. It is important to remember that when you first move in you will have additional costs such as new furniture, moving vans, deposit and similar; also consider what bills you will have in your new home that will need to be paid such as TV licence, council tax, electricity, water, etc.

What Do I Do When I Find A Property I Like?

If you have found a property that you like then arrange for a viewing, if you will be moving with someone make sure you take them with you too, if you are moving into a house share meet the other tenants too. Ask the letting agent for the Tenancy Fee Declaration as this will confirm the service they provide you with and the money they expect from you. Make sure you have your reference details to hand for the letting agent or landlord.

Do I Have To Have My References Checked?

A professional letting agent will take a references from you for a landlord and an employer, this will just confirm the salary you are on to confirm you can pay your rent and that you caused no issues for a previous landlord. The reference does not cover or request information about personal details; it just confirms you will be a good tenant for the property.

What If There Is An Issue With My Reference?

In some cases, such as tenants without a regular income or a tenant with no previous landlord a tenant may not be approved immediately but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a property it just means that a guarantor may be needed to give the landlord or letting agent the peace of mind that the rent will paid each month on time. Alternatively you may be asked to pay 2 months’ rent up-front if a guarantor cannot be found.

What Is A Guarantor And Does Everyone Need One?

You only need a guarantor if you have not been approved at the referencing stage. A guarantor is normally a guardian or parent and they will sign to say they take joint responsibility for the property and they will pay the rent if the tenant is unable to. As long as the tenant always pays the rent on time and no damage is made to the property the letting agent or landlord will not need to contact the guarantor for payment.  A guarantor will go through the same referencing process to confirm they have the financial means to cover the rent payments if the tenant does not.

Why Do I Have To Pay A Deposit For My Property?

A deposit is taken before the tenant moves into the property, this deposit will be kept safely and legally by the landlord or letting agency – as long as no damage is made to the property and all rent is paid on time the rent will be returned to the tenant at the end of their stay within 7 days.

Your deposit will be kept in an approved tenancy deposit scheme and you will receive details of where your deposit is being kept and how you can get your deposit back at the end of your tenancy in the property.

What Is A Tenancy Agreement?

A tenancy agreement is a contract that will be signed by the tenant and landlord with a witness present. The tenancy agreement will outline all the rules that both the landlord and the tenant must comply to and what can be expected from either party.

Why Is A Property Inventory Completed?

An inventory will be completed on the property and the contents supplied with the property, this will protect the landlord and the tenant at the end of the tenancy agreement as both will know the condition that the property should be in. An inventory helps reduce the risk of disputes when the tenancy agreement comes to an end.

What Is A Routine Property Visit?

3-4 times a year your landlord or letting agent will complete a scheduled visit to your property to confirm that the property is well maintained and being well looked after. This is also a chance for the landlord or letting agent to check if there are any maintenance issues that need to be dealt with to keep the property in a good condition for the tenant. These viewings will be arranged in advance and the tenant can choose if they are present or not for the viewing.

Who Is Responsible For The Repairs In The Property I Rent?

If the tenant damages the property then it is their responsibility to put the damage right or pay for the repairs to be made. However the landlord is responsible for maintaining the property and keeping it in a good state of repair and this can be checked during the regular property visits.

As A Tenant Can I Decorate Or Make Changes To The Property?

This will be covered in your tenancy agreement, but in most cases as a tenant you must ask the permission of the landlord before changing or redecorating the property. It is recommended that you get this permission from the landlord in writing explaining the changes fully that they will allow or that you have requested.

What Happens If I Accidentally Cause Damage To The Property?

Don’t worry; we all know that accidents happen. When accidental damage is caused to the property you just need to contact the landlord or letting agent and inform them of the damage as soon as possible. You will then be informed of the cost to put the damage right. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to accidental damage because if you try and hide the damage or ignore it, the damage may get worse and cost more in the long run or the cost of the damage will come out of your deposit at the end of the tenancy.

What Happens If My Landlord Does Not Fulfil Their Side Of The Agreement?

If you feel that a landlord is not keeping to their side of the agreement for example unexpected visits or not maintaining the property then you need to contact the letting agent. Your letting agent has a duty of care to ensure that the tenant and the property are looked after and they may be able to help resolve any issues that you have as a tenant. Some tenants prefer to go to The Citizens Advice Bureau for independent advice if they feel the landlord and letting agent are not helping.

Can The Landlord Enter My Property At Any Time?

The landlord must give the tenant notice before entering the property, the terms and length of this notice will be noted in the tenancy agreement and are normally at least 24 hours notice. If it is an emergency notice does not need to be given.

How Can I End My Tenancy?

If you are in a fixed term contract you must pay the rent until the fixed term contract has come to an end, however if you are in a rolling contract then check your tenancy agreement for the amount of notice you must give to end your tenancy at the property.

What Happens If I Am Struggling To Pay The Rent?

We understand that circumstances can change but it is always the responsibility of the tenant to pay the rent on time. If you chance jobs, become unemployed or are unable to work due to sickness then contact us, as your letting agent, as soon as possible and we can look at ways to help you cover your rent. For example, if you change job and have a different pay date we can change the date your rent is due to make it more manageable.

Do I Need Insurance?

The landlord will cover the buildings insurance but you will need to arrange contents insurance to protect your goods within the property. You may also want to consider additional insurance that will keep you protected and your rent paid if you become sick on a long-term basis or become unemployed. We can advise you on the right insurance for your needs.

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If you have a query and want to speak to us directly or cannot find the answer to your question below then just drop us a line, we will be happy to answer your question and put your mind at rest.

If you would like to know more about the first class service we offer to our tenants then please contact our friendly team directly.

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