Tenant Guide – Smeaton Homes

Tenant Guide

Step-by-step guidance notes for renting a property

Fill out an application / reference form

Everyone who will be regularly living at the property needs to fill out a reference form.  They’ll also be named on the tenancy agreement.  A full reference and credit check will be carried out on each person, the cost of which will is covered by our initial reference fee.  You’ll need to provide proof of ID (copy of passport, driver’s license) and proof of residency (copy of utility bill, council tax bill, water bill, bank statement or landline bill dated within the last 3 months).

Guarantor referencing

If we should need to reference someone (i.e. friend / family) who will be acting as your guarantor for the duration of your tenancy, we will reference them in exactly the same way as we reference you and will correspond with them via e.mail.  Please make sure that they check their e.mails and respond promptly to ensure that you are able to move in on the date planned, since we must have received a signed copy of the guarantor agreement before you can sign your tenancy agreement and move in.

Pay deposit and first month’s rent

Your deposit needs to be cleared before or on the day the tenancy starts.  The first month’s rent and all other fees must be received in cleared funds by the move-in date.  Your deposit will normally be held by a government scheme, The Deposit Protection Service, and is refundable at the end of the tenancy.  We will arrange this refund following a property inspection, provided there are no damages or rent arrears, service accounts are up-to-date and a forwarding address has been supplied.

Sign Tenancy Agreement

We usually issue an assured shorthold tenancy for a period of 6 months.  The tenancy agreement will be made with specific covenants regarding occupancy, pets, internal decorations and the upkeep of the garden.  Where applicable, these rules must be followed.  We’ll ask you to pop into the office about 3 days before the move-in date to sign the tenancy agreement.  This is a necessary legal document that protects everyone involved so it needs to be dealt with formally.

Arrange Insurance

In order to protect the landlord’s property against accidental damage, tenants are required to take out tenants’ liability insurance, which is part of the terms of the tenancy.  Once you’ve set this up, we’ll ask for a copy of your insurance certificate. We can provide information on Homelet, who can provide this cover, however other providers are available.

Attend move-in appointment

We will meet you at the rental property on the day you move in to show you where all the meters are and take meter readings. Unless specifically agreed, you’ll be responsible for all the utilities / services.  These include gas, electricity, water, sewerage, council tax, telecommunication charges, TV licence and any costs associated with satellite television.  Then we’ll give you the keys to your property and ask you to sign a confirmation that you hold them.

Read and sign inventory

An inventory is produced by an independent clerk. This is a ‘snapshot’ report detailing the state of the property and the contents at the time of the inventory inspection.  The inventory for the property will be sent to you by e.mail.  Take time to check it carefully and make changes or add information that will be taken into consideration at check-out.  It’s drawn up to protect you and the landlord so it’s important to be accurate to avoid disagreements when you come to leave.

During your tenancy

We ask our tenants to report maintenance issues immediately to us at Smeaton Homes.  We’ll visit on a quarterly basis and give you at least one week’s notice.  If we find any breaches of the tenancy agreement, we’ll notify you in writing and let you know how we’d like you to rectify the issue.