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Information for TENANTS

Looking for a rental property and moving into the property

  

Ideal timing to start to look for property to rent

If you are thinking about looking for a property to rent in London or the surrounding area, we would advise you to start looking at least 2 months before your actual moving in date, in view of the standard 2 months termination notice period required by a landlord from an existing tenant. This reduces your chances of losing a property which has been put onto the rental market. We would recommend that you let us know:

  • 1) what type of property you would like (e.g., flat, house, number of bedrooms), and
  • 2) any particular area that you prefer

by taking into consideration the safety, security, atmosphere and environment of the area, as well as the available transport links to your office or workplace and your child’s or children’s school(s).

Our experienced staff members are at hand and happy to guide you to find the most suitable property for you.

Arrangement for your viewing
If you find a suitable area and/or any properties to your taste, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may arrange your viewing of such properties with our staff members. Our knowledgeable staff will be able to explain to you in detail the pros and cons of such properties and whether they are suitable for you, and also make recommendations.
Tenancy application and references
Once you decide on a property that is suitable for you, you may then offer to the landlord, through us,
  • 1) the rate of rent you are willing to pay,
  • 2) from which date you wish to move in , and
  • 3) any special requests you may have.
Once your offer on a particular property is accepted, you may be required to submit the following references to your prospective landlord:
  • 1) a reference from your employer, stating your job title, the length of your employment, salary and a recommendation of you as a good tenant,
  • 2) reference(s) from your previous landlord(s) stating the length of your previous tenancy, monthly rate of rent, non-payment or arrears of rent (if any) and your behaviour as a tenant, and
  • 3) a reference from your bank.
If you have been in this country only for a short time, we may ask you to submit copies of your bank account statements for the previous 3 or 4 months instead of a bank reference.

We may also use a reference agency to carry out credit checks on you, in which case you will be required to complete and sign an application form to authorise access.

You will be required to pay the reference fee, which is non-refundable and charged per tenant. All information we collect is kept strictly confidential between us and the landlord and will not be passed to any third parties.
Holding Deposit
Once your offer to rent a property is accepted by the landlord, you may ask the landlord to take the property off from the market by paying a holding deposit.

This is usually approximately two week’s rent.

This payment is non-refundable if you withdraw your offer, but will be returned to you (after deduction of any reference costs) in the event that the landlord decides not to proceed with the tenancy.

Please note that payment by you of a holding deposit may not necessarily result in a tenancy but is considered as an indication of your serious intention to take the property subject to contract. Once the tenancy is agreed, the amount of this holding deposit is to be used as a part of the security deposit (on which, see below).
Tenancy Agreement
Our form of tenancy agreement for individual tenants complies with the requirements of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy and our form of tenancy agreement for company lets comply with the requirements of common law. Our tenancy agreement forms have been drafted by our solicitors and are fair and balanced contracts which take into consideration both the requirements of the tenant and the landlord.
Initial Costs you have to pay before moving in
At the time of signing the tenancy agreement (that is, after you find the property and before your tenancy starts), you will be required to pay:
  • 1) a security deposit (in most cases, the equivalent of 1.5 months’ rent),
  • 2) first month’s rent, and
  • 3) our administration fee.
The security deposit will be kept in our (as agent) client account and registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) in the case of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy.

The deposit is held against any damage and/or expenses during your tenancy and will not be released until after you vacate the property and all rent has been paid.

Further information on TDS can be found at www.tds.co.uk
Tenancy Deposit Protection
From 6th April 2007, all Assured Shorthold Tenancy deposits are to be protected by a Government-approvied protection scheme.

At Japan UK Property, all deposits paid by individual tenants are registered with and protected by the Tenancy Depsit Scheme (TDS) as we are a member of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

The purposes of TDS are:
  • • to encourage the tenant and landlord to make a clear tenancy agreement about the condition of the property and its inventory at the start of the tenancy,
  • • to provide arbitration free of charge,
  • • to resolve disputes between tenant and landlord in relation to deposits, and
  • • to prevent a landlord from deducting from a tenant’s deposit unfairly.
Inventory check
We recommend landlords to provide a professional inventory compiled by an independent inventory clerk comprehensively and in detail, which is then confirmed with the tenant at the start of the tenancy and again when the tenant moves out. Such independent inventory clerk’s fee is usually borne by the landlord and tenant equally.

Tenants are advised to check the inventory list and the schedule of conditions carefully before agreeing and signing them as they will form the basis for any claim for damages by your landlord at the end of the tenancy.

If you find any errors on the inventory list and schedule of conditions after you move in, you must inform us and your landlord as soon as possible (preferably within one week of moving in) and you are advised to take photographs as evidence of any damage on inventories in order to avoid any unfair claims by your landlord at the end of your tenancy.
Payment of Rent
All monthly rent is to be payable in advance by bank standing order to our (as agent) bank account and the payment day is to be set up for 4 working days before your due date to allow time for clearance by the bank.
Maintenance
At the start of your tenancy, you will be informed as to who is responsible for the management and maintenance of your property. The responsible party may be:
  • 1) Japan UK Property on behalf of the landlord;
  • 2) The landlord himself/herself; or
  • 3) A third party agent appointed by the landlord.
In any case, you will be given the appropriate person’s contact details so that you may contact them directly regarding management, repair and maintenance.

If you encounter any difficulties in contacting your landlord or his agent (other than ourselves) or if the matter is urgent, we recommend that you contact us for advice. Where we are responsible for the management and maintenance of your property on behalf of your landlord, you may of course contact us on all repair and maintenance matters.
Renewing your tenancy
We will contact you about 3 months before your tenancy expires and ask you whether you wish to renew your tenancy for a further year or whether you wish to vacate the property at the end of the tenancy. If you wish to renew, we will negotiate your new rent with your landlord and relay any requests or requirements you may have in order to ensure you will continue to enjoy your stay in the property for a further year. We will then provide a new tenancy agreement to both the tenant and the landlord (for which our administration fee will be chargeable).