Frost & Partners endeavour to offer a personal and professional service to both Landlords and Tenants. This guide has been prepared to try and make finding the right property and taking a tenancy as straight forward as possible and we would ask that you take your time to read it through. If any questions remain unanswered please do not hesitate to make contact with a member of our office.
Frost and Partners is an independent estate agent based in the historic market town of Hadleigh, Suffolk. We specialise in residential sales, lettings & commercial properties. Our team has first class local knowledge that enables us to endeavour a speedy and efficient letting and management service.
Almost all of the tenancies that we set up are Assured Shorthold; these are usually for an initial fixed term of six or twelve months. An Assured Shorthold Tenancy is a binding contract between the Landlord and Tenant. Some landlords have a preference for six month agreements and others for twelve – this will need to be a matter of discussion with Frost & Partners and is usually indicated on the property details. If you wish to leave at the end of a fixed term you need to serve not less than one month’s prior notice in writing (from term date) in advance. This notice should be served in writing upon Frost & Partners or the landlord, depending on who is managing. The landlord must give the Tenant two month’s notice prior to the end of the fixed term.
The Tenancy Application Form
Once you have found an available property that wish to rent, we will be delighted to try and help fill in a Tenancy Application Form. It is important that this document is correctly completed as it will be used to draw up the legally binding tenancy agreement; please give us as much information as possible.
Where there are multiple applicants a landlord is more likely to accept an application where they have all relevant information. Your form will need to be submitted with payment for the application fee, a photocopy of your passport or driving license and a current utility bill. Please note that completing and submitting this form does not necessarily guarantee that a tenancy will be offered to you. The commencement date of the tenancy will need to be agreed between the parties but you should indicate when you would like the tenancy to start.
We will always take out three references (more if deemed necessary) – a credit reference, employer reference and previous landlord or a suitable other referee as agreed between the parties. If you are self-employed, we will take references from your accountant and/or solicitor.
You may be asked to provide one or more guarantors (for example if you cannot provide an appropriate bank reference). These guarantors will be party to the tenancy agreement and will be responsible for any payments not met by you, including payment for any damage you cause. The guarantors will not be entitled to take a tenancy of the property. It is always an advantage to a tenants application form if the guarantor is available. We will also require two forms of identification from the guarantor.
A fee of £250 (including VAT) is payable to Frost and Partners. This fee includes the cost of preparing the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement and the administration costs associated with the references we will obtain on the first applicant. There will be an additional fee of £100.00 (including VAT) for each additional applicant or guarantor. The fees are payable upon application to take the tenancy and are non-refundable. It is however, fully refundable if the landlord withdraws prior to signing the agreement.
Once all of the references have been received and assuming these are acceptable, Frost & Partners will need to be in receipt of cleared funds equivalent to the deposit and first month’s rent. The deposit is equivalent to one and a half’s month rent (unless more is required for a particular reason) and will be held in accordance with the Deposit Protection Service. All client’s money is held in our client account at Barclays Bank, Account No. 83636763 Sort Code No. 20-44-51.
Client Money Protection Cover
Frost & Partners are members of a Client Money Protection scheme that is offering local landlords and tenants a new level of comprehensive protection to secure their rental payments - which goes beyond the legal requirements - in a move that has been praised by The Property Ombudsman scheme.
If you are in receipt of any benefits, have pets or are a smoker, it is best to speak with Frost & Partners before viewing. Whether or not an application may be acceptable will depend very much upon individual circumstances, as all Landlords and properties are different and we cannot generalise. Talking to a member of staff in this way should avoid wasting time for all parties and an unsuccessful application. When there are a number of applications for a property, an instant decision will not normally be possible and it can take up to a week, the final decision will normally be that of the landlord.
Rental payments will be made either to the landlord direct or Frost & Partners and the tenancy agreement stipulates that these must be made by standing order. Rental payments should be made promptly and therefore, standing orders will need to be in time for payment to clear the banking system.
Arrangements for Services / Council Tax
When you sign a tenancy agreement, it is your responsibility to inform all the utility companies including gas, electricity, water and sewerage, TV licence, telephone etc., of the tenancy commencement date as in most cases you will be responsible for all of these from that date. You should not inform the utility companies until the agreement is signed, unless previously discussed with Frost & Partners. In addition, it is your responsibility to inform the relevant council that you are a new resident of a property and that you will be responsible for payments from the tenancy commencement date. You must satisfy yourself that appropriate utility connections, including telephone and television are available.
A number of our rental properties are managed by Frost & Partners with the remainder managed directly by landlords. You will be given the appropriate contact details for all ongoing matters accordingly. When Frost & Partners are managing the property they will make one inspection after the first month and then every six months thereafter.
The deposits are protected by the DPS and must be held in accordance with the scheme regulations. You will be supplied with details of this and how your deposit is protected under the DPS. This will include contact details of the DPS, contact details of the Landlord or Agent, how to apply for the release of the Deposit, details of the purpose of the Deposit and what to do if there is a dispute about the Deposit. You have a responsibility to return the property in the same condition that it was let to you, allowing for fair wear and tear. It is important that you understand this responsibility. If you require more information regarding the Deposit Protection Service, you can find this at Deposit Protection Service
When you leave the property, a final inspection will be undertaken, for which we will charge a fee of £100.00 (including VAT). We will try to agree matters in relation to the deposit and, if so, the deposit or the appropriate part of it will be returned to you within three to five working days of agreement being confirmed in writing. If for any reason the parties cannot agree upon the amount of the deposit to be returned, then the matter will be referred to the Dispute Service. There are details regarding this service in the Tenancy Agreement.
You will usually be provided with a comprehensive schedule of condition and inventory at tenancy commencement – this is most important and will be used as our record of contents, and condition etc to assess at termination. You will be given seven days to check this and to make comments if you do not agree with it. If you require a member of Frost & Partners staff to meet you and go through the schedule of condition and inventory we will be pleased to do so. If we do not hear from you within the specified time scale we will assume that you agree and accept the contents of the schedule of condition and inventory in full.
What Happens At The End Of The Fixed Term?
Assuming no valid notice to quit has been served by either party there are two options for continuation of a tenancy after the fixed term:
When the tenancy finally terminates the property will be inspected by the Landlord or Frost & Partners depending on whom is managing. (See under Deposits above).
We do hope these guidelines are helpful to you but if you should have any concerns or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.