Please note all our Landlords are required to provide proof of ownership of their property and there is no Tenant Fee payable other than a refundable holding deposit as detailed in this guide
This information is intended to inform tenants of certain important information and matters they need to be aware of as their application is processed moving into the property and vacating at the end of the tenancy
Reserving a Property
No non refundable holding or other tenant’s fees relating to reservation of a property on the site will be taken but the advertising will continue along with viewings to other prospective tenants until a formal application has been received. If more than one application is received the Landlord will assess which application we should proceed with. Only at this stage will the property will be held for you until the processing of your application is completed.
Communications with Castle Estates
As part of our policy to help save the environment, Castle Estates is embracing technology to provide a paperless office. Wherever possible we transmit documents, including Formal Notices, electronically and use a secure online system for electronic signatures.
All persons over the age of 18 and residing at the property as their main residence will need to be referenced whether or not they are to be named as tenants. The referencing is carried out by an independent professional referencing company and includes all the personal, credit and employment checks you would expect to be undertaken to verify your ability to act as a responsible tenant capable of meeting their commitments as set out in the tenancy agreement. During the referencing process each tenant will require to provide proof of identity and current residence. This is usually by providing a copy of an original passport or other document with a photographic ID proving identity, along with at least two proofs of residence relating to your current address within the last three months.
In certain cases a Guarantor must be provided at the start of the tenancy and the same or a replacement must remain guaranteeing the tenancy for as long as it continues. The Guarantor must also complete an application form and be referenced.
The Tenant pays the Deposit, one month’s rent + £100, as security for the performance of the Tenant’s obligations and to pay and compensate the Landlord for the reasonable costs of any breach of those obligations. The deposit will be protected by The Letting Protection Service Scotland (LPS Scotland) in accordance with its terms and conditions and if any interest is due it will be apportioned by LPS Scotland when they release the relevant parts of the deposit to the Tenant and, if appropriate and as decided by them, the Landlord.
To safeguard the tenant all deposits will be paid into the LPS Account
Where a Landlord agrees a cat or a dog can be kept at the property then the security deposit must be increased by £100 for each such pet.
Appointments to move into the property will be made and on the day of moving into your property you will need to bring further monies to cover your first month’s rent. Confirmation will be given to confirm to you the exact amount payable by you. Please note these monies MUST be paid in cash, Building Society counter cheque or by Bankers draft – personal cheques will NOT be accepted. Credit & Debit Cards are accepted but subject to a transaction fee.
Please also note that in order to avoid embarrassment and additional costs under no circumstances will tenants be checked into a property unless and until all necessary payments have been paid in full by way of cleared funds. In addition all tenants must sign the necessary legal documentation before the legal commencement of the tenancy i.e. taking up authorised occupancy.
Checking into the Property
The check-in will either take place at the property where the inventory will also be agreed or at our offices or alternative location in which case if tenants then check themselves in they will have up to 7 days (24hrs for cleaning issues) in which to raise any queries on the inventory which they will also have been asked to sign. Tenants are also advised that although BT points and TV aerial or cable points may be present, there is no guarantee they are ‘live’ and it is the Tenants responsibility to make these active if attention is needed to them. One set of keys will be handed over and if you require extra keys this must be advised, they will be cut at your expense and must be handed back when you vacate the property.
The Tenancy Agreement
The Tenancy Agreement will be drawn up for a period of time agreed with you, though the initial term will usually be 6 or 12 months. Provided the tenancy has been conducted satisfactorily and if your Landlord is prepared to renew your tenancy at the end of the initial fixed period you may be offered a Renewal Tenancy. If this happens the you will be asked to sign a new tenancy agreement and any other necessary formal papers. This process will be repeated every time a new tenancy agreement is offered to you.
Who May Occupy the Property?
Only those named on the tenancy agreement as tenants and members of those tenants immediate family may occupy the property. The tenancy may not be transferred to any other third party.
When You Can Leave
Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract; it is for an initial fixed duration and you cannot give notice to vacate before the expiry date.
Tenants must give their notice in accordance with the tenancy agreement.
Check Out Appointment
The Landlord or his Agent will arrange to meet you at the property to carry out the check-out, verify the condition of the property and read the meters. You will be required to return all sets of keys at this meeting; you will be charged on a daily basis until all keys and possession are surrendered. You must be ready to leave the property and all of your personal effects and your furniture must be removed. If your property has been professionally cleaned prior to your moving in we will charge you for a professional clean when you vacate.
Your tenancy is an SAT your deposit will be registered with a Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP) scheme as referred to above. You will then need to agree any deductions with the Landlord or Agent and then both you and the landlord or Agent are required to sign a form confirming your mutual agreement to any such deductions. The deposit can then be paid out accordingly.
You will receive much more information from on this within 14 days of paying your deposit, but please note if a dispute arises between you and your landlord then none of the deposit can be released until either the matter is resolved and the necessary form signed or else the dispute has been referred to the TDP scheme Administrator or the Courts and an independent decision on apportionment of the deposit has been reached.
In everyone’s best interests therefore we would therefore urge your prompt and continued cooperation at the end of the tenancy in order to agree any such deductions.
Fees and Charges
We reserve the right to charge certain minimum charges. Please note that a fee will be charged for any appointment(s) not kept by the Tenant. The fee will be dependent on the costs incurred as a result of any appointment not being kept. Payments by Credit or Debit Cards subject to Surcharges at current rates.
Tenants Liability Insurance is a requirement of the Tenancy but we also advise that the tenants have their own contents insurance for their personal possessions. These items will not be covered by the Landlord’s insurance if the property is broken into or subjected to flooding, fire etc. However more importantly having a tenant’s contents policy will enable you to cover the Landlord’s goods against accidental damage by you and will also provide you with Public Liability cover which is essential should a substantial claim ever be made against you.
Neither Castle Estates nor your landlord can accept any liability for a tenant’s failure to have their personal possessions fully insured, protection against accidental damage to the Landlord’s goods, or a lack of Public Liability cover.
Utility, Telephone, Broadband, Media Providers and Council Tax
Although it is the tenant’s responsibility to arrange for the transfer of utility, telephone, broadband, Media providers and council tax accounts into their name. Castle Estates will assist the Tenant in this process. It is also the tenant’s responsibility to ensure that any Media requirements are available to the property and arrange for the transfer of utility, telephone, broadband, Media providers and council tax accounts into their own name. In order to assist we use a third party service provider who notifies the relevant company or authority. (Applies to water/sewage, gas, electric and Council Tax only)
Payment of Rent
Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding document which requires you to pay the rent in full in cleared funds on the rent due dates. Failure to do this means that you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement
Repairs and Maintenance
Should you experience any problem with either the structure or contents (provided by the landlord) of the property you have three options available to report any problems or issues in order that arrangements can be made to investigate them further:-
- Contacting the office directly by phone or email during office hours
- Through our PropertyFile App
- Using our website Online Notify a Repair form
For Emergencies see below and Notify a Repair.
In certain circumstances, and normally where any work required is substantial, either in terms of cost or magnitude, it may be necessary to obtain more than one quotation from contractors, or to instruct a surveyor to assess the nature of the problem so that it can be resolved effectively.
If a contractor attends to a problem that the tenant has reported and the fault is due to lack of care or misuse, the tenant may be charged for the cost of putting it right.
In Scotland if you are not happy with the condition of your property and the Landlord has failed to comply with his statutory requirements you may be able to seek redress through the First-Tier Tribunal.
Maintaining the Property
The tenant is responsible for normal household maintenance at the property just as if they owned the property instead of renting it. Normal day to day occurrences happen as a result of living in a property whether it is owned or rented, and so issues such as replacing light bulbs, cleaning windows, cutting lawns, maintaining hedges and borders, keeping all guttering and drains clear from leaves and blockages, the removal of such pests as fleas, ants, wasps, mice, rats, squirrels etc. and any other tasks have been ruled as being normal household management and therefore tenant responsibility. If there is a garden with your property you must keep it in good seasonal order. You must not uproot established trees and shrubs and you must not remove lawns as already laid at the commencement of your tenancy.
Inspections may be carried out on the property by our staff at any time, but the tenant will be notified of the time and date of the proposed inspection, and have the option of being present at the inspection. Whilst we try and accommodate access times our inspections are normally carried out in bulk in a particular area. If the tenant does not allow access on the Notified date they will be liable for a charge for the one off return visit.
By law the landlord must comply with the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1994 and subsequent associated legislation. The landlord must have all gas systems, appliances and flues checked at least every 12 months by a GAS SAFE registered engineer. These regulations do not apply to gas appliances owned by tenants for example a gas cooker. The tenant will be provided with a copy of the gas safety certificate provided by the inspecting engineer.
Tenant Decorations and Alterations
The landlord wants the property to be treated as the tenants own home. However, consent must be obtained prior to any redecoration or alterations being carried out. Failure to comply with this may result in you being charged the cost of returning the property to its original condition at the end of your tenancy.
If a tenant loses house keys, whatever the circumstances, they are responsible for the cost of replacement and the cost of having additional sets cut is to be borne by the tenant. If a lock change is required as a result of the tenant losing a key they will be charged the cost of the lock change. If the tenant occupies a flat in a block which has a common entrance door key they will also be charged the cost of providing all occupiers in the block with new keys. It is the responsibility of the tenant, to repair and/or re-glaze any windows or glazing broken at the property.
If a tenant requires emergency assistance through loss of Keys they can contact the Emergency number. There will be a call out charge to allow access to a property and please note a payment in Advance will be required before anyone is instructed to attend.
Your tenancy documentation will supply a contact number for emergency calls and will only be available out of office hours to assist you in the event of a real emergency. When telephoning in an Emergency please give as much information as to the type of emergency. You will need to give your name, full address and contact telephone numbers.
PLEASE NOTE THAT CONTACTING THE EMERGENCY NUMBER OF A PROBLEM DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE ISSUE WILL BE DEALT WITH OUTSIDE NORMAL WORKING HOURS. THE NUMBER YOU WILL BE GIVEN IS PROVIDED PRIMARILY TO DEAL WITH REAL EMERGENCIES – FOR EXAMPLE GAS LEAKS OR MAJOR WATER LEAKS. ALL STANDARD MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS AND GENERAL ENQUIRIES SHOULD BE REPORTED TO YOUR LANDLORD, UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE, DURING NORMAL OFFICE HOURS