Tenants can be assured that all our Landlords provide proof of ownership and Landlord Registration details of their property. Castle Estates has no Tenant Fees payable other than a refundable reservation deposit as detailed in this guide and is subject to the Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Act Regulations 2016
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
How do I Reserve 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. For further information please visit our Application Guide/Forms page
How do I 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. We will accept Formal Notices by mail, hand delivery and email and you can contact us in person at our office, phone, email and text. We will endeavour to deal with all communications within 2 working days.
What is Referencing
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.
Do I need a Guarantor
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.
How much is my Deposit
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.
When do I Move In
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 by BACS, Internet Banking, cash, Building Society counter cheque or by Bankers draft – personal cheques, Credit & Debit Cards will NOT be accepted. Prior to the Check In you will be issued with all the relevant and statutory documentation relating to the Tenancy.
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.
How do I “Check in” to 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.
What is the Tenancy Agreement
The Tenancy Agreement will be drawn up detailing the Date of Entry and will be in the Scottish Government Model Tenancy Format. Details and Guidance notes are contained within the Tenancy Agreement. The Tenancy Documentation will be delivered in electronic format and signed with electronic digital signatures.
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 Can I Leave
Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract and you can only leave subject to compliance with the details contained within the Tenancy Agreement.
How do I Give Notice
Tenants must give their notice in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement.
When is the Check Out Appointment
Following receipt of your Notice to Leave we will write to you to arrange a suitable time and date. In addition the letter will detail how the Check Out will be conducted along with the various issues you are expected to deal with prior to the inspection. 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 expect the property to have been professionally cleaned before you vacate. Please see our guide to Professionally Clean
How do I get my Deposit Returned
As detailed in your Tenancy Agreement 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 more information from us 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.
It is in everyone’s best interests to resolve issues quickly and therefore we would urge your prompt and continued cooperation at the end of the tenancy in order to agree any such deductions.
Are there any 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 are not accepted and late payment charges will be applicable if you fail to pay rent on the due date.
Do I need Tenants Liabilty and Contents Insurance
We consider that Tenants Liability Insurance (to cover damage to the Landlords property) is an essential requirement 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.
Who deals wth 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) Details of our current provider will be provided in your Tenant Documentation.
How do I Pay Rent
Your tenancy agreement is a legally binding document which requires you to pay the rent in full in cleared funds by Standing Order on the rent due date. Failure to do this means that you will be in breach of your tenancy agreement and late payment charges will be applicable if you fail to pay your rent on time. If you do experience difficulties in paying your rent please advise us immediately; we are here to assist wherever possible.
If you are unable to pay by Standing Order we will consider payments by BACS, Internet Banking, cash, Building Society counter cheque or by Bankers draft – personal cheques, Credit & Debit Cards will NOT be accepted.
All rent and other payments received are held in a protected “Ring Fenced” client account currently with the Bank of Scotland and Client Money Protection is in place through the RICS Client Money Protection Scheme.
What is Debt Recovery
In the event you are unable or decide not to pay your rent Castle Estates will follow our Debt Recovery procedures. A copy is available on request.
I am in receipt of Universal Credit
We would confirm that Tenants in receipt of Universal Credit are liable for payment each month of the full rent as stated in the tenancy agreement which you signed. This means that when your benefit entitlement has been fully assessed if the benefit which we receive direct from Universal Credit does not cover the full rental payment, you and/or your Guarantor will be liable to pay any shortfall directly to us.
This must be paid in full by the end of each calendar month in which any shortfall has arisen.
How do I request 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. Please read our guidance notes in our Notify a Repair before contacting us.
- Outside Office Hours Emergencies on the Emergency phone number provided with your Tenancy Agreement
- 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.
Unless by prior agreement with us tenants must not instruct contractors direct and forward the invoice as the Landlord will not pay it.
It is in the tenants interest to be available for contractor appointments and cancellation as well as delaying the repair may incur an abortive cost charged by the contractor.
Castle Estates is subject to the Letting Agent Code of Practice (Scotland) Act Regulations 2016 and if you feel we are in breach of th this code or you are not happy with the condition of your property due to the Landlord failing to comply with his statutory requirements you may be able to seek redress through the First-Tier Tribunal. Please read the Guidance Notes for further details.
Am I responsible for 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.
Will my property be Inspected
Inspections will be carried out on the property by our representative but the tenant will be contacted in advance and notified of the proposed time and date of the inspection and you at all times have the option of being present. 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.
Are my Gas Appliances Safe
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.
Can I Decorate or Alter my property
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. This includes hanging of pictures, replacing carpets, feature wall paper and wall mounted TV’s and the like. Any consent will be subject to the property being reinstated to the original colour/condition.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.
What happens if I lose my Keys
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.
How do I deal with and Emergency
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, UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE, DURING NORMAL OFFICE HOURS