Welcome to your new home, we hope that you will be comfortable and enjoy your time here. ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents are here to help you with any queries or concerns that you may have along the way.

Please read the information included in this which gives you information on your responsibilities as a tenant.

Meters

On the day you move in we will take photos of the meter readings at the property, which you will be given a copy. We will ensure that the utility providers are notified that you have moved into the property however in the event of a discrepancy it is useful to take you own readings.

Gas

If required a gas safety check has been carried out and a copy of the gas safety certificate is available upon request, unless it is already in the property.

PLEASE NOTE: A gas safety check is carried out annually and, when the anniversary arrives, our gas safe engineer will be in touch to arrange an appointment with you directly. This is a legal requirement and you must allow access for the safety check. Failure to attend the appointment once made will result in a cancellation fee of £25.00 plus VAT.

In the winter please take precautions to avoid issues that may result from frost. If the pipe work should burst or damage is caused, it could be your responsibility as stated in your tenancy agreement. If you have any worries or concerns during your tenancy, you should call the lettings team immediately.

Water

Make sure that you are aware of the location of the water stop cock in case you need to isolate a water leak. You will also need to check if you are on a water meter and if so, take a reading at the start of your tenancy if you are able. Should the property not have a water meter and you would like one installing, please speak to the lettings team for permission from the landlord before having one installed.

Electricity

On the day of check in please make sure you know where the fuse box and mains switch is, in order to turn off the supply in an emergency. In the event of a power cut check with your neighbours to see if their power supply has also been affected. If not check you fuse box to see if the trip switch has cut in. If a fuse has blown it is your responsibility to replace it. If you do not feel competent to replace the fuse please contact the lettings team who can arrange for the maintenance team to assist (there is normally a charge for this). Report any power cuts to the electricity company.

TV Licence

It is the sole responsibility of the tenants to obtain a TV licence.

Telephone

Should you wish to have a telephone connection at the property, it is your responsibility to contact the telecommunications supplier to have the line reconnected and if required, have a telephone line installed. The cost of this service is at your expense, the landlord will offer no contribution.

You must also ensure that if any of your contact details change that we are informed so that we may update the details. This is of benefit to you as should there be an emergency we may need to contact you by telephone.

PLEASE NOTE: You must ask us, or the landlord, for the permission to change utility suppliers or types of meters that are installed. At the end of the tenancy it will be your responsibility to provide outgoing meter readings and notification of moving home to all suppliers at the property.

General Maintenance

Your landlord is happy for you to make the property feel like your own home, but if you do wish to change anything within the property such as light fittings, décor, carpets etc, please make us aware before carrying out any work as we do need to get permission from the landlord. As part of the contractual tenancy agreement that you will sign for the property it states the property should be returned to the landlord in the condition it was received, so if you have painted any walls any colour other than Magnolia or White these will need repainting to a neutral colour before the end of your tenancy. Any work carried out on the property will be at your cost unless the landlord agrees to make a contribution to the cost of the work.

You are not permitted to make any structural alterations to the property. If this occurs your tenancy may be terminated within the terms and conditions of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, and your deposit will be forfeited.

You are responsible for general maintenance and up keep of the property and are expected to use the property in a tenant-like manner:

The legal view on this is “To keep the interior of the Property and the Contents in good and clean condition and complete repair (reasonable wear and tear expected) and to keep the Property at all times well and sufficiently aired and warmed during the tenancy”

In addition, the tenant must not damage or injure the property and contents or make any alteration or addition to it.

Any redecoration is to be made only with the prior written consent of the landlord or his Agent.

Once approval has been sought, it must be carried out to a professional standard or you could be held responsible for it being redecorated at the end of your tenancy. If repairs are required, contact the office immediately. Please be aware if you organise repairs with your own contractor you will be responsible for payment of the invoice. If you are in any doubt regarding general maintenance issues please give the lettings team a call.

During your tenancy you should ensure that the garden (if applicable) is properly maintained. This means that the lawn (and edges) and hedges must be cut or a regular basis, flower beds weeded, shrubs pruned, paths weeded and swept and garden furniture cleaned and looked after. The garage should also be looked after if it has been let as part of the tenancy agreement. Should you have difficulty in maintaining the garden and outside areas including the garage and shed, if supplied, then we can arrange for a gardening company to visit the property. The cost of this will be confirmed by the contractor in the form of a quote. If you are happy with the quote please advise the contractor, who will carry out the work for you. The invoice will be sent to you and will be your responsibility to cover the cost.

Tenants Insurance

We strongly recommend that at the start of your tenancy you take out Tenants Contents Insurance. Accidents happen and burglary or other unforeseen problems are a constant risk and could mean losing your deposit. Our Credit & reference Company offer specialist Tenant Contents insurance gives you peace of mind by protecting your valued possessions and protecting you against any accidental damage to your landlord’s property.

Pest Infestation

Should you suffer any infestation during the course of your tenancy you will be responsible for eradicating the problem. Please contact the local council who can provide information on pest control services.

Condensation

What is Condensation?

There is always some moisture in the air even if you can’t see it. When the air gets colder, it can’t hold all the moisture and tiny drops of water appear – this is condensation. You may notice it when you see your breath on a cold day or when the mirror in the bathroom mists over when you have a bath or shower. Condensation mainly occurs during cold weather regardless of whether it is raining or dry. It tends to appear on cold surfaces and places where there is little or no movement of air, in the corners of rooms near widows or behind cupboards and wardrobes.

What you can do to prevent Condensation?

• Put less water into the air
• Put lids on saucepans
• Dry clothes outside
• If using a tumble dryer make sure it is vented to the outside
• Put a small amount of cold water in the bath before you turn on the hot tap
• Do not run your shower for longer than needed
• Mop up any condensation or water every day

Stop water vapour spreading
• Shut kitchen and bathroom doors when bathing and cooking
• Use cooker hoods and extractor fans or open a window

Ventilate your home
• Keep a small window ajar or trickle vents open at all times
• Ventilate kitchens and bathrooms when in use by opening windows to remove the humid air
• Use extractor fans if you have them
• Close kitchen and bathroom doors when in use
• Make sure other doors are closed especially bedroom doors as they are normally slightly colder and will attract moisture
Ventilate cupboards and wardrobes and avoid putting too much in them as this stops the air circulating
• Do not put wardrobes against external walls
• Keep furniture away from walls to allow air to circulate

Dealing with mould

Treat any mould you have in your property by washing walls and window frames with a fungicidal wash that carries a Health and Safety Executive Approval number. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines. The only lasting way to avoid severe mould is to reduce the humidity and condensation by properly heating and ventilating your home.

Frost Precaution

We ask that you take every precaution in respect of avoiding frost damage and burst pipes during the winter months. If you do leave the property vacant, ie Christmas, or if there are some rooms or buildings which are cold or exposed and may contain water services pipes or plumbing, we recommend that you leave the central heating on at an adequate level to maintain proper room temperature. Alternatively, you could get all the water systems and central heating radiators drained. Should you wish to have the system drained, please contact the office for an approved professional plumbers contact details.
Please Note: If repair cost is incurred from damage or default to inadequate precautions, the landlord will not be expected to pay for reinstatement and repairs, the invoice will be sent to you for payment on the contractors agreed terms.

Security

In the event of a break in you must first contact the police and report the incident and obtain a crime reference number as you could become liable for the landlord’s insured losses, especially if their insurance becomes invalid due to an unreported crime.
Once you have done this you should then contact the lettings team so that any repairs that are necessary, can be carried out. A property inspection will then be required to list any items that are damaged or missing, on the inventory.

Appliances

If any appliances that are in the property which are included in the inventory fail during the tenancy you should report it to the office. If nothing is reported, we will expect the appliances to be in proper working order at the end of the tenancy. Failure to do this could result in retention of some or all of your deposit.

Rights & Obligations

Your legal rights and obligations when renting residential property.

Every residential tenant in England & Wales has the right to:

• Know the terms of the tenancy. Although there is no legal requirement for a landlord to provide a written agreement (or lease) it is in your interests as a tenant to have one. You should study the terms carefully before signing. If you have doubts you may need to get some expert advice.
• Know the name and address of the landlord or Agent (normally included in the agreement)
• Accommodation which is in a good tenantable state of repair – free from defects.
• Reasonably quick and effective repairs if you report defects.
• Safe accommodation, all electrical, gas and other systems and appliances meeting modern safety standards and are subject to regular checks.
• A CORGI Gas Inspection Certificate annually and on entry to the accommodation
• Operating instructions, safety warnings and emergency procedures where appliances and systems may be unfamiliar.
• Peaceable and quiet enjoyment of the accommodation, free from demands for access without notice and/or interference with utilities or other supplies to the property.
• A rent book if the rent is payable weekly.
• A reasonable (statutory) period of notice, 2 Months if the landlord wants you to leave.
• The return of the security deposit within a reasonable period of time (up to 30 days) subject to the property being clean and damage free and with no outstanding accounts.
Every residential tenant in England and Wales has an obligation to:
• Give honest and truthful statements during the tenancy application process.
• Pay a reasonable (market) rent.
• Pay the rent on time, as and when it is due.
• Respect and care for the landlord’s property, furniture and fittings.
• Pay the landlord for any damage (beyond normal wear and tear) at the end of, or during a tenancy.
• Pay the landlord for any exceptional cleaning and rubbish removal at the end of a tenancy.
• Report defects to the landlord immediately they become apparent.
• Not use the premises for any purpose other than residential accommodation.
• Not keep pets, unless approved by the landlord and the tenancy agreement.
• Not do anything in or around the premises which would cause nuisance, damage or annoyance to the landlord or the neighbours.
• Not bring into occupation other residents without informing the landlord. (Such additional adult occupant/s will be required to sign a tenancy agreement)
• Not leave the accommodation unoccupied for more than 14 days without informing the landlord or his agent.
• Give notice to quit in writing, which must be at least 4 weeks, where the rent is paid monthly.
• Not to use the security deposit in lieu of rent.
• Observe all the terms of the tenancy agreement.

End of tenancy

Should you wish to terminate your tenancy after the initial fixed term of six months, a one month’s notice period is required from you in writing. Once this has been received we will arrange with you a suitable day and time to inspect the property and collect all the keys to the property from you.

Mail redirection

For the first month we will strive to forward any post to your new address however we suggest to arrange for a Post Office redirection of mail to your new address. Please ensure you give sufficient time for this service to be set up.

Your Deposit

At the end of the tenancy agreement and after the checkout property inspection has been carried out, we will notify you should any deductions be required from the deposit (if any).
Should no deductions be required your deposit will be released within 28 days of departure.
Should any deductions be required a report of the deductions will be given to you. You have 7 working days to contact the office to arrange for the items to be resolved for example, cleaning or replacement of items damaged/removed from the property.

Should you not agree with the deductions you have the right to dispute this with The Deposit Protection Scheme, who we are members of and who hold your deposit during the tenancy.

The Alternative Dispute Resolution Service will be instructed to look at the dispute and report back to both parties.
PLEASE NOTE: The Alternative Dispute Resolution Service decision is final and cannot be challenged.

Domestic Rubbish

It is your responsibility to ensure that that arrangements are made to remove any surplus rubbish from the property prior to you check out. Please use the bins provided by the Local Authority for all recyclable, garden and general waste. Please be aware the Local Council’s refuse department will not empty any bin that is overflowing, arrangements should be made to have this collected or to be taken to the local waste site (details of which can be found on the Council’s website). Should any rubbish be left at the property, ASmiths Estate & Letting Agents will arrange for it to be removed and this will be deducted from the deposit.

Final Meter Readings

Please ensure that you take meter readings for all metered services at the property. The property may be re-let shortly after your departure, so you must ensure that the gas and electricity are switched on at the time of taking the readings. You will be required to advise the utility suppliers of your forwarding address, please do not give our office address. Please ensure that if the meters are prepayment, that you hand over any cards or keys for the meters so we can arrange for new ones to be ordered.

Check Out

Please remember the property should be left in a suitable condition in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement and Inventory. If you fail to comply with our guidance notes on vacating the property you may receive deductions from your deposit or a delay in its return.

These notes are intended for guidance purposes only and do not constitute any part of the contract, and are given without prejudice to any of the rights of the landlord against the tenant in respect of any claim or breach of covenant.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding your tenancy or wish to report a maintenance issue, please contact the office on 02476 326414 or 01455 265060.

You can also email us at lettings@asmiths.co.uk.

And please remember…‘If we don’t know about it, we can’t fix it!’

Useful Numbers

In an emergency

FIRE / AMBULANCE – 999
POLICE: 999 or for non-emergencies call 101

Other Useful numbers

COUNCIL: Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council 02476 376376
Warwickshire Police: 01926 415000 or 101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England and Wales when it’s less urgent than a 999 call. 101 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Warwickshire Fire & Rescue: 01926 423231
GAS – National Grid (if you smell gas) 0800 111 999
ELECTRICITY: Western Power Distribution (Emergency info)
WATER (Severn Trent Water): 0800 783444
FLOODING: Environment Agency 0800 988 1188
Canal & River Trust 0800 4799947
British Transport Police (report a crime) 0800405 040
George Eliot Hospital 02476 351351
University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire 02476 964000
NHS Direct 111