So the time has come for you to look at your first or next rental property and you are reading this with a view to potentially becoming one of our tenants. Firstly let us welcome you with open arms to our business and culture and secondly let us please allay any fears or misconceptions you may have about lettings agencies.
We’re not daft; we know that you’re buying into the property, its price, location and size. We know that it’s likely our online presence on portals such as Zoopla brought us together and for tenants looking to rent, the agency the property is listed with can be a necessary evil.
We also know that the greatest from of advertising or marketing is reputation and word of mouth, with this in mind we try and make the relationship we build with our applicants and tenants as good as possible.
You never know, our next tenants could be the landlords or investors of the future. read more >
Registering as an applicant
If you are interested in joining our property mailing list you can register as an applicant, to do this please enter your details on the form below:
Once you are registered as an applicant we can match you to our database of available properties, you will also be matched to any new properties that come to the market. The details of those that meet your criteria will be emailed to you and from this we can arrange a viewing of any that you are interested in.
Please note, you will not be able to register as an applicant without a valid and unique email address and mobile phone number.
Booking a viewing
All our available properties are marketed extensively online using our own web site, portals such as Zoopla, On the Market as well as on our Facebook page and Instagram. If you are a pre-registered applicant, you may also be sent details of new properties coming to the market.
When you see a property you like, you can make an enquiry by calling the office or using the enquiry button on the relevant advert. Using our state-of-the-art technology, you will be able to register your details and book into our diary directly.
If you have not previously registered, we will pre-qualify your enquiry and make sure you meet the criteria for that property. When we are satisfied you are suitable for the property you will be able to book in a viewing time convenient for both parties.
Once the viewing is booked in you will receive an email with the confirmation and full property address. You will also receive a text message reminder on the day.
Due to frequent ‘no-show’ appointments we require all applicants to call the office to confirm attendance on the day, if the viewing is not confirmed we will assume that the viewer no longer wishes to attend.
Upon viewing a property, making an offer and agreeing terms with the landlord the application process has never been simpler. Using our fully automated application software called Goodlord, the entire process from paying your holding fee, submitting your details, reference checks, signing contracts and paying your move in monies is all done online, all you need is an email address.
The process starts by admin staff creating the details of the tenancy within Goodlord and adding the basic tenants’ details such as full names, email addresses and mobile number. Each tenant will then receive an email to create their Goodlord account. The landlord will also be emailed an offer letter detailing all the terms of the application.
Tenants will be asked to pay the holding fee equivalent to one weeks rents and to sign to agree to the terms of the tenancy. All properties will remain on the market and available to other applicants up to the point of them signing the terms of the tenancy and paying the holding deposits, this will take the property off the market for 14 days allowing time for the full references to be obtained.
Applicants will have the 14 days in total to complete their references, respond to any additional requests from the referencing company and for their referees to provide the references.
If the references have not been completed and a move in date agreed by 15 days after the signing of the terms of the tenancy, the application will be failed on the grounds that the applicant has not taken reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy agreement and the application will be cancelled.
Holding fees will also be forfeit if the applicant backs out of the application, the references fail due to false or misleading information being provided or if the applicant does not take reasonable steps to enter into the tenancy. If we decline the application or it doesn’t meet the criteria the holding fee will be returned. Full details are included in the terms of the tenancy.
Applicants should be aware that to pass the referencing they must earn at least 2.5x the monthly rent per month, guarantors must earn 3 x the monthly rent and be a UK homeowner.
Tenants will receive by email a copy of the current ‘How to rent guide’, EPC, EICR and gas safety certificate in accordance with the De-Regulation Act 2015.
The tenants will then fill in all the application details to include ID, employment details, current landlord details, proof of address and bank statements.
Once the application is submitted it will then be sent to the Goodlord referencing team who will complete the references, credit check and right to rent status. Upon completion Goodlord will send us a report with recommendations and may advise requesting a guarantor.
Once the referencing reports have been compiled and the application verified and passed by the staff we will be able to agree the move in date with the applicant and send the AST for signature.
At this point the remainder of the deposit and the first months will be due, again payable through the Goodlord system. The AST is signed electronically by the tenants, then by the landlord. Each party will receive a copy by email.
Tenants are asked to set up the on-going rent payments by standing order and once we receive confirmation we will authorise keys for release.
A guarantor is a UK based property owner that signs an agreement agreeing to cover any short falls in rent and cover the cost of any repairs should the deposit not cover the damage.
We will generally ask for a guarantor if advised by Goodlord in the referencing report but also at the start of the application if any of the following apply:
• Tenant(s) are younger than 25
• Tenant(s) have been in employment for less than 1 year
• Tenant(s) are a student
• Tenant(s) income is less than 2.5 x the monthly rent.
Guarantors are added within the Goodlord system, the applicants supply their contact details and the guarantors are then sent a link to submit all their information. Very much like a tenant application the affordability will be assessed and a credit search complete before a report is sent back to the admin team.
Before we check you into the property we will compile and email to you for electronic signature a copy of the inventory for your property. We will also test the smoke alarms and prepare your keys/fobs/door codes.
A member of the team will run through a quick induction with you highlighting the key points and will set up your access to ‘property file’ the app you can use to manage all aspects of your tenancy going forwards. You will also be added to our ‘Active tenants’ list and will receive a sequence of ‘how to’ emails inducting you into our methods of operation.
Deposits are protected with the TDS custodial scheme, once they are received the money will be transferred to the TDS and the deposit protected, you will receive an email from the TDS with a copy of the deposit certificate and also the deposit repayment ID you will need at the end of the tenancy to request the return of the deposit.
Rents are always due on the 1st of every month and paid in advance, some tenants coming from overseas or with no recent credit history in the UK may be asked to pay 3/6 months in advance. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, we advise to get in touch with the accounts team at the earliest opportunity.
All maintenance needs to be reported through the web-site, you can do this by either clicking the report maintenance tab or the button below. Functions of maintenance reporting system allow tenants to take a photo of the issue and give a brief outline. The request will go straight into our maintenance management software and create a job, which can easily be allocated to our contractors and progressed through the system. A member of staff may contact you go through the details of the request just to make sure it’s not an easy fix or to take more details. For more complicated issues a member of staff may need to visit with a contractor to investigate the request.
Click Here to report maintenance.
We are committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers. When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it. This will help us to improve our standards. If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible. We will then respond in line with the timeframes set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).
What will happen next?
• We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of you complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
• We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the office manager who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you. A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
• If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
• We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter. If you remain dissatisfied, you can then contact the Property Ombudsman to request an independent review:
The Property Ombudsman Ltd
43-45 Milford Street
01722 333 306
Please note the following:
You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case. The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaints procedure, before being submitted for an independent review.
Ending a tenancy
As you come towards the end of your fixed tenancy period you (we) will have 3 options:
• Do nothing and allow your tenancy to become a periodic rolling tenancy requiring 1 month’s notice from the tenants and 2 months notice from the landlord/agent to end.
• Re-sign a new fix period contract, this will involved re-doing the references and drawing up a new contract to supersede the previous one.
• Ending the tenancy.
(In most cases a rolling periodic contract at the end of the fixed period will be the best option. In some situations, for example, tenancies in more student focused areas where the tenancies run July to June or properties more susceptible to seasonal demands, we may insist on re-signing for a further fixed period.)
If you decide to end the tenancy either at the end of the fixed date or while periodic you can do so by handing in your notice, in writing by completing the following form Click Here On or before the rent payment due date of the last month you intend on living there. If you serve notice after this date the notice will be taken for the end of the following month. Serving notice by email is acceptable but please make sure your email is acknowledged. Here is the step-by-step guide to ending your tenancy and serving notice:
• Tenant(s) serve notice in writing on or before the last day of the penultimate month of their tenancy.
• Preliminary inspection is arranged with the property management team to assess the property for any obvious repairs and prepare it to be re-advertised
• Check-out/key handover arranged with the tenants.
• End of tenancy inspection and report is compiled and fed-back to the tenants and landlord, any deposit deductions are discussed.
• Tenants are required to provide a forwarding address and also send confirmation that all the utility bills and council tax has been paid up to date.
• Tenants are then able to request their deposit is returned using the deposit ID they were sent at the start of the tenancy.
At the start of the tenancy, when the deposit is protected the tenant will receive an email with a copy of the deposit certificate, the email will also include a repayment ID.
The deposit is paid to and held by a third party company, the scheme we use is the TDS.
To request the return of the deposit the tenant can follow this link and start the process using the Deposit ID and Repayment ID. https://www.tenancydepositscheme.com
The agent will then be able to authorise the return or request any deductions.
The deposit will be paid back to the bank account details supplied by the tenant.
Property File app
The most effective way for a tenant to manage their on-going tenancy is by using the ‘Property File’ app, it’s free to download and works on most smart phones.
For those without smart phones, there is a desktop version that can be accessed by clicking HERE. Once your application has been started on our property management software you will be send an email to set up your account. Through the app you will be able to see when you’re rent is due, download receipts and statements.
Meet The Team
Our team of experts are here to make buying your new property as easy as possible. We take all the hard work and worry out so that you can focus on your future.
Find a Property
Whether you are looking to buy or rent a new property or grow your professional portfolio, we have a list of properties available for you to peruse at your own leisure.
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Watts & Co is the trading name of FDW Property Holdings Ltd, Registered in the UK Company reg number 10509376 at Office 8, Burley Hill Trading Estate, Burley Road, Leeds LS4 2PU. Watts & Co offer client money protection through CMP - Click here to view the certificate - we are also members of the Property Ombudsman redress scheme.