Existing Tenant

You may have been a tenant before but perhaps not with us, so please familiarise yourself with our step by step guide (detailed below) which will give you advice, tips and safeguard you against some of the common mistakes that are made when people rent a property.

Our aim is to help you handed back the property in good order, to ensure your Landlord provides a great reference for your next property and maximise the chance of your deposit being returned in full.

 

Managing your tenancy

After the initial payment, rent must be paid by one standing order for each payment period. The standing order form will be given to you upon signing the Tenancy Agreement. It is the your responsibility to submit the completed form to your bank in good time and to provide us with a copy as proof that payment arrangements have been put in place with your bank. We require this proof before access can be allowed to the property at the commencement of the tenancy. To ensure that your rent arrives on the correct day, it is important to date the standing order at least three days before the rent is due.

An administration charge, where rent is paid by means other than as stated in your agreement, is £35.00 for each occasion.

The Tenancy Agreement makes you (the Tenant) responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, telephone and water charges. It is important that you register with each of the local utility companies directly in order to ensure continuity of service, and billing in your name.

Your other responsibilities are

  • The Television License,
  • burglar alarm,
  • cable/sky TV charges
  • telephone
  • local parking permits
  • common stair cleaning costs (if applicable)

Council Tax

The Tenant is liable for paying Council Tax whilst Tenants are occupying the property so it is important that Tenants register with the Local Authority.

Insurance

The Landlord is responsible for providing buildings insurance, and contents insurance for their own belongings, but they are not responsible for your possessions.

You are strongly advised to make arrangements to insure your own contents and valuables.

You are also responsible for any injury or death at the property caused by you or your guests’ fault.  You are strongly advised to take out insurance to cover this.

We have a range of Tenant Insurances available. Please contact us if you wish to receive a quotation.

If we are managing the property, we will wish to ensure that it is being kept in good order. For this reason it will be necessary to arrange periodic visits under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement. It is important that these visits are organised in advance in order that you are put to the minimum inconvenience.

We will write to inform you when we will be visiting. We hope that you will be present during the visit. However, if you are unable to attend, we will use our security key.

We will carry out a property visit one month before you are due to depart is as it will allow us to identify any issues that may occur at check out, allowing the you to address any issues you may be responsible for which then reduces the potential for dispute and/or delay new tenants moving in.

This will also provide us chance to remind you of your contractual obligations, e.g. replacing light bulbs, returning keys, make sure final bills are paid and any possible charges or deductions to the deposit.

As part of our reporting process to Landlords, Tenants should be aware we will be taking photographs of the property.

Gas and Electric Safety Inspections

During your tenancy  it may be necessary for us to arrange Gas and/or Electrical Safety inspections. We will write to inform you when the service company will be visiting.  It is your responsibility to ensure the appointed contractor is given access to the property.

If you want to move out of your rented accommodation, it’s important that you go through the correct process and give your landlord the correct notice. 

If you wish to terminate your tenancy before the end date of your contract, you have two following options:

  • Continue to pay the rent until the end of the tenancy
  • Continue to pay the rent until a suitable tenant is found to release you from the contract, subject to the Landlord’s permission

In the majority of cases, Home Lettings Scotland’s landlords are protected through rental and legal insurance. Failing to meet your obligations under the lease can have expensive repercussions. It is always advisable to discuss any problems with Home Lettings Scotland  before a small problem becomes a major issue.

If you wish end your tenancy please send an email t hello@homelettings.scot .

We will confirm the date of departure with you and send you a copy of the the check out procedure.

We will ask for information regarding the return of your deposit i.e. to whom and in what proportion if you are a group of sharers.

A full inventory  check,  will be undertaken on the  day you move  out of the  property  either  by an agent or an independent inventory  clerk. You will be notified of any damage or missing items for which you are to be charged and of the costs. Your deposit will be processed as soon as is administratively possible.

All keys should be returned on the last day of your tenancy. Failure to do so will result in rent being charged until the keys are returned to us.


 How much notice do I need to give?

If you want to move out of rented accommodation, you must let your landlord know in advance that you wish to end your tenancy. The amount of notice you have to give will be noted on your lease agreement.  If your tenancy agreement is a Short Assured Tenancy Agreement (SAT) the notice period is 2 months.  If you have a Private Residential Tenancy Agreement (PRT) the notice period is 28 days.  If you are unsure, please contact our property team who can advise you.


How do I end a joint tenancy?

If one tenant wants to end the tenancy, they will need to get the other joint tenants’ permission first, because this will end the tenancy for everyone. Please refer to Shared Tenancies section on our website.  We will require confirmation that all tenants have given their permission before agreeing to end the tenancy.

You may be able to arrange a new tenancy agreement with your landlord, whereby

  • another person takes on the tenancy of the person who wants to leave, or
  • you and any other joint tenants stay on and pay the extra rent yourselves.

What if I just walk away?

Walking away from a tenancy without giving notice can cause all kinds of problems for you and may make it harder for you to rent a new property in the future:

  • If you need references from your landlord to rent a new place, they probably won’t provide them if you’ve left the property without giving notice.
  • If the landlord doesn’t realise you’ve left, they will continue to charge you rent and you could well build up rent arrears. Other landlords will be reluctant to take you on as a tenant if you have a history of rent arrears.
  • If you find yourself with nowhere to stay and need to apply to the council as homeless, they will probably find you ‘intentionally homeless’ because you left your home when you didn’t need to. Your homeless application could therefore be turned down.

Can I get someone else to move in?

This may be possible if you have no choice but to leave early and want to avoid paying rent on more than one home. However, you will require  the landlord’s agreement for the person you suggest to move into the property. The landlord may want to take up references for them. The landlord will issue the new person their own tenancy agreement – otherwise, you will still be legally responsible for the tenancy.


What other options are there?

The conditions laid out in your tenancy agreement are legally binding and enforceable by law. If for any reason you want to leave before the end  we can help you to find someone to take over the property.   You will still be liable for the rent until either a new tenant is found or until the end of your contract.  This is a service we offer to tenants at a cost.


Can I leave if my landlord’s broken the terms of the tenancy agreement?

Although your landlord has the right to end your tenancy if you break a term of the tenancy agreement, this doesn’t work both ways, unless your tenancy agreement specifically states that it does. Therefore you must end your tenancy properly, giving the notice required.

If you don’t end your tenancy properly and build up rent arrears, your landlord can take you to court to get the money back. The court will then decide whether or not you should pay the money. If you have a good reason for leaving the tenancy without giving proper notice (for example, because disrepair was making the place unsafe or unhealthy or because your landlord was harassing you) the court may decide that you shouldn’t have to pay your landlord the money.

You can find out more about action you can take if your landlord breaks the terms of the tenancy agreement here.

In order to help tenants we have provided these notes to help you prepare for checking out of the property. By following these guidelines the process will run more smoothly and we should be able to avoid unnecessary problems, costs and delays.

How should Tenants prepare for Check Out?

You should remove all you personal possessions and complete all cleaning before the Check Out starts. You must provide access at the time and date agreed with the agent/landlord; failure to do so may cause further charges to be incurred if our representative is denied access, delayed or asked to return.

You should ensure that all items shown in the inventory are placed in the appropriate rooms described (ideally in the position that they were in during the Check In). Failure to do this risks items being missed, and thus listed as “Not seen”. This could result in a replacement charge being levied, or a charge for excessive time spent searching for items. We will observe any conditional notes made on the inventory, along with any additional notes added to the inventory at the end of the tenancy.


Please pay special attention to the following (where applicable):

  • Curtains/blinds and windows (inside and out) are cleaned.
  • Carpets are shampooed.
  • All beds are not to be made up.
  • Bedding to be laundered and ironed, left neatly folded and stocked as per the inventory.
  • Ensure ALL light bulbs are working.
  • Ensure all items listed on the original inventory are in place
  • Remember to move furniture and clean underneath
  • You should leave all items in the original places and rooms as described in the Inventory.
  •  All kitchen cupboards should be clean and should be cleared of all food items.
  • All kitchen equipment should be left in a clean and in a usable condition.
  • The fridge & freezer should be cleared of all food, defrosted and cleaned
  • The cooker, oven and hood should be cleaned, Remember to change the cooker hood filters.
  • Kitchen surfaces and the sink area should be cleaned
  • Rubbish placed at the front of the house must be bagged or left in the appropriate bins. If you have more rubbish to clear you should make arrangements to take it to a dump or have it removed.
  • All floor areas of the house should be vacuumed and left clean and tidy (including skirting boards and areas behind beds and other furniture)
  • Pictures and posters should be removed from walls and where appropriate, any marks removed

It is important that the property is properly prepared for the check-out inspection to ensure that all of your deposit is returned.

We will arrange a time to meet you to carry out the end of tenancy inspection which will usually be on the day you move out of the property. Please leave the property in the same clean and tidy condition as originally handed over.   If you find that you do not have the time to prepare the property we can supply you with the details of a reliable and reasonably priced cleaning company.

Please refer to the Tenant Check Out – Charges Guide for any items not correctly addressed.


Utilities

We will read electricity/gas meters.  However it is your responsibility to ensure that all utility and Council Tax bills are paid in full up to the date of the end of the lease. Proof of payment of these final bills is required before any deposit is returned.


Forwarding Address

A forwarding address must be supplied to us for final accounting purposes.

If there is a telephone supplied, please make arrangements with your service provider to end your responsibility as they will not accept instructions from us.  Please ensure that your bank details and forwarding address are passed to our representative at the checkout.


Breakages/Damages/Losses.

Where items have been broken or lost, e.g. glasses, crockery, etc. it would be cheaper for you to replace them.  It would avoid delays in accounting to you for your deposit.  If we have to purchase missing or broken items a carriage charge will be made of £35 per hour.


Keys

Please arrange to have all keys returned to us.  (There is a standard charge for incomplete or missing set of keys.)


Deposit

If any cleaning, gardening or decorating is necessary, beyond normal wear and tear, then inevitably there will be a delay in the return of the balance of your deposit.  Deposits will be returned by the safe deposit scheme.

As specified in your lease, the deposit cannot be used for the last month’s rent. Remember to cancel your standing order with your bank. 


Mail

The re-direction of mail after you have vacated the property should be arranged with the post office.


Furniture/household goods disposal

If disposing of any furnishings/appliances, particularly unfurnished accommodation, please ensure you contact the Environmental Service Department (special uplift) to arrange uplift of unwanted items (this service is free). A charge of £35 will be levied for non-notification and subsequent removal costs arranged by Home Lettings Scotland.


Decoration

It is accepted that there will be some wear and tear to decor, but you should aim to present the property to the same standard as at Check In. Normal wear and tear is defined as the result of day-to-day living. Excessive marks, furniture rubs, pencil and crayon marks are probably going to require some renovation and you will be charged for these works. We strongly advise that you get written permission from the agent/landlord before putting up shelves or pictures or installing satellite/cable services, as charges will result from holes, nails or screws in walls and/or tears to wallpaper.


 Cleaning

You will be expected to present the property in a clean and tidy condition. As a guideline you should aim to present the property in a similar standard of cleanliness as at Check In. Some tenancy agreements will require professional cleaning to be carried out, especially if one was conducted at commencement of the tenancy. You should note that most we may employ a contract cleaner if the standard of your cleaning is not satisfactory, and this cost will be added to the final charge.


Flooring

The tenancy agreement requires that carpets are professionally cleaned at the end of the tenancy. If carpets are badly marked or damaged you may be charged some or all of the cost of replacement.


Kitchen surfaces and sinks

We will examine the kitchen surfaces for scrapes, cup marks, scorch and burn marks. Again, you will probably be charged for repair or replacement.

  • Ensure all kitchen appliances are cleaned inside and out (fridges, freezers, ovens, cookers, microwaves, washing machine and tumble dryers)
  • Ensure freezer is defrosted.
  • Please ensure all food contents are removed from cupboards, fridges, freezers and disposed of by the tenant.  All kitchen units should be cleaned inside and out and worktops thoroughly washed.
  • Extractor fans should be cleaned, ensuring vent cover is clear.

Crockery, china and utensils: When there is crockery, utensils or china listed on the inventory, we will check for cleanliness, chips, burn marks, loose handles etc. If damage is not agreed as being due to fair wear and tear you may be charged.


Beds

These will be examined and should not be made up. When appropriate mattresses, bases, pillows and duvets will be examined for stains and damage.


Linen

If there is any linen on an inventory then you should make sure that it has been laundered and pressed, and placed neatly in the appropriate room. Again, cleaning charges will be incurred if this is not done.


 Polished furniture

We will examine polished furniture for scratches, ring marks, burns, soiling and damage to joints. Normally, repair costs and re-polishing costs are high, so you should ensure that you protect vulnerable furniture with place mats, coasters, table clothes etc.


Soft furnishings

You should ensure that these are in the same condition as they were at Check In. You will probably be charged for any staining, soiling and excessive discolouration.


Bathroom

Extractor fans should be cleaned, ensuring vent cover is clear.

  • Grouting should be cleaned and mould  or mildew removed (If any grouting defects please ensure Home Lettings Letting are informed)
  • Shower screens curtains/curtains should be washed down
  • WC/wash hand basin/bath should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Taps should be cleaned

Gardens

If a gardener has not been employed by the landlord, you will be expected to keep the garden tidy. This will include cutting of grass, weeding of beds and maintaining the garden according to the season. If the garden is not to the same standard as at Check In, it is very likely that we will employ a gardener, the cost of which will be charged to you.


Check Out Charges

By following these guidelines your check out  will run more smoothly and we should be able to avoid unnecessary problems, costs and delays. However should the check out inspection highlight areas which require further attention then you will be charges.  Please see our guide to charges at the link below.

 

Window Cleaning

It is your responsibility to make sure that your windows are regularly cleaned. If your windows open in to the property we ask that you clean both the inside and outside. If you have windows which do not open inside (i.e. sash cord) you are required to clean the insides and arrange for a professional window cleaner to clean the outsides. We can provide window cleaning company details, if required.


Stair Cleaning

If you live in flatted accommodation must take your turn cleaning the stairs either by local arrangement or established rota. If the stairs are cleaned and monies are due from each flat, you must ensure you pay your share. Tenants are not responsible for landlord factoring fees. Stair cleaning bills will be deducted from deposit at the end of the tenancy.


Rubbish

It is your responsibility to dispose of all rubbish in an appropriate manner. Tenants must ensure rubbish is never left in any common area and is disposed of correctly on the day it is to be uplifted. Contact your local council office for details. Please also be aware that rubbish should not be allowed to pile up inside a property as this will encourage vermin.

The conditions laid out in your tenancy agreement are legally binding and enforceable by law. If for any reason you want to leave your lease early we can advertise your property for you for a fee of £250.00 to help you to find someone to take over the property.   You will still be liable for the rent until either a new tenant is found or until the end of your contract.

It is ultimately the tenant’s responsibility to allow access or be available to allow access for any repairs, inspections  to be carried out in the property.

If you are willing to allow contractors access to carry out a repair while you are not present in the property, we will ask you if we may give keys to them. This is a service which Home Lettings Scotland offers as a convenience to tenants.

If you have agreed to be at home to give a contractor access to carry out a repair or to take delivery of an item, but are not there when they call, you will be charged for any costs associated with the delivery or the repair

Keys

At the start of the tenancy each tenant named of the lease agreement will be provided with a set of keys.

The set of keys ill include all types keys –

  • swipe cards/electronic key cards/fobs.
  • keys to lockable areas that the tenant is allowed to access.

It is the landlords responsibility to make sure that the property has secured locks. This means that if the locks get damaged because they are defective in the first place, the landlord is responsible to replace them.

If Home Lettings Scotland is managing the property – we will hold a set of keys in the office.

Lost Keys

It is the tenants responsibility to take care of the keys to all of the lockable areas.  In case that the tenant loses the keys, the tenant will be responsible for the replacement. Lost keys may mean that the security of the property has been compromised; therefore, the tenant will be required by the landlord to handle the costs incurred in changing the locks as well. If that so happens, the tenant will be required to pay for the repair or replacement of the locks.

Locked Out

If you lock yourself out of the property keys are available from the office during normal working hours however £30 must be left as deposit.

If you lock yourself out out-with our opening times then the cost of any emergency contractor would have to be met by you and probably will have to be settled on the spot.  Our emergency contractors do not have access to our keys.

Tenants changing the locks and keys

Your tenancy agreement prohibits changing the locks without permission of the landlord. If you are unable to secure your property due to the locks being faulty then you must contact us immediately – we will then arrange for our approved locksmith to contact you directly to resolve the issue.

Returning Keys at the end of the tenancy

Each tenant will receive one full set of keys, which must be returned at the end of the tenancy.  All keys should be returned to Home Lettings Scotland on the day of check-out in working order. Failure to return all keys issued will result in the locks being changed and deductions made from your deposit.

Sharing a property

  • Individuals renting a property together (sharers) are all required to be named on the Tenancy Agreement as tenants.
  • Under the terms of the Tenancy Agreement sharer tenants have ‘joint and several liability’ which gives them all equal responsibility for adhering to the terms and conditions  of the Tenancy Agreement. This makes each one of them responsible for the full amount of the rent. Should one of the sharers default in their rental payment, the other sharers are liable and responsible for the outstanding balance.
  • Also should one of the sharers leave the FULL rent remains payable.
  • In the case of damage to the property, if damage is caused by one sharer, the other sharers are held to be equally responsible when  deductions are made  from the security  deposit (see  later).
  • Any disputes between sharing tenants relating to the security deposit are the sole responsibility of the tenants to resolve and we will not act as mediators in such disputes. See notes regarding sharers’ responsibilities.
  • The joint and several liability also applies to the termination of a tenancy, one sharer  wishing to end a tenancy (provided there  is provision to do so within the terms of the Tenancy Agreement) is considered to be doing so on behalf of all the tenants.
  • We, or our appointed contractor, will require access to the property from time to time. There will be a clause to this effect in your Tenancy Agreement to which you will give permission on receiving reasonable warning, unless it is an emergency.
  • We will require access towards the end of the term of the tenancy to report  on the physical state  of the property  and make recommendations on decorating,  repairs  etc,  even  if you are intending  to renew  your tenancy and stay on for a further

Lead Tenant

To avoid unnecessary confusion, we ask that each property appoint a lead tenant who will be responsible for communicating information to the others. Home Lettings Scotland will initially contact this tenant regarding all tenant matters. This arrangement does not obligate this person in any way.