Tenant FAQs

Are bills included or separate?
It is common practice for the tenant to pay utility bills and council tax, unless otherwise stated. If you are a student you are exempt from paying council tax (upon proof of status in full time education).
How do I pay my rent?

Rent is paid by standing order per calendar month. This is set-up upon signing your tenancy agreement.

Tenants are responsible for cancelling the standing order at the end of tenancy, days lettings do not have authorisation to do this on your behalf.

Who holds my deposit?
Your deposit is registered and safeguarded by the DPS (deposit protection service) they will hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy and return the deposit at the end of the tenancy subject to a satisfactory check out.
What happens if something goes wrong in the property?

If we fully manage the property on behalf of your landlord then you will need to contact us directly to report the problem.

If your landlord manages the property then you will need to call them; however contact numbers will be given on the day that you move in so you can contact your landlord/landlady directly.

In case of an emergency and out of office hours then call the office and listen to the answer phone message where you will be given an out of office hours only contractors number. Please only use this in case of an absolute emergency. Otherwise wait until the next working day.

Other things you need to know

Cleaning:

The property must be left professionally cleaned. We can help you with this, just let us know and we can arrange for cleaners to contact you.

Decorating:

If you want to decorate then please always ask permission from your landlord or agent first. Most landlord's will accommodate, however please always ask first.

Maintenance:

It is your responsibility to report any maintenance issues - if you fail to do this you will be liable.

Blocked Drains:

Please ensure you do not put anything down the toilet or sinks which could cause damage or blockages to the drainage system. If the drains are unblocked and it's proven to be caused by something you have put down the toilet or sink then you will be liable for the cost incurred.

Condensation:

Condensation is proven to be a problem in rented accommodation due to lack of ventilation. Therefore please ventilate by opening windows and using extractor fans where possible. You will be liable if you do not ventilate properly.

Landlord FAQs

Consent to let
If you have a residential mortgage on your property, then you will require consent to let your property from your mortgage lender. If it is a leasehold property, your lease may require you to obtain consent from the freeholder prior to letting your property.
Insurance
Standard home insurance could be invalidated when you let your property. We can obtain quotations for specialist comprehensive insurance for let properties, including rent and legal insurance.
Tenancy Agreement
It is important that we are given clear instructions regarding the length of time that the property will be available to let. Tenancy agreements can be signed on behalf of the landlord, but we must have a contact address and telephone number in order that the document may be forwarded for the landlord's records.
Overseas Landlord Tax

The Non-Resident Landlords (NRL) Scheme requires letting agents to deduct basic rate tax from any rent they collect for non-resident landlords. If non-resident landlords don't have UK letting agents acting for them, and the rent is more than £100 a week, their tenants must deduct the tax. When working out the amount of tax, the letting agent or tenant can take off deductible expenses.

Letting agents and/or tenants do not have to deduct tax if HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) tells them not to. HMRC will tell an agent/tenant not to deduct tax if non- resident landlords have successfully applied for approval to receive rents with no tax deducted. However, even though, the rent may be paid with no tax deducted, it remains liable to UK tax, so non-resident landlords must include it in any tax return HMRC sends them.

Non-resident landlords who are eligible can apply to the HMRC at any time for approval to receive their UK rental income with no tax deducted. This includes applying before they have left the UK or before the let has started.

Gas safety certificates
A gas safety certificate is required, by law, to be held for all rental accommodation in the UK where there are any gas appliances present. The requirement is outlined in the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. Gas safety certificates are provided by technicians registered with the Gas Safe Register scheme that replaced the previous Corgi scheme in 2009.
Electrical Safety Regulations

In recent years, new regulations have been introduced to improve safety in rented residential accommodation. All landlords should be aware of the implications of the legislation. The information below is designed to give a summary of regulations that currently exist relating to electrical appliances and their impact on both private and commercial landlords.

  • Electrical safety regulations require that any electrical appliances supplied by landlords must be safe and, where their safe use requires it, appropriate instruction booklets must also be provided.
  • Unlike the gas safety regulations, there is no statutory annual testing interval but in order to meet the requirements it is still important that the appropriate checks and safeguards be carried out.

The regulations require:

  • General Safety: All electrical equipment supplied must be safe. This will require that the electrical appliances, including leads and any adaptors, are checked by a competent and suitably qualified engineer. Unsafe items should be removed.
  • Labelling: All electrical equipment manufactured after the 1st January 1997 must be marked with the appropriate CE symbol.
  • Instructions: Manufacturers’ instructions should be provided wherever possible for each appliance supplied. This will help to ensure that the tenant uses the equipment safely.
Why is it important?
These are legal requirements and the maximum penalty for noncompliance with the regulations is a fine of £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
General product safety

For all rented property it is a statutory duty of the landlord to maintain the structure, keep main services serving the property in good repair and keep it fit for human habitation. There are also general product safety regulations that require the property and items in the property to be safe.

The product safety regulations state that any item supplied to a consumer in the course of a commercial activity must be safe, and this is deemed to include the supply of rented property.

The following checks and precautions should be observed:

  • Discard any damaged items that may be dangerous.
  • Provide instruction manuals where appropriate.
  • Check for obvious danger signs (broken glass, sharp edges, worn leads etc.)
  • All repairs or building work carried out on the property should be done in accordance with current building regulations (e.g. (no.) use of toughened safety glass in low-level glazing)
  • Smoke detectors, any supplied fire extinguishers and related safety equipment should be kept in good working order.
Other legal and safety requirements

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1 993.These regulations, amended in 1993, have set new levels of fire resistance for domestic upholstered furniture and furnishings. It is an offence to'supply' in the course of business any furniture which does not comply with the regulations. This includes the furniture inside residential property to be let.

The regulations apply to: sofas, futons, beds, bed-headboards, nursery furniture, garden furniture suitable for use in a dwelling, scatter cushions and pillows and stretch or loose covers for furniture. The regulations do not apply to: curtains, carpets, pillowcases, bedclothes (including duvets and loose mattress covers).

Any furniture manufactured after March 1990 is likely to comply but if the appropriate labels are not on the furniture or compliance is in doubt then checks should be made with the manufacturer.

Failure to comply with the regulations is an offence carrying a penalty of £5,000 or six months imprisonment or a greater penalty if a fire results and furniture is found not to comply.

HMO FAQs

These HMO (Houses in Multiple Occupation) FAQ's are provided courtesy of Portsmouth City Council and are subject to change at any time. For the most up to date information please visit their website directly by clicking here.
What is an HMO?
An HMO is a property which houses 3 or more people in 2 or more households where facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms are normally shared. It may include bedsits, shared houses and some self-contained flats.
What is Mandatory Licensing?
A mandatory licensable HMO is a property with 5 or more persons forming 2 or more households, living in a property with 3 or more storeys where facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms are shared. A basement may be counted as a storey; a commercial unit may also be counted as a storey.
What is a 257 HMO?
A section 257 HMO is a building that has been converted into a block of flats, which are all now self-contained, which do not comply with current building regulations, and less than two-thirds of the flats are owner-occupied. The full definition can be found under 257 of The Housing Act 2004.
What types of HMOs does Additional Licensing cover?
All privately rented properties occupied by three or more people (including children) who form two or more households will require a licence.
When does the Additional HMO Licensing Scheme start?
The scheme was implemented in the post code areas, P01, PO4 and P05 on 26th August 2013.
Why is the Council introducing Additional Licensing when there is already Mandatory Licensing in operation?
The Mandatory Licensing scheme only applies to a small percentage of the HMOs in Portsmouth. Additional Licensing will be comprehensive and help the City Council ensure minimum standards are met and maintained within this type of accommodation as well as reducing the potential impact on neighbourhoods and local communities.
Where can I find out more information about additional licensing?
Further information and guidance on HMO licensing can be found on the Portsmouth City Council website. Click Here
Does Additional HMO Licensing cover the whole city?
From 26th August 2013 the scheme will apply to all HMOs in the following post code areas P01, PO4 and P05.
Will the city council contact me about licensing my property?
The onus is on the person responsible (usually the owner or manager) of the property to apply to the council for an HMO licence if necessary.