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Tenant Guide

Referencing Procedure

As soon as a suitable property has been found, you will need to complete reference application forms. We utilise the services of a credit-referencing agency to take up the following references, here is an example of just a few of the references sought:

  • Confirmation of employment, salary confirmation.
  • Personal & Photographic identification (passport or driving licence).
  • Previous Landlord references.
  • Students (Guarantor or proof of funding).
  • Self-Employed (Accountants references, trading details etc)

Holding Deposit

A holding deposit of £500.00 will be required to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be retained should the tenant withdraw from the proposed letting, through no fault of the landlord or the agent, all or a proportion of the ‘Holding Deposit’ will be retained in order to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full). None of the Holding Deposit will be retained should the Tenant’s withdrawal be due to a breach of the proposed letting agreement by the landlord or managing agent.

The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property:

For example:

  • Cancel any advertising for the letting
  • Tell other applicants that the tenancy has been taken subject to satisfactory references
  • Prepare a letting agreement
  • Take up references
  • Carry out credit checks (some landlords make a charge for this – administration fee)

Administration/ Reference Applications

All administration/reference fees are due at the start of the application process once the offer has been verbally agreed and will secure the property for you subject to satisfactory references being received on behalf of all applicable tenants .

Should a guarantor be required then a further payment per guarantor will be required. These fees are fully refundable in the event of the landlord withdrawing from the deal.


It is imperative that you disclose all relevant facts that may adversely affect your reference outcome, prior to entering into the above. It may save you money.

Tenancy Agreement

Both the Landlord and tenant/s will be required to sign a tenancy agreement prior to the tenancy commencing, the agreement outlines both tenant and landlord obligations.

Generally, most tenancies run for a period of twelve months, we will contact you at the end of the tenancy to see whether you wish to renew your agreement for a further period and will liaise with the landlord to organise the documentation. It is important you note that the agreement is made between landlord and tenant, we act for the landlord only.

By legal requirement we will issue you with a sample template agreement which we ask you read very carefully, should any questions arise regarding this legal document we advise you to seek independent legal advice.


Once a moving date has been agreed and references have all been approved by the landlord, the tenancy agreement will need to be signed by all parties and the initial monies in full will become due less any holding deposit previously paid:

This is made up of the following:

  • Deposit normally equal to five or six weeks rent.
  • The first months rent in advance.

The above monies need to be in a cleared form before the tenancy is able to commence, payment by means of either a bankers draft, cash or paid directly into our client bank account and showing as cleared.

Managed Properties

We do get instructed to fully manage some of our landlord’s properties, if this is the case, with your tenancy we will inform you prior to your tenancy commencing. If we are managing then any faults with appliances or problems within the property will need to be reported to us and we will deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an ongoing problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any problems you feel need attention.

Rental Payment

Rental payments are always made by standing order from the tenants’ bank account to the landlord’s bank account, with the exception of managed properties whereby the rental payment is made to us.

Notice to end a tenancy

To terminate your tenancy subject to term, you will normally be required to give us at least one month notice in writing of your intention to leave, unless otherwise specified in your specific tenancy agreement.

Your personal belongings brought into the property are your responsibility. You should consider the need for insurance as no policy held by the landlord provides cover for such belongings.The landlord accepts no responsibility and cannot be held responsible for any loss or damage to tenants possessions.


A well-prepared inventory and check-in report protects landlords and tenants alike, providing an accurate description of the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy.

The condition of the property and its contents at the end of the tenancy is then compared back to this report in the form of a check-out report. The inventory clerk will also provide an opinion on whether any damage that has arisen during the tenancy is attributable to the tenants, to ‘fair wear and tear’ or to the landlord as required maintenance.

It is in a landlord’s interest to ensure that inventories are prepared for properties that they own. In the worst case scenario, should you end up in court, the judge will tend to look more favourably on an impartial, unbiased inventory prepared by a third party unconnected to either the landlord or the tenants. Inventories prepared by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.

Normally an inventory of the property condition, furniture and fittings and effects will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord prior to the tenancy commencing. The tenancy is checked and agreed between the tenant and the landlord at the tenancy commencement.


Once your offer has been accepted you’ll need to hand over your deposit. Your deposit will be treated under the tenancy deposit protection scheme (DPS), which is a scheme accredited by the Government, and we will pass on the details to you – make sure you hold on to these.

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government has introduced tenancy deposit protection for all assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have had to be protected within 14 calendar days of receipt by the agent/landlord.

How the DPS Scheme works?

1. The tenant pays the landlord or letting agent their deposit.
2. The letting agent/landlord pays the money in to the DPS scheme with 14 days of receiving it.
3. Upon receipt of the deposit, the DPS provides confirmation and details of the protection scheme to the letting agent/landlord and tenant.
4. When the tenancy comes to an end, the letting agent/landlord and tenant agree repayment of the deposit including any interest accrued, usually within 10 days.
5. In the case of any dispute, The DPS return any undisputed monies plus interest to the relevant party, but hold the disputed portion until the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) or courts decide what is fair.

Tenants’ obligations

The responsibility for the property lies with the tenant during the period of tenancy, always ensure that the property is fully secured and that during the winter months steps are taken to prevent freezing of the water and heating system.

Property Inspection

If we are instructed as managing agents for your property, we will carry out quarterly inspections to assess the condition of the property and that everything is being kept in a satisfactory condition. We will always arrange this with you at a mutually convenient time.

Council Tax & Utilities

It is the tenant’s responsibility to inform the utility companies of their occupation of the property at the commencement of the tenancy, and to pay council tax to the local authority. Students, who may be exempt from the payment of council tax, are responsible for informing the Local Authority of this.

Fees & other fees

An administration fee of 2 weeks payment from the first months rent.  This is a fixed cost fee that can cover a variety of work dependent on the individual tenancy circumstances of each tenancy but not limited to conducting viewings, verifying references, credit checks, existing landlord checks and preparation of the contract.  This charge is applicable per tenancy and not per individual tenant.

Add new tenant to existing tenancy subject to satisfactory referencing and credit check £250.00
Letter sent inclusive of late payment/non payment charge  £25.00
Tenancy renewal fee £105.00
Banking of housing benefit cheque £35.00 (deducted from cheque payment)
Reference requests (first reference is free) £30.00
False call outs to the property  £75.00
Letter requests from tenant (cost per letter) £25.00
Breach of tenancy letters sent to the tenant (cost per letter) £15.00
Fee for non return of keys at end of contract £150.00
Check out fee £165.00
Cancelled contractor appointments (by tenant)  where less than 24 hours notice is given to cancel £ charged at cost given by contractor

Early termination of contract 

The tenant\s are liable for the landlords re-letitng costs and any void period until a new tenant is found. No charge is made for the void period if the void period extends beyond the original contract end date.

Eviction costs

Serving of notice for breach of tenancy  £95.00
Completing court paperwork £295.00 plus the court fee
Completing bailiff paperwork £105.00 pus the court fee
Storage costs for tenants possessions after bailiff eviction  £25.00 per day
(maximum storage for 1 month after eviction if the possessions are not removed within that time then the possessions will be disposed off
Disposal costs £ as charged by disposal contractor

Heaton Square Ltd attendance at key lock out (if you have left keys in property or lost keys we are a last resort and you may call your own locksmith)

9:00am to 6:00pm £50.00
(if new keys are to be provided or locks changed then the cost of keys or new lock will charged on top of call out)

6:00pm to 9:00am £100.00
(if new keys are to be provided or locks changed then the cost of keys or new lock will charged on top of call out)