FAQ

Using a letting agency either as a landlord or a tenant can sometimes seem like scary stuff, but it doesn’t have to be that way! As a friendly, family-run business, we want you to get the best service you can get from us. And that starts from making sure that you understand how we work.

This FAQ has been created from a host of questions that we’ve been asked over our many years in the industry. We’ve answered in detail to give you as much insight into the way we work. If there’s anything that you feel we haven’t answered, why not scroll to the bottom of the page and ask us through our contact form?

We won’t bite!

Question 01

What costs should I take into account when renting my property?

Answer

There are a number of costs involved when renting your property. You need to take into account the following:

Letting Agency Commission – typically charged at a % + VAT of your monthly rental. If you plan to manage your own property, the commission will be a one-off payment, but allowing the agency to manage the property will incur a monthly payment.

EPC – You need to get an EPC completed for prospective tenants viewing your property to look at. These expire after 10 years.

Inventory – These should be completed prior to a tenant moving in. Check with your agent if they’re able to complete this for you and check their costing.

Safety Certificates – Getting your safety certificates (gas safety, electrical safety, and fire equipment/alarms) completed protects you as a landlord. Ask your agency for prices as they’ll likely have a contractor who would complete these across their houses.

Maintenance – Unfortunately the one cost that can change from month to month. The better quality product that is put in there to begin with tends to stand the test of time. But striking the right balance of cost vs quality is what you’re looking for. You don’t want to be changing your boilers every 2-5 years for example!

Question 02

Are there any additional marketing costs?

Answer

Generally, you won’t have any additional marketing costs from your agent. Tasks such as taking pictures, advertising on property portals like Rightmove/Zoopla, and producing handouts for clients should all be included in your fee. At least they are in ours!

Question 03

Who will conduct viewings on my property and when will they occur?

Answer

Viewings will always be conducted by a member of the TLR team. We have designated sales and lettings negotiators who are first line on all viewings, but we do ensure that all of our staff have viewing training just in case they are called upon. Viewings are booked within our office times of 09:00 and 17:30, however, on rare occasions and when required, viewings can occur in the early evening hours.

Question 04

Do I need to be present for viewings?

Answer

We don’t require you to be present for viewings, but we recognise that you do retain your right to be there if required. We do fully recommend that you get an agency set of keys cut so that we can carry out seamless viewings without having to call you each time to pick up keys or ask you to be present on viewings. Whether you’re fully managed or let only, we’ll do the hard work here so that you don’t have to!

Question 05

What is an EPC and how long will it be valid?

Answer

EPC stands for Energy Performance Certificate. It shows the current performance of the property and also what can be done to make the property more energy efficient. By law, an EPC needs to be provided to show to all persons viewing your property, so it’s very important to get it done! They last for 10 years, so you won’t have to worry about it for a while once it’s done!

Question 06

How much will it cost to have my property managed?

Answer

Having your property managed comes with a monthly cost. This is an agreed percentage of your monthly rent plus VAT. On top of that are some administration fees for preparing a Tenancy Agreement and for Renewing a Tenancy.

Question 07

How much is the tenant's deposit and what happens to it?

Answer

The tenant’s deposit depends on the situation of the tenant. If the tenant is not able to provide a signed UK-based guarantor, then their deposit will be double that of a tenant with a signed UK-based guarantor.

  • Tenant with a UK-based guarantor – Equivalent of 1 month’s rent plus £100.
  • Tenant without a UK-based guarantor – Equivalent of 2 month’s rent plus £100.

Deposits are always safely deposited into a Government-Backed Deposit Protection Scheme. The Living Room uses My Deposits and the Deposit Protection Scheme.

https://www.gov.uk/deposit-protection-schemes-and-landlords/overview

Question 08

How do these deposit schemes protect me?

Answer

The deposits must be placed into a scheme within 30 days by law. The three Government-Backed schemes have free dispute-handling services which ensure that any differences of opinion on deposit deductions are dealt with swiftly and fairly.

 

How much does an inventory cost and who is responsible for organising this?

The cost of an inventory changes depending on the size of the property you own. This is because of the extra time taken in a larger property with more bedrooms. The prices are as follows:

  • 1 or 2 bed = £60 +VAT
  • 3 bed = £70 +VAT
  • 4 bed = £80 +VAT
  • 5 bed = £90 +VAT
  • 6 bed = £100 +VAT
  • 7 bed = £110 +VAT
  • 8 bed = £120 +VAT

Question 09

How much does an inventory cost and who is responsible for organising this?

Answer

How much does an inventory cost and who is responsible for organising this?
The cost of an inventory changes depending on the size of the property you own. This is because of the extra time taken in a larger property with more bedrooms. The prices are as follows:
– 1 or 2 bed = £60 +VAT
– 3 bed = £70 +VAT
– 4 bed = £80 +VAT
– 5 bed = £90 +VAT
– 6 bed = £100 +VAT
– 7 bed = £110 +VAT
– 8 bed = £120 +VAT

Question 10

How long does it take to receive my rent once paid by the tenant?

Answer

Rent is processed from our Accounts team in our Head Office in Cardiff. Generally, Cardiff property rent is paid between the 6th to 8th of the month, Swansea property rent is paid between the 12th to 15th of the month, and Manchester properties on the 10th of the month.

Question 11

How do I book a viewing?

Answer

Booking a viewing with us is easy as pie! There are few ways to get in touch:

  1. Give us a call! You’ll see all of our offices phone numbers at the bottom of this page, so give us a call today.
  2. Drop us an email with your details and requirements and we can give you a call back to get you booked into the diary!

We advertise all of our houses on our website and also on Rightmove, so have a look on either or both and give us call when you find a house that you like!

We’re more than happy to do the leg-work for you though. So just give us a call and leave your name, number, email, group size and area preferences and we’ll get you booked in for a viewing with 3 or 4 properties that suit your needs!

Question 12

What are your agency fees?

Answer

£90.00 inc VAT per person for students in Manchester and Cardiff.
£75.00 inc VAT per person for students in Swansea.

Question 13

How long are the contracts?

Answer

Usually 10 months; from 1st September to the 30th June.

Question 14

How much will our utility bills be?

Answer

How long is a piece of string! Work on approximately £10-15 per week. To include Gas, Electric, Water, TV Licence & Internet.

Question 15

Do I pay council tax?

Answer

No, if you are a student in full-time education you are exempt.

Question 16

Can you help if I am looking to share a house?

Answer

Definitely, we have lists of houses and details of the tenants, male/female, freshers, mature students etc so hopefully we can put you in the right house.

Question 17

How do I get to see the houses?

Answer

Just call us and we will go through the houses that are suitable and make an appointment for you and or your group. Come to our office and we can chauffeur you around the houses. We can fit six people in our car!!! excluding the driver.

Question 18

I have never used an agency what are the benefits?

Answer

It will buy you peace of mind. If you are in one of our managed properties we are available 24/7 in emergencies. If anything goes wrong in your house we are only a call away. Washing machine has broken? boiler not working? locked out? All you do is call us and we will get the right people to you. In our non managed properties, if you have a problem with your landlord then come and see us and we will be able to help you in dealing with the landlord. Basically, you do not have to try and find your landlord, we are here Monday to Friday 09.00 – 5.00pm and our out of hours service means we are available 24/7.

Question 19

What is the summer retainer and why do I have to pay it?

Answer

The summer retainer is an agreement between yourself and the landlord. He is keeping the property for your arrival in September and allowing you to store things over the Summer.

Question 20

Do I need insurance?

Answer

Yes we strongly recommend you take out contents insurance.

Question 21

How much bond/security do I have to pay?

Answer

Usually it is one months rent plus £100.00. This is logged with the Deposit Protection Scheme.

Question 22

How do I get my deposit back?

Answer

It depends if your property is managed or non managed. If your house is managed by us, you will need to arrange an appointment for us to view the house for a “check out inspection.” A report will be produced and the landlord will be advised of our recommendations, once he/she has agreed that we can return the deposit, we will notify the Deposit Protection Service to refund the money. At this stage it should take them 14 days but normally it is released sooner depending on how busy they are.

Question 23

Your rent can be paid in a number of ways depending on you and your landlords.

Answer

Option 1 is termly to work with your student loans rents would be paid

  • 1st October – Four months rent
  • 1st February – Three months rent
  • 1st May – Two months rent

Option 2 is quarterly

  • 1st October – Three months rent
  • 1st January – Three months rent
  • 1st April – Three months rent

Option 3 if your parents are paying we can accept monthly payments by standing order.

Question 24

Can you get stung by a dead jellyfish?

Answer

Jellyfish can sting with their tentacles if they brush against you when you’re swimming in the ocean. You also can get stung if you step on a jellyfish, even a dead one. Usually, jellyfish stings will hurt, but are not emergencies. And remember, you’re probably best off not peeing on it – and definitely not on anyone else!

Question 25

How many ants are there in the world?

Answer

Nobody actually knows how many ants there are in the world. But a BBC Four documentary claimed they number around 100 trillion – pretty numerous, right?! It also suggests the total weight of ants equals the total weight of humans.

Question 26

Why do we put candles on top of birthday cakes?

Answer

Some believe that the tradition of birthday candles began in Ancient Greece, when people brought cakes adorned with lit candles to the temple of Artemis, goddess of the hunt. The candles were lit to make them glow like the moon, a popular symbol associated with Artemis. And there’s me thinking it was just to close your eyes and make a wish…

Question 27

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Answer

A woodchuck would chuck as much wood as a woodchuck could chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood… And breathe!

Question 28

What is the major difference between a bird and a fly?

Answer

A bird can fly but a fly cannot bird! Although I’d love to see a fly try to bird.

Question 29

Is the ability to roll your tongue genetic?

Answer

Family studies clearly demonstrate that tongue rolling is not a simple genetic character, and twin studies demonstrate that it is influenced by both genetics and the environment. Despite this, tongue rolling is probably the most commonly used classroom example of a simple genetic trait in humans. Unfortunately for Chris, our marketing manager, he was that example growing up.

Question 30

Why are the numbers on a dartboard in that order?

Answer

It was invented by a carpenter in Bury in 1896 called Brian Gamlin. If you go around the dart board adding up the differences between adjacent numbers – 20 and 1 for example – it would come to 198. The highest possible it could come to is 200, but it’s well organised to reduce the chance of a lucky shot. So much thought into something so simple… For the record, I don’t think I’ve ever had anything other than a lucky shot on a dartboard!

Question 31

How many days do you sleep in a lifetime?

Answer

If the average night’s sleep is eight hours (i.e. one third of a day), one sleeps for one third of their life. If you live, say, 75 years, that’s 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days. Pretty long time, right?! I think I’ll skip that nap tonight…

Question 32

How many times do you breathe in a day?

Answer

Each day we breathe about 20,000 times. It’s making me out of breath just thinking about it…

Question 33

Who are the kings in a deck of cards?

Answer

The four kings, for example, are based on real rulers: the king of diamonds represents the wealthy Julius Caesar; the king of clubs is the brutal Alexander the Great; the king of spades represents the strong but kind David of Israel; and the king of Hearts represents the emotionally disturbed Charles VII of France. So perhaps in a few hundred years, we’ll see Elvis on a pack of cards!

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