Keating Estates

Useful information & FAQ's

 

Useful information

Business Hours:

9.00am – 7.00pm Monday-Thursday
9.00am – 6.00pm Friday
10.00am – 4.00pm Saturday
CLOSED – Sunday

Electric, Gas and Water:

Electric supplier helpline: call MPAS on 0845 601 5467
E: mpasenquiry@ukpowernetworks.co.uk
Gas Supplier helpline: call National Grid on 0870 608 1524
Water supplier– Thames water on 0871 9090 180

Council tax help lines:

Please ensure you contact the Council to inform them you have moved in.

Any delay in set up of bills can result in having to pay all outstanding bills in one lump sum.

Lambeth Council tax helpline: 0345 3022 312
E: lambethctax@secure.capita.co.uk

Wandsworth Council tax helpline: 0208 871 8081
E: counciltax@wandsworth.gov.uk

Southwark Council Tax helpline: 0207 525 1850
E: counciltax@southwark.gov.uk

General Utilities:

EDF – 0800 068 8503
Sky – 08702 404 040
Virgin Media - 0845 840 7777
British Gas - 0845 609 1122
London Energy - 0800 0969000
Thames Water - 0845 9200888
British Telecom - 0800 800150
Electricity Supply - 0845 6000102
Transco - 0845 6056677

 

FAQs:

Q: What is included in the agency administration fee?

Admin fee breakdown.

The administration fee covers but is not limited to:

Setting up the file and adding it to the database.
Writing the confirmation letters, emailing and posting to landlords and tenants.
Scanning and linking offer paper to the system.
Communication with the referencing company, chasing and ensuring the references are passed on time and link references to the file.
Drawing up the tenancy agreement and sending it out to all parties for signature via an online signing facility.
Linking tenancy agreement to the file.
Preparing payment - Arranging sign up.
Protecting the deposit where applicable.
Communication to the Landlord and tenants.
Arranging inventories directly or via the Landlord.
Arranging contractors to carry out any agreed works prior to the tenancy commencing.
Arranging for the professional clean to take place.
Obtaining EPC and Gas Safety Certificate.
Move in Paperwork scanned and linked.
Move in letters to the water company and the council.
An average of 12 hour’s administration work goes into each file.

 

Q: Who do we call if we have a maintenance issue?

All maintenance issues for properties that we manage must be reported to us via our online reporting system.

Please visit our home page and follow the 'report a maintenance issue' link.

If you are renting a property which is managed by the landlord you should contact them on the details which are provided to you at the start of the tenancy.

 

Q: What should I do if I smell gas?

You should always call Transco 0800 111 999 straight away if you smell gas followed by a call to our office so that we can assist.

 

Q: What happens to my Security Deposit?

Keating Estates is a member of the Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited (TDSL) Trading as mydeposits, and will be Stakeholder for all Managed properties and some Finding only properties where the Landlord wishes us to do so. For further information on TDSL please visit www.mydeposits.co.uk. Please refer to the information provided at your sign up and in the prescribed information and clause 5 of the tenancy agreement.

Return of Deposit at the End of the Tenancy (mydeposits)

We follow the guidelines provided to us from mydeposits.

(i)         The Agent will advise the Tenant in writing within 10 working days of the termination date of the Tenancy of any proposed deductions from the Deposit for any sums due to the Landlord, including the Agent's reasonable fees and disbursements.

(ii)        If there is no dispute the Agent will keep or repay the Deposit or the proportion of the Deposit according to the agreed deductions and the conditions of the Tenancy Agreement.  Payment of the Deposit or any balance of it will be made within 10 working days of the Landlord and the Tenant agreeing the allocation of the Deposit.  In the event that the Deposit is insufficient to pay all liabilities the remainder shall remain due and payable by the Tenant to the Landlord.

(iii)       If the Tenant intends to dispute any of the proposed deductions from the Deposit then the Tenant must inform the Agent and TDSL that a dispute has arisen.  The details of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service provided under TDSL can be found at www.mydeposits.co.uk.  The statutory rights of the Landlord and the Tenant to take legal action through the County Court remain unaffected.

Q: Who to contact in regards to deposit enquiries?

After the tenancy ends please contact deposits@keatingestates.com.

A check out will be conducted at the end of the tenancy by a third party independent inventory clerk on the last day of the tenancy. We advise that you are present at this check or that you have a representative present if possible.
Once the checkout report has been received by ourselves we will compare it to the check in. We will then be able to work out if there are any dilapidations for which the landlord may seek compensation. Fair wear and tear is taken into consideration at all times. If there are any proposed deductions the landlord will be consulted and we have to take their instructions.
A deposits returns letter is then sent to all tenants with a list of the proposed deductions.  Once this has been signed and agreed by all tenants, along with your final bills in paper statement form showing that all of your accounts have been closed with your forwarding address on.

Once we receive both documents the deposit can be released within 10 working days.

If we cannot come to any agreement regarding the proposed deductions, through negotiation you will have 90 days from vacating the property in which to raise a dispute with the relevant deposit company.

Q: Why do I need an Inventory, Check in and Check Out?

An Inventory is created by an independent inventory clerk on the day of move in. This clerk is not an employee or affiliated to your Landlord in anyway. The clerk goes through the property noting the condition, cleanliness and all items of furniture in the property. This report will be emailed to you after your move in date.

At the end of the tenancy you will be expected to return the flat in the same cleanliness and condition (fair wear and tear excepted) according to the check in report. If there is any dispute regarding the contents of the inventory you will have to take it up with the inventory company within five days of them sending you the inventory as per the paper work you signed before moving in giving you this instruction.

As the inventory company is a third party independent company we cannot influence their report in any way which is why you have to respond to them directly with any comments you have on the report.

The basis for the protection or any deduction from your security deposit comes from these reports; these reports indicate to us the condition and standard of the property when you leave compared to when you moved in.

Q: Why do I need to pay for a Check Out and what does it cost?

The reason that the tenants pay for check out cost is because the inventory company are a third party independent company who are instructed to present an accurate representation of the condition of the property at both beginning and end of the tenancy. This service is provided on behalf of both the landlord and the tenants so therefore the cost is split between the landlord and the tenant. The landlord is responsible for payment of this service at the beginning of the tenancy and the tenant pays for the check out in order to split the cost between both parties.

The check-out cost will be deducted from the security deposit if not paid to Keating Estates or directly to the inventory company prior to the check out.

Check out
All keys must be given to the Inventory clerk or to back to Keating Estates on your move out date during office hours. The check-out time will be confirmed with you prior to move out. It is advisable that you make yourself available for the check-out appointment so that you can attend the appointment to avoid any future queries regarding the contents of the check-out report.

 

Q: Why is the Rent due date the same day each month as the move in date?

Each rental period runs for a calendar month starting on the day the tenancy commences. The rent due date is therefore the same day each month as the tenancy has to run for an agreed number of full rental periods (months).

 

Q: What if one of us need to vacate and find a replacement tenant?

The landlord has to agree to any name changes on the tenancy as they have a right to insist that the whole tenancy is terminated should one or more members of the household wish to leave as tenants are joint and severally liable. As long as the landlord agrees the changeover you will need to contact the renewals team on: renewals@keatingestates.com
A suitable tenant will have to be fully referenced through the reference agency we instruct. Once they have been passed we will draw up the new tenancy agreement or addendum removing the previous tenant and adding the new tenant.
Failure to do this will mean that you are in breach of your contract and the tenants who are named on the tenancy agreement will remain responsible for the tenancy regardless of whether they are living in the property or not.

 

Q: What do I need to do at the end of the tenancy?

Please refer to clause 6 and 8 in the tenancy agreement.

When your tenancy is coming to an end, please put your notice to vacate, (which must be signed by all tenants) in writing to the office and also email to info@keatingestates.com.

The tenancy agreement will stipulate the notice period which will need to be served in writing. The notice period always runs from the next rent due date after the notice has been received.

Once you have served notice a letter will be sent out to you explaining what you will need to do to prepare the property prior to you vacating and being checked out. It is important that you have everything ready for the check-out appointment as once you have handed the keys back you will no longer be able to access the property or carry out any further cleaning etcetera.

 

Q: What are the costs involved in renewing our tenancy and/or changing a tenant?

Renewal Fees/Change of Tenant

£250 administration fee

Reference fee £50 per person

Tenant replacements:

When tenants look to replace themselves or others while the tenancy is still current, they will need to be aware of certain requirements:

The replacement tenants will need to be fully referenced. Their contact details will need to be email to us and a fee of £50.00 must also be paid before the referencing process can start. Once the fee is received we will email a link to the new tenant to complete an online reference form.

All parties will need to sign an agreement to transfer the liability from one tenant to another. A deed of assignment or new tenancy agreement will be drawn up and will be emailed to all parties when the referencing process has been completed.

Once the deed of assignment has been fully signed, we will re-protect the deposit and amend the names with the deposit company and you will receive a new certificate confirming the deposit has been protected.

A fee of £150.00 for the administration will be due for this service.

The vacating tenant will be held liable under the terms of their tenancy agreement until the deed of assignment is signed fully, and the new tenants take possession of the property.

 

Q: What happens when it is time to renew my contract?

A couple of months prior to your tenancy ending you will receive a renewal questionnaire to confirm your future intentions for the property.

If you are renewing your tenancy, once the agreement has been completed we will be required to re-protect the deposit and amend dates, names, add new tenants and alternative addresses etc. You will receive a letter or email from the deposit company advising that your deposit has been un-protected. Your deposit will be both un-protected and re-protected at the same time and you will receive a new certificate with prescribed information via email and post once we have administered the re-protection of the deposit.

If you wish to renew your tenancy, please write to renewals@keatingestates.com.

 

Q: Does it matter whether the property is Fully Managed or Let Only?

If your chosen property is fully managed, then our in-house Property Managers will be your first point of contact for all maintenance and repair issues and we will act on behalf of the landlord.

If we do not manage the property the Landlord takes over the day to day management of the property and may hold and administer your deposit (they must still secure your deposit with an accredited deposit protection scheme). Most properties are fully managed and most of our let only clients are well-known to us. Your rights are protected either way.

 

Q: What do you mean by furnished or unfurnished?

Each property is obviously different but generally speaking unfurnished means you can expect carpets, curtains and white goods only whilst furnished often includes all the essential furnishings required to move in straight away apart from minor kitchen equipment (cutlery, crockery, pots, pans, toaster, kettle etc.) and bedding. We will supply you with an inventory showing exactly what is included with each property.

 

Q: How binding is the Tenancy Agreement I enter into?

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the agreed term and you could be liable to legal action if you break the terms of the agreement. If your circumstances should change for any reason during your tenancy, we will approach the Landlord on your behalf and discuss the possible solutions but you should always assume at the outset that you will be committed for the duration of the agreement.

 

Q: Do I need insurance?

YES! You should consider taking out insurance against any damage you might accidentally cause to the Landlord's contents, buildings and fixtures and fittings. It's all too easy to drop the iron on the carpet or spill red wine. The Landlord covers the building and his own contents against normal perils such as fire, flood or theft but not yours. We can provide you with information on contents insurance. Alternatively, you may choose your own insurance provider.

 

Q: What about pets?

Most landlords are not keen on allowing pets but if you raise the issue at the outset we will gladly approach the Landlord on your behalf. Some Landlords will accept pets if you pay a higher deposit.

 

Q: What references will you ask for?

All references are taken up by a third party independent referencing agency. They will check for but may not be limited to the following:

Your ability to pay the rent – employment status, if self-employed proof of income will be required.
Your rental history
Your credit status
Your right to live and work in the UK
Your personal details for the purposes of fraud and money laundering checks

 

Q: When might I need a guarantor?

Through referencing you will be assessed as to your ability to pay the rent. If it is recommended by the referencing agency that your income is lower than that required for the rent in question or if you are returning to study for example, we could ask for a guarantor to support your tenancy. This is a serious commitment, as the guarantor will be as responsible as the tenant for all monies due and obligations agreed for the tenancy. Guarantors need to be earning sufficiently to cover both their own financial commitments as well as your rent and we will reference them in the same way as the actual tenant.

 

Q: What does a guarantor need to do?

A guarantor normally needs to be referenced in the same way as the applicant. They would normally be required to be employed and resident in the UK with sufficient earnings to cover your rental commitment. The guarantor is responsible for paying any rent arrears if the tenant does not pay and any damages costing more than the deposit.

Due to the level of financial commitment required, we normally find guarantors are family members rather than friends.

 

Q: Why does my guarantor have to guarantee all tenants?

This is because the tenancy agreement makes all sharers in a tenancy joint and severally liable for all rents and liabilities – which means there is no individual ‘share’ of the rent. The guarantor has the same responsibility.

 

Q: How do I pay my rent?

Rent is paid monthly in advance by standing order from your bank. This is a worry-free way of ensuring you never fall behind in your rental payments. Be sure to tell us if your circumstances change, for instance you change banks or your employment situation changes as we can then help you to protect your tenancy. The last thing we want is for you to fall into arrears.

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