Useful information & FAQ's
Our business hours
Electric, gas and water
If you're not sure who supplies the utilities at your property, here are some useful contacts:
Electric supplier: call EDF Energy, regional electricity distributor in London, on 0845 600 0102.
Gas supplier: use the Meter Point Administration's online search tool: Find My Supplier. Or call 0870 608 1524.
Water supplier: call Thames water on 0800 316 9800.
Council tax helplines
Please ensure you contact your local council to inform them you have moved in. Any delay in the set up of your bills can result in having to pay all outstanding bills in one lump sum.
Lambeth council tax: call 0345 302 2312 or visit www.lambeth.gov.uk/council-tax
Wandsworth council tax: call 020 8871 8081 or visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/counciltax
Southwark council tax: 020 7525 1850 or visit www.southwark.gov.uk/council-tax
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
If you are renting a property which is managed by the landlord, you should contact them on the details which were provided to you at the start of the tenancy.
Q: What should I do if I smell gas?
You should always call the National Gas Emergency Number on 0800 111 999 straight away if you smell gas, followed by a call to our office so we can assist.
Q: What costs can I expect to incur before and during my tenancy?
Please refer to our Tenant Fees page for details on what costs you can expect to pay as part of your tenancy.
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 and may also 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 different but generally speaking, unfurnished means you can expect carpets, curtains and white goods only. 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's included with each property.
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.
Q: What references will you ask for?
Upon the landlord’s instruction, all references are conducted by a third party, independent referencing agency. Things they will check include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Your ability to pay the rent – employment status or if self-employed, proof of income
- 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
On some occasions, landlords may wish to conduct their own referencing. On these occasions we will put you in direct contact with the landlord for them to follow their own procedures.
Q: When might I need a guarantor?
Your ability to pay the rent will be assessed through referencing, as explained above. If it is considered 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(s) for all monies due and obligations agreed in 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 we would a tenant.
Q: What is required to be a guarantor?
A guarantor would normally be required to be employed and a 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 could be liable for any damages costing more than the deposit. A guarantor normally needs to be referenced in the same way as the tenant(s).
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 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: How do I pay my rent?
Rent is paid 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.
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 months.
Q: Do I need insurance?
Yes! You should consider taking out your own insurance against any damage you might accidentally cause to the landlord's contents, building, 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 their own contents against perils such as fire, flood or theft, but not yours. We can provide you with information on contents insurance or alternatively, you may choose your own insurance provider.
Q: What happens to my security deposit?
Keating Estates is a member of Tenancy Deposit Solutions Limited (TDSL), trading as mydeposits. Where a landlord has instructed us to do so, we will protect a deposit by registering it with TDSL.
For further information on TDSL visit www.mydeposits.co.uk. Please also refer to any relevant information we have provided directly to you, including clause 5 of your tenancy agreement.
Return of your deposit at the end of the tenancy
When your tenancy ends, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where instructed by the landlord, a check out will be conducted by a third party, independent inventory clerk on the last day of your tenancy. We advise that you are present for this or that you have a representative present if possible.
Once we receive the check out report, we will compare it to the check in report. 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 deposit returns letter is then sent to all tenants with a list of the proposed deductions. Once this has been agreed and signed by all tenants, it should be returned to us, along with your final bills in paper statement form showing that all of your accounts have been closed, with your forwarding address. When we receive both documents, your deposit can be released within 10 working days.
If we cannot come to any agreement regarding the proposed deductions, you will have 90 days from vacating the property in which to raise a dispute with the deposit company.
We follow the guidelines provided to us from mydeposits
(i) The Agent will advise the Tenant in writing within 10 working days of the tenant requesting the return of their deposit in writing of any proposed deductions from the Deposit for any sums due to the Landlord, including the Agent's reasonable fees and disbursements in accordance with the Tenant Fee Act 2019.
(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: Why is there 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 any way. The clerk goes through the property noting the condition, cleanliness and all items of furniture in the property. A report will be emailed to you after your move in date.
At the end of the tenancy you will be expected to return the property in the same cleanliness and condition (fair wear and tear excepted) according to the check in report. We advise that you are present for the check out, or that you have a representative present if possible, to minimise any future queries regarding the contents of the report. If there is any dispute regarding the contents of the inventory you will need to take it up with the inventory company within five days of them sending you their report, as per the paperwork you sign 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.
All keys must be given to the inventory clerk or back to Keating Estates during office hours on your move out date. The check out time will be confirmed with you prior to move out.
Q: Who pays for the inventory, check in and check out?
The landlord will give their instructions as to whether or not they will provide an inventory and if so, this cost will be paid by them.
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, and when the agreement has been completed, we will be required to re-protect your deposit and amend dates, names, add any 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 via email and post once we have administered the re-protection of the deposit.
If you wish to renew your tenancy, please write to email@example.com.
Q: What are the costs involved in renewing my tenancy?
Other than continuing to pay the agreed rent every month, there are no other charges to renew your tenancy.
Q: What if one of us needs to vacate and find a replacement tenant during the tenancy?
If circumstances change during your tenancy, we will approach the landlord on your behalf and discuss the possible solutions. However you should always assume at the outset that all tenants will be committed for the duration of the agreement. The landlord has no contractual or legal obligation to agree to any name changes on the tenancy. You are entering a contractually binding agreement and if you request to make any changes to this agreement, they may insist that the whole tenancy is terminated should one or more members of the household wish to leave, as all tenants are joint and severally liable. In this instance you will be in breach of your agreement with the landlord and any damages will be recovered from the tenant by the landlord in accordance with the Tenant Fee Act 2019.
Q: What do I need to do at the end of my tenancy?
Please refer to clause 6 and 8 in the tenancy agreement. When your tenancy is coming to an end, please send your notice to vacate, signed by all tenants, in writing to our office and also email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
The tenancy agreement will stipulate the notice period which will need to be served. 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 to you explaining what you'll need to do to prepare the property prior to you vacating and the check out appointment. 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 etc.