Why rent a property through Merrys

As a tenant it is important to ensure when renting a property you receive a quality service both prior to and during your tenancy. At Merrys we strive to ensure tenants are provided with up to date and relevant information, competitive referencing and administration fees. With over 200 years' experience Merrys are expertly placed to match you to your perfect property. 
Merrys Residential Lettings has produced this guide to inform Tenants of the procedures and requirements relating to a typical tenancy taken through Merrys. If you are unsure, then please contact Merrys Lettings Office for further explanation prior to arranging any viewings.

Tenants Guide
Tenancy Applications/References

When applying to rent a property through Merrys you will need to complete a tenancy application form for all occupiers over the age of 18. In addition provide a copy of a current utility bill and a certified copy of your passport. If you do not have a valid passport you will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate and driving licence. If you are not in employment, confirmation of available funds will be required and this will then enable us to process the application as quickly as possible. If you are moving to this country from abroad we may require further proof of identification such as a work permit or visa.

At the point of your application being processed payment will be required and can be made by direct bank transfer, cash, debit card or by cheque (made payable to Merrys).  The tenancy application fee covers referencing (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current or previous employers/landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms), arranging the tenancy and agreement and schedule of condition/inventory if compiled.

Explanation of our tenancy application fees
We would like to provide clarity of the fees that will become payable when you apply to rent a property we are marketing. We believe you should understand these before you make any decision about a property.
We set out below how our fees are calculated. These will usually cover Referencing and Tenancy Agreement administration. These will be paid in addition to any Rent and Deposit that is due under a Tenancy Agreement.
Set up fee - £240.00 (incl VAT) for first applicant
Referencing (identity, immigration and visa confirmation, financial credit checks, obtaining references from current or previous employers / landlords and any other relevant information to assess affordability) as well as contract negotiation (amending and agreeing terms) and arrange tenancy and agreement. Please note that this fee is not refundable.

Additional Tenant Fee - £120.00 (incl VAT) per any additional applicant
Processing the application, associated paperwork and referencing. Please note that this fee is not refundable.
Guarantor Fee - £110.00 (incl VAT)
Covering credit referencing and preparing a Deed of Guarantor as part of the Tenancy Agreement. Please note that this fee is not refundable.
Company Let Fee - £270.00 (incl VAT)
Please note that this fee is not refundable.
Pet Deposit
To cover the added risk of property damage. This will be protected with your security deposit in a Government-authorised scheme and may be returned at the end of the tenancy. 
Renewal fee (tenant’s share) - £60.00 (incl VAT)
Contract negotiation, amending and updating terms and arranging a further tenancy and agreement.
Early Re-Let Fee - £270.00 (incl VAT)
Releases you from the tenancy. Pays for the advertising of the property.
Tenant will be responsible for all bills and rent up until the day a new tenant moves into the property.
Late rent payments
Interest at 3% above Bank Base Rate from due date 

Tenancy Terms
Please ensure that you are fully aware of the letting terms and conditions in relation to the property you are applying for. You should have read the full letting details and be aware of any restrictions that may apply.
Tenancy Agreement / Letting
Following receipt of satisfactory references and agreement to the letting between landlord and tenant Merrys will confirm the tenancy start date, term of agreement, conditions relating to the property and organise payment of rent and deposit. Prior to a tenancy commencing you will normally be required to sign a standard Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, which is usually for a period of six or twelve months. A Tenancy Agreement will fully explain and detail the terms and conditions on which you are taking the tenancy plus any other special conditions that relate to that specific property. In addition, more detail will be provided within the Merrys information for tenants which will accompany your tenancy agreement.
Rental Payments
The first months' rent along with the deposit are due in cleared funds prior to the tenancy start date payable either by direct bank transfer, cash, debit card, bankers draft or cheque (made payable to Merrys). All future rent is payable in advance by standing order either direct to the landlord or into Merrys Client Trust Account.
Before the tenancy commences you will be required to pay a deposit. The deposit is held against any damages or expenses arising during your tenancy and will not be released until you have vacated the property, all rent has been paid up to date and an end of tenancy inspection completed.
All deposits taken for Assured Shorthold Tenancies must be protected by a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Merrys lodge the deposits with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS)  For further information visit the website www.depositprotection.com
Schedule of Condition and Inventory
When the landlord requires a schedule of condition and inventory, this will be provided to you at the commencement of the tenancy requiring you to check it, sign and return back to Merrys within 3 days. It is important that you take care in checking the Schedule of Condition/Inventory at this stage, as it will form the basis of any claim for damages by your Landlord at the end of the tenancy.
Tenants Obligations
You should be aware that responsibility for the property rests with the tenant during any tenancy. It is particularly important that any gas or electrical problems are reported immediately and the property is fully secured when you leave it unattended at any time. During the winter months, necessary steps must be taken to prevent the freezing of water and heating systems. In addition, you will be liable to maintain the interior décor of the property to include carpets, and any fixtures and fittings that are included plus gardens and outside areas.
Merrys Obligations
The obligations of Merrys will vary dependent on which of the following services we provide for the Landlord.
A. Let Only (no management)
B. Letting and fully managing the property
You will be notified which of the above services applies to your tenancy and provide you with details of who to contact.
Property Visits
All properties will be subject to regular visits. The purpose of these is to check the condition of the property and that you are conducting your tenancy in accordance with the Tenancy Agreement. The visit also provides you with an opportunity to notify of any issues or problems you are experiencing with the property.
Utilities/Council Tax
Once you have signed a Tenancy Agreement you are usually liable for the service utility charges relating to that property to include gas, electricity, water and drainage plus the council tax. The utility companies and local authority will usually have been notified of your impending occupation along with appropriate meter readings. However, we would recommend that you check with the appropriate utility company to ensure that this has been set up correctly.
Television/Telephone & Broadband Connections
You are responsible for the television licence regardless of whether or not a television is provided by the Landlord. Landlords cannot guarantee quality of signal or availability of signal at any let property. With regard to telephones and broadband connections, tenants will need to make their own investigations as to the availability of a suitable telephone/broadband connection at the let property and will be responsible for any connection costs.
The Tenant is responsible for insuring their own personal effects and furnishings. It is important that as a tenant you are adequately protected and covered for any damage you may cause to landlords buildings or contents. Insurance can help you to protect your deposit at the end of the tenancy.
Tenancy Renewals
Approximately three months prior to the end of the initial fixed term Merrys will write to you asking for confirmation concerning your intentions and whether you would like to remain in the property and extend the tenancy for either a further fixed term or on a rolling Statutory Periodic basis. There will be a charge to cover the administration costs each time the Agreement is renewed or extended.

Professional cleaning (if required) As per quotation supplied at the end of the tenancy
Merrys Estate Agents have Client Money Protection insurance (CMP)
We are members of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme.