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
Tenants Fees Explanied

We would like to provide clarity of the fees that may become payable during a tenancy you are looking to enter into. We believe you should understand these before you make any decision about a property or before you decide to view a property.

Acceptance of any offer will be subject to contract, referencing and immigration checks. You will need to pay the Rent and Deposit that is due under a Tenancy Deposit, or where the landlord is offering the property with a deposit replacement guarantee product, and you wish to take up this option, you will need to provide proof that you have purchased such a product by providing us with a copy of the insurance certificate before a tenancy can start.

Referencing and Right to Rent Checks - You will be asked to complete an application before referencing can be undertaken, you should also provide an original photographic Identification (e.g. passport, National ID card, VISA, resident permit, driving licence) and Proof of Residence (e.g. original utility bill, council tax bill or bank statement all of which much be less than 3 months old) if you have any queries relating to this please speak to the branch you are dealing with.

You should be aware that the need for a guarantor may not become apparent until your referencing (including references for any joint tenants) has been completed. Where a guarantor is required they will need to complete an application form and provide photographic identification and proof of residence.

Referencing will cover a check against the credit file and public records of the individual, an Anti-Money Laundering check, confirmation of employment and salary details, confirmation of previous tenancy details, right to rent checks, reporting the results of all those checks to your prospective landlord to see if your application is acceptable.

Tenant deposit – from 1 June 2019 landlords in England are limited to the equivalent of 5 weeks rent for new and renewed tenancies (or 6 weeks if the annual rent is £50,000 or more). This is calculated by dividing the annual rent by 52 and multiplying by 5 (or 6 if rent is £50,000 or more) and will be required to be paid at the start of the tenancy. This is subject to referencing.

Tenant Fees Act 2019 permits certain fees / charges to be made under the following circumstances:


Holding Deposit (per tenancy)

One week’s rent.

This is to reserve a property. Please Note: This will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s)) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Security Deposit  (per tenancy. Rent under £50,000 per year)

Five weeks’ rent.

This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Security Deposit (per tenancy. Rent of £50,000 or over per year)

Six weeks’ rent.

This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy.

Unpaid Rent

Interest at 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate from Rent Due Date until paid in order to pursue non-payment of rent. Please Note: This will not be levied until the rent is more than 14 days in arrears.

Lost Key(s) or other Security Device(s)

Tenants are liable to the actual cost of replacing any lost key(s) or other security device(s). If the loss results in locks needing to be changed, the actual costs of a locksmith, new lock and replacement keys for the tenant, landlord any other persons requiring keys will be charged to the tenant. If extra costs are incurred there will be a charge of £15 per hour (inc. VAT) for the time taken replacing lost key(s) or other security device(s).

Variation of Contract (Tenant’s Request)

£50 (inc. VAT) per agreed variation.

To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

Change of Sharer (Tenant’s Request)

£50 (inc. VAT) per replacement tenant or any reasonable costs incurred if higher.

To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions, new tenant referencing and Right-to-Rent checks, deposit registration as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.

Early Termination (Tenant’s Request)

Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early, they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property as well as all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.

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.

Merrys Estate Agents have Client Money Protection insurance (CMP)
We are members of The Property Ombudsman redress scheme.