Tenants - what you need to know

If you are looking for a property to rent, then you are with the right experts at EwartPark.  We are an independent professional team with informed knowledge of all properties that we list. For tenants, our aim is to make the process of finding your next home to rent as painless as possible. We have a wide choice of quality rental properties across central Scotland available, ranging from bedsits, studios, flats, apartments, bungalows to houses and HMO flats.

We carry out a quick series of questions to cover all of your requirements helping us match you to your ideal rental home, we take great pride in the relationship we build with all of our tenants.

If you can see yourself being a happy tenant in one of our delightful properties then give us a call on 01506630434 email: enquiries@ewartpark.co.uk

Recommendations

“Great service from start to finish. Could not be any happier with the communication from the estate agent from viewing the property to getting the keys handed to us.” –  Ali

“Christy and Gillian were fantastic! Couldn’t recommend them enough. They helped me with every stage of getting my first flat. So kind and helpful and just generally lovely .”– Bronny

“Gillian and Gwen are very helpful agents they will try and bend over backwards to help” – Stephanie

“I can not state clearly enough how helpful the team at EwartPark have been during my tenancy. Always a quick, friendly and uncomplicated response over the phone, by email or by popping into their office” – Dean

We aim to meet all our applicants to find out their exact requirements. This allows us to match tenants to suitable premises and to meet their criteria. It is essential for you to know what items will remain in the property (specifications for which can be seen within this document under Landlords), and also to know what your responsibilities are. For example, who looks after the garden, parking arrangements, insurance cover etc. We will assist you through every step of this process and aim to provide a smooth and stress free transitional period for all our customers.

Amazing! You’ve placed the deposit and secured the property subject to referencing 

From this point we will create your referencing report, you will be contacted shortly by our independent reference company who will require the following evidence:

  • An employment reference check
  • A credit check free of CCJ’s and defaults
  • Previous landlord reference
  • Three years of residential addresses
  • Photographic ID
  • Proof of Addresses

Once all of the above has been completed we will confirm the your referencing report feedback. Before we carry out a fully comprehensive paperless inventory of the property including all safety certificate and send this to you along with your lease for digital signature via Signable , stress free and environmentally friendly.  The last and final step of the process is popping into our office, collecting the keys to you new home along with your informative tenant pack.

Check in

Check in takes place at our offices in Bathgate.   At this point you will have signed  your tenancy agreement, inventory and schedule of condition (managed properties) and other important documents relating to your tenancy.   Our staff will happily assist you with any queries and provide you with your move in welcome box filled with goodies and helpful vouchers to help you get settled. 

Rights & Responsibilities  
 
These will be detailed in your tenancy agreement which you should read carefully.   In general, tenants are required to keep the property and its contents in good condition and pay your rent on time each month. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the tenancy agreement and may face legal action if you break the terms of the agreement.   If your circumstances change for any reason during your tenancy, please advise us as soon as possible.

Call a locksmith…..If you accidentally lock yourself out of your property then you will need to arrange for a locksmith to attend to gain access. If the lock is changed then you will be responsible for supplying replacement management keys to our office.

The Private Residential Tenancy was introduced in 2017, it replaces all Short Assured Tenancies from 1st December 2017 onwards. Below is a summary of the benefits a PRT provides for you as a tenant.

1. Increased security of tenure
2. Flexibility of tenure for controlling the length as no end date
3. Increased notice period for long term tenants
4. Protection from frequent rent increases
5. Simplified tenancy paperwork

On a PRT (The Private Residential Tenancy ) you as a tenant are required to provide 28 days Notice in writing 

Rights and responsibilities  

These will be detailed in your tenancy agreement which you should read carefully.   In general, tenants are required to keep the property and its contents in good condition and pay your rent on time each month. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the tenancy agreement and may face legal action if you break the terms of the agreement.   If your circumstances change for any reason during your tenancy, please advise us as soon as possible.

The Tenant Information Pack that you will receive when collecting your keys include:

  • Our Emergency Procedure
  • Tenant Guide for Deposit Scheme
  • Everything About Your Area, including What’s On, Local Doctors, Bin Collection Days and Much More..
  • Repairing Standards Information
  • Management Inspections and How They Work
  • Utility Information

Gas and electricity
Please remember to take your meter readings at the start of your tenancy for your own records.   At the end of your tenancy it is your responsibility to close your accounts with the utility company.  

If you are unsure who supplies your gas and electricity you can contact: 

Electricity                 0330 1010 300 
Gas                            0870 6081524

Meter Cards 
Note the number(s) at the front of the meter and take them to the nearest convenience store or Post Office where you can obtain a card. 

Meters can only be changed with the landlords permission.

Council Tax
We will notify the council of the change of occupant, however, we recommend you contact the council to set up a new account.   Students must register with the council in order to receive an exemption notice which we will need to see proof of exemption at the end of the tenancy.  

What Exactly Does Fully Managed Mean

If the property is Fully Managed then EwartPark are your first point of contact on all matters from start to finish. We report all tenancy and property related news to your landlord and arrange attendance / contractors.

What Exactly Does Let Only 

Let Only means that we find tenants for the property, arrange the paperwork and move you into the property. After this the Landlord takes over the management of the property.

Most of our properties are Fully Managed , Many of our  Let Only landlords are very well-known to us.

As a tenant you are protected by both services.

We will always be sure to advise you regarding what level of management your tenancy is on 

We are sorry to see you go, We will do what we can to assist you during in your exit to allow your deposit to be returned as soon as possible.   You may find the following notes helpful and to minimise the risk of misunderstandings or last minute problems.  

YOUR TENANCY AGREEMENT      
In accordance with the terms of your tenancy agreement, you have two main obligations to consider when ending the tenancy:

  1.  The property and contents should be handed back in the same condition as they were at the beginning of the tenancy, but allowing for normal wear and tear.
  2. The rent must be up to date and all bills settled.

CHECKOUT    

You are ready to close the door and hand back the keys.   Upon key return we will check the condition of the property and contents against the inventory and record meter readings.   Any damages, areas requiring attention or cleaning will be photographed.   An exit report will then be prepared and sent to you and your landlord. 

Should there be outstanding cleaning work and additional visits to the property are chargeable and will be deducted from your security deposit.      

INVENTORY/SCHEDULE OF CONDITION   

Be prepared check over your copy of the inventory to remind yourself about the contents and condition at the start of the tenancy.  Check for damaged or missing items.    As part of the tenancy agreement you agreed not to glue, stick or otherwise fix anything to the interior or exterior of the property.  Damage of stains as a result of any fixings will need to be rectified prior to check out.

PREPARING THE PROPERTY 

  • soft furnishing especially carpets and curtains should be left clean, paying special attention to any marks if applicable
  • all kitchen equipment and appliances should be cleaned and free from food or stain
  • defrost the fridge and freezer (further information)
  • remove all food from the cupboards
  • hard surfaces should be washed down and cleaned, including the kitchen floor
  • bathrooms should be thoroughly cleaned paying particular attention to any stains or marks
  • no rubbish should be left, except in the wheelie bin
  • all sets of keys must be handed over
  • internal keys for cupboards, windows etc should be left in their locks

RENT   

Your rent must be paid up to and including the date your tenancy ends.   Please note:  It is not permissible for you to cancel your last month’s rent payment because we hold a security deposit.  The deposit is legally a separate issue from rent payment and you will be in breach of your contractual agreement if you do this. 

FINAL BILLS   

You should contact the appropriate offices for telephone and council tax and arrange for final bills.   For gas and electricity it is generally easier to inform them of the final meter reading after the checkout. If you move out a few days earlier, please remember you are still liable for the utilities and council tax until legal end date of your tenancy agreement. 

Deposits are taken as security against losses resulting from neglect or damage by the tenant or any rent arrears.

A deposit equivalent to one month’s rent + an additional £100 is required for each of our properties and needs to be paid prior to entry.     The deposit amount, and who holds it will be clearly stated on your tenancy agreement.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

By law all tenant deposits must be lodged with an approved Government Scheme who will hold the deposit until the end of the tenancy.  

 

EwartPark Sales & Letting are registered with Letting Protection Scotland a not-for-profit organisation backed by the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), National Federation of Property Professionals (NFPP).  Find out more 

How the scheme works

In brief: 

•      tenant pays the deposit to the landlord/agent as now
•      deposit holder pays the deposit to the Scheme
•      landlord/agent must provide details of the scheme to the tenant
•      scheme administrator will safeguard it in a designated account

How is the deposit returned

•     at the end of the tenancy the landlord/agent and tenant can apply to the scheme for repayment 
•     scheme administrator will write to tenant asking them to confirm if they agree
•     if tenant agrees, deposit will be repaid within 5 working days (by Letting Protection Scotland)

If there is a dispute:

  • Tenant can request free independent adjudicator
  • Scheme administrator must be satisfied the tenant and landlord/agent have tried to resolve dispute
  • Adjudicator decides how deposit should be repaid based on evidence provided (detailed inventories, photographs, inspection reports, receipts, check in/check out reports, emails etc)
  • Decision made within 20 days

All of our managed properties have a detailed inventory with photographs prepared by our staff and a copy is provided to landlords and tenants as part of their Completion Pack.  

For a tenant to keep any animals or pets in the Let Property they must request written consent of the Landlord prior to the pet living in the property.

Any pet (where permitted) will be kept under supervision and control to ensure that it does not cause deterioration in the condition
of the Let Property or common areas, nuisance either to neighbours or in the locality of the Let Property. Such consent, if granted, shall be revocable at any time by the Landlord.

The Tenant undertakes to meet the cost of any damage or soilage to the Let Property, common areas or garden, caused by the animal including but not limited to de-infestation where required.

A professional deep steam clean to carpets and soft furnishings may be required.

As a Tenant you are not permitted to make any alterations to the Let Property, its fixtures or
fittings, nor to carry out any internal or external decoration without the prior written
consent of the Landlord. Any decoration desired by the Tenant requires prior written
approval from the Landlord, and will be carried out at the Tenant’s expense in a good
and tradesman-like manner, only using materials and colours that have had the
Landlord’s written approval.

Whether you rent or own your home, every property needs maintenance to keep it in good condition and unfortunately things will breakdown occasionally.   Our maintenance team will be pleased to attend to any maintenance issues as promptly as possible.  Please report any maintenance concerns as soon as possible to our office during office hours, email us atenquiries@ewartpark.co.uk, or call us at 01506 630434.

Repairs and maintenace Programme

Other than small repairs we require your landlords permission to have the work carried out and will then co-ordinate this with a contractor.   Contractors generally don’t carry spare parts and if they need to be ordered this may cause a delay.

Whilst your landlord is responsible for repairs to the property, some minor jobs are the responsibility of the tenant.  These include, but are not limited to:

  • Replacing light bulbs/batteries/fuses
  • Unblocking sinks or toilets
  • Pressurising the boiler
  • Keeping downpipes and gutters clear (where safely accessible)
  • Testing smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Cleaning windows outside and in

Tenants full obligations are detailed on your tenancy agreement.

Smoke Alarms

  • we recommend you test these once a week
  • replace battery if required

Mains powered smoke alarms also have a back-up battery so the alarm will work even if there is power cut.   When the battery runs low you will hear an intermittent bleep and the battery will require to be replaced.

Water hygiene

If the property has been unoccupied for over 7 days, to avoid risk you should;

  • run water through each hot/cold outlet for at least 5 minutes
  • hot water cylinders must be heated a minimum of 60 degrees and maintained for at least an hour
  • flush all toilets

Blockages

If a toilet is blocked, first flush with a bucket of water.   If this does not work and is the only available toilet, this is considered an emergency.   If a shower/bath is blocked and there are no other washing facilities, or if drains are blocked and causing damage or health and safety risks, these are also considered emergencies.

Plumbing and guttering

Plumbing leaks are an emergency if they cannot be contained and are causing damage.  Turn water off at stopcock until a contractor attends. If the leak is from an adjacent property, contact occupants immediately. 

Heating issues

First, check your thermostat.    A small dial located on the wall somewhere around the house.

  • turn the dial to 17-20 degrees
  • if your radiators don’t heat up, find your programmer.

The programmer will be mounted on the wall, often in the kitchen or airing cupboard.  

  • check your central heating (CH) and hot water (HW) are on
  • you may need to override the timer to do this

If the radiators are only cold at the top, they may need bled.

Heating breakdowns are given priority and should be reported as early as possible during working hours, as contractors do not usually carry spare parts.     If there is a child under 12 months or a vulnerable adult in the property this is considered an emergency. (see emergencies)

Should a contractor attend and the fault is found to be the tenants responsibility, the invoice will be sent to the tenant for payment. Tenants may also be charged a call out charge if contractors are unable to gain access when this has been pre-arranged.

We will require to keep the property safe and secure and as a tenant you are required to assist with all safety issues.  This means allowing access for safety certificates to be completed, advising us of any problems, ensuring that the batteries and alarms are in good working order.

If you need to report a failure on the property, contact us using the form provided in our report a repair page.

Report A Repair

In the event of an emergency, please contact us on 01506 630434 or email us at  enquiries@ewartpark.co.uk.

Emergency Repairs

Emergency repairs are those necessary to reduce risk to the safety, security or health of a resident, the general public or the property and should be report ASAP.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN EMERGENCY REPAIR?

A leak that cannot be stopped and will cause damage to the property

  • A “break-in” or accident which leaves the property unsecure
  • A complete failure of electrics
  • No heating or hot water ONLY if there is a child under 12 months or a vulnerable adult.  Normal heating failures should be reported ASAP during working hours and will be given priority.
  • Repairs to an appliance or heating cannot be dealt with out of hours as suppliers are not open in the evenings or weekend and parts are unavailable.

DEALING WITH AN EMERGENCY

Fire & accident

Call 999

Gas
Shut off gas supply and call National Grid immediately 0800 111 999

  • open all doors and windows
  • don’t use any electrical equipment (including light switches) or naked flames

Power cut
First, check if your neighbours’ electricity supply is affected;

  • if so, call your local Electricity Network Operator’s 24 hour Emergency Helpline.
  • check your trip switch.   If it has tripped, switch off all appliances and reset it.

Out-with office hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) please call 01506 676300 and use the emergency number provided.    Please leave your name, address, contact number and details of the problem.   Your call will be answered promptly.

If a contractor makes an emergency call out and determines the problem is not an emergency and could have been dealt with during normal office hours, the tenant may be charged the contractors bill plus an administration fee for the out of hours arrangements.