Welcome to Christopher Shaw Residential

This information below is designed to help inform applicants about the letting agreement they are about to enter, and what their obligations will be throughout the process.

Right to Rent

All tenants are required by law to provide us with documentation to confirm their ‘Right to Rent’ status in the UK. This law will apply to all adults living in the property, whether as tenants or occupiers. All documents provided must be originals and must be witnessed by a member or staff. You may also be asked to submit documents to our referencing service provider.

This will be a condition of your tenancy and if you are unable to produce the required documents before the start date of the tenancy then you will not be permitted to start your tenancy.

Below is a table which shows the requirements for Right to Rent.

StatusRequirementAdditional Information
UK CitizenTenants to provide either
  • Passport
  • Or
  • Drivers Licence & Birth Certificate (Must be provided together)
There is a long list of documents that for acceptable proof of ID, these are the two main, and easiest examples.
EU NationalTenants to provide
  • Passport or National Identity Card
Non-EU NationalTenants to provide
  • Passport
  • And
  • Visa documentation
If you have a limited right to stay in the UK, e.g. you’re on a visa, a repeat check will need to be made upon its expiry or within 12 months whichever is a longer.

Holding Deposits

Once you have decided upon a specific property you wish to rent after viewing, we will agree the terms of the tenancy with you and the landlord. After this has been agreed you will be required to pay a Holding Deposit which will be the equivalent of 1 weeks’ rent. By making this payment you are showing a commitment to renting the property subject to contract and referencing. Usually the Holding Deposit can be held for up to 15 calendar days to what is known as the Deadline for Agreement. This can sometimes be extended up to the proposed move in date if all parties agree.

The Holding Deposit is refundable against the full balance of move in monies (first month’s rent or deposit), if the landlord withdraws, or the landlord and the tenant fail to enter into a tenancy agreement before the Deadline for Agreement.

In some circumstances the holding deposit is non-refundable if:

  • The tenant fails a Right to Rent check regardless of when the deposit was accepted
  • The tenant provides false or misleading information to the landlord or letting agent, which the landlord is reasonably entitled to consider in deciding whether to grant the tenancy because this materially affects their suitability to rent the property (e.g. failed credit or financial check).
  • The tenant notifies the landlord or letting agent before the deadline for agreement that they have decided not to enter into a tenancy agreement.
  • The tenant fails to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement.

Once a Holding Deposit is paid you will be asked to complete a referencing application.

Pets & other restrictions
Some Landlords are unwilling to accept pets and the applicant will be asked for details regarding these matters before the commencement of the tenancy.

For anybody with pets, there may be a pet premium to paid on top of the standard rent. You will be notified of this prior to any agreement. The acceptance of pets at a property is at the strict discretion of the landlord.

Referencing
Before the creation of a tenancy, references may be taken for each applicant. Most landlords require an employer’s reference, a credit reference and other appropriate checks.

Christopher Shaw Residential uses a third party referencing service ‘Goodlord’ for carrying out these checks. The taking up of references by Christopher Shaw Residential does not guarantee that a tenancy will be created. The final reports are sent to the landlord for approval before any tenancy is formally confirmed.

In some cases, a guarantor may be required to support an application, and the same referencing criteria will be applied. These references are also sent to the Landlord for approval. The guarantor’s responsibilities are to undertake all obligations of the tenancy agreement, this will include unpaid rent, all out goings i.e. service costs and dilapidations for the full term of the tenancy on a joint and several liability bases.

Referencing Requirements
When going through referencing you are assessed on four main pieces of criteria detailed below.

Right to Rent - You will be required to provide proof of your legal ‘Right to Rent’ as discussed above.

Financial & Credit Check - Your credit score will be assessed along with the following financial reports.

If you have any CCJ, IVA or Bankruptcies this could affect your credit score, and may detrimentally affect your reference. This does not mean that you will be unable to rent the property, as all cases are put forward for consideration to the landlord.

Below is the standard financial criteria -

StatusRequirementAdditional Information
EmployedAffordability of 30x the monthly rent.
Self-Employed2 years accountsThis can be demonstrated with 2 years accounts, or a reference from accountant.
Unemployed (or Universal CreditProof of benefits, plus a guarantor.Guarantors must be UK based and earn 36x the monthly rent.
StudentGuarantorGuarantors must be UK based and earn 36x the monthly rent.
RetiredProof of income, i.e. annual pension statement.
Independent MeansProof of savings or investments, equivalent to annual rent x 3.

Residency Check

StatusRequirementAdditional Information
RentingA reference from your current landlord.Proof of residency may be required.
Home OwnerProof of residency.
Living with friends or relativesProof of residency.

Tenancy Agreement
In the majority of cases, the arrangement will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a minimum term of 6 months. The tenancy agreement will set out the basis of the arrangement between the applicant as the Tenant and the Landlord of the property, and the agreement will fully detail the term, the rent and the obligations to be undertaken by both parties.

Rent will always be payable in advance (monthly, quarterly, six-monthly, or yearly). The tenancy agreement will also detail payment of a security deposit.

Rent
In all instances rent will be due in advance and payable on the day as set out in the tenancy agreement. Usually this will be paid by standing order, in which should be set up for funds to reach the bank on the rent due day. Therefore it is essential to hold a current UK bank account.

Deposit
The deposit will in most cases be the equivalent of 5 weeks rent, unless the rent for the property exceeds £50,000 p/a – when the deposit shall be 6 weeks.

Christopher Shaw Residential are members of two deposit protection schemes, the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) and MyDeposits. In most cases, the tenancy deposit will be lodged by Christopher Shaw Residential with the DPS. You will be provided with a guide to the appropriate deposit scheme at the time of your sign-up.

The deposit will be returned to the tenant after settlement of any deductions required by the landlord. All deductions must be agreed between the landlord and tenant, in relation to the matters for which the deposit is held. A free dispute service is available, in case the parties do not agree.

Inventory & Schedule of Condition
Prior to the start of the tenancy an inventory and schedule of condition will usually be prepared. The inventory will fully detail the furnishings, fittings and equipment within the property and condition of the premises at the commencement of the letting. Tenants have 7 days from receipt of the inventory to sign and returned with any amendments.

At the end of the tenancy, a checkout report comparing the condition at the commencement to the property’s current condition. Tenants can be held liable for any differences above normal wear and tear at the end of the tenancy.

Utilities
The Tenant will be liable for council tax, water and sewerage charges, electricity, gas, telephone, internet and similar charges in or as per the tenancy agreement in respect of those services supplied to the property.

Insurance
The landlord will insure the property and his own contents, and tenants need to make arrangements to insure their own furniture and possessions, which will not be covered by the landlord’s policy.

Maintenance
Where properties are fully managed, Christopher Shaw Residential undertake to give advice and assistance to tenants. Maintenance can be reported through the website using our FixFlo system. The system is available 24/7, and if an emergency occurs outside of working hours please report via the online system and if the matter is deemed to be an emergency it will be dealt with by our out of hours team.

Tenants are expected to look after the properties, and carry out day-to-day maintenance such as cleaning, changing lightbulbs etc. In addition, if there is a garden, usually the tenant will be expected to cut lawns, trim hedges, and keep borders weed free where appropriate and generally keep the garden and grounds of the property in a neat and tidy condition.

Ending a Tenancy

If you have decided to move on you must provide your landlord/agent with the appropriate notice as stated within your tenancy agreement. Usually, this is one calendar month in line with your rent date. It is two months’ notice from your landlord if they require the property back.

At the end of the tenancy the tenant should advise the utility service companies when vacating the property providing them with meter readings and a forwarding address for final accounts. The Tenant should contact Royal Mail to arrange the redirection of post.