Oscar Knight
Oscar Knight

020 3909 0888

property@oscarknight.co.uk

Tenant Guide & Costs

1Property Reservation

 

We ask for a property reservation payment of £225 before we put forward any offer to the landlord as confirmation of your intent to proceed with the proposed tenancy. This will ensure that no other applicant of Oscar Knight Estate Agents will be shown the property (although bear in mind that landlords sometimes instruct other agents, over whom we of course have no control).

 

  • Should the landlord decide not to proceed with the tenancy, the property reservation payment will be refunded IN FULL unless the landlord’s decision is as a result of you failing the referencing procedure or by you attempting to alter the initial terms of the proposed contract.
  • The payment will only 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).

 

2Information Needed Before a Tenancy

 

We will then ask you for various items of information and references, which can take up to two weeks to complete.

From all applicants we ask for:

 

  • a reference (status enquiry) from your bank or an ‘Equifax’ credit search
  • 6 months bank statements so we can check your income and that rent has been paid fully and on time
  • reference from a previous landlord (or if you have not rented previously recently, we will usually ask you for a guarantor or higher deposit)
  • passport or UK driving licence
  • copy of visa where applicable

 

If you are working, we will ask for:

 

  • a reference from your employer

 

If you are in new employment, we may also ask for:

 

  • a guarantor or previous employment references

 

If you are self-employed we will:

 

  • ask to see your most recent business accounts or request an accountant’s reference
  • we may request a guarantor where there is no accounts history

 

If you are a student we will need:

 

  • a letter from your college or uni to confirm you are a student there
  • a guarantor who guarantees the rent will be paid

 

Again this is only a general guide. Occasionally we vary these stipulations – either at our discretion, or at the request of the landlord – to ensure that a proper, but fair, check is made to verify the suitability of applicants for our landlords’ properties.

 

3Security Deposit

A security deposit equal to 5 weeks’ rent MINUS the £225 property reservation payment where Rent is under £50,000 per year.
A security deposit equal to 6 weeks’ rent MINUS the £225 property reservation payment where Rent is £50,000 or more per year.

This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy and is is due 7 days prior to move-in, or 3 days if the move-in is within in a week of the initial offer.

4Admin Fee

We also typically charge a one off tenancy administration fee of £350 inclusive of vat on a ‘per property’ basis at tenancy start not ‘per tenant’ as some agents charge. This fee covers the cost of drawing up a legally binding contract for the tenancy aswell as the costs associated with referencing each applicant inclusive of checking credit status, current employer, current or past landlords, conducting Right to Rent checks, and taking into account any other information to help assess the affordability of a tenancy application. It also covers the cost of conducting a check-in at tenancy start and only applies to non-AST tenancy agreements.

5Moving In Day

Presuming all the checks have been made satisfactorily, we’ll ask you to come to the office usually a week before the tenancy starts, (or three days if you see it less than a week before move-in) to give us the balance of move-in monies by card payment and sign the tenancy agreement. This is to ensure that the banks have enough time to clear funds before move-in.

6The Inventory

Once this is complete, you meet the inventory clerk at the property who will conduct the
Check-In in your presence. You will need to look over and sign a summary sheet, to say that you agree with its findings, so that any discrepancy over their condition at the end of the tenancy can be settled easily. You’ll then get a full report within 72 hours of move-in, and you’ll have a further seven days after receipt to make any additions or amendments, before signing to show your agreement.

7Paying your Rent

 

The first month’s rent: we ask that you pay the first month’s rent prior to the start of the tenancy, by debit card or bank transfer (we don’t accept cheque, credit card or cash). This must have cleared before we can let you have access to the property.

Subsequent months’ rent should be paid by standing order or direct debit either to your landlord or to us, and you will be given details of which to do at the start of the tenancy.

Standing Order dates must be set up a minimum of three days before the rent due date stated in the tenancy agreement. This will allow time for the monies to be first transferred into the Oscar Knight Client account and then into the landlords’ account.

We regret that we cannot accept cheques for rent payments at the Oscar Knight office. Rent can only be accepted in the name of the tenants named on the tenancy agreement.

Click here to set up direct payments.

 

8Landlord's and Tenant's Responsibilities

 

Again this varies slightly on some properties, but generally speaking...

The landlord is usually responsible for:

 

  • insuring the property against flood, fire and so on
  • repairs and maintenance to the hot water and heating system, electricity and pipes
  • repair of any appliances that were included with the property
  • if it’s a flat, any service charges for maintenance to the structure of the building (roof, exterior walls, windows etc), cleaning and electricity in the communal areas.

 

The tenant is usually responsible for:

 

  • all bills for electricity and gas (if present), water, and council tax.
  • bills for telephone, broadband or cable TV if you want these (although you may require the landlord’s permission to install them if not already installed)
  • insuring your own possessions in the property
  • repair of any appliances that you have provided
  • keeping the property clean and in good condition
  • informing the landlord or us about any defects.

 

9Repairs and Maintenance

 

The landlord is usually responsible for:

 

  • the hot water, heating system, pipes, electricity
  • the structure of the building, ie walls, roof
  • any appliances that were included with the property

If the problem is with one of these items, then either report it to Oscar Knight or your landlord – depending on which of our services your landlord has opted for, which you will have been told at the beginning of the tenancy.

If your landlord has opted for our Property Management Service then you can report all maintenance and repair issues via our online reporting tool using your mobile phone, tablet or a computer by going to:

myknight.co.uk

Follow the onscreen instructions.
*Photos and videos of faults can also be uploaded directly from your handset using this service

If the problem is with something else, it will normally be up to you to sort it out, although if it is causing damage or sufferance to the property you should again report it to us or your landlord.

 

10The Deposit

 

All deposits must be registered with one of the Tenancy Deposit Schemes licensed by the government, which

 

  • provides an independent means of resolving any dispute that may arise between tenant and landlord
  • means that landlords cannot unfairly hold on to tenants’ deposits
  • gives all parties confidence that deposits are protected by a licensed organisation, which safeguards tenancy deposits against rogue landlords, tenants, and agents.

At the start of the tenancy, you will have been told with which Tenancy Deposit Scheme has been used for your deposit, together with details of the processes involved. If we have registered the deposit on your landlord’s behalf, we will have done so with MyDeposits, although in rare cases you landlord will have chosen another Scheme.

At the end of the tenancy
Should there be any breakages or damage to the property or the fittings/furniture provided by the landlord, both parties have an independent means of agreeing how the cost should be apportioned.

When you come to leave the property, an inventory clerk will come to do the ‘check out’, comparing the condition of the property and any contents to the inventory made at the start of the tenancy.

If there are no dilapidations, your deposit will be returned within 10 working days of the tenancy expiring.

If the inventory identifies that dilapidations have occurred during your tenancy, your landlord may choose to withhold some of your deposit to cover the costs. In most cases, the amount to be withheld will be agreed between the tenant and the landlord, assisted by Oscar Knight where necessary, and the balance will be returned to you.

Deposit disputes
In the rare likelihood that you, the tenant, wish to dispute a proposed withholding, you have 20 working days to tell us, and we as the agent have 10 working days to resolve it.

If it is not resolved in this time, the disputed amount is transferred to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme with whom your deposit was registered (MyDeposits if we have registered it on your landlord’s behalf), at which point they have control over it.

My Deposits will copy the details of the dispute to the other parties, giving them 10 working days to send in their side of the story. MyDeposits will aim to issue adjudication within 28 days of receiving all the necessary paperwork, and the disputed amount will be paid out in accordance with the adjudication within a further 10 working days.

Full details of the Terms and Conditions and of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules can be found on the website of mydeposits at this address: http://www.mydeposits.co.uk/tenants/how-it-works

If you have any more questions about renting a property with Oscar Knight, please contact us.

 

11 Schedule of Tenant Fees

 

There are various fees and charges associated with renting a property that you should be aware of when considering making an offer on a property available through us; some are mandatory and some are possible additional fees. They are as follows:

Property Reservation

We ask for a property reservation payment of £225 before we put forward any offer to the landlord as confirmation of your intent to proceed with the proposed tenancy. This will ensure that no other applicant of Oscar Knight Agents will be shown the property (although bear in mind that landlords sometimes instruct other agents, over whom we of course have no control). Should the Landlord decide not to proceed with the tenancy, the payment will be refunded IN FULL unless the Landlords decision is as a result of you failing the referencing procedure (see reference & reference provision below) or by you attempting to alter the initial terms of the proposed contract. Payment of this sum does not constitute the granting of a tenancy

Security Deposit

A security deposit equal to 5 weeks’ rent MINUS the £225 property reservation payment where Rent is under £50,000 per year. 
A security deposit equal to 6 weeks’ rent MINUS the £225 property reservation payment where Rent is £50,000 or more per year.

This covers damages or defaults on the part of the tenant during the tenancy and is is due 7 days prior to move-in, or 3 days if the move-in is within in a week of the initial offer.

Admin Fees

Oscar Knight will typically charge a one off tenancy administration fee of £350 inclusive of vat on a per property basis at tenancy start. This fee covers the cost of drawing up a legally binding contract for the tenancy aswell as the costs associated with referencing each applicant inclusive of checking credit status, current employer, current or past landlords, and taking into account any other information to help assess the affordability of a tenancy application. It also covers the cost of conducting a check-in at tenancy start and only applies to non-AST tenancy agreements.

References

Oscar Knight use an independent referencing agency to conduct reference checks. They will take up references based on the details that you supply to them. These will be submitted via online reference forms. Before the tenancy can proceed you must provide us with a photo proof of identification in the form of a Passport or EU Driving Licence, a proof of address and complete/submit the referencing form online within 24 hours of your offer been accepted. By failing to do so, you will forfeit your property reservation and the property will go back on the market. References may be passed to our client so that they can make a decision on granting a tenancy and/or exercise their legal rights to recover from you any unpaid sums or other losses at the end of the tenancy. You are responsible for any administration charges levied by your own bank in relation to obtaining a reference

A reference may be requested by an individual tenant at any time at no cost.

Renewals

You will be contacted approximately 90 days in advance of the tenancy end date to ascertain if you wish to extend your tenancy or to confirm the date you will be vacating the property. If the tenancy is renewed, no fee is payable by the tenant to cover our administration for this.

Change of occupancy

In the event that one or more tenant(s) wishes to be replaced during the tenancy, consent will need to be obtained by the landlord first. It is usual practice that the landlord will require a suitable replacement tenant to be found prior to allowing the tenant(s) to be released from the obligations of the tenancy. The replacement tenant will need to provide suitable references and take over the tenancy from a relevant date i.e. the rent due date. The exiting tenant will need to 'surrender' the tenancy and upon receipt of written landlord consent Oscar Knight will draw up a new tenancy agreement for signature by the new tenant along with all the remaining parties. The deposit and check-in for the original tenancy will apply to the new tenancy. An administration fee of £50 inclusive of VAT will be charged for this.

Change of identity

Upon receipt of written landlord consent Oscar Knight will draw up a new tenancy agreement for signature by all parties. An administration fee of £84 inclusive of VAT will be charged for this.

Arrears - 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.

Should any fees or charges remain outstanding at the end of the tenancy, Oscar Knight will deduct the total amount due from the security deposit.

Debit/Credit Card Payments

There are no charges for payments made to Oscar Knight via EU debit card. We do not accept payment via credit card or Non-EU debit card.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

This tax is payable on tenancies where the rent exceeds £125,000. Please contact HMRC for further information.

Amendments

Oscar Knight reserves the right to change the schedule of fees and these terms of business upon providing reasonable notice in writing.

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Tenancy Information

 

New Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) signed on or after 1 June 2019
 
Property Reservation payment (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 £15.00 per hour (inc. VAT) for the time taken replacing lost key(s) or other security device(s).
 
Existing Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) And All Assured Tenancies

During Your Tenancy

Renewal Fees (Tenant’s Share): £0.00 (inc. VAT) per tenancy
Contract negotiation, amending and updating terms and arranging for the signing of a further tenancy agreement.
 
Variation of Contract Fees: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per request.
To cover the costs associated with taking landlord’s instructions as well as the preparation and execution of new legal documents.
 
Change of Sharer Fee: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per replacement tenant.
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.
 
Ending Your Tenancy
 
Early Termination: £50.00 (inc. VAT) per tenancy plus all rent due under the tenancy until the start date of the replacement tenancy. Should the tenant wish to leave their contract early, they shall be liable to the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property. These costs will be no more than the maximum amount of rent outstanding on the tenancy.

Management of the property
At the start of the tenancy we will advise you who is responsible for managing the property. This is not always Oscar Knight. Where we are not managing the property we cannot authorise any repairs or maintenance, or guarantee the speed at which repairs will be carried out. Where we are managing the property, we may have to obtain the landlord's consent before proceeding with a repair.
 
Where we manage a property and hold keys, we can usually provide access to Oscar Knight’s contractors (with your permission). However, where we do not hold keys or the contractor is not willing to collect keys, it is your responsibility to provide access.
 
Insurance
It is your responsibility to insure your own belongings throughout the tenancy. Oscar Knight highly recommend that all tenants take out some form of contents insurance to protect their belongings - TVs and gadgets, food in the freezer and the clothes in your wardrobe. When applying for a Tenancy tenants may be contacted by one of our Insurance partners for a free, no obligation quote. 

Utilities
You will be responsible for the payment of telephone, gas, water and electricity accounts at the property during your tenancy, as well as the council tax. It is your responsibility to notify the relevant companies and the local authority that you are moving into/out of the property. You are also responsible for ensuring that a valid television licence remains in place for the duration of the tenancy. Utility companies will also always require the occupant to provide access for any visit.

Taxation
If you pay rent directly to your landlord's bank account and your landlord is resident overseas, you will be responsible for applying the provisions of the HM Revenue and Customs Non-Resident Landlords scheme for taxing UK rental income and should ask us for advice on this. These provisions do not apply where you are paying your rent to Oscar Knight.

Anti-Money Laundering Regulations
Oscar Knight is subject to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007. As a result we will need to ask you for suitable identification, and will be unable to proceed with any work on your behalf if we are unable to obtain this from you.
 
VAT
All charges levied by Oscar Knight are subject to VAT at the prevailing rate of 20%.

Complaints procedure
If you are dissatisfied with Oscar Knight’s service or handling of a transaction, and you are unable to resolve this with the member of staff involved, you should put your concerns in writing to the Branch Manager of the branch you deal with:

Southfields – 258 Wimbledon Park Road, Southfields SW19 6NL
Wandsworth – 138 Wandsworth High Street, London SW18 4JJ

(a) The grievance will be acknowledged within three working days and then investigated and replied to within fifteen days. If we require longer than this timescale we will advise you in writing and confirm our revised response date.
(b) If you remain dissatisfied with the result of the internal investigation, please email clientcare@oscarknight.co.uk 
(c) You will be sent an acknowledgement letter; your complaint will then be reviewed.
(d) A full investigation will take place and a letter will be sent confirming our final view point within twenty-one days of the acknowledgement letter.
(e) In the unlikely event that you remain dissatisfied with the final view point of your complaint, you can refer the matter to The Property Ombudsman within six months from the date of our final letter, they will review your complaint and advise of their decision. (They can be contacted at www.tpos.co.uk) For the avoidance of doubt, TPO will only review complaints made by consumers.

Amendments
Oscar Knight reserves the right to change the schedule of fees and these terms of business upon providing reasonable notice in writing.