Empty Homes Initiative
Tenant Information
This information is provided to help you through the process of renting a property through LALS. Our aim is to make the process as straightforward as possible for our tenants and to ensure that your tenancy is a smooth and enjoyable one.

The procedure:

Once you have chosen the property that you want to rent, we ask you to fill in an APPLICATION FORM as well as submitting a holding deposit of 150.00 (to reserve the property, and cover administration and the inventory) and 50.00 per adult to cover referencing charges.

We will then apply for REFERENCES and credit checks on all adults who will be forming part of the tenancy and when satisfactory references have been received (usually within 72 hours) we will, in most cases, send you an ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY AGREEMENT (AST) to read through. This agreement should be brought with you and signed on the day you move in.

The AST will set out the basis of the arrangement between you, the tenant and the landlord, highlighting the responsibilities of each party. In the majority of cases, the AST will be for a period of 6 or 12 months. At the end of the minimum term, and if the parties have not contracted for a further fixed term extension, the existing agreement may roll on, on a monthly (statutory periodic) basis, until either side wishes to terminate. The usual notice requirements to do this are one month from the tenant and two months from the landlord.

At this stage we ask for a DILAPIDATIONS DEPOSIT, equivalent to 6 weeks rent (minimum 1,000) which will be placed in a government approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme, with LALS acting as stakeholders. Also at this stage, we ask for the FIRST MONTH'S RENT to be paid. It is essential that these payments are made in good time to allow for the funds to clear before we release the keys. If time is pressing, however, we are able to accept a banker's draft or cash.

An INVENTORY AND SCHEDULE OF CONDITION will be prepared and you will be required to sign this document and return it to us within 7 days of the start of the tenancy. This fully details furnishings, fittings and equipment within the property and also sets out the state and condition of the premises at the commencement of the tenancy. If you disagree with any statement in the document, you should inform us immediately. The dilapidations deposit will be returned to you at the end of the tenancy only when closing accounts for all services at the property have been shown to have been met in full by you and that we are satisfied that the property has been returned in the same condition as it was at the start of the tenancy (as evidenced by the schedule of condition, less reasonable wear and tear as assessed by LALS). In the event of a dispute, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will provide an independent arbitrator to intervene.

You are liable for the payment of UTILITIES: Council Tax, water and sewerage charges, as well as for the electricity, gas and telephone charges for those services supplied to the property. We will read the meters at the start of the tenancy and ensure that utilities have been changed to your name (although telephone companies will not deal with third parties and this is therefore your responsibility). We will also ensure that safety checks have been carried out to all gas and electrical appliances prior to the start of the tenancy.

RENT collections run from the first day of the month and will in all instances be payable in advance by standing order or direct debit.

It is your responsibility as tenant to look after the 'garden' and keep it in a presentable condition, cutting the lawn, keeping down weeds, trimming hedges etc. In some circumstances, however, a gardener may be included in the rent, especially for larger and more complex gardens.

It will have been agreed in the Tenancy Agreement whether or not you are allowed to keep PETS on the premises. Tenants should be aware that if pets are found in occupation of a property in contravention of an agreement, there may well be a substantial charge levied in respect of replacement of carpets/curtains and industrial cleaning. This similarly applies to smoking where it has been agreed at the beginning of the letting that the tenants are not habitual smokers.

In the case of properties managed by LALS, any REPAIRS which become necessary should be notified immediately to us. LALS will not accept responsibility for payment of any tradesman's account where that tradesman has been employed without prior instructions from us. Where the property is not managed by us, we will furnish you with the landlord's contact details.

You are responsible for minor items of maintenance, such as changing light bulbs and fuses, tightening screws etc.

When you wish to VACATE the property at the end of a fixed term, or any time thereafter in the case of a rolling contract, we require one month's notice in writing, coinciding with your rent payment date (dated the day before rent is due, to provide the calender month's notice).