Renting FAQ | ACJ Lettings Penarth, Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan

Renting faq

Frequently asked questions about renting

Got a question? Take a look at our renting FAQ to get the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

What's the difference between a 'managed' and a 'let-only' tenancy?

Landlords are able to choose between three services with ACJ Properties, Rent Guarantee, Managed and Let Only. Under a managed or rent guarantee service, the Landlord has instructed ACJ to deal with the management of the property during the tenancy, including the organisation of the move in, rent collection, any maintenance issues or other general enquiries and the end of the tenancy check out and deposit return. An increasing number of tenants prefer renting fully managed properties for complete peace of mind. We have a dedicated Property Management team to handle your day-to-day issues, a 24-hour helpline with emergency contact details should a problem arise and the assurance that your property is fully compliant with all safety regulations.

A ‘let-only’ tenancy means that the landlord has asked us to find tenants, but will manage the property themselves. We source the tenants and arrange the signing of the tenancy agreement, then from that point, the landlord will manage everything. We will provide you with the necessary contact details at your tenancy signing appointment.

What is the purpose of the inventory?

An inventory records the contents and condition of a property when you move in. It should be accurate at the beginning of your tenancy to allow us to assess any differences at the end of the tenancy. It is important that you check that you agree with your inventory when you move in. You should annotate it with any errors or omissions that there may be and return it to us within 7 days to ensure that you are not held responsible for something you did not cause. Amendments to the inventory are not possible after 7 days.

What are my legal responsibilities as a tenant?

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, tenants are responsible for carrying out minor maintenance to a property, such as:

  • Changing fuses and light bulbs
  • Unblocking toilets and drains
  • Regulating condensation levels within the house to prevent mould build-up
  • Heating the property during the winter to make sure the pipes don’t freeze
  • Topping up boiler pressure if needed – see how to do this here
  • Not causing any damage to the property and making sure your visitors don’t cause any damage.
  • Keeping the property clean and tidy, including recycling properly and throwing away all rubbish.
  • Providing access to have any repair work carried out.

Tenants are also responsible for reporting maintenance issues in a timely manner to allow the Landlord to deal with issues before they get worse.

What are the legal responsibilities of the Landlord?

There are many legal and safety responsibilities that the Landlord must comply with, including making sure your deposit is protected and using a licenced Rent Smart Wales letting Agent like ACJ Properties. Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Landlord is responsible for ensuring that the structure of the house is sound, it is safe and that it is fit for habitation. This includes repairing:

  • The structure and exterior of your home, for example, the walls, roof, foundations, drains, guttering and external pipes, windows and external doors.
  • Basins, sinks, baths, toilets and their pipework.
  • Water and gas pipes, electrical wiring, water tanks, boilers, radiators, gas fires, fitted electric fires or fitted heaters.

Amongst other safety regulations, the Landlord is responsible for the safety of tenants in relation to gas. By law they must:

  • Repair and maintain gas pipework, flues and appliances in safe condition
  • Ensure an annual gas safety check on each appliance and flue
  • Keep a record of each safety check

Do you accept pets?

As standard, most landlords say no to pets, however, if you would like a pet, please let us know and we are happy to ask the Landlord for you. Any agreement to a pet in the property will require an additional ‘top up’ bond deposit payment, usually £100 per pet .

Do you accept Housing Benefit?

If you can pay your own tenant administration fees and deposit, plus you can provide a UK based Guarantor, we are more than happy to contact landlords to see if they will accept your circumstances.

What references do you require to confirm my tenancy?

We use an independent referencing company called Rentshield.  They will complete a credit check (this does not affect your credit score as it is not an application for credit), an employment reference, and a previous Landlord/ Agency Reference. If you are still in a probationary period with your employer, we may also need to obtain a UK based Guarantor.

What's the difference between a Direct Debit and a Standing Order?

A Direct Debit is a method of payment where you give a company permission to withdraw money from your account and pay it into their account.

A Standing Order is an instruction you give to your bank to pay a fixed amount to someone else on a regular basis or for a set amount of time. The payments are sent from your account on agreed dates, usually monthly. Only the account holder can set up and cancel their standing order. Your rent will be paid by a standing order.

How do I give notice?

Neither landlord or tenant can give notice during the fixed term of the Tenancy. Usually your tenancy will be a 6 or 12 month initial fixed agreement.  If you are in a “periodic” rolling monthly tenancy, the Landlord can give you 2 months’ notice to leave via a legal document called a Section 21 notice. If you wish to leave, you are required to give one months’ written notice. Once this has been received, we will contact you to arrange the end of tenancy check out.

Who will decide if there are to be deductions from my deposit?

When notice is given by either landlord or tenant, we will contact you to arrange the end of tenancy check out. This is when we go to the property with the inventory that was completed at the start of your tenancy to assess any differences. The report itself will show the accurate condition at the time of the tenancy check out, therefore, it will detail all differences between the start and end of tenancy, though you may not be deemed responsible for everything on the report.  

Deductions to your deposit will only be claimed for remedial maintenance or cleaning work that should have been carried out by the tenants during the tenancy, or can directly be attributed to the tenants. Fair wear and tear is always accepted and allowed for. We put the information to the Landlord who makes the decision whether to charge for items on the report. You will be consulted at all times and no deductions will be made without your agreement.

Advice from ACJ

Do you have another question?

If you have further questions following on from our renting FAQ, please fill out our online contact form.

Renting FAQ Penarth