Information for tenants...

As well as paying the rent, you may also be required to make the following permitted payments.

Permitted payments
Before the tenancy starts (payable to Open House Estate Agents ‘the Agent’)
- Holding Deposit: 1 week’s rent
- Deposit: 5 weeks’ rent

During the tenancy (payable to the Agent)
- Payment of up to £50 if you want to change the tenancy agreement
- Payment of interest for the late payment of rent at a rate of 3% above the Bank of England base rate.
- Payment of reasonably incurred costs for the loss of keys/security devices
- Payment of any unpaid rent or other reasonable costs associated with your early termination of the tenancy

During the tenancy (payable to the provider) if permitted and applicable
- Utilities including gas, electricity, water
- Communications, telephone and broadband
- Installation of cable/satellite
- Subscription to cable/satellite supplier
- Television licence
- Council Tax

Other permitted payments
Any other permitted payments, not included above, under the relevant legislation including contractual damages.

Tenant protection
Saxon Paddock Estates Limited T/A Open House Estate Agents is a member of the Propertymark Client Money Protection Scheme, which is a client money protection scheme, and also a member of The Property Ombudsman, which is a redress scheme. You can find out more details on the agent’s website or by contacting the agent directly.

When renting a property there are several pieces of paperwork that you must be supplied with by law. This will vary from property to property, but ones that you should always receive are:

- Energy Performance Certificate
- 'How to Rent' guide
- Tenancy Agreement
- Information on where your deposit is protected (if you have paid a deposit)

All agents should carry out some form of referencing checks on prospective tenants. These will include credit checks, address history checks, landlord references, and employment references. Agents and Landlords are also required to confirm that you have the right to live and work in the UK before they are able to provide a tenancy to you.

Most agencies and referencing companies require that the total household income is at least 2.5x that of the rent. For example, if you are applying for a property that costs £500 per month you will collectively need to earn at least £12,500 per year. An easy way to calculate this is as follows:

one months rent x 25 = affordability amount

Our referencing criteria
We currently use Let Alliance to reference all of our prospective tenants. Please see our criteria below:

Landlord reference
If you are currently, or have recently rented your Landlord will be asked to certify the following:

- That you currently are, or have been a tenant
- Your tenancy start and end dates, and that you are free to leave
- The current monthly rental amount
- Any issues with non/late payment of rent or other liabilities
- Private landlords will be asked to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement
- If any damage was caused to the property
- If they would let to you again

Employment reference
If you are employed, your employer will be asked to certify the following:

- Start date of employment
- Job title
- If the position is permanent
- If the job is full or part time
- Confirmation of your salary
- Confirmation that you will remain employed for the tenancy term

Employment references can be obtained from Managers or HR/Payroll departments. References will need to be completed via an official company email address or telephone number.

If we the applicant is paid in cash OR we cannot verify the position will continue OR hours are not guaranteed, then the Applicant will require a Guarantor. If we cannot confirm salary, we will require sight of either of three months’ payslips or bank statements.

Future employment
If current employment is due to end, or you are currently unemployed but starting a new position we will request a reference from the future employer. If the gap between the current job ending and the new one beginning is more than thirty days OR the start date cannot be confirmed the Applicant will require a Guarantor.

Rules around income
Bonuses, Overtime and Commissions – We will accept 50% when assessing annual income.
Pensions – We will require sight of pension documents OR bank statements.
Independent Means – We will require sight of 6 months bank statements.
Maternity Leave or Long Term Sick Leave – If we are unable to verify return to work, the applicant will require a Guarantor.

Self employed applicants
If you are self employed we will require one or more the following:

- CIS Vouchers – 2 years worth (construction industry voucher showing income received and tax paid)
- SA302 – last 2 years.(HMRC self assessment document)
- SA100 – last 2 years (HMRC tax return form, issued in April each years after the tax year end)
- Accountants reference – income for last 2/3 years

We also reserve the right to review bank statements at our discretion. If the Applicant has been self-employed for less than two years with no independent means then they will require a Guarantor.

Applicants who are self employed or on high benefit income
These applicants will require a Guarantor.

Applicants who are moving to the UK from overseas
If an applicant has been in the UK for less than 6 months they will have no UK credit file. All applicants will require a UK based Guarantor, unless they are a fully sponsored student OR coming to work in a professional position OR will receive a salary of over £50,000 and the position is on-going for 6 months or more.

Students will always require a Guarantor unless in receipt of a full Scholarship. A full reference is completed on a guarantor in order that we can verify their affordability. They must have been living in the UK for at least 6 months. We are unable to accept overseas guarantors. The Rent to Income Ratio is 3.0 and this must be met with a private income, benefit income is not acceptable for Guarantors (one months rent x 30 = affordability amount). Guarantors must have no negative entries on their credit file.

Adverse credit history
Rules around County Court Judgements/ Bankruptcy/IVA’s

The Applicant is asked to declare any judgements on their application form. If the Applicant has any Judgements then the best outcome will be acceptable with Guarantor, but see the rules below:

- Undeclared and not satisfied = DECLINE
- Undeclared and satisfied = DECLINE
- Declared and not satisfied = DECLINE
- Declared and satisfied and less than £5000 cumulative value = GUARANTOR REQUIRED
- Declared and satisfied and more than £5000 cumulative value = DECLINE
- Declared and satisfied and less than £300 = ACCEPTABLE
- Multiple CCJ's = DECLINE

Please note, a guarantor must have NO negative credit entries in order to be accepted.

Bankruptcy Orders / Individual Voluntary Arrangements - If an Applicant is subject to a current bankruptcy order or individual voluntary arrangement then they will be declined. If the Bankruptcy Order or Individual Voluntary Arrangement is satisfied for 12 months or more they will require a Guarantor.

IMPORTANT: All applications are subject to the acceptance of the Landlord. An acceptable reference does not guarantee an offer of tenancy. For full terms and conditions please contact us.