Introduction to residential lettings

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Help and advice for those with market rent or intermediate rent homes. 

Introduction

Residential lettings are Derwent Living properties designed for working professionals who are looking to rent or for those who wish to rent while saving for a deposit.

As a residential lettings customer you will either have a market rent or intermediate rent property. Market rent properties have their rent set at a similar levels to those offered for private rent in the nearby area. They benefit from fitted carpets and come with installed white goods and appliances.

Intermediate rent properties have their rent set slightly lower than market rental levels, and are designed for customers on lower incomes and allow those who may wish to buy in the future an opportunity to save towards a deposit. These properties are offered fully carpeted, and some include appliances and white goods.  

Applying for a residential lettings property

You can see the properties we have available by visiting the residential lettings section of our find a home page.

Available properties are also listed on Derwent Living's Rightmove page

Once you have enquired about a property, our lettings team will get in touch with you to begin the application process.

Eligibility

To apply for one of these properties you must meet our eligibility criteria, shown below:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age; this is because the law states that people under the age of 18 are unable to hold a tenancy because it is a legal interest in land;
  • You must have the right to rent in the UK and be able to produce valid documentation to evidence this;
  • You must have a good credit history with no outstanding County Court Judgements, loan defaults or bankruptcy;
  • You must meet the minimum income requirements of 30 x monthly rent. Where there is more than one party to the application it is expected that each individual should meet at least 50% of the income requirement;
  • For intermediate rent properties income must not exceed the maximum household income of £40,000. Household income means the income of the tenant or joint tenants and their spouse or partners (even if they are not included on the tenancy), but does not include other adult occupants including children.  Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments or tax credits claimed by parties to the application are excluded from the total household income.

Full details of the application process, eligibility and the reservation process are explained in our lettings policy for intermediate and market rent properties.

Assured shorthold tenancies

Our market rent and intermediary rent properties are let using an assured shorthold tenancy. Assured shorthold tenancies are the most common type of tenancy issued in the private rental sector and set out the rights and responsibilities for both tenants and landlords. For more on shorthold tenancies please visit the Government website

Tenancy agreement

We will give you a written contract to sign before your tenancy starts. This is called a tenancy agreement.

It will usually have a fixed term of 12 months although we will consider 6 months (please ask about a shorter tenancy when you apply). It will include the following information:

  • The start date of your tenancy;
  • The amount of rent payable and the date rent is due;
  • Any rent review clause (if the rent amount needs to be changed at a certain date or under certain circumstances).

Other important tenancy documents

We must also give you a copy of the latest:

  • Energy performance certificate for the building – often referred to as an EPC;
  • Valid gas safety certificate, if applicable;
  • Government guide -  how to rent (if your tenancy started or was renewed on or after 1 October 2015).

Tenancy deposits

We will also take a deposit at the start of your tenancy. This is usually a month’s rent and cannot be more than a maximum of five week’s rent. It covers costs which may be incurred at the end of the tenancy. This usually includes reasonable deductions for things like cleaning, damage, decoration or unpaid rent.

We will return your deposit in full at the end of your tenancy if there are no deductions to be made. If there are deductions, we will tell you what these are.

Your deposit will be protected in an approved government scheme. Derwent Living uses the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). The TDS will adjudicate if there is any disagreement on deductions which are proposed.

Inventories

Before you start your tenancy we’ll record the contents and condition of the property in an inventory. An inventory can help resolve disputes about deductions from your tenancy deposit at the end of your tenancy. We’ll make sure the inventory is completed with you present and provide you with a signed copy. We’ll take photos of the inside and outside of your home (if applicable) to correctly record the current condition and any existing damage.

Parking

You will be advised of the parking arrangements for your new home at the start of your tenancy.

In some areas to help control and monitor parking we employ a parking management company. If this applies to your scheme, please make sure you are up-to-speed with the terms and conditions.

For more information about parking on Derwent Living schemes please visit our dedicated advice centre page

Paying your rent

It is important that you pay your rent when it is due. Rent is due the first day of each month in advance (for the month to come). Our preferred method of payment is by Direct Debit, which you can set up quickly and easily online here

If you experience problems paying your rent or service charges please contact your home ownership officer as soon as possible.  If you are unable to pay the rent in full we can arrange a payment plan to clear any outstanding debt.  It is important that future rent payments are then made on time along with any additional payments from the payment plan.

If your circumstances change during your tenancy, then you may be eligible for Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. We can signpost you to agencies and organisations that can provide independent advice on applying for benefits.

Utilities

You are responsible for paying utility charges such as water, gas and electricity directly to the suppliers (unless your tenancy agreement states otherwise). We will take meter readings at the start of your tenancy (where possible) and these will be recorded on the Inventory.

You will receive an information sheet by email before your tenancy starts letting you know who supplies your electricity, water and gas (if applicable).  This will give relevant contact numbers and any serial numbers you may need to create a new account.

Most properties have standard meters which require you to contact the supplier when you move in. You will need to give a meter reading and set up your preferred payment method, either monthly Direct Debit or quarterly bill.

We are happy for you to change supplier in order to get the best deal. If you do change, it is up to you to ensure that the supplier and tariff suits the type of accommodation as well as the heating and hot water equipment installed in the property.  Our energy consultants AJR management can get you competitive quotes if you wish. Details of how to contact them will be provided before your tenancy begins.  

Some properties may have prepayment ‘card’ or ‘key’ meters. This will be confirmed over email prior to the tenancy starting. Our energy partner AJR Management will have arranged for a new key or card for the meter to be left in the property. This key will clear any previous debt so you can then put credit on the meter.  

Rent increases

We will always notify you in advance of any rise. If you pay by Direct Debit we will automatically amend the payment amount. If you pay by other means you will need to ensure you update the amount you pay.

Repairs and maintenance

We are responsible for most repairs in your home, however there are some repairs and maintenance tasks you will be responsible for. Repair responsibility is detailed fully in our advice centre repairs and maintenance page

Insurance

The buildings insurance for your property is covered by Derwent Living in our block policy. We do not provide contents insurance for your own possessions. You will need to organise your own home contents insurance, to a value that would cover the replacement of your items in the event of an accident or theft.  When taking out cover we strongly advise you also insure Derwent Living’s fixtures, fittings and furniture (if applicable) against accidental damage caused by you, anyone living with or visiting you, or your pets. 

You can read more about getting contents insurance in our get yourself covered article

Remember, don’t risk losing everything you own, protect your possessions with appropriate contents insurance. 

Gas safety certificate

If your property has a gas supply we must arrange for an annual gas safety inspection and give you a copy of the gas safety certificate. Gas will have been ‘capped off’ for safety when you sign up for the property. You will need to contact our gas service engineers Vinshire on 0800 0850 323 to arrange for the supply to be reconnected and a safety check carried out. You’ll receive notification of the process to follow before you start your tenancy.

Read more about gas and carbon monoxide safety in our dedicated advice centre page

At the end of a fixed term

When your fixed term contract ends you can stay in your home without signing a new contract – your agreement becomes 'periodic' and rolls from month to month.

Ending your tenancy

If you are thinking of leaving your property you need to give us notice as detailed in your tenancy agreement.

If you want to leave at the end of the fixed term, you still need to give notice to end the tenancy.