V1.0 Updated February 2023
IMPORTANT NOTICE: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BEFORE SIGNING THE TERMS OF BUSINESS AGREEMENT
This agreement is a legal agreement between you, whose details are set out on the Terms of Business Agreement ("Landlord" or "you") and Archer Bassett & Co Limited of 477 Holyhead Road Coventry CV5 8HU or Archer Bassett Ltd of 1172 Warwick Road Birmingham B27 6BS ("Agent" or "we") for the lettings services.
- 1. GENERAL TERMS
1.1 Unless the context otherwise requires, words importing the singular shall include the plural and vice versa; words importing the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender and vice versa; and references to persons shall include bodies of person whether corporate or incorporate.
1.2 If the Landlord is an individual, proof of identity comprising one form of photographic identification (for example, a passport or a driving licence) and one form of evidence of address (for example, an original or certified copy of a bank statement or utility bill that is less than three months old). If the Landlord is a group of individuals, provide the above proof of identity for each individual. If the Landlord is a limited company, a certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and proof of identity as previously detailed above for the directors of the company.
1.3 The Landlord confirms that they are the sole or joint owner of the Property and has the legal authority to rent out the Property under the terms of the mortgage or head lease, and that they have carried out all risk assessment steps to ensure the Property meets all necessary legal requirements and is safe to be let to a Tenant. The Landlord authorises the Agent to carry out the various usual duties of tenancy management including those listed in the Management Service. The Landlord also agrees that as part of the Management Service the Agent may take and hold deposits and comply with the requirements of any tenancy deposit scheme that may apply to that deposit. It is declared that the Agent may earn and retain commissions from contractors, suppliers and on insurance policies issued.
1.4 It is the Landlord’s responsibility to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in respect of the Property, or an explanation if an EPC is not required. The Landlord is advised that the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 requires the EPC to be rated E or higher – where the EPC is rated lower than E then the Landlord must register it exempt, if such an exemption applies, or carry out works to improve the rating of the Property to and E or higher before letting the Property. Further guidance is available here
1.5 The Landlord agrees to allow, unless the Agent is otherwise instructed in writing, a “To Let” or “Let And Managed By…” board, or similar, to be erected on the Property in a position of the Agent’s choosing (subject to the Town and Country Planning (Control of advertisements) Regulations 2007).
1.6 This agreement will form the basis for the Agent managing any other properties for the Landlord at whichever level of service the Landlord chooses for each Property.
1.7 Any interest earned on client monies will belong to the Agent.
1.8 If the Landlord is not based in England and Wales then the Landlord must provide an address for service of notices in England and Wales.
- 2. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
2.1 The Landlord agrees that the Agent is not responsible for non-payment of rent (whether in part or in full) on the part of the tenant(s).
2.2 The Agent shall have no liability to the Landlord for any loss, damage, costs, expenses or other claims arising from any Documentation, information or instructions supplied by the Landlord which are incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate, illegible, or consisting of any other fault.
2.3 It is acknowledged that the Agent shall not be liable for breach of contract or any other failure or defect in performance of the Services which are performed other than by the employees of the Agent.
2.4 Except in respect of death or personal injury caused by the Agent’s negligence, the Agent shall not be liable to the Landlord by reason of any representation (unless fraudulent) for any loss (whether direct or indirect), including consequential loss, loss of goodwill and all other such loss however caused under the Agreement of the provision of the Services.
- 3. REASONABLE COSTS AND EXPENSES
3.1 The Landlord agrees to repay the Agent for any reasonable costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on the Agent provided that they were incurred on behalf of the Landlord in pursuit of the Agent's normal duties. To assist the Agent in carrying out his duties effectively, the Landlord agrees to respond promptly with instructions where necessary to any correspondence or requests from the Agent.
3.2 The Landlord agrees to pay the Agent any outstanding management fees or commissions for the entire term of any tenancy agreement regardless of tenant occupation and/or whether the rent has been received or not.
3.3 The Agent shall ensure that all Tenants are provided with a set of keys each and should the Landlord fail to provide such, then the cost of duplication will be the Landlord’s responsibility. Should it be necessary for the Agent to arrange extra keys prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
3.4 The Landlord agrees that it is the Agents discretion to withhold any monies owed to the Agent by the Tenant from any Deposit amount that has been released to the Landlord’s client account.
3.5 Where the agreement is cancelled under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 (or previous consumer contract legislation) the Landlord agrees to repay any reasonable costs incurred by the Agent in carrying out his duties before the cancellation of the contract (see clause 19.4).
- 4. TENANCY AGREEMENT
All services include the preparation of a tenancy agreement in the Agent's standard form(s) and provision of a copy of this agreement to a designated advisor or building society where required. Should the Landlord, advisors or mortgagees require amendment of the contract or require the Agent to enter into further work or correspondence, a fee for this extra work may be requested (or you may have the tenancy agreement amended by your own adviser at your own expense). It is agreed that the Agent may sign the tenancy agreement(s) on behalf of the Landlord except when the Landlord is a company and/or chooses the Let Only or Let Only+ Service where the Landlord(s) must sign the tenancy agreement.
- 5. REFERENCING
5.1 The Agent will obtain, via a third party referencing service, if necessary, credit, financial viability (including using open banking technology) and other references deemed necessary for prospective Tenants and any Guarantors for the Property prior to the letting to the Tenant and shall submit a summarised version to the Landlord for their final approval before any tenancy agreement is entered into. Should a referee demand payment before releasing any reference it is at the Landlord’s discretion to pay the cost.
5.2 The Landlord accepts that the Agent is not responsible in any way for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided or for the accuracy or completeness of the reference report. Due to the use of open banking technology and other manual methods to check a prospective Tenant’s financial viability, a written employment reference is not generally obtained, and the Landlord is advised to check their insurance policies for compliance in this eventuality.
5.3 If the Landlord instructs the Agent not to obtain a reference or instructs the Agent to proceed with a failed reference report they accept that the Agent cannot be held responsible for any consequences that arise out of that decision. Such consequences may include failure of the tenant(s) to pay rent on time, or at all, and breach of the Landlord’s insurance policy.
- 6. RIGHT TO RENT IMMIGRATION CHECKS
The Landlord agrees that the Agent will carry out any checks required under the Immigration Act and the Agent will be responsible for taking the steps necessary to establish an excuse against a penalty. Where the Landlord chooses the Let Only or Let Only+ Service the Agent will carry out the first initial check before the tenancy is granted, all ongoing checks throughout the course of the tenancy will be the Landlord’s responsibility.
- 7. HOLDING DEPOSITS
A holding deposit of no more than one weeks rent is generally taken from an applicant applying to rent a property. The purpose of this is to verify the applicant's serious intent to proceed, and the Agent reserves the right to retain any holding deposit to protect against any administrative expenses (taking out references, conducting viewings, re-advertising) that may be incurred should the applicant decide to withdraw the application. The holding deposit does not protect the Landlord against loss of rent due to the applicant deciding to withdraw, or references proving unsuitable although early acceptance of rent from the applicant would not be advisable until satisfactory references have been received.
- 8. TAX
8.1 When letting Property and collecting rents for non-UK resident Landlords (NRL) i.e. Landlords living overseas, the Agent is obliged by the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and the Taxation of Income from Land (Non-Residents) Regulations 1995 to deduct tax (at the basic tax rate) to cover any tax liability, unless the Landlord has been authorised in writing by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to receive rent gross. As part of the Management service a standard quarterly charge will be made for this work and the Agent may charge reasonable expenses for further work (see Scale of Charges below) requested by the Landlord, the Landlord's accountant or the HMRC in connection with such tax liabilities. Where the Landlord chooses the Let Only Service and the rent is greater than £100.00 per week, the Tenant becomes responsible for operating the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme, unless the Landlord has appointed an Agent in the UK. Further information on the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme is available here
8.2 The Landlord accepts that the Agent is unable to provide advice in relation to the liability of the Landlord for tax on income arising from the letting of the Property and the Landlord confirms that he shall seek independent advice. The Agent confirms that they are obliged to inform HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the Landlord when the Property is let, including confirmation of the rental income received.
- 9. PAYMENT
9.1 The balance of the first months’ rent (and any Deposit where applicable) shall by paid to the Landlord via BACS within fourteen days of commencement of the tenancy agreement subject to the tenancy agreement being signed by all relevant parties.
9.2 The Agent shall endeavour to pay the balance of rents to the Landlord via BACS within ten working days (subject to public holidays) of receiving it with an accompanying financial statement sent via email where possible. This is subject to the Tenant paying the rent in the manner specified in the tenancy agreement.
- 10. LET ONLY SERVICES
10.1 Where the Landlord does not wish the Agent to undertake full management (the Management Service), the Agent can provide a Let Only Service. The Let Only Service includes only items (in full or part) 1 to 9 of the Management Service as listed above. The Landlord would remain responsible for all other aspects of the letting (see clause 21) including ongoing Right to Rent immigration checks, the maintenance of the Property and any gas and electrical appliances. The Let Only Service Fee is payable at the commencement of the tenancy and will be deducted from rent monies received by the Agent on the Landlord's behalf. Should the fee/expenses equal more than rent monies held by the Agent the Landlord agrees to pay the Agent any difference immediately upon request by invoice. If the Tenant leaves prior to the end of the term of the tenancy, through no fault of the Agent, the Landlord shall not be entitled to reimbursement of any fees paid.
10.2 As part of the Let Only and Let Only+ services the Agent will protect the deposit on the Landlord’s behalf using a suitable custodial scheme and shall provide the Landlord with the relevant documentation once the deposit has been registered. The Agent shall also provide any relevant documentation to the Tenant. The Landlord remains responsible for informing the Agent of any changes relating to the deposit throughout the course of any tenancy. The Agent will not, however, have any involvement in the agreement about the refund of the deposit or any disputes at the end of the tenancy. The Landlord and Tenant will need to provide the Agent their agreement, in writing from both parties if necessary, of any such deposit refund.
10.3 If a deposit has been collected and requires protecting under the Housing Act 2004 rules and the Landlord wishes to protect the deposit then the Landlord will need to provide evidence to the Agent that they are a member of one of the designated deposit schemes before the Agent can transfer the deposit money to the scheme. The Agent will not transfer the deposit to the Landlord unless the Landlord is a member of an insurance based deposit scheme. This will also allow the Agent to draft the relevant tenancy agreement and provide the correct scheme documentation to any prospective Tenant.
10.4 Where the Landlord chooses the Let Only+ service this includes Rent Protection & Legal Expenses Service as detailed in clause 27.
- 11. MAINTENANCE
11.1 The Landlord agrees, prior to any and all new tenancies, to provide the Property and any gardens in good, clean and lettable condition (irrespective of any ongoing deposit disputes with previous Tenants) and that the Property, beds, sofas and all other soft furnishings conform to the current fire safety regulations. The Landlord agrees to make the Agent aware of any ongoing maintenance problems. Subject to a maximum expenditure limit (Maintenance Repair Limit) of £300.00 on any single item or repair, and any other requirements or limits specified by the Landlord, the Agent will administer any miscellaneous maintenance work that needs to be carried out on the Property (although the administration or project management of major works or refurbishment is not part of our service).
11.2 For expenditure in excess of the agreed expenditure limits, the Agent would normally request authorisation and payment in advance, although if it is agreed that in an emergency or for reasons of contractual or legal necessity where reasonable endeavours have been made to contact the Landlord, the Agent may reasonably exceed the limits specified. By law, it is necessary to carry out an annual inspection for the central heating and any gas appliances and it is recommended that appliances are also serviced annually as this may form part of any warranty agreement. This is the sole responsibility of the Landlord however the Agent can arrange an inspection on the Landlord’s behalf upon the Landlord’s instruction.
11.3 The Agent will obtain one quotation per maintenance issue under £1000.00 from a preferred contractor only. For maintenance issues over £1000.00 the Agent can provide another quote upon request. The Landlord agrees they are responsible for gaining any other like-for-like quotations for cost comparison purposes.
11.4 Where the Landlord has purchased their own policy or service agreement for dealing with boiler cover and property maintenance with companies such as (but not limited to) British Gas or Homeserve, the Landlord agrees that the Agent cannot deal with such policies as part of their Management Service. Should it be necessary, prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
11.5 In circumstances whereby a tenant pays six months or more rent in advance, the Agent will retain the equivalent of at least one month’s rent as a float to cover any expenditure that may arise during the tenancy. At the end of this period the rent will be released to the landlord, less any expenditure incurred.
11.6 Where the Agent is required to co-ordinate repair and maintenance work on behalf of the Landlord, the Agent will not be responsible for any negligence, damage, or breach of contract by any contractor employed in this way. The Landlord agrees that the Agent does not inspect or oversee any works carried out by any employed contractors and it is recommended that the Landlord should satisfy themselves the work has been undertaken to their own approval.
11.7 The Agent is not responsible for any latent (hidden) defect in the Property.
11.8 The Agent may receive commission from any contractors employed and/or instructed on behalf of the Landlord to undertake works and/or repairs to the Property at an agreed percentage rate of the invoice total. The commission payment is payable by the contractor and is not owed by the Landlord or to the Landlord.
- 12. COUNCIL TAX
Payment of Council tax will normally be the responsibility of the Tenants in the Property. However, Landlords should be aware that where a property is empty, let as holiday accommodation, or let as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) responsibility for payment of council tax then rests with the owner of the Property.
- 13. UTILITY MANAGEMENT
13.1 The Agent will take meter readings whenever possible at each change of occupation in the Property and, where necessary, inform the service companies (electricity, gas and water) of these readings and change of occupation. In many cases, the service companies (e.g. BT) require that the new occupiers formally request and authorise the service and it is not possible for the Agent to do this on the Tenant's or Landlord's behalf. Regarding mail, Landlords should take care to inform all parties (e.g. Banks, clubs, societies etc.) of their new address; it is not always possible to rely on Tenants to forward mail and this will also help against identity theft.
13.2 The Landlord agrees that we the Agent pass the Landlord’s name and contact details to Goodlord for the purposes of managing the electricity and/or gas supply for the Property and completing registrations for council tax and water supply. Full details of how Goodlord process your information can be found here
13.4 The Agent is not responsible for the clearance (or the arrangement of) any debts left on utility meters by a Landlord or Tenant. Should it be necessary prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
13.5 The Agent is not responsible to manage the Property when it is not let.
- 14. INVENTORY
The deposit protection schemes established under the terms of the Housing Act 2004 require that all Landlords need to be protected by adequate inventory and condition reports from the outset. The Agent will prepare an inventory for the Property as part of the Management service. The inventory will include all removable items in the Property (except those of negligible value) plus carpets, paintwork, wall coverings, curtains, mirrors, sanitary ware and other articles that, in the opinion of the Agent, need regular checking. Landlords should not leave any articles of exceptional value in the Property without prior arrangement with the Agent. The standard inventory service will include a full schedule of condition (condition, colour & decoration of ceilings, walls, doors & door fittings etc.). Evidence of condition or damage (i.e. photography) will be prepared as required, or at the Landlord's request. Moving heavy and/or awkward items of furniture is not undertaken and attic spaces are not checked as part of the Inventory, check in or check out processes.
- 15. NOTICES
The Agent will, as necessary, serve the usual legal notices on the Tenant(s) in order to terminate the tenancy, increase the Rent, or for any other purpose that supports the good management of the Tenancy, or the timely return of the Deposit at the end of the tenancy. Prices for such are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
- 16. ASSURED SHORTHOLD TENANCY DEPOSITS
16.1 If a Tenant pays a deposit in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”) the deposit must, from the moment it is received, be dealt with in accordance with a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
16.2 The Landlord must give the Tenant and any Relevant Person ‘prescribed information’ about the deposit and comply with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme within the Statutory Time Limit.
16.3 The Agent a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which is a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme, administered by: The Dispute Service Limited West Wing, First Floor, The Maylands Building, 200 Maylands Avenue, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 7TG. Phone: 0300 037 1000 -- Web: www.tenancydepositscheme.com -- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
16.4 If the Agent receives an AST deposit on your behalf, the Agent will serve the prescribed information and comply with the initial requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme on your behalf, unless you give us prior written instructions to the contrary before the Agent receives the deposit.
16.5 If you do not want the Agent to protect the deposit on your behalf, it will be your responsibility to protect it as required by law. A valid notice seeking possession under s21 of the Housing Act 1988 cannot be served on a Tenant whose deposit is not protected. A Tenant or any Relevant Person may apply through the courts for compensation of at least the amount of the deposit, and up to three times the deposit, if the Landlord (or someone acting on the Landlord’s behalf):
i. fails to give prescribed information within the Statutory Time Limit; or
ii. fails to comply with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme within the Statutory Time limit; or
iii. notifies the Tenant or Relevant Person that the deposit has been protected in a scheme, but the Tenant or Relevant Person cannot obtain the scheme’s confirmation that the deposit is protected.
16.6 If you do not give the Agent written instructions that you want to make your own arrangements for deposit protection, the Agent will hold deposits relating to your properties under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The Agent must comply with the rules of the Scheme, and this means that the Agent will not be able to act on your instructions with regard to the deposit if those instructions conflict with the Scheme rules.
16.7 The Scheme rules are available to view and download from www.tenancydepositscheme.com. A very important point for you to bear in mind is that the Agent must hold the deposit as “stakeholder”. This means that the Agent can only pay money from the deposit if:
i. both Landlord and Tenant (and any Relevant Person) agree; or
ii. the court orders us to do so; or
iii. the Tenancy Deposit Scheme directs us to do so.
16.8 During the tenancy
i. The Agent will hold the deposit as stakeholder in their client account (separate from the money they use to run their business).
ii. Interest earned on the deposit will belong to the person entitled to it under the tenancy agreement.
iii. If the Tenancy Deposit Scheme directs the Agent to send the deposit to them, the Agent must do that within 10 days of receiving their direction. The Scheme will not normally direct the Agent to send them the deposit unless there is a dispute about how it is to be paid at the end of the tenancy.
16.9 Where there is NO dispute about the deposit at the end of the tenancy
i. At the end of an AST the Agent will liaise with you to ascertain what (if any) deductions you propose to make from the deposit, or have already agreed with the Tenant.
ii. Once you and the Tenant have agreed how the deposit should be allocated, the Agent will ask you both to confirm your agreement in writing. The Agent will then pay the deposit according to what you have agreed, within 10 days of receiving confirmation of agreement from you and the Tenant(s). The Agent cannot pay until they have the Tenant’s agreement.
16.10 Where there IS a dispute about the deposit at the end of the tenancy
i. The Landlord must use reasonable efforts to reach a sensible resolution to the dispute as soon as practicable after the tenancy ends.
ii. A Tenant can ask the Agent to repay the deposit at any time after the tenancy has ended. You must agree to the Agent releasing promptly any part of the deposit that does not need to be held back to cover breaches of the tenancy agreement. The Agent will take your instructions at the time regarding the amount to be withheld.
iii. If the Tenant asks the Agent to repay some or all of the deposit, and the Agent does not do so within 10 days from and including the date of the Tenant’s request, the Tenant can notify the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The Scheme will then direct the Agent to pay the disputed amount to the Scheme. The Agent has 10 days, from and including the date the Agent receives the Scheme’s direction, to send in the money.
iv. If the Agent protects a deposit with the Scheme on your behalf, you hereby authorise the Agent to pay to the Scheme as much of the deposit as the Scheme requires the Agent to send. The Agent will contact you to keep you informed, but the Agent will not need to seek your further authority to send the money to the Scheme.
v. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will review the Tenant’s claim and decide whether it is suitable for independent alternative dispute resolution. Usually, this will take the form of adjudication, but it may involve assisted negotiation or mediation. “Alternative” in this context means an alternative to court proceedings. It is intended to be a faster and more cost-effective way of resolving disputes. The Scheme does not make a charge to Landlords or Tenants for using the alternative dispute resolution service if it relates to an AST.
vi. If the Tenant’s claim is referred for alternative dispute resolution, the Agent and you will be invited to accept or contest the claim. You must notify the Scheme whether you agree to submit the dispute for alternative dispute resolution within 10 Working Days from (but not including) the date of the Scheme’s communication to you. If you do not respond to the Scheme by the deadline, you will be treated as having given your consent to alternative dispute resolution.
vii. Agents and Landlords are permitted to refer a dispute about a deposit to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If you or the Agent refer a deposit dispute to the Scheme, the Scheme will contact the Tenant to confirm whether the Tenant will agree to alternative dispute resolution. If there are joint Tenants, all the joint Tenants must agree. A Tenant who does not reply to the Scheme is NOT deemed to consent to alternative dispute resolution. If the Tenant (or all joint Tenants) do not agree to alternative dispute resolution, and do not agree to the deposit deduction(s) you claim, you will need to begin court proceedings if you wish to pursue your claim.
viii. If the parties agree to adjudication, the adjudicator’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal. Further information about adjudication is available free to download from www.tenancydepositscheme.com.
ix. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will pay the disputed amount to the person(s) entitled within 10 days beginning on the date the Scheme receives notice of (a) the adjudicator’s decision or (b) an order from the court that has become final or (c) an agreement being reached between you and the Tenant(s).
x. If you order any work to be done at the Property before a dispute has been resolved, you do so at your own risk. There is no guarantee, if you incur expense, that a dispute will ultimately be resolved in your favour.
16.11 Consent to use personal information
i. When you agree to use the Agent’s services, you agree that the Agent may use information you give us, including information about yourself, for the purposes of performing our obligations to you.
ii. You agree that the Agent may supply such information as is reasonably required to the Scheme. You agree that the Scheme, or the government department responsible for the Scheme, may contact you from time to time to ask you to participate in surveys. If at any time you do not wish the Scheme to contact you for that purpose, you should write to the Scheme as explained in the Scheme Leaflet (see www.tenancydepositscheme.com).
16.12 Our duty to provide correct and complete information
i. When you agree to use the Agent’s services, you guarantee that all the information you provide to the Agent is complete and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. You agree to inform the Agent immediately if it comes to your attention that any information was incorrect.
ii. If the Agent suffers any loss or incur any cost because information you have given the Agent is or was incomplete and/or incorrect, you agree to pay the Agent the amount necessary to put the Agent in the position the Agent would have been in if the information had been complete and correct. This clause does not relieve the Agent of their own obligation to use reasonable skill and care in providing our services to you, or to take reasonable steps to keep our losses and costs to a minimum once the Agent realises that there is a problem.
16.13 Where the tenancy is not an AST
i. The deposit does not have to be protected by law. However, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will make its independent alternative dispute resolution service available to you as our client, because we are a member of the Scheme.
ii. If a dispute arises you, the Agent or the Tenant will contact the Scheme. Then:
a. the Scheme will propose what they consider to be the most effective way of resolving the dispute (assisted negotiation, mediation, adjudication or arbitration);
b. you, we and the Tenants must consent in writing to the proposed method if we all want to proceed (if we don’t, the options are to negotiate or litigate);
c. the parties will have to pay a fee of £600 inclusive of VAT (or such other minimum fee as the Scheme may set from time to time) or 12% of the deposit inclusive of VAT, whichever is the larger amount.
iii. The Scheme will not start the dispute resolution process until all parties have agreed in writing to use the Scheme and paid the applicable fee and the disputed deposit to the Scheme.
16.14 Where you instruct us that you do not want us to protect an AST deposit
i. If the deposit relates to an AST and you decide to hold the deposit yourself, you must tell the Agent before the tenancy agreement is signed. The Agent will notify you of the date we receive the deposit and aim to transfer the deposit to you within 10 days of receiving it. By law you must then register the deposit with an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the date the Agent received it. You must also give the Tenant(s) and any Relevant Person ‘prescribed information’ about the deposit. If you do not do both these things within 30 days of the Agent receiving the deposit, the Tenant or any Relevant Person can take legal action against you. The court can make an order stating that you must pay the deposit back to the Tenant, or lodge it with the custodial scheme run by the Deposit Protection Service. The court will then also order you to pay compensation to the Tenant of between one and three times the amount of the deposit.
ii. By law, you may not serve a notice seeking possession under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 notice until you have served the prescribed information. If you have not complied with the initial requirements of an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme, you cannot serve a s21 notice until you have returned the deposit (or the agreed balance of it) to the Tenant or court proceedings relating to the return of the deposit have been disposed of.
iii. If you instruct the Agent that you do not want the Agent to protect an AST deposit, the Agent shall not be liable to you for any loss suffered or cost incurred if you fail to comply with your obligations to protect the deposit and give prescribed information. You must pay the Agent for any loss or inconvenience suffered or cost incurred by the Agent if you fail to comply with those obligations. This clause will not apply if the reason for your failure is because the Agent failed to send you the deposit within 20 days of receiving it.
16.15 Joint Landlords
If there is more than one Landlord, either Landlord will be able to participate in alternative dispute resolution. TDS does not accept liability to any one or more joint Landlords for acting on the instructions of any other joint Landlord. TDS does not accept directions from joint Landlords to deal only with instructions agreed unanimously by joint Landlords. If you want all decisions to be made jointly, this is something that should be agreed between the Landlords. It will then be a matter for the Landlords to resolve among themselves if one or more of them have not complied with that agreement.
More information on the requirements of the deposit protection schemes are available on the following web site(s) and Landlords are strongly urged to familiarize themselves with their legal responsibilities http://www.direct.gov.uk
- 17. TENANCY DEPOSIT DISPUTES
17.1 The Agent will attempt, by negotiation, to resolve any deposit disputes between the Landlord and the Tenant. Where the Deposit is subject to statutory tenancy deposit protection, and a dispute cannot be resolved between the parties, then it will be necessary for the Landlord or Tenant to submit the claim to the tenancy deposit administrators for adjudication under an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process (see clause 16 above).
17.2 The Agent will not deal with an alternate dispute resolution with the Scheme on the Landlord’s behalf. The Agent will forward any correspondence from the Scheme to the Landlord for the Landlord to complete and submit evidence .
17.3 The Landlord authorises the Agent to make appropriate deductions from the rental income in the last two months of the tenancy to provide a maintenance fund from which any cleaning, repair or other costs can be disbursed at the end of the tenancy.
- 18. PROPERTY VISITS
18.1 Under the Management Service, the Agent shall endeavour to carry out at least one visit per year to the Property and provide a report to the Landlord. Should a physical visit not be possible the Agent shall endeavour to carry out a virtual visit. The Landlord is advised to check the frequency of these visits against any insurance policies held. Such visits and reports can only be regarded as general oversight of the Property and its care by the Tenant and the agent will not undertake moving heavy and/or awkward items of furniture nor access any loft spaces, check inside cupboards, wardrobes or any appliances. The Agent does not accept responsibility for any actual variance between the report and the items reported upon. The Agent will liaise with the Tenant on all day to day matters arising. Where these were felt to be unsatisfactory, a further visit would generally be made to re-assess. The Landlord may request that the Agent makes additional visits to the Property but agrees that the cost of this shall be borne by the Landlord as per the Scale of Charges below.
18.2 Following the departure of Tenants, a check-out is carried out by the Agent and a report provided to the Landlord (prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below). Testing of all the electrical appliances, heating system and plumbing are not undertaken during the check-out; a qualified contractor should be appointed for this purpose should it be required by the Landlord. The Agent also will not turn off or isolate any utilities or supplies to the property. Any deficiencies or dilapidations would normally be submitted to the Landlord together with any recommended deductions or replacement values.
18.3 The Landlord is aware that any check-out report is specific to the performance of a particular tenancy and will not necessarily give a full overview of the Property condition. The Landlord should reasonably attend the Property whilst it is vacant to determine that the Property is free of defects and in a lettable condition. The Landlord should also advise their building insurer once the Property is vacant.
- 19. TERMINATION
19.1 Termination of Agency Agreement. Should the Landlord wish to terminate this agreement during the course of a tenancy then the Agent must receive a minimum of three months written notice which cannot be given during the first six months of the original tenancy agreement. Should the Tenant remain in occupation at the termination of this agreement the Landlord shall pay the Agent a sum equivalent to two months rent inclusive of VAT, this money can be discharged from funds held on the Landlord’s client account and this agreement shall not be deemed terminated until such time that this sum is paid in full to the Agent and all management fees shall still apply until such time that the Landlord’s liability is fully discharged.
19.2 This agreement may be terminated by the Agent as a result of any breach of the agreement caused by the Landlord’s default or omission in relation to any of the Landlord’s obligations contained within this or any tenancy agreement.
19.3 Tenancy Agreement. The Landlord shall provide the Agent with any requirements for the return and repossession of the Property at the earliest opportunity. Landlords should be aware that any tenancy agreement entered into on the Landlord's behalf is a legally binding agreement for the term agreed and the Agent is entitled to its management fees for the entirety of the tenancy agreement (even if you agree to terminate the tenancy agreement early) regardless of rent received and any such shortfall can be recovered from the Landlord’s client account or payable by the Landlord upon invoice. Details of any tenancy agreement being entered into will be communicated to the Landlord as soon as possible.
19.4 Agreements signed away from the Agents office. Where this Agency Agreement is signed away from the office the Landlord has a right to cancel under consumer protection legislation within 14 days (‘a cooling off period’) of the date of this Agreement. A cancellation notice is available at the end of this Agreement. Where the Landlord waives his right to cancellation by agreeing to the Agent carrying out works immediately following the date of this Agreement he will be responsible for any reasonable costs incurred by the Agent in carrying out their duties if the Landlord cancels this contract during the ‘cooling off’ period.
- 20. TENANCY RENEWALS
Where the tenancy is renewed or extended to the same Tenant (or any person associated with the Tenant) originally introduced by the Agent, the Tenancy Renewal Fee shall be payable on the renewal date (see the Scale of Charges for details). For the new or extended tenancy the terms of this Agreement shall continue until the tenancy ends or this Agreement is terminated, as defined in 19.1.
- 21. SAFETY REGULATIONS
WARNING: You should read and understand these obligations before signing.
21.1 The letting of Property is now highly regulated. The law makes particular demands regarding the safety, servicing and inspection of the gas appliances and electric installations within a Property, and with respect to the safety of furniture and soft furnishings provided. The following regulations apply but are not limited to:
- The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 - see more information here
- Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 as amended - see more information here
- Furniture and Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 - see more information here
- General Product Safety Regulations 2005 - see more information here
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (Amendment) Regulations 2022 - see more information here
- Deregulation Act 2015 - see more information here
- Tenant Fees Act 2019 - see more information here
- Health and Safety Executive Legionella Guidelines - see more information here
- Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 - see more information here
21.2 The Landlord confirms that they are aware of these obligations and that the Agent has provided sufficient information to assist with compliance. It is agreed that the Landlord shall ensure that the Property is made available for letting in a safe condition and in compliance with the above regulations. The Landlord agrees to repay the Agent’s reasonable costs incurred including any reasonable expenses or penalties that may be suffered as a result of non-compliance of the Property to fire and safety appliance standards.
21.3 Where the Landlord has duties in regard to the prevention of legionella and the inspection of domestic-type water systems, it is agreed that the Landlord shall be responsible for the maintenance of the water system and any associated safety checks under these duties.
- 22. INSTRUCTIONS
It is agreed that any instructions to the Agent from the Landlord regarding termination, proceedings, major repairs, payment, or other significant details regarding the letting be confirmed to the Agent in writing.
- 23. VALUE ADDED TAX
All fees stated are inclusive of VAT.
- 24. INSURANCE
24.1 The Landlord shall be responsible and ensure:-
- the Property is adequately insured and that the insurance policy covers the situation where the Property is let.
- they fully understand the insurance policy wording and make the agent aware of any stipulations or restrictions which are not covered within these terms of business or that of the tenancy agreement.
- they are solely responsible for the administration of any claims arising during the period of management.
- the insurer is advised if the Property is or becomes vacant as the insurer may impose specific terms.
24.4 The Agent can provide information on insurance provided by their broker/provider. The Agent may receive a referral fee or commission from the insurance broker/provider if the Landlord takes out a policy with them.
- 25. HOUSING BENEFIT & UNIVERSAL CREDIT
The Landlord undertakes to re-imburse the Agent for any claims arising from overpayment which may be made by the local authority in respect of housing benefit, or other benefit scheme, paid to or on behalf of the Tenant(s) as rent. This undertaking shall remain in force during the currency of the tenancy and up six years thereafter, whether or not the Agent continues to be engaged to let or manage the Property under this Agreement.
- 26. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
26.1 Any delays of payment or other defaults will be acted on by the Agent in the first instance. Where the Agent has been unsuccessful in these initial actions, or there are significant rent arrears or breaches of the tenancy agreement, the Landlord will be advised accordingly. A solicitor may then be appointed and instructed by the Landlord (except where the Agent is unable, after taking reasonable efforts, to contact the Landlord. In that event the Agent is authorised to instruct a solicitor on the Landlord's behalf). The Landlord is responsible for payment of all legal fees and any related costs. Prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
26.2 The Agent will not attend court or any tribunal in relation to the Property as part of the regular management of the Property unless agreed between the Landlord and the Agent beforehand or unless as a matter of law the Agent is required to attend. Prices for such work are detailed in our Scale of Charges below.
- 27. RENT & LEGAL PROTECTION SERVICE (LET ONLY+ & MANAGEMENT+)
27.1 If this option is selected, in support of the satisfactory Tenant Assessment, the Agent is prepared to provide to the Landlord a rent and legal protection service in accordance with the terms detailed below and subject to any separate terms and conditions as provided to the Landlord.
27.2 In the event that the tenant(s) default on a payment of rent and that rent remains outstanding for a period of 30 days, the Agent will make a claim with the insurers on behalf of the Landlord and will pay rent to the Landlord upon receipt of said rent from the insurers. No payments will be payable in respect of outstanding contractual rent as may be owed by the tenant(s) once the tenant(s) cease to reside in the property. Payments will be made subject to any deductions agreed or any charges that are outstanding as set out in the Terms.
27.3 Payments shall be made by the Agent subject to the following conditions being met by the Landlord:
27.3.1 A satisfactory reference has been obtained for each tenant and each guarantor from an approved referencing service within 60 days of the tenancy commencement and that all the terms of the reference have been complied with.
27.3.2 A detailed inventory of the contents and the condition of the Property has been carried out and agreed to by the tenant(s).
27.3.3 Clear and up to date rental records have been kept.
27.3.4 The tenant(s) are 18 years of age or more.
27.3.5 There is an appropriate and correctly executed tenancy agreement in place that has been signed by all parties.
27.3.6 One month’s’ rent and a deposit of at least one month’s rent has been collected prior to the occupation of the Property by the tenant(s) or the tenant(s) have agreed to and purchased an approved deposit replacement alternative
27.4 Payments will not be paid out under this service if:
27.4.1 Any default is reported to the Agent after 31 days from when the rent was due.
27.4.2 The default has arisen due to the Landlord not fulfilling their obligations as specified in the tenancy agreement.
27.4.3 The Landlord acts without the consent of or against the advice of the Agent.
27.4.4 The Landlord is in breach of any rules or requirements relating to the deposit.
27.4.5 Where a substantiated allegation of dishonesty or violent behaviour has been made against the Landlord.
27.4.6 The arrears relate to someone legally taking the Property away from you, or restrictions or controls are placed on your property by any government or public or local authority.
27.4.7 A defence and / or a counterclaim is raised during the course of any proceedings instigated by the tenant(s) seeking to off-set unpaid rent.
27.4.8 The Landlord terminates the Terms.
- 28. COMPLAINTS
Where the Landlord is dissatisfied with any service provided by the Agent he should contact the Agent in the first instance to try to resolve matters. The Agent has an in-house complaints policy which must be followed, a copy of which is available on request. The Agent is a member of The Property Ombudsman (TPO) scheme and where the Landlord is unsatisfied with the way the complaint has been handled he may refer the matter to the scheme for a further decision, details of which are available upon request from the Agent.
- 29. KEEPING RECORDS
The Agent agrees to keep copies of all forms, agreements and other correspondence in relation to the tenancy for the period of the tenancy and for a year from the date of expiry of the tenancy. The Agent will keep copies of all financial information for six years.
- 30. DATA PROTECTION
30.1 The Agent is a data controller and is required to pay a fee to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the details will be placed on the register.
30.2 The Agent will process the Landlord’s personal data in accordance with the Privacy Notice provided by the Agent.
30.3 The Landlord will also be a controller in respect of Tenant and other personal data and should be registered with the ICO and process all data in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations.
- 31. DEFINITIONS
Landlord, you, or your means the person or persons organisation/company named above as Landlord of the subject Property and will include any others with a legal interest in the Property, whether this has been disclosed or not. Where the party consists of more than one entity or person the obligations apply to and are enforceable against them jointly and severally. Joint and several liability means that any one of the members of a party can be held responsible for the full obligations under the agreement if the other members do not fulfil their obligations.
Agent, we or us means Archer Bassett & Co Ltd or Archer Bassett Ltd
Tenant means the party named in the tenancy agreement as the Tenant of the Property.
Property means the Property noted above as the address of the Property to be let including all outbuildings, grounds, parking spaces, fences or boundaries etc.
Deposit: A deposit will be taken from the Tenant to protect the Landlord against loss of rent or damage to the Property. See clause 16 above for more detail.
Member: The Member refers to either the Agent or Landlord, whoever is registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the purposes of holding the Deposit.
Calendar Day or day: Any day of the year, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
Relevant Person: A person who paid the Deposit or any part of it on behalf of a Tenant.
Stakeholder: A person or body who holds the Deposit at any time from the moment it has been paid by the Tenant until its allocation has been agreed by the parties to the tenancy agreement, determined by the ADR process, or ordered by the court.
Scheme: An authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme (set up in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 and operated under a service concession agreement with the government) administered by The Dispute Service Limited.
Statutory Time Limit: The time limit set out in the Housing Act 2004 (as amended) in which the initial requirements of the Scheme must be met, and prescribed information must be provided to the Tenant and any Relevant Person.
Working Day: A day that is not a Saturday or Sunday, nor any day that is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 or any customary or public holiday in England and Wales.
- 32. ACCEPTANCE & VARIATION
32.1 This document forms the full agreement and terms between the Agent and the Landlord/Owner and no terms will be implied by any negotiations representations or warranties given by the parties prior to the signing of this agreement whether given orally or in writing.
32.2 It is agreed that the Agent may from time to time vary the terms of this agreement, the Scale of Charges below and on the signed Terms of Business agreement. The Agent will notify the Landlord of the proposed variations and such variations shall then form part of this agreement. At least one month’s notice will be provided.
|Serving Legal Notices||£90.00 per notice|
|Rent Guarantee Claim Management||£120.00|
|Ad-hoc Property Visit||£60.00|
|Overseas Landlord Charge||£30.00 per quarter|
|Annual Financial Statement||£60.00 per tax year|
|Arrangement of Key Cutting||£20.00 on top of cutting cost|
|Professional Hourly Rate||£100.00 per hour|
Let Only Inventory Charges
1 Bed - £120.00