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Guide to Tenants

Guide for Tenants

We are specialists in providing the best quality of service to students and professionals throughout Oxford. We understand that in addition to simple finding a property, tenants look for a transparent relationship with their managing agency. That's why we have structured a service which goes beyond simply signing you up to a property. 

If you can't find what you are looking for, please register your requirements so we can help you find your perfect home, no matter what your move in date!

For your safety and peace of mind:

    - All of our managed properties are Gas Safe certificated, and inspected for electrical safety, and furniture fire safety

    - All Tenancy Deposits (bonds) are held in accordance with The Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007

On this page we have gathered some details to talk you through Digs letting process. It is a guide only - we are of course happy to help if you have any further questions.

 


 

Sample Agreements

 

In this section you will find samples of all our agreements. Each vary slightly depending on who the landlord is for your chosen property and what service that Landlord employs us for. For guidance on which agreement is correct for you please call us on 01865 910130 or e-mail us to info@digsproperty.co.uk

 

          SAMPLE - Managed - DPS - Custodial

          SAMPLE - Managed - DPS - Insured

          SAMPLE - Let Only - DPS - Custodial

          SAMPLE - Let Only - My Deposits - Insured

          SAMPLE - Beech Lodge - DPS - Insured

          SAMPLE - Guarantor Agreement

 


 

Finding the perfect property

 

For the most up-to-date property listings, take a look at our property page. However, as our stock is constantly changing on a daily basis it is always worth contacting us so we know specifically what you are looking for. If we don't currently hold it on our books, we will find it for you! If not urgent, we log your details so that we can contact you as suitable properties become available.

Due to the highly competitive nature of student accommodation in Oxford, we recommend that you start searching as early as November to find a property for the following academic year. Most student properties are granted for a minimum term of 12 months.

For professionals, this is not the case and we feel it is wise to start looking about a month before you wish to move, as the nicer properties are viewed and reserved quickly.

We regret that we are unable to take on applicants who receive Government (or similar) help with paying their rent or deposit.

 

Fees

Too many Letting Agents charge completely over the top fees for what they do. At Digs, we constantly strive to get the best value for money for our tenants and out landlords. We have developed a fee structure that is simple to understand and fair to implement.  Download the PDF here -  - for further information.

 

Viewings

Viewings will be arranged at times to suit you, including evenings and weekends where possible. You will invariably be accompanied by a member of staff, who can give advice and answer any questions you may have.

 

Know what to expect

We will always help where we can with any questions you may have. We have an extensive amount of information on our website and our experienced team are always here to help.

You can also take a look at our recommended links to trusted websites with guides on how to and what to expect from renting property.

Which!

Gov.uk

Citizens Advise Bureau

Rightmove

Zoopla

 

 


 

Before you move in

 

Reserving the property

Once you have decided on a property, you will need to reserve it. To do this, within 24 hours of confirming that you would like the property all tenants must:

    1) Complete our application form

    2) Pay our administration fee of £150 per person (further details below)

    3) Send us scanned photographic ID, which can be either Passport, Driving Licence or Student Card. 

    4) PROFESSIONAL LETS ONLY - pay one third of total deposit.

 

This will temporarily take your chosen property off the market and all future viewings will be cancelled. 

 

Fees

For information on our fees, please see the link above.

 

References

We ask all applicants to complete a referencing form. As a minimum we will require references from your employer (or college) and a previous or current landlord. We may also require a personal reference and sometimes a guarantor. In addition a credit check will be undertaken. We may use the services of an independent referencing company to obtain and evaluate these references on our behalf.

 

Deposit

A security deposit of 1.5 month's rental will normally be required. This deposit will be treated in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection regulations. The deposit is held to cover damage, breakages and any other liabilities under the terms of your tenancy agreement.

Please note that under no circumstances can the deposit be used by the tenant to cover rent.

 

Deposit - Professional Lets:

Deposits for professional lets (non-student accommodation) are due as soon as possible after successful completion of the application process - however you will not be given keys or allowed to move into the property until this is received, along with your first months up front rental payment. 

For Professional Lets the deposit is paid in 2 parts. To reserve the property we ask for the application fee (as detailed above) as well as 1/3 of the total deposit. This would mark the property as Let Agreed so we do not receive any more enquiries for it and any future viewings would be cancelled.

We then go through the application/checking process. Assuming all is well with the checking process, we would request the balance of the deposit and the 1st month's rent after signing the contract and no later than 3 working days before you move in.

If, after paying the initial 1/3 of the deposit you decide you do not wish to or are unable to take on the property then you surrender this sum.

If for any reason your application does not pass our checking process then you would surrender the application fee but would have your 1/3 of the deposit refunded to you.

 

Deposit - Students:

When looking for a student property, it is highly advised to look as early as November of the year before you move in - when our list of available properties for the next academic year is first released to avoid disappointment and get the perfect property in the perfect location.

However - you don't want to and don't have to pay all of your deposit this early. 

Once you have chosen your property we go through the application and reservation process detailed above. 

Then, within 30 days of booking the property we ask for payment of either £100 per person or 50% of your dilapidations deposit. The total dilapidations deposit is 1.5 month's rent unless otherwise stated in the listing. 

The balance of the dilapidations deposit is payable by no later than 1st June before you move in. Again, this will ALWAYS be protected in accordance with the Housing (Tenancy Deposit Schemes) Order 2007.

 

Deposit Protection

Most of our Landlords protect their deposit with the 'DPS', but some of our properties deposits are protected with 'My Deposits'.

Here are some PDF's straight from their websites, with some useful information for tenants.

 DPS - Helpful Tenant Info - Custodial

 DPS - Helpful Tenant Info - Insured

 My Deposits - Helpful Tenant Info

 


 

Moving In

 

When any tenant moves into one of our properties, we always to a full inventory of content and conditions of the property. This is then forwarded to you and you have time to come back to us if you feel any slight adjustments are required. Our contract means that the previous tenants have cleaned the property to a suitable standard before they move out or paid for a professional cleaner - so you can be sure that your property will be sparkling before you move in. 

We will meet you at the property at a pre-arranged time to hand over keys, acquire meter readings and schedule of conditions for the start of your tenancy. 

Digs are here to help if you have any questions around the time of your move in or indeed once you are in your tenancy. 

 


 

During the Tenancy

 

Access to the property

Fantastic - you are in your new home! Congratulations! As a tenant you have a right to enjoy peaceful occupation of your rented property and we will always aim to be as considerate as possible when it comes to requiring entry. There will however undoubtedly be times that we have to access the property. 

It is a legal requirement that you as tenants are given a minimum of 24 hour's notice of our entry to the property under any circumstances, with the exception of emergencies. 

 

Maintenance

Oxford prides itself for its long and varied history and as such it has a wide range of building styles and architecture throughout the city. All properties need work doing at times. Digs and all our landlords provide an emergency telephone number to all tenants - in case of any urgent work then we will get a contractor in as soon as physically possible. Please note that if ever we have to attend a property for an urgent call out that turns out not to be urgent then the tenant would be liable for any costs incurred. 

In the case of general work required we are always as considerate as possible and do work while the property is unoccupied where we can though this is not always possible. You will always be given notice of an estimated time of arrival for the maintenance technicians however Digs and/or your landlord have keys to let maintenance teams in so you don't have to wait in. 

 

What is an emergency?

 

To find out what is classed as and what to do in the case of an emergency please download our PDF Information Sheet here -

 

Viewings

The nature of a rented property means that at times we will require entry to potential future tenants. We will always contact all tenants (usually by email) to advise of any viewings. Again, Digs or your landlord will have a key so tenants are not required to be in the property at the time of the viewing. Viewings will ALWAYS be accompanied by a member of the Digs teams for your peace of mind. 

 

Checks

As tenants you have the right to peaceful enjoyment of the property. Landlords have the right for their property to be looked after by their tenants. As Agents, we at Digs have a responsibility to you our tenants and all of our landlords to ensure throughout the tenancy that the property is in a suitable condition. We will at times require entry to the property and access to all rooms and external areas to provide this service and at times landlords may wish to come with us. These checks are to ensure that both tenant and landlord are happy with the situation and any problems can be recognised and actioned where necessary. 

 

Rental payments

 

Rents are normally quoted calendar monthly and payable monthly in advance. The tenant is responsible for all utility bills throughout the duration of their tenancy unless by exception with prior written agreement with your landlord and/or agent. 

All rents are payable by bank standing order to our company bank account or your landlord's bank account if we are not managing the property.

 

Digs have 3 structures of agreements with our contracts. 

 

    1) Let Only - for this we:

            - Advertise the property

            - Locate suitable tenants

            - Produce all pre-tenancy paperwork 

            - Provide initial check in procedures - for example inventories and key exchange

 

    2) Tenant Find & Rent Collect - in addition to the Let Only services we also: 

            - Take monthly rental payments on behalf of the Landlord

 

    3) Fully Managed - this service includes all of the above and: 

            - Tenants first point of call for any issues arising including: Emergencies and maintenance

            - Arranging all matters on behalf of the landlord and report back to landlords with regular updates

            - Initiate checks of the property during a tenancy 

 

If the landlord of your property has an agreement with us for a Let Only service, then any rental payments will be paid directly to them each month. 

For either Service 2 or 3 named above then the payments are made to us and then passed on to your landlord. 

 


 

Renewal of Tenancy

 

Contract lengths can vary dependent on a number of factors. We will contact you before advertising a property for the next tenancy period to find out if you would like to stay on for another period and renew your contract with us. Continuing in the same property can have it's advantages - you have got to know the area and people close to you, you know the commute to work like the back of your hand and it can save a lot of time, money and hassle of moving again. 

Renewal of tenancy is a simple process but it does take some time for us to put everything in place - hence there is a small fee of £60 per person renewing. 

It is possible for only some tenants to stay and some to move on - just give us a call and let us know. Any new occupants would start from scratch with the application process. 

 


 

End of Tenancy

 

'All good things come to an end.'  You have completed the term of your tenancy and loved your time there and created some lovely memories, but unfortunately it's time to part. 

A Digs representative will come to the property at a pre-agreed time on the last day of your tenancy. We will receive back your keys, take notes of any meter readings, and take an inventory of the contents and condition of the property and contents.

 

Check Out Fee

1 or 2 bedroom property - £180.

For larger properties, £30 per bedroom over and above the first 2.

 

Return of deposit - Professional & Student Lets

 

All being well with the inventory we aim to return your full deposit within 48 hours of the completion of the inventory. 

In the case of work needed, once any damage/replacements have been corrected and invoices from suppliers received we aim to have any balance of your deposit returned to you within 48 hours of completion of the reconciliation. 

 

Moving On

It would be such a shame to see you go - why not let Digs help find another property at the end of your tenancy?

If however, you decide to move on to a property with a different agent, we will happily provide a 'Previous Landlord Reference' - just get in touch and we can send this over to you/the next agent as soon as possible. 

 

 


 

Insurance for Tenants

 

As appointed agents for Property Risks we are able to offer a variety of insurance policies for both landlords and tenants, including the following:

 

Contents

Up to your selected sum insured for damage to your household furniture, equipment, furnishings, clothing and personal possessions whilst in your home (excludes business equipment).

 

Landlord's Contents

Up to £2,500 for accidental damage to your landlord's contents, fixtures & fittings for which you are responsible.

 

Personal Possessions

Up to your selected sum insured for loss or accidental damage to your clothing, watches, jewellery, spectacles, other valuables (excluding mobile telephones) and pedal cycles whilst away from your home anywhere in the UK or whilst temporarily elsewhere in the world. Theft from unattended vehicles must be from a locked boot.

 

 

NB: The information on this page is not full or inclusive of all details. It is meant as a guideline only and would be overruled by any detail contrary to it in your property and person specific agreement. For further details and guidelines please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. 

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