Professional FAQs

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How can I find a property to rent with HOP?

The easiest way to keep up to date is to register your details. However, if you are looking for something unusual or specific, you may prefer to contact us and chat through your requirements with our friendly team, so that we can match you to something suitable.

Alternatively, you can visit our website at any time to view our available properties. You’ll also find our properties listed on the main property portals, such as Rightmove and OnThe Market.

For a first look at what’s coming on the market, it’s a good idea to follow us on social media – you’ll find us on Instagram and Facebook.

Please note, for privacy and security not all of our properties are advertised with ‘To Let’ boards.

How do I arrange to view a property?

Many of the properties we market have 360-degree Virtual Tours, so you can get a really good look around the property from the comfort of your own phone!

If you want to see it in person, you can arrange a viewing by completing the Book Viewing Form on the property you are interested in on the website, or by calling 0113 320 2000 to speak to one of our team directly.

We’ll then arrange a convenient appointment to meet you at the property, and we even offer evening and weekend viewings to suit you.

If you fall in love with a property you’ve just viewed and want to secure it so that no further viewings are booked, you can reserve the property with a ‘holding deposit’ of roughly 1 week’s worth of rent.

What comes with a property if it's furnished?

There are no hard and fast rules about what a furnished or unfurnished property would include, however, here is a typical overview:

Furnished Properties usually include all the main fixtures, furnishings and fittings. This would also include white goods – such as a fridge or washing machine –  as well as lounge and bedroom furniture (sofa’s and beds for example). However, it does not include things like crockery or cutlery, which you would need to bring yourselves.

Unfurnished Properties would be provided with just the basics such as carpets, curtains and light fittings – you would need to bring your own furniture.

Part-Furnished Homes may include white goods in the kitchen and a few pieces of furniture to start you off, but you can make the rest of the house yours with your own personal pieces.

Check the property listing for more details, or speak to a member of our team with any questions about the property.

An Inventory will take place on the day you’re checked into your property, so you know exactly what has been included.

What's the application procedure?

You may reserve the property with a Holding Deposit, which is the equivalent of 1 week’s rent. This will take the property off the market for a fixed time period, to give you a chance to complete your Application. The Holding Deposit,is completely refundable against the Deposit for the property.

To apply for a property, you’ll need to complete a simple Application Form, most of which is done online, in order to process your application for the property.

During the process, we’ll ask for your personal information, as well as details of your employment, employer and previous Landlord.

Do all occupants have to fill in an Application Form?

All adult Applicants must fill in an Application Form.

If the property is being let on a Joint Tenancy such as a family or a couple, you can use a single Application Form.

Children living at the address should be named on the form.

We cannot grant a Tenancy to anyone under 18 years of age due to Legal Restrictions.

Will I need to provide ID?

Yes, we need to be able to verify the identity of applicants.

We will need a photocopy of your driving licence and birth certificate, or your passport. If you are a UC applicant we will need your National Insurance number and a recent Utility Bill.

If you are unable to provide sufficient ID, please contact us.

What if I have a CCJ?

HOP realises that a CCJ (County Court Judgement) doesn’t make someone a ‘bad’ Tenant. We only ask that CCJ’s are declared on the Application Form. This is due to the referencing process, as undisclosed CCJ’s will result in a declined Application.

In fact, we much prefer to contact your previous Landlord for information on whether you have been a decent tenant, paid your rent on time and have left the house in a suitable state. If you have, then you’ve got nothing to worry about.

However, if you haven’t got a previous Landlord we will carry out a Bank Reference instead.

Will I need a Guarantor?

On some occasions a Guarantor will be required to back up your Application. In most cases, this is if you haven’t rented a property before, if you’re under 21 years of age, if you’re a student, or if you are not working full time and not supported by the council.

If you are offered the opportunity to support your Application by supplying a Guarantor, your Guarantor must be in full time employment, a resident in the UK for the last 3 years and be a Homeowner.

Once I've passed the referencing what happens next?

Once your references have come back ship-shape, we’ll then complete the paperwork and the Tenancy Agreements.

We’ll contact you to arrange payment of the Deposit and formally sign the Agreements.

How soon can I move in?

A lot depends on the timescales and availability of the property itself and when the current Tenancy ends, which will be discussed with you during your Application.

If the property is vacant, we can arrange for you to move in the next day, so long as you have fully passed the referencing process and the payment of your first month’s Rent and Deposit has been received, where required.

What is a Tenancy Agreement?

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document which details the obligations and responsibilities of the Tenant and the Landlord.

The majority of our Tenancies are ASTA’s or Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement’s which are recommended and compiled by ARLA

How long will the Tenancy Agreement be?

For student properties the Tenancy Agreement will usually be for 12 months. Typically, these will start on the 1st July and end 30th June.

Professional and Family lettings are for a minimum of 6 months. Some properties, however, will only be available on a 12-month agreement, for example, this may include some City Centre Apartments.

If you would like a longer agreement this can be organised. If you are new to letting property, new to an area, or moving in with someone for the first time we would always recommend a 6-month contract to give you the flexibility if things don’t go quite to plan.

What about the Deposit?

A Deposit is the standard way of protecting a Landlord in the event that a Tenant doesn’t meet their obligations (as set out within the Tenancy Agreement).  For example, if there are issues maintaining the cleanliness and condition of the property, then the Deposit may cover some of the cost to remedy the issues,

A Deposit, usually equivalent to one month’s rent, is required on all properties before you move in. This does not go to the Landlord but is held separately with a third-party Government-backed Deposit Scheme. We use the DPS.

How is a Deposit protected?

HOP are members of the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) which is a Government-approved Tenancy Deposit protection scheme.

Tenancy Deposit Protection (TDP), as set out in the Housing Act 2004, requires that all Agents/Landlords protect their Tenants’ Deposits under a statutory tenancy deposit scheme within 14 days of receiving a deposit.

The DPS will safeguard that Deposit throughout the period of the tenancy and repay the funds to the appropriate parties in accordance with their instructions at the end of the tenancy period. The scheme is supported by a dedicated call centre and an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service.

Am I allowed to keep Pets?

Pets can sometimes be allowed in our managed properties, in all circumstances the Tenant must gain permission in writing from the Agent or the Landlord, prior to a pet being introduced to the property.

If the Landlord accepts a Pet at the property, we may charge a slightly higher rent per month to contribute towards the additional wear to the property.

Do I need Insurance?

We always strongly recommended Contents Insurance.

Tenants should review any existing policies when renting a property, as some standard insurance products may place restrictions on cover for rented property.

Contents Insurance is well priced and can provide good peace of mind. It would be invaluable in the event of a fire, flood or burglary. Tenants are responsible for insuring any of their own possessions.

There are various specialist insurance products designed for tenants and rented property.

How often can the Landlord increase the Rent?

Rent of an existing Tenancy can only be increased once every twelve months. Where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy holds over as a statutory periodic tenancy, a specific prescribed form called a ‘section 13 notice’ will be used to notify tenants of a proposed increase in the rent.

Do I have to allow access to the Property?

HOP or someone working on our behalf has the right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs or maintenance at reasonable times of the day. The law says that a Landlord or Agent must give the Tenant at least 24 hours’ prior notice of any visits in writing.

The Tenant may allow HOP to enter the property sooner to carry out work or an inspection, however, we will only do this if agreed verbally with a Tenant that gaining access is acceptable to them.

The Landlord or Agent may gain access to the property in an emergency with no warning.

Who's responsible for Safety, Repairs & Maintenance?

A Landlord, in very general terms, has a legal responsibility to repair the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, gutters and external pipes; to keep in working order the installations for the supply of gas, electricity and water; and, for the installations for the provision of space and water heating.

The Landlord also has other legal responsibilities relating to the safety of such items as gas, electricity and furnishings as well as the general standard or fitness of the property for habitation.

A tenant has an implied covenant to act in a “tenant-like manner”. This means to report disrepair promptly; to take reasonable steps to ensure that neither the tenant nor guests damage the property, its fixtures and fittings; to do the minor day to day things any home-occupier would normally do e.g. replace light bulbs, fit a new battery in a smoke or CO2 detector, tighten an odd screw which has come loose on a door handle; to keep the property reasonably warm and aired to help prevent condensation or freezing of pipes; to leave the property secure when absent from it; to keep the garden and other areas reasonably tidy and free from rubbish.

How do I end my Tenancy?

The law around ending a Tenancy is relatively straightforward, as long as the right timescales and procedures are followed, along with the use of the correct format of notice.

It is recommended that you end your agreement properly if you want to leave. If you don’t, you may still be liable to pay rent, even after you’ve moved out.

To do this, you have to give written notice to the Landlord. You may not be able to end the Agreement early if you have signed for a Tenancy for a fixed period of time.

What's the notice period?

If a Landlord wishes to gain possession, they must give a minimum of 2 months’ notice in writing to end at the end of a period. If you wish to give notice, you must give a minimum of 1 month’s notice in writing to end at the end of the period.

Definition of a period: for example, if your Tenancy commenced on the 5th of a month, the notice will expire on the 4th.

What if I have a Joint Tenancy?

You have a Joint tenancy if you share with a spouse, partner, family member or friend and both/all of your names are on the Agreement.

The actions of each individual person will affect all of your rights. For instance: If one of you gives notice to the Landlord, the Agreement will normally automatically be ended for all of you. None of you will have the right to continue living there.

However, this does not apply if you have a Fixed Term Tenancy that has not come to an end. If one of you leaves without giving notice, the whole rent will still be due and the other(s) will have to pay the missing person’s share.

If one of you has caused damage, the Landlord may be entitled to take money out of your shared Deposit.

If you’re thinking about leaving, be sure to discuss it with the other joint Tenant(s) before you take any action. It may be possible for someone else to take your place, and/or for the Landlord to give a new Agreement to those who are staying.

What if I want to end the Tenancy early?

There are only limited ways in which this can happen: the Landlord cannot make the Tenants move out, nor can the Tenants lawfully walk away from their obligations to fulfil the contract.

Either party might request of the other that a formal “surrender” of the Tenancy be allowed. It would then be up to the parties to agree the terms and conditions of such a surrender. This might include some financial compensation for inconvenience or costs incurred.

Can I get someone else to move in?

This may be possible if you have no choice but to leave early and want to avoid paying rent on more than one home.

However, you have to get the Landlord’s agreement for the person you suggest to move into the property. The Landlord may want to take up references for them.

What if I just walk away?

Walking away or posting the keys through the letterbox is called ‘abandonment’ and will not end your agreement.

Your agreement with the Landlord will continue even though you’ve left, and the Landlord can continue to charge you rent, so you’re likely to build up rent arrears. If your Agreement is Fixed Term, you can be charged rent until the Term ends if your agreement is periodic, you can be held liable until the Agreement could have been ended by giving proper notice.

The Landlord can apply for a court order to make you pay what you owe. The court will decide whether you should have to pay your Landlord the money or not. The Landlord may have to show that s/he has tried to find another Tenant for the property but hasn’t been able to do so. If the Landlord has managed to let out the property they can’t claim rent from you after the new Tenant moved in. If the Landlord doesn’t make any effort to let out the property the court is likely to reduce the amount of money you will have to pay.

Additional information

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