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Renting Guide for Private Tenants

Rental Guides

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Renting a home has a lot of plus points for tenants who can live in a neighbourhood where they perhaps can’t afford to buy and have less hassle than property owners because decorating and maintaining a home is paid for by the landlord. But before signing a tenancy agreement, you need to think carefully about the property you would like to rent. Not only should you consider the location and living space, but also understand that as a tenant you have certain legal responsibilities and obligations.

Why rent a home from Westbourne London?

Westbourne London manages houses and flats to rent in Notting Hill and surrounding areas that suit a wide range of budgets and lifestyles. We specialise in finding high-class properties for blue chip and corporate clients as well as standard buy to let homes for many other tenants.
Westbourne London has an excellent reputation as Notting Hill’s longest-established lettings and estate agent. Based in prominent, modern offices in Westbourne Grove, we offer long opening hours every day and easy contact via social media, email and phone. Our experienced lettings team knows the local market and is well-placed to help you find a new home in the right location which has the space and facilities to suit your lifestyle.

Professional standards

As members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme, if you have cause for complaint that we cannot resolve, you can take the issue to The Property Ombudsman. The ombudsman is a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service for consumers with a grievance against letting agents.

Viewing a home to rent

Firstly, one of our lettings team will go to a viewing appointment with you, so you do not have the stress or worry of meeting a stranger at a property you do not know.
Don’t forget a property viewing is not a quick look inside but an opportunity to spend some time carefully considering the pros and cons of what could be your new home.
Everyone has different views about what makes a home right for them, but here are some points you should bear in mind:

  • Is the living space large enough for your needs?
  • Check out the storage space – is there enough for your needs
  • Investigate the heating – what sort of fuel is used and how much will it cost to run? Are there enough radiators or heaters?
  • Check the gas and electrical safety certificates to ensure they are up to date. The gas check should be carried out annually and the electrical check every five years
  • Is the property furnished or unfurnished? What state are the furnishings in and look at the inventory to see exactly what is supplied.
  • Try and view during the day and evening. This will give you some idea of noise and parking in the neighbourhood at different times
  • How close are parking, public transport, schools, doctors, shops, pubs and takeaways?

Tenant rights and obligations

Tenants and landlords have duties and obligations towards each other.
These are usually laid out in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement, which is a legal document which includes information about who the landlord is, how much the rent is, when the rent is due and when any review should take place.
The landlord must not enter the property without making an appointment at least 24 hours in advance or disturb your right to enjoy the property by harassing you.
The landlord must also maintain the property to a decent standard and carry out regular gas and electrical safety checks.
Tenants also have obligations, which include:

  • Paying the rent on time
  • Not to behave antisocially – for instance not to be noisy neighbours or allow rubbish to pile up
  • Dealing with minor maintenance – this includes changing light bulbs and smoke alarm batteries
  • Not to sub-let without permission of the landlord

Reporting problems

Some landlords will prefer to manage property maintenance direct, while others will have a management agreement with Westbourne London.
You will be told at the start of your tenancy who to contact if you have any queries about your property or to report faults that require maintenance. We have a new online reporting system for repairs. We have a commitment to resolve issues quickly and reliably. This online system helps us to receive the information that we need in order to understand your problem. It also allows you to upload photos of your problem that may help our contractors to bring the right tools and equipment to fix your problem.
To access the system please click here https://westbourne-london.fixflo.com/
Repairs for non-emergencies that are reported online are likely to be dealt with more quickly than those that are reported by telephone or by email. Emergencies must continue to be reported to us by telephone. If you need to contact Westbourne London, you can call or email our lettings team between 8am and 10pm weekdays and weekends.

Tenant deposits

Many landlords ask tenants to pay a fee of intent before moving in to a home. This fee of intent must be held in a tenant deposit protection scheme by law and the landlord can keep all or some of the money if you have rent arrears when you leave or have failed to return the property in the same condition as when you started the tenancy, subject to fair wear and tear.
If you feel the landlord has unfairly kept your deposit, you can ask the tenancy deposit protection scheme to investigate for you.

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