The first thing we do is assign all of our tenants there very own Account Manager, This is someone our Tenants can go to with all enquires and they will do all they can to come back to the tenants with a response, tenants will have their direct email address and direct dial office number.
Tenants can come to see us at our Whitegate Drive Offices or contact us using phone, email, social media or web chat live on our website. When the office is closed in the evenings and weekends, we have an out of hours contact number to help deal with basic enquiries and contact our on-call Property Managers should the need arise.
We aim to respond to all non-urgent queries within one working day. It will usually be quicker than this and we have protocols in place to escalate urgent issues to ensure they are turned around pronto. Once an issue has been reported, we’ll make sure it gets to the right person in our team and they’ll get to work fast to ensure the issue is resolved to our tenant’s satisfaction and closed off quickly. That’s it. The secret of our success is our ability to mobilize and resolve things quickly – we didn’t say it was a very exciting secret, but it’s effective!
Here are our most common questions answered
First of all, don’t panic. If the property is not on our Full Management service, all offers for a rental property will be put to the landlord to make a decision on which offer to proceed with. If the property is on our Full Management Service we will only accept a maximum of 2 applications per property, whichever application comes back with the relevant information will be the one that is accepted. For an offer we need you to complete a tenant application form, these can be collected from the Winnie Tree office filled in online or ask the Winnie Tree representative on your viewing for a copy. Everyone over the age of 18 must fill out an application form.
When the property is not on our Full Management Service we recommend prospective tenancies for consideration to our landlords, if the property is on our Full Management Service we take all applications into consideration, we would look for applicants to be permanently employed or having the correct benefits to pay for the property and meet the affordability criteria of their gross monthly income (combined if more than one tenant). If this is not the case, then we or the landlord may still proceed but expect to provide a UK based guarantor or pay a larger deposit.
Application fees are no longer charged.
Upon submission of application, we charge a £50.00 reservation fee. Any application will not be processed until the reservation fee is paid. This can be paid by Cash, Card or BACS.
If accepted – The £50.00 is off-set against the total move in costs.
If not accepted – The £50.00 will be refunded – Unless any false or misleading information has been given on the application form, if this can be proven, Winnie Tree are entitled to keep the £50.00 for time spent and costs occurred processing the application.
If you change your mind at any point after you have submitted your application – you will lose the £50.00 Reservation Fee.
During the processing of an application, the property will remain on the market and viewings will continue until you are accepted. The reservation fee paid will stop any further application been submitted against the property you currently have reserved.
An inventory is an essential document which provides a written, photographic and video record of the property and its contents at the beginning of the tenancy. Our inventory contains details in full on all fixtures, fittings and contents of the property and it will be checked after the tenancy expires. We will walk you through the Inventory on your Check-in Day, once completed you will be asked to sign the Inventory. If you find anything you would like to change or alter on the Inventory you will have 7 days to make any comments and re-sign.
At Winnie Tree Properties all of our tenancies are Assured Shorthold Tenancy. Assured Shorthold Tenancy is the most common type of tenancy agreement in the private sector. All of our tenancy paperwork has been written and is regularly updated by a residential letting solicitors and is available to be viewed by prospective tenants prior to committing to a tenancy.
What information is included in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement? In its simplest form a tenancy agreement is a legal binding contract between the landlord(s) and tenant(s), outlining all of the contractual obligations of both parties. In general, a tenancy agreement should include the following;
In addition to these rights, you also have responsibilities. If you don’t fulfil these, you may face eviction.
If there is more than one tenant named on the tenancy agreement, then those tenants are ‘joint and severally’ liable during the course of a tenancy agreement. This means that all of the tenants (and guarantors!) on the tenancy agreement are jointly responsible for all tenancy liabilities including rent or any breach of tenancy. For example, if one tenant is acting antisocially, all tenants are deemed to be acting antisocially. Similarly, if a tenant does not pay rent then all tenants (and guarantors) either individually or as a group can face debt recovery proceedings. If a tenant wishes to serve notice to end your tenancy you need to get the permission of the other joint tenants before doing so.
Alternatively, you can telephone the office on 01253 304309 or email the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond with 1 working day.
Please ensure that the problem is actually something that is the Landlord’s responsibility to rectify. If your heating is not working check your thermostat, check that the boiler is pressurised and check that the pilot light has not gone out (if there are no boiler instructions in the property these will be available online if you search for the boiler make/model number). If a contractor is called out for a problem which is deemed to be down to you, then you will be responsible for paying the contractor’s invoice.
For urgent issues call our out of hours contact number: 07375 104 013.
What is an Emergency?
It is our view that an emergency situation is when the incident is dangerous, life-threatening or may result in personal injury or a public liability claim or serious deterioration of the property. If you have an emergency situation, for example, water coming through the ceiling, we will endeavour to help you immediately.
Is the issue an emergency?
The landlord will only pay for contractors to attend to the property out of office hours in the event of emergencies. We deem an emergency to be placing tenants in danger or serious deterioration of the property. We expect our tenants to use common sense as to what is deemed an emergency.
Please note: If an emergency contractor attends unnecessarily you may be held liable for the costs involved. Please take the following actions before calling our emergency line.
If you smell gas or suspect a leak of suspect fumes are escaping from an appliance, call the Gas Emergency Services immediately on 0800 111 999 (24 hours). Open windows and doors and if necessary vacate the property. Do not turn on an electrical appliances or switches.
Check fuses have not blown, circuit breakers are in the ‘ON’ position and that there hasn’t been a general power cut in the area.
If you have a power cut, check to see if your neighbours are affected too.
Heating & Hot Water
The loss of heating and hot water is only deemed an emergency if the weather is extremely cold or you have a young baby in the property. If you think your boiler isn’t working properly, first check to see if the pilot light is on and, if you have a combination-boiler, check that the pressure is set between 1 and 2. The instruction manual will tell you how to re-light the pilot light and re-set the pressure if you suspect this is the problem. If you don’t have a manual to hand you can find these online by searching for the boiler make and model number.
For small leaks which can be caught in a container, please ensure that you put a bucket or similar container below the leak and remember to empty it regularly. Please then contact us during office hours. If you suffer a burst pipe or severe water leaking into the property you must firstly locate the stop cock and turn off the water. Mop up all surface water as quickly as possible to prevent damage.
Call the emergency number and we will then arrange a plumber to attend as soon as possible. If water is coming from an upstairs property, alert the occupants above immediately and ask them to shut off the source of the leak. If they are not in, leave them a note to contact you and call your local Environmental Health Department (01253 477477) and ask for the water ingress team.
For all other emergencies not listed above, please use common sense before calling. We will only respond to real emergencies that cannot wait until the next working day.
For EMERGENCY gas-related, boiler-related and plumber-related issues contact our out of hours contact number: 07375 104 013
CONDENSATION IS NOT DAMP! Condensation is created when a property is not ventilated well enough and becomes evident when there is a difference in temperature between inside and outside. It is a tenant’s responsibility to make sure condensation and mould do not build up in a property. Make sure you open your windows and doors to ventilate your property and don’t turn off the extractor fan in internal bath/shower-rooms. If you are concerned that mould in your property may be related to damp, please let us or your Landlord know ASAP and we’ll organise a damp specialist to survey the property to give us their professional opinion.
External maintenance and upkeep is normally the responsibility of the landlord. Similarly, if your property is within a factored development, the landlord may or may not cover the cost of communal costs such as stair cleaning / lift servicing / gardening. If your property has its own garden you are responsible for the upkeep of this.
Assuming your tenancy is within two months of the end of its initial period or the initial period has expired then you need to provide us with one months written notice to leave by emailing your property manager (if you don’t have your property manager contact details, please email email@example.com). If you are not within two months of ending your lease or you need to leave at shorter notice then still email us at the same email address. We will work with your landlord where possible to bring your lease to an end early and replace you with a new tenancy. The landlord cannot make you move out, nor can you legally walk away from your tenancy obligations without the necessary notice, however in some situations we can negotiate with both parties to end the tenancy early, on a mutually agreed date, in writing.
A landlord can give notice in writing at least 2 months before the end of the initial fixed term, or at any time afterwards, that they want possession of the property. There are specific grounds by which a landlord can seek possession of the property during the course of the tenancy – For further information on this, please contact us in the office – it can be a minefield if it’s not done correctly!
No way! The deposit is held against the property to cover damage and settle any outstanding amounts at the end of the tenancy. We are not able to touch the deposit until after the tenancy so if you don’t pay your last month’s rent the landlord will be out of pocket and will not be happy….and you will be in breach of your contract.
When your tenancy is over and you have vacated the property, we will carry out a ‘check out’ inspection where we assess the condition of the property at the end of your tenancy compared to the start of the tenancy, by using the inventory – you are invited to attend. If any cleaning or work is required at the property, then you will be notified and the necessary work ordered. Once the invoices come back from our contractors then we can notify My|Deposits our deposit scheme provider of the final balance (if any) to be billed against the deposit held. This process can take a couple of weeks but we do it as quickly as we can.