Tenant’s Guide to Renting

Our forward thinking and dynamic company aim to make your property search as stress free and as “surprise free” as possible. The below guide is provided so that you know what to expect and when to expect it when you rent a property through Richardsons.

What are the benefits of renting a managed property?

An increasing number of tenants insist on renting only managed properties as this give them complete peace of mind that their financial and maintenance concerns for the property are looked after by a professional and member firm of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

We provide tenants with the benefit of a dedicated property manager to handle your day to day matters and a direct point of contact so that you have the reassurance that your issue will not be left unattended.

Aside to the hands on property management, we also offer protection to tenants that their deposit monies are held in a dedicated client deposit account and that they will receive their deposit back at the end of the tenancy, less any reasonable deductions should these be necessary. 

Look out for our “professionally managed rental properties” when browsing through our website.

When I have found my ideal property, how do I secure it so that it is taken “off the market”?

A holding deposit equivalent to one month’s rent (unless otherwise agreed) must be paid in cleared funds on agreement of an offer. The acceptance of this holding deposit is “subject to contract” and does not constitute an acceptance of the applicant by the landlord of the property or his agent, nor the granting of a tenancy.

The payment of this sum is by way of confirmation that you wish to enter into negotiations with the landlord via the agent and for the property to be taken off the market. Should you subsequently withdraw from the transaction your holding deposit will be refunded in full less any administration fees up to a maximum £250.00 should you withdraw your offer within 7 days from the deposit being paid. If you withdraw from the rental offer after this period you risk losing your deposit as the property has been taken off the market and the landlord will have lost the opportunity to let to another party. It is therefore essential that you are certain you wish to rent the property before you pay the holding deposit.

What happens next after I have paid my holding deposit, is a reference required?

We normally require two types of references being an “employer’s reference” and a “previous landlord’s reference”.

As a Richardsons tenant you will need to provide us with the relevant contact details so that we can obtain these references on your behalf. If there are any complications with the first two aforementioned references then we may also request a bank reference to confirm that you have sufficient finances in place to cover your rent obligation for the period of your tenancy agreement.

These references may be passed to our client (the landlord) so that they can make an informed decision on granting you a tenancy at their property.

You are responsible for any administration charges levied by your own bank in relation to obtaining a bank reference. Where we are expected to liaise with your bank or employer in order to obtain references we will charge an administration fee of £20.

Do I need to pay a rent deposit?

At this stage you will have already paid the holding deposit equivalent to one months rent to secure the property.

Subject to all references being satisfactory and the landlord’s approval to the references, you will then need to pay a rent and cleaning deposit (plus a utility deposit if it is a Spanish property) to be paid to Richardsons where we are managing the property on behalf of the landlord (some landlord’s ask for two months rent deposit).  This deposit is held by Richardsons as stakeholder between the landlord and tenant until the termination of the tenancy. The deposit will be refunded to you only when written authority is received from the landlord on expiry of your tenancy, normally within 15 working days from the expiry date.

Where Richardsons do not manage the property we will provide you with full contact details of the landlord or person appointed on behalf of the landlord to manage the property. The landlord is then responsible to refund this deposit to you on expiry of your tenancy agreement.

When do I get the keys to my new property?

At the same time as paying the rent deposit you will have signed the tenancy agreement which is a legally binding contract between you, as tenant, and the landlord.

As soon as the rent deposit has been received in cleared funds, the keys will be released to you and you can move into your new home. The holding deposit you paid at the beginning covers your first months rent, and the rent deposit is held as security that you will adhere to the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement contract until the end of your tenancy.

When do I pay the first months rent?

If you have received the keys to your property then you will have already paid the first months rent!

All you need to do now is make sure that the next months rent is paid on time and in advance of the due date specified within your tenancy agreement.

How can I pay my rent each month?

You can pay your rent via bank transfer on the rent payment date (usually the 1st day of every month) to our dedicated client bank account, or directly to the landlord should we not manage the property. This is the easiest and most effective way for paying your rent and ensures that your landlord receives their rent in a timely manner. You are responsible for any bank charges (if any) when rent or deposits are credited to our client account.

What happens if I pay my rent late?

Should you pay your rent late then you may be charged interest on the outstanding rent as this is a debt owed by you to the landlord. For managed properties, if an arrears letter needs to be sent to you by Richardsons to chase payment for your rent then you will also be charged an administration fee.

If you ever encounter a problem where you are unable to pay your rent on time then we strongly recommend that you communicate all matters directly to the landlord and or his agent prior to the payment due date. This will ensure that no legal action or unnecessary charges are levied against your account.

What happens at the start of my tenancy?

Before you move in to your property Richardsons will have prepared an inventory and schedule of condition (only for managed properties and on landlord’s request). This document will be handed to you when you sign your tenancy agreement and needs to be returned to Richardsons within 7 days from your tenancy start date with any comments or feedback that you have noted when you moved in. It is the responsibility of the tenant to check this document. Failure to return the inventory and schedule of condition within 7 days will automatically imply that you are in agreement with the contents of the document.

What happens at the end of my tenancy?

Richardsons will contact you approximately 40 days before your tenancy agreement is due to expire to request whether you wish to renew the contract for a new term. Any renewal is subject to landlord’s approval.

If you do not wish to renew, then we will send you a leaving letter which provides guidance for you to follow prior to the check-out. For example, cleaning the property, moving all items back to their original location specified within the inventory, pay utility bills and close accounts etc…  It is recommended that you leave all items in the original location specified in the inventory and that you organise for a professional cleaner to clean the property the day before you hand the keys back.

Check-out is at 12pm on the final day of your tenancy agreement. Richardsons will make an appointment with you or should this not be possible, when keys are handed back to us at 12pm on the final day, we will then undertake our check-out inspection and prepare a report for the landlord to advise on the condition of the property along with a review of the items detailed on the inventory and schedule of condition.

When will my rent deposit be returned?

Where Richardsons manage the property, your deposit will be refunded to you only when written authority is received from the landlord on expiry of your tenancy, normally within 15 working days from the expiry date.

Who will manage the property and who do I contact during the tenancy?

If your property is managed by Richardsons then please contact +350 200 79210 or email management@richardsons.gi.

At the start of the tenancy we will tell you who is responsible for managing the property. This is not always Richardsons. Where we are not managing the property we cannot authorise any repairs or maintenance or guarantee the speed at which repairs will be carried out. Where we are managing the property, we may have to obtain the landlord’s consent before proceeding with any repairs or maintenance items.

Where we manage a property and hold keys, we can usually provide access to contractors (with your permission). However where we do not hold keys or the contractor is not willing to collect keys, it is your responsibility to provide access.

Do I need to obtain insurance?

It is your responsibility to insure your own belonging throughout the tenancy agreement.

What administration fees do I have to pay?

Richardsons administration fees are as follows:

Issuing arrears letters - £50.00
Preparing Addendums to the tenancy agreement - £50.00

Any charges that remain outstanding at the end of the tenancy will be deducted from the deposit.

Who is responsible for utilities?

You are responsible to change the registered name for the payment of telephone, gas, water and electricity accounts at the property during your tenancy. It is your responsibility to notify the relevant companies and the local authority that you are moving into/out of the property.

Please note that utilities in Spain will normally stay in the landlord’s name. In this regard a utilities deposit may be required by some landlords.

Are pets allowed at rental properties?

Many developments in Gibraltar will not allow pets. Those that do require the pet to be chipped and registered in the Gibraltar veterinary clinic and are subject to the Management Company’s consent and for all rules and regulations to be adhered to. Pets in Spanish developments are less of a problem but it is best to check this at the very beginning prior to putting an offer in for any property.

Am I allowed to register my address at the property for schools and medical etc…?

It is important to establish whether you need the address for Gibraltar properties at the start of any negotiations as the regulations vary depending on the development or property you are looking to rent. Some properties do not permit tenant’s to register the property as their main address for ID cards, medical and schooling.

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