FAQs

Professional FAQs

Here at Aston Properties, we know how important and just how daunting house hunting can be. Armed with the right information, we aim to make the process as straightforward as possible for you. We've taken the time to answer many of the most popular questions that we are asked and to provide you with key pieces of information that we feel you should know. If by any chance we've missed anything that you would like to know about renting with us, don't hesitate to get in touch: 0113 293 6080 or info@astonproperties.co.uk.

How do I arrange a viewing?

You can either telephone us on 0113 2936080, e-mail us at viewings@astonproperties.co.uk or call into our office. We prefer to give our current tenants at least 24 hours notice of a planned viewing and often during busy times, many of our houses are pre-booked meaning we can show you round without delay. Wherever possible, we prefer to show your full group around the properties in one go as this causes less disruption to our current tenants.

Can I view on a Saturday?

We do offer viewings on a Saturday during busier periods and find these appointments to be very popular. Whilst we endeavour to meet everyone’s requirements and can often show you a selection of properties immediately, please call in advance to book your appointment if Saturdays are the only days you/your group are free in order to avoid disappointment.

We have viewed a property and love it, what next?  

In order to secure a property and take it off the market you will be asked to sign a tenancy agreement. You can come to our office and have a read through the paperwork or have a look online in our ‘Download’ section. When you are ready, you can sign up on the spot or make an appointment to suit you. Until we have a signed tenancy agreement we will continue with viewings of the property and treat it as still available to let.

What information do I need to bring with me when signing up?

You will be asked to complete some basic forms which ask for some personal information. Where possible, please bring with you:

  • Student Number (if applicable)
  • National Insurance Number
  • Bank details
  • Deposit

What do I have to pay?

All one and two bed properties require a deposit equal to one month’s rent. For large, shared properties of three or more bedrooms, you are required to pay a deposit of £200 per person. All deposits will be registered with a government recognised tenancy deposit scheme (see below for further details).

In addition to your deposit, there is an administration fee of £99 per person, payable on signing. If the property you like is 5 or more beds then there may also be a HMO Licence Fee of £30 to pay too.

If you cannot pay the entire amount straight away we may be able to arrange for payments to be made at a later date.

You do not need to pay any rent at the time of signing but we will require you to complete a direct debit mandate to authorise the rental payments to be collected when they become due.

The rental payments are taken in four equal instalments which will become due on: 22nd June, 1st October, 1st January and the 1st April for all standard 12 month agreements commencing on the 1st July.

Do you offer rental packages which include gas, electricity and water?

Yes we can arrange this for you.

What is a tenancy deposit scheme?

As of April 2007 the Government introduced deposit protection schemes to prevent landlords making unwarranted deductions from your deposit. Any landlords holding money as a deposit on behalf of their tenants have a legal obligation to protect it. We are happy to oblige with this and we use the The Dispute Service (TDS) to protect your deposit. More information about them is available from our office or by visiting their website: www.thedisputeservice.co.uk

What type of contract will I be signing?

You will be asked to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which will run for an agreed fixed term. This is a joint and several liability agreement which means you are all jointly responsible for the payment of rent for the property. To alleviate some of this responsibility from you and your housemates, we require each of you to have a guarantor.

What is a guarantor?

A guarantor is usually a parent or guardian that is in a position to pay your rent if you fail to do so. We understand that finances can sometimes be tight as a student and will offer flexibility wherever possible if you contact us in advance about any difficulties you may have with regards to rent payment. However, there may be an occasion where you are simply not able to pay and it is for this reason that you are required to have a guarantor. We will discuss this with you in more detail at the time of signing and send your nominated person all the information needed. Copies of all relevant guarantor information, including the forms they will be asked to sign are located in the ‘Download’ section of our website.

What is a house manager?

A house manager is usually the most responsible tenant in the house. Their job is to be our single point of contact during the tenancy for any maintenance issues, problems in the house and at the end of the tenancy the deposit is returned to that person. It is their responsibility to divide this sum as you all see fair. We will ask you to nominate your house manager or ‘responsible person’ at the time of signing your tenancy agreement.

How do I arrange payment of my utility bills?

When you move in to a property you must take meter readings for gas, electricity and water (where applicable). You then have to register all utilities in your name and that of your fellow housemates, and give the companies the readings you have taken. Further information detailing what to do and who to contact will be given to you at the time of moving in.

Do I need to arrange Insurance for my property?

Yes, you will need contents insurance for your own personal possessions. Many personal policies cover landlord’s property to a value of £5,000 which should be sufficient in the event of any accidental damage. The building is insured by the landlord.

What happens on the day I move in?

Providing we have received all previously requested documentation and rent for your group, keys for your property will be available from 1pm on the date your tenancy begins. For many of our properties, this will be the 1st July and inevitably it will be busy. With this in mind it may be easier to collect your keys on another day if that suits you. Alternatively, you may wish to collect all the keys for your group at one time as they can be released to just one tenant. This may be useful if you have housemates wanting to move in on a weekend when we may not be open.

Will I be given any useful information on the day?

Yes. We provide you with a welcome pack that contains a copy of your TDS certificate, useful information about how to look after your property and some general information about renting with us. We also provide you with an inventory.

What is an inventory?

An inventory is a list of all the fixtures and fittings in your house and their current condition. Your inventory forms part of your tenancy agreement and as such, we ask you to complete this and return a copy to us within 48 hours of keys being received. This is beneficial to both you and us as your inventory details the condition of the property at the time of you moving in. It will be referred to at the time of your deposit being returned so please take care when completing it.

I want to have a pet, am I allowed?

Unfortunately not. We find that pets cause unnecessary damage to the property whether it be from animal hair, odour or worse.

Am I allowed to paint my room?  

Please contact the office to discuss your requirements directly. Written permission needs to be obtained before you begin decorating. Please be advised that we do not allow any colours other  than magnoliaor white.  

I have a maintenance problem, who do I call?

We have recently put a maintenance section on our website to help you with some of the most common problems. You should find your answer there however if you do not then please call the office (0113 293 6080) or e-mail us at info@astonproperties.co.uk and we will help.

I am struggling to pay my rent on time this month, can anything be done?

Yes it can. We understand that times might be tight so we want to accommodate you as best we can. We will need to know your circumstances 3 working days prior to the direct debit being collected so we can amend the payment date to the middle of the month. If you fail to inform us and we cannot collect the rent a £40 charge will be added to your account.

Can I put a lock on my bedroom door?

Unfortunately not. Although we understand your desire for increased security, putting locks on internal doors is not something we can allow. Not only does it compromise your safety by affecting the fire retardant capabilities of the doors, it also creates licensing complications by creating a separate dwelling within the property. It is a clear condition of your tenancy that any internal locks are not permitted and will be removed by us at your expense should this become necessary.

When should I return my keys at the end of the tenancy?

All keys for the property need to be returned to Aston Properties by 11am on the last day of your tenancy. Please note that a charge will be incurred if these are late.

How do I get my deposit back?

To get your deposit back you need to provide Aston Properties with proof of payment of your final utility bills including gas, electric, water and council tax (proof of exemption is required for all student tenants). We also cannot repay a deposit when the tenancy is in rent arrears so please ensure everyone in your house has paid their rent. Make sure you also supply us with a forwarding address for the house manager as the deposit will go back to them.

Will I get charged if my housemate burns his/her carpet?

Technically yes but that depends on the house manager also. We will repay the deposit to the house manager who will have a breakdown of the charges. It is up to them to divide the amount depending on who occupied which room. Essentially the decision is down to the tenants.

How long does it take to repay my deposit?

It can take up to 4 weeks after receiving your final bills however we endeavour to return them as quickly as possible.

What if I don't agree on the amount?

You can write to Aston Properties stating what you disagree and why and we will review any charges. We want to be fair however we also want you to understand that if damage is done then charges will apply. If there is still a dispute then you can contact the TDS using the information on your certificate.

What is Aston Properties complaints procedure?

Customer Complaints Handling Procedure

As a firm accredited by the National Approved Letting Scheme, Aston Properties aims to provide the highest standards of service to all landlords and tenants, but to ensure that your interests are safeguarded, we offer the following;

  • If you believe you have a grievance please write in the first instance to Amanda Hurst at the address below;

Aston Properties

10 Ash Road

Headingley

Leeds

LS6 3JF

or

Email - info@astonproperties.co.uk

  • The grievance will be acknowledged within 3 working days and then investigated thoroughly in accordance with established “in-house” procedures. A formal written outcome of the complaint will be sent to you within 21 days. If we require longer than this timescale we will advise you in writing and confirm our revised response date.
  • If you remain dissatisfied with the result of the internal investigation, please contact Nichola Mckinna and she will review the complaint.
  • Following the conclusion of our in-house review we will write to you with a final written statement.
  • If you are still dissatisfied with the result of the in-house review of the complaint, you can refer the matter to the Property Ombudsman, Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2BP