How much is the agency fee?
The agency fee is 40% + VAT of one months rent (48% inclusive of VAT). This fee takes the property off the market, covers all admin costs and drawing up the legal documentation such the tenancy agreement and deposit protection information. Click here to view a detailed breakdown of what your agency fee covers.
How often do you update your website? What is the best way to be kept up-to-date with new properties?
Our website is updated as soon as a new property is available which can be multiple times in one day. External sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla are a good way to keep updated with new properties, however, their updates are less frequent and slower to get to you than our mailing system. Registering on our website is the quickest way to receive new information about properties. You will receive text or email alerts automatically when a property that meets your requirements becomes available.
How quickly can I arrange a viewing?
We would recommend arranging appointments on average 3 days before you can view. The lettings market moves very quickly so we would not recommend arranging viewings too far in advance. We are required to give a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to going to a property if it is occupied. If a property is vacant then we may be able to arrange a viewing that same day.
What references will Abode wish to obtain before we can move into a property?
We obtain a minimum of three references. We will ask for references from your current landlord and employer and will also run a credit check on each applicant. When a landlord reference cannot be provided then we will require a character reference. We may ask for a reference from an accountant or require a Guarantor (if applicable) at no extra cost.
What is the length of the tenancy?
The majority of our tenancies are a minimum of 6 months, unless advertised as otherwise. A longer tenancy can often be signed if it suits both landlord and tenant.
Do I need insurance?
It is very sensible and highly recommended to get contents insurance that covers both accidental damage to the property, fixtures or fittings plus your own possessions both inside and outside the property (e.g. lap tops, phones, bikes).
Can I have a pet in my property?
Occasionally we might have a property that is pet-friendly. If a landlord agrees to having a pet at the property then a separate pet agreement is to be signed along with the tenancy agreement.
Is my deposit fully protected?
Yes, this is now a legal requirement. There are three main schemes- My Deposits, The Deposit Protection Service and The Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Abode ensures that the deposit is registered into one of these government-approved schemes. Please note that it is important to retain paperwork and keep any certificates or information that you have acquired as you may need this at the end of your tenancy.
What notice do you need to give to enter my property?
Unless there is an emergency or you have agreed or are aware of a lesser timeframe, a minimum of 24 hours notice is always given to conduct any works, inspections, viewings etc.
Are there any additional or other costs we need to be aware of?
Abode is one of the few agencies that have no hidden costs! We require an agency fee, deposit and first months rent- there are no separate costs for Guarantor checks, check-outs or inventories. When you move into a property please note that utilities, Council Tax and contents insurance are all payable to external providers. Please do not forget to take out insurance to cover all of your personal possessions and any accidental damage to either yours or the landlord's possessions.
Who is responsible for contacting the utility companies after I move in?
We will notify the utility companies (gas, electricity and water) that the previous tenants have vacated and will inform them of your tenancy start date. We will also contact Bristol City Council on your behalf. The utility providers and Council will get in touch with you to advise how to set up payments once you have moved in. We do strongly advise that you check with the utility providers that they have registered you - especially as you will be responsible for paying the bills.
How do I pay for my rent?
When you come to the office to sign your tenancy agreement, we will ask you to complete a standing order mandate which we will have previously drawn up. The rent is paid in monthly instalments in advance, unless previously agreed otherwise.
What do I need to bring with me when I collect my keys?
All you need to bring with you is your ID, your card details to complete the standing order mandate and the move-in monies (deposit and rent) if these have not been previously paid. Acceptable forms of ID are either your passport or your photographic driving license.
When will the rent leave my account?
For all properties managed by Abode, the standing order will be set up for the 1st of every month. For any properties that are managed by the landlord, the rent will be paid every month from the day that your tenancy starts.
How do I serve notice to vacate my property?
Once you have to come to the end of your fixed term you can either stay at the property on a monthly rolling basis or hand in your notice. All notices must be in written form (letter or email) and must be at least a full calendar month. For example, if you pay your rent on the 1st of every month and you wish to leave at the end of June, you must hand in your notice before the 31st May. In any property which is managed by the landlord you will need to contact them directly.
Can the landlord serve me notice?
If the landlord requires the property back after your fixed term, then they have to provide you with 2 full calendar months notice in line with your rent due date (as above).
How will my rent stop at the end of my tenancy?
Please make sure that you cancel your standing order at the end of your tenancy. You must contact your bank to do so. This is especially easy to do if you have internet banking.
What should I do with the keys at the end of the tenancy?
In a property managed by Abode, please hand in your keys to the office by midday on or before your tenancy end date. Put the keys in a clearly marked envelope with your name and address when putting them through the letterbox.
When is my deposit returned to me?
According to deposit schemes regulations an agent has 30 days to return the deposit. At Abode, we endeavor to return this within 10 working days to minimise any delay as we know how stressful moving home can potentially be.
How do I renew my contract?
At the end of your fixed term the tenancy automatically turns into a monthly rolling contract. If you are happy living there and you continue to pay your rent on time, then you do not have to do anything at all! You can sign for a further 6 or 12 month period if the landlord agrees but you will incur a small administration fee.
Do I need a professional cleaner? / How do I leave the property?
Abode would recommend instructing for a professional clean at the end of your tenancy. If you are confident that you can leave the property in a clean state without a professional clean, then this is also acceptable. Once you have vacated the property, your property manager will conduct a final check out to make sure everything is ready for the new tenant to move in. If further cleaning is required then this will be paid out of your deposit.
What internet can I have and how do I get it?
Abode work closely with Virgin Media and can get you special discounts and offers! When you find your perfect property you can indicate on your application form that you would like Virgin Media to get in touch with you to discuss these special offers. For any other internet provider, please get in touch with them directly to find out what best deals are out there. If you wish to install Sky always ask us first as a satellite dish may need to be erected.
Do I have to buy a TV license?
The short answer is yes. Anyone who watches live television on a TV, laptop, iPad or even on a phone is responsible for ensuring that the property is licensed to watch live TV. If you only watch catch-up or DVDs then a TV license is not required. Please contact TV licensing to inform them either way.
What redress schemes does Abode use?
ARLA (Association of Residential Letting and Managing Agents), BALMA (Bristol Association Letting and Managing Agents), Property Ombudsman LETTINGS (D01994). Abode Property Management are a member of the following client money protection scheme; NFOPP (National Federation of Property Professionals)