Assured Shorthold Tenancies are the most common type of residential tenancy agreement and will usually be for a term of 12 months. The main points are outlined below, but please consult your own tenancy agreement for specifics and take advice when necessary.
- What to do in an emergency.
For advice on what to do in the event of an emergency please refer to the guidence document -
- What to do if you need maintenance or repair work.
The Estate will be responsible for certain maintenance and repairs to your property and the specifics will depend upon the tenancy you have.
In the first instance it's a good idea to check your tenancy agreement before contacting us. This will provide you with the particular information for your property.
Please report maintenance and repair issues arising at your flat to the property manager responsible for your building. In the event that you have an emergency repair request outside of office hours you should contact our nominated contractors PACE (UK) Ltd.*
For further advice on what to do in the event that maintenance work is required please refer to the guidence document -
*Please note that PACE (UK) Ltd deal with emergencies in our London properties only. For Woburn properties please see www.woburnabbey.co.uk/property
- What happens when your tenancy is due to expire?
We will contact you three months prior to the expiry of your term to commence discussions regarding the possible renewal of your tenancy. Please feel free to contact your property manager at any time to discuss your requirements.
- Moving In and Out.
At the outset a note is made on the condition of the property and a list (inventory) of its contents will be drawn up for your approval before you move in. Your property will have a 'Resident's Pack' to welcome you to your new home. It will contain all the manuals and guidance you need to settle in.
You will be contacted before you are due to vacate to arrange a convenient time for your check-out. We ask all our tenants to arrange a professional clean of the property before they leave. Should you wish, we can put you in touch with a suitable company. An independent check-out clerk will go through a check-out list with you, reviewing the inventory created at the start of your occupancy and agreeing any repairs or replacements needed. Provided there is no damage to the property, we aim to release your deposit as soon as possible, ideally within 10 days. The Bedford Estates subscribe to ‘My Deposits’ Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
This section refers to leases granted originally for a term of more than 21 years, which can feature: a low rent (called 'ground rent'); and where the lessee is required to pay a service charge as a contribution to the repair, maintenance and management of the block.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for your general guidance. Regulation surrounding lease extensions is complex and therefore you should appoint a lawyer and a valuer to act on your behalf.
- How to make an insurance claim?
In the first instance, please contact the property manager responsible for your building.
It is important to note that no cover is provided for your personal contents or possessions. This must be separately arranged by the occupier.
For further information, please refer to The Bedford Estates Insurance Guide -
- What to do if you would like to extend your lease?
The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended) introduced the right for qualifying leaseholders of flats to acquire a 90 year lease extension on payment of a premium. The basic criteria for qualification are that your original lease should be a long lease at a low rent and that you should have been the leaseholder for at least 2 years at the time of your application for an extension. You should consult your solicitor for full advice as to whether you qualify - the Estate cannot advise you on this.
- The Estates requirements should you decide to alter your property.
- Most leases prohibit structural alterations and may permit other works with landlord’s consent. Many of the Estate’s buildings are listed and you may therefore need listed building consent and/or planning consent. We recommend that you consult the Estate’s Building Department about any proposed alterations early on in the process. Our experience of dealing with these buildings may be helpful and early discussion with us could save you abortive time and expense.Depending on the nature and extent of works proposed, the Estate’s consent (if granted) may be by exchange of letters or by formal licence. Provisions for reinstatement at the end of your lease may be included. The Estate's fees for handling your application are detailed below.
Guidance for Residents During COVID-19 Lockdown
Following the Government’s most recent statements about COVID-19, we are writing again to reassure you that we are taking all necessary measures to protect our residents, contractors and the wider community.
We have issued our Contractors* with letters of authority so that they can carry out emergency maintenance and works during this period. If you have any concerns about allowing access to your property for any vital work, please contact your Property Manager**
Whilst we focus on ensuring that all our buildings are safe and that vital services can continue, we thought it helpful to provide some guidance on things that you could consider whilst remaining at home or self-isolating.
1) Make sure your smoke and CO2 detectors are in working order.
2) To reduce the risk of blockages: Do not allow food waste or kitchen grease to enter the drains via the kitchen sink and your dishwasher; Do not put large waste items down the toilet (e.g. sanitary towels, disposable nappies, wet wipes, etc.); Consider regular routine maintenance, such as pouring boiling water down plug holes, running appliances on a hot cycle and using a drain cleaning product.
3) If your fuse box ‘trips’ we advise that in the first instance you attempt to reset the fuse board. Should this fail then please unplug any personal electrical items that may be causing the fault and reset the fuse board again. If the problem continues and you are satisfied that all personal electrical items are unplugged, then please phone the appropriate maintenance number.
4) If you experience loss of water, please check whether the problem is isolated to your flat, your building or the street by checking with your neighbours. No water to the building and immediate area will most likely be due to Thames Water turning off the supply and this can be checked by telephoning 0845 9200 800.
5) If you detect a strong smell of gas you should notify Transco immediately on 0800 111 999.
6) Ensure refuse and recycling are in the correct bags and secure from spillage
7) If leaving the property for a few weeks let us know and ensure everything is switched off including taps, food which will reach its sell by date before returning is removed.
8) If you are able, please offer your support to elderly and vulnerable neighbours. A simple telephone call to check up on them could make such a difference
SIMPLE MEASURES TO MAINTAIN WATER HYGIENE STANDARDS:
1) Make sure cold water coming out of cold outlets is cold and not tepid.
2) Flush through any showers and taps in the property at least two minutes every week (especially in guest rooms or bathrooms where they may not be used frequently) with very hot water. Keep clear of the water flow whilst doing this. If you are not in occupation, please arrange for someone to do this on your behalf.
3) Clean the shower heads periodically, descale and disinfect it. This should be done at least every six months.
And finally, if you have worries or concerns about your ability to pay your rent or service charge because of COVID-19, please contact your Property Manager in the first instance and we will be happy to discuss this matter further.
WHO TO CONTACT:
ADDITIONAL USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS:
National Grid (gas leaks) 0800 111 999
Thames Water (no water supply) 0845 9200 800
Thames Water (leak) 0800 714 614
Camden Council 020 7278 4444
Police (non-urgent) 101
APPROVED CONTRACTORS WITH LETTERS OF AUTHORITY*:
Admiral Pest Control