Letting Terms and Conditions
These terms and conditions, together with the information that you provide us through our website, forms the basis on which you agree to appoint and HouseSimple.com agrees to act as your lettings/management agent to provide the Services in respect of the Property (such terms as defined below) (the “Agreement”). Please note that you confirm your acceptance of these terms and conditions by ticking the “accept terms and conditions” box on our website and then clicking the “submit” button.
In these terms and conditions the following words and phrases shall, unless the context otherwise requires, have the following meanings:
"Calendar Day" or "day" means any day of the year, including Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays.
"Deposit" the deposit payable by the Tenant in respect of the Tenancy (as set out in the Tenancy Agreement);
“HouseSimple.com” means Housesimple Limited (a company registered in England and Wales with company number 7622707) and any reference to 'we’, ‘us’, or ‘our’ is a reference to HouseSimple.com;
“Home Visit” means the visit to the Property made by your local HouseSimple.com representative following your acceptance of the terms and conditions;
“Landlord” means the beneficial owner(s) of the Property or person(s) with authority of the beneficial owner(s) of the Property to rent the Property and any reference to ‘you’ or ‘your’ is to the Landlord;
“Optional Services” means any optional services available for purchase from us, including without limitation, the "Rent Collection" Services for which an additional £15 is payable upfront in advance following payment of the Upfront or Pay As You Go Fees;
“Optional Services Fees” means fees payable upfront in advance for the purchase of any Optional Services selected by you for purchase;
"Pay As You Go” means the weekly fee of £29 payable to us by you for our marketing of the Property on our website for 7 consecutive days at a time as part of our provision of Services to you;
"Pay Upfront" means the fixed fee of £95 payable to us by you for our marketing of the Property on our website for a period of three months as part of our provision of Services to you;
“Property” means the freehold or leasehold property to be let together with all fixtures, furniture, appliances and effects;
“Tenant” means any tenant or tenants of the Property introduced by HouseSimple.com;
“Tenancy” means the period that the Tenant remains in occupation of the Property;
"Tenancy Agreement" has the meaning given in the corresponding clause below;
“Relevant Person” means the person who paid the Deposit or any part of it on behalf of a Tenant.
“Repairing Standard” means a level of repair of the Property which all private rental accommodation must reach in Scotland. To meet the Repairing Standard, the Property must be wind and watertight and fit to live in (in accordance with the Tolerable Standard), the structure and exterior of the Property must be in reasonable condition, the installation of the supply of water, gas, electricity, heating must be in a reasonable state of repair and in proper working order, any fixtures, fittings or appliances provided by the landlord (e.g. carpets, light fittings, white goods and household equipment) must be in a reasonable state of repair and working order and the Property must be fitted with suitable fire detection devices.
“Services” means the lettings agency services to be provided by HouseSimple.com as set out in these terms and conditions being our “Tenant Finding Service” (being the full range of letting services offered by us but excluding the Once Let Services), or the Services you select as part of our "Standard Service" (whether including some or all of the Once Let Services or otherwise);
“Scheme” means an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme (set up in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 and operated under a service concession agreement with the government) administered by The Dispute Service Limited;
“Stakeholder” means a person or body who holds the Deposit at any time from the moment it has been paid by the Tenant until its allocation has been agreed by the parties to the Tenancy Agreement, or determined by the ADR process, or ordered by the court;
“Statutory Time Limit” means the time limit set out in the Housing Act 2004 (as amended) in which the initial requirements of the Scheme must be met, and prescribed information must be provided to the Tenant and any Relevant Person;
"Tenant's Information Pack" means a standardised pack which provides information to a tenant in privately rented housing in Scotland. It contains information and documentation relating to the Property condition, tenancy agreement and rights and responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.
“Tolerable Standard” means a level of repair of the Property which all private rental accommodation must reach in Scotland. To meet the tolerable standard, the Property must be structurally stable and not have a bad problem with rising or penetrating damp, adequate ventilation, natural or artificial light or heating, adequate supply of fresh water, the Property must have an inside toilet, bath or shower and a sink with hot and cold water, good drainage and sewerage system, electrical supply, satisfactory cooking facilities (which does not include providing a cooker).
“Upfront Fee” means any upfront fees payable to us by you from time to time for the purchase of any additional products/services which are not covered by the Services you have selected to purchase from us;
“Working Day” means a day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday in England and Wales.
Unless the context otherwise so requires, references to statutory provisions include those statutory provisions as amended or re-enacted, references to any gender includes all genders and the singular shall include the plural and vice versa.
In entering into the Agreement, you hereby warrant that you have the necessary authority, power and capacity to do so and that:
a) you are either the beneficial owner of the Property or have the authority from the beneficial owner to rent out the Property on these terms;
b) you have the right to rent out the Property under the terms of your mortgage or head lease and, where necessary, have been granted permission to do so by your mortgage lender or landlord; and
c) you are not acting in a professional capacity as an estate agent or on behalf (whether as an employee, agent or otherwise) of an estate agency.
We reserve the right to request proof to verify either of the points above.
Pay As You Go Fee and Pay Upfront Fees
For the provision of marketing Services, you have the option to pay either a Pay As You Go Fee or a Pay Upfront Fee.
Subject to these terms and conditions the Pay As You Go Fee, when applicable, is a non-refundable charge that shall be paid weekly on an ongoing basis once your Property advert goes live. Your Property will be marketed on property portals for a period of 7 days for each weekly payment that is collected by us, The Pay As You Go Fee can be cancelled at any time and your Property will be marketed for the remaining days your last Pay As You Go Fee payment covered.
Subject to these terms and conditions, the Pay Upfront Fee, where applicable, is a non-refundable charge that shall be paid in advance. Your Property will be marketed on property portals for the shorter of three months or until it is let. It is not possible to suspend your period of marketing at any time where the Pay As You Go Fee option has been selected.
Where you have opted for a Service which includes Optional Services then, in addition to the Upfront Fees, Pay As You Go or Pay Upfront Fees, the Optional Services Fees will be due in one single upfront payment.
You may purchase Optional Servies at any time during a Tenancy of your Property on request to us.
Only one discount code may be applied per Property and must be entered when first registering the Property. Discount Codes cannot be applied to the same Property within any 6 month period or to any invoices or fees paid retrospectively.
If any invoice payable to us remains unpaid more than 10 Calendar Days following the due date for payment, we reserve the right to charge interest, calculated daily from the due date for payment until payment is made at 3% (three percent) per annum above the base rate of Barclays Bank PLC (or, if higher, at the rate provide for under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 and its regulations (if applicable)) until payment is made in full both before and after any judgment. If we need to use legal representatives or collection agents to recover monies due, you will be required to pay all costs and disbursements that we incur relating to your late payment.
Where your Property is located in Scotland
If the Property you wish to rent is located in Scotland, there are a number of steps you are required to take prior to us being able to market your Property:
1) Register with the local council where your Property is located and submit evidence to us, to our reasonable satisfaction, of this before we will be able to start marketing and letting your Property.
2) You will need a multiple occupancy licence (HMO) if:
i) you want to rent your Property out to 3 or more tenants; or
ii) none of the tenants are related or part of the same family.
3) If you are an accredited landlord in Scotland then please provide us with evidence of your accreditation.
4) As set out below any tenant deposits for Scottish Properties registered by HouseSimple.com will be registered with mydeposits Scotland.5) If requested, provide us with evidence to our reasonable satisfaction, that you have consent from any mortgage lender (if applicable) to rent the Property and sufficient buildings, contents or property liability insurance cover in place before we start marketing and letting your Property.
6) Provide the Tenant with a Tenant's Information Pack which you shall make available to the Tenant on or before their moving in day.
7) If requested, provide us with evidence to our reasonable satisfaction, that the Property meets the Repairing Standard and the Tolerable Standard.
Where your Property is located in Wales
HouseSimple.com are a full licence holder under rent smart Wales and are accredited to let and assist with the management of you Property which is situated in Wales.
You are not permitted to pass, for their use or on your behalf, any login details we supply to you as part of the Services, to any person who acts in a professional capacity, including but not limited to estate agents or letting agent.
CANCELLATION AND EFFECTS OF CANCELLATION
Right to Cancel during the 14 day cooling off period
You have the right to cancel this Agreement within 14 days without giving any reason.
The cancellation period will expire after 14 days from the day of the conclusion of the Agreement.
To exercise the right to cancel, you must inform us HouseSimple.com at The Octagon, Middleborough Rd, Colchester, C01 1TG, on 0330 111 0070 or through our website of your decision to cancel this Agreement by a clear statement (e.g. a letter sent by post, fax or e-mail). You may use the attached model cancellation form, but it is not obligatory.
To meet the cancellation deadline, it is sufficient for you to send your communication concerning your exercise of the right to cancel before the cancellation period has expired.
You may request that the Services commence during the cancellation period. If you subsequently exercise your right to cancel during the cancellation period you shall pay us an amount which is in proportion to the Services provided to you until you have communicated to us your right to cancel. For the avoidance of doubt, the advert going live shall represent an express request for Services to commence.
Any tenant deposits registered by HouseSimple will be registered with mydeposits Scotland.
Deposits (England and Wales)
Assured Shorthold Tenancy Deposits
If a Tenant pays a deposit in connection with an assured shorthold tenancy (“AST”) the Deposit must, from the moment it is received, be dealt with in accordance with a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme.
The Landlord must give the Tenant and any Relevant Person ‘prescribed information’ about the Deposit and comply with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme within the Statutory Time Limit.
HouseSimple.com are a member of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, which is a government-authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme, administered by:
The Dispute Service Limited
PO Box 1255
Herts HP1 9GN
Phone: 0845 226 7837
Fax: 01442 253193
If HouseSimple.com receive an AST deposit on your behalf, we will serve the prescribed information and comply with the initial requirements of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme on your behalf, unless you give us prior written instructions to the contrary before we receive the Deposit.
If you do not want us to protect the Deposit on your behalf, it will be your responsibility to protect it as required by law. A valid notice seeking possession under s21 of the Housing Act 1988 cannot be served on a Tenant whose deposit is not protected. A Tenant or any Relevant Person may apply through the courts for compensation of at least the amount of the Deposit, and up to three times the Deposit, if the Landlord (or someone acting on the Landlord’s behalf):
a) fails to give prescribed information within the Statutory Time Limit; or
b) fails to comply with the initial requirements of an authorised scheme within the Statutory Time limit; or
c) notifies the Tenant or Relevant Person that the Deposit has been protected in a Scheme, but the Tenant or Relevant Person cannot obtain the scheme’s confirmation that the Deposit is protected.
If you do not give us written instructions that you want to make your own arrangements for Deposit protection, we will hold Deposits relating to your Properties under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. We must comply with the rules of the Scheme, and this means that we will not be able to act on your instructions with regard to the Deposit if those instructions conflict with the Scheme rules.
The Scheme rules are available to view and download from www.tds.gb.com. A very important point for you to bear in mind is that we must hold the Deposit as “Stakeholder”. This means that we can only pay money from the Deposit if:
a) both Landlord and Tenant (and any Relevant Person) agree; or
b) the court orders us to do so; or
c) the Tenancy Deposit Scheme directs us to do so.
During the Tenancy
We will hold the Deposit as Stakeholder in our client account (separate from the money we use to run our business). Interest earned on the Deposit will belong to the person entitled to it under the Tenancy Agreement
If the Tenancy Deposit Scheme directs us to send the Deposit to them, we must do that within 10 days of receiving their direction. The Scheme will not normally direct us to send them the Deposit unless there is a dispute about how it is to be paid at the end of the tenancy.
Where there is NO dispute about the Deposit at the end of the tenancy
At the end of an AST we will liaise with you to ascertain what (if any) deductions you propose to make from the Deposit, or have already agreed with the Tenant. We will help you to try and resolve any areas of dispute within a reasonable time obtaining quotations, estimates or arranging contractors on your behalf in accordance your instructions.
Once you and the Tenant have agreed how the Deposit should be allocated, we will ask you both to confirm your agreement in writing. We will then pay the Deposit according to what you have agreed, within 10 days of receiving confirmation of agreement from you and the Tenant(s). We cannot pay until we have the Tenant’s agreement. If you have joint Tenants, all of them must agree.
Where there IS a dispute about the Deposit at the end of the tenancy
You must use reasonable efforts to reach a sensible resolution to the dispute as soon as practicable after the Tenancy ends.
A Tenant can ask us to repay the Deposit at any time after the Tenancy has ended. You must agree to us releasing promptly any part of the Deposit that does not need to be held back to cover breaches of the Tenancy Agreement. We will take your instructions at the time regarding the amount to be withheld.
If the Tenant asks us to repay some or all of the Deposit, and we do not do so within 10 days from and including the date of the Tenant’s request, the Tenant can notify the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The Scheme will then direct us to pay the disputed amount to the Scheme. We have 10 days, from and including the date we receive the Scheme’s direction, to send in the money.
If we protect a Deposit with the Scheme on your behalf, you hereby authorise us to pay to the Scheme as much of the Deposit as the Scheme requires us to send.
We will contact you to keep you informed, but we will not need to seek your further authority to send the money to the Scheme.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will review the Tenant’s claim and decide whether it is suitable for independent alternative dispute resolution. Usually, this will take the form of adjudication, but it may involve assisted negotiation or mediation. “Alternative” in this context means an alternative to court proceedings. It is intended to be a faster and more cost-effective way of resolving disputes. The Scheme does not make a charge to Landlords or Tenants for using the alternative dispute resolution service if it relates to an AST.
If the Tenant’s claim is referred for alternative dispute resolution, we and you will be invited to accept or contest the claim. You must notify the Scheme whether you agree to submit the dispute for alternative dispute resolution within 10 Working Days from (but not including) the date of the Scheme’s communication to you. If you do not respond to the Scheme by the deadline, you will be treated as having given your consent to alternative dispute resolution.
Agents and Landlords are permitted to refer a dispute about a Deposit to the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If you or we refer a Deposit dispute to the Scheme, the Scheme will contact the Tenant to confirm whether the Tenant will agree to alternative dispute resolution. If there are joint Tenants, all the joint Tenants must agree. A Tenant who does not reply to the Scheme is NOT deemed to consent to alternative dispute resolution. If the Tenant (or all joint Tenants) do not agree to alternative dispute resolution, and do not agree to the Deposit deduction(s) you claim, you will need to begin court proceedings if you wish to pursue your claim.
If the parties agree to adjudication, the adjudicator’s decision is final and there is no right of appeal. Further information about adjudication is available free to download from www.tds.gb.com.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will pay the disputed amount to the person(s) entitled within 10 days beginning on the date the Scheme receives notice of (a) the adjudicator’s decision or (b) an order from the court that has become final or (c) an agreement being reached between you and the Tenant(s).
If you order any work to be done at the property before a dispute has been resolved, you do so at your own risk. There is no guarantee, if you incur expense, that a dispute will ultimately be resolved in your favour.
Consent to use personal information
When you agree to use our Services, you agree that we may use information you give us, including information about yourself, for the purposes of performing our obligations to you.
You agree that we may supply such information as is reasonably required to the Scheme. You agree that the Scheme, or the government department responsible for the Scheme, may contact you from time to time to ask you to participate in surveys. If at any time you do not with the Scheme to contact you for that purpose, you should write to the Scheme as explained in the Scheme Leaflet (see www.tds.gb.com).
Our duty to provide correct and complete information
When you agree to use our Services, you guarantee that all the information you provide to us is complete and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. You agree to inform us immediately if it comes to your attention that any information was incorrect.
If we suffer any loss or incur any cost because information you have given us is or was incomplete and/or incorrect, you agree to pay us the amount necessary to put us in the position we would have been in if the information had been complete and correct. This clause does not relieve us of our own obligation to use reasonable skill and care in providing our Services to you, or to take reasonable steps to keep our losses and costs to a minimum once we realise that there is a problem.
Where the tenancy is not an AST
The Deposit does not have to be protected by law. However, the Tenancy Deposit Scheme will make its independent alternative dispute resolution service available to you as our client, because we are a member of the Scheme.
If a dispute arises you, we or the Tenant will contact the Scheme. Then:
a) the Scheme will propose what they consider to be the most effective way of resolving the dispute (assisted negotiation, mediation, adjudication or arbitration);
b) you, we and the Tenants must consent in writing to the proposed method if we all want to proceed (if we don’t, the options are to negotiate or litigate);
c) the parties will have to pay a fee of £600 (or such other minimum fee as the Scheme may set from time to time) or 10% of the Deposit, whichever is the larger amount.
The Scheme will not start the dispute resolution process until all parties have agreed in writing to use the Scheme and paid the applicable fee and the disputed deposit to the Scheme.
Where you instruct us that you do not want us to protect an AST Deposit
If the Deposit relates to an AST and you decide to hold the Deposit yourself, you must tell us before the Tenancy Agreement is signed. We will notify you of the date we receive the Deposit and aim to transfer the Deposit to you within 5 days of receiving it. By law you must then register the Deposit with an authorised tenancy Deposit protection scheme within 30 days of the date we received it. You must also give the Tenant(s) and any Relevant Person ‘prescribed information’ about the Deposit. If you do not do both these things within 30 days of us receiving the Deposit, the Tenant or any Relevant Person can take legal action against you. The court can make an order stating that you must pay the Deposit back to the Tenant, or lodge it with the custodial scheme run by the Deposit Protection Service. The court will then also order you to pay compensation to the Tenant of between one and three times the amount of the Deposit.
By law, you may not serve a notice seeking possession under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 notice until you have served the prescribed information. If you have not complied with the initial requirements of an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme, you cannot serve a s21 notice until you have returned the Deposit (or the agreed balance of it) to the Tenant or court proceedings relating to the return of the Deposit have been disposed of.
If you instruct us that you do not want us to protect an AST deposit, we shall not be liable to you for any loss suffered or cost incurred if you fail to comply with your obligations to protect the Deposit and give prescribed information. You must pay us on demand for any loss or inconvenience suffered or cost incurred by us if you fail to comply with those obligations. This clause will not apply if the reason for your failure is because we failed to send you the Deposit within 20 days of receiving it.
If there is more than one Landlord, any of you will be able to participate in alternative dispute resolution. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme does not accept liability to any one or more joint Landlords for acting on the instructions of any other joint Landlord. The Tenancy Deposit Scheme does not accept directions from joint Landlords to deal only with instructions agreed unanimously by joint Landlords. If you want all decisions to be made jointly, this is something that should be agreed between the Landlords. It will then be a matter for the Landlords to resolve among themselves if one or more of them have not complied with that agreement.
TENANCY DEPOSITS OTHER THAN AST DEPOSITS
At the commencement of the Tenancy, we will collect the Deposit, together with the initial rent payable (if any), where you have instructed us to do so. We will ensure that the Deposit is protected in a ring-fenced account and declared with an officially recognised Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the duration of the Tenancy, where we have been instructed by you to provide this service.
Deposit protection will continue for the life of the tenancy; you must notify us in writing to ensure that any extension required to this period is reflected on the appropriate tenancy database, or else the Deposit will not be protected beyond the end of the Tenancy. We must be notified in writing well in advance of any updates needing to be recorded on the tenancy database.
Deposit protection will continue for the life of the Tenancy; you must notify us in writing to ensure that any extension required to this period is reflected on the appropriate tenancy database, or else the Deposit will not be protected beyond the end of the Tenancy. We must be notified in writing well in advance of any updates needing to be recorded on the tenancy database.
There is an additional charge for a "same terms" statutory periodic tenancy continuation at the end of any fixed term Tenancy.
It is important that the Tenancy Deposit Protection Certificate replicates the Tenancy Agreement precisely, including any changes to it. If the registered Tenancy is extended in any other than a statutory periodic Tenancy, then you must notify us in writing for the tenancy database to be updated, and this will generate a further charge being due and payable to us.
We shall conduct negotiations with the Tenants introduced by us unless you request otherwise.
"To Let" Board
If as part of the Services selected you are to receive a ‘To Let’ board, you agree that its maintenance is your responsibility while it is in your possession. It is your responsibility to re-erect it if it is affected by weather conditions or by a third party. We are not liable for the loss, theft or any damage to the ‘To Let’ board provided or any damage the ‘To Let’ board may cause (to the extent permitted by law). There is a charge of £35 if an additional ‘To Let’ board is required to be sent to you.
HouseSimple.com will not send any direct marketing communications where you have chosen to opt-out of receiving these.
By registering your details with us, you consent to being contacted directly by HouseSimple.com with reference to any offers and promotions with updates about your property and/or our Services as well as details of any other relevant or related products and services.
Housesimple may share client data with third parties to perform services (including user profiling) on our behalf, however please note this will not permit such third parties to market directly to You. We will otherwise not pass on any client data to any third parties without consent.
Advertising, Photography and the Website
You authorise us to advertise details of the Property (including, without limitation, the address of the Property, its photographs and plans) on our website, partner websites, magazines and newspapers and in any other such media as we deem in our sole discretion reasonable in order to successfully rent out of the Property.
We guarantee that the Property will be listed for rent on the HouseSimple.com website (www.housesimple.com). Third party website portals are subject to change, may not be controlled by HouseSimple.com and we cannot therefore always guarantee continued presence on these websites. It is, however, our policy to maintain, expand and improve our property portal networks at all times.
The use of a Rightmove Premium product requires continual marketing. In the event that you deactivate your advert for any period the Rightmove Premium will be lost and you will be liable to pay a further fee to reactivate this.
Photography and any media we create will remain the property of HouseSimple.com unless otherwise purchased by you for £115.
It is your responsibility to ensure that the Property is in a fit state to be photographed. For insurance purposes our photographers are not permitted to rearrange items within the Property. You must therefore please ensure that it is tidied and suitably arranged before the Home Visit.
In the case when we utilise photography provided by you as well as, or instead of, our own photography it must be:
• Owned by you or you have permission to use it and have the authority to authorise us to use it;
• It must be of the said Property; and
• Representative of the Property's current condition.
You may not upload any corporate or other logo, image or brand identifier to your Property description or include the same in any image you submit to us.
You may not use enquiries gained through our website to generate interest or further enquiries by any means or method for Properties not listed through us.
We reserve the right to remove the Property advert and cancel the Agreement if we are unable to make contact with you for a period of one month or if you unreasonably refuse to facilitate viewings of the Property.
We reserve the right to terminate the Agreement at any time on the provision of 60 days prior written notice to you for any reason.
Further we reserve the right to immediately terminate this Agreement at any time on provision of written notice in the event that you breach any of its terms.
If you cancel or rearrange the home visit on less than 24 hours’ prior notice then we reserve the right to charge our reasonable costs in rescheduling.
All our fees, costs and charges are inclusive of VAT (currently 20%). Where VAT is applicable, this is payable to us, regardless of whether you live in the UK or elsewhere.
If you are a Tenant or lessee you must make certain that (i) the intended unfurnished/furnished letting is permitted by your lease; (ii) the unfurnished/furnished Tenancy is for a period expiring prior to the termination of your lease; and (iii) your superior Landlord’s written permission, if necessary, has been obtained for sub-letting. If in doubt, refer to the lease or Tenancy Agreement.
Where the Property is subject to a mortgage(s), permission is normally required from the mortgagee(s) to sub-let in writing, at the earliest date. Please note that applying for permission after a Tenant has been found could prejudice the tenancy.
Fixtures and Fittings
You hereby agree to make the Property available in good, clean, safe and able to let condition. You are expected to ensure that all equipment, electrical or otherwise, provided with the Property is fully operational and serviced at the commencement of a tenancy (whether in compliance with your statutory responsibilities or otherwise).
You must ensure that the building and contents insurance cover of the Property is adequate and that the policy covers furnished lettings. Please note that many household insurances policies do not provide such cover.
If you select the Optional Service for an inventory check-in, check-out or full inspection to be prepared / carried out, we can instruct Independent Inventory clerks, yet we cannot accept liability for any error or omission on their part, since they are not in our employment. The charges for the production of the inventory and the check-in fee vary dependent on size of the Property and whether it is let furnished or unfurnished. Quotations supplied on request.
We will provide a template tenancy agreement to act as the contract between you and the Tenant for the duration of the Tenancy ("Tenancy Agreement"). If you wish to instruct your own solicitors (either to review the Tenancy Agreement which we produce or to draft a separate agreement on your behalf) then you will be responsible for the costs of doing so.
We will take up references as required in respect of your prospective tenants (including negotiating credit reference agencies or seeking references from employers, banks or guarantors (as appropriate)). Details of the results will be made available to you and it is ultimately at your discretion (subject to any contrary instructions which we may from time to time receive) whether you wish to proceed with the tenancy.
The cost of our credit reference checks will be charged to the Tenant unless you instruct us otherwise.
If you choose not to continue with a prospective tenant based on the result of this reference check then we shall not be liable to you for any fees previously paid to us. HouseSimple.com cannot guarantee the result of any reference checks.
'Right to Rent' Checks
It is your obligation as landlord to check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your residential Property in England if their tenancy starts on or after 1 February 2016. Rent checks are the responsibility of you. HouseSimple.com are unable to carry out these checks on your behalf.
If you are resident overseas and you ask us to collect rent on your behalf, then we are obliged to deduct tax (at the basic rate) to cover any tax liability arising thereon unless and until you obtain an Approval Certificate from HMRC which authorises you to receive such rents gross. It is your responsibility to provide us with your Approval Certificate from HMRC as soon as possible and we will then not deduct the tax on your behalf.
If you do not apply or are not issued with an Approval Certificate then we may charge an administration fee for forwarding money to HMRC and for any further work which we are requested to undertake by you or a third party (including any one authorised to act on your behalf or HMRC).
We shall not be liable to refund any money which we are so obliged to forward to HMRC (whether while you are awaiting an Approval Certificate or otherwise) and any such requests should be made of HMRC directly.
Where a rent collection Optional Service is required by you, you must submit to HouseSimple.com your HMRC approval number so that we do not deduct tax on your behalf.
We undertake to comply with the terms of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (“CPRs”) where that Act relates to our appointment as your lettings/management agent.
We are not aware of any personal interest existing between us or anyone in our employ or any connected person(s) and you, unless specifically stated elsewhere. If you are or become aware of such an interest you should notify us immediately.
Under the CPRs it is a criminal offence for an agent to make inaccurate or misleading statements about your Property (be they written or verbal), including through the Property description, adverts and other marketing, photographs and floor plans. This includes anything that might give the wrong impression about a Property and includes omitting facts. To this end:
a) you are responsible for providing us with accurate information about the Property and must tell us immediately if there is any inaccuracy or misleading information in our property description, adverts or any other information that we provide to prospective Tenants and/or their representatives about the Property. We will ask you to verify certain information and require you to assist us to the best of your knowledge, having made reasonable enquiries where necessary;
b) you will be responsible for any additional costs incurred by us to ensure that the circulation of incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information is rectified and hereby indemnify us, our employees and agents in respect of any losses, damages, expenses or other such costs incurred or for which we may be held liable which arise from you providing us with incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information or any failure by you to provide us with the necessary information regarding the Property as and when you become aware of it;
c) you shall inform us immediately of any changes in the information that you provide in respect of the Property; and
d) we reserve the right not to publish any information that you provide.
All information on our website and provided to potential Tenants directly cannot be guaranteed and does not form part of any contract.
We are subject to the Money Laundering Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Terrorism Act 2000 and Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the “Legislation”). As a result:
a) we reserve the right to ask you for such information as we require to comply with the Legislation to verify your identity (or the identity of the person / entity that you represent), which must be received before we can proceed with any work on your behalf;
b) we reserve the right to terminate our relationship with you if, when requested to provide such information, you fail to do so or we consider that the evidence provided is insufficient to discharge our obligations under the Legislation (or such similar legislation as is in force from time to time); and
c) you acknowledge that we may also be required to provide information to the relevant authorities without prior notification or any liability to you if we know or have a reasonable reason to suspect that you (or the person / entity that you represent) are involved in money laundering or terrorist financing.
Client Money Accounts
Where you have selected to purchase rent collection services, all client money will be held in a designated client account separate from owner business accounts.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with all applicable statutory requirements including, without limitation, the following:
a) Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (which oblige you to have all gas appliances inspected annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer and provide copies if the Landlord has Safety Certificate to us and the Tenant (from time to time) or to any new Tenant before they move in);
b) Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 1994, the Plugs and Sockets etc. (Safety) Regulations 1994 and the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (which oblige you to ensure the safety of electrical appliances and all wiring and plugs and sockets in the Property, that the electrical supply is “safe” and will not cause “danger” and that it complies with all statutory requirements) From 1 January 1997 all new electrical appliances must carry a "CE" mark and instruction booklets or clear working instructions must be provided; and
c) Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989, 1993 and 2010) (which oblige you to ensure that all soft furnishings in the Property which are included in the letting or provided during the course of the tenancy comply with all statutory requirements and, in particular, are fire safety compliant); and
d) The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. It is a legal requirement for smoke alarms to be fitted on each storey of a rented Property. The alarms must be in full working order. Other than for properties in Scotland, the smoke alarms may be battery operated. It is also a legal requirement for Carbon Monoxide alarms to be installed within proximity of any solid fuel burning appliance, such as coal or wood. All alarms must be tested and certified annually to ensure that they are in full working order. All alarms must be fitted prior to the Property being rented to a tenant.
You hereby indemnify us against any expense or penalties that may be incurred as a result of the non-compliance of the Property to any such applicable standards.
Further information about your responsibilities as Landlord are available on request and downloadable from our website - www. housesimple.com.
Health and Safety
It is important that any viewings or visits to the Property are conducted safely. It is essential that we are notified of and provided with all relevant information relating to health and safety and that any documentation and/or measures are in place to manage any risks.
It is your responsibility to ensure that, where the Property is unoccupied, the Property is adequately secured, mains services are turned off, water and heating systems are professionally drained and suitable insurance cover is put in place. You will be responsible for all maintenance at the Property and we accept no liability or responsibility for it during the term of the Agreement unless we are otherwise instructed in this regard.
Exclusion of Liability
Nothing in the Agreement shall limit or exclude our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence (or the negligence of our employees or agents) or fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (the “Act”) we are registered with the Information Commissioner. We undertake to comply with the Act and any replacement legislation in all our dealings with you and your Tenant’s personal data.
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
Privately renting tenants must be provided with a valid EPC from their landlord. We can provide you with an EPC at a cost of £90. Otherwise:
a) English and Welsh property: You must have ordered an EPC prior to our marketing the Property and agree to provide us with a copy of the EPC as soon as it is received. We reserve the right to terminate our relationship with you if you do not provide us with a valid EPC within 21 days of us beginning to market the Property for rent.
b) Scottish property: You must provide us with a copy of the Property's EPC prior to our marketing the Property for rent.
We aim for your agreed let with us to be trouble free, but if you have any problems with our service, our complaints policy sets out how you can make a complaint.
If you are dissatisfied with how we deal with a complaint, you are entitled to refer the matter to The Property Ombudsman within six months for a review.
We are members of The Property Ombudsman and abide by The Property Ombudsman Code of Practice. Please note that The Property Ombudsman will only review complaints made by consumers. You agree that we may disclose information relating to the sale of the Property to The Property Ombudsman if The Property Ombudsman asks us for it.
LANDLORD AND TENANTS DISPUTES
Any dispute that arises between you and a Tenant will be resolved solely by you and the Tenant. We are not responsible and shall have no liability for any disagreements or disputes that may arise during the course of, or following the expiry of the Tenancy.
In the case of deposits held under a Tenancy Deposit Scheme, if we have collected the Deposit on your behalf we are deemed to have acted as ‘Stakeholder’ so that in the event of any dispute, we will take only such reasonable and appropriate action as may be determined by the relevant dispute resolution service in relation to the dispute.
You hereby agree to indemnify us against any and all costs, expenses or liabilities incurred or imposed on us provided that such costs, expenses or liabilities were incurred in our carrying out the range of Services which you select (from time to time) on your behalf.
You are not entitled to assign, sub-contract or otherwise dispose of any of your rights or obligations under the Agreement without our prior written consent.
Neither party shall be liable under or in connection with these terms to the extent that such liability arises as a consequence of any event of circumstance or cause beyond the reasonable control of that party.
Any notice given in connection with these terms and conditions shall be in writing and may be delivered by hand, pre-paid first class post, special delivery post, facsimile or e-mail (unless otherwise notified) to, in our case, our registered address as given at the start of these terms and conditions and, in your case, to the address given when you submitted your details on the website.
If a court rules that any provision of these terms and conditions is invalid or unenforceable, this will not affect the rest of the Agreement, which shall remain fully in force.
The Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between us and you (the Landlord) and supersedes all prior agreements or communications between the parties. Any amendment to the Agreement will only have effect if it has been made in writing by a Director of HouseSimple.com.
Law and Jurisdiction
The courts of England and Wales shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any action or proceedings in respect of this Agreement.
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Based on 1% average high street estate agency fee and our No Sale No Fee package value. figures correct as of 20/09/17.