Do you accept applicants on housing benefit?
Sometimes. The choice of whether to accept housing benefit tenants is purely down to our landlords. It will say on each property profile whether that landlord will accept applicants on housing benefit.
I’m a smoker, is that an issue?
All of our properties are non smoking properties. If you do then look out.......you will be charged for cleaning it from top to bottom.
Do you accept pets?
Sometimes yes we do. It is down to our landlords if they will accept pets in their property. Some simply don’t want any whereas some may accept only cats or only dogs. A budgie or some other bird is hardly going to cause problems but the best thing to do is declare what you want to take in there. Please refer to each property profile or call the office to see which of our current properties accept pets.
How long does the application process take?
Provided that you have supplied all the relevant information and documents it should take no longer than about two weeks – although the majority are completed well within this time.
Will I need a guarantor?
If you need a guarantor Shorts will let you know. You can also view our ‘Affordability Chart’ on the ‘downloads’ page of the tenant section of our website. If you are close to or do not meet the income ratio, you may need a guarantor. Also you may need a guarantor if you have just started a new job or have not been in employment for a full year. For more information contact the office.
Your board is still outside, do I need to do anything?
No. Please do not touch our board. We will be sending our contractor to collect the board so it needs to be where it was left. Normally, the board will be collected the next working day. However, do not worry if it isn’t. It will be collected as soon as possible.
What do I do with other peoples’ post?
We take the view that anyone who is concerned about continuing to receive their mail will have set up a redirection order. For all post which is not addressed to you we suggest you write “gone away” and re-post.
How do I report a fault/problem?
During active office hours (see our opening hours) just call the office and report the fault. Outside office hours, you could leave a message on our answer machine, send us an email or report it in your log in area.
I’ve got a fault, when will it be fixed?
We do try to get to every problem and resolve it as quickly as possible. Please bear in mind that we may have to get in contact with the landlord to authorise some repairs. The most important thing to keep in mind is that we cannot resolve any issue instantly. Finally, not all of our contractors work over the weekend. Anything reported on Friday evening or on a Saturday may not be looked at until the following Monday.
Can I decorate?
Only with your landlord’s prior agreement. Provided that permission is given for a specific colour scheme, you may decorate. Should you decorate without permission you may have to restore the original colours.
Can I hang posters and pictures etc on the walls?
In moderation only and it’s best to ask and get written approval first but beware, if the fixings and marks on the wall are obvious you may be asked to fill and redecorate when you move out.
What is an EPC?
An EPC, or Energy Performance Certificate, gives information of how energy efficient your home is as well as making suggestions as to how it can be improved. All properties which to be rented require an EPC. For more information please find the link on the ‘Useful Links’ page in the Landlord section of our website.
How long does an EPC last?
EPCs are valid for ten years.
How much does it cost for an EPC?
For details of the cost of an EPC please contact the office on 01449 616666.
Do I need to have an electrical test?
There is no legal requirement to have your electrics tested. However, Shorts strongly recommend that you do. For more information and details on pricing please contact the office.
Will I need to have a gas check?
If you have any gas appliance (fire, cooker, boiler etc) in your property there is a legal requirement to have it inspected by a registered gas-safe plumber.
How often will I need to have my gas inspected?
The legal requirement is to have a gas inspection once a year.
How much does a gas inspection cost?
For details of the cost of a gas inspection please contact the office on 01449 616666.
I’m planning to move abroad. Do I need to do anything?
Not if you’re planning to be abroad for less than six months. If you are planning to be abroad for six months or more you need to contact the Inland Revenue to register as a non-resident landlord. See the ‘Useful Links’ page in the Landlord Section for more information.
Can I have access to my property during a tenancy?
Yes by prior agreement with the tenant and adequate notice which should never be less than 24 hours
What if I want to decorate during a tenancy?
Not recommended unless it’s to the outside of the property and again this has to be down with notice and the tenants’ agreement. Otherwise we suggest it’s dealt with at a break in the tenancy.
Can I have my property back during a tenancy?
Usually not during the initial six month agreement and even then only by giving the appropriate notice of not less than two months. You may have to get a court order to regain possession but you do have to demonstrate the exceptional circumstances justifying your breaking the terms of the agreement.