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Tenants

Tenants

Renting a Property can seem daunting. There is much to do in a short space of time. Our role is to make the process as smooth as possible

25 March 2015

AMPMni is registered and governed by ARLA, so you can be confident that all current legislation is being adhered to and our landlords comply with all their obligations.

AMPMni will ensure that at the start of any tenancy all paperwork and safety checks are prepared to current standards, including:

  • A tenancy agreement specifically relating to Northern Ireland law
  • A rent book and statement of terms
  • A full photographic inventory, including the option to amend at the beginning of a tenancy (managed properties)
  • We will protect all new deposits with TDSNI on a custodial bases
  • Tenants are provided with a 24hrs emergency number, that connects to a member of staff
  • Tenants referencing is carried out by staff members, not an outside agent
  • Applicants are charged one fee for referencing and administration
  • We are placed to be the first to learn of any changes to legislation

Rental process

The First Step

We recommend beginning your search around 4-6 weeks prior to your target move date.

You need to make sure you have set an affordable budget which allows for all additional costs such as utility bills etc. We work on an affordability scale of, your annual gross income has to be at least two and a half times the annual rent.

Decide on the area, type of accommodation and whether you want a furnished property or not. You may need to compromise on some wishes so be prepared to be a little flexible. Give consideration to the length of the tenancy. Remember, if you agree a fixed term and there is no break clause, you will be obliged to pay rent for the term agreed. You need to make sure you are clear as to your future plans.

Finding a Property

If you are not used to the Belfast Rental Market, you should be aware that it moves very quickly indeed. Properties often rent within hours so when you see a property you like, try to arrange a viewing as soon as possible. We will meet you at the property in order that we can answer any queries and assist you in making a decision, as soon as you are ready to do so. If you see a great property on your first viewing – don’t delay – it may not be available tomorrow.

Application

Upon finding a suitable property, submit your application form to our office along with any additional requirements, which will be put to the landlord.

If the Landlord accepts your application, your referencing will commence.

We will ask you to provide contact details of your previous landlord, along with those of your employer, photgraphic I.D.. Depending on the result, we may ask you for a suitable guarantor ( there is an extra cost to reference a guarantor). Housing benefit tenants will be required to have a guarantor in all cases.

You will be sent a specimen, standard Tenancy Agreement and other necessary documentation which should be read through thoroughly. Any staff member will be pleased to help should you have any questions.

Move in monies consist of:

  1. Rent for the first month (housing benefit tenants may not require this)
  2. Security Deposit – equivalent to one month’s rent
  3. Referencing Fees

Future rental payments for monthly rent are taken by standing order in advance so please have your bank account details available to complete the form.

We strongly recommend that you take out insurance to cover you personal belongings as the landlords insurance will only cover items belonging to them. We can have our insurers contact you to discuss this.

Moving in

Provided that all payments have cleared, documents and references are in order, your keys will be available for collection on the start date of the tenancy when you will be asked to sign your tenancy agreement and complete the standing order forms. We will ask you to make an appointment to attend our offices to complete this process in order to ensure someone is available to help you without delay. We will also require sight of original photographic identification, in the form of a passport or driving licence.

You will need to inform your utility providers that you have moved into the property and ensure that all accounts are transferred into your name as quickly as possible

A copy of the inventory report will be provided during the sign in. It is imperative that you bring any discrepancies to attention on taking procession of the property.

During your tenancy

If AMPMni manage the property, we retain the right to access the property providing written notice is provided. Reasons for access are, periodical inspections, schedule repairs and emergency repairs. If acess is denied a charge maybe levied against you.

Tenancy FAQs

Who is responsible for contacting the utility companies after I move in?

You as the tenant are responsible for setting up accounts with the utility companies directly when you move into your property and also when you leave, taking care to provide meter readings at the beginning and end of the tenancy.

What about insurance?

Tenants are responsible for insuring their own possessions. We would strongly urge you to take out an appropriate Contents Insurance, which includes Third Party cover for the Landlord. Please ensure that your possessions are covered by Contents Insurance from the very beginning of your Tenancy.

What are my areas of responsibility as a Tenant?

In a fully managed property, you, as Tenant, are reasonably expected to:

  • day-to-day cleaning
  • dispose of all rubbish
  • do all window-cleaning
  • change light bulbs
  • do general household and garden maintenance
  • report to us any damage or water leaks, however small.

What is the Landlord responsible for?

Your landlord is responsible for:

  • Repairs to structure and exterior of the property, heating and hot water installations, basins, sinks, baths and sanitary installations.
  • The Safety of gas and electrical appliances provided, the fire safety of furniture and furnishings provided and maintaining the house in a habitable condition.

If I have any problems during my tenancy who do I speak to?

If your property is managed by AM Property Management please call 028 90474660 or email your enquiry to info@ampmni.com.

If your property is not managed by AM Property Management please call your landlord or letting agent.
When will the rent leave my account?

Generally rent is paid by a standing order mandate and will leave your account the day the rent is due (the due date is typically, although not always, the date on which you moved in).

What happens if my rent is paid late?

Any problems with rental payments, that my result in late payment should be conveyed to AM Property Management. Arrears letters will be issued if rent remains outstanding beyond 4 days after it was due. Interest will be charged until payment is made and late fees will be added if payment is not made.

What happens when one of my guests damages the Landlord’s property?

You are responsible for you and your visitors’ actions. You are liable for cost of the damage. It is advisable to take out adequate Tenant Insurance cover against losses through theft or accidental damages.

If I want to serve notice to vacate my property what should I do?

End of tenancy

Notice would need to be served in accordance with your particular lease agreement by email to info@ampmni.com or via first class post. The agreement should always be referenced.

What penalties will I incur should I break my lease agreement early?

The primary liability is for rent until the end of the contract. AMPMni will agree to re-market the property on your behalf and once a new tenant is found, your liability will be reduced to covering the letting fees. Payments would be calculated on a pro-rata basis for the unexpired term of the contract.

How will my payments cease at the end of my tenancy?

You should contact your bank directly to cancel your standing order once the last payment has left your account.

What should I do with the keys at the end of the tenancy?

Unless specific instructions are given by your landlord keys should be taken to AM Property Management’s office. Please ensure all sets are returned and that this happens on or before the last day of your tenancy. Please note that you will be liable for rent on a daily basis until the keys are returned.

All keys for the property must be returned in order to hand these to the next tenants. Failure to do so would mean that the locks will be changed and you will be charged for this.

What happens before we leave the property?

A final inspection of the property should be carried out to ensure that all possessions have been removed from the premises. The property is clean and tidy. Remove all junk mail and black bags containing rubbish generated in the clearout. All black bags of rubbish should have been disposed of in the normal rubbish collection cycle or at the local Civic Amenities sites.

All carpets should have been vacuumed as well as under and behind any moveable furniture. The original lampshades fitted with working light bulbs. Bedroom doors wiped down. Wardrobes, chest of drawers and desk are emptied and dusted. All floors should be swept and mopped.

Bathroom toilet de-scaled, shower curtain washed and re-hung, bathtub, sink and taps are de-scaled and cleaned. Bathroom and Kitchen wall tiles and grout cleaned. Kitchen appliances degreased and thoroughly cleaned. The fridge and freezer are to be switched off, the freezer defrosted. The fridge and freezer must be emptied and cleaned. The doors of the fridge and the freezer are to be free of labels, magnets and stickers and be left ajar.

Remove all stickers, posters, blue tac and/or sellotape from all walls.

What expenditure should I expect at the end of the tenancy?

Any discrepancies between the check-in and check-out report may result in deductions from your deposit. Fair wear and tear will always be taken in to account.
When is my deposit returned to me?

After the check-out has been conducted and the property has been returned to a satisfactory standard, less any deductions agreed between the landlord and tenant and we have received final bills from utility companies confirming your account has been closed.

This typically takes 14 working days and generally no more than 28 days.

At this time either party can requested that the deposit be refunded by TDSNI.

If there are any disputes in the deductions TDSNI will handle the mediation.