Terms and Conditions

  • Useful links /
  • Terms and Conditions

Rental Properties:

Villages Lettings West Sussex (VLWS) provide rental property access only via Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs)

The most common form of tenancy is an AST. Most new tenancies are automatically this type.

A tenancy can be an AST if all of the following apply:

  • the property you rent is private
  • your tenancy started on or after 15 January 1989
  • the property is your main accommodation
  • your landlord doesn’t live in the property
A tenancy can’t be an AST if:
  • it began or was agreed before 15 January 1989
  • the rent is more than £100,000 a year
  • the rent is less than £250 a year (less than £1,000 in London)
  • it’s a business tenancy or tenancy of licensed premises
  • the property is a holiday let
  • your landlord is a local council

When you enter an AST you are entering into a contractual arrangement that gives you some important rights but also some responsibilities.

You will be given a copy of HOW TO RENT the checklist for renting in England produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government You should use this publication and keep it safe to protect yourself from problems at every stage.

Your rights and responsibilities will be detailed in the AST. An AST must have a minimum life of six months but you can ask for a tenancy to be any time between six months and seven years long.

Landlords must check that all prospective tenants over the age of 18 must satisfy a right to rent check. A prospective tenant can satisfy their right to rent by providing for VLWS to copy any of the means set out in Lists A or B attached to this document.

Villages Lettings West Sussex use a company called Rentshield to vet all tenant applicants aged over eighteen to confirm identity and in respect of immigration status, credit history, employment status and earnings.

You should think about how much rent you can afford to pay. Rentshield require that a tenant’s gross annual income needs to be at least 2.5 times the amount of the annual rent payments and if a guarantor is required their gross annual income needs to be at least 3 times the annual rent of the property.

Landlords reserve the right to accept or refuse tenants regardless of the results of the Rentshield reports. If you wish to rent a property, we will first confirm with the landlord that they are in principal willing to let the property to you subject to the terms agreed and to successful Rentshield referencing.

Villages Lettings West Sussex is a member of the Property Ombudsman scheme and a senior member of staff is a National Association of Estate Agents Member (NAEAM). VLWS follows the Codes of Practice of the former two governing bodies.

Terms and Conditions of Business and Charges for Tenant Applicants (Subject to Contract and Satisfactory References)

As a prospective tenant you will be asked to agree with the following:

Villages Lettings West Sussex (VLWS) use a company called Rentshield to vet all tenant applicants aged over eighteen, the information that you provide on the Rentshield Tenant Application form will be complete accurate and true.

As a prospective tenant you must agree to pay the following fees to Villages Lettings West Sussex in respect of them progressing this application. You must agree that Rentshield may vet all tenant applicants aged over eighteen and a guarantor if required. You will receive an EPC relating to the property you wish to rent and a “How to rent” booklet for my information.

Fees - All fees quoted are inclusive of VAT

On receipt of your Applicant Referencing Fee, VLWS will then lodge the Tenant Assessment Forms with Rentshield. The selected rental property will not be offered to other prospective tenants after you have paid for this referencing and while this vetting process is underway. The fee for Applicant Referencing is £72 per person. Referencing will normally include the following areas as appropriate:

  • Confirmation of the identity of the applicant
  • The applicant’s immigration status
  • Current Landlord / Managing Agent reference
  • Employer’s reference and previous employer’s reference (if applicable)
  • Credit Score
  • Bankruptcy CCJ / court decree
  • Anti-fraud check
  • Report on detrimental credit history
  • Undisclosed addresses

If the Applicant Referencing produces an “Accept” recommendation from Rentshield and both the landlord and you wish to proceed with the rental, before occupation of the rental property can begin you will be required to pay:

  • Hobdens Rental Set Up Fee that is dependent on the size of property you are renting –
    • 1 Bedroom - £310
    • 2 Bedroom - £340
    • 3 Bedroom - £370
    • 4 bedrooms + - £400
  • If a guarantor is required an additional fee for a Guarantee Agreement will be £36

The setup fee covers the following:

  • 1. The provision of a Tenancy Agreement in respect of this letting.
  • 2. An inventory and dilapidation report compilation (that will include observations on smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and include a gas safety certificate (where applicable) and an Energy Performance Certificate.
  • 3. The initial check-in of the tenant on the Tenancy Start Date.
  • 4. On site checkout and agreement of the inventory and utility meter readings with the tenant on Tenancy End Date.
  • 5. The registration of tenants’ deposit with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS) one of the Government approved deposit registration schemes.
  • 6. Notification of change of occupants and meter readings where applicable, to utilities and District Council

In addition you will be required to pay (cleared funds):

  • A deposit equal to 6 weeks rent (The deposit is held with the Deposit Protection Service)
  • 1 month’s rent in advance. Further rental payments must be made by standing order on a monthly basis as described in the ASTA.
  • 1 month’s rent in advance. Further rental payments must be made by standing order on a monthly basis as described in the ASTA.

Further fees will be required as follows when applicable:

Tenancy renewal fee - £60 (NOTE: At the end of your tenancy as described in the initial Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, with the landlord’s agreement, you may extend your tenancy by a further fixed term (minimum 6 months) or wish to roll it over to continue without a fixed term. In the latter case, you would be required to give one month’s notice to terminate the tenancy at a future date and the landlord would have to give you two months’ notice to end the tenancy.)

  • Tenancy amendment fee - £60
  • Late payment of rent fee (14 days) - £30
  • Copy of inventory - £30

At the end of your tenancy you will be required to arrange for the cooker and carpets to be professionally cleaned. If for any reason you do not organise this and we have to arrange any cleaning we will make a charge of £30 per item which will be deducted from your deposit.

You must be aware that the rent due to cover the last month of your tenancy must be paid in the normal way. We will not accept a request from you to take the sum due from the deposit that you will have paid at the start of your tenancy.

The prompt return of tenants’ deposit will be dependent upon compliance with the terms of their Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. Tenants’ deposits, subject to the provisions above, are returned to them by The Deposit Protection Service (DPS). Only after the final property check has been completed and the requirements of the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement have been completed will we agree with you the amount of the deposit to be returned. We will then give DPS the go ahead to release to you the agreed funds. In order to prevent delays you should wait to hear from DPS that you may begin the deposit return process that is initiated by using your Deposit ID and Repayment ID that you will be given.

Terms of Business for Residential & Commercial Property Sales are set out below:

A commission equal to 1% (1.2% including VAT) of the eventual sale price, will be charged, unless otherwise stated verbally and in our Agency Agreement, if we act as your Sole Agent (see explanation of this term which follows in this document). We are required to express our commission as an actual amount including VAT, which we do in our Agency Agreement relating to a specific property. We show the amount of commission based on achieving the initial asking price for the property, however, should the selling price be higher or lower than the initial asking price, your commission fee will be correspondingly higher or lower.

Hobdens will be Sole Agent for a period of eight weeks from the date you sign and return the Agency Agreement. This Sole Agency will continue after this period until terminated by either party giving fourteen days written notice. During this period the vendor will not instruct any other agent to sell the property and Hobdens will have Sole Selling Rights for the property.

General Conditions:

  • 1. The commission will be due on exchange of unconditional contracts, but will be payable, via your agent dealing with the conveyancing of the property, from the proceeds of the sale.
  • 2. Hobdens is a trading name of Villages Lettings West Sussex and the commission will be payable to Villages Lettings West Sussex.
  • 3. The commission rate quoted will be fully inclusive of all fees and expenses
  • 4. Hobdens will erect a For Sale board from the start of the Agency Agreement unless otherwise instructed. In order to meet the requirements of the Town & Country planning regulations, which permits the display of only one "For Sale" board, the vendor agrees not to display any other "For Sale" board whilst Hobdens ' board is displayed.
  • 5. Vendors, whether selling through an estate agent or selling privately are required to provide any potential purchasers with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). The EPC needs to be available to potential buyers as soon as you start to market your property for sale. Hobdens can arrange for the compilation of an EPC to comply with these regulations at a cost of £80 including VAT.

Important Note: The law requires that we inform you of the Office of Fair Trading’s interpretation of the term Sole Agent which also dictates the point at which commission is due to us. This is as follows: “You will be liable to pay a remuneration to us, in addition to any other costs or charges agreed, if at any time unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged with a purchaser introduced by us during the period of our Sole Agency with whom we had negotiations about your property during that period or, with a purchaser introduced by another agent during that period.”

By granting Sole Selling Rights to Hobdens you will be liable to pay remuneration to us, in addition to any other costs or charges agreed, in each of the following circumstances, if unconditional contracts for sale of the property are exchanged in the period during which we have sole selling rights, even if the purchaser was not found by us but by another agent, or by any other person including yourself or if unconditional contracts for the sale of the property are exchanged after the expiry of the period during which we have sole selling rights but to a purchaser who was introduced to you during that period or with whom we had negotiations about the property during that period.

Note: We are required to ask you if you are any way connected to a member of staff at Hobdens, whether working at this or any other branch. If you are unable to sign the following declaration because a relationship exists with a member of Hobdens staff then this situation must be disclosed to the Manager or Negotiator dealing with this agreement.

After you have returned a signed Agency Agreement a 14 day Cooling off Period / Right to Cancel applies to this contract if you wish the contract to begin before the end of the 14 day cancellation period you must confirm your request by signing the written statement as follows: I / We wish this contract to begin before the end of the 14 day cancellation period.

Property Brochures:

Details given in our property brochures do not constitute either an offer or a contract. Whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, they may still contain inaccuracies and therefore any intending purchasers must rely on their own inspections and enquiries. Any fixtures, fittings or appliances referred to in these details have not been tested and therefore no guarantee can be given that they are in working order. The measurements given are approximate.