Here are few of the questions we get asked on a day to day basis which you might find useful.
How much does a Swale parking permit cost?
Permits are charged at £45.00 each. The charge covers admin and civil parking enforcement costs associated with operating the scheme. A permit holder is not guaranteed a space.
Which Cities or Towns do you cover?
Family Homes offices are based in Sittingbourne, Kent and covers areas including, Sittingbourne, Sheerness and surrounding villages, Canterbury, Maidstone, Gillingham, Chatham, Dover, Ashford and will consider all properties within the Kent area.
How much deposit do we need to pay?
At Family Homes we ask for a five weeks deposit for residential properties, in line with the Tenant Fees Act.
How do I pay my rent?
All rent is collected by standing order, on the rental due date.
Who pays the water bill?
The tenant is usually responsible for utilities at the property including water but this will be specified in your Tenancy Agreement.
Who pays the Gas bill?
We ensure that all the bills are paid by the tenant by informing the gas company of the meter readings at the start of the tenancy agreement.
How often do you undertake landlord gas safety checks?
A landlord gas safety check is required to be undertaken at all our properties annually, and a copy of the gas certificate is provided to the tenant and to the landlord.
Do you only let to families?
No- we let our properties to people who we believe will make a house into a home and will ensure that the rent is paid on time, and the property cared for. Many of our properties are let to families, who we feel make good long term tenants.
Can I drill holes into the walls for mounts and pictures?
You can with permission from your Landlord, as long as you return the property to landlord in the same state you received it in. We advise you to use Velcro heavy duty stick on strips, they are easy to put on and take off, they cause less damage to the property and save you time in repairing the hole in the wall, as well as money.
Who is going to maintain my garden, clear the snow off my drive?
The tenant is required to maintain all outside space, including the garden, which includes clearing snow off the drive if need be.
If I lock myself out how do I get in?
You can come to the office and hand over either you Driving licence, passport or just something of value and we will give you a spare set, but you must return them. Ultimately you are responsible for your keys and may need to call a locksmith if it is out of hours.
Once I paid my deposit is the house mine?
No, once you have signed the contracts and paid all funds then the house is yours.
Do you have access to a mortgage advisor?
Yes, please contact the branch for details.
Do you take Housing Benefit or Universal Credit Tenants?
We let to a variety of Tenants and seek the best Tenant for each property. Individual requirements for each property may be different so you would have to speak to someone in branch regarding specific circumstances.
Do you allow pets?
We understand that pets are part of a family and can make a house a home so some landlords accept pets.
How soon will I be able to move in?
The moving in date mainly relies on the person wanting to move in, if you complete your referencing quickly and satisfactorily, pay your deposit and rent and sign the dotted line we could possibly move you in on the same day but it is likely to take several days.
How will I pay / can I pay cash?
We do not accept cash as a form of payment, we only accept payment directly into our bank account.
Can we contact you out of hours?
Yes you can! When our office is closed you can still contact us 24 hours a day, to discuss your requirements, and if you are a landlord who requires help with dealing with a tenant issue, again you can call us any time of day or night, even if you are not a current client of ours. Please be assured that we are here to help you.
What is a guarantor?
A guarantor is somebody that is working or has an income and can evidence that income. They must also have good credit, no CCJs, IVA’s etc and must be prepared and acknowledge that they are entering into a legally binding agreement. They are guaranteeing to cover the rent and damages if the tenant cannot. They must also be earning 36 times the monthly rental as a gross annual income, e.g £800 pcm x 36 = £28,800 annual income.
Who can be a guarantor?
A friend or family member can stand as Guarantor as long as they understand the legal commitment they are making.
When would I need one?
You would require a Guarantor if you failed the referencing due to a poor credit score or if the Landlord is requesting one for all applicants.
What information will I need to supply and why?
Fill in a guarantor application form and provide photo ID. The referencing company would require proof of income and proof of address so they can verify they are who they say they are and that they can pass the referencing requirements.
What happens to my deposit?
The deposit is registered with a 3rd party, government recognised scheme, it is registered with them to protect both the tenant and landlord if there is a dispute at the end of the tenancy.
What should I do if I can’t pay my rent or am having financial problems?
Contact you Agent immediately and discuss a plan, do not ignore it.
How do I renew my contract?
Contact the agency and request a renewal. This will be dependent on your Landlord also wishes to renew.
Can I have Lodgers?
Renting a room or sub-letting is a breach of your tenancy and will affect your opportunity to renew or remain in the property.