Tenants information for rentals
When renting a Guernsey property there are a few things to be aware of:
Before signing a lease the tenant should carefully read and understand the obligations contained in it. A few of the obvious things will be:
- Term of the lease - This is the period of time that a tenant and landlord are committed to the rental of the property. This is normally 12 months but can be negotiated between the parties if a longer or shorter term is required.
- Is the lease certain - The term certain is used to describe that a 12 month lease is a commitment from both the tenant and the landlord for exactly that period. If either the tenant or landlord wish to surrender the lease early there are normally penalties to pay which will need to be negotiated. In most cases it is normally the tenant who wishes to surrender the lease before its expiry.
- What does a tenant have to pay if they wish to terminate the lease earlier than expected - Firstly you are obliged to complete the term of the lease and the landlord has no obligation to let you end the term of the lease. Secondly if you decide to move out of the property early you are still obliged to pay the rent up to the end of the rental term. Lastly, should the landlord accept that a tenant wishes to leave early then the tenant is expected to pay the rent until a new tenant is found and also to reimburse the landlord any costs associated with appointing a professional agent to re-let the property.
- The landlord and tenant both have certain obligations defined in the lease in relation to property maintenance. The landlord is normally responsible for keeping the property wind and water tight (ie maintaining the structure) and the tenant is normally responsible for the interior of the property. If either the landlord or the tenant fail to abide by the terms of the lease then action can be taken by the disadvantaged party.
- If the property is partly furnished then it is important an inventory is attached to the lease.
- Are you allowed to have pets?
- Usually the equivalent of one month's rent is payable as a deposit. Sometimes it it is higher depending on the stature of the property and/or if pets and children are in residence.
- The deposit is returned to the tenant at the end of the lease, providing that there are no outstanding rent payments or damage to the property. The property must be handed over to the landlord in a satisfactory state and manner to avoid delays with a tenant getting back their deposit.
Preparing to leave the property
How should the property be left before a tenant hands the keys back to the landlord:
- The property should be handed back in a clean and tidy condition;
- Any marks on the wall should be touched up with the same colour paint;
- All of the white goods should be completely emptied and cleaned;
- The oven and fridge/freezer should be cleaned (in the case of a freezer this should be de-iced);
- Food waste and rubbish should be removed from the property;
- All personal items belonging to the tenant should be removed and only the items contained on the inventory should be in the property.
In respect of the exterior:
- The gardens should be in a similar state to when the tenant has taken possession of the property. This includes pressure washing paths and cutting the lawns;
- Any outbuildings should be emptied of any personal items belonging to the tenant;
- Make sure that the windows have been cleaned within the last three months
- Please remember to get and pay for the final meter readings for water, gas, electricity etc so that you are not billed after leaving the property;
- The services and meters should not be disconnected unless otherwise advised by the landlord.
This guide is purely a sample of the usual things expected when being a tenant but is in no way a complete list. Please read your lease carefully as this will explain everything in intricate detail.
If you have any questions regarding the lease you received from Sheppards Estate Agents, please contact us by telephone or email and we will be happy to sit down and talk you through the lease.