Got a question? Hopefully we’ve got it covered below… and if not, just contact the team.
I’ve seen a property I like on your website. What should I do now?
You can either call us on 0191 269 9920 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org telling us which one(s) you like and we can book you a viewing. Or, if you’d like to view a few properties, add them to the ‘Favourites’ button and we can arrange for you to view all of the properties together.
How do I agree a tenancy with you?
Once you have viewed our properties and decided which one you want to go ahead with, our team can take holding deposits and arrange new tenancy paperwork. You can do everything over the phone and electronically, or you can visit our office on Union Street, Newcastle, NE2 1BP.
What is a holding deposit?
In order to secure a property, we require one week’s rent from each tenant. A short time after, this will be off set against the damage deposit of one month’s rent and a further payment will be required to top this up.
What is a guarantor and who can I use?
If you are a student or recently starting a new job, you will require a guarantor. This is someone independent from the tenancy (usually a parent or guardian) that can pay the rent if you aren’t able to. We ask that guarantors are in full time employment and are preferably a home owner. An individual document will be sent to them for completion.
What is a tenancy agreement?
A tenancy agreement (or an AST – an Assured Shorthold Tenancy) is a legal agreement between a tenant and the landlord of a property. They are for a minimum of six months, but usually 12 months. The document sets out the conditions and responsibilities of the landlord, the tenant and the agent during the tenancy.
Do I need to pay council tax?
Unless you are exempt or qualify for a discount, you will need to pay council tax. Full time students are exempt and there are discounts available for single occupancy. It is advisable to contact your local authority directly for confirmation.
Do I need contents insurance?
It is recommended that you have your own contents policy in place. Your landlord will only insure the building and their fixtures and fittings. We can assist with this as we can put you in contact with our insurance partner, Legalforlandlords.
What is a damage deposit?
All of our properties will require a damage deposit (usually equivalent to one month’s rent). This amount is held against the tenancy and, subject to your end of tenancy inspection, is refunded when you vacate. It will be registered with the TDS (Tenancy Deposit Scheme) a Government-approved tenancy deposit scheme providing protection for tenants and landlords.
Can I leave my tenancy early?
Under normal circumstances, you will be held liable for the duration of your tenancy. However, in certain circumstances, your landlord may decide to release you early if you cover their costs of finding a new tenant.
Can I make changes to my tenancy?
If during your tenancy to decide to change or add a tenant, subject to the landlord’s approval, we can facilitate this. However, there is a fee payable and it would be subject to references.
What is Client Money Protection?
Client Money Protection (CMP) is a scheme that reimburses landlords and tenants should an agent misappropriate their rent, deposit or other client funds. It is mandatory for all letting agents. Exchange Residential use ARLA Propertymark for their CMP and their conduct and membership rules can be found here: https://www.propertymark.co.uk/media/1045366/conduct-and-membership-rules.pdf.
Our Client Money Protection certificate can be viewed here: Exchange Residential CMP certificate
What happens if there’s an emergency and the office is closed?
We provide 24-hour support for tenants. We offer an out of hours number: 07739 615 690 that is in use for emergencies only (for example, fire or flood). This must not be used for general maintenance or lock outs. If you misplace your key, you will need to seek alternative accommodation until the office re-opens. If you live in one of our purpose-built blocks, Axis Security are you point of contact outside of office hours on 0845 050 0380.
In case of serious emergency, and when appropriate to do so, you can also contact the emergency services.
Who is the point of contact if I have a complaint?
We aim to provide the highest levels of service, but if for any reason there is something that you are not happy with, please contact Eve Brown, Managing Director of Exchange Residential, on email@example.com or at the office address.
As an ARLA Propertymark Protected Agent and members of the Property Ombudsman (TPO), we aim to provide the highest standard of service to all landlords and tenants, in line with their codes of practice. One of the requirements of our membership of ARLA Propertymark and the TPO is that we have a process for assessing complaints about our service, appropriate to our firm’s size and structure.
All branch staff will deal with day to day problems on a one to one basis but once a formal complaint has been raised, i.e. “I am not satisfied with the standard of your work/conduct/behaviour and I wish to make a formal complaint”, then at that stage you will be requested to put your complaint in writing, setting out your concerns with reference to any related documents – terms of business, tenancy agreement, inventory etc. and send it to Eve Brown, Managing Director, Exchange Residential, 1 Maling Court, Union Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1BP.
The grievance letter will be acknowledged within three working days, investigated in accordance with established “in-house” procedures and a reply sent to you within fourteen working days of receipt of the original letter. You will be invited to make any comments that you may have in relation to this response.
Subsequently, if you remain dissatisfied with the way we have handled your complaint, please write to Ian Baggett, Group CEO, at Adderstone Group, Nelson House, The Fleming, Burdon Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 3AE
Finally, if having exhausted our in-house procedures you are still not satisfied with our response, you may refer your complaint, within twelve months, to either:
ARLA Propertymark, Arbon House , 6 Tournament Court , Edgehill Drive , Warwick, CV34 6LG – T: 01926 496 800 / W: arla.co.uk
The Property Ombudsman, Milford House, 43-55 Milford Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP1 2BP – T: 01722 333 306 / W: tpos.co.uk
Both professional bodies will arrange for your complaint to be assessed by an Independent Case Examiner in line with the criteria and procedures set out in their respective published complaints procedure/leaflet.
Click here for more – https://www.tpos.co.uk/mem-compliance/complaint-handling-toolkit