Its in the name. We’ve been matching tenants to their homes for nearly 15 years, promoting a fresh way of looking at the tenant, landlord relationship. 

It made no sense to us ethically, practically or financially to act any other way. With fair but firm guidelines in fee structure, maintenance and procedures.  Homematch are just continuing with our core values as a #goodagent that revolve around getting tenants and landlords working together in a fair and equal way; The Homematch Way.  

We’re passionate about property; making it your home whilst promoting a mutual respect for the property’s care and maintenance.  Only by matching a good landlord, a good tenant and a good agent do you gain a property that feels like a home you care about too.

#goodlandlord #goodtenant #goodagent

What to expect

We meet you, view with you, discuss any options and leave it with you. Our experience tells us that if this is the home for you, then a tenant is very proactive. You don’t need to sell something to a tenant that’s right. We always appreciate feedback on a property.

  • Maintenance is a priority.

  • A maintained home is a happy home, with a happy tenant.

  • Our procedures are smooth and clear. 

  • Firm but fair. 

  • The goal is a cared for and respected property you call your home.

What you see is what you get

We are not a large agent hidden behind offices.  We are not trying to do you over or rip you off, but we do ask you follow procedure so we all know where we stand.

In the word of one tenant;

Homematch is an excellent letting agent. There is a huge feeling of welcoming and understanding when dealing with her. As a tenant with Homematch for almost a year, they handle requests and questions in a very timely manner. The procedures were also quite smooth and clear, no hidden trick or fees.

The days of bad agents and rogue landlords are lowering as tenants become savvy to new legislation.  It’s good news tenants rights allow more control over the environment they live in.  Here at Homematch we are just continuing with high standards we had before legislative changes.

The quality & range of rental property is better than ever.  Helped by new legislation has meant better safety for all tenants and a well maintained asset for the landlord to rent out well into the future.  Almost all landlords want a long term tenant that cares about their property. 

Renting is mostly cheaper than owning. Outgoings are predictable and lower than owning, allowing tenants to save, maybe get on the property ladder themselves. 

Renting offers flexibility when a person needs to move through work, study or even just wanting a change of scene, it easy to move quickly.  Less hassle than an owner as major property maintenance will be completed without the worry of large bills. 

How a Tenant would want to be treated

Reporting maintenance can make a tenant feel dis-empowered at the lack of control, especially issues that need urgent attention or spoil the enjoyment of your home.  We encourage you to work with us. We do not ignore tenants or repairs and will prioritise any safety issue, then any comfort issue and then the niggly bits. Be assured we don’t want to leave you up int he air, our attitude is that if we care, you care and every one is happy.

  • Its my home

  • Security

  • Rent stability

  • Timely repairs

  • Respectful communication

What I pay for
  • Holding Deposit – Stops all further viewings for 14 days*

    A holding deposit will be required of one week’s rent, which is held for a maximum of 14 days. More about Holding Deposits

  • Deposit
    • The deposit will 5 weeks rent, based on the monthly advertised rental amount.
    • If pets of any kind are allowed this will be clearly noted on the advertisement. A higher rent is payable for any pet allowed on the premises but no higher deposit will be asked for.

    (read more) link to lower accordian

  • Rent

    The Rent amount is paid per calendar month p.c.m. Monthly in advance. As per the property advertisement

    (read more) link to lower accordian

  • Tenant Fee Ban – current contracts

    The ban will only affect contracts which are signed on or after 1st June 2019.

    Homematch will continue charging fees as per any contracts signed before 1st June and any fees associated with that tenancy can still be charged for a period of 12 months after the ban comes into force. This means the last date of chargeable fees for existing tenancies will be 31st May 2020.

    If you renew the tenancy, this means all fees will be banned, because that will be classed as a new tenancy.

    Old fee Structure & depsoits (read more) old homemacth page:

    see more

    Old deposits

    Existing deposits that are longer than five weeks? Will not be retrospectively paid back. However, if the tenancy renews, anything in excess of five weeks will become a prohibited payment and you would have to refund it. For example if you’ve taken a six-week deposit and the tenancy renews on 1st January 2020, you will have to give back that extra week.

How it works
  • Renting Process Overview
    1. View the property on an accompanied viewing
    2. Pay the Holding deposit, if you decide to make it your home. One weeks rent. (link)
    3. Complete an online Application & Referencing. or use Route 2 Rent by LetsXL online App
    4. Agree a contract move in date & Pay a deposit of 5 weeks rent
    5. Sign the contract
    6. Provide one month’s rent in advance in cleared funds 3 days before check-in
    7. Attend check-in & inventory process
  • Viewing & Holding Deposit

    Viewing

    All viewings are accompanied. Often we group viewings to have less disturbance of the current tenant.

    During the viewing please discuss and consider;

    1. Property is rented as seen
    2. Negotiations on items are sometimes acceptable
    3. Will will discuss issues we feel need attention E.g. refreshing decoration. Feel free to mention anything that is a deal breaker.
    4. Items are not tested. Unless reported by the previous tenant is it fairly assumed they are all in good working order.

    Holding Deposit

    A holding deposit will be required of one week’s rent, which is held for a maximum of 14 days.

    • If the agent or landlord pulls out, it will be refunded.
    • If the tenant’s application is successful, it will be given back or more often off set against the deposit to be held in the DPS Deposit Scheme.
    • If the tenant pulls out during the application process, they’ll forfeit their holding deposit. (That has been done very deliberately to stop tenants applying for multiple properties and then deciding which one they’ll have.)

     

    There are four grounds on which holding deposit can be withheld*

    1. If the tenant pulls out of the tenancy before the contracts are signed.
    2. If the tenant fails a Right to Rent check. You are not lawfully as agents and landlords allow to let property to somebody that doesn’t have the right to live in the United Kingdom.
    3. If the tenant provides false or misleading information – this does not mean failing referencing. If a tenant provides completely accurate information, but still fails referencing, that will be classed as the landlord or agent pulling out, then you will have to return holding deposit. However, if they have actively lied and you can prove they have actively lied, you can withhold the holding deposit.
    4. If the tenant doesn’t enter the agreement by the deadline. If the tenant is dragging their feet and not responding to emails, not giving the referencing agency what they need for longer than 15 days, they would also forfeit the holding deposit. But if it’s the agent or the landlord that’s dragging their feet and that goes beyond 15 days, they would have to give it back.

    All forms must be completed online or in the office within 7 days of taking the holding deposit. To allow processing within the 14 day deadline to enable repayment on 15th day.

    Supporting documentation and final agreements with 15 days at which point the deposit is due for the property to be paid.

  • Application & Referencing

    Our application & referencing include;

    A link will be emailed to you: or

    NOW AVAILABLE – The LetsXL Referencing App  Referencing on the go!

    • Full referencing
    • Credit score check
    • Credit history.
    • Rent cover calculations
    • ID Check & Right To Rent Check: Travel documents, visa, permits and university letters of offer and government funding.
    • Employment confirmation & salary
    • Landlord reference

    You will need to provide documentary evidence;

    Every time must be dated within the last 3 months and at the current residential address

    • Wage slips & Employer reference
    • 2x proof of address
    • Address information for up to 3 years. Including dates and full addresses
    • Photo ID – Driving Licence & passport. Have copies ready. Email or text to submit or use the App.

    Due to the increase in fake documentation being used we now require stamped Bank Statements to be obtained directly from the branch or accessed by the applicant in your office and duly marked as such by you. Tax returns should be the Full colour version obtained from the HMRC website and should have the submission reference number visible on each page.

    At this stage all legal paperwork required prior to letting will be sent to you and include;

    1. EPC
    2. Current How to rent guide
    3. Gas safe certificate

    LetsXL – Route to rent** Tenant Self Referencing. Allow them to complete the reference

    **Applicant will pay LetsXL direct. £60.00

    Homematch receive a small commission on any services offered on our site. Services must be taken for your own interest and convenience.

  • Pay Deposit

    Deposits are capped at 5 weeks of the monthly rent.

    This is to be paid into the bank by transfer or over the counter.

    We do not accept card payments unless by invoice which can be arranged but there is a 3% charge for using the payment system online through our accounting package.

    Homematch use DPS deposit system and have done since 2007.

    Can agents take an increased deposit if the tenant has a pet?

    No – the deposit cap is an absolute cap.

    If pets are allowed an increased rent will be advertised per pet.

    1. Any caged / tank animal: £10 per week
    2. Cat / similar size pet: £20 per week
    3. Dog: £30 per week.

     

    • Not all landlords allow pets. Some do not allow any of any kind.
    • If pets are allowed this will be stated as a condition of the rental agreement.
    • If a tenant gains a pet without permission they are in breach of the tenancy the landlord reserves the right to apply the higher rent and or take remedy for eviction proceedings for breach of tenancy.
    • Always ask a landlord may allow the pet, but with any relationship communication is the key.

     

    Can agents / landlord charge tenants for negligence?

    Yes, that comes under the damages provisions of the act, which says you can charge the tenant for returning the property to the condition it would have been in, had the tenant not breached the tenancy agreement.

    So, for example, if a tenant blocks a toilet with nappies, the landlord does need to fix the problem, but will invoice the tenant immediately. So effectively bill the tenant for the contractor call-out to come and fix it. If the tenant refuses, they will be taken to small claims court, it is not our policy to hold over in tenancy debts to the end as other issues may occur by that time.

  • Pre-Tenancy: Contract, Legal Paperwork. Rent

    Contract

    Will be prepared and emailed to you prior to check-in. Homematch use HELLOSIGN to allow digital signatures.

    If this is not possible the contract will be printed and can be signed in the office in advance.

    Legal paperwork

    Some information has to be given to a tenant on viewing

    • EPC
    • Current How to rent guide
    • Gas safe certificate

    Other BEST Practice documentation will be included in your tenant pack as provided or agreed by the landlord

    • PAT Testing certificate where necessary
    • EICR
    • Legionella cert
    • ASBO procedure
    • Waste & Recycling Procedure
    • PRS Complaints procedure
    • Selective Licensing as appropriate

    How to rent guide. June 2019 Version

    Early Surrender Fees

    Agents and landlords are are able to charge a fee if a tenant ends a contract before the end of a fixed term. Called an early surrender fee. That fee can not be more than the total rent outstanding on the property, it should be reasonable. The government has suggested that agents will be able to charge the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property, plus the amount of rent owing until the new tenant moves in, up to a maximum of the total rent outstanding on the property.

    Late Payment of rent

    Tenants can be charged interest on rent arrears, and that interest charge is calculated at 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate from the date the rent falls due, until the date it is paid. However, there is no charge unless the tenant is at least 14 days in arrears.

  • Check-in: Inventory. Keys. Meter Readings.

    A professional inventory company completes:

    Inventories, check-in’s, periodic inspections and check-out’s.

    Keeping total impartiality through this service.  This way there is as much more clarity possible due to formal unbiased reporting to our landlords and tenants alike.

    This company compare the check-in data & photographic evidence included in the inventory to that is held in the check-out report.  A tenant is then charged as directed where there are reported discrepancies.

    This means all legislation is up to date for such services We like to keep this service out of house to provide a non-bias, professional service up to date with current legislation.

    Inventory

    • This will emailed to you as a pdf. CHECK IT THROUGH.
    • Any discrepancies must be reported within 7 days.
    • This will be used to assess the status and cleaning at the end of the tenancy and if anything is missed it will be assumed on check out (unless obvious from photographic evidence contained therein) and charged accordingly.

    For example we will send you a copy of the inventory – check it and advise if anything is amiss.  We are all human even the inventory company. Sometimes things work and break on next use, we do not test everything in the home it’s not practical. Often there are teething issues but lets start with a no fault basis and trust us to sort it our for you.  It’s not our money we are spending and have to mediate many different aspects to get the best result for all parties.

    Keys

    • The inventory will note the number & type of keys handed over. A single occupant will receive one set, a couple 2.
    • It will be tagged, it is advisable to keep the tag in place as lost keys have been handed in to police and ourselves n the past.
    • Lost keys can and attributable cost can still be charged for under the fee ban.
    • If full set are not handed in and are included as part of the inventory the damages would include a lock change due to security issues.

     

    Meter Readings & Council Tax

    All amenities are informed with readings from the inventory and check-in. Homematch offer a MOVE SERVICE. You are welcome to change supplier but please keep us informed of any changes.

    Not got time to search through moving and pricing amenities? Don’t know the system?

    Personal Items & insurance

    Your landlord will have buildings cover and or content covered for items provided but do not cover the contents of a tenants.

    Why not take out personal contents insurance. Our referencing agency are happy to quote – Lets XL or find your own.

    **Applicant will pay LetsXL direct.

    **Homematch receive a small commission on any services offered on our site. Services must be taken for your own interest and convenience.

  • During Tenancy: Rent. Inspections. Certification. Maintenance.

    Rent

    • Your rent is payable on the same day monthly of the check in day.
    • If a tenant wishes to move the payment date, an extra amount will be calculated pro-rata to move the date. Its is not acceptable to just pay late due to cash-flow, please talk to us.

    Rent increase

    The contract states rent increase may occur.

    Late rental payments?

    Interest on rent arrears, is calculated at 3% above the Bank of England’s base rate from the date the rent falls due, until the date it is paid. However, the  charge is not levied unless the tenant is at least 14 days in arrears. If rent is 15 days late paying rent, you can levy the interest charge, will be backdated it to when it fell due.

    • Continual late payment will be dealt with using a section 8 notice if continual late payment occurs. Please be aware that landlords have bills and mortgage to pay as much as every other person.
    • Always contact us if you know before hand the rent might be late.
    • Always pay what you can on account and show willing
    • Problems paying as a while due to change of circumstances, stay in touch. Homematch are happy to help you apply for Housing Benefit or support you while you get the support you need. Ignoring debt is not the way forward as it may mean you loose your home.

    Inspections

    All property rent through Homematch will be inspected every 6 months.

    The inspection company will;

    1. Take photos
    2. Test CO2 monitors and alarms
    3. Remind tenants that they are meant to test the alarms regularly and be reminded of that every inspection.
    4. Battery operated alarms are the tenants responsibility to replace the batteries.
    5. ACR: Alarm condition reports are often carried out and alarms replaced as necessary.
    6. Check for obvious, visual maintenance. Hording or fire and safety issues. Lack of ongoing cleaning that may cause excessive dilapidation of the property.

    The tenant should;

    1. report maintenance as it happens no matter how small. Small maintenance items not attended to can ruin furniture and property making the costs higher to the landlord.
    2. Obvious maintenance means seen. Items will not be tested. if there are any issues at all this is the time to report them if you haven’t already.
    3. Please also use this time to mention items that were repaired but are still troublesome. Plus chase anything not attended to as quickly as required, being practical about the issue.

    The agent will;

    • Email a copy of the inspection and arrange any items noted therein for attention asap.
    • Items of H&S will be prioritised for within a day or the same day is absolutely necessary and practical to do so.
    • Smaller incidental items that are not causing damage may be sat on until there are other items to be cost effective for a trade call out.
    • Anything necessary will be arranged within 1 week, unless a larger project and quotations and authorisation of spending by the landlord are required.

    Yearly safety certification

    Legislation is changing all the time but regular access will be required for your safety to complete the following;

    • Gas safe Inspections
    • ACR reports
    • PAT testing
    • Any other certificate required periodically such as EICR / Legionella as the landlord or any other agency see fit.

    Maintenance 

    REPORT MAINTENANCE 

    A tenant has a duty of care at the property, but at Homematch we hope you like to live in a clean and safe environment and we’d like to help keep it that way for all our tenants.

    Tenant Responsibilities Services and information in more detail.

    Change in circumstances

    Charge for contract renewal is £50.00

    early surrender Fee

    Will we be able to charge a fee if a tenant ends a contract before the end of a fixed term?

    Yes, you will be able to charge an early surrender fee. That fee can not be more than the total rent outstanding on the property, it should be reasonable. The government has suggested that agents will be able to charge the landlord’s costs in re-letting the property, plus the amount of rent owing until the new tenant moves in, up to a maximum of the total rent outstanding on the property.

  • Check-out: Inspection. Deposit Refund. Deductions Process. Post

    Notice

    Every contract has a notice period of one calendar month. Homematch do not hold our tenants to the rental anniversary.

    You can give notice anytime, once out of the fixed term AST!

    Check-out inspection

    Damages & cleaning

    • No predetermined cost or tell you to use a professional cleaner but the property  must be as clean as the move in and will be  compared to the inventory you will be charged to get it back up to the same documented standard.
    • Please be aware that costs of cleaning are set by the contractor depending on the amount of cleaning required.
    • Professional inventory company to keep all aspect impartial. If the inventory was not questioned went sent to a tenant at the start it can not be relied upon to argue difference at the end of a tenancy. Always check your inventory for mistakes can be made or items omitted. It is for your own benefit to do this.
    • Please remember the whole of the property is a tenants responsibility to clean from the floor to the ceiling and everywhere in between, including windows and frames, sockets and switches and anything cleanable should be cleaned! Including outside windows if renting a whole house.
    • All of our contracts include wet cleaning of carpets. Its done for every tenancy and to keep the flooring lasting longer, lower allergens and better health all round. Tenants can pay someone or hire a machine but proof of cleaning will be required.

    Deposit Refund

    See here for advice on moving out & how to get your full deposit back! We just want to re-let the property to someone as good as we made sure it was for you.

    Tenant responsibilities:

    On finding discrepancies by the professional inventory company, or a member of our team visiting with viewings the works will be costed, possibly completed as minor items are not worth quoting for a this can add costs for call out for work. Every property is handled separately. If whilst conducting viewings we do notice items that need attention it will be mentioned to give a tenant the heads up.

    Basically the property has to be as clean for a new tenant as it was for your tenancy. We respect this as we respect every new tenant and will always rely on documented and photographic evidence.

    Tenants Personal Mail & Post

    It is not practical to expect an agent/ landlord or new tenant to handle personal post after leaving a property.

    Not looking after your post can leave your identity and personal information open to any person other than trusted individuals. Be data safe with your information.

    Its is suggested;

    • Ensure all important contacts have your new address in advance.
    • Set up a redirection postal service.
    • As post is redirected, ensure ALL companies are advised about your new address.

    Any mail found at the property after moving will be put back in the post RTS and no longer at this address. This is to encourage companies to stop sending mail to an invalid addresses and wasting paper equally harming the environment.

    Your mail will never be opened just returned.

    It is not practical to expect a new tenant to continue to do this on your behalf and they will be advised to dispose of letters.