Your tenant questions answered
We provide fully furnished rooms within beautiful homes to corporate and professional tenants.
We include free weekly cleaners and WiFi.
Have we read your mind? Read on to find out..
About Berkshire Living
Are you estate agents?
No. Absolutely not.
Berkshire Living has only one line of business: we rent properties from landlords and provide accommodation to corporate and professional tenants. Our service maximises your property’s value through effective, ongoing management.
So you’re property managers, then?
Yes, something like that. We sign a fixed term commercial contract with you (usually 3-5 years) to take charge of your property, effectively becoming your tenant.
- During that time, we pay you a guaranteed rent, every month, regardless of the property’s’ occupancy.
- We organise the maintenance of your property.
- Finding and checking references of our corporate and professional tenants, keeping them happy in their homes, and collecting their rent, becomes Berkshire Living’s responsibility.
This is why, from the landlord’s perspective, we believe we’re your perfect tenant.
Why did you choose to focus on shared accommodation and not regular lettings?
In cities like London, shared accommodation is practically the norm among corporate and professionals – especially those who have relocated to London on work contracts.
We saw a gap in the market and decided it was a part of the industry that needed professional attention. Thousands of people enter into shared accommodation on a daily basis however there are almost no companies focusing purely on this sector. So here we are, making shared accommodation easy for both landlords and tenants…
What is provided for bedroom furniture?
Generally as a minimum, you will have a bed, bedside cabinet, wardrobe and drawers. We also offer starter packs which have brand new sheets, pillows, a duvet and a towel set (this is an additional cost).
What is provided in the living room?
This again varies.
In general, there is a sofa and an armchair or two, a coffee table, a rug, and a dining table with chairs. And there is always a big flat screen TV with Freeview channels.
Do you provide all kitchenware?
We provide everything you need including cutlery, crockery, utensils, pots and pans, a kettle, a toaster, a microwave and other essential items. (Are they colour-coordinated? No, not really.)
What about an iron and ironing board?
We know you’ll want to look crisp for work, so of course we provide ironing equipment in every house.
Is there any extra cost associated with the internet?
We cover the costs ourselves.
Do you provide a house phone?
We do not provide landlines.
Or fax machines. Or carrier pigeons.
What sort of people rent your properties?
Our tenants are working corporate and professionals generally in their late 20s to mid 30s.
We rent rooms to the type of people who we would want to live with ourselves.
Can we decide who moves in if a room comes available in our house?
We encourage our tenants to get involved with viewings.
We are happy to give you every opportunity to choose who you live with, however we will need to approve of any potential tenant prior to moving in.
Is it mainly guys or girls in each property?
We try and keep an even mix of guys and girls wherever possible.
Are your tenants from any specific country?
We have tenants from all over the world, though the majority are from the UK.
Is there a limit to the amount of people you put into a property?
We don’t expect you to live in an overcrowded house so we are mindful about how many people live in each property.
Do you accept couples?
Yes, but not in every property.
Usually there is a limit of one per property unless it has extra facilities.
Can I have a friend stay?
Yes, of course.
It is your home and you can have friends visit, but only with the approval of your housemates and for a short period of time. We also need to be made aware of anyone extra staying as a guest for safety and insurance reasons (just shoot us an email).
Please note we do not allow people to doss on the couch, camp in the yard or live under the stairs
How often does the cleaner come and does the cost form part of my bills?
Once a week.
Cleaning is provided for free as long as the service is not abused (e.g. leaving dishes etc. every week for the cleaner to do rather than doing them yourself).
Will the cleaner clean my room, too?!
Sorry – they only clean the communal areas.
Is my room cleaned prior to me moving in?
Every single time anyone leaves a property we organise for an extra deep clean – not only of the room but of the entire house so things are immaculate for the new tenant.
Do you charge for cleaning when we leave?
Yes, there is a £70 fee for cleaning when you leave.
Can I do my own end of tenancy clean to save on the fee?
As you’ve no doubt discovered in your own experience, not everyone’s definition of “clean” is the same. We have our cleaners carry out a specific level of cleaning for every incoming and outgoing tenant to avoid any inconsistency.
Where is my deposit kept?
We send it away to one of the three government- backed schemes called the Deposit Protection Service (www.depositprotection.com).
It is kept there under their custodial scheme until the end of the tenancy.
Can I pay my last month’s rent via my deposit?
A deposit is kept to cover any damages in the property; you cannot use it to pay rent.
Can you deduct monies from my deposit if you think I have damaged something?
Not without your permission.
Any deduction must be approved by you in writing. If there is a disagreement, then it would be reviewed by an independent arbitrator who would decide what is fair. We can’t just spend your deposit money.
Do you quite often take monies from a deposit for damages?
It is very seldom that we ever have to deduct any monies from someone’s deposit and we would prefer not to.
Maintenance and Repairs
Whom do I call if there is something that needs to be fixed in the property?
You call our dedicated property management team who will organise a contractor to fix any issues.
What if it is an emergency and you are closed?
Prior to moving in, we give you numbers of our contractors you can call out of office hours if there is a genuine emergency.
Do we have to stay home to provide access to tradesmen?
We try whenever possible to provide keys and access ourselves, but on the odd occasion we may request that you provide access.
How do I pay rent?
You pay rent monthly by standing order from your UK bank account.
We can also take credit and debit card payments, if you prefer to pay that way or don’t have a UK account.
How do the bills work?
In our properties we maintain a fixed cost per week per tenant for bills so you know exactly what you will pay each month.
You will know what the amount is before you move in, and it will stay the same during any fixed term period.
What is included?
All the main bills are included such as council tax, gas, electricity, TV license, and water.
And at no extra cost to you, we provide free WiFi and we send a free cleaner weekly for the communal areas to all our properties.
What are all of your fees and charges?
Tenancy & Administration fees
- Holding deposit
- £400.00 per room
- Tenancy administration/ referencing
- £200.00 (new applicants)
- Tenancy administration
- £100.00 (existing tenants transferring)
- End of tenancy cleaning (charged upfront)
- Breaking your contract early
- Rent arrears or non-payment of other charges
- £40.00 (per correspondence sent)
- Tenancy extensions
- £30.00 per extension
- £35.00 per week for single occupancy
£50.00 per week for double occupancy
Credit & Debit card charges
- UK debit card
- £1.00 per transaction
- UK credit card
- 2.5% of the transaction value
- International debit card
- 2.5% of the transaction value
- International credit card
- 2.5% of the transaction value
- International bank transfer fees
- £6.00 per transaction
I am a postgraduate student – will my bills be cheaper?
Good for you for furthering your education.
But no student aid here, alas. Everyone in a house pays an equal share (except couples, who pay slightly more, as stated earlier).
What sort of tenancy agreement would I sign?
You would sign what’s called an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement.
It’s a basic UK legal document common in London and elsewhere in the country (or “bog standard” as we’d say).
Can I keep a copy?
We will email you a signed copy so you will always have one to hand.
What if I lose my job, can I break the contract?
We will decide on a case by case basis with every tenant.
If we do allow you to break a tenancy agreement early then you would need to find a replacement that we approve of, and an early termination fee may apply.
Want to find out more? why not search through our FAQs
Tenants by Numbers
We’ve turned our tenants into numbers below so that you can see the type of people living in our houses
What our tenants say
My experience of Berkshire Living is very positive. All issues are resolved quickly and with professionalism.
I’ve lived in the same house for 2 years and the place is cleaned and maintained to a high level.
I would recommend Berkshire Living for accommodation in London.Adam
Berkshire Living made what can be a stressful experience finding a house in London so easy.
They found me the perfect house with great flatmates. I loved the fact that my bills were included and no one had to sign their name up to a power or gas bill.
I recommend Berkshire Living to everyone I know moving over to London for their big OE.Joanna