Frequently Asked Questions

About Simple Life

Who is Simple Life?

Simple Life is the leading professional, build-to-rent landlord, specialised in family housing, across the UK. We provide new houses and apartments exclusively for private rent, creating homes people can call their own for the long-term. As a build to rent landlord, we manage your home and your tenancy at every step, from acquisition of land, through build to letting and managing your property throughout your time with us. We’re a landlord you can trust!

What are the benefits to renting with Simple Life?

We’re a multi-award-winning build-to-rent provider offering dedicated resident liaison officers, 24/7 maintenance reporting and peace of mind that your home is built for rental purposes – avoiding any risk or worry that the property will be sold from beneath your feet. As a resident you will have access to the My Simple Life app, annual resident events and you can bring your pets at no extra cost.

We’ll work around the clock to ensure there’s no place like a Simple Life Home.

 

What are your opening hours?

The Simple Life offices are open during the following hours:

Monday-Friday – 9am-5pm
Saturday – Sunday – Closed

Any calls received outside of office hours will be directed to our Out of Hours Service. If you’re a resident and your call is urgent, it will be dealt with by this team and escalated as needed. If your call is not urgent or is about a lettings enquiry, a message will be passed on to the relevant department who will get back to you the next working day.

Applications

How do I apply?

You can then follow these simple processes to get your application in.

Please note that we are not an Affordable Housing provider – our properties are available for private rent at market rates, so there will be certain eligibility criteria you will need to meet. Our lovely team will be glad to help answer any questions if you’re not sure!

How does the referencing process work and how long does this take?

We work with referencing company Let Alliance who will take your referencing details.

Once you have paid your holding deposit, you will be sent details of how to submit your referencing information to Let Alliance, which must be done within 24 hours of receipt.

The timeframe varies as it depends on how quickly you submit your documents to us and when your referee(s) comes back to Let Alliance – on average, they normally take 2-14 days to process.

I have bad credit, can I still apply for a property?

We will work with you to find a solution if possible, which may include having you pay a proportion of rent up front (6 or 12 months), or providing a guarantor.

If you’re concerned about your credit history, give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options available.

What fees do you charge?

We always ensure that any fees are completely aligned with legislation, and that means that since the 1st June 2019 do not charge any referencing fees.

You will still be required to pay a holding deposit (deductible from your first month’s rent), a security deposit and your first month’s rent up front.

You can view a full list of all our fees.

Don’t forget, any pets are also free to bring along, so long as you have completed our pet application form beforehand. You can review our pet policy here.

Can I bring my pet?

Absolutely! We allow pets on the majority of our Simple Life developments at no extra monthly cost. We do need you to fill out a pet application form in advance, so we can keep a record of how many 4-legged residents we have within the Simple Life family.

You can check out our full Pet Policy here.

Property Details

What’s different about a Simple Life home?

Up until recently, many customers felt they don’t have the same choice when it comes to renting compared to buying. We’re changing that.

Our properties are built with you in mind – high quality, built to last, and as a blank canvas so you can inject it with your own personality.  We have nearly 100 different property styles, from 1 bedroom apartments to 5 bedroom houses, to suit a range of needs and lifestyles.

We pride ourselves on good quality appliances, fixtures and fittings, including fully integrated kitchens for real convenience. 

You can find out more about our standard spec, but please bear in mind it may vary slightly by site and property.

How energy efficient are the properties?

All available properties will come with their EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) which contains details of the property’s efficiency. You will also receive a copy of the EPC as part of your move-in pack.

As of June 2021, over 80% of our properties had an EPC rating of A or B.

 

Does the property come furnished?

The majority of our properties are unfurnished, with the exception of our Empyrean apartment scheme which is fully furnished by LOFT interiors.

However we have partnered with two other furnishing companies to provide exclusive deals on furniture packs to rent and purchase. You can read more about the furniture packs available.

Are all your properties new builds?

We are still very much growing, so a huge proportion of our portfolio are brand new, just waiting for its first residents!

Our first development launched in 2016, so even if you move into a property that’s previously been tenanted you can rest assured that it will have been thoroughly checked to make sure it’s as good as new!

What are renters responsibilities for garden?

All Simple Life houses benefit from lawned gardens. It is the residents responsibility to maintain the back garden, watch our how to video to learn how to get the most out of your garden.

As your landlord, Simple Life will maintain the any greenery to the front of your property.

Money

I have bad credit, can I still apply for a property?

We will work with you to find a solution if possible, which may include having you pay a proportion of rent up front (6 or 12 months), or providing a guarantor.

If you’re concerned about your credit history, give us a call and we’ll talk you through the options available.

What fees do you charge?

We always ensure that any fees are completely aligned with legislation, and that means that since the 1st June 2019 do not charge any referencing fees.

You will still be required to pay a holding deposit (deductible from your first month’s rent), a security deposit and your first month’s rent up front.

You can view a full list of all our fees.

Don’t forget, any pets are also free to bring along, so long as you have completed our pet application form beforehand. You can review our pet policy here.

How do I pay my rent every month?

Depending on your development, you will have been set up with a direct debit at the start of your tenancy, or you will have been asked to set up a standing order. If you are unsure if your payments have been set up, or have any queries around making your payments, please contact your resident liaison team via the MySimpleLife mobile app.

How much does it cost to rent a Simple Life Home?

Check out all our available properties here to get an idea of rents. All our listings include the council tax band for that specific property and some of our properties have energy efficiency calculators so you can get an idea of how much the bills might. On all our development pages, you will also find our affordability calculator, allowing you to find out what rent you could afford with us.

How much is house rent in the UK?

Rental prices vary by location, property type, aspect and plot size. Simple Life rents are aligned with current market value for the local area, these are reviewed annual at individual renewal dates.

Click here for more information on our available properties, including the council tax band, deposit and monthly rent.

Are bills included?

To give our residents maximum control and choice, you are free to use the suppliers you prefer, therefore bills are not included in our rent. As a Simple Life resident you will be responsible for council tax, utility bills, TV license and contents insurance. As the landlord, we’ll take care of the building’s insurance.

My financial situation has changed and I can’t afford my home. What can I do?

In the first instance please get in touch with us as soon as possible to discuss your situation. If it’s a temporary change, then we will work with you to put together a payment plan to defer or spread out rental payments.

We can also look at alternatives to suit your needs, such as moving you to a smaller property, so you can stay in the Simple Life family.

How often do you increase rents and by how much?

All our properties will undergo an annual rent review – however this will be in line with market rents at the time of review.

We will always inform you of any upcoming rental changes, and are happy to work with you to find alternative properties should your financial needs change.

What happens to my deposit once it’s been paid?

Your deposit is protected by an external, independent deposit scheme such as the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, Deposit Protection Service, or Safe Deposit Scotland.

They also adjudicate any deduction disputes if we’re unable to agree this with you directly, to make sure you get back everything that you should.

Moving In

How quickly can I move in?

After you’ve applied for your property, your application will need to go through referencing, where an external party will check all your tenancy details and ensure you’re good to proceed. As always we’ll keep you updated throughout the process so you know what stage you’re at. We will also begin to liaise with you on the estimated move in date.

Properties come available at different times throughout the year, and if you’re moving into a previously occupied home then we will also be arranging a move out date with the current occupiers, whilst allowing enough time to get any necessary cleaning and maintenance completed.

If your property is on a brand new development that’s still being built, we will do our best to keep up to date with the build team on progress so we can give you an accurate move in date. As is often the case with construction, we sometimes face unexpected delays – but throughout the process we will keep you as informed as possible so you can start planning your move.

What happens on move-in day?

You will be advised on how to collect your keys up to 24 hours before you’re due to move in, once all documentation is confirmed and received along with any upfront payments.

You’ll either need to come to a branch with ID to collect, or will be given instructions on receiving keys from a secure pickup centre.

When you move in, you’ll receive a welcome pack with info about your house including handy appliance manuals, as well as a box of goodies with essentials so you can make that first cup of tea!

Who is responsible for notifying the utility companies that I’m moving in?

Whilst we do notify all relevant utility companies of your move in, it is a resident’s responsibility to make sure accounts are fully setup and kept up to date with each utility provider.

Living The Simple Life

Am I responsible for looking after the garden?

Your back garden is yours to care for, look after and nurture throughout your tenancy. We provide top tips to keeping your lawn looking lush to help you on your way!

Front garden lawns and any communal spaces are maintained by our partners to keep your neighbourhood neat and tidy.

During hot periods, we would appreciate your assistance in keeping gardens watered, and shrubs and bushes trimmed during the growing season.

Can I decorate?

You are welcome to make your home feel like your own by decorating, but we do ask that you get written permission from us first before making significant changes such as painting, wallpapering, or adding anything into the garden such as sheds, flower beds or additional paving. Simply fill out the alteration request form. Your asset manager will review the details of you request and confirm if this has been accepted.

Any changes to the property need to be returned back to their original state at your own expense before you move out, unless agreed otherwise with our team. This is to make sure that whoever moves in after you gets the same blank canvas to enjoy!

Areas of alteration that must be applied for include, but are not limited to:

  • Painting & wallpapering
  • Installing shelves, TV brackets, or anything that requires drilling
  • Installing CCTV or video doorbells
  • Installing TV Aerials or Satellite dishes
  • Extending patio areas
  • Building flowerbeds
  • Installing sheds
  • Any changes to flooring
  • Any changes to bathroom plumbing

There’s plenty you can do with clever decorating solutions and hacks that won’t affect the property permanently – find out more on our Home Inspiration blog.

Can I move into a different Simple Life home?

Absolutely! If you need to downsize, upsize, change location, or want something new, just let us know and we’d love to keep you in the Simple Life family.

We are always building in new areas, so you never know when we may have something available that suits your changing needs. Keep an eye on our website and just get in touch if you’d like to know more.

Do you cover any maintenance issues?

Within your welcome pack you can find simple and easy tips to keep your home maintained and in working order. You can also find a range of How To videos on our YouTube video for the most common home issues you can fix yourself!

If something does go wrong that you can’t fix yourself, please report this using the Simple Life maintenance portal, accessible via the My Simple Life app. You will receive details of how to login when you move in with us.

As long as any problems aren’t caused by misuse, negligence, or resident damage, you can rest assured that Simple Life will foot the bill to make sure you’re comfortable and happy in your home.

I need to add / remove someone from my tenancy agreement

During your tenancy, should your circumstances change or you need to alter the registered occupants, please get in touch with us as soon as possible to arrange. Any new occupiers over the age of 18 will need to be referenced and won’t be allowed to move in until they have passed.

Your rental amount is based on the property, not the number of occupiers, so you will still be liable for the full amount even if someone moves out.

Once I’ve moved in, how often will you visit the property?

To make sure that your home is fit for purpose throughout your tenancy, and identify any potential issues so we can deal with them quickly, our teams conduct property health checks every six months. These may be a combination of virtual checks which you can conduct yourself, and in-person visits to ensure everything in your home is working as it should.

We want you to be confident that we’re looking after your home to keep it to the high standard you expect. You’ll be given plenty of notice when we’re going to be coming around, and you don’t have to be present if you don’t want to. Just let us know!

What happens if I end up with bad neighbours?

Please report any antisocial behaviour to us as soon as possible, and if appropriate inform the police who we always work closely with when needed.

We take disruptive behaviour very seriously and will work with residents to ensure everyone feels safe and secure in your neighbourhood.

What happens if I lose my keys?

Please let us know as soon as possible if you think you have lost your keys, so we can arrange for a replacement set and / or your locks to be replaced. Depending on the circumstances of the loss we may need to charge a small fee.

What’s it like on a Simple Life development?

We love that our Simple Life developments become friendly communities.

From making sure all front gardens are well-kept, to hosting multiple events throughout the year, we work hard to ensure your neighbourhood is a friendly and comfortable place to be where you can feel a part of your community.

In 2020 we have launched the My Simple Life portal, which will be phasing access to all residents. Here you will be able to find out more about your property, the local area, keep up to date with Simple Life news, and engage with an on-site forum where you can get to know your neighbours!

Who do I contact in case of an out of hours emergency?

Our phone lines are open 24/7 with a dedicated out of hours service.

However should you need emergency attention please call the appropriate emergency services or emergency utility lines.

Moving out

My tenancy is coming to an end, how can I stay in the property?

If you’re coming up for renewal and would like to stay, just let us know! After your initial tenancy, you can renew for a further fixed term, or longer so you can stay in your home for as long as suits you.

We will always get in touch ahead of your tenancy end date to discuss the options with you.

How do I get my deposit back?

Your deposit will be protected by an external deposit protection company whilst we go through our end of tenancy checks.

Before you move out, we offer property health checks to flag in advance any areas where you may see a deposit deduction if it’s not rectified. This gives you time to get everything in order before you leave, giving you the best chance of getting your full deposit back. If you would like to take advantage of this check, please contact the team at least 2 weeks prior to your move out date.

Once you have moved out and we have completed a full property inventory review, we will get in touch with the deposit scheme about any deductions needed. We will stay in contact with you throughout the process and will always ensure that all parties are happy with the final amounts. The deposit scheme act as adjudicators with any disputes to ensure we are always acting fairly.

Please note that deposits can only be released by the protection company once any and all deductions are agreed by all parties.

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