Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Letting Agent handle everything or do I contact the Landlord directly?

This depends on the service that the Landlord has agreed with the Letting Agent. There are 3 levels of service that Duncan Phillips offer to their landlords, Let Only, Rent Processing and Management.

The Letting Agent will always deal with property viewing, references, agreements and assisting you through the process of moving in.

If the Landlord takes the Let Only option, then all correspondence will go through the Landlord themselves after the move in date.

Rent Processing is like Let Only but the letting agent will collect your rent on a monthly basis and pass this on to the Landlord.

When it comes to the Management service the tenant will deal exclusively with Duncan Phillips with all aspects of the property including rent, maintenance and any other problems or queries throughout the duration of the contract.

Letting Agents? What do they do?

The Letting Agent, in this case Duncan Phillips acts on behalf of the Landlord. However, professional standards across the industry ensure that we will work with you during the tenancy if you have any grievances or feel that the Landlord is being unreasonable. Duncan Phillips will work on a suitable resolution with their client, the Landlord.

A Letting Agent will ensure that the property is safe, priced correctly and would also support the Tenants viewpoint if they believe them to be valid and lawful.

Who pays for the utility bills?

The Tenant is responsible for all utility bills unless specified and these include electricity, gas, council tax, telephone, broadband, water and a TV licence.

Who is responsible for the upkeep of the property including maintenance and repairs?

Any problems structurally are maintained by the landlord. Appliances, fixtures, and fittings that need repairing will be repaired by the landlord as part of their maintenance obligations.

Tenants are responsible for breakages.

Please report any repairs as soon as you are away of any issue and we can get them fixed as soon as possible.


If the Landlord or Duncan Phillips representative needs to gain access to your property for repairs or unusually for any other reason, we will arrange a suitably convenient time with you.

There may be times when during an agreement an agent may want to inspect the property and will give you reasonable notice of this. This is normally covered in the rental agreement signed by you and the Landlord.

What is the length of the rental agreement?

Most rental tenancy agreements are for a 12-month period, but some landlords may look at shorter terms such as six months. Some Landlords also like to include a break clause with 2 months’ notice after four months of the agreement.

If I want to leave early, what happens?

Giving notice earlier than the timings stipulated on the term of you contract will constitute a breach and leave you liable for the rest of the rent until the end of the agreement unless the property is re-let, and you pay any expenses incurred from the Landlord.

When drawing up the initial agreements a break clause of you needing to give 4 months’ notice could be negotiated. This would mean you would be liable for the rent for the notice period of two months - releasing you from the remaining six months on a twelve-month tenancy. This scenario rolls on month to month.

What if the Landlord does not carry out repairs? Can I stop paying my rent without any penalties?

Take advice first if an important repair is needed and the Landlord is not getting the repair fixed as fast as they can. You should not stop paying rent until you are certain of the reason for the delay in completing the repair.

Ensure all essential repairs are reported in writing to avoid any delays or ambiguity.

What are the most common agreements?

An Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement is standard and is used for a six to twelve-month rental agreement between tenant and landlord.

How do we deal with complaints?

We are committed to providing a professional service to all our clients and customers.  When something goes wrong, we need you to tell us about it.  This will help us to improve our standards.

If you have a complaint, please put it in writing, including as much detail as possible.  We will then respond in line with the timeframes set out below (if you feel we have not sought to address your complaints within eight weeks, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Property Ombudsman to consider without our final viewpoint on the matter).

What will happen next?

  • We will send you a letter acknowledging receipt of your complaint within three working days of receiving it, enclosing a copy of this procedure.
  • We will then investigate your complaint. This will normally be dealt with by the office manager who will review your file and speak to the member of staff who dealt with you.  A formal written outcome of our investigation will be sent to you within 15 working days of sending the acknowledgement letter.
  • If, at this stage, you are still not satisfied, you should contact us again and we will arrange for a separate review to take place by a senior member of staff.
  • We will write to you within 15 working days of receiving your request for a review, confirming our final viewpoint on the matter.
  • If you are still not satisfied after the last stage of the in-house complaint procedure (or more than 8 weeks has elapsed since the complaint was first made) you can request an independent review from The Property Ombudsman without charge.


The Property Ombudsman
Milford House
43-55 Milford Street

01722 333 306


Please note the following:

You will need to submit your complaint to The Property Ombudsman within 12 months of receiving our final viewpoint letter, including any evidence to support your case.

The Property Ombudsman requires that all complaints are addressed through this in-house complaint’s procedure, before being submitted for an independent review.

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