Property Search

Renting Process

Preparation

The best way to win over a prospective Landlord is to be prepared. To get a competitive edge over other applicants, bring the following when you meet the landlord: a completed rental application: written references from landlords, employers, and colleagues; and a current copy of your credit report. Whatever your previous experience or if it`s your first move, your letting agent will try to make it as easy and trouble free as possible Be as clear as possible about what you are looking for and make sure your agent is always looking out for the right property for you as they go very quickly, please register with us to be updated as and when the property becomes available you can do this by joining us on Facebook , Twitter or simply by filing in the form.

Review the Lease

Carefully review all of the conditions of the tenancy before you sign on the dotted line. Your lease or rental agreement may contain a provision that you find unacceptable - for example, restrictions on guests, pets, design alterations, or running a home business. For help reviewing your lease or rental agreement,

Holding Deposit

If you are paying a "reservation" or "holding" deposit whilst your application for a tenancy is processed, make sure you get a receipt for your money. This receipt should detail the circumstances under which you may, or may not, get your money back in the event of any problem being found with your application.

Arrange Advance Payment

Remember that you may need to pay a minimum of 1 month`s rent in advance and a damages deposit bond in addition to any other charges due to the agent. Make sure that you find out exactly what these amounts will be and arrange to have the amount available immediately in "cleared funds" (banker`s draft, cash, building society issued cheque) ready for you to use.

Get everything in writing

To avoid disputes or misunderstandings with your landlord, get everything in writing. Keep copies of any correspondence and follow up an oral agreement with a letter, setting out your understandings. For example, if you ask your landlord to make repairs, put your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If the landlord agrees orally, send a letter confirming this.

Inventory

When you first go into the property, check the contents and condition of the property carefully against the inventory (if there is one). If anything is damaged or in poor condition, make sure you notify this to the landlord immediately in writing and keep a copy of the letter. This will help you if you have any dispute regarding the damage deposit at the end of the tenancy.

Safety Regulations

If there are any gas appliances in the property, your landlord must have these inspected by a CORGI registered plumber every year and give you a certificate confirming this, both when you go into the property and annually after that. Make sure he does this. If not, you can complain to your local Health and Safety Executive.

Privacy Rights

Once you are in the property, you are entitled to live there without any interference from the landlord. For example he is not entitled to enter the property without your permission. The agent will want to make regular checks on the property. Arrange a mutually convenient time for these checks and make a note of it.

Letting and Managing

The agent will have certain obligations, varying from just letting the property to both letting and managing the property. Make sure you find out exactly what the agent`s responsibilities are in relation to your property. If they are only responsible for letting the building, find out who is responsible for managing and maintaining the property - get their contact details!

Tenants Responsibility

Responsibility for the property rests with you, the tenant. You will be responsible for making sure the building is secure. You will also need to report any gas or electrical problems. If the property is leasehold, you may also be bound by any rules and regulations affecting all residents within the block contained in the head lease.

End of Lease

When you leave the property, make an appointment with the landlord or his agent to check over the property and its condition. If there is any dispute regarding the repayment of the damage deposit, for example if you consider your landlord`s proposed deductions are unfair and your landlord will not negotiate, contact the scheme administrators of the tenancy deposit scheme used by your landlord and let them know. You are entitled to ask that the dispute be referred to arbitration. Do not delay in dealing with this as there may be a time limit.

Getting Expert Advice

If you have a question not answered here you can always contact us and we will be pleased to help you.

Types of Tenancy

Most people who rent their home are in an assured shorthold tenancy (AST), but other agreements do exist which have different levels of rights.

Assured Shorthold Tenants most common

  • A tenancy will automatically be an assured shorthold tenancy, after 28 February 1997, provided the tenant is a private individual who pays rent (totalling less than 100,000 pound p.a.) to a landlord who does not live in the same building. The property needs to be the tenant`s main residence
  • This will also be the same if they moved in after 15 January 1989 and were given a notice informing them they were assured shorthold tenants
  • The law provides basic rights and other conditions may be added into the tenancy agreement to be signed by the tenant and landlord
  • A tenant has the right to live in their home without being disturbed. The landlord and other people cannot enter freely when they wish and must seek permission to visit ` typically at least 24 hours at a mutually convenient time unless specified and agreed by both parties

Rent and Repairs

  • An agreed rent must be paid on time or landlords may take court action to have tenants evicted, or seek money from your guarantors
  • Landlords are required by law to carry out repairs that keep the building in good condition, keep gas, electricity, heating and water equipment up to scratch and do other agreed work
  • Landlords must have a valid gas safety certificate for every gas appliance and furniture should be fire resistant
  • Tenants are responsible for looking after their home, which includes keeping it clean, and simple tasks such as changing bulbs and fuses

Notice and Eviction

  • A tenancy runs until it is ended by a tenant, or a landlord, through agreed surrender of the property, a notice being served, or eviction carried out
  • Tenants within a fixed-term can only end the tenancy during that time if their tenancy agreement says so. This will depend upon the agreed notice period

Responsibilities

  • With rights come responsibilities and tenants must keep within the terms of their tenancy agreement, which may have specific clauses inserted
  • General conditions mean rent should be paid, in full and on-time, bills sorted, good care taken of the property, tenants and visitors must behave responsibly, permission be granted for access when needed and requests be made for any repairs or extraordinary occurrences
  • Tenants should also not leave their home empty beyond a certain period of time, usually a week or fortnight, without warning the landlord

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