Are you looking to rent a property?

You’ve probably got a lot of questions… we’ve tried to help by answering some of the ones we get asked most frequently. Please contact us now if you want to know more.

It’s essential that you are sure of your security when you choose to rent your home, both in your accommodation and when it comes to your money.

Using a professional, dedicated letting agent means your deposit and your rent will be safe. They should be members of the Deposit Protection Scheme, which provides a dispute resolution service in the case of disagreement at the end of a tenancy.

Being fully managed means the agent will be looking after the property throughout your tenancy. Tenants report any repairs needed, or problems, to the agent who will act on behalf of their client, the Landlord, and fix the problem.

Let only means that the agent finds tenants for the property and arranges the paperwork. The Landlord then takes over the management and the tenant contacts the Landlord directly if there are any problems.

Always check with an agent who will be looking after your tenancy and who will be holding your deposit. We always hold the deposit securely when the property is under full management.

Typically, unfurnished means curtains, carpets and cooker. Fully furnished includes furniture, beds and, in some cases, all the crockery and cutlery and other household equipment.

Always ask the negotiator when you look at a property which items are included as part of the tenancy.

  • Holding deposit: 1 week’s rent
  • Deposit: 5 weeks rent (Example: you choose to rent a flat at £650 per calendar month. Your deposit will be £650 x 12 / 52 x 5 = £750)
  • First month’s rent minus the holding deposit (Example: £650 - £150 holding fee = £400)
    Example: total amount due on move in would be £1150

Once you have found a property you would like to rent it takes between five and ten working days to take up and confirm references, clear your cheque covering the first rent period and the deposit, arrange for inventories, and transfer the utility accounts into your name. No professional agent can allow you possession of a property before all this has been done.

Most agents require a minimum let of six months and will occasionally write a tenancy agreement for longer than 12 months.

What happens if I want to extend my tenancy? Or leave it early?

Tenancies are renewed and agents often agree the terms for the renewal at the beginning, including them in the tenancy agreement.

If you’re likely to leave before the end of the original term agreed you must negotiate break clauses to be written into the agreement. If not, you will remain responsible for the rent until the end of the term agreed, unless a new and satisfactory tenant can be found - usually at your expense.

The tenant pays the utility bills such as gas, electricity, water and telephone during the course of the tenancy, including TV license and the Council Tax applicable to the property.

Ensure you fulfil your obligations stated in the tenancy agreement to leave the property in the condition it was in at the start, or deductions will be made from your deposit. These will include thorough cleaning and all linen, used or not, freshly laundered. If you’ve moved furniture, return it to where you found it at the time of the inventory.

After an inventory check and condition inspection, provided there are no missing items or damage, your deposit will be returned shortly after you leave the property.

You cannot set your deposit against any rent payment due.

Normally, the agent will have kept your deposit in a designated Government approved scheme.

Yes. Your contents need to be insured. The landlord’s insurance covers the actual property/goods, but not the tenant’s possessions.

A deposit is a sum equal to 5 weeks rent. It is held by the agent as stakeholder in a bonded client account. It is kept safe during your tenancy and returned when you vacate the premises, as long as the property is left as per the inventory and all clauses in the tenancy agreement are fulfilled.

Example:

You choose to rent a flat at £650 per calendar month.
Your deposit will be £650 x 12 / 52 x 5 = £750

All utility accounts at the property will have been closed in the Landlord’s name. We advise reading of the meters and contacting the relevant suppliers as soon as you move in. You are then liable for those bills.

Generally, service charges are paid by the Landlord, but we advise checking your tenancy agreement for details before you sign it.

It is a legally binding document between you and the landlord, applicable only to you and the property you are renting, that states the amount of rent, the length of the tenancy, and your rights and responsibilities.

Your agreement will most probably be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under the Housing Act as amended in 1996. For bona fide companies and/or rental values over £25,000 a year, the agreement will be drawn up under contract law.

The agreement should clearly set out your responsibilities and is legally binding. Read it carefully before you sign. If in doubt, ask the agent. There is a duty for professional agents to ensure that anyone entitled to rely on them is offered correct advice.

Where it is allowed by the landlord, there this is pet premium charged at £30 per month extra on the monthly rental amount. (Example: rent without a pet £650; rent including pet premium £680)

You will be asked to complete a form as references are done by an independent company. Generally, you will be required to brings two forms of ID, at least one of which has a photo.

The following forms of ID are accepted: passport, driving license, bank statement, utility bill, birth certificate.

A Tenancy Agreement is a legal and binding document. You will be committed to paying rent until the end of the term. Normal terms are 6 months or 12 months. If you have special requirements speak to the agent who will advise you on your best action.

The only fees you would pay the agent are for the below:

  • Payment of £50 inclusive of VAT if you want to change the tenancy agreement
  • Payment of interest for the late payment of rent at a rate of (Example: £500 rent arrears and 26 days outstanding
    500 x 0.0375 = £18.75
    18.75 ÷ 365 = £0.051
    5.1p x 26 = £1.34)
  • Payment of £50 inclusive of VAT for the reasonably incurred costs for the loss of keys/security devices
  • Payment of any unpaid rent or other reasonable costs (such as re-marketing costs) associated with your early termination of the tenancy - £330 (inclusive of VAT)