Renting can be a daunting process, unpredictable and timely. It helps to have an understanding of how the process actually works, so that when the times comes to act, you ensure that you do what is necessary to secure that dream flat or house. The following guide gives you a rough idea, from start to finish, of the lettings process, however if there is something that you are unsure of please feel free to phone and speak to one of our lettings consultants, we are here to help! Please be aware that this guide is specific to our letting requirements and some other letting agents processes may differ.
Registration What are you looking for?
A house or a flat, or both, do you want a garden, is it optional? How many bedrooms do you need? Is off street parking a requirement, or a bonus? Do you need a furnished property? All these questions you need to ask yourself before you commence your search, it is a good idea to form a list of requirements and rate how important they are so you know where you may be prepared to compromise. We recommend two months prior to your desired move date to register your details and search requirements with us. You can do this either by speaking with one of our consultants or by completing our online registration form on our website. As your search progresses you may wish to update your search requirements as they may vary. Whilst you may wish to pursue your own search using online portals, registering with us will allow up to work for you and keep you updated with new properties coming on to the market. Once you are registered we will keep you update with new properties and will contact you by your preferred method. Every time a new property is listed with us an e-mail is automatically sent to those applicants registered with matched requirements.
Move in money needed
It is wise to consider before your move the funds that will be need to make it happen. Before signing a tenancy agreement we will request one month’s rent in advance, a security deposit equal to six weeks rent and an administration fee. This is quite a lot of money to produce, you may therefore need to plan for such a transaction months ahead.
Arranging property viewings
Once you fi nd a property that you like the look of, and one that matches your requirements, you are ready to book a viewing. You can simply phone our office to arrange a convenient time for a viewing or you can go online to our website and request a viewing by filling in the appropriate form. Our agency offers flexible times for viewings, we understand that you have a busy working week, this is why we offer viewings late in the evening and on the weekend. We also offer a chauffeured service, so where possible we may be able to collect you from the station to take you to and from the viewings. Whilst you are making the effort to view a property, it is a good idea to try arranging to see as many as possible, the greater number viewed the greater knowledge you have on the market. It is recommended that you view at least 4-5 properties before making an offer on a property.
Making an offer
Once you have found that dream property, or one that at least ticks the most boxes, you may feel inclined to pursue a tenancy. However, before doing anything be absolutely sure that you want to go ahead before making an offer. We may ask for a holding deposit at this stage, as we are about to enter into negotiations on your behalf, we need be confident in your seriousness to pursue the tenancy. Your offer should be put in writing so that there is no room for miscommunication. The details or your offer vary, dependant on what a landlord is looking for, however, more often than not a landlord simply wishes to know your requirement move date, rental amount, no. of applicants and employment status.
Holding deposit and terms
Once an offer is agreed in order to secure the property we need to take a holding deposit. A holding deposit is a down payment, a non refundable payment made towards your tenancy. If you decide not to proceed with the tenancy you will forfeit the holding deposit. If the landlord decides not to proceed with the tenancy the deposit will be refunded. When you pay a holding deposit we will issue you with a receipt which also outlines the details of your offer, any special considerations and its terms.
Referencing and fees
Once you have secured a property we need to complete the application process. Even though a property has been secured, the offer is subject to satisfactory references being completed. So it is recommended to complete your applications forms as soon as possible and submit them, the sooner the references are complete the sooner we can confi rm your application. As there is a considerable amount of administration incurred to complete this process, our agency charges an administration fee to complete your application. It is a good idea before you request a viewing, to ask what this administration charge is, so that you are able to budget for this as well.
Paying the balance of your move in money
Once your application has been satisfactorily completed we are almost ready to sign a tenancy agreement between you and the landlord. Before we can sign the tenancy agreement we require the balance of funds to be paid. This means the one months rent in advance, the six week security deposit, and the administration fee less the holding deposit already paid.
REGISTER TODAY AND BE NOTIFIED THE SECOND A NEW PROPERTY HITS THE MARKET
Signing the tenancy agreement
Until a tenancy agreement is signed, the tenancy proposed is not binding. Therefore, it is important to reach this stage of the proceedings as soon as possible. Once the references have been successfully obtained, we will produce a tenancy agreement for you to review. We will send this agreement over to you before the signing date so that there is ample time for you to read over the terms of the agreement and seek legal advice if needed. Once the agreement is signed, the tenancy has been granted, congratulations!
Check in and move date
On your move day you will be checked in to your new property. Usually a professional inventory clerk will meet you at the property for a pre-arranged time. They will check over the properties contents and condition in detail, check meter readings and hand over the keys to you.
How to pay the rent
Unless otherwise agreed, your rental payments are paid monthly in advance by standing order. At the time of signing the tenancy agreement arrangements will be made to set up the standing order, allow three working days for the transfer as the funds should reach your landlords account by the due date set out in the tenancy agreement.
Setting up utilities
Once you have moved in to the property it is time to set up your accounts with the relevant utility suppliers and local authorities. You will be responsible for the payment of gas, electricity, council and water tax. It is also your responsibility to pay for a TV License. At the time of signing we will provide the relevant contact details so that you can easily set up these accounts.
If you have moved into a furnished property, it is the landlord’s responsibility to insure their contents. However, this does not cover any personal belongings that you may bring into the property. Therefore it is recommended to arrange for your own contents insurance before moving in to your new home.
Contact during your tenancy
During your tenancy it is likely that you will need some assistance with maintenance or you may just have a general question about the property. At the time of signing the tenancy we will provide you with contact details of the landlord or the landlord’s representative. Where a landlord has elected to use our property management service, you will maintain contact with our property manager throughout your tenancy.
Tenancy renewal or check out
Two months prior to the end of your tenancy we will contact you to ask whether or not you wish to stay on any longer at the property. We usually need a minimum commitment of another six months, if you decide to stay on we will arrange for the signing of another tenancy agreement, at no cost to you. If you have decided that you do not wish to continue letting the property once the tenancy has expired, we will contact you to arrange a check out. This is where the condition of the property will be checked against the condition recorded at the start of your tenancy. Any damage or defect caused to the property may be deducted from your security deposit.
Returning your deposit
All of our deposits are registered and protected by the TDS (The Dispute Service), you will be issued with a deposit certificate at the start of your tenancy. As a guideline we are required to return your security deposit to you within ten days of your check out. Usually, if there are no complications, we can expedite the return much sooner than this, sometimes within 2-3 days. However, if there are some deductions to be made and quotes to obtain as a result, the process may take a while longer.