Apply for a Property
Once you have viewed a property and your interested to go ahead then you will be asked to complete a Tenancy Application Form and provide us with a holding deposit so we may inform the landlord and remove the property from the market for your peace of mind.
We will then take professional and character references, including credit referencing, to ensure that both tenant and property are suited to each other.
If you are over the age of 18 years old and you wish to live at the property then you will be required to complete a tenancy application form.
Vetting and referencing an applicant to rent a property is one of the key areas a letting agent will have to carry out as it is this which a landlord will most likely decide their tenants upon. So providing the right information to us and at the right time will make sure you don’t lose out on the property you wish to rent!
In order for us to carry out tenancy referencing and credit checks there are a number of documents that we will require from you. These are as follows:
>Proof of Identification –Passport most importantly, if you don’t have a passport then proof of driving licence or copy of your birth certificate will suffice.
> Proof of Income –If you are on PAYE (Pay As You Earn) then we will need to request off you 3 x recent payslips. If on the other hand you are self-employed then we will need proof of your income and a reference which your accountant will be able to provide.
Note: If your business has been trading for less than a year then it will be entirely under the landlords discretion whether he wishes to go ahead with the referencing and the tenancy. If your business has been running for just a year then we will need proof of your accounts for the period of trading.
> Proof of Address –We will require proof of your current address this must be in the form of your bank statement and also a utility bill such as your electric, gas, water or council tax bill. Unfortunately we do not accept mobile phone bills as references.
> Employment and Landlord Reference –We will obtain this from your employer and your landlord/agent. If you wish to provide us with this information to help with the process of referencing then please feel free to do so.
If you are in full-time education and are looking to rent a property from us we will require some information from you but mostly from your guarantor which is stated above. The documentation required from you will include:
> Proof of Identification – Passport, Driving Licence or copy of your Birth Certificate
> Confirmation of University Enrolment
> Proof of Address – Bank Statement and/or Utility Bill (Gas, Electric, Water or Council Tax Bill)
Note: Once we have gathered all documentation including tenancy application forms we will then be able to carry out the referencing and this will speed the process up for you to move in the property more quickly.
Generally, it will take about a week to carry out all necessary checks but can be less if all documentations come back to us more quickly.
The most prescribed tenancy agreement for letting out residential property is called the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (AST), although there are others such as the Housing for Multiple Occupancy, Room Let agreements as well. It is usual for the length of the tenancy to be between six and twelve months and sets out the terms and conditions of the tenancy. It is signed by both the landlord and you as the tenant.
Please read carefully the terms of the Tenancy agreement as it sets out not only the obligations of the landlords, but also those appropriate to you such as general property care, maintenance and upkeep of gardens.
Ending the Tenancy Agreement
At the end of the prescribed tenancy period, should you wish to leave you are required to give the landlord notice. This notice will depend upon what is prescribed in your tenancy. It is usual if the landlord wishes to gain possession, they are required to offer a minimum period of two months written notice prior to the end of the tenancy agreement.
From the 6th April 2007 all new tenancy deposits must be protected in a government-authorised scheme. The Government wants to make sure your deposits are protected so that tenants get all or part of the deposit back when they are entitled to it. It is also to ensure that disputes between tenant and landlord with an encouragement for the tenant to look after the property they are renting.
Most residential tenancies in the private rented sector are assured shorthold tenancies, with some exceptions. For example, a tenancy cannot be an assured shorthold tenancy if:
> the tenant is a company;
> the rent is more than £100,000 a year;
> the tenancy is for a holiday let; or
> a university or college rents the accommodation to its students.
Tenancy deposit protection means:
> protecting a tenant’s deposit with a government-authorised scheme such as TDS;
> providing the tenant with prescribed information about where their deposit is being protected andhowit will be managed.
Tenancy deposit protection schemes can be one of two kinds:
>Custodial – this is where the scheme itself holds the deposit during the tenancy.
>Insurance backed – this is where the landlord or agent holds the deposit during the tenancy, but must give it to the scheme at the end of the tenancy if there is a dispute. The scheme is insured because this guarantees that tenants will always get back the money to which they are entitled. TDS is an insurance-backed scheme.
Each tenancy deposit scheme has its own rules setting out in detail how it operates.Please see the appropriate scheme in which your deposit is protected with for more information
Once you have signed the tenancy agreement and paid in full any outstanding funds then a day will be allocated for an inventory clerk to go through what’s called an inventory at the property. Usually this is carried out on the same day you move into the property.
An inventory is a comprehensive document, which provides details about the condition of the property and its contents. A copy of this document is provided to you as the tenant to check and sign.
An inventory is used to ensure that the property is returned to the landlord at the end of a tenancy period in the same condition in which you found it.
Safety, Repairs and Maintenance Issues
Once you have signed the tenancy agreement and have successfully moved in and the landlord will have certain responsibilities to abide by in order to upkeep the property and keep it in good repair.
The landlord generally has the responsibility to ensure that the exterior of the property such as walls, drains, gutters, pipes are kept in working order. They are also responsible for ensuring the installation and supply of the services such as gas, electricity and water.
The tenant has a duty of care to report any disrepair promptly, and take necessary steps to ensure that they or any other people who visit the property do not damage any fixtures or fittings within the property.
The tenant would usually be expected to look after the general maintenance such as replacing light bulbs, replacing batteries in smoke or CO2 alarms, taking care of the gardens (so long as the landlord has provided necessary tools), and to keep the property reasonably warm to prevent damp and condensation problems.
On your moving in day, it is usually good practice for the letting agent to see you into the property, this is if we have a management agreement set up with the landlord. We will double check that all keys are in good working order and everything inside the property is as it was agreed between you and the landlord. We will also endeavour to take metre readings unless the inventory clerk has done so already and have them registered with the relevant suppliers as soon as possible.
If on the other hand you are renting directly with the landlord, they may decide to meet you there in person; get to know you and make you familiar with the property. They may also provide you with their contact and account details.
During the tenancy if the agent is managing the property on behalf of the landlord it is normal practice for us to carry out quarterly inspections and you will be informed of this in advanced. It is not necessary for you to be around but of course will be good if you were and as you may have something to bring to our attention. The reason we carry out inspections is to allow us to inspect the general upkeep and care of the property and gardens as the landlord would expect us to report the condition of their property to be kept in good repair.