What happens when you have found a property to rent?
You have found a property you like so what happens next? Get in touch with your estate agents and let them know you would like to take the property and put the holding fee down.
Your agent will then send to you a holding fee registration form and details on how to pay the non-refundable holding deposit. This holding deposit is usually equivalent to one week's rent and will go towards your first months rent, if full application is successful.
After this has been received, current legislation stipulates that all the necessary paperwork should be completed within 15 days unless agreed otherwise.
A refundable deposit will be needed to be put down which is usually equivalent to 5 weeks rent. This will be refunded back to you at the end of your tenancy agreement. However, the Landlord is able to make any deductions from the deposit if the property is returned damaged or unreasonably dirty. Stewarts Estates recommend keeping the property clean throughout your tenancy to reduce the build up of dirt.
Depending on your individual circumstances, we may ask you to provide a guarantor. This is someone who agrees to pay your rent if you fail to make the payments. At Stewarts Estates, we ask that your guarantor to be a UK homeowner and earn 36 times the rental amount. This is to help protect them against coming into financial struggle by supporting someone else. Not everyone needs a guarantor, it depends on each persons individual circumstances. Speak to your letting agent to talk through all your options when it comes to renting.
To ensure you are a suitable tenant, you will be referenced to make sure you are able to pay your rent. This will involve a credit check to allow us to see if you have a good history of paying your bills. If you have previously rented then we will ask for a landlord reference. Asking them questions like, did you pay your rent on time and would they rent to you again. We will also ask for a employment reference, asking if your role is full time or part time? Is your job role permanent or temporary? When did you start your job role and what is your yearly gross salary?
Lastly we make sure you have a right to rent by asking for a form of ID. The right to rent ID is your passport or residence permit. There are other forms of acceptable documents which can be found here.
If all successful, you will be asked to sign the tenancy agreement, this is a legally binding document between you and the Landlord. This must be read and signed by you, the tenant and the Landlord. It certifies your right to live in the property for the agreed term and your Landlord's right to receive rent for letting the property. Read all parts of the agreement and make sure you understand it all, if you don't, then ring your estate agent with any questions you may have.
Before you move in, an inventory may be taken and can be key in deciding how much of your deposit is returned to you at the end of the tenancy.
This is a record of all of the contents in the property and the condition they are in. Make sure you go through this thoroughly at the beginning of your tenancy and contact the landlord/agent on any points you are unhappy with.
The same process will be repeated at the end of your tenancy with the same report made. These will then both be compared and any proposed deductions will be made. If you disagree with any of the deductions, you are allowed to dispute this.
Before your move in date, the deposit needs to be paid in full. If your contract is an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, your landlord must place your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. This deposit must be protected by your landlord/agent within 30 days of receiving it.
There are three Government approved schemes that the deposit can be placed in...
Deposit Protection Service
Tenancy Deposit Scheme
Changes to Tenancy Agreements
Lettings agents understand that circumstances change and you may be unable to move in to the property as planned. The general expectation is that landlords and agents can charge £50 per change to the tenancy agreement in one variation. The amount which exceeds £50, could be a prohibited payment. Always ask the landlord or agent for a breakdown of the costs if you are unsure. If you decide to pull out and have have paid the holding payment, the payment will be forfeited as liquidation damages.
Need help finding your ideal property? Give us a ring on 01202 805050.
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