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Tenants Guide

Tenants Guide to Renting Property

Thinking about renting a property? Here are a few handy tips from us

If you are currently seeking a property to rent, check out our PROPERTY LISTINGS page. If you have seen a property that you would like to view you can use the contact form on each of the individual property details pages to arrange a viewing or make an enquiry, or alternatively, give us a call.

Location

Do your research and figure out the specific areas you would like to rent in. Make a list of the things that are really important to you, like transport links, schools, access to shops and use these to focus your search. Be sure to share your list of 'must-haves' and 'nice-to-haves' with the us so we can present the best options to you.

Type of Property

Whether you're looking to rent a house or rent a flat, long term or short term, on your own or in a house-share there are loads of great reasons to speak to us:

1. We'll help you every step of the way

We want to get to know you, understand what you're looking for; now and in the future. Once we've found you a property, we will talk you through all of your responsibilities in caring for that property and making rental payments, as well as explaining both ours and the landlord's obligations. We will help you to understand everything involved when renting the property to ensure your time spent there is pleasant and stress free. And if the time comes to move on, we will be there to talk you through your next steps too.

2. We'll keep you up to date on new properties

There's a lot of competition for good rental accommodation, so you want to make sure you're the first to know about new properties. When a landlord asks us to rent out their property, we list it on our website within 24 hours. In addition, we immediately email all our interested tenants so the property information is waiting in their inboxes on the following morning.

3. We'll keep your deposit safe

We will hold your deposit in an accredited tenancy deposit scheme - My Deposits. This means that your money is safe and protected, and you'll have independent assistance, should you need to settle any disputes at the end of the tenancy.

Arrange Viewings

The best way to really get a feel for the kind of property you might rent is to arrange some viewings.

Try to be available and as flexible as possible, as the lettings business is incredibly fast moving. When a good property comes to the market there can be a rush to view and offers are often made immediately. You could miss out if you can't make yourself available within 24 hours of us contacting you.

Don't necessarily be put off by details in the property. If you don't like the wall colour, or the sofa isn't big enough, have a chat with us. We encourage our landlords to be flexible and accommodate tenants requests wherever possible.

If you want the landlord to undertake any improvement works, or add/remove furniture, put in your request as soon as you decide to make an offer. It can be much harder to get these jobs agreed once you have moved in.

Go through your list of favourite properties, arrange viewings via the website or give us a call.

If you have a specific type of property in mind we can take details of your requirements and contact you should a suitable property become available.

Once you have viewed a property and decided to proceed with the letting, we will start the process of arranging the tenancy agreement, deposits, references and all other necessary activities.

Take your list of criteria with you on the viewings to make sure the property is a good match. It is also a good idea to make a list of questions to ask - here are some important ones:

  • How much is the rent per calendar month?
  • What is included in the rent?
  • What additional bills are there? What is the likely cost?
  • How much deposit is needed? Where will my deposit be protected?
  • What fees do I need to pay to set up the tenancy?
  • Are there fees further down the line if I choose to renew the tenancy?
  • How long is the contract?
  • What notice period is needed when I want to leave the property?
  • Who should I contact in the case of an emergency?
  • What insurance does the landlord have to cover the property? What insurance do I need to cover myself?

Dotting the I's and crossing the T's

Once your offer has been accepted you'll need to hand over your deposit. We will be responsible for putting it into an approved tenancy deposit holding scheme and provide you with the details - make sure you hold on to these.

All estate agents will need to conduct security checks on behalf of the landlord, so make sure you have details of all your previous addresses to hand. Likewise, let your employer, and any other referees know to expect a request for a reference.

References

Before commencing with the tenancy we will need to obtain satisfactory references from your employer and/or a previous or current landlord. There may also be instances when we require a personal reference or guarantor. We may also use the services of an independent referencing agency to obtain and evaluate these references. Personal & photographic identification will also be required, such as a passport or driving licence.

The Tenancy Agreement

Once the terms have been agreed by both parties and satisfactory references received, the relevant documentation will need to be signed by you and the landlord.

Inventory & Schedule of Condition

Before the start of the tenancy, an inventory is prepared detailing the contents and condition of the property by an Independent representative. You will be provided with a copy and so will the landlord.

Deposit & Rent

Prior to commencement of the tenancy, we will require a deposit and the first rental payment, a month in advance. Your deposit will be treated under the My Deposits protection scheme (www.mydeposits.co.uk), a scheme accredited by the Government.

As part of the Housing Act 2004 the Government has introduced tenancy deposit protection for all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales where a deposit is taken. From April 6th 2007, all deposits paid under an AST have to be protected within 14 calendar days of receipt by the agent/landlord.

How the My Deposits Scheme works?

  1. The tenant pays Lettings Pro their deposit.
  2. We pay the money in to the MyDeposits scheme within 14 days of receiving it.
  3. Upon receipt of the deposit, MyDeposits provides confirmation and details of the protection scheme to LettingsPro, landlord and tenant.
  4. When the tenancy comes to an end, the landlord and tenant agree repayment of the deposit, usually within 10 days.
  5. In the case of any dispute, Mydeposits return any undisputed monies to the relevant party, but hold the disputed portion until the Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR) or courts decide what is fair.

Your deposit cannot be used to pay your rent.

When can I move in?

Once the tenancy has been signed and rents & deposits have cleared, the tenancy can proceed on the agreed date. You can now collect the keys to your new home.

Can I have pets in my new home?

You must consult us prior to obtaining a pet.

Once in

Find out who is managing your property and make sure you have been given all their contact details. That way, if something goes wrong in the property, you'll know who to get in touch with.

Look after the property as if it were your own. This reduces the likelihood of disputes over damage when the tenancy comes to an end.

Remember that you should arrange insurance cover for your furnishings and personal property, the Landlord is not responsible for insuring these items. It would also be advisable to have cover for accidental damage, in case there are damages to the landlord's fixtures, fittings or furniture during your tenancy.

What if I find any faults or repairs that need addressing?

If you find any problems with the property you are renting, you should contact us immediately. Once we have been informed of any issues/faults we will instruct the landlord and await their instruction.

Can I decorate the property?

You must consult us prior to carrying out any changes to the property. We will contact the landlord and await permission.

Do I have to pay for Council Tax & Utility Bills?

As a tenant you will be responsible for any utility bills like water, gas, electric as well as council tax, unless there is a special arrangement with the landlord of the property. You will also be responsible for a TV license at the property, if you watch TV without a license you risk being fined. Please check the tenancy agreement details.

Do I need insurance, as a tenant?

The landlord of the property is responsible for insuring the building. You will be responsible for insuring your own contents/personal possessions stored within the rented property.

Can I run a business from the property I rent?

No. You must use the property solely for residential purposes unless specifically agreed in advance, in writing.

As a tenant, what am I responsible for?

As a tenant, you are responsible for:

  • Prompt payment of the rent
  • Prompt payment of gas, telephone, electricity, council tax
  • Reporting any damages to the property or furnishings within the property as soon as possible
  • Taking general good care of the property
  • Respect the needs of your neighbours

Moving out

If the property was professionally cleaned when you moved in, then the chances are you will need to arrange for the same to be done when you move out. Whoever is managing the property; either Lettings Pro, the landlord or any other third party - they will want to see a receipt for the cleaning.

It goes without saying that you should leave the property in good condition and remove all your belongings, otherwise you risk losing part, or all of your deposit.

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