01 May 2018 | Admin | 0 Comments
This blog aims to assist tenants who are looking to rent a property, perhaps for the first time. You should be prepared, because property moves pretty quickly and you need to have yourself organised just as fast to win your perfect pad before anyone else does! Here are some of the important things to consider before trying to secure a new tenancy.
Once you’ve found and viewed your perfect property, it is essential for you to put down a holding deposit to have the property removed from the market and show your intent of renting it. It's only after that holding deposit has been paid that the agent will begin all the administrative tasks, including referencing.
Your prospective landlord will want to be certain that you are a satisfactory tenant by checking that you are able to afford the rent amount and that there are no causes for concern in your rental history (if you have previously been a tenant). The main four checks that are conducted by the letting agents are:
- Credit history
- Employer reference
- Landlord reference
You are probably going to be asked to pay the administration fee for these checks, and you may lose the fee if you fail any of the necessary checks.
If you aware that you may fail the checks and may be considered a potential risk to the landlord, you could suggest and provide a guarantor (someone who will be asked to pay your rent if you’re unable to do so.) This person will become financially and legally liable to cover your rent or the cost of damages caused to the property.
You will be asked to pay a deposit (usually the equivalent of 6 weeks' rent) before moving into your new home, as well as the rent, so ensure that you have enough money to cover the first month's rent and the deposit.
The landlord is required by law to place your deposit in a tenancy deposit protection scheme. He has to do this within 30 days of you handing it over. This government-backed scheme protects the deposit during the tenancy and ensures that you will get is back at the end of your tenancy if you:
- Meet the terms of your tenancy agreement
- Don’t damage the property
- Pay the rent and bills
It also gives you and the landlord a cheaper and faster way to settle any disputes without having to go to court.
An inventory is a legal document that provides an accurate written record of the condition and contents of a property and is usually done at the start and end of the tenancy. It will cover:
- Interior condition
- Decorative order
You should ask for a copy of the inventory after it has been prepared, so you are fully aware of the property’s condition and can refer to this if there are issues when checking out of the property. Your landlord will use this document to compare the condition of the property at the end of the tenancy with the way it was when the tenant moved in. It will provide evidence of any damage and will be used to support any deductions from the deposit.
The tenancy agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and your landlord.
An Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) is more commonly used in England and Wales and addresses the responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord. The agreement will most likely contain the following information:
- The names and contact details for landlord and tenant
- The date the tenancy will begin
- The rental amount, how often it should be paid, when it should be paid and when it can be legally increased etc
- What services your landlord will provide, eg any bills included in the rent or maintenance costs
If you have agreed on a break clause (usually at six months of a twelve-month tenancy) this must be included in the tenancy agreement.
Renewing your tenancy
If you fall in love with your property during your tenancy and would like to stay, make sure you let your landlord or online letting agent know before the tenancy ends to have the best chance of having it renewed for another six or twelve months.
If you're a tenant thinking of letting a new property, don’t forget that at I Am The Agent, The People’s Agent, we do not charge tenant fees, making it much cheaper for tenants to rent a new place and use their hard-earned money for the important stuff, like the deposit and the move-in drinkies. Check out our rental listings.