Finding a Property
Obviously, the rental market offers properties from various sources, Private Landlords, Housing Associations, Local Councils, Letting Agents, all of them advertising their properties both on the internet, in the local press and within their offices. You should consider organisations that you can trust, as primarily anybody can open a Letting Agent without any formal qualification.
Tom Giles & Co. are licensed members of The Association of Renting Letting Agents (ARLA) which means that Tom Giles & Co. operate under strict guide lines and standards of Professional and Ethical conduct, with the services that they provide having complete transparency and therefore there are no hidden fees, costs or issues during your Tenancy.
When looking for a property you should consider;
- The area and location you would like to live in
- The type of property
- What is the budge that you can afford. (Most Referencing Agencies will complete affordability calculations)
- Do you want a long-term or a short-term Tenancy?
- What is your time frame, i.e., how quickly do you wish to move into a property?
Clearly, the easiest and most accessible search in today’s modern world is via the Internet on property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, OnTheMarket.com and the Agents individual websites. However, the three websites listed first are the Country’s major property portals and most Estate Agents that let properties will be listed on those sites.
The three sites offer search facilities that will provide you with daily, weekly or monthly updates of properties listed.
Viewing A Property
When viewing a property, you should turn up promptly and smartly dressed as clearly the Letting Agent conducting the viewing will also be interviewing you at that time. FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT and it is very easy for Agents to discount potential tenants because of lateness, rudeness and appearance. You must remember that the person that you are meeting at the property or speaking to on the telephone in making the appointment is more than likely the person that you will be dealing with during your Tenancy.
If you are interested in a property you will be required to complete an Application Form and pay an application fee. The Referencing Process is normally completed by Third Party Companies on the Agent’s behalf using Credit Agencies. They will check the following things.
- Address check for three years
- Credit Reference
- Bank Reference
- Address History
- Employers Reference
- Landlord Reference
The Agent’s will also carry out
- Immigration Checks – to see that you are legally able to live in the U.K.
- Money Laundering & Proceeds of Crime Checks.
Prior to the references being sent off to the Company that provides them, the Agent will go through your application with the Landlord and after the referencing checks have been completed. Then a formal offer of tenancy will follow.
If your application is acceptable, the Agent will obviously require the deposit and first months’ rent prior to you moving in or at the latest on the day of your Tenancy commencing.
Tenancy Agreement and Deposit
The Deposit is held as cover for any damages at the end of the Tenancy. All Agents must register your deposit within a Government Approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Tom Giles & Co. are members of The TDS Tenancy Deposit Scheme and your deposit will remain in Tom Giles & Co. non-interest Client Account for the duration of your occupation.
A draft Tenancy Agreement will be sent to you prior to the Tenancy commencing in order that you can check that your details are correct and also ensure that if you have any questions with regard to any clauses or content of the Agreement, that these can be answered prior to the day of occupation.
When arranging to meet the Agents at the property to move in, a Check-In Inventory will be completed, fully detailed and each item will be required to be checked off. An incoming tenant should allow approximately up to 2 hours for the move-in appointment. The Agent will take meter readings of the energy service meter and notify the suppliers that you have taken occupation together with Council Tax and the relevant Water Authority.
During the move-in appointment the Agent should supply you with the Gas Safety Certificate, another copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (you should have received this at the initial viewing), Tenancy Deposit Prescribed Information, a Certificate to confirm that your Deposit has been registered within a Tenancy Deposit Scheme and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme Tenant’s Leaflet. Also, the Agent should check that the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms (if required) are in working order in your presence. This should also be noted within the Tenancy Agreement.
Whilst living in the property if any items of repair that are required should be reported to the Agent (or Landlord if not Fully Managed by an Agent) immediately that they are identified. These should be reported in writing by either letter, email or fax. Any repairs reported by telephone or by leaving an answerphone message in an emergency must be confirmed in writing after initial contact has been made.
Surrender of Tenancy
If you decide to leave a property one months’ written Notice will be required, which must be sent prior to a rent payment date. For example, if your rent payment is on the 5th of a month then one months’ notice must be provided prior to the 5th in order to surrender the tenancy on 5th of the following month, i.e., if rent due on 5th January then in order to leave on 5th February one months’ Notice must be given prior to 5th January. If given after rent due date then it will take you into another month, i.e., given on 6th January will not be able to surrender Tenancy until 5th March.
If you decide that you wish to leave the property in the middle of a Fixed Term Tenancy Agreement then you will be liable for the payment of all outgoings, i.e., rent, service providers, council tax etc., until such time that a new tenant is found. You will also be liable for the payment of the Landlords re-letting fees for the property.
Check-Out and Leaving the Property
On the day that you are due to surrender the Tenancy an appointment will be arranged for you to meet an Agent at the property when a full Check-Out Inventory will be carried out. Tenants should allow up-to 2 hours for this to be completed before keys can be accepted and the property surrendered.
All service providers, Council Tax and Water Authorities will be advised that you have surrendered your Tenancy in order that the account details can be changed.
Return of Deposit
Upon the surrender of your Tenancy the Landlord has 10 working days to carry out his own inspection of the property and advise whether or not the deposit can be returned in full.