Tenant's Guide

How to rent

Whom do I deal with?

  • You will be dealing with either our agent or the landlord directly, depending on the package the landlord has chosen.
  • In most cases, you will be dealing with one of our agents through the entire process, from viewing to the signing of the Tenancy Agreement.
  • However, if the landlord is hosting viewings, they will receive your enquiries and details. They'll then contact you directly to discuss the property details and arrange a viewing.

How do I book a viewing?

  • 1. Register here
  • 2. Search for a property
  • 3. Click the button "Book a viewing" found on the property details page.
  • This will take you to MyArea and automatically add the property to your Portfolio, giving you the option to select a preferred viewing timeslot.
  • Or you can always book a viewing by calling us on: 0121 828 1777

How do I make an application?

Tenant Referencing - As soon as you've found a suitable property, you will need to complete reference application forms online. We utilise the services of a credit referencing agency to take up the following references, an example of just a few of the references sought:

  • Confirmation of employment and salary.
  • Personal and photographic identification (passport or driving licence).
  • Previous landlord references.
  • Students (Guarantor or proof or funding).
  • Self-employed (Accountants references, trading details etc).

Holding Deposit

  • A holding deposit will be required to reserve the property and remove it from our availability list. The holding deposit will be deducted from the first month's rent or deposit due.
  • Should the tenant withdraw from the proposed letting, through no fault of the landlord or the agent. All or a proportion of the 'Holding Deposit' will be retained to cover any reasonable costs (which will be outlined in full).
  • None of the Holding Deposit will be retained should the Tenant's withdrawal be due to a breach of the proposed letting agreement by the landlord or managing agent.
  • The holding deposit shows good faith on the part of a prospective tenant enabling the landlord to take further action in the confident knowledge that the applicant is serious and fully committed to the property.

  • Cancel any advertising for the letting
  • Tell other applicants that the tenancy has been taken subject to satisfactory references
  • Prepare a letting agreement
  • Take up references
  • Carry out credit checks

Tenancy Agreement

  • Both the Landlord and tenant(s) will be required to sign a tenancy agreement before the tenancy starts. The agreement outlines both tenant and landlord obligations.
  • Most tenancies run for at least twelve months. We will contact you at the end of your tenancy to see whether you wish to renew your agreement and liaise with the landlord to organise the documentation. You must note that the agreements are between landlord and tenant, and only we act for the landlord.
  • By legal requirement, we will issue a sample template agreement which is to be read very carefully. Should any questions arise regarding this legal document, we advise you to seek independent legal advice.

Payments

  • Once a moving date has been agreed and references have all been approved by the landlord. The tenancy agreement will need to be signed by all parties and initial monies to be paid in full less any holding deposit previously paid.
  • This is made up of the following:

  • Deposit normally equal to 4 to 6 weeks of rent (depending on the annual rent).
  • The first month's rent in advance. (Rent is worked out on a per calendar month basis), which is, if you are not aware; the weekly rent, multiplied by 52 weeks and divided by twelve months to give the per calendar month rental figure.
  • The above monies need to be in a cleared form before the tenancy can commence. Payment through either a banker's draft, cash or paid directly into our client bank account and showing as cleared will allow us to proceed further.

Rental Payment

  • Rent shall be paid to us or the landlord directly, depending on whether we have been instructed to fully manage the property, or collect rent on the landlord's behalf.

Maintenance and repairs

  • We do get instructed to fully manage some of our landlord's properties, in this case, we will inform you before your tenancy starts. If we are managing the property, then any faults with appliances or problems within the property will need to be reported to us so we can deal with the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Failure to report an ongoing problem may turn the onus onto you; please report any issues you feel need attention.

Notice to end a tenancy

  • To terminate your tenancy, you will be required to give us at least two months' notice in writing of your intention to leave, unless otherwise specified in your specific tenancy agreement.

Inventory

  • A well-prepared inventory and check-in report protect landlords and tenants alike, providing an accurate description of the condition and contents of a property at the start of a tenancy.
  • The condition of the property and its contents at the end of the tenancy is then compared back with a check-out report. The inventory clerk will also provide an opinion on whether any damage that has arisen during the tenancy is attributable to the tenants' fair wear and tear or the landlord as required maintenance.
  • It is in a landlord's interest to ensure the inventories for properties they own. In the worst-case scenario, should you end up in court, the judge will tend to look more favourably on an impartial, unbiased inventory by a third party unconnected to either the landlord or the tenant. Inventories by landlords could be viewed as biased and one-sided.
  • An inventory of the property condition, furniture, fittings and damages will be prepared by the landlord, or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord before the tenancy starts. The inventory is checked and agreed upon between the tenant and the landlord at the tenancy commencement.

Deposit Returns

  • When your tenancy ends, an inspection of the property will be carried out, either by the landlord or an independent inventory clerk instructed by the landlord.
  • The landlord may propose deductions to the deposit for cleaning, damages, or unpaid rent (Assessed by comparing the inventory check-in to the check-out). Provided you agree with this, the remaining amount will be returned to your account.
  • If you disagree with the proposed deductions, you should try and settle this with the landlord. In case of no settlement, you will need to raise a dispute with the deposit protection service, and an independent adjudicator will assess the evidence and decide how much of the deposit will go to you or the landlord.

Tenants' Obligations

  • The responsibility for the property lies with the tenant during the period of tenancy. Always ensure that the property is fully secured and the winter precautions are taken to prevent freezing of the water and heating system.

Property Inspection

  • If we are instructed as managing agents for the property, we will carry out periodic inspections to assess the condition of the property. We will always arrange this with you at a mutually convenient time.

Council Tax & Utilities

  • It is the tenants' responsibility to inform the utility companies of their occupation of the property at the commencement of the tenancy and to pay council tax to the local authority. Students, who may be exempt from the payment of council tax, are responsible for informing the Local Authority of this.
  • Wherever applicable VAT will be charged at the current VAT rate.
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