Key steps to renting a property
As a tenant it is vital that you choose a landlord and letting agent that you can trust. As a licensed member of Association of Renting Letting Agents (ARLA), Prime Choice operate under strict codes of practice.
Narrow your search
When you start the search for your ideal home it is worth considering your requirements:
- Think about the location you'd like to live in
- Consider your 'must have' list- what do you really want?
- What's your budget? Would you pay more for the right property?
- How long do you need the accommodation for? Is it a stop gap or a long term solution?
- When would you like to move in? Work backwards and start your search around six to eight weeks before this
Our top tip: Budget carefully - allow for council tax and the cost of all utilities, which you'll normally have to pay for.
Whether you have begun your search online or in the office of your letting agent, once you have found one or more properties which meet your requirements, a lettings consultant will take you on viewings so you can see the property in person.
You can also join our mailing list to be kept informed of all the latest properties that match your requirements.
Our top tips for viewings:
- You'll need more than just an emotional connection- Enquire about mobile phones reception, cable/ satellite dish, broadband availability and electrical sockets to stay connected in your new home
As of October 2008, every landlord is required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for any new tenancies in each property they rent out. This certificate gives the property a rating based on such factors as loft insulation, double glazing, boiler age, efficiency etc and more, and is valid for 10 years. The level of energy efficiency of your property will affect your energy bills so it is worth checking this out.
The rental market moves much faster than the sales market so if you see the perfect property, you may have to act quickly to secure it. We recommend always being prepared with the relevant documents such as a form of identification and confirmation of your address.
Once you are ready to proceed, you will need to pay an application fee to secure the property and we may require the first months rent dependent on your moving in date.
You will be asked to give references to your prospective landlord and letting agent to confirm that you have rented in the past without any major problems. As part of this process Prime Choice may also request further details:
- Three years' address history
- Landlord details for any property rented in the last three years
- Confirmation of earnings per annum that are equal to the monthly rental fee multiplied by 30 (employee reference and 3 months bank statements/pay slips)
- If you're retired, then your (joint) pension per annum will also need to equal 30 times the monthly rental
- No adverse credit in the form of a county court judgment, bankruptcy order or similar
- If you're self-employed, either an accounts reference or to provide evidence of the last three years' tax return
Once the deposit is paid in full, the property is secured. This deposit is held as the landlord's cover for any excessive damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.
If Prime Choice is managing the property on behalf of the landlord, the deposit will be registered with The Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord are adhered to. This may include such responsibilities as; you must tell your landlord if you are going away for longer than 14 days, you must not use the property as a business etc.
Our top tip: The date on which the contract starts will become your rent's due date. You're unable to change this at a later stage, so please do bear it in mind when you apply for a property.
Before you recieve the keys to your new home, we will require the following:
- First month's rent
- Application fee
With your references and paperwork complete, it's time to move in!
Remember to inform your utilities provider and the local council of your move.
The inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of the property at the point that you move into it. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign.
The property you are renting is a large investment for your landlord, so we will to meet with you at the property and check that everything is in order, usually only a couple of times a year. Of course, if anything breaks down or needs repairing then we will visit the property more often to ensure the property is well maintained.
Once you are nearing the end of your tenancy period you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out (remembering to give two months' notice in writing).
a. Staying put
If you do want to renew the tenancy, at the end of your initial 6 months you will automatically enter a monthly periodic tenancy (subject to Landlord approval).
Longer tenancies or 6 monthly renewals can be agreed at the Landlords discretion.
Our top tip: Remember the landlord at this stage will be within his/her rights to serve notice on your tenancy if they need the property back or there have been any persistent issues.
b. Moving out
If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, you will recieve our Vacating Procedure - once you vacate we will complete our final inspection of the property.
After serving your notice you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good condition in order for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. If there are no deductions or disputes, your deposit should be returned ten days after the completion of your final inspection.
Pardoning normal wear-and-tear, if the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, getting your deposit back should be no problem.
Here's what to do next:
- Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, walls and furniture (if necessary hire a professional cleaner)
- Tdy up the garden and clear away any rubbish
- Return all of the keys
- Remove all of your personal belongings
If you need any help either before after your tenancy call us and we'll be happy to help.