Although Letting Agents have different procedures, this guide is intended as a general overview to assist you when renting a property. We have set out below a few significant pointers to assist you.
YOUR OFFER – Once we have found your suitable property, you will be in a position to make an offer to the Landlord for consideration. Please note that any offer you make would be subject to you fulfilling our reference criteria.
At this point, you will be requested to provide a RESERVATION FEE which holds the property for you. However, if the Tenancy Agreement is not signed by you (the Tenant) within 7 to 14 working days after receipt of your application, the Landlord reserves the right to re-offer the property. In these circumstances or, should your references prove unsatisfactory, the reservation/application fee would be non-refundable.
AGREEING THE LET- As soon as your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, we will apply for references and draw up the relevant documentation which will form the basis of the agreement between you and the Landlord.
You will be expected to provide:
IDENTIFICATION/PROOF OF RESIDENCY
All tenants must show proof of address. Only the following forms of identification are accepted:
Utility bill (less than 3 months old)
Full driving license
Council tax bill (less than 3 months old)
Mobile phone bill (less than 3 months old)
We will also contact your employer and your landlord (if you are in rented accommodation already. Your previous employer will also be contacted if you have recently changed jobs. If you are self employed we will need to contact your accountant. A credit check will also be conducted.
To assist us in collating the necessary references, it would be advantageous for you to warn the above individuals in advance that references are required as these can be return to us within a matter of a few days, barring any delays.
Occasionally, a GUARANTOR will be required if, for example the tenant has not been continuously employed for the past 18 months; has been working abroad in the previous 6 months; the tenants’ income falls short of our criteria or the tenants’ employment is considered as changeable.
Please note that the same criteria applies to the guarantor and, furthermore, the guarantor must earn the equivalent of 3 times the yearly sum of the rent, be in full time employment or be able to prove by bank statements that they have “independent means”. All tenants should be able to provide a guarantor and should the tenant be unable to provide one, we will decide that the tenant has withdrawn their application. The tenant will therefore forfeit their deposit.
The guarantor must be aware that they will stand as guarantor for you, (and your partner if you are moving in to the property with some one else), for the entire occupancy of the property, not just for the period of the initial tenancy term.
HOW MUCH DO I NEED TO EARN TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THE PROPERTY
Having passed all the referencing criteria to be considered for the property and, subject to the Landlord’s decision, you must earn at least 1.5 times the yearly rent (however, you will require a guarantor) or at least 2.5 times the yearly rent (you will qualify on the income part of the referencing without a guarantor).
An appointment will be arranged with you to visit our offices to sign the Tenancy Agreement when all references have been received. The Landlord will also be asked to sign their copy of the document.
RENT AND DEPOSIT – You will be required to provide the agreed sum of rent and deposit before taking possession of the property.
The deposit is required for the full tenancy against loss, damage or charges payable at the termination of the tenancy. Whilst this is usually the equivalent of one month’s rent, this may vary therefore we suggest that the actual amount is verified via the property description as found on our letting list. The deposit will be held by The Deposit Protection Service in their designated clients’ account and is fully bonded. It is returnable in full at the end of the tenancy subject to final inspection of the property and it should be noted that deductions will also be made for cleaning should the property (and garden areas) not have been left in a satisfactory condition.
Rent is to be paid monthly in advance commencing on the first day of the tenancy and then on the same day each month thereafter. The preferred method is by bank standing order.
FEES – We charge an application fee of £ 75 per person including VAT which is non-refundable, even if a tenancy is refused on the grounds of references or if the tenant withdraws from taking the property. Where there are more than two tenants an additional amount per tenant inclusive of VAT will be charged.
COMPANY LET – Company applications are acceptable where the company will be paying the rent. The fee will be £150 plus VAT.
Please note that all monies to be paid on the signing of the agreement prior to the occupation and should be paid in cash or by bankers draft, unless they are paid a minimum of seven working days prior to occupancy
CHECK IN AND CONDITION REPORT – If we have been instructed by the Landlord, a Condition Report will be prepared of your new home and a convenient appointment will be made with the Inventory Clerk to carry out a Check In report to coincide with your move in day.
All information is provided in good faith. It does not replace the advice of a qualified legal advisor. We will accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST:
1. The Tenant will be responsible for insuring their own possessions
2. The Tenant will take over all utilities such as Gas, Electricity, Water/Sewage charges, Council Tax & Telephone upon moving into the property and will be responsible for contacting the relevant suppliers accordingly prior to commencement of the tenancy.
3. The Landlord is responsible for any repair/maintenance problems to appliances etc. but the Tenant is responsible for any breakages which should be reported immediately.
4. Decoration of the property must only be done with your Landlord’s permission
5. No pets are allowed unless the Landlord has given consent
6. Reasonable notice should be given in the event that the Letting Agent or Landlord wishes to inspect the property outside pre-agreed times. It is usual for the Agent to inspect the property at least twice during the term of your Tenancy and the Tenancy Agreement should cover this eventuality.
7. Most lets are for 12 months, although some Landlords may consider shorter terms of say 6 months.
8. Should you wish to quit your Tenancy earlier than the agreed term, you will be liable for all rent until the end of the agreed Tenancy. However, it may be worth considering negotiating a BREAK CLAUSE with the Landlord which, for example, could entitle you to give notice after 4 months.
In this case, you would only be liable for the rent for the notice period of 2 months, releasing you from the remaining 6 months of a 12 month Tenancy.
9. There is no set law regarding the time limit for returning deposits but this is normally subsequent to the final inspection of the property. Letting agents generally encourage Landlords to employ a professional inventory agent to conduct the inspection and produce a report as to the condition of the interior at the beginning of the Tenancy and again at the end but this is not obligatory. In most cases, the deposit will be returned once any damages are ascertained by the Tenant/Landlord/Inventory Clerk and appropriate deductions agreed.
10. The most common type of Tenancy Agreement is the assured short hold used for 6-12 month lets and usually takes the form of a standard contract between both parties.
However, should any “extras” be agreed such as certain furnishings to be provided by the Landlord, you should ask that an extra clause be added to the agreement to this effect. It should be noted that the landlord is not obliged to carry out promises so it is important that your requests are documented.
11. The Letting Agents will deal with the property viewings, references, agreements and getting you moved in. If the agent has been instructed to manage the property then you will normally report any repairs or queries to them. If not, then you will deal directly with the Landlord.
12. The Letting Agent, whilst acting for the Landlord, operates within accepted guidelines in the industry to ensure that you are able to rely on a professional letting agent taking your concerns seriously and advising the Landlord if they are being unreasonable. In this regard, you should be assured that the property conforms to all safety regulations and is fairly priced.
13. Henleys ensures that professional standards are met, for example, the correct Tenancy Agreement is used; proper procedures are in place for reporting and dealing with repairs; safety checks are conducted and a bonding scheme is provide to protect your deposit.