Tenants

Letting a property can often be daunting and competitive. Demand for property is high and it is a good idea to do as much preparation as possible so you stand a better chance of putting yourself ahead of the game.

Clarets Residential are on hand to keep you up to date with current and new properties that come to the market and make it as easy a transition as possible. Our friendly team will guide you through the process until you are happily settled in your new home.

You need to work out what you require from your new home, such as;

  • Location, location, location
  • Flat, house, studio, room?
  • Length of tenancy period?
  • Furnished or unfurnished?
  • Number of bedrooms, bathrooms, reception rooms?
  • Garden?
  • Off-street parking?
  • Your budget

Be realistic with your budget. Remember as a tenant you are also responsible for all the household bills which include, water, electricity, gas, council tax and so on. Remember there are also additional charges when you initially move in, please see our Tenants Fees table for more information.

In addition to your rental costs, you’ll also need to budget for other related expenses.

Searching for property has never been easier. There are so many property portals to search in addition to our own website, such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and NeedaProperty.

It is also a good idea to register your interest with us so we can keep you informed of new properties that become available.

Once we’ve found a suitable property for you, we collect a non refundable holding deposit (which will be deducted from the first months rent if your application is successful) plus the referencing and administration fees. The property will then be taken off the market whilst referencing is carried out.

For a full list of fees to expect please take a look at Tenant Standard Terms and Fees

From 1st February 2016 all applicants need to have ‘Right to Rent’ checks carried out, as per section 22 of the Immigration Act 2014. We will require you to fill in a Constent Form and then provide us with the original copy of either your passport (for people from within the EEA/EU) or your Permit card/ Visa For Applicants outside the EEA/EU. This will apply to ALL tenants over the age of 18 years.

More information on this can be found at www.gov.uk/check-tenant-right-to-rent-documents

Your prospective new landlord will be keen to make sure that you are a suitable tenant and that you have the ability to pay your rent, while also making sure that you have rented a property without any major problems in the past.

This is an essential part of the Lettings process and it’s cost is borne by the tenant.

Clarets Residential use HOMELET to reference all prospective tenants and we instruct them to do a FULL credit check which we feel is the most comprehensive available to the market.
You will be required to fill in a form which we will be able to email directly to you for you to complete. The reference will highlight the following;
Any adverse credit history such as, bankruptcy, CCJs and court decrees.

  • Previous names and addresses which haven’t been disclosed.
  • Undisclosed credit history which is linked to their current and most recent homes.
  • Banking details provided are for a genuine bank account.
  • HomeLet’s own Default Database, which may indicate whether your tenant has not been able to pay their rent in the past.
  • Financial Sanctions, to make sure that the tenant isn’t registered to any of the Government’s Asset Freezing lists, as this could mean they’re unable to pay their rent in the future.

Plus, they will speak to:

  • Your current Landlord or Managing Agent to ask them for a reference.
  • Your employer to check you are being paid what you’ve told us and that there is no reason your employment will be terminated any time soon.

In order for you to complete the reference you will need to give them the following information;

  • Current Address – We will require proof of this in the form or a utility bill or drivers licence.
  • Previous Addresses to cover the past 3 years (including those adbroad if applicable)
  • Photo ID – Passport or driving licence
  • Income – Between all tenants you require an income of 2.5 times the annual rental
  • Bank Account Details.

In the event that the information highlights any potential of risk to the landlord, you may be asked to provide a guarantor. A guarantor will be contractually liable, both financially and legally, should you fail to pay the rent during your tenancy or in the event of damage to the property.

We would suggest you have contents insurance in place prior to signature. Not only does this protect your own contents, it will also protect things like carpets, landlords furniture (such as kitchens, bathrooms etc.) which can protect your deposit should damage occur.

The tenant is often responsible for paying this.

You will be expected to take on most of these bills from the day you move in. We will provide each tenant with a Moving in form which details all the meter readings and what the current suppliers are on the day you move.

If the property you are interested in is in a block of flats or is a serviced apartment, there may be a service charge to pay. We will clarify it this is included in the rent or an additional charge

Will you require a removals firm to help move you in? These costs can often range from £500 up to £1000’s. Clarets Residential have some excellent firms we are happy to recommend.

Since 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by landlords and letting agents under Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs) in England and Wales must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords and letting agents must not take a deposit unless it is dealt with under a tenancy deposit scheme. To avoid any disputes going to court, each scheme is supported by an alternative dispute resolution service (ADR). A deposit is typically a months rent.

Landlords and letting agents can choose between two types of scheme; a single custodial scheme and two insurance-based schemes.

If the landlord decides to hold the deposit themselves we will transfer it to them within 5 days of receiving it. They must then register it with a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme within 30 days of its initial receipt, if the tenancy is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If they fail to do so the tenant can take legal action against them in the County Court.
We will notify the tenant where the deposit is being held.
The benefits of holding the deposit in these types of schemes are;

  • The scheme offers alternative ways of resolving disputes which aim to be faster and cheaper than taking court action.
  • Tenants will get all or part of their deposit back, if they have kept the rental property in good condition and are entitled to get their deposit back.

Find out more about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme at www.depositprotection.com

An inventory is a vital document in part of the renting process as this is key in deciding how much of your deposit you get back at the end of your agreement.

This outlines the condition of the property and what (if any) contents are included in the rental which you will be asked to sign every page as an agreement. Photographic evidence is often provided in the inventory and will help support any later claims of damage at the outset.

Fair wear and tear is considered at the Check out, and will be supported by the adjudicator should a dispute be made.

The tenancy agreement is a legal document which acts as a contract between you and the landlord. It specifies certain rights to both you and the landlord, such as your right to live in the home for the agreed term and your landlord’s right to receive rent for letting the property.

Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement
An AST has been the most common form of tenancy agreement and sets out the duties of both tenant and landlord. The most important aspect of this agreement is that the landlord has the right to repossess the property at the end of the agreed term. There is no minimum term specified either, although the tenant has the right to remain in the property for at least six months.

There are specific requirements linked to an AST that include:
The tenant(s) must be an individual (i.e. not a company).
The property must be the main home of the occupant.
The property must be let as separate accommodation.
The landlord is obliged to provide the tenant with two months’ notice if they want to terminate the agreement.

The agreement will most likely contain the following information:
Your name, your landlord’s name and the address of the property which is being let.
The date the tenancy will commence and expire.
The duration of the tenancy.

The amount of rent payable and when payment is expected.

Towards the end of the term you need to notify the landlord (via the agent for a managed property) of your intention to either extend the agreement with their permission or vacate.

If you decide to move out, then it’s advisable to return the property as you found it so you have a higher chance of getting your full deposit back (please allow for the deductions of the check out, price dependant on the property)

We advise that you do the following;
Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, ovens, walls and furniture.
If it’s your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish.
Return all of the keys to the landlord.
Remove all of your personal belongings.
Be satisfied you’re leaving the property as you found it.

You’ll be asked to go through the inventory checklist (Check out) with the clerk on the day of departure.

If an agreement cannot be reached as to the damage of particular items, which items have been damaged, or repair costs, then you should make sure you take photographs. Get your own repair cost estimates and write to the landlord with your findings and work towards a mutually agreeable solution.
If both you and the landlord are satisfied the property has been left in an acceptable state and you have made your final rental payment, there should be no problem getting your deposit back.

Bank, building society, pension provider, loan & investment companies.

Local council (tax).Telephone and Internet service providers.

TV Licensing www.tvlicensing.co.uk or call 0844 800.

Credit card and store card companies.

Inland Revenue – see www.hmrc.gov.uk for a list of offices.

Employers.

The schools your children (if any) attend.

It is a legal requirement to notify DVLA and renew your driving licence and vehicle registration document.

Friends, family and colleagues.

You will be told who the utility companies are when you move in, please call them to update your details with them – If you wish to change the provider, please ensure you have told the landlord and the agent.