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First time Tenants: Guide to renting

  1. Make sure that you have your finances ready.

This can include your holding deposit (equal to 1 week’s rent), the first month’s rent and your security deposit- (which can be equal to 5 week’s rent where the rent is less than £50,000 p/a.)

2. Start viewing!

Don’t waste any time here, due to the current high demand for rentals; properties don’t stay on the market for long. Once you’ve worked out your budget for what you can afford on your salary, make sure you are also checking when properties are available from. This way you will keep up to date with the newest properties available to suit the date you would like to move in. When viewing properties make sure you ask all the right questions, so you get no nasty surprises.

Things such as: does it have the furnishings you need? Do you need a parking permit? Are you aloud to re- paint, or hang pictures without permission?

3. The Tenancy application.

You should expect to be asked for credit and reference checks to confirm you have no adverse credit history. You’ll also have to show confirmation of earnings, proof of address and photo ID. Your agent will advise you exactly what they require from you. Once you have received your tenancy agreement it is very important you read this carefully and understand your rights and obligations during the tenancy.

4. Staying safe.

You may want to look into taking out insurance on your belongings and liability, although not everybody who rents deems this to be necessary. Your agent can advise you of the insurances available if you decide to go ahead with this.

5. Moving into your property

Before your keys are handed over you will be asked to sign the tenancy agreement, your move in money must be paid, normally you will pay the first month’s rent and the security deposit, and any photo id or right to rent documents you’ve been asked to provide should be done beforehand. You should also be given an inventory from your agent, this is a detailed list of all the appliances and contents of the property, detailing the condition they’re in when you move in. Both parties must sign the inventory to agree with what is stated, this minimises the risk of any disputes at the end of the tenancy. Now you should also make sure from the day you move in your name is on all the bills for council tax, water, gas, electric, and tv license and these should all be paid on time.

6. Living in the property

If you encounter any maintenance issues/ problems (depending on whether your property is managed by the agent or the landlord) you will be advised who to contact when you move in. Paying rent is usually each month, unless stated otherwise in your tenancy agreement. This will usually be paid by bank transfer/ direct debit with a specific ‘reference’ to use.

7. Moving out

Get your deposit back and make sure the property is clean, and in good condition to get your full deposit back. If you are on a rolling tenancy, it’s advised to let the agent know at least one month before the fixed term that you want to leave.

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