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 several significant pointers to assist you.
Once we have found you a 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 which we outsource via an independent reference agency.
As soon as your offer is agreed you will be requested to pay a fee of intent which reserves the property for you, subject to referencing and contract. Should your references prove unsatisfactory, the fee of intent/application fee is non refundable.
AGREEING THE LET
As soon as your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, and the fee of intent paid you will be provided with a reference application form. Subject to satisfactory references you will be issued with a draft tenancy agreement which will form the basis of the agreement between you and the Landlord.
IDENTIFICATION/PROOF OF RESIDENCY/RIGHT TO RENT
All tenants must show original Identification Documents, when submitting their references. Only the following forms of identification are accepted:
Full UK driving license
In addition to the above ID we need to be able to verify with HMRC that you have a Right to Rent and therefore require the following documents:-
National Identity Card
Certificate of Registration or Naturalisation
We outsource our referencing to a independent agency who will contact your existing landlord (if you are currently in rental accommodation). Your previous address/landlord may also be contacted if you have recently moved home. Your current employer will be contacted (previous employer will also be contacted if you have recently changed jobs). If you are self employed your accountant will be contacted. A credit check will also be conducted at this stage.
To assist the referencing agency in collating the necessary references, it would be advantageous for you to warn the above individuals in advance that references are required to ensure a swift return, barring any delays.
Occasionally a guarantor may be required. If for example the tenant has not been continuously employed; has been working abroad in the previous 6 months; the tenants’ income falls short of the criteria or the tenants’ employment is considered as changeable.
Please note that the same criteria applies to the guarantor. A guarantor must be in full time employment or be able to prove that they have “independent means” and also be a resident of the United Kingdom.
A guarantor is normally required when a tenant does not have suitable financial income or background to offer security of paying the rent and other financial commitments arising from a tenancy agreement entered into in respect of a property.
The most common circumstances are:
The Tenant is a student
The Tenant is unemployed
The Tenant’s income is low (monthly rent X 30 = Tenant’s minimum required income)
The Tenant has bad credit such as County Court Judgements (CCJ)
A guarantor will be reference checked in the same manner that a prospective tenant would be, this includes a credit check and employment check. A suitable guarantor must be a UK resident, in most cases in full time employment and ideally a homeowner.
A Guarantor will be asked to sign a deed of guarantee. This is a legally-binding document between the Landlord and the Guarantor of the Tenant. This means that the guarantor will become jointly and severally liable with the tenant(s) for all tenant obligations as laid out in the tenancy agreement. This includes payment of the full rent if ANY of the named tenants in the property default. If the Tenant fails for whatever reason to meet the financial commitments arising from the tenancy agreement, the Guarantor would become liable to pay the required funds.
If the tenancy is renewed for a further term (regardless of whether it is another fixed term tenancy or periodic tenancy) you will continue as guarantor unless the tenant/s have been re-referenced satisfactorily and it is agreed that you can be removed from the tenancy agreement and therefore released from your obligations.
You will be required to sign the Tenancy Agreement, when all references have been received, prior to the commencement of the tenancy. The Landlord will also be required to sign a copy of the tenancy agreement.
You will be required to provide the agreed sum of rent in advance prior to taking possession of the property.
Rent is to be paid in 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, the rent should be paid from a 'House Account' not each individuals account.
You will be required to provide the agreed sum of deposit (usually 6 weeks rent) prior to taking possession of the property. The Landlord may request an increased deposit to grant permission for any pets to reside at the property.
As of April 6th 2007 all deposits taken by Landlords for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales must be protected by a government approved tenancy deposit protection scheme. Landlords will be obliged by law to provide details to a tenant of the scheme used by them to protect the tenant’s deposit. Failure to provide this information will mean that the tenant can apply for a court order requiring the deposit to be protected or for the prescribed information to be given to him/her. If it is satisfied that the Landlord has failed to comply with the requirements of the Housing Act 2004 the court will order the Landlord to comply with these requirements and order that the landlord pay the tenants legal fees in relation to the application. At the same time the court order must order that the landlord pay an amount equivalent to three times the deposit to the tenant within 14 days and either repay the deposit to the tenant or protect it under an approved scheme.
If the scheme is not complied with the Landlord is not entitled to use a ‘notice only’ method of regaining possession (under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 as amended by the Housing Act 1998 ) from the tenant until the deposit has been protected under an approved scheme.
The above punishments and penalties will apply to each and every Assured Shorthold Tenancy and each and every deposit that is not protected.
Prospect Residential Ltd is registered with and recommends The Deposit Protection Service (The DPS) – The only custodial deposit protection scheme free to use and open to all Landlords. The service is funded entirely from the interest earned from the deposits held.
We charge an administration fee of £120 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, this is due prior to taking possession of the property. A fee of £75.00 including VAT is charged for renewal of all fixed term tenancies.
INVENTORY & CHECK IN
If we have been instructed by the Landlord, an Inventory Check In will be conducted. This will be conducted by an independent inventory company. If you wish to be present for this we will arrange a convenient appointment with yourself and the inventory company.
All information is provided in good faith, Prospect Residential will accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies.
End of Tenancy
At the end of your tenancy you are required to return the property in the condition it was handed over to you in, with the exception of reasonable wear and tear as per the inventory check in report. Therefore you may be required to pay for a professional end of tenancy clean. The cost of a professional clean varies from between approximately £120 to £375, and is determined by number of rooms, cleanliness and the individual contractors pricing.
On the last day of the tenancy an inventory clerk will attend the property and conduct a Check-out. The Tenants are liable for the cost of the check out and this varies between approximately £75 to £270, again this is determined by number of bedrooms, amount of properties and the individual contractors pricing.
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.