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Tenant's Guide to the Renting Process

Renting a residential property in the United Kingdom is a relatively straightforward process. We appreciate, however, that finding a new home is not just a business transaction, there’s an emotional aspect too.

This guide explains the process, addresses any queries you may have and takes away the stress of renting a new home.

Make sure you are in a position to move

If you’re currently renting, we recommend reviewing your existing tenancy agreement to ensure you are not tied into a lengthy tenancy. Make sure you know exactly what date your current tenancy ends and how much notice you need to give your landlord to terminate the tenancy.

The rental market has a quick turnaround and properties are usually advertised up to two months before they are available to move into. An important factor to bear in mind is when you want your new tenancy to begin. Undoubtedly, the busiest months in the rental market are June, July, August and September so give yourself plenty of time and be prepared for some stiff competition.

Transactions can sometimes happen extremely quickly and we have witnessed situations where tenants have had their offer accepted, completed their references, paid their move in monies and collected the keys within 24 hours.

We would advise you not to go down this road and suggest you start your search for a new tenancy four to six weeks before you want it to begin. If, however, you have specific requirements, you may wish to give yourself an extra couple of weeks.

Start by thinking about what's important to you.

This could be:

  • Good transport links
  • Off-street parking
  • A sunny garden or large outdoor space or balcony
  • Being in the catchment area of a specific school
  • A period property adorned with original features

Registering your details with Estate Agents

We recommend popping into the estate agents in your search area and registering your details with them. Try to build good relationships with local agents so that they know you and remember what sort of property you are looking for. That way you will be at the front of their mind when something suitable becomes available.

Set up alerts on internet portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla

Setting up alerts on the major internet portals will ensure you are notified as soon as a property that meets your requirements comes onto the market. Properties can get snapped up rapidly and, as they say, “The early bird catches the worm!”

Dedicating time to be able to view

Make sure you dedicate enough time to view prospective properties, especially if you have specific requirements such as being in a school catchment area or off-street parking. You may even want to walk to or from the property to the station to test your potential commute or check it out at different times of the day to see how busy or noisy the street or neighbourhood is.

If you’re a couple looking to rent or two or more sharers, we would advise you to view properties together, if at all possible.

Make an offer

Once you have found a suitable house or flat, there is nothing to stop you from making an offer. To put your offer in the best light, we will ask you to fill out our online pre-qualification offer form. We will put your offer to the landlord promptly and keep you informed of the offer process.

Offer accepted

Wonderful news! Once your offer has been accepted, you will be required to put down a holding deposit of one week’s rent. Acceptance of your offer is subject to you providing satisfactory references and proof that you are eligible to rent the property. We will require you to fill out our online application form, which will involve you uploading a copy of your passport and, if applicable, details of your visa status.

References and signing the Tenancy Agreement

Once you have completed the online application form, obtaining references from your employer and current landlord (if you are currently renting) should take no more than one week, assuming they come back to us swiftly. The next step will be reading through and signing the tenancy agreement.

Move In Money

We will ask you to pay your move in money at least 48 hours prior to the tenancy beginning. This will be a deposit equal to four weeks’ rent plus one month’s rent in advance. The initial one week’s deposit you paid at the offer stage will be added to the four weeks’ rent. You will, therefore, be putting up a five week rent deposit, which will be held under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). For further information regarding the TDS, please visit their website.

Move In Day

Exciting times! We will arrange for the inventory to take place on the property on the day you move in. Once this has taken place, the keys will be yours and you’re free to move into the property and start a new chapter in your life. Subsequently, you will receive a copy of the inventory, which we would advise you to check and keep safe.

If the property is managed by the landlord, we will pass on their details on the day you move in.