Renting offers lots of people the flexibility to live in areas that they traditionally might not have thought of. However, there are a few things worth knowing, and tips on how to maximise your chances of finding your next home. Below you’ll find our handy guide.
What’s your budget?
Before you start looking at property you’d like to rent, it’s a good idea to look at what you can afford to pay monthly, but also to get an understanding of what fees you’ll need to pay as you go through the process. Most renters need to pay a fee to set up the tenancy and cover the cost of references, credit checks and arranging the contract between you and a landlord. There’s also a security deposit and many landlords ask for one month’s rent in advance, so it’s important to consider all of these before deciding on where you’d like to live.
Register with us
Once you’ve got a grip on your finances and how much you’ll need before taking the plunge, get in touch with us either via email or by phone and let us know the areas you are looking for, how many people are looking to rent, your budget and a timeline on when you are looking to move. That way we can make sure we only provide you with properties that fit your budget and timetable.
Things to consider when looking for property
There are lots of different styles of property in the areas Robert Alan Homes covers. So it’s good to think about what are the essentials you need in a property. Do you own a car and need somewhere to keep it? Do you have lots of furniture, or none at all? Do you have pets or need outdoor space for children? Do you rely on being near a tube station to get to and from work? What about schools? Do you need to be near a primary or secondary school? Answering these questions ahead of time can help us find you a property quickly.
Arrange some viewings
Now that you’ve got a clear idea of what you’re looking for, one of our specialist rental agents will get in touch when they’ve found the perfect place for you. When you go to the property, it’s always good to have some questions so you don’t get caught out later, so feel free to speak to one of our lettings agents at anytime.
Once you’ve found your property
Once you’ve seen a few places that you like, and you’ve decided on the one for you, your estate agent will contact the landlord to let them know you’re interested in moving in.
At this point you will have to transfer to Robert Alan homes a two week non-refundable holding deposit. There will also be an additional fee of £250.00 per person for the contract and all associated referencing once this has been paid this will allow your letting agent to carry out a credit check, get in touch with your references from previous landlords and or employers and start all the legal paperwork involved in setting up the agreement.
A member of Robert Alan Homes lettings team will supply you with a tenants guide. This will need to be signed and will detail any agreements that are made between yourselves and our client at the start of the agreement. This agreement is non-negotiable, and once it is signed, unless there are extenuating circumstances, this cannot be rescinded.
Once your references have been obtained, Robert Alan Homes will advise you of this and arrange for your move in date. On the day you move in you will be required to pay one month’s rent and one month’s deposit, your two weeks holding deposit will be deducted from this. You will be required to sign the assured short hold tenancy agreement, and any standing order mandates.
We advise you to read a copy of the ‘How to rent’ guide provided by the government.
Once you’ve been given a date to move in, you can then go about setting up your monthly rental payments along with your bills and utilities. Many properties will already have prior arrangements with gas, electric and water suppliers, so do ask your landlord or letting agent for any details that can make the process of getting set up easier.
Council tax will also need to be paid – and your landlord or letting agent should be able to supply details of how much and when money is taken from your account. It is also good to take a meter reading straight away so that you’re only paying for the services you’ve used. If you’re looking to install broadband or a phone line, consult with your landlord or letting agent first and get express permission before making any changes to the property.
Please note that if you do make changes to the property or invite any pets into the home without express permission from either the agent or the landlord, you are contravening your assured shorthand tenancy agreement and will be served notice immediately.
A tenant’s responsibilities
Once you’re settled in, get acquainted with how the boiler and other major appliances work. Make a note of where the fuse box, stop cock and meters are located. If you’re unsure, get in touch with your landlord or letting agent who will be able to direct you. Do keep the property tidy which will include the garden both front and back. If anything breaks or goes wrong, get in touch with your landlord or agent right away, failing this, or the problem gets worse, Robert Alan Homes or its client reserve the right to charge the tenant or tenants.
Leaving or extending your tenancy
As you approach the end of your tenancy agreement, you have two choices: to extend your agreement or terminate it. This is also subject to your landlord or agent agreeing to the above. Please note that if you decide to stay for another term, Robert Alan Homes will contact you two months prior to your agreement ending. At that point, we will need an email signed by all parties, agreeing that you would like a further 12 month agreement. The assured short hold tenancy agreement must be signed within seven weeks of your leaving date and this is non negotiable, failing this the property will be placed on the open market to be re let. Robert Alan Homes reserves the right to serve notice on the existing tenants to enter the property and take up to date photography. At this point the tenants will be notified and the property, including all front and rear gardens will have to be cleaned and in a presentable state. If not, then an outside cleaning contractor will be engaged and the invoice will be the responsibility of the tenants. this is non negotiable.
Ending your tenancy
If you’ve decided to move on, or if your landlord would like to replace you, they need to provide at least two month’s notice. Once the notice period is agreed, there will need to be an inspection of the property – this is vital in getting your deposit back, and so it is advised you be present during the inspection.
If there are any deductions on your deposit your landlord will let you know. If there is a disagreement, your deposit should be kept under a deposit protection scheme. You can contact them and ask for guidance on the matter. In the build up to you leaving, make sure you have paid any rent remaining under the agreement and also any outstanding bills. Make sure to leave the property as you found it, take meter readings, and return all keys to either the agent or landlord.