Preparing for Your Property Search
It is really important to make a list of your ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’ when starting to search for your next home, create a checklist to include number location, property type, number of bedrooms, parking, garden size and how much you can afford to spend.
You will also need to confirm how quickly you can move, if you are already renting you need to provide 1 months notice unless you are contacted for a fixed term.
If you are selling your property it is worth checking if there is an early penalty fee to pay as well as confirming with your solicitor when you can agree to move. We do not advise signing an AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement) until you have Exchanged Contracts on the sale of your property so you are not committed should anything go wrong. It can also be a bit tricky working out the date you can move from your previous home, into your new one – we can advise you on this.
Choosing the Right Letting
Do your research! Choosing the right Letting Agency is paramount, especially as the rental sector has changed so much over the years with tougher rules and safety standards to prevent rogue Agents and Landlords from letting unsafe properties to Tenants.
Read reviews and check to see which Letting Agencies have undergone training and are recognised by professional bodies such as ARLA Propertymark, GPP, Safeagent, RICS and UKALA.
We are accredited by ARLA Propertymark and have been fully trained to ensure you receive the highest level of care and service, we have over 272 5 Star reviews from lots of very happy Tenants and Landlords and are the only Letting Agency in the area that is 5 Star Rated.
Preparing Your Finances
When you apply to rent a property through us after we have taken your reservation fee we pass your application over to our trusted referencing company who will check your credit history, previous address and Landlord reference etc.
We highly suggest prior to your property search you carry out a credit check on yourself with a company such as Experian to find out what you are scored which could save you money in the long run.
Do you have your deposit funds saved? The deposit equates to 5 weeks rent and you will also be required to pay one month’s rent upfront before you move in.
Registering with Us
In order for us to keep you up to date with new properties that are available to let, you need to get in touch with us to register your details and let us know what type of property you are looking for.
After you have registered, we call and email you with any new properties that match your criteria before they are marketed on our property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla etc.
You can register by; phone, email, online or pop into our Nyetimber Office and meet our wonderful team!
Viewings and Feedback
Viewings – Once you have found a property you believe to be suitable, it is advisable to arrange a visit as soon as possible as there will likely be lots of other Tenants who are also interested in renting it.
We attend all of our viewing appointments, one of our team will give you a tour of the property and will be available to answer any of your questions.
The first viewing appointment will normally take approximately 15 minutes, however, we are more than happy to organise a further viewing if you wish.
Feedback - After your appointment has taken place, we will contact you to request feedback for us to pass onto the Landlord.
We as well as our Landlord’s value your opinion on their property as not only will it help us find a suitable Tenant for them, it also gives us a deeper understanding of the type of property you are looking to let which will enable us to serve you better in the future.
Offers and Holding Deposit
Offers – After you have found a suitable property, the next step would be to make a bid or offer. Often when a property is listed for let, we are inundated with Tenant enquiries therefore, we would strongly advise placing your offer as soon as possible.
Reservation Fee – Once your offer has been accepted, we will require a reservation fee for us to take the property off the market and process your references – this equates to 1 weeks rent of the agreed monthly rent. You will also be provided with a letter which explains in more detail and requires a signature.
Any offer is subject to an approved referencing check and cleared reservation funds.
After your offer has been accepted, we will then put you forward to our partner reference company.
The reference and report will include:
- An up to date credit report
- Previous Landlord reference
- Current income reference
- Previous address check
- Any linked addresses
- Bank verification check
After all of the checks have been carried out, your application will be sent back to us with a decision as to whether you have been approved or not.
If not approved, the company will update us on the reasoning behind this and it will be up to the Landlord of the property to decide if he/she wishes to accept you.
Please note, should your application be unsuccessful, Landlords are more than not willing to still allow the let to go ahead providing the entire term of rent can be paid in advance (usually 6 months) or if you can find someone to guarantee the rent for you.
Your Tenancy Agreements
Congratulations! You have found yourself a new home and have been approved!
Prior to moving in, we have various agreements to prepare and paperwork to create to finalise the let.
Our documents will comprise of:
How to Rent – A handy checklist document created by the government to answer all of your queries, provide you with lots of helpful information to make sure you are fully informed about the process and what the legal obligations are that Letting Agencies and Landlords must adhere to.
EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) – A qualified Electrician is required to carry out a full inspection of all of the electrical points throughout the property, at least every 5 years as a minimum and a copy supplied to you. This is to make sure that all of the electrics are in safe, working order and to prevent any unsafe wires or parts from causing any danger.
EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) – This inspection is a rating of the properties energy efficiency. It is valued for 10 years and at least an E rating is needed to be able to let a privately owned property. The report also details suggestions on how to improve the properties rating such as installation etc.
GSR (Gas Safe Record) – A Gas Safe Engineer is required to attend the property every year to ensure all the gas appliances are safe and working correctly and a certificate will be provided to you following each inspection. The record will also cover suggestions for future repairs or works to improve the overall system.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide (CO2) Alarm – For safety purposes, it is a legal requirement for 1 working smoke alarm to be present per floor of a property i.e. on the ground floor and first floor of a standard 2 storey house. It is also required that there must be carbon monoxide present in any room that has a solid fuel burning appliance, i.e. a wood burning stove or a coal fire. The Letting Agent or Landlord is required to ensure the alarms are working at the start of each new tenancy.
Inventory Condition Report – This will be created before your tenancy starts and as close to the occupation date as feasible. The report lists in great detail the condition of the property with photographic evidence as well as noting any items that are to be included within the let. The purpose is to confirm and agree between the Landlord and Tenant the move in condition to make sure there are not any disagreements upon checkout.
AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement) – This is the agreement you will be required to sign to undertake the let, it legally binds the Tenant and Landlord and details each person's responsibilities and includes payment terms such as the rent.
Deposit – We are required to secure your deposit in a government approved TDP (Tenancy Deposit Scheme). We hold all of our deposits in the DPS, we will also provide you with various documents relating to your deposit which include: The Deposit Protection Service Custodial Terms and Conditions, your Deposit Certificate and Prescribed Information which requires signing and dating.
Reservation Fee – The reservation fee you paid at the start will either be used towards your first month's rent or refunded to your bank account.
Funds – Cleared deposit and rent money must be paid before we are able to give you the keys to your new home.
We are proud to be accredited and members of ARLA Propertymark as well as CMP (Client Money Protection), which means we undergo yearly checks and screening to be recognised by these professional bodies. Our Tenancy Agreements are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure you our contracts are up to date with the latest legislation, offering you the very highest level of safety.
Our Accompanied Check In
We want to ensure you are being looked after from the very first day of your Tenancy. We will arrange an appointment, at your convenience to meet you at your new home, give you your keys and answer any questions about the property you have, such as where are the bins kept, stopcock, fuse board etc. We will also show you where the smoke and co2 alarms are, test them and go through your Inventory Condition Report.
Our Management Service
If your Landlord has appointed us under our Fully Managed Service, we act as the middle person and our team will manage your property and deal with any maintenance issues or queries that may arise. We also offer a Find a Tenant and a Rent Collection Service, depending on which level of service your Landlord has chosen will depend on how much involvement we have on a day to day basis however, we are only a phone call or email away should you need us or would like any advice.