Step-by-Step Lettings Guide – Moving Forward Sales and Lettings

Step-by-Step Lettings Guide

Step 1: Viewings and offers

Before you start your search, It’s vitally important to ask yourself, what can I afford? On top of your monthly rent, there will be other home expenses such as council tax, water and gas/electricity. You can check what outgoings fit your budget at  Money Advice Service website.

Once you’re happy with your finances, and you’ve fallen in love with a property, simply click ‘apply now’ which is next to the property or give us a call. But what kind of information should you be putting to the landlord?

  • Are there any works that you require as part of your offer i.e. painting, cleaning or maintenance rectification?
  • What outside space comes with the property, including parking spaces?
  • What furniture, if any, belongs to the property and what would you like moving out?
  • What date are you looking to move into your new home?
  • Who will be moving in? This is important as each person over the age of 18 must be named on the tenancy agreement.
  • Do you have any credit issues that would affect you and if so, can you provide a working guarantor for the term of your tenancy?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Are you making any offers on the advertised rent or are you happy?
  • What length of tenancy agreement are you looking for? You can generally sign terms between 6 months and just shy of 3 years.
  • Traditional deposit or Zero deposit (If applicable)? If you are opting for Zero deposits, are you confident that you understand what this means for you?

Once we have agreed your offer, we will send you an email with a list of documents to check and a sign. These will include:

  • How to rent guide
  • Energy Performance Certificate,
  • Gas safety,
  • Application to rent form & right to rent

All parties moving in will be required to sign an acceptance to rent form which will outline your initial fees due now and the remaining balance on move in. A holding deposit will also be required (equal to 1 weeks rent) to show your intent to proceed with the property. You will also need to provide a copy of your ‘Right to Rent’ and proof of address; this must have been posted out to you and be dated within  the last 3 months. Once in receipt of payment, along with your acceptance form, and a copy of your Right to Rent, the property will be removed from the market and is all yours; subject to referencing.

Step 2: Property referencing

Referencing is the most important part of the process and with this in mind, we have chosen to partner with the very best. Not only do they provide a great service to our tenants, but they also follow our business values by making sure the application forms can be completed online. A decision is therefore reached at speed providing referees have the heads-up from you. Below is the criteria that is used:

Income references

  • You must have a household Income of 30x the monthly rental amount:
  • Example £550 per month rent x 30 therefore your gross household income would need to be £16,500 per annum.
  • If you have not been living with your partner for over 12 months, the rent share must be split 50/50 for referencing purposes.

*If using a guarantor they must have good credit and be working full time. Owning their own home is not a requirement.

Landlord reference

  • You must be able to supply your last 3 years of address history to us. Our referencing partner will then attempt to speak with your landlord to find out how your previous tenancy was conducted.

Credit search

  • A credit search will be conducted on all applications with all potential tenants. Non Disclosure of credit commitments and adverse credit will affect your ability to progress.

Step 3: Moving in day & tenancy document checklist

Fantastic news, you’ve passed referencing, move-in day has arrived and it’s time to sign. As our moves-ins are stress free, all legal documentation will be emailed to you and can be signed by e-signature. You can choose to sign on the day or days prior to suit. As these are legal documents, they must be signed by all parties over the age of 18. Below is a list of how the day will look and what you will receive.

  • You will already have selected the best day and time for move in, prior to the big day. We recommend keeping an hour of your time free  to complete the full process. All documentation will need to be signed on the day or prior to move in including:
  • Tenancy agreement – This is a legally binding document which sets out the terms of the agreement and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both landlord and tenant are adhered to.
  • A welcome letter – This contains details as to how to report maintenance.
  • Standing order mandate – You can either hand this into your bank or set up via your online banking using the reference number provided. Standing orders must be set up 3 days prior to the rent due date, giving the payment enough time to reach our account.
  • Inventory & schedule of condition of the property – Once in your home, you will have 5 days to check the inventory and come back to us with any amendments you feel should be noted.
  • Move in checklist – This needs to be signed on the the day of move in providing we can demonstrate to you that we have provided you with all legal documents, safety certificates and tested the smoke alarm with you present.
  • Right to rent & proof of address – If you haven’t done so already, please provide us with a copy.
  • Guarantor – If you have a guarantor as part of the agreement, the guarantor(s) is required to sign 24 hours prior to the start date of the agreement if signing with a member of our team. Should the tenants choose to sign via email this must be done 7 days prior. Please bear this in mind when planning your move date.
  • Safety documents (property specific)  – How to rent guide, gas safety certificate, electrical testing, portable appliance test. (Not a legal requirement).
  • A set of keys given to each adult.
  • A copy of all signed legal documents.

Lastly you be required to pay your first months rent & security deposit as agreed. This will be taken by debit card or bank transfer.

From 1st June 2019, landlords in England are limited to a 5 weeks traditional deposit. If you have opted for the Zero deposits option, you must have agreed to the full terms and conditions of the policy and made the requested payment directly to Zero deposits before the day of move in.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR CONTENTS INSURANCE SORTED BEFORE YOU MOVE IN. FEAR NOT, WE CAN HELP YOU WITH THIS.

View our financial services.

Transparency is key

We are completely upfront and transparent about our charges and have designed a guide to show all fees that may be applicable throughout your tenancy.

View tenants fees.

Step 4: Living in your new home

Reporting your maintenance at the click of a button

Reporting maintenance has never been easier, with your own login access to your personal hub. This system has been specifically designed for use at a time that’s convenient for you, all day, every day. If your property is managed by the landlord, you will be advised of their name and contact details to report maintenance directly.

Property inspections

As part of the on-going management of a property, we will carry out regular visits for the landlord. This visit will give us the chance to show the landlord that their property is being cared for, whilst also ensuring that the property maintains a good standard for you to live in. The correct written notice will always be provided to you, prior to every visit.

Step 5: Ending your tenancy

Giving notice to leave

Notice periods can vary depending on your contract as you may be in a fixed term or on a rolling/statutory periodic agreement. If you are unsure, please give us a call and we will happily check your agreement. If the property is managed by ourselves, we’ll arrange a checkout appointment for you, so that we can both ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition in accordance with deposit legislation. If the property is managed by the landlord, you will have to arrange a time and date to meet at the property and complete the checkout process.

Getting your deposit back

Most agents will send you a confirmation of requirements/tips of what is expected on returning the property in a good condition. The property should be returned as it was given to you at the beginning of your tenancy (fair wear and tear excepted). Make sure that the property has been cleaned throughout including carpets, walls, kitchen cupboards and appliances as well as furniture if applicable. Don’t forget about the gardens, garages and sheds and please make sure all of your rubbish has been removed, especially from the bins.

Lastly please contact all of your providers, giving them your final meter readings from the last day of your tenancy and close down your accounts. Don’t forget to cancel your standing order! Nobody needs a double payment of rent leaving their account.