We pride ourself on providing tenants with expert advice every step of the way. Our tenant guide will take you through the process of renting a property through us.Whatever kind of residential property you want, the same steps apply.
GUIDE TO RENTING
Finding the right property
We can help to find you the perfect property quickly. We have a wide variety of property in Bedford and Northampton and our available list changes frequently. When you have selected a prospective property we’ll provide you with more details and view the property with you to ensure that it fits your wants and needs.
Securing a property to rent
If you decide you want to rent one of our properties we’ll ask you to pay an application fee. Once payment has been received we’ll then begin the administrative processes, which start with us requesting references from your employer and current/previous landlord (if applicable), and carrying out credit and identity checks.
Your prospective new landlord will want to ascertain your suitability as a tenant and that you have the ability to pay your rent, whilst also making sure that if you have rented a property in the past that you did so without any major problems. You will be asked to complete an online application form which not only gives us the information that we require, but also your permission to deal with this part of the process on your behalf as quickly as possible.
When you apply for a property, some or all of the following may be requested:
- References from previous landlords – you may be asked to give the details of where you have lived within the last 3 years
- A credit check – this will allow them to see if you have a good history of paying your bills
- Your bank details – including bank name, account number and sort-code
- Details of your employment – your employer, job title, payroll number, salary, previous employer, etc.
Sometimes referencing decisions will require you to provide a guarantor – for example your earnings are not quite enough to cover the rental payments or if you have only recently started in your job. Your guarantor will be required to be a home owner with their own income, and they will undergo the same checks as you. They will be expected to pay the rent in the event of a default during the tenancy and they will also be held responsible for the upkeep of the property. Do not worry if this situation does apply to you, it is not uncommon and we will be able to explain the details at every step of the way.
The final event in your securing the property is the deposit. The Landlord trusts you to keep their property in good order. The deposit is held against non-payment of rent and to ensure that any damages over and above fair wear and tear can be corrected at the end of the tenancy.
New legislation was introduced to the Housing Act 2004 and came into force in April 2007 to help protect all parties with regard to the return of deposits. A brief summary of the legislation can be found below:
Tenancy deposit protection in summary
All landlords and agents are required by law to register and protect a deposit taken for an assured shorthold tenancy with a government-approved scheme.
The schemes offer alternative ways of resolving disputes, which aim to be faster and cheaper than taking court action. Court action is still a possibility if the parties involved cannot agree to accept arbitration.
We always prepare a move in video inventory report – video is not subjective and shows the true condition of a property. You will be given the chance to watch the inventory and sign to acknowledge having viewed it.
The video inventory is a detailed report of the contents and condition of the property at the point that you move into it. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, we minimise the risk of any disputes at the end of the tenancy. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly watch the inventory before you sign.
The Tenancy Agreement
All relevant parties will be asked to sign this document which outlines the agreed responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.
Please take time to read and understand the draft copy which will be given to you before the move in day.
It’s just as important to insure your belongings against theft or damage when you rent a property as it is when you own a property. We can provide information if required.
During The Tenancy
It is not uncommon for landlords and Expert Lettings to schedule in regular visits to the property in order to check that you are happy and that the property is being kept in good order. Usually these visits take place two or three times a year and are agreed before hand with your self.
Renewing your tenancy
So, you’ve come to the end of your first tenancy at the property. You now have two options to consider: Do you sign another tenancy or move out?
If you decide to extend your stay at the property then remember you will need to provide at least two months notice in writing to your landlord or Expert Lettings, asking permission to stay on beyond your initial agreement. Providing your landlord is happy with you and the condition of the house or flat, you’ll most likely be allowed to continue with your occupancy.
If you decide to move out, then again you will need to serve at least two months notice in writing to your landlord or Expert Lettings to terminate the contract at the end of the initially agreed period.
Remember to ensure that the property is left in good condition when you leave to ensure that you get your full deposit back. If applicable refer to your copy of the inventory to check that the property is up to standard.
As long as the condition of the property is the same as when you moved in (barring normal wear and tear), you’ll have no problem. Here’s what you should do:
- Give the property a thorough clean, including carpets, windows, walls and furniture
- If it’s your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish
- Return all of the keys to Expert Lettings
- Remove all of your personal belongings
- Be satisfied you’re leaving the property as you found it
Final inventory check
You’ll have the opportunity to run through the inventory checklist on the day of departure. It’s important that this job is done before you leave the property to avoid you being accountable for any damage that occurs after you’ve left. If there is any damage, you should agree with the landlord the cost of repairing or replacing such items.
MORE TENANT HELP
We are happy to come meet you at a time and place that is suitable to you, in or out of office hours.