Renting is great housing solution for many, but before committing to a tenancy, there are a few important things to consider.
Can you afford the rent?
How much is the deposit?
How much is the council tax?
What bills are you responsible for?
If you are entering into a shared tenancy, could you afford the rent if someone moved out?
It is a legal requirement for landlords or their representing agent to carry our ‘Right to Rent’ checks on all prospective tenants.
Acceptable documents to qualify must be originals and can be:
- A UK passport
- An EU/EEA passport or identity card, permanent residence card
- A travel document showing indefinite leave to remain
- A visa if applicable
- A Home Office immigration status document or a certificate of registration/naturalisation as a British citizen.
In order to be accepted as a tenant, you will need to provide evidence that you are able to pay your rent. This will include:
- A credit score check
- Confirmation from employer of salary and duration of employment
- Do you have any CCJ’s/Bankruptcy orders against you?
- Evidence of DHSS payments if applicable
If you do not meet the above financial requirements, you may still be able to rent if you can provide a guarantor.
Your guarantor must be able to meet the criteria above and give permission for us to run the same financial check as listed.
We will also require a reference from your previous landlords over the last 5 years if you have rented before. If this is your first rental property, we will accept a reference from someone who has known you for over 5 years, such as an employer.
You will also be asked to provide proof of address. We will require original documents including utility bill and bank statement dated within the last 3 months with your current address.
If you have a pet or are thinking of getting one during your tenancy, you will need to check if your tenancy allows it.
Some landlords are happy for tenants to have pets and an additional deposit is normally applied as well as a deep cleaning end of tenancy clause included in the tenancy agreement.
Privately rented residential properties are usually let under shorthold tenancies agreements (AST’s).
These agreements provide tenants with the right to:
- live in a property that’s safe and in a good state of repair
- have your deposit returned when the tenancy ends -
- challenge excessively high charges
- know who your landlord is
- live in the property undisturbed
- see an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- be protected from unfair eviction and unfair rent
- have a written agreement if you have a fixed-term tenancy of more than 3 years
As a tenant, you also have certain responsibilities as part of your AST Agreement.
This includes giving your landlord access to the property to inspect it or carry out repairs. Your landlord must give you at least 24 hours' notice and visit at a reasonable time of day, unless it’s an emergency and they need immediate access.
You must also:
- take good care of the property
- pay the agreed rent, even if repairs are needed or you’re in dispute with your landlord
- pay other charges as agreed with the landlord - these may include Council Tax or utility bills
- repair or pay for any damage caused by you, your family or friends
- only sublet a property if the tenancy agreement, or your landlord, allows it
If you don’t fulfil your responsibilities, your landlord has the right to take legal action to evict you.
Tenant deposits must be protected by one of the 3 government schemes.
Your landlord must provide you with all the information about where your deposit has been registered within 30 days of receiving your deposit, including:
- the landlord's name and contact details
- the amount of deposit paid and the address of the tenancy
- details of the tenancy deposit protection scheme they are using
- a copy of the deposit protection certificate signed by the landlord
- information about the purpose of the tenancy deposit protection scheme
- how to get your deposit back at the end of the tenancy
- what to do if there is a dispute about the deposit
Landlords are responsible for the majority of repairs to your rental property, including:
- the structure and exterior of the building, such as the walls, roof, external doors and windows
- sinks, baths, toilets and other sanitary fittings, including pipes and drains
- heating and hot water
- all gas appliances, pipes, flues and ventilation
- electrical wiring.
The landlord may be responsible for repairing or replacing faulty items or appliances in your home if they were provided to you at the start of your tenancy, for examples fridges and washing machines. Check what your tenancy agreement for details.
Your landlord will not be responsible for any appliances you bought yourself.
As a tenant, you are responsible for some of the maintenance and care of your property and must use your home in a responsible way.
- Keeping it reasonably clean.
- Not causing damage to the property and ensuring that your guests don't either.
- Carrying out minor maintenance, for example checking smoke alarm batteries.
- Using the heating properly and ensuring flues or vents are unblocked.
- Keeping the garden tidy or sharing in the cleaning of communal stairways and halls if included in your tenancy agreement
- Regardless of your agreement, your landlord is always responsible for major repairs and gas safety.
- Damage to the property or the furniture, even if it's accidental, will probably be the tenant's responsibility and chargeable to the tenant or deductible from the deposit.
- This is not the same as causing fair wear and tear to your home, which you should not have to pay for.
- We strongly advise taking out content insurance on your rental property.
- Tenants are expected to maintain the property by:
- Keeping it clean
- Replacing fire alarm batteries
- Tightening loose screws on doors or cupboards
- Unblocking domestic sink and toilet blockages.
- Keeping vents clear
- Using shower and drying facilities correctly and not allowing condensation to build up mould.
- Using heating and appliances correctly
It is important that you report any repair or maintenance issues promptly as failure to do so may cause more damage and higher repair cost that you may be liable for.
If you smell gas, think you have a gas leak, or are worried that fumes containing carbon monoxide are escaping from a gas appliance, please call the free Gas Emergency Services emergency line immediately.
The Gas Emergency number is 0800 111 999
If there is anything you are unsure of or want to discuss further about renting, please get in touch.
Our friendly and helpful team are always happy to discuss in greater detail the rental process and how it relates to your personal circumstance and requirements.