We have created a step-by-step guide to help tenants on their renting journey. By following these steps you can save a lot of time, reduce the risk of having an application fail and feel more confident when it comes to renting.
Set your budget!
Before you begin your search to rent a property, ensure you are fully aware of your affordability budget and all the other costs involved when renting a home. Generally, as a rule of thumb you will need to prove earnings of 2.5 times the annual rental amount, if a Guarantor is required, they will need to prove annual earnings of 3 times the annual rental amount.
Property type & area
Once you have assessed your affordability and have considered a budget you are now ready to start looking at areas and types of properties which you would like to rent. It is important to look at areas which are most suited to what’s important to you and where you can picture yourself living.
You will also need to consider what type of property you would be happy with, whether it be a flat, maisonette, house etc.
It is recommended that you jump on the property portals and have a look at properties available, this will give you some ideas of the types of property and features that may be suited to you. start to create a checklist of your requirements, this will become handy when you start viewing properties as it allows you to check off your requirements as you view, sometimes viewing multiple properties at a time can be daunting and you could end up getting very confused.
You will now be in a position to start viewing properties. When you have seen a property you like the look of, contact the letting agents immediately as rental properties tend to rent fast, the agents will ask you for information on your affordability, circumstance and requirements before being able to book you in for a viewing, to save time make sure you have this information available.
When you have shown interest and decide to apply to rent a property, the letting agent will ask you to fill out an application form where you will highlight your affordability, circumstance etc and asked to supply proof of ID and current address.
If your application gets approved, you would be required to sign a process form confirming the agreed terms and pay a holding deposit of the equivalent to one week's rent, this will secure the property while the referencing and Credit checks are carried out.
It is advised that you fill out the application forms in full and supply the correct information as giving false or misleading information can result in you failing the application and losing your holding deposit.
Credit checks & Referencing
Once you have completed the applicant and paid the holding deposit you will now be put through the credit and referencing checks, these are usually conducted by a third-party company and will include credit checks and reference checks from your previous landlord/s and a reference from your employer etc.
Depending on your circumstances you may also be requested to supply certain documents.
If your application gets approved the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) will be drawn up which includes all of the details including move in/out date, deposit paid, rent due on which date etc.
It is very important you carefully read before signing. The security deposit and first month's rent are then taken and lodged with a deposit protection scheme (DPS) service.
Move in day
Now the exciting part! The first day in your new home!
The letting agent will carry out an inventory to confirm the condition of the property before you move in. When you move out the same inventory will be used to confirm the condition of the property when you leave, you should be sent a copy of the inventory.