TOP 10 TIPS FOR TENANTS
If you’re thinking of renting, there is a few things you need to think about first. To make sure you get the right property for you, here are some tips and pointers about what questions to ask.
Know what you are looking for?
Rental properties come in all shape and sizes. Try to narrow down your search by knowing:
➢ Where do you want to live?
➢ Furnished or unfurnished?
➢ What is your budget?
➢ When do you want to move? (landlords will expect you to move in within a month of the property being available)
➢ How long do you want to rent for?
➢ Carry out some online searches – use our rental search to have a look.
What is affordable?
Usually rents are exclusive of other bills so make sure you have enough income. Bear in mind that:
➢ You should budget for gas, electric and water costs.
➢ The EPC for a property indicates likely energy costs and how to save money
➢ Most tenants pay council tax, although full time students are exempt
➢ We would expect to see evidence of income around 3 times the rent
Arrange some viewings
It’s never a good idea to make an offer on a property without viewing it. Make sure it is the right place for you. When arranging and viewing:
➢ Book in advance – if a property is occupied, we need to provide at least 24 hours’ notice to the tenant.
➢ Saturday viewings are popular so plan ahead if viewing at the weekend
➢ Ask questions about the house and area
➢ Speak to our letting’s consultants about the property.
➢ Test the water pressure.
Find out what is included with the house
Furnished properties come with kitchen appliances and main living needs like sofas, beds and wardrobes. To be sure what is and isn’t provided:
➢ Ask to see the current inventory – this lists what is provided
➢ Check before you apply whether specific items are included
Calculate the cost to move in
Initial monies vary between Agents in terms of the amount of rent due in advance and deposit level. Make sure you know:
➢ How much rent in advance will be due?
➢ How much deposit is payable and how will it be protected?
Collect all the information to ensure a smooth process.
Have a look at our application from to ensure you have all the required documents to support your application. What this entails are below
➢ Photo identification/Passport
➢ Proof of address/Utility Bill
➢ Proof of income-Contact your employer or accountant to ensure you can obtain a reference
➢ In some situations, a guarantor may be needed to guarantee the rent
Ask The agent who manages the property
Its essential to understand some of the properties we have available to let will be managed by Northside Estates and some may be managed by the landlord solely.
Ensure the property ticks all your criteria
As you can respect most landlords have their requirements and restrictions about what is acceptable in their property. Please have a look at the list below and check with your consultant before arranging a viewing.
➢ Bad credit history
➢ On housing benefit
Arranging your internet provider & broadband prior to moving in
Once contracts are signed you can start to arrange all your things the main tip, we advise any tenant is to reserve a date for your broadband provider to install your services. This can save you weeks of a waiting which can be a pain if you are working from home.
Arrange your own contents insurance
Its rather important to differentiate between landlord’s insurance and tenant’s insurance.
Landlords will need to have building insurance for their property. In relation to your own belongings called “contents insurance” we recommend you arrange this as a necessity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Firstly picking wisely the property you are looking to rent
At Northside estates we market properties as seen furnished part furnished or unfurnished. The property may have blinds/curtains and with fitted appliances such as fridge freezer, dishwasher, washing machine, and tumble dryer. You as a tenant have a choice to ask the lettings consultant on your behalf to ask the question about furniture prior to any tenancy agreement being signed. Extra furniture may not be provided after you move into your new property.
Arranging a viewing is as simple as 123. You would first need to make an appointment by contacting our office. This can be conducted by email or telephone. We will ask you relevant questions relating to your search to match make the properties that meet your search criteria. Our consultant will reconfirm the viewing appointment in the morning.
Your Tenancy application and how to complete it.
If you are renting and you are over the age of 18years of age you are required to fill out and complete an application form. The application will be passed onto the landlord for his approval to go ahead with your offer. Alternative information we require from you is as follows.
• Proof of identity( Photocopy of your passport or driving license)
• Proof of address (Utility bill or council tax bill)
• Proof of income(Payslips/employer contract 3-6months bank statements
• If you are a student we require ( Student enrolment letter or proof of scholarship documentation)
We ask for your patience when waiting for the landlord’s approval of the application.
Once the landlord accepts your offer verbally or usually, we request this in writing we will ask you to pay a holding deposit equivalent to 1weeks rent. Once we confirm we have cleared proof of funds we can then take the property off the market or the property will be marked as “under offer”. We will not carry out any more viewings while we conduct all due diligence with references. Please kindly speak to your employer and landlord that a member of our department or third-party referencing company will be in contact with them so we can obtain the reference report as soon as possible.
In some cases, we may have a property that may have had a number of inquiries which may mean there may be more than one application on a said property (for example two separate candidates may see the property at the same time. All applicants will be asked to send all relevant documents. It will be the landlord who will decide on the preferred applicant. Without discrimination on our part to deliver the offer from any parties involved. We will notify all parties on whether not the application has been successful or not and references will proceed.
You will know the property is yours by hearing from our lettings consultant. The landlord will inform us first whether your offer has been accepted and subject to references being approved. The property will then be taken off the portals and held for you. We will, of course, confirm via email and viewings will be held. We will. Although we can’t give an exact date to complete the tenancy agreement. We expect 3-5working days usually.
(e) What would be the reasons for refusing my offer?
There are a few reasons why your application could be refused.
• You have failed to comply with the right to rent legislation
• You have not declared your credit history from the beginning. (CCJ) or adverse credit.
• You did not pass the affordability checks.
A guarantor will be considered if your current income cannot pass our affordability checks. The standard affordability criteria for our company is 3x the monthly rent. Your guarantor can be your parents a family member(guardian) who will take the responsibility if you were to default on the rent. The guarantor should be in fulltime work and be a homeowner. You will have to ask the person to complete the guarantor form for your application to be considered.
Finalizing the tenancy agreement
Once references have been approved, we can complete the Tenancy Agreement. A copy of the Tenancy Agreement will be provided to you prior to the signing so that you can read through and raise any queries that you may have on any of the terms and conditions.
The final stages are now drawing closer and this means we will issue you with a Draft tenancy agreement to look through. If you have any amendments, you can raise this with the lettings consultant dealing with it or their colleague. If you are happy with the contract, we can then issue you with a final version to the contract. Once you have signed the agreement, we will issue you with an invoice to pay the final balance.
Prior to moving in
When the contracts are signed and exchanged and before you can receive keys when you move in you will need to pay the following:
• One month’s advance rent
• A security deposit equivalent to one month’s rent or five weeks rent(House shares may differ and you may be required to pay 2weeks rent) The deposit will be held by Northside Estates as a stakeholder or sent to my deposits. My deposits ensure tenants have the peace of mind that the security deposit will be handled in a fair manner and will be returned to at the end of the contract date when both parties agree. They offer a dispute service for any issues that may need assistance if both parties can’t agree amicably
• Cash and debit cards can be paid on the day of move in but we usually ask tenants to pay 5days prior to moving in. We can’t accept payment from credit cards.
(B)Contact your internet providers
As your agent, we ask for tenants to arrange their own internet and broadband services once tenants agreements have been exchanged. There can be a while to wait for connections to be set up so its best to do it in advance. We may not be able to confirm if there is a current BT or Virgin connect at the property.
When you move in
After having signed the Agreement, paid all initial monies and completed the ‘Right to Rent’ check by physically bringing in your ID document to our Office, you will be given keys to the property. We will also supply you with a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable). Future rent payments need to be made by Standing Order (bank transfer) and you will be required to make arrangements to set this up accordingly. We recommend that you check with your bank before the next rent due date to ensure that they have a record of the Standing Order being set up.
When or shortly once you move into the property, we will give you an Inventory & Schedule of Condition. This document records the general state of the property as at the start of the tenancy and lists its contents. You will then have a period of 7 days to check through the Inventory to make sure that you are happy with it, making any necessary comments before returning it to us. The Inventory forms a record of the state of the property for the advantage of both parties and against which any disputes are often stated during or at the end of the tenancy.
We will take meter readings at the start of the Tenancy and will notify the gas, electric and water suppliers. We will also notify the Local Authority Council Tax Department. If you are exempt from Council Tax, you will need to provide the Local Authority with the relevant evidence. Once accounts have been set up, and the suppliers begin billing you, you should speak directly with them with any queries that you may have on any of these accounts, such as ensuring you are on the cheapest tariff. As these accounts are going to be in your name, the suppliers won’t discuss any side of the account
with Northside Estates or the owner. Utility bills sent to your property for previous occupiers should be forwarded to Northside Estates to allow us to deal with them.
If Northside Estates are managing your property on behalf of the landlord, maintenance issues should be reported to us either by telephone – 0203 9730656 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on either communication above.