Our guide to renting
The Chambers Guide to Renting
Finding the right rental property can be a tedious process, and one we would like to make easier, if we can.
Firstly, deciding on location is the most important. Moving home is expensive, and not something you’d want to do on a regular basis. Speak to our team if you’re not from the area and require information on amenities, public transport links and schools.
Once you’ve decided on a location book some viewings with the local agents. It’s also a good idea to visit their offices, so you can speak to the agents in person to register your details.
During viewings ask pertinent questions such as:
What are the neighbours like?
Why are the current tenants leaving?
Is the Landlord looking for a long term tenant?* (assuming you’re looking for a long-term contract).
Equally, take time to familiarise yourself with the area. If there is on-road parking make sure you check if this is free parking, or if you require a permit. It’s always a good idea to visit the area in the evenings and on weekends.
Assuming the viewing goes well, and you wish to proceed with the tenant, the Landlord’s agent will look to pre-qualify you in order to present your application to the Landlord.
This is a relatively short process and will involve a basic snapshot of your employment position, income and so forth. We use an online platform, which presents your application to the landlord in a matter of minutes.
Once the Landlord is satisfied with your pre-application, the agent will put you through a reference and credit check process, which will involve obtaining current landlord references together with income details, and ID verification. This report will make up your formal application.
It’s at this point that you’d be asked to place a 1 week’s holding fee. This is not an additional payment, but a holding fee, that will be held on account and deducted from your initial monthly payment.
The only reason this payment would be kept by the agent is if you’ve missed out any material information that is important to your application (CCJ’s, bankruptcy charges etc), or if you fail to make progress with the application in a timely manner.
Dates are then discussed for a prospective ‘move-in’ date and it’s time to book removals!
Upon collection of keys, you’ll be provided with essential information that you should keep safe. This will include a signed contract, the EPC for the property, gas safety certificate (if gas centrally heated), and details relating to your bond and the inventory. There will also be useful information with regards to emergency maintenance numbers, dates for bins, etc.
It’s important you check the inventory thoroughly and make the agent aware of any discrepancies as soon as possible, so there are no contentious issues with regards to your bond at the time of your departure.
It’s also a good idea to take meter readings on your arrival.
The managing agent would expect to carry out inspections every 3 to 4 months, and this would be a good opportunity to mention any maintenance issues. If there are any urgent repairs, please report them immediately, and make a note of the day/time reported for your records.
Remember to set-up your standing order with the correct reference for your monthly rent and other outgoings, such as council tax, utilities and so forth.