Choosing an agent is not only for finding your ideal home! It’s much more than that if they are also managing the property you are renting. There are many very professional lettings agent who provide excellent services, but unfortunately, there are also number of less reputable ones. This is what makes doing your research so important – especially before handing in your money.
The most important thing to check for is, if they are member of one of the regulatory body e.g. Redress Scheme, Property Ombudsman etc. and whether or not they are covered by a client money protection scheme.
We are a member of Property Ombudsman and we are covered for clients’ money by being protected by a reputable insurance company. We maintain separate designated client accounts, where your money is held separate from the company operating account.
We work with a network of letting agents and have access to hundreds of properties in your area. Rather than registering yourself with many letting agents, choose one agent who you feel comfortable with and who understands your needs. Our chances of finding your ideal home is lot greater than any other agent because of our contacts and access to hundreds of properties.
The deposit - money you pay before you move in your new home
- must be protected in one of the deposit protection schemes and serve prescribed information. This is your money and by law it must be protected! Many agents don’t bother to register the deposit, meaning they could be fined up to three times the deposit amount if it is not protected within 30 days from the tenancy start date. Make sure the agent you deal with knows about this.
If there is a gas in the property, all gas appliances must be tested annually by a Gas Safe™ engineer, and a safety certificate must be provided to the tenant before they move in and annually thereafter. Carbon monoxide leaks and faulty appliances can kill, so make sure you ask your letting agent to give you a certificate before you move in.
Electrical installations and appliances are not necessary to check. The installation is referred to in several regulations but is not necessary as specific as the gas regulation. Nevertheless, our tenants’ safety is our main priority, so most of the properties we let have been tested for electrical installations and portable appliances.
EPC is a report for your house energy, and tells you how energy efficient your house is. By law, this report must be given to the tenants before they move in. EPC is normally valid for 10 years.
Usually you must pay one-month advance rent, one-month deposit, and agent fees. Some landlords or agents charge 6 weeks’ deposit instead of one month, and agent fees also vary from agent to agent. Agent fees normally include referencing, credit checks, drafting tenancy agreements, and guarantor agreements if applicable. Not all agent fees are for the agent. Many agents outsource referencing, as well as check-in and check-out inventories from a third party. You may be required to pay for or contribute towards the check-out inventory. We suggest to read the small prints, and if it is not clear, you should ask your agent what exactly is included in the fee and whether or not you have to pay anything extra. Our agency fees include referencing, credit checks, tenancy agreement, and check-in and check-out inventories. There might be a small charge for the credit check if there are more than 2 tenants on the tenancy agreement.
We ask you to fill out a tenant application form, and will collect information of your employer, present landlord if applicable, and bank details. We then pass this information to a third-party company who’ll carry out reference check on our behalf.
A utility bill (not more than three months old), council tax, water rates, gas or electric bill, landline phone bill, or photo driving licence showing your present address. If you don’t have any of these, please speak to a member of staff and make them aware.
Passport or photo card driving licence. If you hold a non-EU passport, you need to provide a document showing your legal status in the country - biometric resident permit or visa stamped on your passport (valid for at least six months). If you have applied to extend your visa, please supply an acknowledgement letter from Home Office or letter from your solicitor showing when you made the application and under what category.
Employed: Wages slips for last six months, P60, or letter from your employer showing your job title, length in service, and your annual salary. We also require last three months’ bank statements for the account you receive your salary in. Self Employed: Last two years’ accounts or self-assessment or letter from your accountant showing how long you have been self-employed for and your annual income. Please speak to a member of staff if you cannot provide any of the above documents, they can advise you further.
If applicable, either you can provide name, address, phone number, and email address of your present landlord or managing agent. Alternatively, a letter from your present landlord / managing agent showing how long you have been staying at your current address, your monthly rental amount, and whether the tenancy concluded in terms of your agreement.
Once you have decided on the property you want to go for, we require a holding deposit equal to our agency fee to start the process and take the property out of the market. We will hold the property for maximum of 3 working days or agreed move in date, whichever is the earliest. You have to provide all of the required documentation within that time. The negotiator dealing with your move will chase up the references, arrange gas and electricity safety checks, and EPC. Holding Deposit: Capped to 1 week of the rent. Security deposit: Capped to 5 weeks of the rent. Contract Renewal: £50.
Tenancy Agreement: £250
Administration Fee: £55 per Occupant/Guarantor (Including Right-to-Rent Checks)
References: £150 per Applicant
If we are managing the property or collecting rent on behalf of the landlord additional charges applies.
Late Payments: £10 per day starting after 14 days from the rent due date Interest on late payments: 3% above base rate of Bank of England.
Letters Sent to Tenant for Any Breach of Tenancy Including Owing Rent: £30 per Letter
Missed Management or Contractor Visits: £65 per Visit
Tenancy Renewal Including Periodic Tenancies: £250
Mid Tenancy Changes: £250
We accept housing benefit tenants on most of our properties. We may ask for an additional one-month advance rent before moving in to cover the period of housing benefit claim. In such cases, tenants do not have to pay second months’ rent. We also require a guarantor who is earning three times the rental amount (e.g. if the rent is £1,000 PCM, the guarantor’s annual salary would need to be £36,000). You can provide one or more guarantors, above charges apply and same documentation is required as described above. For further information, please contact a member of our staff.