Tenant's Guide to Renting Property

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When you decide it’s time to move, there are lots of things to consider: where do you want to move to? What kind of price do you want to pay? What are you must-haves and would-be-nice-to-haves? Moving takes lots of planning and forward thinking, so we’ve put together this handy guide to help talk you through the process of rending a property with Peter Ball & Co.

1. Register your requirements:

The rental market can move very quickly - especially in the Cheltenham, Bishops Cleeve and Tewkesbury areas - and properties can often be let before they’ve been advertised. By registering your requirements with Peter Ball, however, we can help you be the first through the door of newly listed homes. By registering with us, you’ll also be made aware of new properties that match your criterial before they go online; be the first to hear of price reductions on rental properties; and be the top of our call list when new properties come to market.

2. Finding the right property:

Once we have a clear understanding of your requirements, you’ll receive a selection of properties that match your criteria. When looking for a property to rent, it’s good to make a list of your requirements: what do you need to have in a home, and what would be a nice extra? You also need to consider location, budget, how long you want to live in the property, and any dates you have in mind for moving. We recommend starting your search around 8 weeks before you want to move home.

With a good range of properties available at any one time, we’re confidant we can find the right property for you.

3. Viewing Properties:

Once you’ve found a home that you want to view, our team will accompany you to the property to view it. Our Lettings office is open Monday to Saturday at times that suit you, so you’ll find a convenient time after work to view or at the weekend.

We recommend taking a notepad to viewings and asking lots of questions. Enquire about mobile phone reception, cable/satellite, broadband availability and electrical sockets to stay connected in your new home; also ask about parking arrangements and if there’s an outdoor space. Make sure you ask for a copy of the EPC, too, so you can start working out how much things like heating are going to cost. Anything we don’t know the answer to we’ll find out for you after the viewing.

When viewing, check out the space inside cupboards and built-in wardrobes for storage, but remember to ask before looking these and any cupboards if the property is tenanted.

As we said earlier, the rental market moves much more quickly than the sales market, so we recommend having all the relevant documents - including identification and confirmation of your current address - prepared before you view. This will save time later down the line.

4. Making an offer/securing a property:

All offers are subject to to credit, reference and Right to Rent checks. An experienced member of our team will put your offer forward to the landlord on your behalf, and once the offer has been agreed, you will need to put a holding deposit down as an expression of intent to rent the property.

5. Credit and referencing checks:

You’ll be asked to provide references to your prospective landlord and the letting agent to confirm that you’ve rented in the past without any major issues. You’ll be referenced by an external company to ensure there is no bias, and, as part of this process, Peter Ball & Co may also request further details.

You will need to provide:

  • Three years’ address history
  • Landlord details for any property rented in the last three years
  • Confirmation of earnings per annum that are equal to the monthly rental fee multiplied by 30
  • If you’re retired, then your (joint) pension per annum will also need to be equal to 30 times the monthly rent
  • No adverse credit in the form of a county court judgement (CCJ), bankruptcy order or similar
  • If you’re self employed, either an accounts reference, or you must provide evidence of the last three years’ tax returns

6. The deposit:

Once the deposit has been paid in full - which usually amounts to five weeks’ rent - the property is secured. The deposit is held as the landlord’s cover for any excess damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.

If Peter Ball & Co is managing the property on the landlord’s behalf, your deposit will be registered with My Deposits. However, if the landlord manages the property themselves, we’ll let you know which government-approved deposit scheme your landlord will be using and the terms and conditions of that scheme will form part of your tenancy agreement.

7. The Tenancy agreement:

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord are adhered to. All relevant parties will be asked to sign this document, as it outlines the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.

The date on which the contract starts will become your rent’s due date (although you can change this to suit your income date, if you wish, by paying a surplus to one month’s rent). You will also need to keep a copy of the tenancy agreement, as you may need to refer to it during your tenancy.

8. Safety Regulations:

There are a number of safety regulations and much government legislation that a landlord must follow and meet prior to a tenant moving into a property. This includes gas and electricity safety inspections, Legionella Risk Assessments and fire safety. You should receive copies of all of these assessments before you move into a property.

If you choose a licensed lettings agency, such as Peter Ball & Co, it is our duty to keep up to date with the latest industry legislation, and ensure any landlord working with us complies to these, so you can rest assured that your property will be in an inhabitable condition when you move in.

9. Moving-in day:

Once all movies have been received - which we require in cleared funds a minimum of three days before the tenancy starts - and all of the tenants and landlords have signed the tenancy agreement, you will be given keys to your new home and be able to move your belongings in.

If your property is managed by us, we will provide you with your own Property Manager, whom you can speak with should you have any issues with the property or tenancy.

Prior to move-in, our concierge service, Just Move In, will contact you to talk you through your options for energy suppliers, broadband and media suppliers. They will also deal with all the initial move-in notifications with the local council, utility companies and water company on your behalf for your new tenancy.

After you move into the property it is your responsibility to pay the rent every month on time and also to report any maintenance issues you have during your tenancy. This can be done directly to your Property Manager, or through our online maintenance reporting portal.

10. Inventory and property inspections:

The inventory is a detailed list of contents and condition of the property when you move into it. We will ask you and the landlord to sign the inventory, and you can, of course, make notes if there is anything you don’t agree with. By signing the inventory at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised.

The property you are renting is a large investment for your landlord, so they (or their agent) will arrange visit days to meet you at the property and check that everything is in order. This usually only happens a couple of times a year, and is just to make sure everything is okay. Of course, if there are any issues or any of your appliances break down and need repairing, then the landlord or agent will visit the property more often to ensure it is still in an inhabitable condition. You and your landlord will be sent copies of the inspection reports so everyone is on the same page.

Congratulations, you’re now renting a property! We hope you’re very happy in your new home.

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