Renting a home
If you’re looking for a rental property, take a look at the local properties currently available to let through Sparks Ellison. There’s something to suit every taste and pocket, from studio flats to large family houses. Remember, although renting a property may not be such a long-term commitment as a property purchase, there’s still plenty to consider such as the location, budget, length of tenancy and the property specification.
Find Your Property
Once you’ve found the property that ticks all the boxes, you may need to act quickly to secure it as the rental market moves much faster than the sales market. You’ll need to pay a reservation fee to confirm your intention, a tenant set-up fee and provide ID for every adult occupier which needs to be verified in person. Landlord references, credit checks, proof of income and evidence of UK residency via the electoral role will be requested via our referencing agency, Let Alliance.
After carrying out ID checks, a reservation fee and tenant set-up fee will need to be paid, the property is then taken off the market and the referencing process begins.
Once referencing has passed, the move in date will be confirmed and a draft Tenancy Agreement issued along with other relevant paperwork. The Agreement is a legally binding document which sets out the terms of the tenancy and protects the rights of both the tenant and the landlord, and spells out the obligations on both sides. All relevant parties must sign this document which sets out the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant. Read this document very carefully as it may include for example responsibilities concerning pets, time away from the property or business use. Your belongings will not be insured by the landlord so we strongly advise that you take out contents insurance when renting a property, together with tenant liability for Landlord's goods. We can provide you with details of an insurance provider.
A deposit (normally equal to one and a half month’s rent) is taken and registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme against any issues which may be highlighted at check out, such as damages or cleaning.
Five days before move in, you will need to pay the first month's rent, the deposit, and a check-out fee to be used at the end of the tenancy. The reservation fee will be deducted from these completion monies. Please note however that without cleared funds by the day of move in we are unable to release keys. In most cases, future rent payments will be made monthly and paid by standing order. You will need to come into the office on move in day at a pre-arranged time in order to sign the Tenancy Agreement and other paperwork, and to collect the keys.
In order to protect all parties, an inventory is prepared which lists in detail the contents and condition of the property at the time you move in along with supporting photos. You will be given this ingoing inventory at move in / sign up and asked to check it through, annotate if necessary, sign, date and return to this office within 10 days. The signed version will be held on file and used for the check out at the end of the tenancy in order to establish an accurate comparison between move in and move out. If the inventory is not returned this could have an impact on the return of your deposit.
Your landlord or agent will want to visit periodically to check that everything is in order, usually three or four times a year. This is standard practice and nothing to be alarmed about. If there are any problems with the property in the interim, for example if there are any breakages or faults, you must let the landlord or agent know as soon as possible.
As your tenancy fixed term approaches its end date, you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out. If you wish to extend your tenancy, we will talk you through your options, talk with the landlord and sort the necessary paperwork.
If you decide to move out, you must give the required notice in writing. A tenant is required to give one month’s notice from the Agreement start date / rent due date. During a fixed term contract this can be given one month from the end of the fixed term; in a periodic contract this can be given in any given month.
You will be sent a move out check list and asked to leave the property in good, clean condition. Any professional cleaning carried out prior to move in (for example, carpets, oven etc) obliges you in law to return the property in the same condition and so you will need to arrange for professional cleaning to be done and provide a receipt for this work.
You will need to hand the keys back on the last day of the tenancy. A professional check out will be carried out after you have vacated and a copy of this report sent to both you and the landlord. If any issues are highlighted at check out the landlord can propose deductions from your deposit for remedial works. Agreement on deductions will be sought from both landlord and tenant, and once this is resolved your deposit or the balance will be returned to you.