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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 arrangement as a property purchase, there’s still plenty to consider such as the location, budget, length of tenancy and the property specification. 

Below is a whistle-stop tour of the lettings process which we hope you find helpful. If you have any questions, please just ask. 

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 faster than the sales market. You’ll need to pay a reservation fee to confirm your intention and provide ID. You’ll be required to give references to your prospective landlord and letting agent to demonstrate that you’ll be a reliable tenant. Additional evidence may be required such as three years' address history or confirmation of earnings. A guarantor may be required in certain circumstances.

Deposit

Once the deposit is paid in full, the property is secured. This deposit is held to cover the landlord for any damage that needs to be repaired at the end of the tenancy. Deposits are registered with one of three tenant deposit schemes to protect both parties.

Tenancy Agreement

The next step is for a Tenancy Agreement to be drawn up. This is a legally binding document that 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. We can put you in touch with a suitable insurance broker.

Money matters

Before you move in, you will be liable for the first month's rent, the deposit (equal to one and a half month's rent), and an administration fee. Remember to check that your reservation fee has been taken into account. In most cases, future rent payments will be made monthly and paid by standing order or direct debit. Once the invoice has been paid, you will be entitled to move in. Your keys will be available to collect either from our office or direct from the landlord.

Inventory

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. Both parties must agree that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy as this reduces the likelihood of disputes at the end of the tenancy. Do check the inventory thoroughly before you sign.

Visits

Your landlord or agent will want to visit periodically to check that everything is in order, usually only a couple of 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 is any breakage or faults, you must let the landlord or agent know as soon as possible.

Stay or go

As your tenancy period 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 and sort the necessary paperwork.

If you decide to move out, you must give the required notice in writing. After serving notice you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good condition to be entitled to your full deposit back. There will be a closing inventory prepared to ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition. Assuming all is agreed, you will hand back the keys. If there are no deductions or disputes and all the necessary forms are filled out correctly by you and by the landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days after the deposit release agreements have been received.