Applying to Rent a Property
Be clear with the agent on the terms proposed. For example, you may have offered to pay the full asking rent providing that the landlord will agree to your tenancy starting on the 1st June for 12 months and will supply a washing machine. The agent will need to check the terms proposed with the landlord and get their agreement. Xact Lettings will ask you to sign a document outlining the terms agreed.
Application forms will need to be completed for each person who wants to become a tenant. (These can sometimes be completed on-line.)
The information you will need to complete your application includes
- A recent utility/council tax/mobile phone bill or a current tenancy agreement
- A photo style driving licence/passport
- If you are not an EU citizen you will need official evidence of permission to live in the UK until the last day of the tenancy
- Details of your current and previous addresses for the past 5 years
- Contact details for your current or previous landlord(s)
- Contact details for your current employers and pay slips for the past 3 months/copy of your contract of employment.
It normally takes 3 to 5 days for your application to be processed. You may be asked by the agent to get in touch with your employer if they are slow in providing a reference.
If you are sharing, the tenancy cannot be approved until each and every sharer has successfully applied. Legally, you will each be liable for the whole of the rent and not just “your own share” however the credit reference company will assess your individual ability to pay the rent on a part share basis.
Assuming your application is successful the agent will set a date for you to attend their offices to sign the tenancy agreement. All of the tenants will need to attend the appointment or will need to sign the tenancy agreement in advance. Any Guarantor(s) will also need to sign in advance.
You will be asked to ensure you have “cleared funds” meaning cash or a banker’s draft (the bank will charge you a small fee to provide this) or possibly a debit card payment if the agent has this facility. You will not be able to pay by cheque on the day (you can normally pay by cheque in advance) or by a credit card (as the transaction can be rescinded by you).
The tenancy is not legally binding until it has been signed. If the property has been advertised through several agents simultaneously it is important that the agent you are using communicates with the landlord to ensure that only your application is proceeding. If the landlord changes his mind or lets through another agent then unfortunately there is very little your agent you can do to. However, you should be refunded your application fees and the agent should make every effort to find you suitable alternative accommodation.
Agents normally use credit referencing companies to carry out checks and provide a recommendation on your suitability. If you have no adverse credit history but are financially weak for the rental amount then you may be able to arrange a “Guarantor”…
A Guarantor is someone who agrees to abide by all of the terms of tenancy agreement, including the payment of rent, but has no right to live at the property. Your Guarantor will also need to be credit checked and there is normally an extra fee to pay for this.
Inventory & Schedule of Condition
You will be provided with a ‘Schedule of Condition and Inventory’ relating to your property. Tenants need to read this document thoroughly and notify the agent of any discrepancies as quickly as possible after the start of your tenancy. Most agents will set a time limit of around seven days, after which it’s assumed you are accepting the property in the condition described. The agent or Inventory provider may wish to revisit the property to verify the discrepancies.
Pictures and Mirrors
Most properties will already have picture hooks. If this is not the case and you wish to hang pictures and / or mirrors you must contact your agent requesting where and how many hooks you wish to add. Permission must be obtained from the Landlord before any work is undertaken. It may seem a small matter but after several changes of tenant the number of holes in the walls can multiply and spoil the decor.