This may look daunting, but don't be discouraged - we just require as much information from you as possible upfront, to make the rest of the process as smooth and as painless as possible. We will keep you informed at all stages of your application and seek to process it as quickly as possible - we recognise that nobody wants to be kept in suspense over a future home!
If you're worried that you do not have something we require from you, please don't be put off. We're flexible and can adjust to any circumstance as long as you tell us beforehand. For instance, if you have bad credit or an otherwise low income, you can use a guarantor as insurance for your tenancy.
As a minimum we will require satisfactory references from your employer (or college, or accountant), a previous or current landlord, and a credit reference report. We may also require a personal reference, and sometimes a guarantor. We may use the services of an independent referencing company to obtain and evaluate these references.
After you pass the necessary checks, you need to pay for a 'holding deposit' (aka 'reservation deposit'), usually around £300. Assuming that the tenancy goes ahead, this will be deducted from the monies due before you move in. At this point, we will cease to advertise the property and your tenancy will essentially be reserved. If the landlord later declines to grant the tenancy, it will be refunded less our admin fee. However the deposit will be forfeit if you decide not to proceed for any reason.
Closer to the date of the tenancy, we will require you to sign an Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreement. This document will usually have your signature, our signature, and the landlord's signature and will protect all parties during the tenancy period. Finally, we will provide you with a standing order form which you must fill in and take to your bank.
On the day you move in, you will need to pay the bond (see below) and the first month's rent in cash. You will be provided will all the necessary documents pertaining to the utilities in the property as well as a set of keys. You will be asked to sign an inventory assessing the state of the property and all fixtures, fittings and furnishings. At the end of your tenancy, we will inspect the property and any damage will be deducted from your bond. Of course, we hope it won't come to that!
Rents are normally quoted calendar monthly, and payable monthly in advance. The tenant is usually also responsible for Council Tax, Water Rates, Gas, Electricity and Telephone costs. All rents are payable by bank standing order to our company bank account or your landlord's bank account.
A bond ('security deposit') of a minimum of one month's rental will normally be required. This deposit will be treated in accordance with the Tenancy Deposit Protection regulations, and you will be informed of which protection scheme is utilised. The deposit is held to cover damage, breakages, and any other liabilities under the terms of your tenancy agreement. Please note that under no circumstances can the deposit be used by the tenant to cover rent.