Frequently Asked Questions:
When do I need to start looking for a property?
You should start looking about 2 to 4 weeks before you need to move. If you start looking too early, you are likely to see a property that is available before you are.
How much rent should I be looking to pay?
We would advise that your earnings are at least 2½ times the rent and referencing agencies insist on this or require a guarantor.
What sort of Agreement will I have?
We will give you an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. This will usually be for a minimum of six months but is usually for a year.
I have seen a property that I really like. What should I do next?
Once you have decided to take a property, you should talk to your negotiator as soon as possible and agree on the terms of the Tenancy. We will need a holding deposit (normally the equivalent of 2 weeks rent) to take the property off the market and start the referencing process. The holding deposit is deducted from the final amount payable. Once the references have come back, contracts have been signed and we have received the remainder of the monies due in cleared funds, you are able to move into the on the agreed date.
What do I need to pay before I can move in?
You will normally have to pay one month’s rent in advance and a minimum of one month’s rent as a damage deposit. There is also a referencing fee. The full amount (minus the holding deposit) would need to be paid to us in cleared funds before you can move in. Cleared funds would be cash, a bankers draft, a bank transfer (this takes at least 2 working days to show in our account) or a cheque (provided you have allowed at least a week for it to clear).
What happens about references?
We normally use a referencing agency. You simply have to complete a form giving your details such as your addresses for the past 3 years, employment details etc. If you are a student you will also need to provide us with details of a guarantor. The guarantor needs to be someone who is earning at least 3 times the rent and will have the same responsibilities as the Tenant. The referencing process is usually completed within 2 days but can be completed quicker if necessary.
What do I do about utility bills etc?
We will inform all the utility companies (Council Tax, Water, Gas and Electricity) of the date that you moved in and the meter readings where appropriate. The utility companies will then contact you directly. You will need to arrange telephone accounts, TV licence and any other services that you might require (like broadband or digital TV).
Should I take out contents insurance?
You will be required to have insurance for your own personal belonging and cover for possible damage you may cause to the property or its contents – this effectively protects your damage deposit. We will be able to provide you with details of companies who specialise in providing cover for Tenants.