At PR Lettings & Management we understand that moving home can be stressful. We have prepared this guide to help you understand our processes from viewing the property to tenancy commencement plus what happens during your tenancy if your property is managed by us.
Our staff are friendly, helpful and always at the end of the phone to assist you.
When you request to view a property we will require you to answer some questions, in a pre-application form, in order to ensure the property is suitable for you and that you meet the application requirements.
We don’t want you to waste your time viewing a property to only then find out it’s not suitable for you.
We all love our furry friends as much as you do but before making any commitments please advise us if you have any pets so we can double check for any restrictions on the property. There may be valid reasons why a pet will not be permitted in the property but we promise to discuss it on a case by case basis. This includes pets that are kept in cages/tanks or any that visit regularly.
If consent is given this will be included in your tenancy agreement.
The same applies if you are considering getting a pet after your tenancy has commenced, this includes if you already have a permitted pet but are thinking of getting an additional pet. Please contact us first to discuss. If consent is given this will require a variation of contract and will therefore incur a charge.
We will request the details of any person over 18 that will be residing at the property as they will need to be named as a ‘permitted occupier’ on the tenancy agreement. We will also require basic details of anyone aged under 18 that will be living at the property.
Conditions or Requests
If you have any special conditions or requests i.e. supplying a fridge freezer, blinds or removing some existing furnishings, this must be made prior to making a holding deposit payment as this then becomes binding on both parties. We cannot guarantee any later requests will be agreed to.
Some landlords may wish to apply certain restrictions to a tenancy. Please find below some examples of typical restrictions that may be imposed:
- Student Let
This will be clearly stated on the property marketing.
Managed or Let Only
The majority of the properties that we let are managed by us and therefore your renting experience, from the start to the end of tenancy, will be with us and you will most likely never liaise with or meet your landlord. Some lets, called Let Only, we just market the property and arrange the tenancy on behalf of the landlord. Once the tenancy commences, the landlord takes over responsibility for collecting the rent, all property management and the end of tenancy. In this case we will provide you with all the landlords contact details on the move-in day.
Once you have settled on a particular property we will commence the application process. If you have not done so already you will be asked to complete a pre-application form. We will then contact the landlord to confirm acceptance, subject to successful referencing. Below are the steps in the application process.
Right to Rent
At this point you will be required to provide us with your proof of Right to Rent, by law we have to request this. We usually do this via a UK passport or other approved ID combinations as per the government's Right to Rent list. If you are unable to provide the required documentation we will not be able to proceed with an application.
Before your application can be fully considered, you will need to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one weeks’ rent for the property you are interested in.
Once we have received your holding deposit, current legislation stipulates that the necessary tenancy paperwork should be completed within 15 days or such a longer period as might be agreed as to allow sufficient time for referencing.
If at any time after you have paid the holding deposit you decide not to proceed with the tenancy, then your holding deposit will be retained by our firm. By the same token, if during that period you unreasonably delay in responding to any reasonable request made by our firm, and if it turns out that you have provided us with false or misleading information as part of your tenancy application or if you fail any of the checks which the Landlord is required to undertake under the Immigration Act 2014, then again your holding deposit will not be returned. It will be retained by this firm and your Landlord.
However, if the Landlord decides not to offer you a tenancy for reasons unconnected with the above then your deposit will be refunded within 7 days. Should you be offered and you accept a tenancy with our Landlord, then your holding deposit will be credited to the first months’ rent due under that tenancy.
You will not be asked to pay any fees or charges in connection with your application for a tenancy. However, if your application is successful under our standard assured shorthold tenancy agreement, you will be required to pay certain fees for any breach of that tenancy agreement in line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019. In consideration of us processing your tenant application, you agree to pay those fees to us on request. Please see our Tenant Fees page.
As part of the application, we are required to obtain written references to support the information you provide. This will usually mean contacting your employer and your current or previous Landlord. We will also carry out a credit search. All of this will be completed using an independent referencing company.
- Self Employed Applicants - If you are self-employed, we will require a written reference from your accountant. We may also require accounts, usually dating back 3 years, which can be provided by the way of your SA302 forms from the HMRC. If you have been trading for less than 3 years you may require a guarantor.
- Student Applicants - If you are a student you will need a UK based guarantor that can pass the standard referencing criteria.
- Retired Applicants - If you are retired you will be asked for proof of funds which will usually be pension income.
- Other Applicants - Tenants claiming any means-tested income (Housing Benefit, Universal Credit, Child & Working Tax Credits) will require a UK based guarantor that can pass the standard referencing criteria.
We strongly recommend you carry out a free credit check on yourself prior to applying as County Court Judgements (CCJ’s) on your credit record is one of the main reasons for failing an application to rent. Even if you are not aware of them, if they come up on a search and you haven’t previously declared, then it is considered that you have provided false or misleading information.
We also need to know about any bankruptcies or insolvencies including debt repayment orders as these also affect your credit.
Should we decide a guarantor is required before a tenancy can be granted; the same process of referencing will apply to the guarantor.
The purpose of a guarantor is to guarantee the rent and adherence to any other tenant obligations listed within the tenancy agreement. They must have a good credit history and their income will need to be 3 times the annual rent in order to meet the affordability requirements.
Deadline for Agreement
You will have 15 days (or less if your start date is sooner), from the point of paying your holding deposit, to complete all your referencing requirements AND sign the tenancy agreement. If you do not, we withhold the right to retain your holding deposit in accordance with the Tenant Fee Act 2019.
In the majority of cases this timeframe is more than enough to complete all requirements. If further time is needed this will be reviewed on a case by case basis and in discussion with the landlord.
This information is given for guidance only and further information may be requested.
It is important that you complete your application information accurately, honestly and in full to avoid delays.
If you are unsure of anything please talk to us prior to making any payment.
When Can I Move In?
As soon as we receive satisfactory replies to our reference enquiries, we will contact you to confirm a time to move in on the planned commencement date. There are many different things to consider when booking this day and we will be as helpful and flexible as we possibly can.
We will then confirm the tenancy and advise you of the payment required for your first month’s rent and tenancy deposit. You will also receive a copy of the tenancy agreement for you to read through before your check-in appointment.
Please note the deadline for the tenancy start must be adhered to in all circumstances.
Tenancy Deposit & Deposit Alternative Schemes
At the start of every tenancy we collect a deposit equivalent to five weeks rent. This is used in the event of breakage or damage caused.
In accordance with the Housing Act 2004, landlords and agents must select either an insured based or custodial based tenancy deposit scheme in which to hold a Tenant’s deposit. A statutory certificate is then supplied to the Tenant advising on which approved scheme protects the deposit. This must be done within 30 days of the tenancy start date.
Alternatively, you may opt for the deposit alternative scheme offered through Reposit (if available on your chosen property). Before the tenancy commences you pay a one-off fee equivalent to one week's rent. You do not have to pay the traditional cash deposit. With Reposit you only pay what you owe, when you owe it. If you would like further information on this please contact our office.
When renting a property it is very important to make sure you are covered by insurance for any damages that may occur. The landlord's own insurance will not cover the tenant’s belongings. It will also exclude cover for if a tenant accidentally damages the Landlords property and therefore it could result in the loss of your deposit to cover the repairs.
On the day you will come to the office at the pre-arranged time to collect your keys. If the tenancy paperwork is being signed by hand, rather than digitally, you will sign all the paperwork at the appointment. If a guarantor has been requested they will be required to come to the office to sign the Deed of Guarantee. This can either be at the move-in appointment or arranged for before the start of the commencement date.
Once the transaction is completed you will receive a copy of the tenancy agreement and all relevant tenancy paperwork digitally.
Please note: If you fail to keep this appointment to complete the transaction this will be deemed as withdrawing from the tenancy and your initial holding deposit will become a fee and charged in full.
You will be sent a digital copy of the Inventory & Schedule of Condition. It is important that before you move your personal belongings into the property you walk around the property with the inventory checking that it is accurate. You will be able to note any discrepancies and return fully signed. If the inventory is not returned to us signed within 7 days it will be deemed as accepted.
Following the move-in appointment we will notify all utility providers and council of the new tenancy and supply any meter readings where required. It will then be up to you to contact the suppliers to provide your personal details and set up payments.
Rents are paid in advance by standing order unless otherwise agreed by the Landlord / Agent.
It is your responsibility to set up a standing order to pay your rent each month on the rent due date. We cannot do this for you, or make any changes to your standing order.
A Standing Order, is an instruction YOU give to YOUR bank to pay someone a fixed amount on a fixed date each month. We have no control over this, it is not a direct debit. It is the easiest way to ensure your rent arrives with us on time each month.
If you do not have funds in your account when the payment is attempted, we do not have any control over whether an attempt to make the payment is made or not.
We do not accept payment of rent by cash, credit or debit card. Payment must be made via bank transfer.
If you experience problems with paying rent the most important thing to do is talk to us and keep the lines of communication open, we are here to help you where we can.
If we are managing your property you will need to report any maintenance or repairs either by email or the website. We will provide you with a Tenancy Information Pack on the move-in day which provides lots of useful information and what to do in an emergency.
If we are managing your property under our obligations to your landlord we will carry out regular property inspections, these are usually quarterly. These are to assess the condition of the property, internally and externally, and to ensure it is being kept in a satisfactory condition.
End of Tenancy
You have decided it’s time to move on. All we ask is that you comply with your tenancy agreement and give the required one months’ notice.
As soon as you have returned your keys and surrendered the tenancy we will visit the property to carry out a vacation inspection, we will use the Inventory from the start of the tenancy for comparison.
Once the vacation inspection has been completed we will process the return of your deposit (if one was paid) less any deductions (if applicable).
What Happens if There is a Dispute at the End of the Tenancy?
TENANCY DEPOSIT SCHEME: In the event of a dispute, both parties will have 10 days to resolve the matter. If no resolution has been reached, they will be invited to make use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process that is provided free with the chosen deposit scheme. Should the parties opt for Alternative Dispute Resolution, they will be bound by its decision with no redress to the courts.
DEPOSIT ALTERNATIVE SCHEME - REPOSIT: In the event of a dispute, Reposit will send all evidence from both parties to their 3rd party adjudicator, who will review and provide a verdict within 14 days.
It is important that you know your legal rights and accordingly you should feel free to seek independent legal advice before signing any document which we might put before you.