When booking a viewing, what are the common questions asked by the agent?
- Your personal details including name, address, contact email address, and contact number. This information helps the agent register you to the database, track your viewing progress and submit you for potential future referencing.
- Are you working full time? Each property has different rental asking prices and the agent needs to know if you meet the affordability criteria before booking you a viewing. This is to avoid anyone’s time being wasted. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t working full time, just let the agent know your income circumstance and they will find the right property to suit.
- Do you have pets/do you smoke? Some landlords will specify to an agent prior to marketing the criteria they want a tenant to meet. This will sometimes mean they are non-accepting of tenants who have pets or who smoke. The property advert will state this criterion for you in the property description.
- Do you have good credit? The agent will ask this to establish your suitability for referencing. Its best to be honest and up front about this so the right property can be found for you and the agent can offer you the best possible options for referencing. If you have a CCJ, IVA, Bankruptcies or anything on your Credit Profile that may affect your referencing, let us know.
What is our process for starting a new tenancy?
- Book a viewing for a property providing all the above information
- Upon viewing, inform the agent if you would like to apply for tenancy
- We will send you an application form and the T & C’s of the Holding Deposit letter to sign. Complete and return both via email.
- We will speak to the landlord upon receipt of application and let you know if you have been successful.
- If successful, your details will be uploaded for referencing to Goodlord (see section on referencing) and the Holding Deposit will be requested. Once paid, the property will be reserved and marketing on hold whilst you are referenced.
- On completion of successful referencing the agent will be in touch with you, organize the date you can move into the property and the check in appointment before sending an email to request move in monies- property deposit and first months rent. (see section on referencing)
- The agent will then organize the property inventory to take place and for any certifications needed. You don’t need to worry about this bit!
- The property inventory will be sent to you prior to your move in date. (see section on inventories)
- Move in day! The agent will meet you at the arranged place and time, give you your check in pack, discuss with you your tenancy, answer any questions you may have and give you your keys. Congratulations on starting your tenancy!
Holding Deposit explained:
The Tenants Fee Act 2019 came into effect on the 1st June, making it now illegal to charge unfair additional fees — such as an admin fee — to tenants when they take on a new property, or renew a contract. This ban automatically applies to all new contracts signed after the 1st June 2019. Agents can however request a Holding Deposit from a new tenant before referencing takes place. This acts as a way of ‘reserving/holding’ the property during the time period that the referencing takes place. Upon completion of successful referencing, the full holding deposit amount is deducted from the final requested payment. The holding deposit is the equivalent to one weeks rent of the property for which you are being referenced- for example:
123 Fake Street, Imaginary Town, B12 3CD is £600pcm. (600x12/52=138.46) making the Holding Deposit figure £138.46.
For full terms and conditions see application holding deposit T&C’s
Referencing- What do you need?
For our referencing we use a team and platform called Goodlord. They manage the whole process for you, including gathering yours and where relevant, your guarantor’s documentation and information. They will do all the hard work for you, chasing up when referencing or additional information is required from your referees.
Unlike other referencing providers, the team is based right at Goodlord HQ and provide you with a seamless journey and with their wealth of experience, that can aid in a quick turnaround of your references.
When you are accepted for referencing you will be sent an email from Goodlord requesting you to pay the holding deposit (as explained above) and set up a referencing account. Anyone that is applying for a property, who is over the age of 18, contributing to the income of the property and wishes to be on the tenancy will need to be referenced. If you are over 18 but not contributing to the income of the household, you won’t need to be referenced and will instead be named as a permitted occupier.
All referencing is done online, and all referencing information can be uploaded quickly and easily with a phone, ipad, tablet etc through picture upload. Once you have created a referencing account, you can access this at any time and follow the step by step instructions to upload your information.
The information requested from you will be the following:
- Personal information- name, address, D.O.B, email address, contact number and employment status.
- Identification- This will need to be a passport and a clear and full picture will need to be uploaded.
- Residential Status- you will need to provide:
- Details of your address
- Are you renting that property?
- If yes- how long have you been renting?
- If no- are you are the homeowner?
- If you are renting, details of either the agent you are renting through or details of the landlord for a residential reference,
- If you aren’t renting, you will not need to provide a referee
- Proof of address- i.e. drivers license with address on, utility bill, bank statement
- Employment- you will need to provide:
- Details of where you work
- How much your income is per year
- Details of your employer including name and contact information
- Any documentation to prove income such as employment contracts, payslips, tax returns etc.
- If you are self-employed, you can provide details of your accountant to stand as a referee and a tax return
- Credit Status- you will be asked to confirm if you have any CCJ’s, IRAs or Bankruptcies. Then using the information, you have provided on yourself and your residency a check will be made against the electoral roll and Goodlord will confirm if this is correct. BE AWARE IF ADVERSE CREDIT IS FOUND THAT YOU HAVE NOT DECLARED, THIS COULD AFFECT YOUR APPLICATION FOR TENANCY.
Guarantor- when might you need one and what do they need?
You may need a guarantor if you meet any of the following criteria:
- If you have poor or low credit status.
- If you are claiming any kind of benefits and are not working
- If you don’t meet affordability for a property
- Poor reference from previous tenancy i.e. repeated late rent payments
If you do meet any of the above, the guarantor you provide will need to be working full time and need to be earning 3 times the rental figure per annum. i.e.
£600pcm x 3.0= £1800pcm x 12 months = £21,600 per annum minimum income required.
Any guarantor is required to understand the position they would play as the guarantor. They are agreeing to pay the monthly rent and any other associated costs in the event the tenant (you) default on their own obligations. This will include any and all rent arrears should the tenant be unable to pay. A guarantor acts as a co-signer because they pledge their own services in case the original tenant cannot perform their own obligations. You need to make sure that the person you are putting forward as a guarantor understands this and agrees to this before you submit their details.
When a guarantor has been put forward, they too will have an account on Goodlord for referencing and be required to do the following:
- Sign up for an account and agree to the T&C’s of becoming a guarantor
- Provide personal information including name, address, D.O.B, email address and contact number
- Provide details of income including, company name, job title, yearly income and supporting documents for this such as contract of employment and payslips
- Proof of address
- Details of credit history
This will be checked at the same time as your referencing and their suitability as a guarantor confirmed. If you do require a guarantor and the guarantor you provide does NOT pass referencing, this will affect your application for tenancy.
Security Deposit & First Month Rent
When you have successful referencing, you will be sent a request from Goodlord for the security deposit payment on the property and the first months rent.
The property deposit or, security deposit is payment that is taken as a security for the landlord that should it be necessary at the end of the tenancy, costs for repairs, rent arrears etc are covered. Property deposits are NOT kept with landlords or agents, they MUST be logged in a professional and accredited deposit protection scheme and cannot be accessed at any time by the agent or landlord. Only at the end of the tenancy, when a check out has been done can the agent/landlord request the protection scheme release the deposit back to yourself.
If after tenancy there are rent arrears, damage etc, the landlord can make a claim through the protection scheme for a figure covering these costs, to be deducted from the deposit amount. If you as a tenant wish to dispute this claim, you can, and you would need to do so directly with the protection scheme company. Your agent/landlord will provide you with details of your deposit having been logged with a protection scheme and details for disputes etc.
For further details on the protection scheme see https://www.depositprotection.com/
What about utility providers?
We take care of this for you! When you had successful completion of references, we will notify Goodlord Switch that you are going to be taking tenancy of the particular property and when your move in date is expected to be.
Goodlord Switch is part of the same Goodlord that references you and is the department that handles the switching of occupier details for energy providers and if requested, switching of the providers themselves.
GS will contact you on or around your move in date and inform you of the current providers of energy to the property, their rates and details. They will ask you if you wish to use this company for the energy or use another company. They will give you information on other providers and compare rates for you to help you with your initial set up. Then, when move in day arrives, the energy companies will know you have taken residency at the property and your accounts will be set up with them.
We will notify the council that you have taken residency at the property and they will contact you to set up the necessary accounts for council tax etc.
We always advise that when you first move into your property, take meter readings so you have these recorded yourself. These will be on your inventory of the property but can still slightly differ once you have taken keys.
Inventories & Inspections
When a new tenancy is started on a property the agent will conduct an inventory on the property you will be moving into. This is a detailed picture and descriptive record of every part of the property that will record the condition in which it is presented to you. This is done to protect the landlord so they and we know how the property looked before tenancy and to protect you the tenant so, if there are any areas of damage, there is evidence to show it was prior to your tenancy and not done by yourself.
This inventory is what will be referred to upon your check out from the property when a comparison report is created. This will also be referred to for any deposit disputes.
When you move into your property, the inventory is emailed to you and you are given 7 days to go through this report and add to it anything you feel relevant. This will then be kept on record for your tenancy along with your additions.
If agreed with the landlord, part of a service provided by us is inspections.
We do these to reassure landlords that properties are being looked after and tenancy agreements followed. For tenants it’s to:
- keep a record of the property through-out the tenancy to allow for a clearer condition trail upon check out,
- to allow for maintenance issues to be raised and recorded,
- to be sure the property is to an appropriate standard
- to ensure the tenancy is a happy one!
Our inspections are always pre-organised with the tenant and can be either accompanied or unaccompanied by them dependant on their preference. We will take photos at these inspections and put them together in a report, along with detailed description of each room. We will record any maintenance raised and identify any works that need doing. Each report is then sent directly to the tenant for approval before being sent to the landlord for review and record.
Unless agreed otherwise, these inspections take place on month 1, month 4 and every 6 months thereafter of the length of the tenancy.
What about if I have a maintenance issue when renting?
We have got this covered, don’t worry! If during your tenancy you experience a problem, you can easily report it through our maintenance reporting tool on this website. Simply click lettings followed by request a repair and follow the step by step instructions.
When you have sent this through, we will pick this up the same working day if before 5:30pm or the next working day if after.
But what if it’s an emergency? Don’t worry! Again, we have this covered with a fully monitored out of hours emergency contact number- you can reach us whenever you need to! We’ve even got a list of dedicated contractors whose numbers will be provided to you so, you can call them too!
We work hard to make sure all maintenance issues are resolved quickly and efficiently, providing you peat issues. Humberstones Homes, Here to Help!
What if I want to renew my tenancy agreement?
That’s great! If you wish to renew your tenancy you certainly can. 2 months before your tenancy is due to end we will contact you to ask if you wish to renew the contract and if you would like to do so for 6 months, 12 months or instead go onto a rolling contract.
- 6- or 12-month tenancies are the written the same as the tenancy you start with. The dates are altered to the new relevant dates and then, the agreement is sent to all parties for signature. If you chose a 6 or 12-month renewal, you and the landlord are tied into this contract for this length of time and cannot end your tenancy until the contract has come to its end.
- Rolling contracts are still tenancy agreements however, the same tenancy agreement will be in affect but, will roll by each month. This does mean that you are able to give notice to end your tenancy when you need to, however, it means the same for the landlord.
What about if I want to end my tenancy?
If you wish to end your tenancy, though we will be sad to see you leave, you are still able to! Your notice to end your tenancy needs to be given on or both the rent day a minimum of 1 month before your tenancy is due to end. For example:
If your tenancy is due to end on the 1st of February 2021, you would need to give your notice no later than 1st of January 2021. If you give notice after this date, you will not be able to terminate your tenancy on the date your agreement states. For example:
If your tenancy is due to end on the 1st of February 2021 and you give your notice on the 7th of January 2021, your tenancy will be in affect until the 7th of February and you will be liable for any rental costs in these extra days.
Can the landlord give me notice to leave?
The landlord can you give you notice to leave the property, and this can be for several reasons.
If the tenancy is due to come to an end and the landlord does not wish to carry on with the tenancy, they need to provide you with a minimum of 2 months’ notice, in writing by means of a Section 21.
Again, the landlord must do as the tenant would be required and give this notice on or before the rent day 2 months prior to end of tenancy. See above example.
If tenant breaches have occurred or you as the tenant are in rental arrears, the landlord can issue an early tenancy termination with a Section 21 so long as there is adequate proof for early termination. Speak to your agent about this for more information.OFFICIAL ADVICE ON RENTING PROPERTY