The most important factors are the basics, such as:
- travelling time to work (including the time to the train station, DLR or bus stop)
- the local amenities and recreations
- the size of property (remember: the larger the property and garden, the more maintenance is needed)
- internet access (don’t forget about this either)
- the security and ‘feel’ of the area
- the energy efficiency (inefficient properties will cost more to heat, which can be a burden).
The rent will usually be quoted in a weekly or monthly amount. For affordability, use the following formulae:
- Weekly rent to monthly rent: weekly rent x 52, divided by 12
- Monthly rent to weekly rent: monthly rent x 12 divided by 52
Register interest and viewings
We recommend registering your details and arranging viewings as quickly as possible because rental properties do not stay on the market for long.
If possible arrange multiple viewings in order to have opportunities for comparison and are able to make your decisions quicker, hence increasing your chances of securing the property of your choice.
Securing a property / holding deposit
Once you have found a property you like, we will ask you to communicate your offer in writing and to pay a £400 holding deposit and the Administration fees before we put your offer forward to the landlord.
(It is important you also communicate any request you might have at this point, such as additional furnishing as this will form part of the contractual agreement.)
This fee is non-refundable if you either decide not to pursue your application to rent that property, or if the checks and referencing results in a non-satisfactory outcome or you attempt to alter the initial agreement in any way.
The holding deposit will be refunded in full if the landlord pulls out following fully passed and satisfactory references.
An Administration fee of £180 is payable prior to any tenancy agreement, an additional £85 per applicant will be payable after that.
Once a rental figure has been agreed and the above payments made, an independent referencing company, will be used to carry out your financial, employment, rental and credit history. They will ‘score’ you and report back on your capacity to meet the financial commitment of the rental. Often a guarantor may be used to meet these criteria.
In order to proceed with the reference, we need the following information:
- Valid Passport
- Valid UK driving licence
- Last 4 months’ bank statement
- Landlord and employer details and statements
If you choose to use a guarantor, the above will be needed from them too.
This is a contract between the tenant and landlord, involving setting out each party’s obligations, so it is very important to thoroughly read through before signing and anything uncertain or unclear should be referred to a qualified legal representative and or agent, because once signed it will be a legally binding contract.
For all tenancies we take a security deposit equal to 6 – 8 weeks’ rent, less the £400 holding deposit.
This will be secured by a government approved Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme either by ourselves or the landlord for the length of tenancy agreed. This will be released at the end of the tenancy (or renewed if you and your landlord agree to extend the tenancy), less any deductions from the Inventory check in/out process.
Any charges or outstanding payments that remain unpaid at the end of a tenancy will be deducted from the deposit.
At the end of the tenancy, the landlord or Cooper Reeves pays out the deposit as is agreed between both parties. If there is any dispute, the scheme will hold the disputed difference of the deposit until resolved
The deposit or any undisputed part of the deposit should be returned within 10 days of the landlord and tenant agreeing how it should be dealt with.
Any dispute regarding deductions from the Deposit can be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution service. Once a claim is submitted, the parties will be written to by the adjudicators to allow them to submit their side of the story. The decision of the adjudicator will be binding on both parties. Once a decision is made, the money will be allocated within 10 days of the ADR decision.
Inventory and check in / check out
At the point of moving in, an independent inventory clerk is assigned to walk you through the property and highlight and acknowledge conditions of the property upon moving in. You will then be sent a copy of the inventory and schedule of condition and asked to sign it so that there is an independent ‘snapshot’ of the condition of the property and its contents at the start of the tenancy.
If you dispute or disagree with the condition as recorded, you will have seven days to raise the matter and request alterations to the initial findings.
Any contents you have in the property will be not be covered by the landlord’s insurance, so it is wise to seek cover to insure your belongings against theft and damages
Here is our checklist of things to consider before you move:
- organise transport/removals in good time
- collect boxes
- start moving slowly by packing away non-essentials
- start reducing your food stocks and the amount of replacement shopping you do
- leave enough time to defrost the fridge/freezer
- make arrangements for pets,
- set up a mail redirection
- make sure any repairs or maintenance is carried out
- look at your tenancy agreement to remind yourself of any obligations eg to clean carpets etc
- lock all doors and windows
- switch off electrics, gas and water
- take meter readings and notify us and the provider concerned.
Contacts to notify of change of address
- council tax
- cable tv/ Sky
- banks and credit card or store card companies
- driving licence / vehicle licence
- any subscriptions to magazines etc
- doctors, dentists, opticians, vets etc
- insurance companies
Tenant obligations and responsibilities
Generally speaking, unless otherwise agreed, your obligations as a tenant will be to pay:
- council tax
- gas and/or electricity
- water and sewerage
- tv licence or satellite regardless of the owner of the television set
- the rent on a regular basis
- inform the landlord and Cooper Reeves immediately of any defects and repair issues, or any matters which are the Landlord’s obligations to repair and maintain
- to maintain, repair and keep in the same condition as at the start of the tenancy (as noted in the Inventory and Schedule of Condition): the interiors and exteriors of the property, the fixtures and fittings, any garden and any front or rear of the property.
The first rent payment must arrive in our account in cleared funds prior to signing the tenancy agreement.
Unless previously agreed otherwise:
- rent payments thereafter must be by a single standing order/direct debit per month (not one per tenant)
- the cleared funds should arrive in Cooper Reeves’ or the Landlords' account either before or by the date stated in the tenancy agreement
- the standing order/direct debit should be set up to leave your account at least 3 days before the rent due date to allow time to process payment transfers.