The CS&B guide to renting
Once you have found a suitable property you will need to complete an application for tenancy. Each tenant will need to complete their own application. An application fee of £75.00 per person is payable for credit and reference checks as well as the administration involved. This fee is non-refundable should you decide to no longer proceed with your application or your references prove to be unsuitable. Once the application fee has been paid no further applications for the property will be accepted pending the outcome.
If you are a student, unemployed, have a bad credit history, or your salary does not meet the required amount you may need to provide a guarantor. A guarantor is someone who agrees to pay the rent, should the tenant default. The guarantor will be required to complete an application form and sign a legally binding agreement. A fee of £75.00 will be required for credit checks, reference checks and administration.
For each applicant, we require photographic identification, i.e. driving licence/passport, as well as proof of address, i.e. bank statement, utility or council tax bill no more than 3 months old. We will also need the same identification for guarantors, where applicable.
We will require references from your current employer and landlord (where applicable) and details of these will need to be provided by you. We will obtain the necessary references required but it is advisable for you to inform the relevant persons beforehand that we will be contacting them so we may receive a prompt reply. Should any reply be unsatisfactory or the information you have provided is inaccurate, we will be unable to proceed with your application.
Once your application has been accepted, we will arrange to draw up the tenancy agreement. At this stage, we required half of the first month’s rent to be paid. This is non-refundable should you decide to withdraw at this stage. However, should the landlord wish to withdraw, the money will be returned to you.
The tenancy entered into will be an Assured Shorthold Tenancy for a period of 6 or 12 months. After the initial fixed period, the tenancy may be terminated or be left to run on a monthly periodic basis. On agreement from both the landlord and tenant, the tenancy may be extended. We will contact both parties towards the end of the fixed term to take instructions with regards to extending the tenancy.
The deposit taken is the equivalent of one month’s rent plus £100. This is required as cleared funds at the commencement of the tenancy. The deposit is to cover the costs, if any, of neglect, misuse or damage by the tenant of furnishings, fittings and décor incurred during the tenancy or non-payment of rent. In accordance with the law, the deposit is held by the Deposit Protection Scheme (further details will be provided).
The balance of the first month’s rent is required as cleared funds on commencement of the tenancy. The rent thereafter is paid monthly in advance by standing order. This must be arranged by yourselves and must be dated at least three working days prior to the rent due date to allow for the banking process. If the rent is more than five days late reaching our account, a late payment fee will be charged, as outlined in the tenancy agreement.
On the move in day the keys can be collected from our office. If we are managing the property, instead, we will arrange to meet you at the property. At this time we will take meter readings together and, where applicable, check through the inventory.
The tenant is responsible for paying the utility bills and council tax. Relevant providers must be informed of your occupancy at the start of the tenancy period. Where the property is managed by ourselves, we will take meter readings and arrange for the transfer of the utilities and inform the council. We cannot, however, guarantee that our readings will be recognised and strongly recommend that you also inform the suppliers to ensure they have processed your details. With regards to a telephone connection, although there may be a socket present at the property, the landlord is not responsible for any charges made to connect or reconnect the line.
The landlord is responsible for maintenance and repair of the property and the fixtures and fittings provided. You are expected to look after the property and its contents in a ‘tenant like manner’. If works are required due to your misuse or neglect it will be your responsibility to cover the costs of repair. Any problems with the property or its fixtures and fittings must be reported as soon as they occur.
You are responsible for arranging adequate contents insurance to cover your possessions. The landlord is responsible for insuring the building and their own contents but not your personal belongings.
Where the property is managed by ourselves, we will conduct an inspection three months after the tenancy has commenced. Subsequent inspections will take place every three months thereafter. Prior notice will always be given.
You must ensure the property is left clean and tidy on vacating. Where the property is managed by us, we will meet you at the property for you to hand over the keys. At this time we will take meter readings and go through the inventory (where applicable). It is optional whether or not you remain to attend to this with us. If we are not managing the property arrangements will need to be made with the landlord for the hand over of the keys.
As a tenant you must not:
- Keep pets on the property without prior permission from the landlord;
- smoke or allow anyone else to smoke in the property without prior permission from the landlord;
- change the locks without prior permission from the landlord;
- make any alterations to the property internally or externally, including decoration, without prior consent;
- make any alterations to electrical wiring or plumbing without prior consent;
- sub-let the property;
- take in lodgers;
- run a business from the property;
- cause a nuisance to neighbours;
- use the property for any illegal or immoral purposes.