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This guide provides step by step advice on how to secure your ideal rental property
As a tenant it is vital that you choose a landlord and letting agent that you can trust. As a licensed member of Association of Renting Letting Agents (ARLA), Romans operate under strict standards of professional and ethical practice with complete transparency so you can avoid unwelcome fees or legal hiccups throughout your tenancy.
Narrow your searchWhen you start the search for your ideal home it is worth considering your requirements:
Our top tip: Budget carefully - allow for council tax and the cost of all utilities, which you'll normally have to pay for.
Whether you have begun your search online or in the office of your letting agent, once you have found one or more properties which meet your requirements, a lettings consultant will take you on viewings so you can see the property in person.
By creating an online account on Romans.co.uk you can be sure that when a property to let comes on the market you'll be one of the first to see it. Our staff are trained to keep up with the trends of the local markets in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Greater London, Hampshire, Middlesex, Oxfordshire and Surrey so we will be able to advise you on how to get the most out of your money in the location of your choice.
Our top tips for viewings:
As of October 2008, every landlord is required to provide an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for any new tenancies in each property they rent out. This certificate gives the property a rating based on such factors as loft insulation, double glazing, boiler age, efficiency etc and more, and is valid for 10 years. The level of energy efficiency of your property will affect your energy bills so it is worth checking this out.
The rental market moves much faster than the sales market so if you see the perfect property, you may have to act quickly to secure it. We recommend always being prepared with the relevant documents such as a form of identification and confirmation of your address.
Once you have found the right flat or house you'll need to put a reservation fee down to state your intention. With Romans, there is a reservation fee of £500 or £1,000 payable at this stage, this will be taken into account and deducted from the remainder of the money you'll pay (48 hours before you move in).
You will need to provide proof of your "Right to Rent" under the immigration act.
You will be asked to give references to your prospective landlord and letting agent to confirm that you have rented in the past without any major problems. As part of this process Romans may also request further details:
Once the deposit is paid in full, the property is secured. This deposit is held as the landlord's cover for any excessive damages that need to be repaired at the end of the tenancy.
If Romans is managing the property on behalf of the landlord, the deposit will be registered with My Deposits. However, if the landlord manages the property themselves, we'll inform you what deposit scheme the landlord will be using and the terms and conditions of that scheme will form part of your Tenancy Agreement.
A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure the rights and obligations of both the tenant and the landlord are adhered to. All relevant parties will be asked to sign this document, which agrees the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant. This may include such responsibilities as; you must tell your landlord if you are going away for longer than 14 days, you must not use the property as a business.
Our top tip: The date on which the contract starts will become your rent's due date. You're unable to change this at a later stage, so please do bear it in mind when you reserve a property.
If you chose a licensed lettings agency such as Romans, it is our duty to keep up-to-date with the latest lettings industry legislation. That means we can advise all our landlords on their legal responsibilities for keeping their tenants safe from harm, by making sure their property and its contents (if furnished) meet the UK's legal safety standards.
Tenants often overlook the need to take out contents insurance when renting a property. Romans offer a comprehensive insurance policy.
At Romans, when the landlord accepts your offer, your lettings consultant will put all the details together and personally hand it over to our dedicated Move Management team. They will call you to confirm all the arrangements and will draw up your tenancy agreement and other important documentation.
You'll also be issued with a 'moving in' invoice for payment at least 48 hours from the moving in date. This includes:
With your references, paperwork and invoices complete, it's time to move in!
Your keys will be available to collect either at our local branch or at your check in appointment from either the landlord or inventory clerk- dependant on the service level your landlord has selected. (Your Move Manager will confirm this to you beforehand).
Our top tip: If you want to remove an element of stress from the day contact your local Romans branch and ask for their recommended removal company to help pack, move and unpack your belongings quickly and carefully.
Remember to inform your utilities provider and the local council of your move.
The inventory is a detailed list of the contents and condition of the property at the point that you move into it. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign. At Romans Premier and Managed service, an Independent Inventory Service will prepare this document for the landlord.
The property you are renting is a large investment for your landlord, so they will arrange visit days to meet with you at the property and check that everything is in order, usually only a couple of times a year. Of course, if anything breaks down or needs repairing then the landlord will visit the property more often to ensure the property maintains in good condition for you to live in.
Your Property Manager
If your property is professionally managed by us, you'll receive a welcome call within 48 hours from your designated Property Manager, who will be your main point of contact during the course of your tenancy. They will advise you on any maintenance issues and if action is needed either by yourself or the landlord- depending on whether the issue is a long term fault or through 'wear-and-tear'.
A managed property will also receive regular inspections visits (carried out by your property manager) which will generate photographic reports. Both you and your landlord will receive copies of the report, so that everyone is aware of the property's current condition and disputes can either be avoided or easily resolved.
Once you are nearing the end of your tenancy period you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out (remembering to give two months' notice in writing).
a. Staying putIf you do want to renew the tenancy, we will liaise with you directly and send you all the necessary paperwork to complete. If your circumstances have changed, some new checks may be needed, but this will be advised on at the time.
Our top tip: Remember the landlord at this stage will be within his/her rights to serve notice on your tenancy if they need the property back or there have been any persistent issues.
b. Moving out
If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, we'll arrange a check out with an independent inventory company (carried out on the last day of your tenancy) to ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition - at this point, you'll hand back the keys. If the landlord manages the property, you'll need to liaise with them directly in order to arrange a time and date to meet there, complete a check out and hand the keys back.
After serving your notice you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good condition in order for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. If there are no deductions or disputes and all the necessary forms are filled out correctly by you and by the landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days after the deposit release agreements have been received.
Pardoning normal wear-and-tear, if the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, getting your deposit back should be no problem.Here's what to do next:
If you need any help either before after your tenancy call us and we'll be happy to help.
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