All your Frequently Asked Questions about renting a house or flat answered, including information about rent guarantors, referencing, and deposits.
Before you start searching for your new home it’s a good idea to write down a budget. What are your current outgoings and what money do you have left each month to spend on rent? Take into account that, when you first move in, you will need to front a security deposit as well as the first month’s rent and a refundable holding deposit.
If you haven’t already, make sure you go and view the property. If it’s a house-share, meet all the people you’ll be moving in with. The letting agent will ask you to sign a Tenancy Fee Declaration form that lists the services. The agent will then begin the referencing process to ensure you’re in a position to rent the property.
Referencing is nothing to worry about. Tenants applying to rent need to give details of their employer and income, their previous address, and some bank account details. These will be checked to ensure they are able to commit to monthly rental payments.
If a tenant is not fully approved by the referencing process, they can ask a guarantor to support them. A guarantor (usually a parent or guardian) will agree to take joint responsibility for the rent for the property if the tenant fails to. Guarantors are required to pay any rent arrears (if the tenant does not pay) and for any damages costing more than the deposit.
Landlords and letting agents are required to register your deposit with an approved Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Landlords register their deposits with a scheme. The deposit is then either held by the landlord, the agent or the deposit scheme itself. You should receive details of the scheme, explaining where the deposit is held.
If you are tied into a fixed term contract, you will be liable for the rent until the fixed term is finished. If you are no longer in a fixed term contract (ie. a rolling contract) your tenancy agreement will define the notice you need to give.
Any other queries you may have about renting, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team