Renting a property

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Finding the right rental property, in the right place at the right time can be deflating and time consuming, especially if you have restrictions like pets, catchment areas etc. That’s why, at Bowyer Estates we regularly contact our clients to ensure they are updated when new properties come to the market and as we conduct viewings seven days a week, you can be sure that we will do our utmost to try and get you the property you want.

Before you start conducting any viewings, you should consider the information provided below, as it could help speed the process up and also stop you missing out or being disappointed in the long run.

How much can you afford?

Determine how much you can afford – in order to do this you need to divide your annual salary by 2.5 and then divide by 12 and this will give you a monthly rental amount that you should be able to afford – this calculation is used by most credit referencing firms to determine affordability, so it’s a good way to ensure you’re not looking above your budget and being disappointed in the long run. (I.e. £20,000pcm divide 2.5 divide 12 = £666.66pcm)

Once you have found that property, the process is simple and can be concluded as quickly as possible to suit. The process is;

  • Pay your holding fund and complete your online application form.

  • Once your references are complete, agree a move in date to suit all parties and pay your deposit and the remainder of your first month’s rent.

  • Finally, we will meet with you at your new property on the agreed move in day, where we will sign all the paperwork and you will be left with the keys and can start moving in immediately.

  • Once all the above is completed, we will register your deposit with the DPS (Deposit Protection Service), inform the gas, electric, water and council tax of your occupancy and confirm everything to you in writing.

Rental Deposit

A deposit, or bond as it is commonly known totals five weeks rent maximum from 1st June 2019, unless the property is valued over £50,000 when a deposit will then be equivalent to six weeks rent. This can amount to a considerable sum of money, so always ensure that you have these funds available before you commit.

Bowyer Estates will register the deposit with the DPS (Deposit Protection Service) and once the tenancy expires your deposit will be returned to you, subject to a full check out being conducted and confirmation of no damage.

It would also be responsible to ensure that an inventory is provided at the start of your tenancy agreement, highlighting the condition and items provided when you moved in. If one is not, then make a note of any defects that you believe may be detrimental to your deposit and inform your Landlord or agent of such, thus protecting your money and helping to ensure a speedier and hassle free deposit release at the end of your tenancy.

Tenancy Agreement

Whether you are a single or joint tenant, all parties named on the tenancy agreement are all jointly and severally liable….so should one party fail to pay, the other(s) will become liable to cover the missing rent.

As a single tenant, you alone will be responsible for the rent and all bills relating to the property as outlined in your tenancy agreement. If the tenancy is on a joint basis, then all parties are liable for the utilities, however should one party leave then the other(s) will have to pick up and cover the said costs.

Insurance

As a tenant you have an obligation to your Landlord and therefore should obtain ‘tenants insurance’. This will cover both your own personal contents as well as provide cover for the landlord’s furnishings in the property and in turn reduce the risk of accidental damages being deducted from your deposit.

Legal Obligations

In order to protect your deposit, ensure you read your tenancy agreement in full before signing, as it will highlight your legal obligations and any restrictions.

I.e. ensure the carpets are professionally cleaned, maintain the gardens, no decorating…..etc

Guarantors

Circumstances do occur when a guarantor is required, for example should you be studying, on a low income or renting for the first time, if so the Landlord/agent may deem you a high risk candidate and in such cases a guarantor may be required (normally a parent). They will be legally obligated to ensure the rent is paid. Should you fail to, in a property where there is more than one tenant, this role should be strongly reviewed as the guarantor may then also be responsible for the failure of rent payments of other tenants.

If you are required to provide a guarantor in order to proceed with your application, there is certain criteria that a guarantor must meet in order to be acceptable.

They need to have an income substantial enough to cover the rent and the best way to determine whether they would be a suitable candidate is times the annual rent by 3 (a calculation most credit referencing firms use) i.e. a rent of £600pcm x 12months x 3 = £21,600 which is the annual income your guarantor would need to earn.

In addition, they need to have a good great score, so no CCJ’s or bankruptcy otherwise they will fail and not be deemed suitable.

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From the 1st June 2019, Bowyer Estates will not be charging tenants any referencing fee's or upfront costs as a condition of a tenancy, in line with the 'Tenant Fee Ban' legislation which has come into force.

Please find below the charges, which will be applicable to all tenants from 1st June 2019.

·        Deposit – equivalent to 5weeks rent (value dependent on rental amount)

·        Holding Fund for Property –  Equivalent to One weeks rent (value dependent on rental amount & deductable from 1st months rent at move in, subject to a succesful application)

·        Novation of tenancy (variation of occupant) - £50 (incl VAT)

·        Termination of Tenancy (early surrender) – Equivalent to the landlord’s finders fee. (Information available via enquiry with the agent)

·        Replacement Keys or security devices.

·        Rent Defaults – Failure to make payment within 14days of the rent due, will incur charges, as written in the tenancy agreement, equivalent to 3% above the bank of England base rate.

         Example - £500 rent arrears and 26days outstanding.

            (based on the current bank ofEngland rate of 0.75%)

            500x0.0375 = £18.75

            18.75/365 = £0.051

            5.1p x 26days = £1.34

Please note that if a tenant considers the charges noted (if/when applicable to them) to be unreasonable, based on evidence provided, they can object to paying the fee or challenge the fee through the local authority, Trading Standards or first tier tribunal.