Renting your first property can be very daunting as it may be your first time moving out of home or you may need to relocate for work so we are here for you at every step of the way.
We have put together a short guide for first time renters covering a few key points that you need to take into account.
If you would like some advice or to have a chat with one of our specialists then call or pop into your local branch.
You can also check out the government's How To Rent: The Checklist for Renting in England.
Don't rush into letting, do your homework, know your budget, the area you want and your requirements and ensure the landlord or agent has a good reputation.
Consider your needs
What is your reason for moving, affordability & desired location.
Have a clear view of what your timescales are and any possible limitations, like current notice periods.
Look at local letting agents websites such as Thomas Morris and register for early property alerts. Talk to friends and colleagues who live in the area and check local information.
Visit a Letting Agent
At Thomas Morris we always welcome the opportunity to talk to all our customers so drop in for a coffee and a chat about the market anytime. Meet our people, talk through your needs and register with us.
Make time to view all the properties that you're interested in. In the current market we are finding that some properties are reserved at the first viewing, so make sure you have your finances in place so you can secure the property quickly.
When you're at the viewing make sure you take the time to have a good look round. Check the water pressure, find out how the heating works, check the size of the fridge, etc. If you're viewing a property and the previous tenants are still living there, make sure you know what's included and what belongs to them.
Know how the property is managed
A number of landlords will leave the day to day management to the estate agent so they will deal with any maintenance issues on your behalf. Other landlords will manage the property themselves. It's good to know how your property is managed so you're aware of who to contact if there's a problem.
Preparing for a tenancy
Income Protection & Home Contents Insurance
It is worth discussing income protection & contents insurance with your Embrace Independent Financial Advisor at this point.
View all relevant homes. In the current market we would suggest that you should be prepared to make decisions quickly as we are finding that some properties are reserved at the first viewing, this is when you pay your administration fee to initiate your application immediately.
Complete these and return with original photographic identification and proof of address (e.g. utility bill)
Your referencing will be processed taking approximately 7 working days and you will receive the terms agreed in writing. Thomas Morris will call you to discuss the outcome of the referencing.
Deposit and Tenancy Agreement
You will receive the tenancy agreement before the start of the tenancy and we must receive the deposit in our bank account before the tenancy starts.
During the tenancy
Once the agreement has been signed and the standing order set up you may collect the keys on the day your tenancy commences. Thomas Morris will provide you with the Energy Performance certificate, the Landlords Gas safety certificate (if relevant), contact details for your property and any emergency contractors details.
When you have moved in, Thomas Morris will send your proof of deposit registration for you to check, sign and return.
If the property you are renting is managed by Thomas Morris we will be carrying out property visits.
At least 2 months prior to the end of your fixed term Thomas Morris will contact you to discuss your future plans.
This allows further commitment, planning and budgeting for another fixed term. The process replicates the start of the original tenancy.
If you wish to serve notice please contact Thomas Morris as soon as possible. It will take effect from your 'next' rental due date.
At Thomas Morris we use Docusign Digital Transaction Management to get most of our paperwork signed. Docusign is the global standard for digitally signing documents without ever having to print them out. It is legally recognised and documents can be received, read and signed from any device connected to the internet, anywhere in the world.
You will be sent an email when your paperwork is ready and with just a few clicks or taps you can open, review and sign your documents. The completed legal copy is returned when all parties have signed and completed their part.
For more information simply visit www.docusign.co.uk or speak to a member of the Thomas Morris staff.
At the end of the tenancy
Around two months prior to the end of your fixed term we will contact you to discuss your future plans. The process is similar to the start of the original tenancy and allows further commitment, planning and budgeting for another fixed term.
Notice and eviction
A tenancy runs until it is ended by either the tenant giving notice, or the landlord serving an eviction notice. As a tenant, the amount of notice you are required to give depends on the type of tenancy you have and your individual tenancy agreement. During the fixed term period of your tenancy, you can usually only end your tenancy early if the tenancy agreement has a break clause.
Providing there is no rent owing, and no cleaning or repairs are needed, your security deposit will be returned to you in full. If cleaning or repairs are required, these will be agreed between you and the landlord and the cost deducted from your deposit, with the balance returned to you.