If you're looking for a property for rent, the first thing you must do as a prospective tenant is to decide on your search criteria for a property. Things like, how much you're prepared to pay, the location and the amount of bedrooms are all essential considerations for property renting.
Of course renting is not like buying - you are only committed to 6 months with our assured shorthold tenancy agreements. It is normally a much quicker process when searching for a property and the strict criteria when you purchase a property isn't as important as when you are looking to rent.
Search for a property to rent based on your criteria and make sure you look at the photos and the floorplan, but there is still nothing quite like actually going to view the property. You get a real 'feeling' for the property and a real idea of the location and its situation.
When you see a property for rent that you would like to go and visit, just give the agent a call, or if you've seen something through Hatched, you can fill in the 'Arrange a Viewing' link beneath the property and we'll arrange a viewing at a suitable time for you.
Once the viewing has taken place, we will contact you so we can gather feedback on the property and see if you are interested in it.
If you like the property that you have viewed and you can see yourself living there, then don't delay! Contact the agent straight away and let them know. Lots of agents work on a 'first come, first served basis' when it comes to property renting, so be quick!
However, at Hatched, we work on the landlord's instructions and give everyone a fair opportunity to tell us they're interested, rather than just renting to the first person who contacts us.
Assuming the landlord is happy to go with you, the agent will ask you for a reservation or administration fee. At Hatched, we charge a fee of £175 for a one person tenancy per property, which rises by £50 for every extra person over the age of 18 years. We will require you to fill out a questionnaire as to your current employment, salary, details of referees, etc., so that we can undertake the necessary references on you.
When we have received the completed application forms, we will process those and ask for references from various sources, subject to the landlord's instructions, we will invite you to sign the tenancy agreement.
It is advisable that tenants obtain contents insurance for the property they are going to be renting. The team at Hatched.co.uk can help you in getting quotes for this if required.
Subject to the landlord allowing us to go ahead, we will draw up all the necessary paperwork including tenancy agreements and standing orders for both parties to sign. Once the paperwork has been signed, we will require an advance payment of rent from the tenant. A deposit will also be required from the tenant, which will be reimbursed at the end of the tenancy, subject to the inventory check-out report and any other agreements in place.
An independent inventory clerk will meet you at the property and provide details on the condition and contents of the property before you move in. Both the tenant and the landlord will receive copies of this.
Once the inventory check has been done, the lease has been signed and rent and deposits have been collected, the keys will be handed over to you to move in! Congratulations, you have just rented a property through Hatched.co.uk!
When you find a property, you will have to go through a credit check and reference process. You will have to pay a fee for this, often called an administration fee.
You will either pass the credit checks, require a guarantor, or fail them. Either way, the administration fee you pay, will not be refundable.
If you fail the credit checks, then very few agents, including us, will be able to rent the property to you.
Alongside these checks, the letting agent will be organising various contractors to prepare the property for you to move in to. Gas safety checks will be carried out, as will electrical safety checks on certain occasions.
The tenancy agreements will also be drafted for when you move in. These are legal documents that must be signed before you move into the property.
The whole process from reserving a property, to getting the move in date, will take, on average, around 10 working days.
Once the letting agent has everything in place, they will then contact you to arrange a time and place to meet so that you can read and sign the tenancy agreements and also pay over the deposit and first month's rent.
The deposit will usually equal one and a half months of the rent, so in total (including the first month's rent), you will need to pay two and a half months rent.
Once you have paid this over and signed the contract, the agent will then either give you the keys and you will meet the landlord there, or, they will have arranged for you to meet an inventory clerk to carry out the 'check-in'.
The inventory is an important document for you. Do not ignore it. The inventory will detail everything about the condition of the property on the day that you move in. On the day you move out, if the 'check-out' doesn't match up with what the 'check-in' said, then you are risking some, or all of your deposit. Get the property back to the state of repair in which you found it - and use the original inventory to cross reference this.
Remember, you are living in someone else's home. You are entitled to enjoy it as your own, but always have this in the back of your mind when you are renting a property.
During your tenancy, the agent will often call to ask to inspect the property. They are not seeing how you live, but they are making sure that everything still works and that there are no issues. The job of the agent is not to judge how you live, but to look after the property on behalf of the landlord.
On moving out, make sure you give the notice that's required of you and ask the agent for confirmation of the date you are due to pay rent until.
After you have moved out, you will sometimes drop the keys back to the agent, or you will be 'checked-out' by the same inventory company that checked you in.
The property will be assessed by the inventory company and reported back to the agent. Assuming there are no problems, you should expect your deposit back within around a week.
If there are any items that need to be attended to, then the agent will report this to the landlord and the landlord will decide what they want to do. Remember, the estate agent is just the messenger and is employed to undertake the landlord's instructions.
For full details of our Lettings Complaints Procedure, please download and read the Complaints Procedure PDF.