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A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO RENTING A PROPERTY

A step-by-step guide to each stage of renting a property.

STEP

1

DECIDE ON THE BASICS

The more you know about what you want, the easier your search will be. Before you even start looking, make a list of what’s important to you. Consider whether you want a house or flat and what neighbourhoods appeal to you.
Of course, you’ll sometimes have to trade off one good thing against another. It’s a good idea to divide your wish list into “essential” and “nice to have”, to make these decisions easier.

Area
Probably the most important question. Do you want to live near your work? In a leafy neighbourhood or somewhere close to the town centre? Take some time at a weekend to walk around and get a feel for the areas you’re considering. We have houses and flats across Middx, Herts and Bucks so it can be helpful to make a list of postcodes or even streets that you’d consider to narrow down your search.

Transport links
For some people, this is even more important than the area itself. Do you want to walk to work, or will anywhere that’s near a tube station on the right line do? If you drive a lot, do you need easy access to the motorway network?

Budget
Ah! The big question. Set yourself a price range and work it out by week and by month (Remember, there are more than 4 weeks in a calendar month - about 4.3 in fact).

Size and type
A few things to consider:

  • House or flat?
  • Location?
  • How many bedrooms? Do you need a spare room?
  • Do you want outside space like a balcony or garden?
STEP

2

START LOOKING

Once you know what you’re after, it’s time to start looking for properties that measure up. Bear in mind that most landlords are looking for tenants who can move in within 2-8 weeks. If you won’t be ready to move by then, it might be worth waiting.

Use our online search at the top of this page to help find a house or flat by area, postcode or streetname. You can also register your interest about a specific property online here if you are short of time. Our database is updated every two hours, so you'll always see the latest properties for rent. If you'd rather talk to one of our local letting agents, contact one of our estate agents online, by phone or by dropping into your local branch. We'll get you registered and start looking for your place straight away.

STEP

3

VIEW THE PLACES YOU LIKE

Once you’ve found a property that you like the look of, we can make a viewing appointment so you can get a real feel for the place.

Although it’s best to look around a home in daylight, we’re open until 7pm during the week so you can take a look after work. We’re open on Saturdays and Sundays too.

STEP

4

AGREE TO RENT

Once you’ve decided on a particular home, we move into the letting agreed stage. You tell us you want to go ahead, and we’ll tell the landlord the good news.

This is when we check your references – there’s a reference fee to pay at this stage. Assuming there’s no problem, you then pay the deposit and advance rent, and you’re on the home straight.

STEP

5

SIGN THE TENANCY AGREEMENT

We’ll handle the paperwork and provide a tenancy agreement for you and your landlord to sign. It’s legally binding, so make sure you read it carefully. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.

Among other things, it will tell you:

  • The duration of tenancy – the minimum length of time you agree to rent for
  • How much rent you will pay, and how often
  • Your responsibilities regarding bills and maintenance
  • Your rights as a tenant
  • our landlord’s responsibilities

 

STEP

6

MOVE IN!

When the paperwork’s done and your deposit and first month’s rent are paid, the only thing left is to move into your new home.

We’ll arrange for you to pick up the keys. You’ll usually get them from the inventory clerk, who’ll do the inspection at the same time.

The inventory lists every item in each room of the property, so it can be checked for losses or damage when you move out.

Where possible we use an independent inventory company at the beginning and end of all our tenancies, to make sure that the inventory is accurate and fair.

Welcome to your new home!

STEP

7

DURING YOUR TENANCY

Inspecting the property
The property you are renting is an important investment for your landlord. The landlord is likely to want arrange visits to the property, normally and handful of times each year, to check that everything is in order.
There may be times, such as when items need repairing, that the landlord will to visit more often. This is so that they can address any items required, and ensure the property maintains its condition.

 

A dedicated Property Manager
If your property is professionally managed by Gibbs Gillespie you will be assigned a dedicated Property Manager when you move in. They will be your main point of contact during your tenancy. They will be on hand to help with any issues you may have at the property and will advise you on any maintenance issues, including if any action is needed either by yourself or the landlord (depending on whether the issue is a long term fault or through 'wear-and-tear').

 

You can contact the Property Management department here
All properties professionally managed by Gibbs Gillespie will have regular inspection visits (carried out by your property manager) on behalf of your landlord. After the visit a photographic report will be generated for the landlord, who may wish to arrange repair or renovation works based upon the contents. Landlords may also ask their tenants to remedy any defects that they are liable for that have been raised in the report.

 

The inspection keeps everyone is aware of the property's condition; meaning disputes can either be easily resolved – or avoided all together!

STEP

8

THE NEXT STAGES

Towards the end of your initial tenancy period you will need to decide whether to extend your stay or move out (remembering to give two months' notice in writing).
 
Continuing the tenancy
If you wish to continue your tenancy, we will liaise with you and the landlord, agree new terms and send you all of the necessary paperwork. If your circumstances have changed, some new checks may be needed, but this will be advised at the time.

For queries relating to relating to continuing your tenancy click here

 

If your landlord needs the property back, or there have been any persistent issues, they will be within their rights to serve notice on your tenancy at this stage. In most situations the landlord will be required to give you two months’ notice (in writing).

Moving out
If we manage the property on behalf of the landlord, we will arrange a check out with an independent inventory company (carried out on the last day of your tenancy). This is to ensure the property is left in an appropriate condition and at this point, you'll hand back the keys. If the landlord manages the property, you'll need to liaise with them in order to arrange a time and date to meet, complete a check out and hand the keys back.

Deposit
Once you have decided to end your tenancy you'll need to ensure that the property is left in good order for you to be entitled to your full deposit back. If there are no deductions or disputes, and all the necessary forms are completed correctly by you and the landlord, your deposit should be returned ten days after release of the deposit has been agreed.

You will be provided with an Inventory Check-In report at the start of your tenancy and you should refer to this before you prepare to leave the property. If the property is in the same condition as when you moved in, allowing for fair wear-and-tear, this will mean you should be getting your deposit back should be no problem. Here's what to do next:

  • Give the property a thorough clean; including carpets, windows, walls and furniture. Check your tenancy agreement – you may be required to hire a professional cleaner and produce the invoice.
  • If it's your responsibility, tidy up the garden and clear away any rubbish.
  • Return all of the keys.
  • You must make sure all of your belongings are removed before the Check-Out appointment.If you need any help, either before, during or after your tenancy, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

 

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