Barlow White Sales & Lettings offer a friendly, dynamic, professional and personal service to all our prospective tenants. Our goal is to find the ideal property based on your requirements. We will take into account your perfect location, number of bedrooms required, estimated move-in date and most importantly your budget. Our efficient and experienced lettings team will help you every step of the way to ensure you get the property that is right for you. We understand you lead a busy and demanding lifestyle so in return we offer viewing appointments to fit in with your timetable whether that is after work or at the weekend.
We have put together some important information that we feel explains the whole letting process from start to finish, hopefully make things a little clearer.
The full deposit for any property is equivalent to one calendar month’s rent plus £100. So, if the rent is £500 the full deposit payable will be £600. The deposit amount is payable upfront before the application process takes place. Once you have moved into the property your deposit will be paid into a Deposit Scheme, which is then obviously returned to you at the end of the tenancy should the property be left in a satisfactory condition. The holding deposit indicates that:
You are happy for Barlow White Sales & lettings to proceed with the application and obtain references on your behalf.
You are willing to commit and move into the property on an agreed date, we can normally only hold a property for a maximum of 3-4 weeks; this is at the landlord’s discretion.
The landlord and Barlow White sales & Lettings will now take the property off the availability list and off the market. Please be aware that until the deposit is paid in full we (and sometimes other agents) will continue to show the property to prospective tenants and so you risk losing the property to another prospective tenant.
If you (the tenant) back out of the application once the deposit has been paid then you will unfortunately lose the deposit. This is because the landlord would have taken the property off the market and Barlow White would have also stopped viewings, so in effect the landlord has lost out on other potential prospective tenants.
Once you have viewed, selected a property you think is right for you and paid your deposit you will be required to fill out a straight forward application form. Information that you provide will be used to carry out various checks to ensure that you meet our requirements as a prospective tenant. Information that you will be asked to supply includes previous / current residential address, current / previous employer. There is no need to worry about the referencing process; it is a standard procedure that every applicant must endure. The Application process typically takes anything between 3 - 5 working days. Our property management department will contact you as soon as referencing is complete to arrange time and date to move in, collect your keys and sign the tenancy agreement.
Period of Tenancy
The most common tenancy offered is usually equivalent to 6 months and is known as an Assured Shorthold Tenancy. If you want to stay longer than the initial six months you will be asked to renew your tenancy either for another 6 months or your contract will automatically switch into a periodic tenancy which means you are not committed to any further fixed term but you will be required to give one months notice should you want to end the tenancy. 12 months tenancies can also be obtained if preferred, this is normally at the landlord’s discretion.
A guarantor is needed for those tenants who have recently moved to the UK and therefore cannot provide previous traceable UK addresses, tenants not working in the UK / students or for tenants whose annual salary does not satisfy the rental guarantee requirement of exceeding the property’s annual rent. A guarantor is usually a parent or relative that is willing to sign a consent form stating that should you default on the rent for whatever reason they are then liable for the outstanding amount. The guarantor has to be a UK resident.
Should your application be successful and a move in date confirmed, we then require the first months rent to paid on the date of the move in. This must be paid in cleared funds, for example debit/credit card, direct bank transfer, banker’s draft or cash. Cheques will not be accepted. A charge is incurred with a credit/debit card.
Move In & Check Out Procedure
A move in appointment will take place at our office on the day you collect your keys. This is where you will sign the tenancy agreement and other documents and pay your first month’s rent in advance. Please note that all the tenants / guarantors named on the tenancy agreement must be present at the office when the move in takes place. Once you have a confirmed move out date, a Barlow White member of staff will meet you at the property to check you out, receive the keys back and take meter readings. At this point we will advise you of any descrepencies with the property, which inturn you then have your chance to point out any issues. Following a successful check out (property left in a good standard) and receipt of your finalised bills, we will then endeavour to return the deposit as quickly and efficiently as possible.
One month’s rent is required in advance and must be paid in full before the tenancy starts and before we hand over the keys, again this amount must be paid in cleared funds and cheques will not be accepted. Rent is then to be paid on a monthly basis usually by standing order on each subsequent month in respect to the original move in date. For example, if you moved into the property on the 10th March. Your monthly rent will be due on the 10th of each month thereafter.
Barlow White will provide you with a standing order form on the day you move in. You will input your bank details and sign the form of which we will then send off to your bank. Please note: It is your responsibility to ensure your bank has set this up correctly, to avoid missing your rent due date please check that the necessary mandate / direct debit is in place, as this is something we are unable to do. You can do this by contacting your bank directly. Please Note: All late rent payments will result in a late payment charge added to your account.
It is very important that you provide two different forms of Identification before we hand over the keys. One form of ID must show evidence of name documents (one of which must be PHOTO ID such as a passport). The other form must be evidence of your current address, such as a utility bill. Please speak to a member of the team if you are unable to provide these documents. All forms of ID must be handed in before the referencing process takes place.
You will be supplied with a detailed inventory upon your move in, you have 72 hours to check this and return it signed, with any discrepancies that you find. When the tenancy ends a check out report will be prepared in accordance with the inventory you signed at the start of the tenancy. The outcome of this check out report will determine how much of the deposit will be returned.
Quarterly inspections will be carried out on all properties managed by Barlow White, this gives you the chance to raise any concerns or maintenance issues with your property manager. Any damage to the property will be documented with photographs and may affect the return of the deposit.
Maintenance and Repairs
As the tenant, you will be required to report any maintenance issues or necessary repairs that are required. These must be reported to Barlow White / Landlord as soon as it comes to your attention. Failure to do so may result in us being unable to repair the problem in time before permanent damage is done. This may then result in part of your deposit being withheld.
Return of Deposit
The deposit is returned at the end of the tenancy, this is obviously dependent on the condition in which you leave the property upon departure. You must also provide documentation that shows all utility bills are paid up to date. Please be aware that it is not permissible for you to cancel your last month's rent payment because we hold a security deposit. The deposit is legally a separate issue from rent payment and you will be in breach of your contractual agreement if you do this which can lead to prosecution.
Most monthly rents are exclusive of utility charges; you will be directly responsible for any Gas, Electric & Water bills. At the start of each tenancy we will take and issue you with the current relevant meter readings of which need to be supplied back to the utilities so they can set up your account and the property bills can be transferred into your name. It is also advisable that you contact the suppliers yourself to ensure the account is set up correctly as we rely on the postal service to get the notifications through to the utilities. This is highly recommended as to avoid any serious problems of arrears arising. Rememeber it is a tenants responsibilty to keep up to date bills.
We will notify the local authority of your residence at the start of your tenancy. They will then calculate your monthly council tax payment of which you are directly responsible. It is the tenant’s responsibility to make sure the council tax is paid on a monthly basis. Please contact the council for more information.
If you require the telephone line you are required to register your own account with BT or whoever the provider may be. You can discuss this with BT by dialling 150 from the UK. It is your responsibility to terminate your account upon departure. If the line has never been connected it may be your responsibility to connect the line yourself. On occasion some landlords have been happy to pay for this, please speak to a member of the team for details. This is totally at the landlord’s discretion.
You are directly responsible for the payment of the TV license at the property.
You are advised to obtain contents insurance for your personal possessions.