How can I find a property to rent In Manchester?
Barlow white are specialists in the Manchester property market . The easiest way to keep up to date is to visit our website www.barlowwhite.co.uk which is updated regularly and includes full property details including room dimensions and photographs. You can also register on our mailing list, we will then email, sms or post details as properties which match your requirements become available.We advertise regularly in the Salford Advertiser weekly newspaper and you can look out for our To Let boards.
How do I arrange to view a property?
Contact our office, if you are not already registered with us, we will take your personal details and note your requirements. We will then arrange a mutually convenient appointment to accompany you to the property with an experienced member of our team. You can also email us via our website and ther main property portals, which will send all your details through to our office, where we will then contact you to arrange the viewing.
Are there any rules about what comes with a property if it is furnished, part furnished or unfurnished?
Generally, a property offered as “furnished” would come with all the main fixtures, furnishings and fittings, white goods, lounge and bedroom furniture etc. At the other end of the scale, an “unfurnished” property would normally be provided only with such basics as carpets, curtains and light fittings and kitchen appliances. Barlow white vet all properties through an inventory procedure which can include photographic records. This way you will know exactly what will be included in your property.
Now I have found a property to rent, what is the application procedure?
Firstly you will need to complete an application form, these are available from our Monton office and we can email across to all prospective tenants, or you can obtain the forms at the time of your viewing and pay the application fee. We also require the deposit for the property to completely withdraw the property from the market.
Checklist to meet the referencing criteria:
Be in full time employment, with no more than a 4 week gap between different employers in the last 6 months.
Have been resident in the UK for the past 3 years.
Be earning 2.5 times the monthly rental.
This criteria is a guideline only, if you think you may fail one of the criteria, for example been abroad for a gap year or are an overseas resident, contact the office and we will be happy to advise you further.
Do we have to complete a form for all occupants who wish to live at the property?
Yes, anyone over the age of 18, is required to complete an application form. You will be asked to inform us of any children, who will be residing with you. We regret that due to legal restrictions we are unable to grant a tenancy to anyone under the age of 18.
Will I need to provide personal identification?
Yes, we request you submit a copy of your driving licence (photo edition) or Passport and a current utility bill confirming your address (e.g. council tax, gas, water, electric or telephone).
What if I have a CCJ?
Any County Court Judgements (CCJs) must be declared on the application form, but does not automatically result in a decline if these CCJs have been satisified, however, undisclosed CCJs will automatically result in a declined application.
Will I need a guarantor?
Not always, however in certain circumstances, you may be offered the opportunity to support your application by supplying a guarantor.
To meet with the referencing criteria, a guarantor must:
Be in full time employment
Have been a resident in the UK for the past 3 years
Be a homeowner
Be earning 3 times the monthly rental
If I pass the referencing what happens next?
As part of this process we will commence the preparation of the Assured Tenancy Agreement and make the final preparations with regard to the letting of the property to ensure it is ready to move in to at the earliest possible opportunity.
How long does this process take?
The whole process can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks, subject to all the information being received.
What is a tenancy agreement?
For the majority of tenancies, Barlow white will prepare an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which is recommended and compiled by the Association of Residential Letting Agent (ARLA) following lengthy consultation with the Office of Fair Trading. This document is legally binding and details the obligations and responsibilities of the tenant and the landlord.
How long will the tenancy agreement be for?
A minimum of 6 months.
What About The Tenancy Deposit?
Our standard deposit is one full calender months rent plus £100, required to be held during the tenancy against the satisfactory performance by the tenant of all the various obligations under the tenancy agreement – but mainly, those relating to the cleanliness and condition of the property. The relevant clauses in the tenancy agreement will set out who is to hold the deposit (which Deposit scheme it has been enetered in), what the deposit can be allocated for and the end of tenancy procedures and timescales for its refund. The best way for a tenancy deposit (bond) to be held during the tenancy is as “stakeholder” between the parties (landlord and tenant). This means that at the end of the tenancy we will obtain the agreement of both sides before making any deductions for damage, cleaning etc.
IMPORTANT LEGISLATIVE CHANGE:
From 6th April 2007 the legislation governing the holding of deposits changed. This means that any deposit must be held by a regulated agent who is part of an approved scheme or by a government run scheme. Barlow white are currently members of an approved scheme, Tenancy Deposit Scheme for Regulated Agents (TDSRA) which means that in the event of an unresolved dispute or stalemate over the allocation of the deposit, it can be referred to the scheme for a prompt, independent, third party adjudication – so providing a resolution which is fair to both landlord and tenant. Further details are available upon request, alternatively you may visit the Tenant Deposit Scheme website or ARLA by clicking the links. www.tds.gb.com or www.arla.co.uk
Am I allowed to keep Pets?
Only with the consent of the Landlord. Permission must be sought prior to the animal residing in the property. If the Landlord gives consent for pets to reside at the Property for the duration of the Tenancy, Barlow white acting as agent for the landlord reserve the right after consultation with the Landlord, to increase the amount of the security deposit that is taken prior to the tenancy commencing. A special clause will be entered into the Tenancy Agreement to cover the Tenants additional cleaning and maintenance obligations. These may include the provision of the Tenant(s) to provide proof to the Agent, following the termination of the tenancy, that the Property has been professionally cleaned.
Do I need Insurance?
Tenants should take care to review any existing policies when renting a property as some standard insurance products will either not provide cover, or might place restrictions on cover for rented property and/or its contents. Tenants are responsible for insuring any of their own possessions. There are various specialist insurance products designed for tenants and rented property. ‘Barlow White Ltd is an Appointed Representative of HomeLet which is a trading name of Barbon Insurance Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Registered in England no 03135797’. HomeLet can provide you with a quote, and if you require a HomeLet brochure we can send one out to you.
How Often Can The Rent Be Put Up?
In general terms, rent of an existing tenancy can only be increased once every twelve months. Where an Assured Shorthold Tenancy holds over as a statutory periodic tenancy, a specific prescribed form (a section 13 notice) will be used to notify tenants of a proposed increase in the rent.
What About Rights Of Access To The Property, What Are The Rules?
A landlord, or his agent, or someone authorised to act on his behalf has a right to view the property to assess its condition and to carry out necessary repairs, maintenance and viewings at reasonable times of the day. The law says that a landlord or agent must give a tenant at least 24 hours prior notice in writing (except in an emergency) of such a visit. Naturally, if the tenant agrees, to allow access without written notice, ie agrees by telephone, that is acceptable.
Who is responsible for Safety, Repairs & Maintenance Issues?
A landlord, in very general terms, has a legal responsibility to repair the structure and exterior of the property, including drains, gutters and external pipes; to keep in working order the installations for the supply of gas, electricity and water; and, for the installations for the provision of space and water heating. The landlord also has other legal responsibilities relating to the safety of such items as gas, electricity and furnishings as well as the general standard or fitness of the property for habitation. A tenant has an implied covenant to act in a “tenant-like manner”. Broadly, this means to report disrepair promptly; to take reasonable steps to ensure that neither the tenant nor guests damage the property, its fixtures and fittings; to do the minor day to day things any home-occupier would normally do e.g. replace light bulbs, fit a new battery in a smoke or CO2 detector, tighten an odd screw which has come loose on a door handle etc.; to keep the property reasonably warm and aired to help prevent condensation or freezing of pipes; to leave the property secure when absent from it; to keep the garden and other areas reasonably tidy and free from rubbish.
How do I end my Tenancy?
The law around ending a tenancy is relatively straightforward as long as the right timescales and procedures are followed, along with the use of the correct format of notice. It is recommended that you end your agreement properly if you want to leave. If you don't you may still be liable to pay rent, even after you've moved out. To do this, you have to give written notice to the landlord. You may not be able to end the agreement early if you have signed for a tenancy for a fixed period of time.
What is the notice period?
If a Landlord wishes to gain possession, they must give a minimum of 2 months notice in writing to end at the end of a period. If you wish to give notice, you must give a minimum of 1 months notice in writing to end at the end of the period. Definition of a period - E.G. if your tenancy commenced on the 5th of a month, the notice will expire on the 4th.
What if I have a joint tenancy?
You have a joint tenancy if you share with a spouse, partner, family member or friend and both/all of your names are on the agreement. The actions of each individual person will affect all of your rights. For instance: If one of you gives notice to the landlord, the agreement will normally automatically be ended for all of you. None of you will have the right to continue living there. However, this does not apply if you have a fixed term tenancy that has not come to an end. If one of you leaves without giving notice, the whole rent will still be due and the other(s) will have to pay the missing person's share. If one of you has caused damage, the landlord may be entitled to take money out of your shared deposit. If you're thinking about leaving, be sure to discuss it with the other joint tenant(s) before you take any action. It may be possible for someone else to take your place, and/or for the landlord to give a new agreement to those who are staying.
Now I have moved in, what happens if either party (Landlord Or Tenant) unexpectedly want to end a tenancy early?
There are only limited ways in which this can happen; the landlord cannot make the tenants move out, nor can the tenants lawfully walk away from their obligations to fulfil the contract. Either party might request of the other that a formal “surrender” of the tenancy be allowed. It would then be up to the parties to agree the terms and conditions of such a surrender. This might include some financial compensation for inconvenience or costs incurred.
Can I get someone else to move in?
This may be possible if you have no choice but to leave early and want to avoid paying rent on more than one home. However, you have to get the landlord's agreement for the person you suggest to move into the property. The landlord may want to take up references for them.
The landlord will give the new person their own tenancy or licence agreement - otherwise, you will still be legally responsible for the tenancy. What if I just walk away?
Walking away or posting the keys through the letterbox is called 'abandonment' and will not end your agreement. Your agreement with the landlord will continue even though you've left and the landlord can continue to charge you rent, so you're likely to build up rent arrears: if your agreement is fixed term, you can be charged rent until the term ends if your agreement is periodic, you can be held liable until the agreement could have been ended by giving proper notice. The landlord can apply for a court order to make you pay what you owe. The court will decide whether you should have to pay your landlord the money or not. If the landlord has managed to let out the property they can't claim rent from you after the new tenant moved in. If the landlord doesn't make any effort to let out the property the court is likely to reduce the amount of money you will have to pay.