This may sound like an easy, self-explanatory process but here we will outline every stage of the process and tell you what you will need before applying for a property.
For first time renters and experienced renters alike, the process of applying and moving can seem daunting. Hopefully we can ease that for you.
I HAVE VIEWED A PROPERTY AND I WANT TO MOVE IN..WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?
So you have been to view a property and fallen in love with it! You are probably thinking “i don’t want anyone else to view it” “what do I need to do to secure it” Well…every agent works slightly differently but the general rules and process is as follows:
- Confirm with the letting agent when the property is available to move in, what the rent is and if there are any additional charges to be paid along with the rent. You may also want to confirm the council tax band. Double check the length of the initial tenancy (normally 6 or 12 months)
- Assuming you are happy with the above, inform the letting agent that you would like to submit an application for the property.
- The agent will then tell you what the referencing fees are if you haven’t already discussed it. The fees will vary depending on whether you are moving in as a single occupant, a couple or if you require a guarantor.
*Once you have paid the referencing fees, the agent may or may not remove the property from the market depending on the landlord’s instructions. More often than not, the property is placed under application and no more viewings will be carried out whilst your referencing is going through.
- The agent will have either taken your details to submit online referencing or they will give you an application form. They will also ask for photo I.D and relevant travel documents to prove you are able to work and live in the UK. The information needed from you will be; Full name/address/date of birth, your national insurance number, your employers details, your current/previous landlords details if applicable, your bank details and any additional information you think may help your application.
- If the agent is doing a manual reference, they will most likely also ask for 3-6 months bank statements, a current tenancy agreement, utility bill in your name and 3-6 months of payslips.
- The agent will confirm with the landlord that they are happy to progress with an application after seeing the documents provided.
- The documents are all then submitted for referencing. Your current landlord will be asked to provide a reference, your employer will be asked to confirm your earnings and how long you have worked there. Your bank statements will be checked over, along with your utility bill and payslips. The agent/referencing company will carry out a credit check. This is to show how well you have been managing your credit and paying bills on time etc. if you have defaults or CCJs on your record, they will show on a credit check and may well cause an issue.
- If you do happen to fail the referencing, the agent may give you the option to add a guarantor onto the tenancy. The guarantor will be just as liable to pay the rent on the property as you are so make sure whoever has offered to do it, knows the full requirements. if you do not pay your rent one month, they will be required to pay it. A guarantor would need to be working and in some cases a UK property owner and be able to provide the same documents as you have done.
- Assuming you pass the referencing, the agent will call/email to let you know and confirm move in dates. They will give you a breakdown of the monies due before moving in, deposit and 1 months’ rent in advance is normal practice. Sometimes deposits are up to 6 weeks’ worth of rent along with the rent in advance.
- The agent will send over the tenancy agreement for you to sign and have witnessed. They will ask for this to either be returned or brought with you on day of move in to exchange.
MOVING DAY IS HERE….WHAT DO I NEED TO EXPECT?
So moving day is finally here….you are surrounded by boxes and wondering where everything is going to go! The move in process is fairly straight forward and the agent won’t keep you too long as you will have lots to be getting on with!
The agent will normally meet you at the property with the keys, a copy of the EPC, a current Gas safety certificate, details of your deposit, a tenancy agreement signed on behalf of the landlord and an inventory. They will take meter readings (gas/Elec/water) and then answer any questions you may have. They should also show you how the heating system/boiler works, check the carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms, check all keys work correctly and explain how the alarm works if there is one.
The agent will then normally leave you move in and get settled. Some will call you around a week after you have moved in to check that everything is ok and you are settling in.
As always, the above list is not exhaustive and every agent works slightly differently. This is a general outline of the process.