How to prepare for a property viewing
WHY AND HOW TO PREPARE
When viewing a property with a private landlord, chances are they will have arranged a number of viewings. The best chance of you getting the property/room is if you come prepared. Do not rush the viewing, take your time, ask questions, and look around.
You should bring your references, banks statements (for the past three months), I.D. and money for deposit with you. If you do not come prepared the landlord can offer the property to the next person who can provide these documents straight away. Exceptions apply however, it pays to be prepared as the demand can be very high.
WHAT DOCUMENTS TO BRING
Proof of Income
When looking for a place the landlord will ask to see some documents usually to confirm your income or that you have sufficient funds regular income/money coming in to your bank account in order to keep up with the rent. The documents that prove your financial status are generally payslips from your place of work or bank statements for at least the last three months. The landlord needs to know that you can afford the rent and bills. You can also provide employer reference which will state your income
Some form of I.D. (identification document) is also required to prove that it is you and that the documents provided also belong to you. You can present your passport, driving licence, I.D. If renting a single or double room the landlord may not require as many documents and any card with your picture and a name may work as an I.D. It all depends on the landlord.
This usually applies to bigger properties such as studio flats or flats but also when sharing rooms in a flat. A reference is a short letter that will speak about your character. This may be a reference from your previous landlord or your employer. If this is your first time renting then explain that to your landlord and ask if someone else can provide your reference instead (such as your teacher).
WHAT IS A TENANCY AGREEMENT
it is a legal document between you the tenant and the landlord or the agency and must include the following:
(1) Your name (tenant), (2) Landlord’s name and (3) address, (4) Exact rent and (5) Deposit, (6) How often/when is the rent paid, (7) other
WHAT IS A TENANCY DEPOSIT AND ADVANCED RENT
Once you agree on moving in date, a tenancy deposit and some advance payment of rent is a common practice. The amount varies depending on the size of the property and on the landlord. The reason for paying a deposit is to ensure that the rented place will be looked after and in case of any damage or rent arrears (if you owe any payments) the deposit will not be returned to you. Deposit usually amounts to 4 weeks or 1 calendar month (pcm).
How to calculate rent per 1 calendar month (pcm):
Rent per week x 52 weeks (1year) = annual rent
Annual rent /12 (months) = calendar month rent
A TENANCY DEPOSIT
If you’re renting with a private landlord and have an assured shorthold tenancy, your deposit should be protected in one of the three deposit protection schemes. This should be done within 30 days from when you made the payment. Your landlord is obliged to inform you which scheme they chose to use.
You can check whether you are protected by visiting their website
If your landlord fails to protect your tenancy deposit,
you can claim compensation by taking the landlord to court.
The deposit will be returned to you in full once you move out of the property considering nothing in the property (room) has been lost or damaged. In case of damage, the landlord then has the right to retain the deposit and use it for subsequent repairs. However, this should be discussed and agreed upon by both the parties (landlord and you the tenant).
If the landlord hasn’t refunded your deposit within 10 days you can ask for a tenancy refund online by visiting your deposit scheme website.
The most common reason for withholding a deposit seems to involve stained carpets, chipped paint, damaged wallpaper, broken or damaged furniture and/or windows.
HOW TO END TENANCY
🔺It is a common practice to give advance notice when deciding to move out of the property unless you have a contract stating a specific date.
🔺If you move out without giving agreed notice the landlord is unlikely to give back your deposit and you will lose your money.
🔺It is always wise to agree on the advance notice whether it will be two weeks or four weeks and have it written in your contract.
🔺When giving notice at the end of your tenancy it is advisable to do it in written form and keep a copy as a proof. You can send an email, text message or write a letter but make sure you keep a copy for yourself. That way you avoid any misunderstandings about the dates and return of the deposit.
🔺If you don’t end your tenancy formally, i.e. leave without notice , you will still be liable for rent whether you concitue living in the property or not.
✔️Read carefully through your tenancy agreement before signing and handing over your money
✔️Take someone (friend) with you if you need translating or even as a witness when you take your key and pay your deposit and rent in advance.
✔️The exact amount paid and required should be part of the tenancy agreement . Ask for a receipt or a written confirmation of the payment already made.
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