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Rental process

Start your search.

Looking for a property to rent can be very stressful, but we find that the easiest way forward, is to work out what you are able to afford. Remember to take into account such things as council tax, gas and electricity bills and if you have a car, make sure you aware of any parking charges that may apply. Once you have an idea of what you looking for, register your details with us and we will match your requirements to properties we think may be interest you.

 

By registering your details with us, you will be alerted to any new properties prior to us marketing them on the various property search engines, thus giving you the advantage of booking in a viewing before the general public.

 

Booking in a viewing

If you like the look of a property, we will look to book you in for a viewing as quickly as possible. Once an appointment has been scheduled, you will be notified by both email and a text of the time one of our lettings consultants will meet you at the property.  Whilst you are on the viewing, our consultants will talk you through our rental process and what is required from you in order to secure the property. This will cover all the fees you will be liable to pay, the term of the tenancy, the deposit and any additional requirements you may have. However if the property is not what you are looking for, please do let us know why it’s not for you, so that we can refine your search criteria to ensure that we can send you other property details that are more suited to your taste.

 

Making an offer on a property

If you like a property that we have shown you and you are interested in putting forward an offer, we would require that you put the offer in writing to us via email. As part of the offer, we will require some basic information from you, so that the landlord has enough information about the offer to make an informed decision as to whether or not he or she will accept it.

 

  • Rental Amount offered
  • Proposed move in date
  • Full name of all parties involved
  • Employment details and personal income
  • Any additional requirements that form part of your offer

 

The letting consultant, will then put your offer forward to the landlord and will discuss it with him or her. Once the landlord has reached a decision, we will inform you either way. If you offer is accepted by the landlord, the lettings consultant will send you an email advising you of what is required from your you, in order to secure the property.

 

Securing the property

In order to secure the property, we require that you pay a £500 Non-Refundable Holding Fee, which will later form part of your overall deposit. We will also require that the referencing fees are paid up front. Once have received the Holding Fee and Referencing Fee(s), we will mark the property as Under Offer and no further viewings will be conducted on the property.

This does not constitute a contract between yourselves and the landlord; however, we will detail the responsibilities of both parties in a separate Holding Fee Form, which would need to be signed by both parties.

The Reference Fee is £100 including VAT per applicant and this is required before we are able to start the referencing process. Should you require a guarantor, there will be an additional charge of £100 including VAT per guarantor (required to be resident in England or Wales). At this stage, we will we also require proof of residency (utility bill or original bank statements - less than 3 months old) and proof of identity (passport or photo driving license) for each tenant. Please note that we will need to see the original documents.

 

The Referencing Process

Now the property has been held for you and we have collected the Reference Fee(s), we are able to process your reference application(s). The reference forms will be sent via email by a third party referencing company. When filling out this form, please ensure you provide telephone numbers, mobile numbers and email addresses for all referees, as this speeds up the process.

The process normally takes 2-3 days, but may be longer if the referencing company has difficulty in contacting the referees. Once your individual reference reports have been concluded, we will be provided a report detailing the outcome, which if successful will be sent to the landlord for final approval. You will then receive a confirmation email from your Lettings Consultant confirming the next steps involved.

Please note that if you provide us with any false information, or you have a history of bad credit or have a County Court judgement against your name, this will affect your application and you will forfeit your Holding and Reference Fee(s) as these are non-refundable.

 

How do I pay?

Debit Card payments are the preferred method for obtaining the initial fees with a Bank Transfer being the preferred method for settling the remaining balance of funds.

Rent must be paid by Standing Order from one account for the full rental amount and will to be cleared funds in our client account before on or before the rental date.

Please note: Only one Standing Order is acceptable for payment of rent and we will seek proof of this. We do reserve the right to charge an administration charge for any late payments and for receiving rental payments from more than one account.

 

What will I have to pay before I move in and when are the payments due?

Our letting coordinators will ensure that the whole process for when you pay the initial holding fee right through to the day you move in, runs smoothly and they will keep you informed through-out the process. However, just for peace of mind, the following payments will be required before you move into the property:

 

  • Property security deposit (normally equal to 6 weeks rental)
  • First Month's Rent (in advance)
  • Contract Fee £150 including VAT
  • Reference Fee £100 including VAT per person
  • Guarantor Fee £100 including VAT per person (if required)

 

Once the references have been accepted and we have received confirmation from the landlord to proceed to contract, we will issue you with a draft contact for you to read through and we will ask you to pay the Balance of Deposit, (calculated at 6 weeks rent minus the £500 Holding Fee) and the £150 Contract Fee within 3 working days.

The last payment required, will be your First Month's Rent, which will need to be cleared funds in our client account before you move in. For Debit Card and Bank Transfers please allow 3 working days for the payment to clear into our client account.

Please not that we will not be able to release keys if the funds have not cleared in our client account.

 

Are there any additional charges?

All additional charges are clearly listed in your Tenancy Agreement and if you have any questions please feel free to discuss this with your Lettings Consultant or your Tenancy Coordinator.

The main additional charges that are listed in your Tenancy Agreement are:

  • Check Out Fee (This is subject to the size of the property and is payable when you vacate the property)
  • Substitution Fee - £300 including VAT
  • Late Payment Fee - £40 including VAT
  • Tenancy Renewal Fee - £60 including VAT

 

What happens with my deposit?

In most cases your deposit will be held by us as Stakeholder in accordance with the Housing Act 2004 (Chapter 4, Sections 212-215 & Schedule 10. Implemented 6th April 2007). It is registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.  The details of which are below:

 

The Tenancy Deposit Scheme

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS),
PO Box 1255,
Hemel Hempstead,
Herts,
HP1 9GN

Tel: 0300 037 1000

Fax: 01442 253193

 

Please be aware that in some instances the landlord may wish to hold and register the deposit themselves. If this is the case, we will advise you accordingly.

 

How and when do I receive my Tenancy Agreement?

Once the references have been accepted by your landlord and we have been given permission to proceed to contract, we will send you a draft Tenancy Agreement via email for you to read through. If you have any questions that may relate to clauses in the tenancy agreement, please feel free to discuss these with your Lettings Consultant or your Tenancy Coordinator as they will be able to talk you through them and help you understand any that you may not.

Our standard Tenancy Agreement is based on a 12month term with a 6month break clause; although this may not always be the case and you will need to check with your Lettings Consultant or your Tenancy Coordinator.

Once you are happy with all the information contained in the Tenancy Agreement, we will send it out to all parties electronically via Docu-sign. All parties to the agreement will then need to sign and complete the tenancy agreement.

Once everything has been completed and you have moved in, we will send you the following documents that relate to your tenancy via WeTransfer.com:

 

The move in day

In most cases our property management team will arrange a set time for you to meet an Independent Inventory Clerk at the property on the day your contract starts. You can decide whether or not to be present at this appointment, but we do recommend you attend.

If you are present the Check In Clerk will walk you around the property, make notes of the condition of the property and will take the meter readings. Once finished, you will be given the relevant sets of keys.

If you decided not to attend then the process will continue in the same way, but the keys will be brought back to a Samuel Estates office, awaiting your collection during office hours.

In both circumstances the inventory report will sent to you by email. You will have 7 days to look over this report, from the day we send it, to make us aware of any discrepancies or items you are not happy with. Once we have been advised and agreed any amendments the report will be updated.

Please be aware that in some instances the landlord may wish to complete and provide their own inventory. If this is the case, we will advise you of the process accordingly.

 

What about the utilities?

For Properties that are Managed by Samuel Estates - we will notify the relevant utility suppliers and your local council that you have moved into the property. You must also follow this up on your side and set up a preferred payment method with the supplier.

For Properties that are Managed by the Landlord - you and your landlord will be responsible for contacting all of the utilities and your local council to ensure that they have all your details. Please liaise with your landlord.

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