Guide to Renting

JonSimon Estate and Letting Agent

Renting is a solution that many, many people enjoy, from the security of tenancy to the fixed rental costs, there are plenty of benefits, however, finding the perfect property to rent can be a bit tricky. Thankfully, our team here at JonSimon are more than happy to help which is why they’ve created the ultimate guide to renting, that will help you secure your dream property in no time.

 

Our friendly team at JonSimon have been helping renters for many years and feel confident that we can help you too! So, if you’re looking for a property to rent in the north-west, in places such as Burnley, Ramsbottom and Radcliffe, get in touch with us today!

Find a Property You Like the Look of

First up on this guide to renting a house – go find yourself a property! Finding a property these days is pretty quick and easy, especially when you work with JonSimon, as we have a list of properties for rent in Burnley, Ramsbottom, Radcliffe, and the surrounding areas.

 

The first thing to do when looking to rent is to spend time searching for a property you like the look of, and then research, research, research! From local crime rates and recent history to the nearby amenities and the number of schools or job opportunities that are there – all this, and more, is worth reading up on before you decide to take the next step!

Save up for a Deposit

When you rent privately, the landlord will usually expect you to pay what is known as a security deposit. If the landlord uses an estate agency or a property agent, then they will take care of handling the deposit and the paperwork between you and the landlord. A deposit gives the landlord financial security for a number of reasons. For example, if you do not pay rent or if you cause damage to the property in any way. The deposit will cover the cost of these instances, so the landlord doesn’t have to worry about chasing you for payment or beginning legal action against yourself. If there is no damage to the property and all rent is paid in full by the end of your tenancy, then your full deposit will be given back to you. Usually, there are a number of things that may be deducted from your deposit at the end of your tenancy as standard. For example, the paintwork may need redecorating due to any stains that have occurred during the time you have lived in the property.

Deposit Protection Scheme

 

The landlord must protect your deposit in an authorised tenancy deposit protection scheme. There are just 3 companies that are approved to administer this scheme, they are Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.

The scheme ensures that the landlord must have a separate bank account to hold your deposit in, one that is not associated with their personal income or lifestyle. This makes sure that the landlord does not spend your deposit and that it is safeguarded. When you end your tenancy and leave the property, the deposit protection scheme provider will act as an adjudicator between you and the landlord.

An inspection will be made and the landlord will put forward their reasoning, if necessary, as to why they wish to keep some of your deposit money – to fix any repairs for example. You will have the opportunity to assess their claim and either accept or appeal it. If you accept, the scheme provider will return your deposit minus the agreed amount to fix or refurbish the property, which will be released to the landlord.

Deposit-Free Renting

 

Some properties and landlords may allow you to move in without paying a standard deposit. Deposit-free renting allows you to pay a smaller, usually non-refundable fee instead of paying a traditional deposit. The one off payment will often be the same as one week’s worth of rent, which is usually less than a standard deposit.

With this option, you will pay less initially, but as it is non-refundable it cannot be used to pay for repairs. The major benefit of this is that you can move into a property without having to handover a large sum of money. If there are some damages or if rent is left unpaid, you will still be legally liable to pay for them. The landlord can still use the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for adjudication if any disputes cannot be resolved directly with your landlord.

Decide Whether to Renting Privately or Use an Estate Agent

A private landlord takes the responsibility of letting their property and everything it entails. They choose not to use the help of a letting agent or property management company. There are two types – professional landlords and accidental landlords. The former may do this as a full time job, or as a side line to something else they do for their career or in their lives. They may even have a portfolio of properties, treating the venture as a business.

Accidental landlords usually become landlords by circumstance – or by accident as it were. These landlords may acquire property through family inheritance or by moving home. These types of landlords usually have a more friendly and relaxed attitude and approach to renting their property out.

Letting agents act as a party in the middle, helping the landlord by taking a lot of their duties from them and helping the tenant by making sure they have everything they need. They are responsible for managing each property on behalf of their private landlords. This can often mean that as a tenant you never really get to meet or talk to your landlord, instead dealing with the letting agent only.

The benefit of having an estate agent is that they make sure that landlords are abiding by their legal responsibilities and that your safety is safeguarded. They also ensure you have everything you need as a tenant and will deal with all of your questions or issues throughout your tenancy. This is advantageous to you as it is often the case that estate agencies are more readily available than landlords!

Request a Viewing

 

Requesting a viewing is pretty simple, even for first-time renters, and is usually done via an estate agency, such as JonSimon. The landlord or property owner may want to be present at the time, or they may be happy for the estate agents to show you around instead. This is your opportunity to scrutinise the property, the owners, and the tenancy details. It’s also the best opportunity for you to ask some questions.

 

Things you should consider include:

  • Is the property well insulated and/or soundproofed?
  • How much storage space is there?
  • Is the garden or property exterior in good condition?
  • Is there damp or are there any other structural issues present?
  • Are the windows double-glazed and in good condition?
  • Is the plumbing up to scratch?
  • Are there enough power sockets?
  • Is there a car parking space provided?

 

(Government guidance on viewing properties and moving home during the coronavirus outbreak).

Apply to Become a Tenant

 

The estate agent will talk you through the process and the required information needed for you to apply to become a tenant. This will involve the initial documentation of your details and may involve you having to provide your employment status, history and earnings. You may also be asked to provide your previous addresses and details of your past landlords.

 

This information will be cross-referenced with your employer, or previous landlord, directly. This is just to prove you are who you say you are, you earn what you say you earn, and you lived where you say you used to live – it really is straightforward! First-time renters may be asked to provide a guarantor as they have no history of renting to support their application. Again, the estate agent will take care of all this, including all the necessary documentation and reference checking.

Agree Terms and Sign Contracts

 

If your application is successful, you must then agree to terms and sign your tenancy agreement. This is the time to make sure the tenancy is suitable for your needs and, if not, request any changes. For example, if you are renting with pets, you must ensure your tenancy agreement allows this first. You may also want to decorate or introduce some new furniture, again, you must get permission upfront and agree on everything at this stage before you sign any documents.

 

The estate agent involved will explain everything and be on hand to answer any questions. They will act as the go-between, between you and the landlord in most cases, as they are more readily available and their job is to assist. Once you’re happy with everything in your contract, both parties will sign it and you will be provided with a copy.

Pay Your Deposit and Initial Rent

Your first payment will be your deposit and your first lot of rent – which usually covers 1 month, but this is at the landlord’s discretion. Your deposit is also usually the equivalent of 1 month’s rent. This covers payments for any damages to the property whilst you are a tenant, or missed rent/bill payments should you fail to keep up with them.

Your deposit will be placed into a government-backed deposit protection scheme. These schemes ensure you get your deposit back if you meet the terms of your tenancy agreement, keep up with your payments and ensure the property remains in good condition. It also stipulates that the landlord must place your deposit in a holding bank account separate to their personal account, safeguarding it in the process. By now the estate agency and landlord will have all of your information, but it is up to you to set up a standing order for the rent.

Reasons You May Not Be Given Your Deposit Back

There are a number of different reasons why your security deposit may not be given back after your tenancy agreement runs out.

Breaking or Leaving a Lease Early: Your landlord can keep all or part of your deposit if you breach your contract. If you leave early before your tenancy ends the landlord has the right to keep your deposit to cover some of the cost of the missed rental periods.

Unpaid Rent: Unpaid rent is considered a breach of contract, so the same applies as it does above. If you do not pay your rent, or have outstanding rent payments come the end of your tenancy, your deposit can be used to cover the landlord’s mortgage costs.

Damage to the Property: If you break, shatter, mark, scratch or damage anything in the house then your deposit (or part of your deposit) can be used to cover the cost of repairs and replacements. This does not include normal wear and tear, like nail holes in the wall for hanging pictures or small amounts of mildew or dirty grout in the bathroom. Damage counts for things like large holes in the wall, water damage to wooden floors, broken items of furniture, smashed glass or broken doors.

Loss of Items: If items are missing from the home (and they were on the inventory list supplied to you when you moved in) then you will be liable to replace them. The landlord may use some or all of your deposit to recover the cost of these things being replaced. The same can be said for any and all keys that are handed to you as well.

Unpaid Utilities: As with your rent, the landlord has the right to keep some or all of your deposit to cover any outstanding utility payments you have not made during your stay in the property.

Cleaning Costs: Under normal circumstances, your landlord will not be able to make deductions from your deposit to cover standard or normal cleaning costs. However, if the property is left in an extremely foul condition, then the landlord does have the right to deduct some of your deposit money to clean the mess. This is only when the cleaning tasks necessary are excessive and not the result of standard wear and tear.

Congratulations – Move in Your New Home!

 

Now it’s time for the best bit about renting – moving in! You’ve found your ideal home, the paperwork has been signed, the deposit, and the first lot of rent, has been paid – now it’s just the simple task of moving all of your stuff. We say this with tongue-in-cheek of course, as moving home can be one of the most stressful things life has to offer!

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time and choose an appropriate method of transportation.

 

Review and Amend Your Inventory if Necessary

Once you’re in the new place, you will be provided with some initial paperwork. This may contain documents that tell you how to work the appliances and provide information such as important contact numbers etc. It will also contain an inventory list, which records pretty much every feature of the property and the condition they are all in.

 

The inventory will contain pictures of all of your kitchen appliances and a description of their condition. This will be used as a checklist for when you move out, to ensure you leave the property as you found it. Therefore, you must review this inventory and ensure the details are correct. Anything that does not match up with the inventory when you move out, may leave you liable to repair or replace it when you leave.

Set Up Your Bills and Change Your Documentation

 

Renting a house, of course, involves paying bills too, unfortunately! Now is the time to set up your energy, water, council tax, and broadband payments etc. Your estate agent should have an idea of the previous energy providers, so you can decide whether to stick with them or move on (with the landlord’s permission). Now is also the time to change the address on your IDs and official documents, so your post comes to the right address.

Maintain and Look After Property

 

Now that everything is sorted, it’s time to enjoy your new abode! Remember though, this is technically not your property and, therefore, you have a responsibility, and due diligence, to look after and maintain it. Your landlord or estate agency can arrange an inspection at any time. Although they should not turn up unannounced, they are within their rights to request access within a matter of days.

Looking For Help Finding A Place To Rent? Get In Touch

 

That’s our guide to renting a house, complete! For any other questions or for more information about renting or the properties that we have on offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team at JonSimon today!

 

Contact Us

If you live in or around Radcliffe call us on 0161 723 1155, if you’re in the Ramsbottom area ring us on 01706 489 966, finally, if you live in Burnley you can contact us by ringing 01282 427 445.

Meet The Team

Dramatically reinvent market-driven relationships vis-a-vis customer directed e-business. Monotonectally incentivize distributed e-markets through high standards in.

Simon Morris

BA (hons) PGCE, MARLA, MNAEA

Company Director

Jonathan Morris

MNAEA

Company Director

Jackie McLeod

MNAEA

Sales

Ryan Dillon

Lettings

Michael Greenhalgh

Company Director

Andrew Collins

Sales

Christopher Eastwood

Sales

Gareth Dooley

MNAEA

Company Director

John W Dinsdale

FRICS

Consultant/Charted Surveyor

Laura Stockdale

Lettings

Leanne Gill

Sales/lettings

Joanne Scott

Property Manager

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