Tenants' guide to renting a property

Whether you are new to renting or done it all before, we’re here to help you through the process with our tenants' guide to renting a property.

Find properties

Preparing to rent

Ahead of your property search, getting to grips with this essential information will ensure you’re prepared for a successful application when you find the right house.

Affordability

It helps to review your finances to work out what deposit and monthly rental level you can afford prior to looking for a property.

Renting with pets

Be open and flexible about your intention to rent with a pet and make sure you can provide your potential landlord with as much information as possible. This could be a pet biog or reference from a previous landlord.

Reassure your landlord by being ready to potentially offer a larger deposit to cover any pet-related damages to the property, as well as having the property professionally cleaned when your lease is up.

Once you have permission to rent with your pet, ensure that the terms are written into your contract to prevent future misunderstandings. 

Guarantors

If you are a student or unemployed you will need a guarantor. You may also require a guarantor should your income fall short of the required figure. To determine this, check that your annual salary is at least 30 times the monthly rent. For example, a rent of £500pcm would require a minimum of £15,000 annual salary. Each guarantor will need to complete an application form and be referenced before a tenancy can be considered. The guarantor will also have to sign the deed of guarantee before the tenancy can proceed.

Advance Payment

An advanced payment of a month’s rent and the security deposit must be paid before the keys can be released. Your initial payment can only be made by banker’s draft or building society cheque.

Tenants Holding Deposit

We ask you to pay one week’s rent as a Holding Deposit, in line with the Tenant Fees Act 2019 (England only). This is to reserve a property. Please Note: this will be withheld if any relevant person (including any guarantor(s) withdraw from the tenancy, fail a Right-to-Rent check, provide materially significant false or misleading information, or fail to sign their tenancy agreement (and / or Deed of Guarantee) within 15 calendar days (or other Deadline for Agreement as mutually agreed in writing).

Discover more rental terminology and useful information in our Rental FAQs.

Finding and securing a home

With branches across the UK, we could already have your new home on our online property database. Search hundreds of properties online.

Here are a few considerations to help you find the right home and understand what happens next.

Search criteria

Have you compiled a checklist of needs and wants to help your search? There are so many types of property and possible locations available it may help to narrow down your search.

Restrictions

Please be aware that some landlords impose certain restrictions in respect of the following: pets, smokers, housing benefit and students. Please refer to your local branch for further information on individual properties and if restrictions apply.

Application

When you find a home that suits your needs we’ll ask you to complete a simple application form. Anyone who is over the age of 18 will be asked to fill out an application form. Please ensure that all sections of the form are completed, we will then process your references quickly and confidentially.

Rent

You will also be asked to complete a direct debit/standing order mandate for the monthly rental payments. This will be payable each month in advance and will be collected on a set date as stated in the tenancy agreement. For joint or multiple tenancies, only one mandate can be accepted.

Timescales

It usually takes a minimum of 7 working days before you will be able to move into your property. Although every effort will be made by all parties to accommodate your moving date, unfortunately, no guarantees can be made. The branch at which you submit your application will notify you as to whether your application has been successful. Once your application has been approved, a mutually convenient time and date will be agreed for the tenancy to commence. At this point it will be necessary for all prospective tenants and guarantor/s (where required) to attend the office to sign the tenancy agreements and other relevant documentation. Once the Tenancy Agreement has been signed you will receive a counterpart copy for your retention.

Moving in

Utilities

Reeds Rains will write to the gas, electricity and water suppliers notifying them of meter readings at the commencement of the tenancy. We will also write to the local authority for council tax purposes. Please note that we strongly recommend that you also inform the suppliers to ensure that your details have been received and processed.

Your Tenant Portal

You can register online for 24/7 access to information about your tenancy.

Protection

Tenants Content Insurance

The Landlord is not responsible for insuring any of your personal belongings. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you obtain adequate contents insurance. If you would like a free, no obligation quotation please speak to one of our branch representatives or alternatively call our insurance team direct on 01260 294 680 for an instant quote or click here.

Non-Managed Lets

Where Reeds Rains Lettings is not responsible for the management of the tenancy, you will be given the Landlord’s contact details in case you need to report any maintenance problems.

In case of emergency

Download our hints and tips for dealing with the most common household emergencies.