Rental Process & Fee Guide
|1. Look for a home||By web, phone or in person. Our expert letting staff will help match you with the right homes and can then drive you to see them.|
|2. Pay application fee to reserve your home.||When you find a home you want, discuss your application with our letting team so the tenancy can be agreed with the landlord, fill out our online application form and pay the fee.
Paying the application fee reserves the property for you (subject to satisfactory references and tenancy agreement), and takes it off the market.
The fee is per property, not per person, is non-refundable and is 25% of the monthly rent with a minimum of £250 and a maximum of £550 + VAT. So, including VAT this would be a minimum of £300 and a maximum of £660.
Please note that we only accept UK debit cards, we do not accept cash.
Before moving into a property, reference checks are carried out by a third party referencing company for all prospective tenants. Each case is treated on an individual basis, and in all cases references are subject to landlord approval.
Self employed: If you are self employed for less than 1 year, you will need a guarantor or will be required to pay for the tenancy in advance. For more than 1 year you'll need either an accountant to confirm your income or complete an SA302 (self assessment) form.
Student: You will need to provide proof of funding for the rental amount or details of a scholarship.
Savings: We can take savings into account, however you must have an amount that is equal to 36 times the monthly rent that has been in your account for at least 6 months.
If you are unable to prove income then we may ask for advance payment of rent or a guarantor. Your guarantor will need to prove an income of 42 times the monthly rent. If your Guarantor is not UK based then they must be in full time employment.
|4. Right to Rent check.||As per the Immigration Act 2014 Section 22 it is now the landlord or agents' responsibility to check that all tenants and occupiers have the "Right to Rent".
This means that you must be a British Citizen or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen or a Swiss National or have the Right to Rent in the UK e.g. a valid visa / residency permit etc. and some of these are limited to a period of time.
At Finders Keepers we have a two stage process to ensure that we comply with the law and avoid new tenancies falling through which causes upset for tenant and/or landlord
1. When you apply for a property we ask that you a) show the passport of each adult occupier to our letting staff, b) upload a scan of the photo page in your passport and the visa / residency permit if relevant via our Apply Online form
2. We then have to re-check each adult occupier's passport when you pick up keys - each person must be present in person at our office
Sadly, if you do not have the 'Right to Rent' we will not be able to accept your application.
|5. Sign tenancy agreement and pay 1st month's rent and deposit.||
Once the references are received, you digitally sign the Tenancy Agreement, the legal contract between tenant and landlord. An email will be sent to you and you open the Agreement PDF, read it and adopt a digital signature to sign it.
The average length of a tenancy is 12 months. If you want a longer or shorter tenancy or have special requirements, we will liaise between you and the landlord to reach an agreement.
Most people pay the 1st month's rent and deposit together. They are due 10 working days in advance of the move-in date, payable by UK debit card. There is also an £8.50+VAT (£10.20) charge to register the deposit with the TDS: as per the Housing Act 2004, all deposits and tenancy details are registered by Finders Keepers with the Government's Tenancy Deposit Scheme.
The deposit is a sum of money held by us, the letting agent, on behalf of the landlord as security against the property being left damaged or rent not being paid. The deposit for unfurnished properties is 6 weeks rent, for furnished properties or properties where there is a pet it is 2 months rent.
Thereafter, rent is collected by direct debit from a UK bank account (direct debit automatically transfers funds from one bank account to another).
|6. Check-In, Inventory and 'At Home' pack.||
At Finders Keepers, your Property Manager 'checks you in' to your new home, explaining all the appliances and helping you settle into your home.
'Property Management' involves rent collection, regular maintenance visits, the repair of a property, its furnishings and appliances, and looking after those living in the home.
The inventory is an agreed statement of everything which is in your property and what condition everything is in. Each tenant needs to check that the inventory is accurate, sign one copy of it and return it to us.
UK tenancy agreements work on the premise that properties need to be left by tenants in the condition in which they were found, less wear and tear. Hence the inventory is vital, as it is a record of your home's condition on arrival.
When you move in, we will send you our Finders Keepers 'Your Home' pack which has answers to common questions as well as information about your property's appliances and utilities. If you have any further questions or issues arise, your Finders Keepers Property Manager's details are in the front of the folder.
For emergencies at night, such as flooding, call our 24-hour Emergency Helpline (details of what defines an emergency are found in the At Home folder).
|7. Enjoy your home||The most important part of the process.|
|8. Offer to renew||Three months before your tenancy is due to finish, we will contact you to ask your plans and if you want to renew your tenancy. If you want to stay, then we contact the landlord and discuss their objectives. Subject to their agreement, we
draw up a new Tenancy Agreement which is £79.17 + VAT (£95).
|9. Check-Out||The 'Check-Out' is when you leave your property. Your Property Manager visits your home and goes through the inventory to confirm that everything is in good order. We always recommend that you are present at the Check-Out.
To help make the process as easy as possible, we can organise professional cleaners if needed - 40% of tenants now use this service.
|10. Deposit Refund||
If there are no deductions from the deposit for damages, dilapidations or cleaning, we endeavour to return the deposit within a week of the final day of the tenancy