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A guide to help you with the process of renting a house or flat

1) Before you start your Rental Search

Make sure you are financially prepared for paying the deposit and future rent.

  • Referencing looks to make sure that you earn 30 times the asking price of rent per month.
  • At Paige & Petrook we ask for a deposit equivalent of 5 weeks rent before your move in as well as a payment for the first month’s rent.

Other things to consider:

How long do you want the tenancy for?

  • A tenancy is usually for a minimum of 12 months. Landlords may implement a 6-month break clause, but it is worth checking.

Do you have the required documents for referencing?

  • Start gathering documents that your agent will need to confirm your identity, immigration status, credit history, employment status and residential checks.

Documents that may be required for referencing:

  • ID CHECK: Passports, Residence Permits, Right to Rent Share Codes – These will also need to be seen in person.
  • RESIDENTIAL CHECK: Bank statements showing rent paid on time, previous signed tenancy agreement. (This is not applicable to people who own a home or who currently live with family and friends.
  • CREDIT CHECK: No adverse credit. The referencing system will locate your record. If you have relocated from overseas, we will be required to see a proof of overseas address in person.
  • INCOME CHECK: Require 3 months of your most recent payslips or a signed employment contract stating your income or a reference.

2) How to find a place to Rent

Before you start looking, have a think about any additional requirements you may need that best suits your lifestyle.

  • Do you have a car and therefore need off street parking or a garage?
  • Do you own your own furniture and so need an unfurnished property?
  • Do you want or need a garden for yourself, children or pets?

Where do you want to live?

  • Do you need to be close to work or your children’s school/within the catchment area?
  • If you don’t drive do you need to be close to public transport links?
  • Do you want to be close to local shops, restaurants and bars?

Where should you look for a property?

  • A local estate agent to where you would ideally like to live – At Paige & Petrook we cover the areas of Pinner, Northwood Hills, Northwood, Moor Park, Eastcote, Ruislip, Bushey, Harrow + more
  • Rightmove and Zoopla are also useful to pinpoint available properties in your desired location.

Arrange a Viewing!

  • Go through your list of favourite properties then arrange viewings by phoning the agency who are renting the property.
  • Take your list of criteria with you on the viewings to make sure the property is a good match. It is also a good idea to make a list of questions to ask.

3) Budget for your tenancy

When moving into your property, you will need to account for significant outgoing payments.

This is before you move in and then throughout the duration of your tenancy.

Outgoings BEFORE moving in:

  • Your holding deposit of one weeks rent of the tenancy.
  • Your security deposit which will be a total of five weeks rent of the tenancy (the holding deposit is included in this amount – if one week is paid, you will pay the remainder four weeks)
  • If the rent of the property is over £50,000 per year, the security deposit will be equivalent to six weeks rent
  • Other initial outgoings might include the purchase of furniture if you rent an unfurnished property.
  • If you are moving property, you may need to account for moving costs especially if you are moving to a completely new area.

Once you have moved in, there will be outgoing costs:

  • The monthly rental payments
  • Council tax payments
  • Utility bill payments – this includes gas, electricity, and water.
  • Phone bills and broadband payments
  • Sometimes bills can be included in the rent of properties.  If you would prefer to have bills included, this is something you would need to add to your criteria when looking for a property.

You will need to make sure that you take all these costs into account when you’re thinking of renting a property. It is important and vital to keep paying your rent, on time and in full, as this may affect your credit score and future references from a lettings agency.

Top Tip:  Write down a list of all of your monthly outgoings – including your budget for food, clothes and leisure activities – and then see how much money you would have left over for rent (and bills!).

4) Tenant Application Process

First Step: Once you have arranged your viewing, you can request an application/offer form from the agent.

The form we use at Paige and Petrook asks you for a few more details concerning your current residential situation, your employment details, and how long you are looking to rent the property.

The agent will then speak to the Landlord of the property about your application.

Second Step: Once your offer has been accepted by the Landlord, the agent will sign you (and any other occupants over the age of 18) up to begin referencing and pay your holding deposit (equivalent to 1 week’s rent).

During referencing, you will be asked to upload documents for ID, Residential, Credit and Income Checks. Examples of documents to upload were talked about in Part 1 of this series.

Third Step: Once referencing is complete, you will then be sent the final tenancy agreement to sign. You will also be required to pay the remainder of the deposit and your first month’s rent.

Further to this, you will need to set up a standing order for your future payments throughout the tenancy.

Fourth Step: Once the final tenancy agreement is signed by you as the Tenants, and the Landlords, it will be executed on the day you move in and sent to all parties.

You will be checked into the property and handed your keys where an inventory check will also be conducted.

This will then be sent to you a few days after you have checked in.

Fifth Step: Enjoy your new home!

Should you experience any issues once you have moved into the property, do not hesitate to contact the agency (for managed properties) or your Landlord.

5) Tenant Responsibilities

When you move into a property, you will have important responsibilities as a Tenant.

Your MOST IMPORTANT responsibility is to pay your rent on time and in full.

If you fail to do this, you are breaching your tenancy agreement and will be at risk of losing your home.

Looking after the property:

  • Keep it clean and always take care of any furniture and appliances and use them as if they were your own.
  • Do not attempt any repairs or decorating without contacting your agency or Landlord first.
  • Report any issues as soon as you notice them – failing to do so may turn a minor issue into a major issue and you will be then at risk of losing your deposit.
  • In emergency situations (out of office hours) you will be provided with names and contact details of various services you can call.
  • Try your best to get familiar with how the boiler and major appliances work.
  • It would be good to know where the fuse box and meters are – ask your Landlord or Agency if you need help.
  • Regularly test the alarms and appliances
  • Be considerate to your neighbours. Anti-social behaviour or not following block management orders could get you evicted from your property.
  • If there are any special clauses in your Tenancy Agreement, be sure to follow them. This could include ‘making good’ of walls where you may have hung pictures or a TV bracket.

6) Landlords Responsibilities

When you move into a property, your Landlord/Agent has responsibilities to you as their paying tenant.

Firstly, the landlord’s full name, address and contact details, or the details of their letting agent must be provided ahead of moving into the property.

  • Maintain the structure and exterior of the property.
  • Insure the building to cover any damage from flood or fire.
  • Install smoke alarms on each floor.
  • Fit carbon monoxide alarms in rooms
  • Deal with problems related to water, electricity, and gas supply.
  • Maintain appliances and furniture if they have supplied them.
  • Carry out or organise most repairs. If something is not working, report it to the landlord (or their agent) as soon as you can.
  • Arrange an annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are any gas appliances).
  • Ensure all required services and certificates have been carried out and are in date
  • Give a minimum of 24 hour’s notice of visits for repairs or maintenance.
  • Get a licence for the property if it is a licensable property. This applies to properties where you rent a room in a shared house known as HMOs.

7) Extending your Tenancy

Should you wish to extend your tenancy after any initial fixed period, there are a number of important issues to consider.

The agency will first contact you and then the Landlord to check you both are wishing to renew your tenancy.

  • Do you want to sign up to a new fixed term? A 12-month agreement for example.
  • It is sometimes possible to be on a ‘rolling periodic tenancy’. This means you carry on as before but with no fixed term – you can leave at any time by giving one month’s notice. Or your landlord can end the contract at two months’ notice.
  • Your landlord might want to increase your rent. Your landlord can increase your rent by agreement, or as set out in your tenancy agreement, or by following a procedure set out in law.

8) Ending Your Tenancy

If you or the landlord want to end the tenancy, there are things that both landlords and tenants must do at the end of the tenancy:

Giving Notice

It is a legal requirement for landlords to give you proper notice if they want you to leave. Normally, the landlord must allow any fixed period of the tenancy to have expired, and they must have given at least two months’ notice. Your tenancy agreement should say how much notice you must give the landlord if you want to leave the property – one month’s notice is typical.

Return of deposit

Try to be present when the property is inspected to check whether any of the tenancy deposit should be deducted to cover damage or cleaning costs (a ‘check-out inventory’).

If you do not agree with proposed deductions, contact the relevant deposit protection scheme.

Outstanding Rent

Make sure that your rent payments are up to date. Do not keep back rent because you think that it will be taken out of the deposit.

Outstanding Bills

Do not leave bills unpaid. This might have an impact on your references and credit rating.

Clean Up

Remove all your possessions, clean the house, take meter readings, return all the keys and give a forwarding address.

The landlord is entitled to dispose of possessions left in the property after, typically, 14 days.

9) Moving out of your Rented Home

Cleaning costs and unpaid rent are the top reasons why deposit money is withheld when a tenant moves out of a rented property.

So, before you move out, make sure you have paid any remaining rent that is due.

You need to leave the property with the cleaning standard that you checked into the property. 

If on the inventory it was stated that the property was professionally cleaned at the time of check in, then it is your responsibility to have the property professionally cleaned before leaving the property.

If you have rented a property that is full or part furnished, inspect the furniture and check for any damage.

If you have caused any accidental damage, then do get it repaired professionally.

Tips to help you to avoid any problems:

  • Check the property against the condition report from when you moved in.
  • Compare the property now to any photos taken at the start of the tenancy.
  • Take photos when you leave.

Don’t forget to give your energy suppliers plenty of notice that you are moving out so they can organise a final bill. It is also a good idea to take meter readings on your final move out day for your records.

Inform any other suppliers that you are moving out such as Phone, Internet or TV.

Consider redirecting your mail and leaving a forwarding address with the landlord or agent.



A very professional and personal approach and excellent local knowledge of Pinner and the surrounding areas. We have always been impressed with the attentive and responsive service provided by the Paige & Petrook team.

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