Date Published 02 February 2021
You've seen the property you want to rent, so what happens now? For those new to the lettings market, with paperwork to complete and money to pay renting a home may seem like a daunting prospect. Seasoned renters will be familiar with what's involved, but for those that aren't, at Westwood Lettings we have compiled a handy checklist of what you'll need to complete your tenancy:
• ID and proof of current address – you'll need to provide at least one form of identification, either a passport or driving licence, and a utility bill or bank statement no more than three months old addressed to you at your current residence.
• Proof of income - payslips from your employment dating back three months will need to be supplied or proof of funds or pension. But what happens if you are not in employment? 'Not being in full or part-time employment does not automatically mean that a prospective tenant cannot rent a property,' says Westwood Lettings agent Maxine Hughes. 'In some cases, we can proceed with a six-month tenancy if they can provide six months' rent upfront or a named guarantor.' (See below)
• Guarantor – this can be anyone who is willing to vouch that you can pay your rent as long as they pass an affordability check. 'They will be the person responsible for any rent arrears if you default on payments or the cost of any damage caused to the property,' Maxine explains.
• Employer reference – an email will be sent to your employer asking for a reference to confirm your employment status, length of contract and annual salary.
• Previous landlord reference- a letter or email supplied by your current landlord or agent to say that you are a suitable tenant and pay your rent on time. When someone is a first-time renter perhaps living with parents or family this requirement may not apply.
• Deposit – From June 1 this year the maximum deposit a landlord can expect a new tenant to pay is equivalent to five weeks' rent. 'This will be kept in a protected tenancy deposit scheme account, we use the DPS, for the duration of the tenancy,' says Maxine. 'This is basically to cover the cost of any rent arrears or damages that occur during the tenancy. It will be returned either in full or minus any agreed deductions once the check-out inspection has been completed.
• One month's rent up front – the monthly rental payment agreed with the landlord.
• Sign the tenancy agreement – both the tenant and the landlord need to sign the tenancy agreement so that both parties are contractually obliged to carry out their responsibilities and enjoy the rights outlined in the agreement.
To see a list of all our current properties available to rent, visit westwoodlettings.co.uk.