Once you have viewed a property in Richmond, Catterick or the surrounding area, we will take your offer of interest to the landlord. Rents are fixed by a landlord prior to marketing the property but there may be exceptional circumstances when the rent can be discussed.
Securing the Property
Once you have viewed the property and agreed the rent, you can apply for tenancy. To secure the property you will be asked to provide an administration fee of £150 for the first tenant and £50 for each additional tenant. This covers the referencing process and the creation of all contractual paperwork; it is non-refundable.
Financial References and Guarantors
All potential occupants over 18 must be named on the tenancy agreement as either a joint tenant or a permitted occupant. A joint tenant is ‘jointly and severally’ responsible for adhering to the contract and so each joint tenant is liable for any breach of agreement and payment of all of the rent. A permitted occupant has no legal rights within the tenancy agreement but must still be declared. You need to consider carefully how each occupant should be named on the agreement. We are happy to discuss this with you.
Any person named as a joint tenant requires a formal financial reference. We will do this on your behalf through an independent referencing company Van Mildert. They will check your financial history, employment, income etc. and will want to see a credit score of at least 650. They will also need evidence that your income/pension/savings is equal to 2.5 times the monthly rent.
If you are unable to gain the required reference, some landlords may accept a Guarantor; that is someone who will guarantee to pay in the event of arrears whilst vacant possession is sought. A Guarantor will also require an independent reference through Van Mildert who need evidence of an income/pension/savings equal to 3 times the monthly rent. We charge a £50 administration fee to validate a guarantor application and draw up a guarantor agreement. The guarantor agreement needs a witnessed signature prior to, or on, the day that the tenancy agreement is signed.
The availability of a property depends on the agreed leaving date of the current tenants and whether the landlord has any maintenance or re-decoration to carry out. This will be discussed with you at the time you view the property. The financial referencing process normally takes 5-10 working days. Once this is accepted a provisional moving-in date is provided, which is usually a week later.
WardHorne uses an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreement, a standard contract between landlord and tenant. This type of contract ensures that you are secure in the property for at least 6 months. After the first six months, the contract becomes periodic whereby you must give one month’s notice to leave and a landlord must give you two months’ notice to vacate. If you wish to leave before the end of the 6 months then you are responsible for the rent and all outstanding bills for the remaining period.
A tenancy agreement is legally binding so it is very important that you read and understand it before signing. We will help to explain things to you but if you are unsure about any part of the contract then you can contact the Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to give further help.
When you take on a rental property you need to be confident that you can meet the rent payments each month. You need to pay the first month’s rent prior to the day, or on the same day, that you sign the tenancy agreement. This can be done by bank transfer. Rent is then paid monthly in advance on the same date as you move in, by either standing order or bank transfer.
There are other bills which you will be responsible for and you should consider these carefully when deciding if you can afford to rent the property. Below is a guide to the common additional costs you may need to budget for.
- WardHorne Administration Fees
- Contents Insurance
- Council Tax and Utilities