It’s time to find somewhere to live!

With any move, it should be viewed as an exciting time but before you go too far along the line, you must do your research. It is similar to when you buy a property albeit not on the same scale; you must ensure that your move will be affordable and so you must establish your position regarding money and deposits, location of where you want and perhaps need to be and also how long you realistically plan to be there

With life throwing up surprises you cannot always answer these points with a definitive answer and therefore you should have a plan should your position change or at least be aware of your responsibilities should that happen. It is an exciting time and we want it be just that so the best thing to do is continue to read about the process and be prepared.

With our step by step guide hopefully we can give you some direction and safeguard you against some of the common mistakes that are made when people rent their first property. We also want to make sure this is the enjoyable time that it should be.

To be added to our mailing list simply fill out this registration form and we can then keep you informed of any suitable properties. Should you wish to review a list of the charges that you will have to pay when applying for a property, click here.

Where to start?

In order not to rush into the house moving process and make a mistake, we have provided a guide to the process for you to follow. Every move can vary so these steps may not apply to some but will give you a good indication.

STEP 1

Establish affordability

When applying for a rental property, people are often surprised at how much money will be required to cover the necessary stages such as references, move in administration and deposit at the very least. Make sure you are prepared by finding out these costs to make your move achievable.
CHECK AFFORDABILITY

Moving costs will vary from agency to agency and then private Landlords will be different again so there are no exact rules but the good news for tenants is that with the changes in legislation in 2014 all agencies must now publish their fees. It is worth checking out a few local agencies to get a feel for the fees involved and then decide if you haven’t sufficient funds that you may have to wait a little longer. The positive is that you didn’t take it too far before finding that out. View our fees

Providing you can afford the deposit, the reference fees, any set up fees applicable the next step is to understand whether you can afford the monthly rent. This will again vary between agencies but with Bradleys we use an independent referencing company called Van Mildert and they will look at the rent you are looking to pay each month and multiply it by 30. Should your annual salary/income be less than the total, there will be concerns and possibly a requirement of a guarantor. E.g rent = £700pcm x 30 = £21,000 (total annual income required).

STEP 3

Viewing Properties

It’s getting exciting, you’ve done your research and now it’s time to see some potential homes! Using your criteria and ensuring it matches the Landlords critieria (e.g pets, children, non-smokers etc) you should book as many viewings as you are able.
Viewing Properties

When viewing it is often the case that people want to view lots of properties without having looked at the practicality of the property whether that be location, Landlords restrictions or even price. We would be delighted to show you around as many suitable homes as possible to maximise the chance of securing you a lovely home.

Due to the fast pace of the rental market it may be that you have to be flexible on viewing times to make sure you don’t miss out but we will try to accommodate wherever possible. It is advisable to have all decision makers/occupants attending the viewing thus allowing you make a decision quickly and not miss out.

STEP 4

Applying for a property

Great news you have found a lovely property and want to apply for it. You will need to complete the application forms in order for the referencing process to begin. The great news is that we actually run a pre-reference check to avoid unnecessary fees being paid where possible.
Applying for a property

Be aware that properties are accepted on an ‘as seen’ basis and any issues raised will need to be dealt with prior to references being undertaken. We will carry out a pre-reference check which should highlight any obvious issues and this is free of charge to you. Not many agents will do this, so be aware that most agents will take your money and then start checking your references on a non-refundable basis. Subject to the pre-reference check being ok, we will then run a full reference and credit check which is non-refundable.

It is important you inform your referees in advance that they will receive contact from our independent reference company, Van Mildert, so that the process isn’t delayed. Click Van Mildert tenant referencing for more information about the process.

References can take around seven days to complete, in some cases less time, but it can take up to an additional two to three weeks if additional information is required. Should a guarantor be needed this may also affect the time taken to complete referencing. Please note that ALL intended occupants of the property over the age of 18 will need to complete a form to be referenced, regardless of their employment status.

STEP 5

Referencing process

All applications will need to be supported by the appropriate reference fees, proof of current address (i.e. utility bill) and photo ID (i.e. Passport or Driving License). This will also be the case for a guarantor if one is required.
Referencing process

Our independent referencing agency requires that you are earning two and a half times the monthly rent, on average. If you have insufficient earnings to support the rent, you may need a guarantor, who will be liable for the terms of your tenancy. A guarantor should be a homeowner, earning three times the monthly rent. Guarantor references fees will be required.

It may be that you need to prompt your referees to get the information back to Van Mildert as this is often the cause of delays and of course, will be outside of our control.

STEP 6

Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS)

In addition to one month’s rent in advance, you will be required to pay a Deposit equivalent to one month’s rent plus £200 (or more if required by the Landlord). Your deposit will be registered with the TDS.
Starting your search

From 6 April 2007, all deposits taken by Landlords and letting agents for Assured Shorthold Tenancies in England and Wales, must be protected by a tenancy deposit protection scheme. The schemes are there to protect your money and resolve disputes should they arise. To find out more information on this scheme please use the visit the Government website or click the link to display the leaflet on the schemes. View the TDS Leaflet.

STEP 7

Insurance

It is important you protect your belongings and therefore it is advisable that you arrange adequate insurance before you move in to your new home. Our Insurance department can provide you with a quote should you wish.
ARRANGE HOME INSURANCE VIA BRADLEYS

You never know when an accident may happen and so we advise all tenants that they arrange contents insurance to protect their belongings. It is a small price to pay and gives re-assurance should disaster strike!

Obtain a quote

STEP 8

Moving in dates

Subject to your references being accepted, we will then look at a suitable date for your occupation of the property. We will, alongside the Landlord, of course endeavour to meet your preferred move in date, wherever possible and practical.
Moving in dates

With dates agreed by all parties, you will then need to be prepared for arranging monies as all fees must be paid in advance. This includes the first month’s rent, deposit and all outstanding arrangement fees and can be paid by bank transfer or Debit/Credit Card payment to Bradleys Accounts Department 01395 223383.

Funds must be cleared and the Tenancy Agreement should be fully signed at least 3 days prior to entry date (unless alternative arrangements have been agreed), otherwise access to the property may not be permitted.

STEP 9

Collecting your keys

The day arrives! Providing all of the previous steps have been achieved, on the pre agreed move in date you will need to come into your local Bradleys office to collect the keys and sign for the Schedule of Condition.
Collecting your keys

When collecting the keys, our office staff will explain that you must read through the schedule of condition and check that you are happy with the detail provided and what to do if you are not. Hopefully you have already arranged your insurance, set up the standing orders for the rent to be paid and now you can concentrate and enjoying your new home!

STEP 10

During your tenancy

We hope that everything runs smoothly whilst in your new home however, should there be an issue we operate an On-Line Maintenance, Repairs and Issue reporting system for your property. Please use the link below and ensure that you complete the report as thoroughly as possible, with a full description and photographs of the issue.
Report an issue here
During your tenancy

By using the above reporting system you will have received a confirmation email logging your issue, you will not need to report it again. You will need to make a new report if you have multiple issues.

Maintenance issues reported in this way will be given priority over emails or phone calls unless of course you have an Emergency.

Report a problem

STEP 11

Re-assured Professionalism

We believe in offering a professional service to our clients and so for your re-assurance you will be pleased to know we are members of various professional affiliations.
Re-assured Professionalism

As members of ARLA (The Association of Residential Letting Agents, a division of the National Federation of Property Professionals, NFOPP), as well as full members of the Property Ombudsman Scheme for Lettings, Bradleys are bound by strict professional guidelines. In addition these professional bodies require Professional Indemnity and Client Money Protection cover to be in place for customer peace of mind.

Contact us to find out more...