With roots established for well over a century, Davis Brown has good local knowledge in the property market covering Fitzrovia, Covent Garden, Marylebone, Bloomsbury, Soho, and Mayfair. Our ARLA qualified staff will be able to help and advise you on every aspect of your property search.
Making an offer
When you have found a property that you wish to rent, one of our lettings negotiators will put forward your offer to the Landlord. It is important you provide as much information as possible, including:
We can help you decide on the details of your offer, and advise you of the Landlords requirements at any point during this process. All offers are accepted on a ‘subject to contract basis’ which means that until the final tenancy agreement is signed, no offers or agreements made are legally binding.
Once your offer has been accepted, and the basic terms of your tenancy are agreed, you will be required to pay a reservation deposit. This is non-refundable and is usually equivalent to two weeks rent. On receipt of the reservation deposit, the property will be marked as ‘Under Offer’ whilst we undertake the necessary reference checks, and complete the associated administration. When your tenancy proceeds to completion, we will deduct the two week reservation deposit already paid, from the monies due for your tenancy deposit on the property. Should you withdraw from your offer for any reason the reservation deposit will be retained by Davis Brown and used to offset any costs incurred. If however, the Landlord withdraws from the proposed tenancy for any reason, the reservation deposit will be refunded to you in full.
On receipt of the reservation deposit, Davis Brown will commence the reference checks, which are undertaken by an independent credit reference agency. You will be asked to complete an application form which usually will ask for your personal details, employment details and contact details of your current/previous Landlord. We will also require sight of your passport, driving licence or ID card as well as your visa (if applicable). Please note, that new regulations mean that agents cannot by law let a property to a tenant without seeing original documents that prove the tenants right to rent. For more information please visit www.gov.uk/government/news/right-to-rent-checks-what-they-mean-for-you
If you are a full time student the UK, we will require confirmation from your educational establishment and details of a UK based guarantor. The guarantor will also need to complete a credit reference application. Should you be unable to provide a UK based guarantor, the Landlord may require the rent to be paid in advance for the total term of the tenancy. References are charged at £60 inclusive of VAT per tenant.
Davis Brown will advise you of the type of tenancy agreement applicable to you and your tenancy. This will be dependent on the terms that you agreed when making an offer, but can be subject to change. The tenancy agreement will form the legal obligations between the Landlord and the tenant and you should ensure you take the time to read through the agreement thoroughly. If you have any questions regarding the contract, please ask one of our negotiators for assistance. Each party will be asked to sign the agreement and have their signature witnessed. Once both parties have signed the contract, it will be dated and will become legally binding.
Before you move in, Davis Brown will send you a Request for Payment outlining the break-down of costs required to be paid prior to the tenancy start date. Payments can be made BACS/CHAPS transfer or in the form of a bankers draft. We must receive cleared funds in our client account before we are able to hand over the keys. The break-down will usually consist of:
If you are moving in to the property over a weekend, or are sending the money from overseas, it is suggested that you send the final amount due in advance of the move in date. This is to ensure that all monies have cleared in our accounts ready for your move in, and that no delays occur.
Unless otherwise stated, we will hold the deposit as ‘stakeholder’ in a separate client account. As members of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, your deposit will be protected under the terms of the TDS for the duration of your tenancy. The TDS is an independent company which was established to provide insurance backed tenancy deposit protection, as well as an impartial dispute resolution service for when and if disagreements over deposit deductions arise. For more information about the Tenancy Deposit Scheme, please visit www.tds.gb.com.
As a tenant under the terms of the tenancy agreement you will be responsible for the following:
It is your obligation to contact the relevant utility companies and provide them with your details and we recommend that applications are made at least 7 days prior to the commencement of the tenancy to allow sufficient time for your accounts to be opened.
Inventory and Check-in
On the day of the move-in, an inventory clerk will meet you at the property and sign the keys over to you. In most cases, they will have prepared an Inventory and Schedule of Condition which details the condition and contents of the property at the time of move in. These documents are extremely thorough, and contain descriptions and photographs of the whole of the property. You will be sent the Inventory Report within a week of move in, at which point you will usually have 14 days to make any amendments or add your own comments. It is important to take care when checking through the inventory as these will provide the basis for checking the condition of the property when you move out.
The Landlord is usually responsible for the cost of the check-in inventory at the beginning of the tenancy and the tenant for the cost of the check-out inventory. The cost of this is usually deducted from your deposit at the end of your tenancy.
Inventory and Check-out
Davis Brown Estate Agents Fitzrovia will contact you approximately two months prior to the end of the expiry of the tenancy. If you do not wish to remain at the property, we will commence re-marketing. On the final day of the tenancy, we will arrange an inventory clerk to conduct a check out which is usually compiled using the check in report. The property should be left in the condition that it was taken, excluding fair wear and tear and any maintenance issues. For example, if the property was professionally cleaned when you moved in, it will need to be professionally cleaned before you move out. Usually, the check out is chargeable to the tenant, and the price varies from £158 to £280 including VAT. If you wish to be provided with an exact price, please ask one of our negotiators who will be happy to assist
During your tenancy, the landlord will normally have buildings insurance, which will cover the property against risks such as fire and flooding. However, insuring your personal belongings is your responsibility. This will ensure that if the need ever arises, your own items are protected and insured.
Television, Telephone and Internet
All households in the UK that watch television live, including live-stream from a laptop or tablet device, require a television licence. The current annual cost for a television licence is £145.50 and as a tenant, unless otherwise stated, the cost will be your responsibility. More information can be found at www.tvlicensing.co.uk.
Usually a telephone line is required to use internet in a property and there a many companies that offer a combined package for internet and telephone line. The landlord will usually have a line installed in the property ready to be used, however should there not be a connection present, please get permission before having one installed.
Properties will usually be rented on a fully furnished, part furnished or unfurnished basis. Fully furnished most commonly means that the property will contain all essential furniture and appliances, in most cases including cutlery, crockery and linens. Part furnished properties will usually have some items of furniture provided such as a sofa and bed. However, if you are renting a property on a part furnished basis it is important to clarify exactly what items are included when making your offer to avoid any confusion at point of move in. Unfurnished properties come with no ‘soft’ furniture whatsoever; however integrated and white goods such as washing machines are usually included – again it is a good idea to get clarification on this before signing your agreement.
Occasionally, tenants find a property that they love however situation with the furniture may not be ideal. There are always alternatives such as storage for unwanted furniture, or rental for needed furniture. Please do not hesitate to ask if you wish to find out more about these options.
All set of keys, including any extras you have cut must be returned at the end of your tenancy. If during your tenancy, you lose a security item such as a key, there will be a fee of £60 payable to Davis Brown, plus the cost of the works / replacements needed.
Post and Forwarding
Just before the end of your tenancy if you do not choose to renew, is vital that you make the appropriate preparations for your impending move. Post can be forwarded by completing a simple form at the Post Office and this will ensure that you do not miss out on any important letters or parcels. Whilst we endeavour to help tenants in any way we can, when a new tenant has moved into the property, we cannot obtain access to collect your post and forward it on. We do require however, a forwarding address for you, as well as your new contact details (should these have changed). We may need to get in touch with you after you leave the property and so it important that these details are given to us.
At the end of your tenancy you must notify your utility providers that you will be leaving the property. You must also provide them with a forwarding address and your final meter readings (these will be read and noted in the check out report).
We are always delighted when tenants wish to renew their tenancy, and once we have agreed new terms, we will draw up the associated paperwork for you and the landlord to sign. Tenants will note that there is a £60 fee, inclusive of VAT for each renewal or extension of a tenancy.
Additional Charges and Fees
Please see our ‘Fees To Tenants’ guide for further information about additional charges and fees.
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme - www.tds.gb.com.
TV Licence – www.tvlicensing.co.uk
Internet & Telephone – www.bt.com / 0800 100 400
David Philips Furniture Rental – www.davidphillips.com
Government Right To Rent Information - www.gov.uk/government/news/right-to-rent-checks-what-they-mean-for-you
EDF Energy (gas & electricity): www.edfenergy.com / 0800 056 5927
British Gas: www.britishgas.co.uk / 0800 048 0202
N-POWER: 0800 073 3000
Westminster Council: www.westminster.gov.uk / 020 7641 600
Thames Water: www.thameswater.co.uk / 0845 9200 888
Davis Brown Estate Agents, Fitzrovia would be delighted to help you find the perfect property, and can support you every step of the way. Contact us to speak to a member of Residential Team on 020 7637 1066.