A Guide For Tenants

Looking to rent in London? Here at Davis Brown, we have over 100 years of experience in residential lettings in London and W1 and we wanted to share our knowledge with you, to help make your journey from offer to let a little easier. Here’s our five-step-guide.

  1. Making an offer & agreeing terms
  2. Firstly book in a selection of viewings with different estate agents in the area you wish to reside in, whether it’s Covent Garden or Fitzrovia. Once you have found a property you like, Davis Brown will put forward your offer to the Landlord. It is important you provide as much information as possible in your proposed terms. Usually if the offer is agreed it will be subject to contract, satisfactory reference checks and cleared funds at the commencement of the tenancy.

    We will also ask you for an initial payment (also known as a holding deposit) equivalent to two week’s rent to reserve the property whilst we undertake the necessary reference checks and tenancy paperwork. As is common practice, acceptance of the reservation fee does not imply a tenancy and is non-refundable should you withdraw your offer at any time for any reason.

  3. Referencing
  4. Davis Brown will obtain and verify references by an independent reference agency. You will be asked to complete an application form which will normally ask for your personal details, employment details and contact details of your current or previous Landlord.
    If you are studying in 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.

  5. Tenancy Administration
  6. A tenancy agreement to let the property will be prepared which will form the legal obligations between the Landlord and the tenant. You should ensure you take the time to read through the agreement thoroughly. Each party will be asked to sign a copy of the agreement and have their signature witnessed. Once both agreements are signed they will be dated and the contract becomes legally binding.

  7. Initial payment
  8. As estate agents in W1, we will send you a Request for Payment outlining the break-down of costs required to be paid prior to the tenancy start date and collection of keys. The break-down will usually consist of:

    1. First rent payment, i.e. one month if monthly, three months in quarterly, six months is bi-annually.
    2. Deposit – usually equivalent to six weeks’ rent
    3. Administration fee – £180 inc. VAT
    4. Reference check fee – £30 inc. VAT per applicant and £12 inc. VAT per guarantor

    Unless otherwise stated, we will hold the deposit as ‘stakeholder’ in a separate client account protected under the Tenancy Deposit Scheme for the duration of the tenancy. At the end of tenancy the deposit will be returned, less any agreed deductions and following written consent from both parties.

  9. Inventory and Check-in
  10. On the day of the move-in, you will be asked to meet an inventory clerk at the property where they will assess its conditions and contents. The clerk will normally hand over the keys unless you have otherwise collected a set from our estate agents office in Fitzrovia. Once moved in, you will receive a copy of the inventory report and a welcome pack if the property is managed by Davis Brown Estate Agents.

    As a tenant under the terms of the tenancy agreement you will be responsible for the following:

    1. Gas
    2. Electricity
    3. Water
    4. Telephone services
    5. Council tax – students should note that they would still need to register for Council tax, although in most cases students are exempt from this charge.
    6. It is advisable that applications to the utility companies should be made at least 7 days prior to the commencement of the tenancy to allow sufficient time for the accounts to be opened.

    Now you’re moved in, unpacked and organised it’s time to start enjoying your property! Contact us to speak to Emma our Residential Manager, or Sarah-Jane our Residential Negotiator.

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