We know that finding a property to rent can be stressful at the best of times. It is for this reason, here at Baartz we have worked to streamline the process as much as possible in order to provide a smooth and pain free experience. At Baartz our ethos differs in many ways to your typical high street agent and our Lettings mission is simple, to match our clients properties with fantastic suitable Tenants without the usual penny pinching both groups are used to!
Because we know that often times unnecessary industry jargon is used when communicating with prospective Tenants, we would like to ensure all Tenants are informed and in the know when commencing with their search for a suitable property to rent.
As such, we have compiled this guide to compliment the Governments ‘How to Rent’ guide (Click here for guide)
We hope you find this useful but of course should you have any questions or queries with regards to the rental process in the UK, do feel free to reach out and email us at email@example.com
The Rule of Five
There are five main financial considerations to ponder before proceeding with your search for a suitable rental property.
- Budget for the rental - Often listed Monthly format or in Central London, sometimes Weekly.
- Reservation Deposit - This is capped at 1 weeks rent
- The Letting Agents Cost - Agents will often charge for various processes (Click here for further information)
- Council Tax band - The area you choose to rent in will have an impact on the annual Council Tax due.
- Utility Bills - In some cases, for instance with some studio flats, utilities may be included within the agreed rent figure. However, it is more common for the utility costs to be an addition to the rent and this will commonly be the responsibility of the Tenants residing at the property.
Different Types of Tenancies
In England most Tenancy Agreements will be drafted as AST’s (Assured Shorthold Tenancies)
In addition to AST’s - there are also what are known as Non-Housing Act Tenancies (also known as Common Law Tenancies)
Both are entirely permissible, however each differ in respect to obligations on both the Landlord and Tenant, as well as the protocol for serving notice and breaking contract.
Assured Shorthold Tenancies (AST’S)
AST’s are most commonly created when;
- The rent is less than £100,000 per annum
- The Tenant is renting the property as his/her main residence
- The property is not shared with the Landlord/owner.
Non Housing Act Tenancies (NHA’S)
NHA’s are most commonly created when;
- The rent exceeds £100,000 per annum
- Company Lets
- Not the Tenants main/sole residence.
With NHA’s there is no legal obligation to register the deposit in the same way there would be with a traditional AST. Instead the deposit can be held by the Landlord or Baartz until the end of the Tenancy.
In the case of NHA’s, Landlords are not required to serve Section 21 or Section 8 Notices to end the Tenancy. However the Tenant has the right to remain at the property until the end of the fixed term, providing they comply with the terms of the agreement.
Before Move In
Once you have found a suitable property and your offer has been accepted (Subject to contract and satisfactory references) the next steps are very straightforward and the Baartz process simplifies this even further.
Reservation Deposit: A Reservation Deposit (1 week’s rent) is a payment made by a prospective Tenant to an Agent, in order to reserve a property whilst both reference checks and the preparation for a Tenancy agreement takes place.
NB: One weeks rent is equal to the annual rent divided by fifty-two. Additionally, should a tenant provide false or misleading information, the Reservation Deposit may be forfeited and withheld by Baartz.
Deposit: In the case of AST’s - this will be protected in the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) and may be returned at the end of the tenancy.
Such deposits are capped at five weeks rent, whereby the annual rent in respect of the Tenancy less than £50,000 per annum.
Deposits can be up to six weeks rent in cases whereby the annual rent in respect of the Tenancy is £50,000 + per annum.
Rent: Typically Tenants will pay either one month, three months, six months or twelve months in advance. This is very much subject to what has been agreed between the Tenant and Landlord in respect to frequency of rent.
Stamp Duty: This is due on rents and Tenancies that exceed £125,000 cumulatively and is a specialist subject area. It is best practice and highly advisable for Tenants should seek guidance from a qualified tax professional if unsure.
The Big Day
This is the exciting part, but before we can release the keys to your new home to you, we just need to make you aware of some final items.
Your Landlord may have organised what is known as an Inventory check-in. This is whereby a professional Clerk will visit the property and make a note of both the contents of the property and the general condition. This is important as it is this report as well as the corresponding check-out report, that will determine the outcome of any deposit deductions at the end of Tenancy. In most cases the Clerk will also take note of the meter readings during the visit and note these on the report.
New Tenant’s can be present throughout the Inventory however it is not essential.
Tenants will be provided with a digital Baartz welcome pack which will include the following for your records;
- Copy of a valid Gas Safety Certificate where required
- Copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- Copy of certificate of inspection of Electrics
- Copy of Deposit Registration Certificate
You should know..
Baartz must be in receipt of cleared funds prior to move in day.
If you are transferring move in monies from overseas, do ensure you give sufficient time to do so as this could invariably delay the release of keys.
Additional Considerations When Renting a Property
Is the property managed by the Landlord or Baartz Property Management Services?
Baartz offers a full bespoke Property Management solution to each of our clients. This is something that we are very proud of and for which we receive fantastic feedback.
In cases whereby you re residing at a property managed by Baartz you will be in a position to contact us for any maintenance issues you might experience.
In the unlikely event of an issue, it is important that you notify Baartz Property Management in good time so as to ensure any problem is rectified in a timely prompt manner.
Baartz carries our routine six monthly inspections of each of our properties under Management and our Property Managers will contact you independently to organise suitable times for visits.
Your Landlord may however choose in some cases to manage the property themselves. In such cases Tenants will be required to contact their Landlord(s) directly with any queries or maintenance issues.
You should know..
It is important that rent payments are received on time and in accordance with your Tenancy Agreement. If your rent is more than 14 days late, you could be liable for a default
A default fee for late payment of rent is limited by the Tenant Fees Act to interest on the outstanding amount, capped at 3% above Bank of England base rates.
Tenants are responsible for their own bills (including TV Licence and any other associated subscriptions)
A Landlord’s insurance will typically cover the building itself, however Tenants are advised to seek their own independent contents insurance.
End of Tenancy
Towards the end of the fixed term of your Tenancy, a representative of Baartz will contact you to discuss potentially extending your existing Tenancy by way of a renewal, or the steps required to end the Tenancy.
If you want to stay, it is important you make your Landlord and Baartz aware of this in good time, in order that the required documentation can be drafted for both parties to sign. If in fact you intend to leave the property, do ensure that you serve the required notice in writing to your Landlord and or Baartz.
Is it the Tenants responsibility to ensure any and all outstanding bills are settled. Any outstanding bills may result in financial penalties with a further impact on ones future credit rating.
All keys provided for must be returned, failure to do so may result in Tenants being charges for subsequent lock changes.
You should know..
In cases whereby the fixed term of your Tenancy has elapsed, the Tenancy will automatically revert to what is known as a Periodic Tenancy. Tenancies can continue in this manner indefinitely however they do not provide Tenants or Landlords with a great deal of security, as the notice period reverts to both one month for a Tenant and two months for a Landlord.