Guide for tenants

Renting in London.

Tenants looking to rent in London need to strike quickly. Kingsley Hamilton Estates have some of the best properties to let in London, for the best prices.

We’re ready to help with your London property search.

Call 020 7078 0214 today or send an email to info@kh-estates.com.

Step-by-step guide to renting.

Find out how to make your life as a tenant easier, and what you can expect from our tenant service with this 10-step guide.

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Once you’ve found your perfect property, you’ll need to get in touch with the estate agent to arrange a viewing. When the day of the viewing arrives, it’s your opportunity to get to know the property inside out. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you like, as a good estate agent will have all the answers, and be well-equipped to make your decision an easy one.

To get an idea of what to look for on the day, we’ve put together this handy checklist:

  • Assess how well the property has been maintained.
  • Note how much storage space there is and whether it’s adequate for your needs.
  • Ask about the maintenance of any common grounds. If there’s a space for your vehicle, find out where the space is located and how it is accessed.
  • Ask about transport links and the commute to work.

Now that you’ve fallen in love with the property, your next step will be to put a holding deposit down. If the tenancy is successful, the holding fee will be deducted from the first month’s rent.

You’ll be required to provide your prospective landlord and letting agent with references. You’ll need:

  • Proof of address and identity.
  • Proof of earnings.
  • Three years’ address history.
  • A reference from your previous landlord if applicable.

This is a vital part of the renting process, and can dictate how much deposit you’ll receive back at the end of your tenancy agreement. Your letting agent will arrange for a vetted company to carry out an inventory on your behalf. It will determine the condition of the property before you move in and out, and will protect you against being held liable for any existing damage to the property, including fixtures and fittings.

You’ll need to pay the deposit before you move in, which is usually 4 – 6 weeks’ rent. A deposit is payable in addition to the first month’s rent, which will be taken on the day the tenancy begins. Most landlords will ask you to set up a standing order to minimise the risk of errors and late payments. Your landlord must then register your deposit in a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. If your property is fully managed, your letting agent will be responsible for registering the deposit, which will be held in a client’s deposit account.

A tenancy agreement will need to be drawn up specifying both your rights and your landlord’s rights. The responsibilities of both parties will be detailed within your tenancy agreement, although some conditions may vary. You’ll need to sign the tenancy agreement before you move into the property.

Main points covered in a tenancy agreement:

  • Your name, your landlord’s name, and the property address.
  • Start date of the tenancy.
  • Total duration of the tenancy.
  • The amount of rent payable, how often and when it should be paid, and when it can be legally increased.
  • The amount of deposit paid.
  • The agreement will also state other payments you’ll be expected to make, including council tax, utilities, and service charges.
  • The services your landlord will provide, such as maintenance of common areas.
  • The notice period required if the tenancy is to be terminated by either you or your landlord.

If you choose us to be your letting agent, it will be our responsibility to keep landlords up to date with the latest changes to lettings legislation. This will ensure your safety, and that the property and its contents meet the UK’s legal safety standards. Before you move in, make sure you know the location of the mains water, trip switches/fuses, and gas valve in case of an emergency. It’s your landlord’s responsibility to fit the correct smoke alarms and ensure they are tested regularly. It will be up to your landlord to insure the building. You will be responsible for insuring your own contents.

Your letting agent will call you on the day to confirm the arrangements, and will meet you at the property to hand over the tenancy agreement and any other documents that relate to the move. Your agent will issue you with two sets of keys, and will cross-check the inventory to ensure you’re happy with everything.

It’s standard practice for landlords or lettings agents to inspect rented properties periodically. This usually takes place a couple of times a year. This is also for your benefit, as it will give you the opportunity to bring up and discuss any issues you may have. A managed property will also receive photographic reports. You and the landlord will receive copies of the report so that both parties are aware of the property’s condition.

When the end of your tenancy is near, you’ll need to decide whether you want to extend the agreement, or move out. If you decide on the latter, you’ll need to provide your landlord with two months’ notice. If you decide to renew, your letting agent will draw up a new agreement.

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