Renting a property

We go above and beyond to remove any stress from the process of renting a property.

Register with us and we’ll keep you up to date with properties we think will suit you best.

Key questions to consider before starting your property search:

  • How much is the rent and deposit – what is your affordability?
  • How long do you want the tenancy for?
  • Which area would you like to live in?
  • Do you have the right to rent property?
  • Will you need a guarantor?

Property search checklist:

  • Deposit cap – tenancy deposit should be no more than 5 weeks’ worth of rent (annual rent less than £50,000) or 6 weeks’ rent (annual rent more than £50,000).
  • Deposit protection – check that deposit is protected in a government approved scheme.
  • Length of tenancy – usually a fixed period of 12 months (a 6 month tenancy can be requested but may not be approved by the landlord).
  • Pets – check if there are any restrictions.
  • Bills – check who is responsible for electricity, gas, water and council tax. Usually they are the responsibility of the tenant.

Fees permitted by the Tenant Fees Act:

  • Tenancy deposit
  • Holding deposit, which is deducted from the first months rent upon move in
  • Early termination of the tenancy payments, when early release is requested by the tenant
  • Payments for the variation, assignment or novation of a tenancy
  • Payments in respect of utilities, communication services, TV licence and Council Tax
  • Default fee for late payment of rent and replacement of lost keys/security device giving access to the housing

Fees not permitted by the Tenant Fees Act:

  • Charges for viewing a property
  • Charges for setting up the tenancy or contracts
  • Check out fees
  • Third party fees

We produce a tailored list of properties that match your specific requirements. We can then arrange viewings of suitable properties.

Video walk throughs will be available for some properties.

When discussing reserving a property, note any ‘conditions of offer’ if you have any specific requirements to put forward for consideration by the landlord.

Once the offer is accepted by the landlord, you will receive the reservation form, draft Assured Shorthold Tenancy and instructions for paying the holding deposit of one weeks rent.

The holding deposit reserves the property so it is taken off the market and the referencing process can begin.

Quick referencing procedures are in place to cause minimal delay.

Tenants receive a link to referencing website, Vouch, to complete an application and provide information.

Once referencing is complete, all documentation is provided electronically to review and sign before returning to Living Spaces prior to the start of the tenancy.

Tenants will also receive instructions on how to pay remaining move-in monies and arrange an appointment to collect keys – identification documents will be required at this point.

Once you’ve found a property it’s very important to check the paperwork:

  • Tenancy agreement – a written tenancy agreement is provided by Living Spaces. Make sure you understand your rights and responsibilities before signing and ask us any questions.
  • Inventory – keep a record of the agreed inventory, if provided this will assist with any disputes at the end of the tenancy.
  • Meter readings – take meter readings on moving in. This will help make sure you don’t pay for the previous tenant’s bills.
  • Contact details – keep a record of contact details and telephone number of Living Spaces in case of an emergency.

What will Living Spaces provide?

  • A copy of the ‘How to rent: the checklist for renting in England’ guide.
  • Gas safety certificate, and a copy of the new certificate after each annual gas safety check, if there is a gas installation or appliance.
  • Deposit paperwork and information relating to the government approved scheme protecting your deposit, if the property is managed by us.
  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – all privately rented properties must have an energy performance rating of EPC Band E or above (unless a valid exemption applies).
  • Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR), and a copy of any new certificate (due every five years unless otherwise specified) and copy of any remedial works.

Tenant responsibilities:

  • Rent payments – if rent is more than 14 days late, you could be liable for a default fee
  • Bill payments – council tax, gas, electricity and water bills
  • Property care – obtain landlord’s permission before attempting repairs or decorating
  • Contents insurance to cover your possessions is advised
  • Consideration for neighbours – anti-social behaviour may be a reason for your landlord to evict you
  • No lodger or sub-let without landlord permission

Tenant advice:

  • Make sure you know how to operate appliances and locate the stopcock, fuse box and any meters
  • Regularly test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month
  • Report repairs to your landlord – failure to report repairs could breach your tenancy and may be a risk to your deposit
  • Consider obtaining contents insurance for your belongings
  • Consider having a smart meter installed if it would save you money but check with landlord first

Landlord responsibilities:

  • Maintaining structure and exterior of property
  • Ensuring property is free from serious hazards throughout tenancy
  • Fitting smoke alarms on every floor and carbon monoxide alarms (where applicable) and ensuring they are in working order at start of tenancy
  • Resolving problems with water, electricity and gas supply
  • Maintaining appliances supplied at property
  • Arranging annual gas safety check by a Gas Safe engineer (where there are gas appliances)
  • Arranging five-yearly electrical safety check by a qualified and competent person
  • Ensuring the property is at a minimum of EPC energy efficiency band E (unless a valid exemption applies)

If you wish to extend your tenancy after an initial fixed period, you can request a new fixed term or rolling periodic tenancy, this request will be submitted to the landlord. A rent increase may be considered as set out in your initial tenancy agreement.

If you wish to end your tenancy agreement, notice is required as set out in your initial tenancy agreement and must be given in writing.

Checklist of things to consider:

  • Make sure rent payments are up to date
  • Do not leave bills unpaid
  • Remove your possessions, clean the property and take meter readings
  • Check the condition of the property against any inventory provided and take photos
  • Return all sets of keys that have been provided