The referencing process
When I find a property what references do I need to provide?
We need to verify your employment details and income, your credit status, your existing rent payment history and condition report of the property you are currently renting (if you are currently renting) . We also require a copy of your passport or driving licence and a utility bill or banking statement.
How much does the reference procedure cost?
We charge each named tenant £85 plus VAT and any guarantor £85 plus VAT, and we’ll prepare your tenancy agreement for FREE.
NB There is also a charge for check-in inventory. The landlord pays for check-out inventory.
When do I pay the fee?
We’ll need to have cleared funds before we submit your reference application. We’ll send an invoice to you via email.
How can I pay the fee?
We can accept payment via bank transfer, as a bank counter payment at a branch of Barclays or by debit or credit card (a 5% surcharge applied to credit cards).
Do I need to visit your office to fill out the reference application?
No, you can fill them in at work or at home. Once funds are cleared our referencing forms will be emailed to you for submission online. The process should take no longer than 10 minutes.
How long before I get my result?
Applications usually take no longer than 48 hours, however delays occasionally happen due to a party not responding to the request. If this happens you will be notified and we may ask for your assistance.
If I fail the reference procedure does that mean I cannot move in?
Not necessarily. We may ask for you to provide a suitable guarantor, or the landlord may accept a larger deposit.
Once I have found a property do I need to pay a holding deposit?
Yes of at least £250, and we also ask you to sign our terms and conditions relating to holding deposits so you know how we will manage your money. Once a holding deposit is paid, no further viewings will take place at the property.
Does the holding deposit count towards the monies needed to move in?
Yes. When we collect the advance rent payment and deposit amount agreed, we will take into account that you have already paid a holding deposit.
Do I get a refund of my holding deposit if I pull out?
Terms apply to having your deposit refunded, and these are:
- If the landlord decides to not progress with your tenancy for any reason (other than due to you falsifying information on your application), then we will refund your holding deposit in full.
- If the landlord withdraws because you have withheld or falsified information during the reference application process, then your holding deposit will not be returned in order to cover reasonable losses made by the landlord or agent.
- If you withdraw after the reference application procedure has been concluded and we as an agent do not let the property to another tenant, we will not return your holding deposit in order to cover reasonable losses made by the landlord or agent.
- If you withdraw after the reference application procedure has been concluded and we as an agent let the property to another tenant, we will refund your deposit in full.
- If you withdraw before any reference applications have been concluded, then we will refund your deposit in full.
- Please be aware that once a reference application is submitted we cannot refund your reference fee under any circumstances and any holding deposit refunds made to cards will be minus any charges that applied).
Protecting your deposit
Are you starting a new tenancy with a private landlord or agent?
Since April 6th 2007, when you pay a deposit, your landlord or agent must protect it using a government authorised tenancy deposit scheme.
Why does my deposit have to be protected?
So you get all or part of your deposit back, when you are entitled to it. Any disputes between you and your landlord or agent will be easier to resolve.
When does my deposit have to be protected?
At the beginning of a new tenancy agreement, pay your deposit to your landlord or agent as usual. Within 14 days, the landlord or agent is required to give you details about how your deposit is protected including:
- The contact details of the tenancy deposit scheme
- The contact details of the landlord or agent
- How to apply for the release of the deposit
- Information explaining the purpose of the deposit
- What to do if there is a dispute about the deposit
Who are the organisations running the schemes?
The three Tenancy Deposit Schemes are:
The Tenancy Deposit Scheme
0845 226 7837
The Deposit Protection Service
0870 707 1 707
What should I do if my landlord or agent hasn’t protected my deposit?
You can apply to your local county court. The court can order the landlord or agent to either repay the deposit to you or protect it in a scheme. If your landlord or agent has not protected your deposit, they may be ordered to repay three times the amount of the deposit to you.
How do I get my deposit back at the end of the tenancy?
Make sure you are leaving the property and its contents in the condition in which it was originally let to you, and ensure that you have paid your rent fully and any other expenses. Then agree with your landlord or agent how much of the deposit should be returned to you.Your deposit should be returned to you within 10 days.
How do I resolve any disputes over the return of my deposit?
When you move out, if you and your landlord or agent can’t agree how much of your deposit should be returned, there will be a free service offered by the scheme protecting your deposit to help resolve your dispute. Check the scheme information.
How can I find out more?
For advice visit: www.direct.gov.uk/tenancydeposit or telephone the leaflet line on 0845 609 0696. Alternatively you can contact the following organisations:
Shelter - FREE* housing advice helpline: 0808 800 4444 (open 8am to midnight 7 days a week)
Citizens Advice - Listed in the phone book
National Union of Students - Visit your student advice centre or students' union for more information.
Should I insure my contents at my new rented property?
Yes and here are 10 great Reasons to arrange your Tenants Contents Insurance with us.
Benefits of our Tenants Contents Insurance
- You’ll get a 10% Discount if you pay annual fee
- Protect your deposit - Includes damage to Landlord's Contents up to £2,500
- Replace ‘New for Old’ Cover on Contents
- Cover for Electrical Equipment - Accidental Damage to TV, Audio, Video and Computers
- Personal Liability Cover up to £2m
- Replacement Locks following Theft of Keys up to £250
- Contents in Garden, Garage, or Outbuildings up to £500 is covered
- Entertaining Visitors? Their Personal items up to £250 are covered
- Money and Credit Cards up to £100 is covered
- £50 Standard Excess on the Contents Insurance
What is a Verified Landlord?
Using the latest in technology developed by one of the worlds leading experts Experian, we can authenticate our Landlords in much the same way as a High Street Bank or loan Company would. It's a little extra peace of mind for you and is just one of the ways we are trying to help combat fraud.
What is the Smart Deposit Solution?
Some of our landlords are happy to accept our unique ‘Smart Deposit Solution’ which means you can move into their property without paying a tenancy deposit. Instead you will need to purchase our deposit warranty, which is £349 plus VAT and lasts for the term of your contract.