Our Top 10 Tips for Tenants
If you’re thinking of renting there is much to consider. To make sure you seal the right property for you, here are some tips and pointers about what questions to ask.
1. Know what you are looking for?
Rental properties come in all shape and sizes. Try to narrow down your search by knowing:
- Where do you want to live – try reading our handy rental area guides [link]
- Furnished or unfurnished?
- What is your budget?
- When do you want to move – landlords will expect you to move in within a month of the property being available
- How long do you want to rent for? Minimum contract terms can vary at different times of year
- Carry out some online searches – use our rental search to start now
2. What is affordable?
Usually rents are exclusive of other bills so make sure you have sufficient income. Bear in mind that:
- You should budget for at least £100 per month for gas, electric and water costs.
- The EPC for a property indicates likely energy costs and how to save money
- Most tenants pay council tax, although full time students are exempt
- We would expect to see evidence of income around 2.5 times the rent
3. Arrange some viewings
It’s never advisable to apply for a property without viewing it – make sure it is the right place for you. When arranging and viewing:
- Book in advance – if a property is tenanted, we need to provide at least 24 hours’ notice.
- Saturday viewings are popular so plan ahead if viewing at the weekend
- Ask questions about the house and area, especially of the current tenant is there!
- Speak to our lead rental adviser, Rex Walker, about potential viewings of our properties
- Run the shower!
4. Find out what is included with the house
Furnished properties come with kitchen appliances and the ‘big ticket’ items like sofas, beds and wardrobes. Many, but not all, unfurnished properties come with kitchen appliances. To be sure what is and isn’t provided:
- Ask to see the current inventory – this lists what is provided
- Check before you apply whether specific items are included
5. How much will it cost to move in?
Initial monies vary between agents and there can be big differences in the amount of fees and deposit due. Make sure you know:
- How much are the Agency fees?
- Are additional fees due during/after the tenancy for renewing contracts, end of tenancy cleaning or providing references?
- How much deposit is payable and how will it be protected?
6. Collate the necessary information to help your application go smoothly
Take a look at the agents’ application form to understand what you need to provide with your application. This usually includes:
- Photo I.D.
- Proof of existing address
- Evidence about your income – find out who can provide a work reference for you
- In certain circumstances a Guarantor is required to guarantee the rent
7. Find out who manages the property
It is important to note: Some of our rental properties are managed by CP Walker & Son, others by the landlord after it has been let.
8. Make sure the property is suitable for you
Some landlords have requirements or restrictions about who they consider suitable for a property. If you have any of the following, check before arranging a viewing [link to Rex profile]:
- Poor credit history
- Support with the rent from Housing Benefit
9. Arrange your internet provision before you move in
Reserving a date for installation before you move can save up to 3 weeks delay getting activated. C.P. Walker and Son partner with Virgin Media to provide tenants with exclusive discounts on Broadband, TV & Phone services in cabled areas.
Ask a member of staff about offers from Virgin Media.
10. Arrange some insurance
Landlords are responsible for insuring the building but we strongly recommend that you take out cover for your own contents and other obligations as a Tenant.
Click here to find out more about tenant’s insurance.
Contact our lead rental adviser Rex Walker.
Want to know a bit more? Click here.
"C.P. Walker and Son has been our managing agent on our property since 2007. Throughout that time we have received excellent service. They have worked consistently in a professional and friendly manner to ensure that all our needs are met and our experience as landlords to be hassle free! They are readily available by telephone and email to answer any questions, and lettings have been smooth transitions. I have no hesitation in recommending them to you. [Management client of 6 years]"