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At Blue Estate Agents we know the lettings market inside out and have put together a small guide for tenants, giving you all of the information, you need to rent a property, from finding and securing a new home all the way through to what to expect from a tenancy agreement.

Step 1

When renting, there are costs in addition to your weekly or monthly rent, you need to factor into your budget.

In 2020, the Tenant Fees Act 2019, came into full force meaning many of the fees once paid by the tenant, are now not payable. There are however some upfront costs involved before renting a property. These costs normally include:

  • Holding Deposit (equal to 1 week's rent)
  • Tenancy Security Deposit (equal to 5 week's rent where the rent is less than £50,000 per annum and equal to 6 weeks rent where the rent is above this) – unless you are renting deposit free
  • First month’s rent

To save time when you start looking, make sure you have your identification documentation, immigration status and proof of address (less than 3 months old) easily to hand as these documents will be required for reference checks etc., Alongside completing credit checks we will require 3 years address history and landlords/ agents references too and a reference from your current employer.

Step 2

Within 28 days of the tenancy start date: We will need to check your identity and right to rent. Please visit our office with original hard copies of your British, Swiss or European Economic Area (EEA) Passport or current VISA documents. Anyone over the age of 18 who is residing in the property will need to provide Right to Rent documents regardless of whether they are named as a tenant or not. Anyone residing in the property who will turn 18 during the term will be required to provide this documentation at this time.

What if I am unable to provide these documents before the start of the tenancy? Unfortunately, as this is a legal obligation under the Immigration Act, we are unable to release keys to anyone who has not provided a hard copy of their right to reside in the UK. For further information please visit

This will be held in good faith whilst we undertake references, identity and Right to Rent checks. Your holding deposit will be held for 15 calendar days unless otherwise agreed in writing with you. If a tenancy is agreed and contracts signed the holding deposit will be applied towards your first month’s rent. Your holding deposit can be retained if:

  • You fail to pass the adequate right to rent checks
  • You provide false or misleading information which the landlord is reasonably entitled to consider in deciding whether or not to grant the tenancy
  • You withdraw from the tenancy
  • You fail to take all reasonable steps to enter into a tenancy agreement Should the landlord decide to withdraw through no fault of your own then your holding deposit will be refunded to you within 7 calendar days.

Step 3

So, you’ve passed your References and “subject to contract” you are moving in! What next?

A Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of the tenancy and is drawn up to ensure that the rights and obligations of both tenant and Landlord are adhered to.

It is very important that you read this as soon as you can, so you have ample opportunity to check that you understand all the terms and what your responsibilities will be. Once all parties agree, sign and you pay your move in monies you are legally bound by this agreement until the specified end date.

Once the deposit is paid in full along with the first month’s rent and the tenancy is fully signed, the property is secured, and keys can be released to you.

A tenancy deposit is held to give your landlord protection in case you leave without paying the rent; cause damage to the property and / or its contents or you breach a term of the tenancy. From 1st June 2019 landlords in England are limited to 5 weeks’ deposit for new and renewed tenancies (or 6 weeks if the annual rent is £50,000 or more). Your tenancy agreement will show clearly what the deposit is for and how it will be dealt with under the terms of the Tenancy Deposit Scheme laws, according to what type of Tenancy you have. You will be informed which government approved scheme is being used by your Agent/Landlord and you should get confirmation once the deposit is correctly registered, this should occur within 30 days of you paying it.

Step 4

What information we will provide to you?

Blue Estate Agents can now hand over a copy of the Tenancy Agreement for your records along with the contact details of who you deal with going forward -this may be the Agent or the Landlord. We will also provide a copy of the Gas Safety Certificate (if applicable), EPC, How to Rent Guide/Rent Smart Wales leaflet as a minimum. From 1st July 2020 you should also receive a copy of an Electrical Safety Report (England only).

Future rent payments will normally be made monthly and paid by standing order –Blue Estate Agents will give you all the forms to complete or bank details, so you can set this up in time for the next rent due date. If you are provided with a Payment Reference, ensure you use this so your rent can be found quickly once paid. Most of the time its your first line of address.

Your keys will be available to collect either at the office or at your check in appointment from one of our Letting negotiators or inventory clerk; your local office will go through this with you beforehand and make the appointment.

An inventory will be completed of the property and contents and the condition when keys are handed over. By both parties agreeing that the inventory is correct at the start of the tenancy, any risk of disputes at the end of the tenancy will be minimised. We recommend therefore that you thoroughly check the inventory before you sign. This document is used when you move out of the property to so that any changes can be easily identified and charged for, where necessary, after fair wear & tear is considered. We will test the smoke alarms and show you the utility meters. The inventory will be sent to you by your client manager after you move in and you will have 7 days to tell us of any comments.

Council Tax, Water, Gas, Electric and TV Licence

From the day you move in until you move out you must ensure that your name is on the bills, and all are paid on time (unless your rent includes bills). We shall contact each supplier once you have moved in and inform them that you have moved in -– saving you lots of time! This is a free service we provide but legally it is still your responsibility to do it. Keep a note of your meter readings on move-in day from your Inventory and make sure you send off your meter readings regularly, so your bills are accurate.

Get in touch

Call us on 0208 570 7900 or send us a message...