Welcome to Atlas’ Guide to Renting, where we provide you with all the tips and tools to get the most from your renting experience.
Setting a budget
When renting, it’s crucial to understand how much you can afford in terms of rent but also accounting for all your potential bills like council tax, water, gas and electricity. The sooner you know this, the better as it’ll help you know what your approximate rental budget should be to help find the right property for you. The general rule of thumb that the referencing agencies use to test affordability is for a tenant’s salary to be at least 2.5 times the annual rent.
Once you have identified the properties that you would like to inspect, it’s time to arrange viewings with us. This can be done by clicking the “Arrange Viewing” button on each property, calling our office on 020 8567 2489 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Viewings tend to last approximately 15 minutes which is usually enough time to inspect the property and familiarise yourself with the surroundings however don’t feel rushed; please take the time you need. Some tenants require follow-up viewings and our friendly team will gladly accommodate such requests.
If you can’t see a property on our website which you feel is appropriate then we suggest you get in touch with your requirements, including when you would like to move. We can then register your interest and you will be the first to know when a suitable property becomes available.
Making an offer
Having found the right property for you, our team will guide you through our offer process, providing you with honest feedback and advising you as to what the landlord requires to have your offer accepted.
Offer is accepted – what’s next?
We’ve partnered with Goodlord which is a platform which allows referencing to be done online and contracts to be signed electronically; saving you the need to print and sign anything. Once your offer is accepted you will receive an email from Goodlord with a link to set up an account and from there you can start the process of clearing your references and signing the tenancy agreement.
You will also need to pay a holding deposit equivalent to one week’s rent to secure the property while you complete the referencing application.
Referencing can be done within 48 hours if you provide all the information promptly.
What is included in the referencing process:
- Credit history – making sure you have no CCJs or every been made bankrupt
- Financial Referencing – checking to see you would be in a suitable position to afford the rent
- Current landlord Reference – this would only apply if you’re currently in rented accommodation.
- Right to Rent – check that you’re a British citizen, EEA or Swiss national. If not, check that you’re entitled to enter and remain in the UK.
If you are a student, you will be required to supply a UK-based Guarantor who must own a property in the UK and earn 3 times the rental amount. When relocating from overseas Landlords may accept advance rental payments of between 6-12 months.
Honesty is the best policy! The referencing agency cross-reference your information with other external sources, so if your references have “failed” for reasons that you have not disclosed or you have provided false information, you may risk losing your holding deposit.
Signing of Contacts / Tenancy Agreement
Once the referencing has been received and the landlord is happy to proceed, you’ll receive a notification from us that you can view the Tenancy Documentation online through the Goodlord system and sign, all using your computer, tablet or phone. You’ll also have the opportunity to make a payment for the first month’s rent and holding deposit.
The tenancy documents you’ll receive are:
- Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (or contact if a Company Let).
- Prescribed Information for your Deposit Protection,
- An Inventory report complete with photos and descriptions of every item and its condition in the property at the start of your tenancy.
- A Tenancy Information Pack with useful information including
- A copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
- A copy of the Gas safety Certificate (if applicable)
- A copy of the Government’s guide to renting.
All landlords are obligated to secure tenants’ deposits in a government approved protection scheme, such as The Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) or the Deposit Protection Scheme (DPS) in line with The Housing Act 2004.Our landlords tend to request that we (Atlas) hold and register your deposit on their behalf. All deposits are held in a secure, regulated client account and are registered with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS). You will be issued with your deposit certificate within 30 days of the deposit being received, along with the prescribed information leaflet for Tenants.
We understand that although exciting, moving can sometimes be a stressful time. This process typically takes about 15 minutes and it’s a good opportunity for you to have a walk through the property and make sure you’re happy with everything including checking the smoke alarms. After we’ve been through the property again with you, the keys are yours!
Shortly after, you’ll receive an email notification from us welcoming you to your new home.
Fees & Charges
Fees applying to all new tenancies from 1st June 2019
We may charge a tenant any or all of the following when required:
- The rent.
- A security deposit with a maximum of 5 weeks rent, or 6 weeks on a property with rent over £50,000 per year.
- A holding deposit of no more than one weeks’ rent.
- Default fee for late payment of rent (after 14 days).
- Reasonable charges for lost keys or security fobs.
- Payments associated with contract variation, at £50 or reasonable costs incurred if higher, when requested by the tenant.
- Payments associated with early termination of the tenancy, when requested by the tenant.
- Payments in respect of bills – utilities, communication services, TV licence, council tax and green deal or other energy efficiency charges.
Your rights / advice
We want to ensure that you feel confident when choosing to proceed with Atlas so should you wish to seek further advice, we would recommend speaking with the Property Ombudsman or the Citizens Advice Bureau who can advise you accordingly. Of course, if there is anything that you would specifically like us to clarify for you, please do not hesitate to ask, our friendly team will be delighted to assist.
We are also members of the Property Redress Scheme which gives tenants further comfort.