Since 1 June 2019, most fees charged in connection with a tenancy are banned. A charge to reserve a property is permitted but it must be refundable and it cannot equate to more than 1 weeks’ rent. Viewing fees and tenancy set-up fees are not allowed.
If the total annual rent is less than £50,000, the maximum deposit is 5 weeks’ rent. If the annual rent is £50,000 or above, the maximum deposit is 6 weeks’ rent. The deposit must be refundable at the end of the tenancy, usually subject to the rent being paid and the property is returned in good condition, and it must be ‘protected’ during the tenancy.
Most landlords offer tenancies for a fixed term of 6 (minimum) or 12 months. It is possible to negotiate a longer tenancy. Alternatively, you could agree to a tenancy which rolls over on a monthly basis, this may happen once your initial fixed term ends.
Your landlord will want to confirm your identity, immigration status, credit history and employment status. Landlords in England must check that all people aged 18 or over, living in their property as their only or main home have the right to rent in the UK and must carry out this check before the start date of your tenancy agreement.
If you do not earn enough (usually 2.5 x the £ annual rent) then your landlord may require a guarantor to guarantee the rent. This person will need to provide evidence that they can pay the rent for the property.
Some landlords are happy to accept a deposit replacement scheme instead of a cash deposit. Where this is the case you have the right to choose, you do not have to accept this zero-deposit alternative. If you do consider this please check the terms and conditions to see if it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
It is usual practice that the tenant will pay for the bills such as electricity, gas, council tax, water and communications. If they are included in the rent it will be explained in the property details and the tenancy agreement.
This is up to the landlord and it is important that you check before you go ahead a purchase a new pet, or notify your landlord or letting agent when you start looking for a rental property.
This is up to the landlord and it is important that you check before you go ahead if you are a smoker. Some landlords may allow smoking in the garden or outside area, however, smoke does carry on clothing and through open windows, so it could be a no to smoking in any part of the premises.