Tenants’ Guide: Simple Steps to Renting

To show you just how simple renting with Oakhill can be, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide. It provides you with important information about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and those of your landlord or letting agent.

STEP ONE – Preparation

Be clear about your needs.

Do a little bit of thinking first, before you contact us. Having an idea of the following before your call will help us both.

+ How much you are looking to spend per month/week?

+ How many bedrooms/bathrooms do you need?

+ Do you want something furnished or unfurnished?

+ Do you need a garden/outside space?

+ What local transport links do you need to be close for commuting to work, schools, colleges and universities?

+ How long do you want to rent for? Would you need a break clause in the contract?

+ What amenities (schools, hospitals, shops, restaurants) would you like to live near?

+ If you had to, what type of things would you compromise on (e.g. no garden, living above a shop, being a distance away from transport links).

STEP TWO – Making an offer

Reaching an agreement

Properties are typically advertised at the weekly or monthly rate the landlord will accept.

We will work with you to put an offer together for the landlord.

STEP THREE – The references

Tenant referencing

When your offer is accepted, we will carry out referencing checks. This is needed so that the landlord can be sure that you, or your guarantor, can meet your commitments each month.

STEP FOUR - Time to sign

Your tenancy agreement

Once all checks have been approved, we’ll create a tenancy agreement. This is based on current law, and tailored as necessary with bespoke clauses according to what you and the landlord agree.

STEP FIVE – The deposit

Securing the place you’d like to rent

We usually require a deposit equalling around 6 weeks’ rent, payable before you move in (for rentals up to £100,000 per year, on an assured short-hold tenancy agreement).

You may need a larger deposit if, for example, the landlord agrees to you having a pet in the property.

The deposit is held as security against non-payment of rent and/or any damages that may occur. But all being well, it is returned to you in full at the end of your tenancy. During your stay, it is registered in the government-backed tenancy deposit scheme.

STEP SIX – Preparing the inventory

Ensuring the property is in good condition

We work with the landlord to ensure the property is handed over to you in excellent condition. We give you a written inventory report that details its condition and, if applicable, a list and condition of its individual contents. When you move out, we carry out a further inventory inspection. You protect your deposit by handing hand back the property in the same condition you received it.

STEP SEVEN – Points of contact

Making sure you have all you need

We’re with you every step of the way. Even if we’re not managing the property, we’ll make sure that you have all the contact details for your landlord and the correct number keys for your new home.

If we are looking after your property, we’ll appoint a dedicated property manager to help you with any queries throughout your tenancy.

STEP EIGHT – Checking in and checking out

When your initial term is up, moving out and your deposit

When you sign your tenancy agreement, you and the landlord will be committing to a fixed term, such as 6 months or 1 year. Your tenancy agreement may also have a ‘break clause’, which allows you to terminate your agreement early.

Just before your end date we’ll get in touch to see if you want to extend your agreement or move on.

If you decide to move on, you’ll need to attend the inventory check out. This is where the property gets checked off against the original inventory. From there, a report is produced. If there are any issues, this may have an effect on your deposit.