Whether you have rented a property before or if it’s your first time, the process can be daunting and there is lots to think about and consider when looking for your next home. This guide serves to assist you by outlining the process with us and making you aware of costs and procedure. We are here to help should you have any questions or queries.

The Tenant Fees Act came into force on 1 June 2019, banning all tenant fees charged by agents and landlords except ‘permitted’ fees including rent, security deposits, holding deposits, early termination and some default fees. Click here to find a list of possible fees and why we charge them.

Once you’ve registered your details with us, we will contact you with anything which may match your requirements. We will then book you some accompanied viewings. When viewing potential properties, there are several things to look out for:

Cleanliness and Condition

If the property requires cleaning, it is always best practice to request this within your offer from the start. We recommend to all our landlords that this is carried out to a professional standard. The same applies if the property requires any form of redecoration or cosmetic improvement. You should be specific in requesting items to be investigated or repaired prior to occupation.


Properties are offered furnished, part furnished or unfurnished. If the property is part furnished or unfurnished and you require any additional items, they should also be requested at the offer stage. We would normally have a good idea as to whether this can be accommodated at the viewing stage. The same applies If the property is furnished. You may have a specific item that you must bring with you and request the landlord to remove theirs. The furniture that is provided should be in a suitable and presentable condition as well as conform to current fire safety standards.


Ask us to show you where the gas, electric and water meters are located and whether it is a regular bill or key meter. Also check the water pressure, is it sufficient?

Heating Systems

Every property that has gas central heating needs to have an annual inspection by law which is carried out by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A copy of the certificate also needs to be supplied to you when you move in. If the property has an electrical heating system this also needs to be checked every five years and is a legal requirement. This is carried out by a registered electrician. It is compulsory to provide you with the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) and this outlines how efficient the prospective property is.

Security and Safety

Different owners elect to have different degrees of security measures on their properties. We will make sure our landlords are aware that they have a responsibility for all windows and doors to be as secure as possible. By law every property needs to have a smoke alarm on each habitable level, and we make sure that the landlord ensures they are installed and working before each new tenancy. It is the tenant’s responsibility to ensure they are working correctly throughout the tenancy.


If there are private gardens then the upkeep is the tenants responsibility but if there is communal gardens, we will make you aware of who is responsible which is generally the managing agent of the specific building.

Next Steps

Once you have found a property that you are happy with, you would convey your offer via us to the landlord. This will include rental amount, length of term, possible break clause, move in date and any other special requests as mentioned above. This will be put in writing and confirmed in writing so both parties understand are in complete agreement. Once all aspects are agreed you will pay the equivalent of one weeks rent to hold the property and this will activate a 15-day period for the move in to take place. If this needs to be extended this must be put in writing by both parties. The weeks rent will be deducted from the initial move in monies (rent in advance and deposit). If for whatever reason the landlord pulls out, then you will get a full refund. If a tenant pulls out or your references are declined because you knowingly provided false or misleading information or you fail right to rent checks or where we try our best to get the information needed but you fail to provide it within the 15 days then your deposit will be forfeited and not refunded.


We use a professional referencing company to undertake a full reference for each tenant who will be living in the property. A full credit search, previous landlords’ reference and employers references will be checked. A web link will be sent for you to fill in and complete. We will also undertake the Right to Rent checks which are compulsory and a legal obligation for a landlord and their agent. This confirms if you have the right to rent in the UK.

Tenancy Agreement

We will draft the tenancy agreement which will detail the responsibilities between yourselves and the landlord. This is a legally binding contract. Please ensure you read it thoroughly and that you are happy with it.

Payment of funds

We require cleared funds before you can move into your new property. This consists of;
Amount of agreed rent paid in advance (whatever has been agreed between both parties)
Damage deposit of no more than 5 weeks unless the annual rent exceeds £50,000 in which case it will be 6 weeks. (An alternative insurance policy may be available).

Inventory/Check In

This is best practise and safeguards both tenant and landlord. It records the condition of the property and its contents upon move in. You may either meet the inventory clerk at the property or receive it separately depending on your circumstances on the day. You will typically have 7 days to check the report and sign it to confirm you are in agreement with its content. If after 7 days have expired, it will be taken that you have agreed to it.

Move In

A standing order will be set up for you to pay the monthly rental payments and we will make you aware of who will be managing the property throughout the tenancy and who to contact should there be any maintenance issues. Either a representative of Austin Samuels or the inventory clerk will meet you at the property to hand over the keys.
Please click here to download the governments ‘How to rent’ checklist